Monday, January 30, 2012

Pom Pom Princess

When my 2 girls were just glimmers in my eye, there were a lot of things that I dreamed of for them. I imagined them being the perfect blend of outdoorsy and girly. Girls that love to dress up and play sports. Girls that love to play with dolls as much as they love to build things. And I have definitely ended up with all of those qualities in my girls! However, there is one thing that I never imagined a daughter of mine doing.....CHEERLEADING.

It's not that I have anything against the sport, it's just not something that I ever thought my girls would be interested in. My oldest has no interest, but my younger daughter is all about it. And she looks so darn cute in her uniform, how could I say no? See!

This was a performance of her Pom Squad last weekend at a school basketball game. She had a blast and I have to say that I was beaming from ear to ear while watching her. My little cheerleader!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fat Ass Friday

I'm a little late posting this week, but better late than never, right?! Let's get right to it!

Starting Weight: 218.7 lbs
Last Week's Weight: 222.0 lbs
This Week's Weight: 222.0 lbs
+Gain/-Loss This Week: 0 lbs
+Gain/-Loss Overall: +3.3 lbs

So, things that I'm happy about this week.

1. I didn't gain!
2. I took my last steroid pill. Goodbye meds and goodbye shingles!
3. I've been drinking a lot more water.
4. I made a big decision about my weight loss program for the next few months. I'll talk more about that next week.
5. I found out that my childhood bestie is going to run the Color Run with me in March. Yippee!

Despite the fact that the needle on the scale isn't moving in the direction I would like, I'm in a really good place and I'm happy and I'm incredibly optimistic about what the next few months is going to produce!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I dreamed a dream

Yeah, I'm still on the Les Miz high. However, I'm also on a Disney high. Actually, I'm not sure I'm ever NOT on a Disney high but I've been pricing vacations almost every day for a couple of weeks now. And I stumbled upon a pretty great deal. And now, I'm on a mission to mark another thing off my 101 Things List.

So, today begins the push to fill up this box so we can create some new Disney memories in May! Wish us luck. And all donations will be happily accepted!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Broadway Baby

Timing is everything and I have to say that my timing wasn't exactly spot on with the opportunity to go see a Broadway show that I've been wanting to see for about 20 years.

A few months ago, my bestie told me about a traveling ensemble that would be performing Les Miserables about 90 minutes from our hometown. She & her hubby were all about going, so hubby & I decided to tag along and make it a fabulous double date! Tickets were purchased and we have been waiting patiently. And then I got shingles 5 days before the show.

It was touch & go in deciding whether or not to go ahead and risk being miserable for hours, out of town no less. A game time decision was made that I was going to suck it up and make the trip because when was I going to get another opportunity like this? And I'm so glad I sucked it up.

Despite the fact that I almost fell asleep twice during the 1st act (thanks a LOT, damn medication), I really enjoyed the show and thought the cast did an amazing job bringing life to the music and story. I reminisced about singing "Master of the House" as a teenager with my friend who first introduced me to this musical and imagined myself singing "I Dreamed a Dream" alone on a stage. It was awesome. A new memory that I'll not soon forget.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fat Ass Friday

Another week, another weigh in. Here's the skinny (I wish) on this last week.

Starting Weight: 218.7
Last Week's Weight: 220.2
Current Weight: 222.0
+Gain/-Loss This Week: +1.8 lbs
+Gain/-Loss Overall: +3.3 lbs

The good news is that my shingles are much better and my meds are tapering off. The bad news is that the steroid that I'm on causes weight gain, which isn't helped by the fact that Aunt Flo's visiting this week. Sigh. Kick me while I'm down, damn mother nature. But, my attitude is good and I've been drinking lots more water and drinking far less soda. Progress is progress! I'm looking forward to getting off my meds in another week and hopefully start to see the scale tip in the other direction for a change.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fat Ass Friday

This was a tough week, mostly because I knew I wasn't feeling like myself, which culminated in a doctor's diagnosis of shingles. It's painful and the meds have been incapacitating. So, I was none too surprised to get the crappy results today that showed up. And here they are.

Starting Weight: 218.7 lbs

Last Week's Weight: 218.7 lbs

Current Weight: 220.2 lbs

+Gain/-Loss this week: +1.5 lbs

+Gain/-Loss overall: +1.5 lbs

So, I'm not off to a resounding start, but at least I can hopefully put shingles on the list of things that is in my past and not in my future. I'm going to continue to work lots of water back into my diet and I'm going to try and start my running schedule this week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What rhymes with Jingle Bells?

Shingles Hell.

As my hubby so eloquently put it yesterday, "Just because you & Shannon are best friends, doesn't mean you have to share everything." For those who don't follow her blog, you can read about her fun with this affliction here.

The good news is that it could be much worse. The pain, so far, is tolerable. The meds, so far, haven't made me wacky or loopy. The bad news is that it's cost me 2 days of work, which sucks when you're an hourly employee. It also sucks that wearing a bra right now causes excruciating pain because of where my blisters are.

So, the upside is that I'm not supposed to be around people for a few days, so now I can walk around bra-less for a good reason. Doctors orders!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Author, author

Something that I recently marked off my 101 Things list was printing my blog in book form. This is something that I've been wanting to accomplish for a while, but kept stumbling over the cost of the endeavor. So, I decided to start small. I priced out printing just my 2011 entries (which was sad and pathetic, but far less costly) and found a winner! For around $20, I finally have in my hands, my 2011 Blog Entries! Please, hold the applause.

Isn't it shiny and red and pretty? Please excuse the crappy photography. My point & shoot camera needs to be retired & I was too lazy to pull out my big camera. This picture doesn't do the justice of the really nice printing that was produced.

There's a table of contents and everything! I feel like a real, legitimately published author.

The entries are published by date and like I said, the photography really came out great. Almost as good as some of the photobooks that I've produced on Shutterfly.

So, if you're in the market to print your blog in book form, I give 2 thumbs up to Blog2Print. This isn't a paid review, just me sharing about something that I like.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Camera Critters - The Truth About Cats & Dogs

Roman (our German Shepherd) & Leaf (our cat)

I have some really affectionate animals and for that, I feel very lucky! It amuses me greatly that they love to cuddle with me in bed and have no issues with being close to each other. They certainly show that in some instances, cats & dogs can be good friends.

For more Camera Critters, go here!

Camera Critters

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fat Ass Friday

I'm picking Brandy's link up again this year because I need some sort of accountability. I have a lot of fitness goals for this year, but I've already listed many of them on my 101 Things list. Thanks to my bloggy friend, Cerise, I have found a 5k that I am going to do this year. It's called The Color Run and it looks like something that will be a ball! I'm shooting for the Atlanta run on March 31st, which means I need to get back on my couch to 5k program ASAP. I've been inspired to get back into running by several friends who are currently at Disney World running the half-marathon this weekend. Wow, I wish I were there!

My goals for this week are to start back on the couch to 5k program and to cut out the Coke consumption again. I need to reintegrate my water drinking. Here are the starting stats!

Starting Weight: 218.7
Last Week's Weight:
Current Weight: 218.7
+Gain/-Loss this week:
+Gain/-Loss overall:

Good luck with your weight loss/fitness goals this year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

101 Things in 1,001 Days: Update 7

In April 2010, I came up with a list of 101 things that I want to accomplish in 1,001 days. I feel like I’m making decent progress with this project. This post is more for me than anyone else because I've already done several update posts, but I need to be able to see it all in 1 place. It's my OCD. My most recent updates are in BLUE.

Home Improvement Goals
1. Decorate my house - This particular goal was pretty broad, so I’m going to own this one by calling it complete as of Dec 2011. I finally managed to decorate my entire house for the holidays and it felt great!
2. Clean desk - I cleaned it in Dec 2010. Now let’s see if I can keep it clean.
3. Keep desk organized for 3 months
4. Finish remodeling the kids bathroom - I think I’m marking this one complete by default. I wrote this with my old house in mind and since that house is under contract with potential new owners, I don’t see us making any additional improvements. At my new house, the kids bathroom is in great shape, thank goodness!
5. Change the living room paint colors and window treatments -Completed in June 2010 at old house
6. Get a window treatment for the kitchen window
7. Create a manageable house cleaning schedule - I accomplished this in April 2011 and had hubby laminate it for me and everything. I should have added that I need to implement the schedule on a regular basis.
8. Have fresh flowers on the kitchen table every week for a month -Completed December 2010 and plan to keep this up because I loved having flowers on the table
9. Decorate inside & out for Christmas - Completed December 2010 and loved every minute of it

Hobby Goals
10. Enter a photography contest
11. Make a quilt
12. Read 100 books - I rounded out the year with reading “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” and “The Help”. (2011 book count - 10; Overall book count - 18) In order to reach my goal, I have to read 82 books in 12 months. That’s 7 books a month. Almost 2 books a week. I’m a fast reader, but even I don’t have that kind of free time on my hands. So, I’m just going to give it my all and read as many books as I possibly can!
13. Go to a book signing - My BFF Shannon & I went to see our FAVE author, Jen Lancaster at a book signing in Atlanta in May 2011. It was AWESOME!
14. Read all of the Harry Potter books - I have finished books 1 through 4 and am currently reading book 5.
15. Join a book club - I joined an online book club on Goodreads in October 2011, and I am so psyched!
16. Learn to knit or crochet
17. Knit or crochet a blanket
18. Craft with friends at least once a month - Got together with friends on several occasions to craft but not with consistency each month
19. Finish my Wreck This Journal
20. Learn how to use my sewing machine
21. Sew a dress for each of my children
22. Learn a new language
23. Finish the cross stitch piece I started for my wedding
24. Enroll in a pottery class
25. Print my blog in book form - After pricing this project out, I discovered that printing a year of entries at a time was my best bet. So, I’ve ordered the book form of 2011 (it should be here in a couple of days) and am working my way backwards. I should have the beginning (2008) through 2011 by the end of the year!
26. Enroll in a cake decorating class
27. Take a photography class & learn how to use my camera
28. Blog twice a week
29. Cross stitch the Rainbow Bridge poem
30. Finish a heritage scrapbook for my mom
31. Finish a heritage scrapbook for my dad

Health & Exercise Goals
32. Get a massage - Completed August 2010
33. Stop biting my fingernails - Completed August 2010
34. Take a cooking class
35. Start a skincare routine - Completed August 2010 (but need to do a better job of keeping up with it regularly)
36. Exercise 5 days a week for a month
37. Run a 5k
38. Treat myself to a massage after losing 30lbs total
39. Treat myself to a massage after losing 60lbs total
40. Enjoy a new wardrobe after meeting my weight loss goal
41. Donate all of my old clothes after meeting my weight loss goal
42. Get down to 120lbs
43. Maintain my goal weight of 120lbs for at least 3 months
44. Go on a horseback ride that involves galloping
45. Take my dog to the dog park once a week
46. Take my dog on a walk twice a week
47. Play in a disc golf tournament
48. Go 7 days without eating junk food snacks - Completed September 2010
49. Eat 5 things that I've never tried before - I tried zucchini for the first time in August 2011 and it was ok.

Outdoors Goals
50. Go camping
51. Grow an herb garden - Bought an herb garden in May 2010 and managed not to kill it for a month which is progress. Plan to actually plant an herb garden at our new house eventually.
52. Start a compost pile in the backyard
53. Landscape my front yard - Completed in June 2010 at old house
54. Build a flower box & plant flowers in it

Personal Goals
55. Get a tattoo
56. Get a professional bra fitting
57. Get my passport
58. Volunteer at an animal shelter - I took my Daisy Girl Scout troop to a local animal shelter in October 2011 and we made food toys for the cats and dogs. It was awesome!
59. Become a published author - I’m totally claiming a win here since I printed my blog in book form and it’s professionally bound and pretty with a dedication page and table of contents and the whole nine yards. That’s not too much of a stretch, right?!
60. Throw a dinner party - Completed November 2010 when we hosted Thanksgiving here for some wonderful friends who are like family
61. Watch Gone with the Wind
62. See Josh Groban in concert - Completed in June 2011 and he was GREAT!
63. Start a review blog - Completed in April 2010
64. Take singing lessons
65. Move to a bigger house - Completed in July 2010
66. Finish my will
67. Inspire someone else to make their own list - Completed in April 2010
68. Learn to drive a stick shift
69. Go whale watching
70. Ride in a limo
71. Go to see 2 concerts - Went to see Kings of Leon with my BFF Shannon in November 2010 and August 2011; Went to see Bon Jovi with my friend Valerie in May 2011
72. Volunteer in my community - I have been volunteering a TON with my kids school, so I totally think this counts.
73. Stay organized for 3 months
74. Watch a movie at a drive-in theater
75. Buy a pair of boots
76. Learn to wear/walk in heels
77. Buy a watch & actually wear it - I bought a cheap watch at Target, in June 2011, and I’ve been wearing it pretty faithfully. So much so that it’s almost on it’s last leg. I think it might be time to fix my nice watch.
78. Go to Disney World with my hubby & kids
79. Get the interview with my grandparents converted to DVD
80. Book a trip to London
81. Assist in growing our Kindermusik program by 100% - I helped accomplish growing our program significantly before I left in August 2011. It was a tough decision to leave, but the best for me & my family.
82. Apply to be on the Amazing Race
83. Play my own lottery numbers - Completed in May 2010
84. But a ticket for a dream home giveaway
85. Sing karaoke at a bar/club
86. Use my bread maker
87. Send my grandma a card once a week
88. Be debt free (except for the house)
89. Apply for membership with the DAR
90. Own a minivan - I am the proud owner of a Toyota Sienna as of August 2011!!
91. Dye a blue streak in my hair
92. Go 3 days without getting online - Completed in July 2010
93. Go an entire day without watching tv - Completed in July 2010
94. Have a professional photo shoot done of just me
95. Buy myself a Dooney & Bourke purse
96. Go on a horse drawn carriage ride with my family - We took a carriage ride together in Charleston, SC in July 2011.
97. Play miniature golf - Completed in November 2010 when hubby & I played the new "Glow Golf" course in town and had a blast
98. Take dinner to a friend - Completed in May 2010
99. Give a compliment to a complete stranger - I told the drive-thru barista at Starbucks that his glasses looked nice, in November 2011.
100. Save all of my coin change for 3 months & deposit it into my kids savings accounts
101. Write a new list of 101 things in 1,001 days at the end of this project

So, I've completed 36 of 101 tasks in 21 months and made progress on another 3 tasks. I’m 36% complete with the rest of this year to make some serious headway. The exciting thing for me is knowing that I have this whole year to make some serious improvements to my life, which will enable me to mark many things off this list. I’m very optimistic about what 2012 will mean for me!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 ~ A Year in Review

I did this meme for 2010, courtesy of inspiration from a blog that I enjoy very much called Playgroups Are No Place for Children. So, I thought it would be fun to at least do this for a 2nd year in a row and see if maybe I can turn this into an annual tradition. And we're off...

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
I went to Disney World for a 10 day trip with my BFF and another close friend of ours! One of these days I'll actually recap that trip, because it was fantastic.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I successfully marked some things off the 101 Goals list that is ongoing, but I've stopped making resolutions for the most part. Something about setting myself up for failure has grown tiresome.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My oldest friend (meaning that I've known & loved her for over 30 years now) gave birth to her first child this past March. He is a doll and I wish I got to visit with them both more often!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I made several visits to the funeral home this year, but the 1 that affected me the most was the passing of my, just mentioned, oldest friend's dad. That funeral was heartbreaking because I know how close they were and he was someone that has been in my life since I was a teenager. He will truly be missed by many.

5. What countries did you visit?
The USA didn't get rid of me even once this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More financial stability and dedication. De-ja-vu anyone?

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 19th because it was my birthday and I had started my new job at the kids school. This was the first time in my entire life that I was "in school" on my birthday. The principal announced my birthday during the morning announcements and hubby & the kids decorated my office with a huge card, flowers and presents. It meant so much to me!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally buying a minivan and actually loving to drive it!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not making the dent in our debt snowball that I was hoping to make. That effort is going to be seriously ramped up in 2012.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My bulging disc gives me trouble every now & then, but aside from that, things have been pretty darn good.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My minivan.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My hubby for finally relenting and going to the dr to have his back problem addressed. It resulted in surgery, but we're all feeling much happier now that he's healthy again.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Our local school board who continues to make decisions based on their own personal agendas rather than the betterment of the community they supposedly represent.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Medical Bills, eating out way too much and wow, I have nothing to complain about.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The first was seeing Kings of Leon in concert with my BFF for the 3rd time and the second was landing a fantastic job that I'm actually happy to go to each and every day!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
"Good Life" by OneRepublic

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a)happier or sadder; b)thinner or fatter; c)richer or poorer?
I am happier, fatter and poorer.

18. What do you wish you had done more of?
Exercise and eating better.

19. What do you wish you had done less of?
Telling my kids what to do rather than showing them.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We started with Christmas Eve dinner & presents at my parents house, then spent Christmas morning at home opening gifts and then I fixed breakfast for us and my parents who came over. It was a lazy and fabulous day!

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
If you can count falling in love with a minivan as something, then yes, 100%.

22. What was your favorite tv program?
I discovered a couple of new shows that are at the top of my favorites list. They are Justified, Once Upon A Time and Downton Abbey.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
There are people I strongly dislike, but I don't hate anyone. And nobody new for sure.

24. What was the best book you read?
"If You Were Here" by Jen Lancaster.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My deep and abiding love for Adele has grown incredibly strong. I'm also a new fan of Mumford & Sons.

26. What did you want and get?
A minivan.

27. What did you want and not get?
To book a trip to London for 2012.

28. What was your favorite film of 2011?
I really enjoyed Crazy Stupid Love (and Ryan Gosling's abs). Ahem.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 36 this year and aside from the awesomeness that hubby & the kids did in my office, that was pretty much it. It was definitely a memorable bday, but I'm still holding out for a surprise party one of these years.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I really wish we could have sold our old house, but at least we got it under contract with the hopes of completing the sale sometime in the next few years. In the mean time, we have some fantastic renters!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?
Oversized and black.

32. What kept you sane?
Some great music and some great books!

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I keep my political ire pretty close to the vest, but this year, the nonsense that is Rick Perry was hard to ignore. What a putz.

34. Who did you miss?
I miss my brother and how close we used to be. Now that he lives 10 hours away from me and has a family of his own and a successful job, we just don't talk anymore. I need to make more of an effort to be a better communicator.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
My office mate, our school bookkeeper, is a fantastic lady and I'm so glad I have a wonderful person to share an office with!

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
First impressions generally don't mislead. Trust your instincts from those impressions.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Oh, this has gotta be the good life, this has gotta be the good life, this could really be a good life, good life" - Good Life by OneRepublic

Happy New Year everyone!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year!

I used to think my grandma was full of it when she said repeatedly that "the older you get, the quicker time moves." She was right.

How is it possible that it's 2012 already? It seems like just yesterday, I was sitting in a classroom, tuning out a teacher, daydreaming about how old I would be in 2000 and how that seemed so far away. My, my, how time flies.

I'm excited about what this new year will bring to me and my family. I have a lot of hopes and wishes and plans and am very interested to see just how much of it I can make happen.

I'm not going to throw out a list of resolutions because there's already a list of things that I'm working on, which I'll update throughout the year. My deadline to complete as much of that list as I can is December 30th. The race is on!


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