The Year Without A Blog

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It hasn’t quite been a year, but it has been more than six months. For me, that’s pretty close. Time sort of jumbles together every now and then, and I find myself already making Holiday plans in the middle of everyone else’s St. Patrick’s Day planning {Seriously, everything on Pinterest right now is green with rainbows.}

Anyway, a lot has happened while I was away. Most of those things would not have been possible without stepping away from the blog for a brief time. That brief time got longer without my realizing it, until last week when I truly could not remember when I’d last reached out to my readers. Today, I decided to remedy that, and it’s as good a day as any. Better than most, I suppose, because I come bearing good news…

We’re having a baby!

This is one of the things that probably wouldn’t have happened without my taking a step back and deciding where to put my focus. I made a constant conscious effort to spend more time with Hubby. Not just when a mommy and daddy really love each other… but just being together. Going places. Snuggling on the couch to watch TV. This was also a good chance for me to stop “keeping score” on who is the Give and who is the Take. It was a two-fold problem: I was keeping tabs of my giving {which is not the way to give} and I was grumpy for my not taking {which doesn’t even make sense}. Once I pushed aside whatever ugly-little-monster that was, things got a lot more pleasant around the house. For all of us. We’ve even cleaned off the kitchen table to start eating together as a family instead of from TV trays in the living room. We’re not the Cleaver’s, but I also wouldn’t want to be…

Back to the pregnancy bit. I’m 12 weeks today, and I’m very excited for September when I get to see the little booger who’s been giving mommy such a tough time. I’m not going to unload a bunch of pregnancy complaints, because I’m really trying not to be “that mom” but I will say that the first time was a cake walk, and this is feeling a little more like being the underdog in a WWE cage match. We already knew going into it that this would be our last, and I have to say… the way things are going, I’m not inclined to change my mind on that.

We’ve been making slow-but-steady strides at clearing out the nursery. My parents took some furniture for us. Hubby Dearest relocated this bookshelf into the living room, where he de-ironing boarded it. It now holds board games, photo albums, vinyl records, and the record player. There are several more pieces that need a new home, but I’ve got some ideas. Once we decide what stays and what goes, I’ve got stripes to paint! I’m leaving the room that gorgeous yellow that I painted last year {for one, I love it & for two, painting over it would be a nightmare} and adding grey & white stripes to the wall where the crib will be. For a girl, just the yellow, white, & grey. For a boy, I’ll be adding touches of navy blue to the mix. I saw an adorable plaid with all the colors in a Pottery Barn catalog, so I’m hoping I can still find it when the time comes.

That basically sums it up. I took a blog break to do stuff. I did stuff. I’m still doing stuff, and I now have a lot more to do. Posts are likely to be sporadic, at best, but I have a few things coming up that I want to be sure to share. Until next time…

Chalk It Up to Love

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I have this new friend who is kinda awesome… And by kinda I mean Really Really, so you should go see her.

Lauren over at The Thinking Closet recently did a chalkboard round-up. It was full of really fantastic ideas, and one in particular jumped out at me.

Chalkboard Coasters!

I’m excited! Can you see my excitement?!!! { !!! }

I had some ugly not my style coasters with an Italian landscape print on them. So I fixed them, not knowing at the time what I wanted to do with them. I love what a good coat of white paint can do!

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The not-as-ugly coasters waited patiently in my craft room until a time should come when I had a purpose for them. That time arrived about a week ago {give or take} when I saw Lauren’s chalkboard round-up. I have so many different chalkboard things floating around our house, so I have extra chalkboard paint that was also waiting patiently for a purpose. It’s always nice when you can use up two {or more} supplies in one project.

Now, without further ado, I present my finished coasters…

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Now, I just need to make my pallet coffee table so I’ll have a place for my new coasters in the living room where everyone can see.

An Unexpected Achievement

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I had no intention of blogging about this because, quite frankly, I didn’t think I’d see any real results.

Juice!!! It’s working!!!

I was discussing my lack of motivation for losing weight with a friend of mine. I know it needs to be done. My doctor has even said I’m “Clinically Overweight” and need to get on top of it now before my age starts to slow me down. Hate to tell her this, but I have felt 40 since I was 20… I think my age has more than caught up with me.

2012 07 25 - 3238 - DC - Naked

2012 07 25 – 3238 – DC – Naked (Photo credit: thisisbossi)

{Focus} Anyway, he was telling me about the “new” juicing fad in Cali. Some guy in a documentary replaced every meal with juice & lost two pounds a day. Not just any juice… fresh, organic produce that he juiced himself. Every day. Three meals a day. Right… and the first time someone sits a steak in front of me, I’ll gorge myself on it and anything else in sight. You can’t live that way. Or at least I can’t. I like food. {obviously}  But there’s no reason I can’t at least make an effort to eat better food.

So, Sunday at work, I had to run out to get lunch. I needed to get tortillas for fajitas that night, so I decide to pick something up for my lunch at the store. Conversation fresh in my mind, I found myself at the organic juice section of the produce department. Lo and behold, there was a bottle marked down to 2.99… Fine, I’ll try it. 

Here’s the breakdown…

I had no intention of starting a “diet” because, quite frankly, it’s a sprinter’s plan & I need something to sustain me for a marathon. I did, however, come up with a “trial” that I could do for at least the immediate future, and would get my head to a place where nutrition and exercise weren’t such daunting tasks.

Breakfast: High protein. For example, today I ate 2 scrambled eggs with shredded Colby cheese & a sausage patty. Oh, and a cup of coffee because, if I’m gonna be honest, it will be a cold day way south of here before I give up my coffee.

Lunch: Juice. I’m drinking about 16oz as a “meal” which is in the ballpark of 300-350 calories. I’m really liking this Naked Juice Green Machine because it has veggies as well as fruit. Today, I added about 6oz of carrot juice to the mix. I was surprised by just how good pure carrot juice is.

Dinner: Whatever I normally eat… just less of it. The other day we had patty melts { Basically, if a hamburger and a grilled cheese had a baby. For those who may not know.} and I still had a patty melt, fries, and a Coke. The difference being that I only ate one patty melt where usually I can eat two.

Results are In…

Last Friday, I weighed in at the doctor at 144.8.

This morning, I stepped on my bathroom scale at 140.2.

Could it be a fluke? Sure. But, this is the most progress I’ve seen in a single week. Ever. And the only change I’ve made… is juice. We’ll see how long I can keep it up.

 

30 Day Shred

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Before…

 

April 2 – Day 1

I am dying. Not just “whew, that really kicked my butt”… I could quite possibly die. I’ve never worked out so hard in my life! I keep telling myself it will be worth it in 30 days, but for now, I just want to curl up into the fetal position and sleep for a very long time.

April 4 – Day 2

If you can count, you know that I skipped a day. I was still dying yesterday. Today, however, I am not dying. I hurt… a lot. But it’s a good “I’m finally doing something about it” kind of hurt. I can live with that.

April 6 – Day 3

Like my counting skills? I don’t know what happened yesterday… I just didn’t.

~Mulligan~

April 11 – Day 1

I really stink at follow-through. Probably stems from my ADD… most things do. I’m very easily bored, and even more easily distracted. I really need to remember the advice I Pin… If you’re tired of starting over, STOP QUITTING! So I’m challenging myself to see this through. For real this time. Here…we…go!

I didn’t die. That’s always a plus. I felt like I might go toward the light there in the last 6 minutes or so, but once I got through the cool down I actually felt great. I was starving, and totally defeated my workout by eating a chili dog… but whatever. I mean, it was better than NOT working out and eating the chili dog {which is how my “normal” days go} so I still feel good. Tiny issue, though, something pulled in my left knee while I was doing jumping jacks. Hoping it’s nothing since it’s not a constant pain, only when I go up and down the stairs.

April 12 – Day 2

Nope. Knee definitely hurt too bad to do the video. I did some light core stuff, and there was a lot of playing with my not-so-little Little. There has to be at least some credit given for repetitive lifting of a 35lb. 2-year old… Tomorrow is another day & I didn’t stay sedentary today, so I’m ok with that.

April 13 

I need a better plan. Just trying to do this workout “at some point” in my day makes it really difficult to follow through. By the time I got off work, went to a baby shower, made dinner, and put my Little to bed… I was completely exhausted, and just fell into the bed. I have to set a time aside that no matter what, at this time every day I’m going to work out.

April 14 – Day 3

More mad counting skillz. Anyway, I did it. And I didn’t die. The knees are feeling much better, and I was even able to climb the stairs afterward and make lunch. I made the decision to workout before lunch because I’ve noticed I’m prone to being “too full” after I eat… then I end up snacking for the rest of the day {one of my worst habits… I’m a grazer.}  and so I end up realizing at the end of the day that I never worked out. For the first 5 or 6 minutes, my empty belly made all kinds of sounds trying to get me to stop the video and go eat. I held out ’til the end. My goal for tomorrow is to add weights. I have some small dumbbells, but I wasn’t sure I could actually do the workout with them {yes, I’m that out of shape} but now that I’ve got some endurance building, I think I’ll up the ante a bit. Looking forward to tomorrow’s workout.

And that was as far as I got…

May 20

Supposedly, Hubby Dearest is going to start working out with me. We both need it. He was holding me last night & I had to keep adjusting because his fat was squishing my fat… Sexy, I know…

Busy Busy as a Bee

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I’ve had a lot on my to-do list as of late. But, luckily, I’ve also been making steady strides toward checking that list off.

Special Kids Race

Check.

It was cold. Really cold. So my goal of less than 45:00 for the 5K went out the window somewhere near the 1-mile marker. I made it in 47:29, which is 2:36 faster than last year… overall, I’m happy. Anyone interested in being inspired should check out Special Kids Inc. They are truly a fantastic group of people.

Garage

Check. {kinda}

Mom & I finally finished my work table. We also hi-jacked two small cabinets that were being utilized as catch-all’s, and will be most likely storing sewing related, umm… clutter-junk. I’m really excited to have at least something completed in the mess I’ve made in the garage. Weather permitting, I will have a major purge party this Wednesday and Thursday. This needs to extend to my room upstairs, too… but let’s not do anything rash. I have 3 shelving units of garage stuff that needs to be condensed and organized. Once I’ve finished with that, I can give everything a thorough scrubbing and decide where my craft goodies can be stored.

Feeling Fat

Check-in-progress.

I just started the 30 Day Shred. I hurt. A lot. It’s a good hurt. I’m finally doing something {besides whining } about the way I feel. My clothes don’t fit right. My “girls” don’t sit right. I can’t play with my son without needing a literal breather after just 15 minutes or so. And thank you, American Dream, for conditioning my self-worth to be based on my physical aspects. As much as I want to tell myself that I am more than a pretty face or a dress size… it still makes me feel like crud to realize I’m getting older & the things I took for granted are slipping away. I know that I will never, ever, ever squeeze into a size 2 again. I’m fine with that. Really. What I’m not fine with is the fact that just a year ago I was able to {comfortably}  wear a size 4, and I have now had to throw out that size 4 because my thighs rubbed a hole in the inseam. The easy solution is to throw in the towel and buy bigger clothes. The harder, but more rewarding, solution is to work hard and get healthy. I really am doing this more for health than vanity. There are a lot of scary things out there for people who let their health get away from them. While, yes, I’m getting older… I’m still too young to just not do something about it.

Right. So now to “The List” {Dun Dun Duuun!}

Tea Party – After school lets out. Several DIY tutorials. Lots of fun for the kids & us.

Home Décor – More DIY tutorials. I’m really excited because the two projects I’m currently working on were practically free.

Crochet – I’m slightly overwhelmed with projects, but there’s an end in sight! And some fun, nerdy projects I’m going to start after these are done.

Prayer Squares – My church’s ladies ministry is going to start making lap quilts for the sick and recovering members of the congregation. I’m really looking forward to this endeavor, and hoping it will bring some unity to our group. Can I ask for prayers for our group leader Linda as she follows God’s call in her life?

Purge – There are a lot of things in our house that have outlived their usefulness. We need to do a major purge from one end to the other. I say “we” but it will likely be “me” and that’s perfectly fine with me.

Doctor Who – A little nerdy fun. I started watching the show a few weeks ago on Netflix. I’m somewhere in Season 4, and really really excited {I need to find a new word. I get “excited” a lot… } to get caught up to the current season. It’s fun. Not sure why I never got into it before. I always wrote it off as being “very British” and maybe it is, and maybe that’s why I like it… Hubby Dearest & I tend to fall into a TV rut where all we watch are crime dramas. They are rather predictable after a while. The Doctor is a lot of things, but predictable is not one of them.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Hubby Dearest bought it for me on Amazon for next to nothing, after a friend of mine threatened to revoke my Nerd Card for not having read it. It should be in my mailbox soon. I’m excited! {See! There it is again!}

And so, in closing, I wish everyone the very best of luck with their own Lists. Time to tackle a few more bits of mine. Do what you love!