2010 Reflections

Hard to believe another year has passed.  Time seems to be slipping away a little quicker every year.  I'd say all in all, this was a really good year.  Lots of changes along the way.  We said hello to several new friends, as we also said goodbye to a dear loved one.

Let's start with Maddie.... she turned 3 this year.  She had a lot of changes.  She gave up diapers for big girl panties, a crib for a full size bed, and a pacifier for earrings.  She tried out some gymnastics... and loved it.  We'll definitely do that again.  She loves to go to church (she calls it her school).  ;)  Little Einsteins is her very favorite.  She's a very happy little girl and lights up the room.  Our goal this year is to get her sleeping better.  And, I really want to get her involved in some more activities just for her.

Audrey had a big year, as well.  She is now 5 years old.  She finished up her PreK year... and started Kindergarten!  Seriously can't believe she is in school!  She's done very well.  She's reading a bit.  We haven't done many extra curricular activities.  She finished up with dance in May and decided not to continue this year.  She's been pretty sick - 4 bouts of strep throat and 2 turns of the stomach flu.  So, we've laid a little low with her.  She is still active in Awana at church and also joined the Children's Choir.  She's all about Barbie and Zhu Zhu pets right now... and is showing a big interest in playing the guitar. 

Derek & I made a big decision this year to move to a new church.  It really has been a fantastic move for our family.  The girls have done excellent!  They love going to church and have really learned a lot.  Audrey has such a sweet heart and is quite knowledgeable for her age.  Makes me proud.  I've gotten involved with a Women's Bible Study and the music program.  God has really blessed me.

Derek has done well at work.  He has several upcoming opportunities.  He's still on the executive board of his culinary group and loving it.  He's a little less involved in church because he's had to keep the girls a lot for my music stuff.  He's a good guy!  

So, I started out the year with big plans to lose weight.  I did.  But, I gained most of it back, sadly.  But, on the bright side... I'm ending the year 12 pounds lighter than I started it!  I'll shoot for the same this year.  Working towards consistency.  I also went back to work part time, which has been an adjustment.  I've been given some pretty amazing opportunities through the music program at church.  A new one starts in January, as well.  Lots of great things to look forward to.

I'll share a few of my favorite pics from the year.  I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed new year!

Audrey's last dance recital.

Sweet little kitty at the fall festival.

Making pizza!

My new love... the Terra Trike.
We lost our precious Paw in Oct 2010.

First day of school!

Derek was best man at his best friend's wedding.

My beautiful princess

Me in action.  Show time!

My beautiful girl

Madelyn is 3

Where does the time go?  Seriously, my little princess is 3 years old and is sooo not a baby any more.  Just can't believe it some times.  She rocked my world when she entered it and it has never been the same.  She is the sweetest, most lovable little girl.  She loves to cuddle, sing, dance, play with her dolls, and copy her sister.  :)  I can't imagine my life without her. 


I'm really getting behind in my blogging.  Logs of new things going on.  Busy time of year.  I'll post later on the happenings, but for now I just want to say I'm thankful.

We just celebrated Thanksgiving.  I have so much to be thankful for!  I have been given way more than I deserve.  I have a great husband, wonderful kids, beautiful home, great friends, fabulous church, and a mighty God!

Today was such a great day!  We've had several rough days around here and I was kinda at the end of my rope.  But, today made it all worth while.  Everybody got along so well.  No back talk.  We played and had fun.  We all worked together to purge 5 garbage bags of toys to donate.   A clean house always makes me happy!  lol  But, happy kids make me the happiest.  :)

Updates and Issues

Just a quick update.  Work is going well.  The hours fly by very quickly.  I'm working non-stop while I'm there.... one of the beauties of working part time, I suppose.  I go in, do what needs to be done, and leave.  However, I'm still in the process of getting things caught up and organized, so I actually don't have enough time to get it all done.  I joked with my boss Monday and asked, "Are you sure this is a part time job?"  He laughed and said he really didn't know.  For now, I'm grateful for the extra hours. 

I need some advice, friends.  Maddie is acting out a bit right now and regressing by acting like a baby.  Apparently, she's only doing it when I'm around.  I don't know if it is because I am working now and away from home more or if it's those dreaded 3's that her sister went through.  Speaking of Audrey, she's still lashing out at Maddie some.  Both of the girls are so much better apart.  :(  When Audrey comes home from school and Maddie isn't home, she's so sweet and well behaved.  But, if Maddie is home, she comes in with a chip on her shoulder and is mouthy to everybody.  Derek also says that Audrey acts better when I'm not around.  It's breaking my heart.  I'm obviously the common denominator, but I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.  :(  I try to love on each of them equally, but in the past Maddie has required more attention simply because she was a baby.  But, now that she's older and more independent, I'm able to spend more time with Audrey.  In any case, there's an obvious jealousy issue and I've played a part in it.  I need to fix it.  Advice??

Finally, please keep our family in your prayers.  Derek's grandfather, Paw, has been sent to Hospice.  He has about 2 weeks left with us.  It is going to be a difficult time.  I'm worried, too, about Audrey.  I want to start preparing her now.  She's been praying for "Paw to walk again so he can go home."  Please pray for her heart and that we say the right words to help her understand. 

Overwhelmingly Blessed

I keep trying to remind myself, as we talked about it in our Bible Study Thursday, how blessed I am.  I truly, truly believe that.  And, when I get down and out I do thank Him for the things He's brought me through and the ones He's brought me to.  As I shared in a previous post, I was blessed with a new job (in only about 6 weeks of searching) on Monday.  I have an amazing husband who loves me unconditionally, supports me, and is a fantastic Dad!  My kids are my pride and joy.  They make me want to be a better person. 

With all that being said, I feel so incredibly overwhelmed right now.  How does one person who so desperately tries to stay organized feel so out of control at times?  First of all, I love my new job.  The man I work for is a really nice guy and the atmosphere is great.  However, after a week of work, I don't feel like I've accomplished a whole lot.  I'm following a person who was highly disorganized.  It's hard to find anything.  :(  There's really no training.  I'm just figuring it all out as I go... and in the mean time I'm answering phone calls with questions to which I do not know the answers.  I was in the office alone today because the owner was out of town.  A wee bit frustrating....

Only a few rehearsals left until the Christmas program.  I had everything mapped out on paper last week and it did not come out looking like that on stage.  :(  I still have quite a bit left to write and teach, but things have changed so much I don't feel like anything is really solidified at this point.  And, finding the time to dedicate to writing and rewriting outside of rehearsal time is difficult.  

My house has really suffered this week trying to balance everything.  I'm the one that usually picks up after everybody in addition to all of the chores.  It makes me crazy when things are out of order or not clean.  But, it just isn't going to be possible to do all myself any more.  Besides, Audrey got her first report card this week and she had all high marks in academics and in all other skills except neatness & organization.  I think I've enabled her... so it's time to change things!

Maddie has been acting out some this week.  I'm sure it's because her routine is different, she hasn't been with me every day, and she's had allergy issues a couple of weeks.  Putting her to bed has been an hour long chore with an exhausting emotional break down.  :(  

With all this being said, Derek's grandfather was sent to the hospital last night with pneumonia.  He took a turn for the worse today.  He is no longer able to take liquids because he can't swallow and it goes straight to his lungs.  The doctor said he does not expect him to recover.  If he makes it through the weekend they will be calling in Hospice.  It is so hard to see him this way.  He has gone downhill so quickly. 

God has a plan for all the things going on in our lives.  I gotta keep the faith!

Blessed Beyond Measure

God amazes me all the time.  Maybe one day I'll learn to trust His timing because He always knows best.  I have been pretty down lately.  Just bummed about the whole job situation and being stressed with the day to day.  I've over committed myself, as usual, which just adds to the stress.  But, I've been diving into the Word more lately.  I've been part of a Women's Bible Study for almost a year now (off and on) and have really committed myself this semester to sticking with the study and attending regularly.  It has been the best blessing!   I finally let all my stressors go, placed them at His feet, and tried not to worry so much.  Let me tell you what God has been doing in my life....

With all the stress of paying off debts, decision to go back to work, and then the frustration of not finding a job - God answered my prayers.  Last week D got approved for a consulting job with an old company.  Amazing blessing!  Not only is it an amazing financial blessing, but it means I don't have to go back to work full time!!  Then today I got a part time job!  This will be so much easier to handle with the day to day "mommy duties".  I think it's going to be perfect.  :)  It's only 20 hours a week with flexible scheduling around church & kiddos.  It's a relaxing, small office atmosphere.  And, I start tomorrow!  Thank you, God, for all the blessings!

To top everything off, I've been asked to be a part of an amazing opportunity.  One of the best compliments EVER.  Can't share exactly what that is yet... but I will soon enough.  =)

Fall in GA

Airborne Audrey

Waterfall we saw on the hayride

Pure Innocence



Backyard Bonfire
I don't think I've ever been so ready for Fall!  It was in the low 80's today, but sure beats the high 90's that seemed to be the norm this summer.  We started out to the Apple Festival today, but the traffic was so bad we turned around to come home.  We took a little detour on the way back and stopped at a pumpkin farm and corn maze.  We went on a little hayride and saw a waterfall.  The girls slid down an inflatable slide numerous.  Maddie cracked us up every time.  She had a look of terror on her face, but as soon as she hit the bottom she jumped up and said, "Let's do it again".  =)  Derek & I went through the corn maze.  Then we all came home for an impromptu bonfire.  We roasted hot dogs and made smores.  I count that a great day!

Fall Festival

Had to post the cutest little kitty ever!  Audrey's elementary school had their Fall Festival last night. We had a blast!  I had a vendor booth set up with Creative Memories and met some great people.  Audrey was completely in her element and seemed so grown up.  She was running around with her little friends and taking part in all the activities.  I met the little guy that wants to marry her.  LOL  It was a long night, but we had a great time!  The girls crashed when we got home.  We put Audrey in the bed and were doing the normal bedtime routine - book and songs.  Before I could even finish singing she said, "My eyes are asleep.  I can't open them."  I think they had a great time!

Trip to PA

Creek behind the B&B
We stayed in the furthest building.
Derek & I got away for a long weekend for his best friend's wedding.  We had a great time!  Despite the fact that I don't really enjoy flying, the traveling was pretty nice.  We left very early Friday morning and flew into Philadelphia.  We drove into New Jersey for lunch at a place Derek found on Food Network (had been on Throw Down with Bobby Flay).  Boy, was that an adventure!  It helps to put the right place in the GPS.  lol  And, toll roads?!  Crazy expensive!  I'm pretty sure we spent more on tolls than we did food - and we only drove a couple hundred miles.  Also, first time I ever had to pay to pee.  lol  Had to pay $1 to get off the road and had to put a quarter in the bathroom door to use it.  It was worth it though after drinking 2 diet cokes at lunch.  Ha!!! 

Anyway, we drove about 3 hours to our bed and breakfast location.  We stayed in the Pump House B&B.  Very neat place.  It was featured in "This Old House" in 2004.  There is a main house that Doug & Marika live in (and serve breakfast in the sunroom).  They renovated it a few years ago.  And, there is another house next door that they are currently working on.  One of the old pump house buildings has been renovated and houses a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom in the back.  The majority of the building is an open area that they use as a reception room for weddings, but mainly use it as Doug's studio.  The other pump house has a room and then the rest if used for storage and work space.  He's an amazing artist.  He does stained glass, tile, sculptures, painting... you name it.  It's displayed all over the buildings.  Very cool!   The first night we stayed we were the only guests.  The second morning we shared breakfast with some other guests - a lady and her mother.  Turns out her mother, who had to have been in her 80's, had lived at the house as a child.  Her dad was in charge of the pump house.  So, it was really cool to hear her talk about the way things use to be.  Beautiful place!  Oh, and Doug cooked breakfast.  YUM!  Fresh squeezed apple juice, yummy fruit smoothie, homemade scones, sausage links, and breakfast casserole.  YUMMmmm

D & Me
Ok, so the wedding.  We went to a party Friday night where we got to spend time with the bride, groom, family, and Chris & Michelle.  Oh, but not before a quick stop to Wal-Mart because Derek did not pack anything but shorts & tee-shirt for 58 degree weather.  (Derek's best friends from childhood are "big Chris" and "little Chris".)  We say this respectively b/c big Chris is 6'6ish and little Chris (the groom) is 5'6ish).  =)  We had such a great time with everybody!  Stayed up late visiting and catching up.  Saturday morning we met them all for coffee after breakfast (since ours was included).  We took off with Chris & Michelle in search of a particular Farmers Market which turned out to be an old barn with two vendors.  Haha!  Enjoyed the road trip nonetheless.  Saturday afternoon the boys had to meet a little early for pictures so I took my time getting ready.  =)  The wedding itself was at an old barn.  So cute!  The ceremony was adorable.  They quoted Dr. Seuss, sang an Adam Sandler song, wrote sweet vows, and laughed.  Just plain ole cute!  =)  The party was fabulous!  The food was great! 

The trip was great, but two days is about the max for leaving my kiddos.  I was ready to see them (though I did enjoy some alone time with D, which we don't often get).  Unfortunately, both of my girls contracted a stomach virus on Saturday/Sunday, so they were sick all night.  I HATE not being with them when they're sick.  :(  But, I'm very fortunate they were with their Nana who took great care of them.  She is such a trooper!  Everyone seems to be on the mend now, thankfully!  Got a busy week ahead, so I'm praying D & I don't catch the lovely bug!  Got a dental appointment tomorrow followed by a job interview.  Lots going on.....

New Attitude

Amazing what a new hair cut can do! lol My sweet mother-in-law, knowing that I've been pretty down lately, sent me to the salon today to get my hair done - cut, color, & style. How sweet was that? She's so thoughtful!

I feel so much better! Really, my new do is a great jump start to a new attitude. I feel sassy. lol I had a job interview this afternoon and felt darn confident going in. Pretty sure I got it. It's only one or two days a week, so not much, but it's a start. It could turn into more later as their productivity goes up. So, if I can keep them organized so they can spend more time doing their jobs, it will create more hours for me. :) It's just a few miles from my house. Very convenient! I pick my day/s and hours. It's great! I'm still going to keep a look out for another similar part time position since this one is only going to be 6-12 hours a week. I'd like to be up to at least 20, but for now I'll take what I can get!

Heading to a wedding this weekend with Derek in Pennsylvania. Excited to have a little get away with him. We're staying in this really cool little B&B. Fun! (Just wish we didn't have to fly. hmph!)
Here it is! Love my new short do.  =)

Before - you know it's past time for a haircut when I start pulling it back every day!
The new bob.  =)

Coming to grips

So, I've had a few days to come to grips with the inevitable job situation. I'm seeing the brighter side of things. The first one being more income to pay off this debt. Secondly, I think Maddie will do well from more interaction with kids and a more "preschool" setting. She is a very social, busy little girl. She *loves* going to "class" at church. However, I don't really want her in childcare 5 days a week. I still want her to have that one on one, loving attention she needs. (She is VERY much a mama's girl that wants to cuddle a lot.) My wonderful in-laws have volunteered to help with childcare. Yay! I had not planned to ask such a thing, so what a relief for them to offer. There are still lots of things that I, selfishly, am going to miss out on, but I'll get over it.

So, now on to the lovely job hunt. I have sent out 10+ resumes, but I know this is only the beginning. What a HORRIBLE time to be looking for a job. But, surely someone will want me!! =)

***Warning*** Lots of Whining Ahead

So, I'm getting ready to whine just as I try to teach my kids NOT to do. I'm having a "woe is me" moment just as I have tried so hard not to do in the past few years. But, right now, in this moment - I am going to W-H-I-N-E, so prepare yourself. So, what is my deal? Is the anticipation building?? I'll tell you what the deal is. I have to go back to work. I have to enter the "real world", leave my kids behind, and work for a living. I know, I know. People choose to do it every day. I am in no way judging them. But, this is not what I had planned. This is not what I wanted to do. I wanted to stay home with BOTH of my girls at least until they both started school. I'm heartbroken. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I do not want to leave Maddie. I do not want to be rushed off in a horrible morning commute taking my child to daycare for someone else to raise only to pick her up at 5:00 in the afternoon to spend a whopping 2 1/2 hours with my girls before putting them to bed. I want to be at the bus stop in the afternoon to pick up Audrey. I want to go to her school and volunteer when I'm needed. I want the freedom of snuggling with Maddie as she cuddles up on the couch in the morning to watch "my Little Einsteins" or for her afternoon nap. I want to continue to have lunch at home with her and Derek every day.

But, what do I need? I need to pay my bills on time. I need to pay off this enormous debt that we have accrued over the past 3 years (thank you 12 months of double mortgages). I need to pull myself together, get organized, get a job, and figure it all out.

I'm scared. I'm scared that I can't handle it all. I can barely keep up with the day to day functions being at home. How on earth am I going to handle a full time job AND keep up with 2 small kids, a husband, and a 3-story house?! What on earth kind of job can I find - if any? Am I going to be miserable every single day?

Am I just not trusting God enough? He has supplied all my needs thus far, but I feel that some of the choices we've made are now coming back to haunt us. I want to blame everybody else. How dare the credit card companies raise my interest rate to 29% when I was barely keeping up with the 11%. Why on earth did it take a year to sell our house in Knoxville? Really? I bought a brand new car right off the lot?! You mean it drops in value as soon as you drive away? So, why exactly did I "have" to buy that new bedroom set for Audrey? Why did I "have" to eat out three times in one week?

Ok, the reality is, we haven't always made the wisest choices. But, we've floated along up to this point. We are so blessed with Derek's job, especially in this economy, but at some point we just have to say "enough is enough". If we pay the minimum month after month, we are going to be in debt for the rest of our lives. I'm smart enough to know that is NOT GOOD. So, here I go. Resume is done. Classifieds are out.

My big girl panties are on.

Updates and whining

I thought it was time for another post. I've fallen behind on my ramblings and such for a while. My focus has shifted to Audrey & kindergarten, Maddie & Tot School, church, and other activities. When I sit down at night to watch TV with hubby, it's hard to get my thoughts together to blog. I know, I know - wah, wah, right? lol

Audrey is still doing very well with kindergarten. I'm so proud of her. We had a play date with a couple of her classmates after school today. So cute! She also started AWANA and kid's choir this week.

Maddie's home preschool is going ok. We did really well at first, but most days she'd rather play. That's ok though. I throw in "education" as much as I can. We do some fun activities that she doesn't realize is "school". And, she's getting the hang of the laptop and recognizing letters A-D. =)

Hubby is doing well. Looks like he'll be flying out to New York for an interview next week. There is a company that has been seeking him out for several months, but they've been working on some funding and working out details. They really want him though, but have struggled with him not wanting to relocate to NY. Sounds like they've worked it out. Pretty exciting.

I'm doing ok. Been feeling kinda blah lately. I'm sure its because I've fallen completely off of the health kick wagon. I haven't worked out in a couple of weeks and haven't been eating well either. I should not be surprised that I've had no energy and felt so crappy. :( I'm so stressed out right now over the 3-Day Walk. It's less than 8 weeks away and I'm still $1400 short of the fundraising to participate. I'm way behind in my physical training. I just keep putting everything else ahead of it and I feel awful. :( OK, whine session over..... D & I are going on a 14+ mile Trike ride tomorrow. I desperately need that kick start. I also have new motivation because of our upcoming Christmas program at church. I know, it's barely September, but it takes a lot of time and practice to pull this production together. I didn't realize exactly what I was getting into when I offered to help (choreography). It's a big production with auditions next week. Looks like I'll be dancing in it in addition to writing the choreography. I'm very excited about it, but also very intimidated! I haven't "performed" in YEARS. Haven't done theater since college. But, it is a great opportunity. Just pray for me. I don't want to get so caught up in the planning, practice, and desire for approval & acceptance, that I lose sight of the reason we're doing this. We will reach so many people with this program. And, I also want to praise and worship through it all. =)


It's no secret that I LOVE my kids (at least I hope not). =) But, I have enjoyed them so much this weekend. Not that I don't normally enjoy them, but I'm so guilty of getting caught up in the day to day stuff that I sometimes forget to just sit and enjoy the mere presence of these little blessings. I have some friends that desperately want to have a baby, but it obviously is not in God's plan right now. It has been several years for them and it breaks my heart because I know all too well that feeling of desperation and disappointment. My first loss was in 1999 and my second in 2001, followed by another in 2004, the month before conceiving Audrey. I became so angry with God. I could not understand WHY. I questioned so many things in my life, in my faith. But, oh, what a plan He had for me. I couldn't see it - and didn't for several years, but He knew all along.

I sit here today, with my "new life". I am blessed far more than I could ever have imagined. He has been so faithful, even when I have failed. Though I suffered great losses during a part of my life, He has given me two beautiful, precious little girls. I absolutely could not ask for more. They brighten my days. I have found myself, however, taking for granted that which He has given me. And, sometimes I need to be reminded of all that I have.

Now that I'm in this new phase of life with a toddler and kindergartner, I easily forget the times when life wasn't so full. I take for granted the little things. It's so easy to get caught up in the meal planning, house cleaning, errand running, bill paying, etc. and feel like I've missed out some very important things. So, I'm making a conscience effort to make a lot more time for my kids. Granted, I do have to wash clothes, cook meals, and wash the dishes every day, so I can't stop and play EVERY time Maddie asks, "Will you play with me, Mom?". But, I'm stopping more often and not thinking in the process what other things need to be done. We're even doing "Tot School" now while Audrey is in school. It's just a couple of hours a day that is completely devoted to Maddie and teaching her skills and having fun without interruption. I'm incorporating her more into the things that have to be done around the house as much as possible. And, I'm making an effort to really listen to Audrey more. I have to realize that, yes, all these external things need to be done - but my kids are #1 (and they won't be little forever). Everything else is secondary.

Thank you, God, for reminding me of the blessings that you have sent me. Thank you for entrusting me to be Audrey & Maddie's mother here on this earth. And, thank you for giving me a loving, faithful husband who loves You with all his heart. He often teaches me when my voice of reason is silent. He is not quick to anger and is calm and loving. Thank you, Lord, for our special family! Thank you for knowing what I need and providing. Thank you for the lessons that you continue to teach and for not giving up on me when I have clearly failed you.

New Look, New Adventures

What do you think about the new look? I thought I'd change it up a bit. It was a little bland before. :) So, we've had a good week. Audrey is just doing super. She absolutely loves school. She loves riding the bus. She's already made a lot of friends. She even got a marriage proposal. Oh, my! His name is Jaylen and has orange hair, apparently. She said, "He promised me he'd never break up with me again." So, I asked, "He's broken up with you before?" "Yeah, he's broken up with all the girls, but wants to marry me when we grow up." My, oh, my!!

Maddie spent the day with her grandparents on Tuesday and I got so much done. It's pretty amazing how much more can be done when I'm alone. LOL I miss my kiddos when we're apart, but I definitely appreciate the break. And, I feel so much better and productive when my house is clean and somewhat organized. I love my house, but the size itself makes it difficult to keep up with. Not sure that I've had all 3 floors clean at the same time many times, but I try.

So, I'm starting a little something new now that school is in session. When Audrey was younger, I use to work with her and we'd have "class time". We'd work on letters, numbers, shapes, colors, basic writing skills, etc. It wasn't a consistent, daily thing, but I did what I could with an infant in tow, too. However, I've noticed that Maddie is suffering the "second child syndrome". You know what I'm talking about... drop the paci on the floor "ah, it's clean", hand me down clothes & toys, etc. lol But, most importantly, she's missing out on that class time I gave Audrey at this age. So, after reading a few blogs of friends with children similar ages as Maddie, I learned that they do "Tot School". After a couple of days of research, I've ordered Hooked on Phonics and jumped in to class head first today. Today was the first day and it was more of a 2 hour craft session, but I'm working on more creative things to do with her. I have a little more planning to do, so this week we're winging it and having fun in the process. Like my friends, I have started my own blog to follow what we're doing. Now, let's see if I can keep up with 2 blogs, 2 kids, a husband and a house. lol

Updates and Stuff

A lot has been going on the past few weeks, so I figure it's time for an update. No catchy titles or witty things to say... just the facts ma'am.

So, first off, my baby started kindergarten this week. WHAA. I swear this was the shortest summer of my life. :( I feel like we just had the end of year party with her PreK class and now she's off to "big school", as she calls it. We started the day off with a bus ride. And, I have to be honest, I feared the bus more than anything for her. I hated the bus as a kid. But, times have changed. They don't have to ride with all the middle school & high school kids. There's only about 15 kids on her route and she's the next-to-the-last stop. The little kids sit at the front of the bus and the older elementary sit further back. I prayed for reassurance before "Kindergarten Roundup" (when the parents got to ride the bus with the kids and have a little meet and greet at the school before classes started). Come to find out, a man that sings in choir with me is her bus driver. He's a great guy! Made me feel a lot better - and she really enjoyed riding the bus. She doesn't seem to have my motion sickness gene either. ;) Anyway, I really like her teacher. She's an older, grandmotherly type. Audrey really likes her. She's got a buddy, too, who happens to go to Awana at our church and lives in the neighborhood next to us.

Seriously though, when did my kid get big enough to go to school?? I feel like she was just a toddler not long ago stumbling around, saying cute things, watching JoJo's Circus, and napping in a crib with her paci. She's growing up and I just don't think I like it. I never thought ahead to a time when my kid wouldn't need me as much or go off to school and spend half her day away. :( I'm still feeling some guilt from choosing not to home school. I still feel like it is very important, but it just isn't doable for us right now- and hubby isn't really on board. Anyway, I think Audrey will do really well wherever she is. She's a great kid!

Maddie, on the other hand, is in full blown Terrible Two's. She hit them later than Audrey, but she's making up for it. But, she is so stinkin' cute that you can't stay mad at her more than a second. She is so remorseful. LOL She is so animated with her emotions. She talks all the time and I wish I could convey to you just how incredibly cute it is with dramatic "and um"s and "I sowwy"s. The other day she had been scolded and I said, "Say, 'Yes, Ma'am" and she'd go "No, Sir". "Say, 'Yes, Ma'am". "No, Sir". We went back and forth a few times. It was pretty funny, but in all seriousness, I have to stay firm with her because she has a mind of her own! She knows exactly what she wants and will try her best to talk herself into whatever it is. Maybe she's heading towards a law degree?!

If I haven't said it enough, my husband is fantastic! He really is a great guy. The kids adore him. He's incredibly responsible and honest. I'm proud of him for the hard work he puts in (and extra work he does outside of his "day job"). I joke that he's my Walking Encyclopedia, but he's absolutely the smartest man I've ever known! He just got back from a conference in D.C. where he presented and chaired a panel discussion. He has a company that wants to create a position for him! And, a head hunter that has been talking with him about a VP position at another one. I'm really proud of him!

So, what am I up to these days? Well, I've lost my cell phone and gained 5 pounds for starters. Other than that, all is good. :) I'm pretty sure I left my phone at my in-laws house and I've worked out 3 days this week already, so I'm trying to get myself back together. As for the weight thing (which seems to be the thing that consumes me and this blog the most) it will always be a battle. I pretty much took the summer off from Weight Watchers and working out. Why, you ask? Just lazy I suppose. No, really, I was uber busy with kids, colorguard, and life in general. It's too stinkin' hot to do much of anything outside the essentials. And, I just lost my motivation, temporarily. I'm pretty proud of myself though. I walked 6 miles Saturday, 6 yesterday, and 3 today. I plan on riding the Trike the 14 mile route in the morning since Maddie will be hanging out with her Nana. Friday I'll do another 3 mile walk and then Saturday Hannah and I will push for 10-12. So, if I finish out the week as planned, I will feel much better! I'm having some problems with my left leg (the hurt one from the previous post). I hope I haven't overdone it. I noticed some busted blood vessels on the back of my knee after my walk Saturday. :( I'm just trying to walk a little easier right now. I'm only 11 weeks away from the 60-mile walk! In addition to the physical training, I'm still $1500 away from the financial goal that I HAVE to meet in order to participate. I still have at least 10 people that have told me they will definitely donate and just haven't yet. I'm also planning two fundraisers for the last weekend in this month. One is a Crop for the Cure and the other is a Longaberger show where 25-40% of the sales go towards the walk. So, hopefully between these I can get the majority of the rest. To me, this is the worst part of it. I hate, hate, hate to ask people for money. I know I've done direct sales forever, but I hate, hate, hate to ask people to buy things. I've been doing Creative Memories for years and LOVE it, but it's more for my own personal use (and a few loyal customers) and if someone needs something - great. If not, I'm ok. :) I'm going to continue to scrapbook no matter what. lol

OK, let's see... one last thing about me and I'm outta here. Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying our church. We've been there about 6 months now and I'm starting to "fit in" a little more. I've gotten involved more with the music program and people and love it. I taught VBS one week - and discovered it really isn't my "gift", but I was happy to help out. I was fortunate enough to audition and make the Praise Team, so I've been doing a lot with that. I was also asked to help choreograph/stage the upcoming Adult Choir Christmas Musical and also with the Children's Spring Musical. The scale at which these programs work I have never had the opportunity to be a part of (our church has a Music Conservatory), so it is all very exciting! This is all fresh on my mind because we had choir rehearsal tonight and it's like a praise & worship hour even through all the technical details. You just know that you're surrounded by His presence and all these people that love the Lord. It's a great feeling!

I know I said one more thing and that's it, but I just thought of one more. I have a huge prayer request for those that read my blog. My little brother got married back in April, less than 4 months ago, and his heart is broken. His wife has flipped her lid, to put it mildly. She goes to work and doesn't go home. She stays over at a "friend's" house, but won't tell him where exactly that is. There are so many other things, but I'll spare you the details. He's trying so hard to make it work and she just doesn't seem to care. I don't know what has gotten into her, but please pray that this is either resolved or dissolved QUICKLY - and that he can move on with whatever happens.

Anyhoo... that was quite an update, huh? Guess I should be more consistent with my posts so I don't have to write a novel each time. =)

All or Nothing

So, one of my qualities, whether it be good or bad - is that I have one gear. It's ALL or NOTHING. I can't just do something a little bit. I have to either run the whole show or be a spectator. I've been pretty successful with some fairly big things in my life. There's really not much room for anything in between. This is a pretty big problem some times because it sets me up for failure. If I can't do it full out the way I want, I don't do it at all. I'm not really sure how to fix this hang up.

I went strong and hard for almost 4 months with the weight loss journey - which was the longest I've ever stuck to it. I journaled my food daily and worked out 5 to 6 days a week. I was ALL in. Instead of just walking, I signed up for the Susan G. Komen 60 mile walk - again ALL in.

I'm not sure how I lost my drive. I got busy with end of school stuff, summer stuff, and just stuff. And, it got HOT. And, I got too comfortable. Sure, a 26 pound loss is great, but when you have 50+ to lose, there's a lot more work to be done. I'm sad to say that I've gained back 5 of it, which has set me back a bit. And, I'm afraid I've given myself a nasty injury, too. That whole "all or nothing" attitude bit me again. I was looking at my training schedule for SGK, which is a mere 14 weeks away, and I was scheduled to walk 10 miles today. So, despite the fact I haven't trained consistently in over 6 weeks, I decided to walk it any way. Not only that, but while we were out we went further than planned and got caught in a storm on the trail. We ended up walking 11 miles and now I can't extend my left leg out completely. I'm sitting here with Ibuprofen and an ice pack praying I can get up and walk tomorrow. I really don't need a major set back physically keeping me from my training. I don't have time for it.

So, I'm digging down deep and pulling out my "ALL".... at least for the next 14 weeks!

Happy Birthday, Audrey!

Tomorrow is the big day! My first born will be 5 years old! Time sure has flown. It seems like only yesterday I was sitting in my 34 week doctor appointment being told that I would be delivering a baby that day. What a miraculous day it was! After 3 miscarriages in 6 years, weeks of morning sickness, and months of daily injections - I gave birth to a perfectly healthy, beautiful baby girl. She was worth every second of it. =)

What an amazing little person she is. She's incredibly smart. She's more observant than most adults. She's witty. She's a rule follower, yet argumentative to the ends. She's coordinated and has a great fashion sense. She loves all things "girly" including princesses, pink, rainbows, Barbies, shoes & jewelry, and all things glittery and shiny. She's quiet. She's strong. She knows what she likes and what she wants. She has a heart for Jesus. She loves to write, sing, and dance. She's daddy's girl. She loves her sister, but cherishes one-on-one time with mommy. She's loving. She's strong willed. She's simply amazing.

That's my little girl. Happy Birthday, Audrey!

Here I Go Again

I am back, baby! =) Got my booty back to the gym. I just took to the treadmill today, but I put it on Random, Level 10 for one hour at 3.7 mph. I did 3.8 miles and burned over 500 calories. Not too shabby! I did go over my points today, but earned 4 activity points. I made a lot better choices though - with way more fruits and vegetables. I stayed away from unhealthy snacks and junk, just need to work more on my portion sizes.

Took the girls to the pool today, so that was a little more exercise. =) Audrey is getting more brave every time we go. I enjoy watching her. I had some one on one with her at the end of the trip when Derek came and got Maddie. We had a great time. Audrey really needs that one on one. I worked with her for over an hour this afternoon on her letters, sounds, and other skills. She does so well when its just the two of us. But, man, what a rough couple of days over all. Not sure if its a phase, the age, or the fact that I've worked so much the last few weeks and she hasn't gotten much attention. Maddie has also hit a difficult patch. I question my sanity most days. lol Seriously, though, there have been some challenges lately. I don't want to be one of those moms that threatens constantly, but doesn't follow through - yet I feel that's what I've been doing lately. I don't want to be a meany, but have to set boundaries. I feel like I do nothing but yell lately and I SWORE I would not be that way. My patience is wearing very thin. I struggle more with the attitude and "mouthy-ness" than anything. That's really the only issues that we have right now.

Anyway, that's it for now. This is birthday week, so we're busy, busy!

Stuff, Stuff, and More Stuff

I've had a few minutes to breathe lately, which basically means I have time to waste time. And, lots of things running through my mind. I thought I'd change the look of the blog up a bit and then realized something. My blog is suppose to be about family, day to day life, growing as a Christian, and my weight loss journey. Looks like the main emphasis lately has been the weight issue. And, it obviously needs more attention, but I felt I needed to talk about the other issues a little more. Take a break from the daily, no hourly, plague of trying to lose weight.

So, summer is officially here and Audrey graduated from PreK! It was a big deal - a little too big if you ask me. There were 160 PreK'ers "graduating" at this 3 hour long ceremony which included cap and gowns, a state senator, and an astronaut. She asked me if she could go to the beach for her graduation gift! Seriously, that girl is a trip. Can you imagine what she's going to ask for for her high school graduation? Anyway, we're now gearing up for kindergarten. I'm excited, freaked out, and somewhat in denial that my child is actually starting school - and the fact that she turns 5 in less than two weeks doesn't help. Which then brings me to my next random thought. I feel like we're in a great area with great schools, but after talking to several very close friends that home school - the thought has recently crossed my mind. I've been doing some research and weighing some pros and cons. I truly respect and admire those faithful women that can do this. I'd love to be that person, but I'm just not sure if I have it in me. I'm not closing the door just yet, but for the first time I'm really considering the possibility. I'll read up, meet up, and pray up about it a bit and then I'll come back with some more information and thoughts later.

Baby Maddie is officially potty trained - hallelujah! It was actually way easier than I thought, though she does have accidents more frequently than I remember Audrey having them. But, I think she has done very, very well. She has also moved into a "big girl", full size bed... and for the first time in her 2 1/2 years is consecutively sleeping through the night. Can I get an AMEN? =)

I'm officially a business owner! Finally got my LLC and checking account. I've hired my first staff, ordered stuff, and got my first returned check. That's right, someone wrote me a bad check already! Oh, the woes of a business owner. But, seriously, business is good. It's a start. Going to get some face time at events this year to branch out. I've had some interest in MA & PA, so that's exciting. The TN camp was wonderful. Seriously don't think it could have gone any smoother. The VA camp, unfortunately, I had to cancel. Just didn't have enough people register. The SC camp is this weekend. It will be very small, but I figure the monetary sacrifice will be worth it to get the word out. Generally I have found that if a few kids from a school come, they bring their whole team the following year. That's how we grow! So, wish us luck this weekend as we tread new territory.

OK, so I have to talk a little about the healthy journey. Right now it blows. I haven't stepped on the scale in a couple of weeks and quite frankly have no desire to do so. I am vowing right here, right now that when I return from SC next week - there are no excuses to getting back to the gym and eating right. It will be done!

More thoughts are racing through my head, but if I continue to type much longer, my loving husband laying beside me trying to sleep may kick me to the guest room - and my bed is so much more comfortable. So, goodnight, all! I'll ramble more tomorrow!

Roller Coaster Ride

I had to chuckle a bit today. I was looking back at my previous posts in the last couple of months and it seriously looks like a roller coaster... one day I'm up and the other day I'm down. It's just part of the journey, I suppose. There are good days and bad and I've certainly had my share of both. I started this adventure the end of January, so it has been roughly 4 months in the making. Sometimes its difficult to see the big picture on a daily basis, but when I look back to where I started, I really have come a long way. The scale may not be my best friend, but I feel better. And, my own body really holds me accountable to my commitments. I've felt really drained the last couple of weeks because I haven't been exercising as much or as intensely as before. I finally went back to the gym today (with a friend - which helps!) and have had a ton of energy this afternoon. It's funny because I use the excuse "I'm too tired to workout", yet I feel so much better and am way more productive when I do.

I'm also proud to say though that I'm on day #2 of watching my points again. I hadn't logged them in two weeks, but started back yesterday. It really helps! My goal this week is to lose 2.6 pounds - which is the 2 pounds I have gained plus the .6 I'm away from in earning my 10% goal with Weight Watchers. So.... I'm making myself more aware of my food and adding in more activities where I can. See you on the scale next Wednesday!

Reality Check

So.... I've officially fallen off the wagon. I didn't want to go to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning, but I figured I should go. I needed a reality check. I got in the shape I'm in by ignoring the obvious. I need the number in my face to show me that I can't hide. Can't lie to an absolute! lol Anyway... first weigh in in two weeks and I'm up 2 pounds. Just goes to show that you really can't eat whatever you want AND reduce your physical activity without consequence. Stress doesn't help either. I just have to go back to the basics and learn to balance. Last week I was at Audrey's school several days for all the end of year activities and trying to work from home, as well. I felt guilty taking an hour and a half out of an already busy day to exercise. Now that Audrey is out of school, it will make it harder to balance. But, it obviously needs to be done.

Saggy Britches

My pants are too big, my pants are too big!! Derek is calling me "Saggy Britches" and I don't mind. lol Looks like I'm losing an 'X' in my wardrobe! I was in a 2x, down to a 1x, and now an XL is too big. How cool is that? I know I've been getting a bit discouraged lately because the scale isn't showing me what I want to see, but times like these remind me that I'm doing something right. I'm only averaging about 6 1/2 pounds a month, but I'm not drastically changing my eating habits. I am exercising a lot though. Had a great 14 mile ride this morning and walked 5 miles yesterday. The exercise has been a bit sporatic lately with the weather and my incredibly busy schedule. Once my camps are over, I'll get back in to a better groove. Until then, I'll take my 26 pounds, 21 inches, and 2 (almost 3) sizes lost. =)

Skinny Day

Now, let me preface this entry by saying I am in no way near a true description of "skinny", but I did have a "skinny-feeling-kinda-day". I fit into a black skirt that I haven't worn since before I got pregnant with Maddie. I bought a shirt last night that is two sizes smaller than I've been wearing and it looked good. I stood on stage at church today for the first time singing on the Praise Team and felt confident. I looked down and didn't see a big belly hanging out. I even caught a glimpse of myself a couple of times on the monitor and thought, "Hey, I don't look fat". LOL I still have a ways to go, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It is happening very slowly, but it is healthier this way. I had what I thought was a horrible week last week, having eaten more than my share of points, but I still lost .6 pounds. I'll take it! It's better than a gain any day. I have 30 more pounds to lose to be where I was when I met Derek on our blind date. :) That is a huge goal for me. I was so confident when I was at that weight. I even wore a bikini back then. lol Granted, I've had two kids since then so things aren't exactly where they use to be, but I will wear a bathing suit soon. Step one though is to wear a pair of shorts. I haven't worn shorts in years because I've been so self conscious about my legs. Baby steps! I'm also so happy with the new active lifestyle that my whole family is living. Yesterday I walked 8 miles in the morning and then in the evening Derek & I took our trikes out on the Greenway for a 13.6 mile ride. It was great! It's so much better than sitting around doing nothing or watching TV. For the first time in a really long time, I feel good about ME.

New Love

I have a new love - it's called a TerraTrike! Derek talked for 2 years about wanting a recumbent tricycle so he finally got one for Christmas. He let me ride it a few times and I HAD to have one, too. =) So, for our anniversary this year, Derek bought me one. It came in this week and we took it out for a spin today. We took the whole trail and back for a total of 13.6 miles. It was great!! (This was all after walking 8 miles.) And, in the Weight Watchers world let me say that I earned 23 activity points. LOL Go me! We're planning a trip on the Silver Comet Trail that runs from GA to AL. It's 67 miles one way. Can't wait to go. I'm LOVING this new active lifestyle we're living. =)

5K & Gravy

It's been a big week. I participated in my first 5K Saturday with 17,000 of my closest friends. :) It went really well. I completed it in 52:39. I only walked it - with a group. I think next time I'll try one on my own and actually jog a bit. But, I really did enjoy it. We also did some more training afterward. By the end of the day I had walked 14 miles. Amazing!! My feet did bother me a bit at the end of the day. Some of the sidewalks we walked on were rough. We also walked a lot on gravel at the Renaissance Festival. This Saturday is another training session. I believe we're doing 13 miles. Shew! I'm looking forward to it though. The ladies I'm training with are really nice and it makes the walk much more pleasant to have company.

So, I'm still royally sucking up my eating habits. I feel like the food is controlling me again. Friday Derek & I celebrated our 6th anniversary (yay!) and went to dinner that night. I had to have eaten all my daily allowance points and more in that one Italian meal. I didn't bother logging it. It was delicious though! Yesterday was a family dinner at a buffet. There was nothing overly healthy or point-worthy. I'm thinking tomorrow is going to be the same. I'm going to Derek's cooking club (wives are invited once a year). I don't get to choose what to eat - they just serve us the 4 courses they are cooking for us. I've got to get a handle on this. :(

Falling Hard

Ok... I feel like I'm falling off the bandwagon. Argh! I need to get my act back together. I'm doing great with my exercise. Last week I walked 5 miles Tuesday, 5 miles on Thursday, 4 miles Friday, and 8 miles Saturday. Today I finally got back into the gym. My time was limited because of our crazy schedule today with both girls and the Kids Klub is only open at certain times. I got 30 minutes of weight training and 20 minutes of uphill treadmill walking. I will try to get back to the gym this week. I think the lack of weight training and intense exercising may have something to do with my plateau lately. I've done tons of walking, but need to do more fat burning intensity work outs that were working before. But, most of all, I've got to do better with my eating. I've kinda sucked the last couple of weeks. I have one day left before Weigh In and a new week of points and I used the rest of my weekly allowance points today. :( I've earned 20 activity points which I don't usually use, but I used a few today. I did super the first two days of this week and then fell completely off the bandwagon. It would also help to drink more water. I've done very poorly there, too. So.... I must, must, must get back to it. I've worked too hard to fall off the wagon now. I cleaned out my closet this weekend and got rid of all the big girl clothes... so there's nothing to fall back on!

On a high note - my first 5K is this weekend. I'm very excited!! Mine & Derek's 6th wedding anniversary is this Friday and he ordered me a Terra Trike just like his so we can ride together. I'm very excited about the road trip we have planned!! I'm really enjoying the more active lifestyle I'm living!


I had a Superwoman kinda day. We're allowed one of those every once in a while, right? Mind over matter was the name of the game today. I took advantage of the Greenway this morning. It's so hard to go to the gym when the weather is nice and the scenery is so beautiful. It was on the verge of raining all day, but we're suppose to train "in the elements" anyway. So, I pushed forward today on the trail and made it 5 miles! That's a huge milestone for me. The only time in my life that I've actually lost weight was a few years ago and I don't think I ever did more than a couple of miles at a time. Today I surpassed that. In six months I will hit that 60 miles fit, trim, and totally in shape. In only 12 weeks, I've gone from an inactive, tired person with no energy to an almost fit individual full of energy. I feel good. No, I feel great! So, no matter what that scale says at weigh in tomorrow, I will feel good about what I've done this week.

The Journey Continues

It's been a month exactly since my last post. It's been a little tougher the last couple of weeks. I missed a few trips to the gym because of a sick child, traveling, and lack of motivation. I had a .2 gain this week, but am hoping for a big loss next week. It's easy to get discouraged, but I can not give up. I will not give up. I just took pictures and can actually see a difference in the past 8 weeks. I feel myself slipping a little on my eating, so I need to get that back on track. I lost my personal trainer and got a new one to finish out my contract. I didn't care for him as much. Too much conflicting ideals with the other trainer and I just didn't click with him. And, since I'll start my training for the 60-mile walk in May, I've decided not to do any more sessions with a trainer until later. I'm just going to take the routines and information I've learned and work on my own. That's the plan! Here are some pictures, taken exactly 2 months apart. It's motivating to actually see a change. Hopefully in 2 months when I take pictures again, I'll be in new clothes because these are too big. =)

Plateau - check!

This week has been chocked full of ups and downs. I was looking forward to my Monday training session because it was time for my one month measurements. I was very curious to see how well I had done. Unfortunately, no measuring tape could be found at the gym so he couldn't take measurements. There was no point in doing them when I got home because I never saw my original numbers, so there was nothing to compare them to. He promised that next week he'd bring his own tape and we'd do measurements then. Aside from this slight disappointment, I had a great workout. He seemed really proud of me and I learned a lot of new things. But, MAN, I have been so incredibly sore this week. I had to take off yesterday because I hurt so bad. We worked on my hamstrings and I am so stiff. I really hope I haven't hurt anything because I had a limp yesterday and noticed that I was kind of dragging my left leg to the side a bit. Not sure what the difference is in being incredibly sore and actually having a torn hamstring. Just going to keep stretching and walking for now.

Yesterday was Wednesday Weigh In at Weight Watchers. I lost nothing. I was exactly the same. Pretty disappointing, but not completely discouraging. Maintaining is always better than gaining! But, it is still disappointing when you work so hard. I guess I can chalk it up to poor food choices though. I knew that I had not been as good with my eating as previous weeks. I dipped into my extra allowance points (which I'm suppose to do with all the physical training), but I didn't make the best choices. I also noticed that I haven't been drinking enough water at all of my work outs - especially when I'm just walking. Got to make a greater effort there. Funny thing is, both my trainer and WW leader said I need to eat more. Go figure! Funny how the science of our bodies work. Anyway, our meeting this week was about learning from our mistakes and moving on. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Glad I went! So, this week I'm going to be more conscientious of water intake and choosing more healthy, filling foods.

I auditioned last night for the Praise Team at church and made it!! I was very excited. I'm really looking forward to diving into the music more and performing more. The talent there is really amazing so I'm hoping to learn a lot. I'm also excited about meeting more people and getting more involved. Last night right before rehearsal Derek called to say that Maddie was throwing up, so I had to leave. I was greatly disappointed to miss my first rehearsal, but mommy duties first!

Maddie seems to be doing much better this morning. She threw up several times last night, but she has eaten breakfast and kept everything down so far. I still think it best not to get her out today, so no Bible study this morning. :( Hopefully we'll all be better and back on track for next week - only to be followed by a week off for spring break. lol

Still having some issues with Audrey. I'm not sure if something has happened or if there is a physical ailment I'm missing. She does not want to go to dance class, gymnastics, Cubbies at church - nothing! She cries, says she doesn't feel well, and doesn't want to go. Gymnastics was only 7 weeks, so I didn't renew it. I told her she has to finish up dance and then we won't register for next year. The thing is, when she's there, she seems to be having a really good time. But, when we talk about going - she doesn't want to go. The last time she went to gymnastics, a little girl jumped on her back and hurt her. She was just DONE for the day then. The last dance class the whole class was acting out and Audrey just sat and wouldn't participate. I know that kids stress her out when they misbehave. That's the only thing I can figure. Audrey is a very good kid. She may give us some fits at home some times, but every teacher in every class she's ever been in has said she is the most well behaved, observant child they have. I don't want to put her in a gazillion activities, but I don't want her sitting at home being bored. Maybe its a phase? I know I can't change her personality - and I don't want to. But, how do I teach her to "shake it off"? If she gets upset about something, she's just done with it. She doesn't want to have anything else to do with it (or them).

A whole 'nother week

So a whole other week has gone by already? Been super busy, so no blogging this week. But, I have to chime in on Wednesday Weigh In days! Today I'm down another 2.2 pounds for a total of 14.5!! Was hoping to hit 15, but I'll take it! I've consistently lost weight 7 weeks in a row. WootWoot!

This has been the first week I've been hesitant to go to the gym at all - not everyday, but at least once or twice. Not sure if the honeymoon is over or if I'm just tired. Doesn't help that I was pushed to the point of puking with my trainer Monday. He raised the weight immensely. Less repetition, but a crap load more pounds. I got on the treadmill after the weight training, but I could only make it 15 minutes. I came home and crashed. Luckily it was Maddie's nap time, so I just took one with her! Needless to say, I've been very sore since. But, I have stuck with it. Although Tuesday I struggled with some motivation, I still got on the treadmill for an hour. Today was just a mental battle. I did about 30 minutes of free weights and then 30 minutes on the elliptical. I had to really push through on the machine, but am really glad I stuck with it.

On a completely different note, I've been dealing with some Audrey issues this week. I do not want to change her and have no intentions in trying, but I'm really having a difficult time coping with her shyness. We have very different personalities and I really want to understand her. I don't expect her to, nor do I want her to, talk to strangers. But, she is so shy that she won't even talk to her teachers at church. She wouldn't participate in dance class this week. She got upset in gymnastics and left class. I felt bad for her this morning when I took her to school. The kids were so excited about the "Leprechaun visit", so when she got to class, they bombarded her. She absolutely doesn't like that!! Several of them started pulling on her and I could see a melt down in the making. So I pried them off of her and calmed her down. She recovered a little quicker than I expected, thankfully. And, she did participate at church tonight, so that is a plus. I worry a little about her transition to kindergarten. She has her evaluation in May. Hopefully she will talk to them and answer their questions. The child is brilliant. And, no, I'm not biased. :) But, seriously, she comprehends better than most adults, I think.

That's my thoughts for the day!

Wednesday Weigh In

So, today was the big day. Wednesdays are Weight Watchers weigh in days. I only lost a pound, which brings it to a total of 12. I was really hoping for more, but I'm not discouraged. I know that I am feeling better, I'm toning my body, building muscle, and am overall healthier. The pounds will eventually come off. I'm looking forward to my one month check in with my trainer. That will be the big test - to see how many inches I've lost. I have kicked myself for not taking measurements a month earlier when I started this process. Oh, well! :)

I really enjoyed my WW meeting today. It was very encouraging. I am committing myself to attending regularly. They really are too important to miss. The leader asked us today if anyone had started an exercise program and I raised my hand. She asked me how I felt and I responded, "like a new person". I may have even choked up a little bit talking about it. But, I really and truly can say that I feel different. I am loving exercising. I was so upset today because my workout got cut short. lol I am finding myself in the gym (or outside) 5 to 6 days a week now... and have increased my workouts from 45 minutes to an hour to and hour and a half. Never thought I'd say that. :)

Still working on the food aspect of this journey. I'm finding myself hungry quite a bit, especially after workouts. This week I'm going to be more diligent with measuring portions. I did more guesstimating last week than I should have. And, I am going to add more water intake. Right now I usually just drink water during workouts and occasionally one meal. I did add 16 more ounces today... maybe more tomorrow.

On a totally different note, I went to my second choir rehearsal tonight. We worked on a recording tonight which was pretty cool. I think I'm really going to like this. I've never sang in a choir this large before. I listened in on some auditions before rehearsal. I'll be auditioning for a praise team pretty soon. Never had to audition for a church solo before. It's a bit intimidating. There are some amazing singers! Looking forward to learning more and being a part of it.

Oh, the pain

I had my third workout with Ricardo, the physical trainer, today. It hurt so much! Last week was rough, but more so after the workout. I had a hard time walking up and down stairs for three days afterward. But, today, I had a hard time getting through the weight training itself. It was truly painful. I decided if I walked for a while afterward, maybe I wouldn't hurt so much later. So I added a 45 minute treadmill walk to my workout and it was great! I haven't hurt today, though I do expect some soreness in the morning. Still, I know that it will all be worth it. I am getting stronger every day. I have increased my workouts to 5-6 days a week. I thoroughly enjoyed the weather and Greenway this weekend! Derek & I had a date day/night Saturday. He had to tutor, so I went with him and walked 3+ miles at the Greenway while he worked. Then, we went to this great pizza place in Atlanta followed by a trip to Trader Joe's. :) Looking forward to many walks at the greenways. WooHoo!

Consistency Confessions

Ok, so I have to confess that I am the worst at being consistent - with anything! I start lots of things, but never finish. I commit to most things with the greatest of intentions, but slowly slip away. That is, until now!! I have to say this today - I AM PROUD OF MYSELF. I have done so much better with sticking to things with myself and the kids. Audrey has only missed one dance class since August - and it was only because we were at the doctor with Maddie who was having an allergic reaction to her medicine this week. If you know me well, or have known me a long time, I've tried about every direct sales known to man (ok, that may be a wee bit exaggerated), but I have been a Creative Memories consultant for 3 1/2 years. That's a long time for me!! =) Most recently, I've been to the first 3 Weight Watchers meetings without missing. I know it's only 3 sessions, but I've stuck to it! Most importantly is my commitment to the gym. I have been 4-5 times a week for 6 weeks now. That's the longest I've ever stuck with exercising. And, my mentality is that I'm going to continue to go. It is now a habit and a craving. I can't not go. And, my efforts are starting to pay off. I'm down 11 pounds and feel so good! I'm eating better and moving a lot more. Just had to share my excitement!

Week's End Recap

Made it to the gym 5 times this week! I started this week at the gym, too. Both of the girls were sick today, so we didn't make it to church. Derek watched the girls for me so I could get a work out in. I figure I won't make it tomorrow since I need to take the girls to the doctor. I had to call my trainer and reschedule for Tuesday instead. I got my 120 reps (legs) done, 60 crunches, 30 abs/knee/chest/leg extensions, and 30 minutes on the elliptical. Still haven't been able to work out my arms. I'm afraid I've done something to my elbow. I'll talk to my trainer about it Tuesday. On the food side, I'm eating much better than before WW. I've gone over on my points a few each day, but it evens out with the physical points I've earned. However, I've found myself getting really hungry throughout the day the last couple of days. I need to find more filling foods. I've noticed the weekends are more difficult for me. Throughout the week when I plan meals more closely, I do much better. We eat out more on the weekends, too. I did try 3 WW recipes this week that were great! I'm ready to make some more! I'll plan to set my menu for the week tomorrow. Derek already has plans for dinner tomorrow. :)

Today's Recap

I have to share some of the great things I'm eating on the WW plan. In our week #1 book, there are several recipes with low point count values. YUMMY! I think my family has appreciated all the cooking, too. Wednesday was Chicken Catatorie, Thursday was Mexican meatloaf with black beans & corn, and tonight was Pineapple Chicken, brown rice, and lettuce wraps. Should have started this a long time ago!

I got an hour in at the gym this morning - 5 minute warm up on treadmill, 90 reps (legs), 60 crunches & 30 knee/extended leg/crunches - then 10 miles on the bike. Feeling pretty good! Since my parents are in town and can watch the girls in the morning, I'll add another workout to my week!

Updates and Images

It's been a great week! I had my first weigh in with Weight Watchers Wednesday morning. I'm down 3.6 pounds. With my weight loss prior to joining WW, that brings me to 9 pounds in 5 weeks. Very exciting! I also attended the 3-Day Walk for the Cure meeting in Atlanta. I'm officially registered for the event. Additionally, I have decided to do the 5k in May as a warm up to the big event. I walked it on the treadmill tonight for the first time. It took me about 55 minutes, so I've got some serious training to do!! I'm excited about it though. I'm focused and motivated. I've told a lot of people about my plans and already have several people ready to make donations to the cause. I'm totally in and there will be no backing out! Took my BEFORE pictures today. Looking forward to the AFTER. =)

Had a great Bible study this morning. Today's session was about finding rest in God. It was definitely something I needed to hear. I've struggled this week with that whole "balance" of life thing. Having added 2 hours to most days with the new exercise & studying plan, I find myself getting frustrated with not getting things done and being tired. It was comforting to know that if we ask, He will give us rest. It's ok to want rest! He wants to take our burdens. We just need to be willing to listen, obey and ask.


Got a full fledge butt kickin' from a very large black man today. LOL Translation - I started with a great new personal trainer at the gym today who gave me a great work out. :) Took all of my measurements so we can track the changes each month. We went over short term and long term goals. Really put things into perspective. I'm excited about the changes that I'm making! I think this is the most serious I've ever been about making a life change with food and exercise. I realize now that it is a life long commitment, not just a temporary fix. I'm on week #5 and feeling better every day.

So, what are my goals? I don't have a magic number I'm shooting for. Yes, I want to lose numbers and sizes, but I want to feel good in my clothes. My short term goal, as silly as it may sound, is to wear shorts this summer. I haven't worn shorts in years! I wear capris all summer because I'm afraid to be seen in shorts. But, not this summer - I WILL wear shorts and like it!

My long term goal right now is walking the 60 miles in the Walk for the Cure for my birthday this year. It's exactly 8 months from today. I think it is totally attainable from a physical standpoint. And, a bonus - if I can just lose 5 pounds a month from now until my birthday - I will almost be at my goal weight. It really isn't that far away!

I AM setting a better example for my girls. I'm so excited to see my girls playing "going to the gym". Instead of them saying "I'm going to McDonalds", they're exercising. Audrey asks me every day if I've been to the gym. She's a great accountability partner! I totally see how my actions affect them!! I am making wiser food choices and teaching the girls. We're talking more about what is healthy for our body and not. And, what some of the health consequences are if we don't make good choices.

Sunshine and Challenges

The sunshine does exist! What a beautiful day we had today. I hope everyone got out and spent a little time in it. Got a little taste of spring now I'm ready for it!

We've had a great weekend so far. I had a few friends over last night to scrapbook. I didn't get tons done on my own album, but I did get reorganized, caught up on my Feb/Mar calendar pages, and enjoyed time with friends. It's the first crop I've had this year. I need to get back to my monthly gigs.

Today Derek & I headed to downtown ATL for lunch and made a little stop to Trader Joes afterward. Then we picked the girls up and went to the park. It was such a beautiful day and they really enjoyed playing on the playground and walking around watching the softball and soccer practices going on. I have to say that I absolutely love where we live - if for no other reason than the abundance of great parks and green ways!

I've been doing really well on my health plan. It's going to take a little more time to get use to the point system with WW, but I think it's a great plan. Just trying to plan ahead so that I allocate my points most effectively. I find myself getting hungry about 3:00 every day and at night before bed, so I'm working on it. And, I can honestly say that I'm loving going to the gym. I've been 4 times this week and feel like I could add another day or two. I'm meeting with a personal trainer on Monday and may set up some appointments with him. That is a little scary to me because I'm enjoying doing my own thing, but I could really use some help in the weight training. I do pretty well with the cardio, but other than doing a few weight machines that I'm familiar with - I'm not very confident in my abilities there. I think a PT will be a big help.

I haven't mentioned this before, but there's a new project I may be taking on. It's a combination of heart and health. It all started last month when I found out that two people I know have breast cancer. One is a vibrant 28 year old that I coached when she was in high school. She's also the sister of a friend. I was just floored to find out about her diagnosis. She found out in July and had her last chemo treatment last month. She seems to be doing very well. (Also didn't realize that her mom is a 4 year survivor. Great lady!) Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I discovered that another dear lady was diagnosed in October. She is the mom of 3 of my former students. I had her girls in middle & high school. She and I were really close when I coached there and it just broke my heart to know she's dealing with this right now (she has a 4th daughter that is 12). So, this has weighed heavily on my heart for a few weeks now. In the midst of this I saw a commercial for the Susan B. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure that has an event here in Atlanta. I researched it, got an info packet & DVD for it, and signed up to attend a meeting (this Tuesday). I just feel led to be a part of this in some capacity. It's a physical, mental, and financial challenge so I'm praying about what part I'll play in this event. It happens to be my birthday weekend, so I think that would be a great way to celebrate! It's a 3 day, 60 mile walk. I have to raise $2300 in order to walk. I'm excited about the prospect of being part of something so amazing and giving to a great cause. So, please pray for me that I do what God wants in this situation. If He wants me to do it, He will help pave the way! He will provide.
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