Friday, March 19, 2010

Comfortable In My Own Shoes...

During that day I recently told you about, there were several times that I thought to myself how nice it would be to be in someone else's shoes.

As I struggled to keep The Masonator from dismantling each and every tire display, I looked with envy at the woman who was sitting quietly by herself, getting things checked off of her to-do list as she waited. I thought about how nice it would be to swap places with my friend who is currently on vacation, visiting Las Vegas and Los Angeles. As I chased you-know-who around the waiting room, I looked longingly at the variety of moms who were able to sit and watch their child do gymnastics or read a book of their own during the class.

That night as I was going to bed, I started to think about just how lucky I am to be just who I am.

Maybe the woman in the tire store wasn't working on a "to do" list at all...maybe she was trying to figure out which bills she could pay and which ones she couldn't. I know that my friend who is on vacation right now is having some pretty significant stress in her life these days, and truth be told, she NEEDS that vacation more than I do. What if some of those gymnastics moms who were reading were secretly watching me with Mason, thinking of another baby they'd always wanted but were unable to have or the baby that they'd desperately wanted and lost?

I know from my own crazy experiences in life that you just do not ever truly know someone's story. People are usually beyond shocked when I share some of the things from my own past because truthfully, you'd just never guess that I have been through some of what I have if you didn't know me at the time. I have had similar conversations with other people I've met and have been left in such a state of surprise -- thinking to myself that just moments earlier, I'd had *no idea* that whatever had just been shared was a part of that person's life story.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am trying to keep a head full of perspective and remain thankful simply to be be content walking in my own shoes, no matter how deep the mucky mud (too much Dora!) is along the way some days.

I recently got some new slippers and they are SO comfy. They're soft, they're warm, they're cozy, and now - after several months of wear, they are uniquely mine. My feet have molded them to fit ME, and I know that they wouldn't be as comfortable to someone else because their foot wouldn't fit just right into the groove that has been carved out by mine. I feel like life is also like that. No matter what is put in my path, my life and my experiences are uniquely my own. God has a specific plan for me, and I need to make myself available to receive the blessings and mercy that He has for me each day. I also need to remember that He is by my side on the days that are so easy to forget all of this!

I am blessed beyond measure, even on my worst days...I just need to remind myself of that more often!

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mini-Me Update

Since it's been awhile since I talked about this whole "thing" I figured an update was in order. From July 2008 to July 2009, I lost 65 pounds. I have managed to keep 55-60 off consistently. I still have about 30-35 to go.

And to those of you who know me in "real life" and say "No, you don't!" -- YES, I DO. I will save you the trauma of seeing it for yourselves, just trust me. It's definitely there to lose. In several places that clothes thankfully hide for me. 'Nuff said there, I hope.

Anyway. I'm sort of in a rut and am hoping to bust through here soon. I think what happened is that I was part of a very supportive group, and the main focuses of the group definitely "clicked" with me. I stumbled upon it at just the right time and definitely put forth the consistent hard work and effort in all areas that I need to in order to be successful.

Since then, I have definitely been in maintenance mode. Lots of big life changes have happened and I've sort of weathered them by doing half-way things in the way of health and fitness.

I can say that the absolute KEY to my weight loss and health improvements were 150% God sponsored. By that, I mean that being in The Word, prayer time, encouragement with my friends, scripture memorization and truly putting Him first was what worked. Well, currently, NONE of that is happening consistently. And it hasn't for some time now.

I just came to this realization the other day and it was like DUH. What did I *think* would happen? If you don't have the KEY, you can't unlock the door.

So, here I am. Knowing where I am, who I am and where I need to go and who I need to be. Nothing has to change -- I just need to remember that I am first and foremost a child of God and live my life according to the purpose and focus I know that I have within me through His grace.

It will take some gut-busting willpower, prayer, and determination. I'm trying to regather my mojo and just get back into the groove. As usual, there are many things in my way every day to prevent this. I'm just trying to remember what is TRULY important each day. When I was in such a good place, not only was I losing weight, working out and getting healthy -- I also had more patience, energy and motivation to get the rest of my life healthy, too. I also weathered the storms that come our way in a much better way, too.

So, there ya go. There's your update. I think I'll go back to Mini-Me Monday updates to keep myself accountable. Ask me if I don't...I need some support and keeping me accountable is a great way to help. Thanks, bloggy friends!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One of those days...

Don't I start almost every post by saying I'm going to blog more? Yeah, I thought so.

I thought for sure I really would be blogging more right now, especially since I'm on a self-imposed Facebook break during Lent. The thing is, I've been so stinkin' busy lately, I haven't been much of anywhere. (Unless crazy is a place, in which case I have been living there.)

I thought I'd jump back in with a classic Never a Dull Moment kind of day. Nothing like a day full of chaos to get ya back in the bloggy mood, eh?

Currently, I am sitting at my kitchen table in half darkness. I am having a glass of wine. One kid is in bed, the other two are watching Wonder Pets. My husband is on his way home, and upon entry will find the following:

*five (yes, five) loads of clean laundry heaped on the couch waiting to be folded
*a sink full of dishes in soapy water
*a dishwasher waiting to be emptied
*gross kitchen/eating nook/family room floors
*the kitchen counter full of all of my work stuff

This is all before the poor guy goes upstairs. Yikes.

It has been, of those days. No other way to put it. It was one of those days by 7:30 a.m. I know that if anyone still reads this thing, the majority of you (which probably means two out of three people - ha!) will be able to relate and I don't need to expand on that.

**Disclaimer: if you are lucky enough to be that one person who is thinking "What is this woman TALKING about?"... please count your blessings and move along. Take your clear mind and do *not* clutter it up with the mundane chaos that has somehow become my every day. You are more than welcome to read this blog, I'm just sayin' I will not be held responsible for the mucky brain syndrome that may come through osmosis.**

(Oh, and FYI - I still love my life, some days there is just a bit much of it for me.)

So...about today.

School dropoff. Got my first grader in the door just before the tardy bell rang. Accomplishing this meant asking my kids if they liked it when I yelled. (Yes, I really asked them that question and no, I wasn't kidding.) You see, this was the kind of morning where I started out as Patientloving Mom, asking the same things of the same kids - nicely, I might add - three times. Mount St. Crazymom erupted on request #4 -- and whaddya know? Instant performance by my little cherubs. Feels horrible to me and I know they can't stand it -- but there we were. All in a scruffy little whirpool of tension and yelling. No fun. (By the way, I do realize what a truly ridiculous question that was on my part. I absolutely know that they don't like it when I yell, but this morning -- I really was beginning to wonder. Again, I'm thinking 2 out of 3 of you feel me on this one.)

So, anyway - we got to gymnastics class. Late. By about 5 minutes, but miraculously, they were starting 5 minutes late so not a biggie today. UNTILLLLLL the door from the cubby room to the gym closed and Mason realized he was once again denied access to all of the fun stuff that taunts him from the other side of the big windows. It is pure torture for him to have to watch the kids run, jump, tumble, swing, hop, bounce, flip, climb and (just paused to yell again, fyi - the hits just keep on comin') skip. He wants SO badly to be in the middle of all of that fun, and yet he is stuck on the other side of the windows with all of the parents. Poor guy. Today, I took a bag full of toys and decided that I would not sit in the room with the big windows. Instead, I'd sit in the smaller, boring room of cubbies so that Mason could run and play. It meant not watching Georgia do her thing, but I thought it would be easier with Mr. FussyPants.

Wellllll, after first glaring at me as she stepped over Tantrum City on her way to the cubbies, another gymnastics mom then decided to camp out at the door of the cubby room with herself and her younger daughter. Did I mention that said camping was done with the door to the gym cracked open?? *sigh* REALLY?! Ugh. Sooooo...I pick up Tantrum City and come back for all of his toys and we move to the window room after all. So much for plans on that one! We survived the torturous hour of waiting and headed home.

As I was driving, I noticed the car pulling a bit to the right, but didn't think much of it since we just had our brakes replaced and they said that the shocks/struts are next and they might impact the alignment until then. (Good times.) After a few hours, some lunch, a whole bunch of laundry, etc. - it's time to go get Mitchell from school.

OF COURSE, both of the little ones are still asleep. (Yes, I sighed here, too.) Sooooo...I wake them both up, complete with two sets of sad little faces and matching tears. I was hoping that the sunshine (what?!), walk in the stroller and some playtime at the playground would cheer them up. Luckily, it did. When we got home, as I was breaking up fight #8943043 (this one about who would get the mail out of the mailbox), I noticed that the van looked like it was at like a 45 degree angle, sloping to the right in our garage. (Can you picture me standing on the sidewalk, tilting my head to the right to see if I'm nuts? It happened.)

I go look (after another giant sigh, of course) and sure enough, my right front tire is as FLAT as a pancake. Like, I've never seen a flatter tire in all of my life. (Granted, I don't have super extensive experience in this department, but still.)

Wellllll...isn't this a nice little insertion into the day?

It was 3:30 pm. Georgia had soccer practice at 5. The tire store closed at 6. I had to be at work, 45 minutes away from my house (and after dropping all 3 kids off at different places) at 8:30 am in the morning. NOT. A. GOOD. TIME. FOR. A. FLAT. TIRE!! On the plus side, it was in the garage and I wasn't on the side of the road somewhere. Also on the plus side, sunshine and no snow.

In the end, I called my dad. He got stuck in traffic, so the plan of him helping me take the tire off, loading everyone in his car, dropping me and the tire at the tire store and him taking the kids to G's soccer practice went by the wayside. (The tire store and soccer field for practice were about 1/2 mile apart.) What ended up happening was that the jack in my car was beyond irritating. After about an hour, my dad FINALLY got it to open up (it was stuck) but by then AAA was on the way. (He has a membership, I do not.) In that time, I'd strapped Mason into his carseat in the van, Georgia had the hazard lights going and Mitchell was playing "hockey" using a baseball bat and soccer ball in the front yard. Oh, and the lady coordinating Mason's upcoming speech evaluation called in the middle of all of this.

Might I add, I did make tacos and we all ate. So, ya know - my cape didn't COMPLETELY fall off.

As I finish this, it is now the next morning. I'm sitting by myself in Starbucks, sipping a latte and listening to some pretty relaxing music. I'm also the ONLY woman in here. What is that about?? Don't these men WORK?!

I ended up having to miss my first two appointments of the morning because the tire was beyond repair. I ended up getting four new tires, much to my husband's dismay. I also learned that they do not design tire store sales floors with 20 month old boys in mind. (Just in case you were wondering about that.)

Upon reflection of my day, I'm thankful for the following:
*a van to have flat tires on
*three kids to make me triply nutty
*a husband who loves me despite, well...everything you just read
*a daddy who still takes care of me, even though I am a *huge* pain
*sunny days
*the ability to pay for new tires
*food to eat
*clothes to wash
*a house to clean
*wine to drink (for real!)

Count your blessings, especially when they seem like anything but. Someone would LOVE to have your cruddy day because it would probably be the best one they'd had in a while.

I'll be back more often. I promise. :)

Sunday, November 08, 2009


So. I have been running for an entire year now. This is truly a bizarre thing for me to say because, well, I really don't like to run.

Here's where I will take a moment and tell you that despite what I have been told by people, I can personally attest to the fact that not *everyone* who runs is "a runner." I think that holds true even if you've been running for quite some time and have made progress in your endurance and speed. To me, you are "a runner" when you SEE yourself as "a runner" and FEEL like you're "a runner."

Have I improved my endurance? Yes. Speed? Yes. Confidence? Yep.
Do I enjoy it any more than I did when I first started? Ummm - not so much, actually.

I still cannot say that I enjoy it. (Really not at all.) I will say that I don't *hate* it, but I enjoy the benefits of running and THAT is why I continue to do it. As for a runner's high or anything like that? Nope. Never. I think that my husband likes me running a lot more than I like me running.

So, anyway - last weekend it was absolutely gorgeous outside and I decided that rather than head to the gym, I'd go for a run. I got all ready to go -- my favorite workout shirt that wicks the sweat away, the undies that don't give me an eternal wedgie while I'm running, my favorite pair of capri exercise pants, my running shoes, my cell phone (in case I get hurt or something), and my iPod. I strapped on my music and headed out the door.

I decided to just "go" and not really plan my route like I normally do. I've gotten to know the basics of how to get around our neighborhood the past few weeks, so I was confident that I had a few different route options available based on how I was feeling. We were taking the kids out to dinner after I got back and I wasn't really all that much in the mood for exercise anyway, so I told Chris when I left that I didn't think I'd go very far. (In my old neighborhood I had an easy little one mile run loop that I did on days like that.)

When I did the couch to 5k program last year, the little guy in my iPod who told me when to run suggested that you *always* do a 5 minute warmup and a 5 minute cooldown. Being the rule follower that I am when it comes to this stuff, I still do it every time. As usual, with about a minute left, I started to dread my walk coming to an end because I knew it meant I had to start running. I get this almost panicky feeling inside, which is well - dumb - because no one is *making* me run. Anyway, I got that wonky feeling and shoved it aside and decided that I would just start and run until I wanted to stop. If it ended up being only five minutes, fine. My goal was twenty minutes, but if I just felt sort of BLAH before then, I gave myself permission to just walk. (Like I said, so NOT "a runner.")

I started off on a part of the sidewalk that was still covered with ice and slush from the previous week's blizzard. I put my foot in a puddle and thought "Greaaaaat. Love the way this is starting out." Ya know, all sorts of positive self talk and things like that! I fiddled around with my iPod until I found some music that made me want to beebop along. I think it may have been "Put a ring on it" or something classy like that.

So, the first part of the route that I followed was down a big hill, which is always nice to just coast along. The second part was relatively flat and up to that point, my biggest issue was dodging more slushy/icy parts of the path. I felt pretty good and wasn't feeling at all like I needed to stop -- I think when I looked it had been about 12 minutes or so. I typically run about 10 minute miles so I knew I'd done at least a mile by then and felt good about that.

And THENNNNNN I got to the bottom of the hill and looked up.


My old neighborhood was really flat and there was just one hill that was challenging and I tended to avoid it like the plague. Since we've moved, I've found that unless I literally run around in a little circle in my immediate neighborhood, I will be running on hills now. The one that I found myself faced with was pretty sizeable. It started gradually but then climbed quite a bit in a relatively short distance. I looked it up on my beloved Map My Run site when I got home (or as I call it, the website for people who don't have a Garmin) and found that I climbed 128 feet on my run, and I guarantee you that at least 100 feet of it was on that hill. That is a LOT for me. (Personally, I think it's a lot for anyone, but especially me.)

So, there I was. Feeling good about my run so far, not feeling like I needed/wanted to stop, was enjoying the weather and running through a new part of our surrounding neighborhood, and WHAMMO. The hill. As I turned the corner and started up the gradual incline, I tried to make a mental game plan. The first thing I did was decide that I was GOING to run up this hill. Not walk, but RUN. Why? Ummm, not sure, but that's what I decided. I also decided that I could not do it alone, so the second thing I did was switch the music on my iPod to what my hubby refers to as my "God Rock." (I believe that I chose "My Deliverer" by Mandisa.) The last thing I did was start reciting Phillipians 4:13 which says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

So, NOW, there I was. Running up a ginormous hill, God Rock blarin' in my ears, my power verse running through my mind. Still feeling like this just was not gonna happen because even though I was working as hard as I could at that point, I literally felt like I was almost standing still. I just kept telling myself - RUN. Then my power verse. RUN. Then my power verse. I was not at ALL concerned about a time, I just wanted to run up the hill -- the ENTIRE hill. About halfway up, the hill sort of went back to a more gradual incline instead of a steep grade for about 50 yards or so. It was almost like a little valley because it made my heart sink to see that on the other side of it was another steep grade. I thought "No WAY can I do that again."

Instead of celebrating how far I'd already run up the hardest part of the hill or the fact that I'd actually *kept* runnning instead of just deciding to walk -- I let my limited view of the next challenge suck the wind out of my sails. I accepted a defeated mentality before I'd even arrived at the next hard part. And guess what? When I got closer and started up that portion of the hill, I found that it wasn't nearly as steep as I had thought it would be! I also discovered that I was *really* close to the top.

I kept plugging away and kept my feet a runnin' and as I reached the top of the hill, it struck me how often I do the same thing in my life. Instead of taking a moment to gather my strength, draw on previous successes for motivation and confidence, and refocus my mind -- many times when I find that I'm facing another challenge, I mentally throw in the towel before I even begin. The thing is, just like the top part of that hill, I am pretty good at psyching myself out and making issues and problems bigger than they are or need to be. It's part of my recurring issue where I try to rely solely on myself and don't look to God for the strength, peace, comfort and guidance that I know I'll receive when I ask. Why do I do this over and over??

As I was contemplating those thoughts, I turned the corner and was now headed home. My legs felt like jello, my lungs were burning, and I was sweating like crazy. I just wanted to stop. When I ran in my old neighborhood, I had a few "finish lines" for myself. A tree and a stopsign. The end of a block. Things like that. I decided that I needed a new finish line for my run and decided on the end of the block that I had just started on.

At that point, I was really wanting to just walk. Like REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY wanting to walk. I could feel myself starting to play the whole "It's okay to stop here" game with myself because the end of the block (it was a long one) seemed so far away. I decided to put on my favorite motivating song, Unwritten. (If you've never checked out the lyrics, take a second and do it.)

As the first few chords started playing, I looked down and saw a trail of dried blood on the sidewalk. It seemed like someone had a bloody nose or something -- just a trail of drops that I was following. My power verse immediately surged back into my mind. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." As I kept running, I found that I couldn't take my eyes off of the trail of blood. My heart swelled as I realized that it is *through* Christ and not my own efforts that I am capable of anything. (Obviously, I mean things within reason - I'm not going to try and fly or anything!) But really -- in every instance, when I look back on challenges I've faced in my life -- big ones or small ones, the times that I have felt the most safe, secure, at peace, confident, full of strength are the ones where I have focused on the Lord.

*I* am in charge of how I set my mind. *I* am in charge of how I handle challenges and adversity. *I* am in charge of whether I decide to go it alone or follow Him. He loves me so much that he paid the ultimate price for me, yet I routinely think that I am all I need. (My heart knows better, but so many times that's the way I live.) As I finished out the last part of my run, I found that the trail of blood stopped and I was left with a clean path again. He has wiped my slate clean and by seeking Him and His forgiveness, His mercy has washed all of the hurt and doubt and sorrow and pain and guilt away.

I felt such a sense of gratitude and accomplishment when I reached my new finish line. As I walked home, I put that song on repeat and just soaked it in. Every day *is* unwritten and it *is* up to me to invite Christ into my everyday life and not try to do it all alone. I am in charge of making that choice to follow him and not waste the gift of his mercy and grace when it is just waiting for me to take advantage of. That is my prayer, that I can remember that moment of following the blood stained path and use it to guide my way through challenges and adversity instead of trying to muscle my way through on my own.

Life and what not...

So much has happened since I last wrote in my blog that I'm not even sure how to try and fill in what's gone on. I have an actual "thing" to write, so I'll catch you up here and then write that stuff separately. Here is the nutshell version of the craziness that has taken place over the past six months, and I'd like to just preface it with saying this: God is so good.

*I went on a trip by myself to Las Vegas with some friends in July. It was way too much fun and I wish I could do it about once a month. We also took a vacation to California in August. I felt really bad about not bringing Mason, but at that time, he was in the stage where he wasn't yet walking but wanted to be on the ground ALL of the time. We took the kids to Disneyland with my parents (well, actually they took us) and Mason stayed with Chris' parents. I felt better about my decision when we were in the park with two perky, energetic kiddos and we were surrounded by people with crying, miserable babies about his age. It was a fabulous trip and the kids had so much fun. We spent one afternoon at the beach and the rest of the trip was all Disney, all the time. There is just something about watching your children experience a feeling of pure joy and wonder that makes your heart swell. Walking through the gates and seeing Mickey Mouse himself standing there signing autographs was one of those moments. They just about burst from excitement and to actually GET his autograph?? Well, it was an event. They still look at their autograph books all of the time. So much fun!

*We decided to give the whole selling our house thing another go so the week before we went to California, we put it back on the market. (If you don't remember, we had it on the market for ten VERY long months right before Mason was born. Tons of showings, not even ONE offer.) This time, we got off of the plane, I turned my phone on and there was a message from our realtor letting us know that someone had made an offer. This was FIVE DAYS after we'd had it on the market. So bizarre! The entire first day of our vacation was spent going back and forth with our realtor through phone calls and faxing documents. We actually worked out the details of the contract while eating a sandwich on Huntington Beach! It was nice to get that all settled the first day and know that we could just enjoy the rest of our trip without fielding phone calls about showings and contract negotiations. It was a pretty stressful month and a half, but we did manage to find a *wonderful* home that we love in a great neighborhood, and closed on the homes on back to back days. We moved ourselves, so I will just let you imagine the fun that was included in that whole ordeal. It's been six weeks since our move and the only area that still has boxes is my husband's office, which I not so lovingly refer to as "The Pit." We don't have anything on the walls yet and have a lot of painting and decorating to do, but we actually feel pretty settled for having been here such a short time. It's nice to actually live in the same neighborhood that our kids' school is in.

*Mason turned one in July. Yes, that's right. Baby Loo is one and is very determined to keep up with his brother and sister at every turn! He's also walking, running, falling, crashing, and generally getting into trouble. He can now reach the top of the kitchen table and desk in the eating nook which in the last week has resulted in a broken dish, a cup of milk poured on his own head, and several tantrums from his sister over stolen princess figurines. I tell Chris that he is the one who will end up being our tattooed, sky diving, motorcycle riding risk taker. He just gets this look in his eye and has this almost cartoon villainish laugh that makes me ultra nervous. I always thought Miss G would be my biggest challenge, but I think ol' Mason is gonna give her a run for her money in that department! He is starting to try and talk more and more every day. He has a few signs that he uses a lot and has a couple of words he can say: bye bye, mama, dada, and uh-oh are about it at this point. Mostly we hear a whole bunch of very interesting, animated stories that sound like this:
Us: Really? Is that true?
Mason: MAMADAbadamamamadadababaBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! (These types of stories are also usually followed by a very mischevious "hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!")

*Mitchell is in first grade and although it's only the first week of November, is now at his second school. He is doing fabulously and makes us very proud just by being the best Mitchell he can be! We had to move him from the school he started the year in when we moved, and it was a really hard decision for us to do that but has worked out great. He has made some really nice friends at his new school and is happy there. My current worry is that I don't have anyone's contact information. His teacher was so nice and sent a note home with some of the kids before they tracked off for three weeks, but obviously she can't give us their information without their permission so I am just praying that the parents feel motivated to at least email us with their email address. His birthday is in a few weeks and I would feel so badly if we had no way to get in touch with the families of the kids he wants to invite. We signed up for cub scouts but I totally underestimated the time commitment there. Most of the activities are from 6:30 - 8:30 pm and in addition to that making a very late night for Mitchell, many times it would mean I'd either have to get a sitter or take the other two with me, and well -- that's just not gonna happen. We are thinking about starting him in karate instead. I'm really looking forward to some special one on one time these next few weeks with him while Miss G is in preschool and Mason is sleeping.

*Georgia is back in preschool and loving it! The biggest day of the month for her is when it's her turn to be snack helper. I wouldn't be surprised if she prepared a speech. (The name of the snack helper and what they brought is also the first piece of news I receive when I pick her up from school each day. It's quite the snazzy position in her eyes, apparently.) She just started gymnastics and is super psyched to get back into that again. Her teacher assures me that klutzy kids make fabulous gymnasts, which is a relief since she managed to cut her forehead once and her right eye twice in about 6 weeks' time this summer. (Three scars, three stitches and one dermabond application resulted.) She is an expert at being three, especially when it comes to the associated drama and tantrums. Georgia is currently obsessed with rhyming and spends a lot of her day doing just that. "Shoe to who." "Me to he." Alllll day long. The trip to Disneyland took her love of all things princess to a whole new level and the little figurines that we brought back are her most prized possessions. She also has a very distinctive "princess voice" that she uses almost more than her actual voice. Her current favorite game to play with Mommy is "Cinderella." She loves it when I'm the stepsisters/mother and she's Cinderella, so it usually means I get to grab a magazine and a cup of coffee, lay on her bed and tell her to fetch me stuff. The other day I got realllllllllyyyy into my role and tossed the fake peas on the floor because they were cold. I thought she was gonna pee her pants from laughing so hard...she is my biggest fan and is really helping my acting come along! *teehee*

*Chris is still working hard! I can't really get into details, but his job has been VERY stressful lately, and it's just so hard to feel like you can't help at all. He is such a wonderful husband and Daddy...I just wish I could take some of the stress away from him. Anyway - he is still all about soccer and just finished another season. He is like a kid with the whole thing -- it's so good for him!! His drive isn't any longer than it used to be but in order to keep it that way he has to leave about a half an hour earlier than normal, so that took some getting used to on his part. Football and basketball season always make for a happy Chris on the weekends, especially now that we have a new giant HD flatscreen tv. I am actually really surprised he didn't sleep on the couch that first night or two! He looks fabulous and has done a great job of keep his 45-50 pounds off...he had to get some new clothes and fits into some that he hasn't worn for years. (I have tried to tell him that he might just want to replace them with something a little more updated. Not so much.)

*As for me, I am still just plugging along. It's funny, when I wasn't ready to take any more clients on, I got referrals all of the time. Now that I'm ready to work a bit more, it's sort of been a struggle to find new clients. In all honesty though, I haven't really worked too hard at it since I've been trying to get settled in the new house, so I think I'll give that a better effort here after the holidays. I am enjoying our new home and all of the extra space that we have. It's been wonderful for the kids to have their own rooms and to have an actual PLAYROOM for all of their stuff!! Makes me so happy to have two tiny little baskets of toys and books that are out of the way in the living room and everything else in the basement where, even if it's a ginormous mess, I don't have to see it or step over it all of the time. I still am taking myself to the gym on a regular basis and have managed to maintain my weight loss. Right now, I'm 60 pounds lighter than I was when I had Mason. I'm sort of disappointed that I've been plateaued for the last six months, but given what's gone on, I guess I should see it as a victory that I haven't gained anything back. I've recently recharged my efforts and am hoping to start seeing a loss again. I have about 25 more pounds to say goodbye to, and I know that they will be the hardest ones yet. It's such hard work!!

I think you are now officially caught up on the Loo family happenings. It feels good to be back in bloggy land, and I really do think I'll be here more often. I have updated my recipes with two of our faves and will also update my menu plan, as I still plan our meals the same way. (Sad that one of the days still said "Christmas Party" next to it. Yikes.)

I will leave you with a picture of the kiddos from our recent blizzard. (I know Miss G's eyes are closed. Trust me when I say, this was the best of the bunch.) *sigh* It's hard to believe how big they're getting! Gotta love Colorado though -- this was last weekend. This weekend it was 75!

Until next time, love and hugs to all of my bloggy friends. *mwah!*

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back in the saddle...

Do you ever have something you think about, maybe think a LOT about, and then it starts floating around you? Maybe you notice it once and think "Huh! How funny...I was *just* thinking of that" and go on your merry way until it pops up more and more frequently until it finally gets to the point where you decide that maybe you are just a tad bit dense and that God has been patiently tapping you on the shoulder over and over.

No? Just me, then? Mmmm-hmmm.

Well, even if it is just me, that is the story of me and my lack of blogging. Last summer I became the publicity chick for my MOPS group. That required me to publish a newsletter every month. That required (well, probably not required) me to write a little "thing" for the front page every month. That seemed to pretty much zap any creative juices or desire to blog that I may have had.

My publicity days are now behind me and wouldn't you know it? My thoughts about coming back here to blog were soon surrounded by questions and comments from different people that I know...all leading me back to the fact that I need to start writing again. For me. (By that, I mean actually going beyond updating my status on Facebook.)

Sooooooooooooo, here I am!

I guess maybe next time I will get all writerish and dive back in, but for about an update on my little family? I believe I will even start with myself instead of the kids for once!

I guess I'll start with the thing that seems to be my biggest "thing" at the moment -- I am still on a quest to lose ALL of the weight that I need to. I just had that fabulous, good time "yearly visit" with my doctor last week and the target weight that she suggested is about 26 pounds below where I currently am. *sigh* I know that I can do it, but it sure does seem daunting. I was moving along at a pretty good clip with my weight loss for quite a few months and I seem to have hit sort of a wall here lately. Since I started trying to lose weight, I've lost 32 pounds. (I've actually lost 24 more than that - but you know, that was baby weight stuff, so I don't really count that.) The thing is, I've only lost like 6 or 7 pounds in about 8 weeks. Not fun; however, I know that the whole weight loss journey comes with periods of plateau and regression along with bursts of great drops. Those big chunks of weight loss are so much more fun than the plateaus though -- I tell ya!

A great victory for myself is that Chris and I did in fact run a 5K together at the end of April. My goal was to finish under 35 minutes but I surprised the socks off of myself by doing it in 32:45! Amazing. All God. Seriously. Allllllllllllllllll God on that one. I should probably add that I know Chris could have seriously smoked me but he hung in there with me and just ran along side me. (Right up until about the last two tenths of a mile when I was just *d.y.i.n.g.* and I told him to just GO. He likes to sprint at the end and while that sounds really inspiring to me and everything, I was having a very serious conversation with myself that pretty much went like this: "RUN. NO WALKING. RUN. NO WALKING.") As it turns out, I didn't walk at ALL and that was huge. That's really all I wanted, even if it would have taken me an hour to finish. I wanted to run the whole thing and I did! I can't put into words how proud that sweet husband of mine is of me about that. It's so touching to think about because even though I really am proud of myself, it's like he is proud of me on a whole different level and it just feels amazing to be loved like that.

Oh, and I have recently started doing spinning classes. If you have never tried one of these classes, do yourself a favor and keep that streak alive. Unless, of course, you're into things like torturing yourself for an hour. I mean, seriously people -- forget the waterboarding! Spinning is where it's at in the cruel and unusual punishment department. I did finally get myself a gel padded bootie cushion that I used today. Mehhhh - I'm sure it worked but I couldn't focus on anything but my burning thighs and inability to breathe long enough to decide if my tushie was more comfy on the bike or not this morning. I *hate* that class. H.A.T.E. it!!! But I try to go once a week. Does that give you some idea as to the desperation I am feeling to bust through this stupid plateau of mine??!!

We now have the most amazing next door neighbors. They are as nice as can be and I have found a true friend over there. "Miss Aaaameee" as Miss G calls her, is my kids' new BFF. Get this: not only is she like the nicest person you'll ever meet, but she has a clean house, two kids (well, technically they are dogs), a popcorn machine, sells tupperware and LOVES to babysit. More than that -- she loves to babysit MY kids. It's kind of like the best thing ever. Oh -- and triple bonus, she and I both enjoy wine. Like one glass, maybe two, tops. So once a week or so, she'll come over while I'm making dinner and we'll have a glass of wine. Having a husband who can't STAND wine makes me want to pee my pants with excitement that I get to share a glass of wine with a good friend while I cook. And seriously? The woman humors the kids and lets them make her all sorts of fake things to eat, lets Mason drool on her -- you name it. She is FABULOUS and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.

Other than that, things are pretty much the same. As I mentioned before, I'm done with my run on the steering team for MOPS. I will miss the teamwork and Bible study and getting to see my friends every week, but I'm pretty excited to just be a MOPS mom again. I have agreed to help coordinate the volunteer stuff at the preschool again next year -- BUT -- this time there are three of us doing it together, so it feels MUCH more manageable. I still volunteer there a lot as it is, so it won't be that drastic of a change.

Even with trying to cut things out and say no to other things, I am still busier than I want to be. I believe this will be a life-long problem for me, as I just seem to fill up my calendar, even when I don't want to. Thankfully, we aren't overbooked (yet) this summer, so I'm hoping for lots of fun adventures with the kiddos.

Okay -so I have run out of time for this update and would you look at that? It was all about me! That never happens!! You know what though? Probably exactly the way it was supposed to , as I really have been feeling led to write more for me -- get myself mentally unpacked over here again. Hopefully I can start making the bloggy rounds again, too - I miss reading all of my bloggy buddies' stuff, too!

So. Consider my toe officially dipped into the pool again. It feels good to settle back in.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A little rusty...

Well, since Emily called me out (on my blog and on the phone, too!) about not blogging yet this year, I decided I'd try to remedy that this morning.

Letsee - to catch up...

Mason is now 6 months old. Yes, I said 6 months. Impossible, it seems - but true. He is SO funny and keeps us all cracking up. He is so easy going and happy...even moreso if he can see what his big brother and sister are up to. Last week he started making this happy sound that sounds like tires squealing in a big peel out. (I'm sure there's a more correct technical term but that's my best thinking at the moment.) He is sitting up on his own for short periods of time and has just last week started eating cereal, which he thinks is pretty funny. He is pretty happy to roll around and around and around on the floor and is pretty adept at the inchworm/almost army crawl thing. The kid can MOVE. (Uh-oh, says mom.)

Georgia will be 3 in two weeks. Yes, I said 3. Again - how did this happen?? Our big, giant, HISTORIC news over here is that -- SHE IS DONE POTTY TRAINING!! Can I get a big WOOT, WOOT!! I figured out the "trick" for Miss G was taking ALLLLL of her panties, dresses, skirts and tights and holding them for ransom in my closet. If she wanted to wear them, she had to poop in the potty. If not, it was dreaded PANTS for our little diva. If she pooped in the potty she could start the day with a dress, but if she landed some in her pullup that day, she had to change into (gasp!) pants on the spot. Took about 2 weeks of that business and we just haven't looked back. She is hysterical and always keeps me laughing. I think we got our point across that we are happy and proud of her for being a good girl with the potty training. The other day after Chris told her how how proud he was of her she said (word for word), "It's my pleasure to poop on the potty, Daddy!" That would be her in a nutshell. Her current faves include playing babies, kitchen, playdough, and coloring. Oh, and swiping trains/track from her brother and running away screaming. Good times. Did I mention that the girl LOVES to do laundry? I'm guessing by the time she's old enough to *actually* do it on her own, she'll hate it.

Mitchell is 6 years old and full of spunk. Or something. What I mean is that I think 6 year old boys might just be a tad bit insane. I mean that in the best possible way. He turned 6 and this ginormous GOOFBALL syndrome invaded his body. He is just SILLY. He is also a reading machine and can't get enough of it. Loves to read. Still a full-fledged train addict who is not wild about letting his sister share his stuff. Daily screaming and chasing and crying from both of them in this department. Makes me sort of cranky. He loves kindergarten and thinks carpooling is the bee's knees.

As for Chris - working like a crazy man. He is dangerously addicted to all things soccer. It is kind of nuts, actually. All the gear, tivo'd games of all of these European teams, even a big ol' soccer magazine. Wild. Can't relate but it makes him happy, so there ya go. I sure do love that guy. We had a date night the other night and it was so fun. We didn't do anything exciting, just went to the bar in our neighborhood, had a few cocktails and then went and had some hotwings. It seriously reminded me of the pre-kids Chris and Tara. I haven't said that for a long time. We just celebrated our 7th anniversary last week. I feel so, so, SO lucky to have him as my hubby. I love that Cabana Boy!

As for me, just same ol', same ol'. Everyone is still sick all of the time. I actually decided to get in on the fun this time. You know, 'cause I'm bored and stuff. It is so bizarre to say that I actually miss going to the gym. Between me being sick and Mason being sick, I've been once in 2 weeks. I ran outside one other time, but that's it. Hope everything I worked so hard for isn't completely undone. Last time I ran, I went 3 miles. Amazing!! Seriously, amazing. Chris and I are running a 5K together this spring. I bet it will be a good feeling to reach the finish line together. Actually, he would probably have time to finish, shower, change and take some pictures by the time I get there...but knowing my sweet Cabana Boy, he'll run slow with his pokey wife. I have lost 10 pounds since Christmas, so that's good. I still have a LONG way to go, but I want to lose at least 6 more by the end of March. I will be sporting a strapless bridesmaid gown and would like to not scare my sweet friend's guests away with my bye-bye arms. If you don't know what they are, be thankful. If you do, I need not say more.

Okay. There you go. An update. Next time I might even thrill you with some pictures. And to my bloggy friends -- I really would like to start making the rounds again. I'll see if I can figure that out soon. In the meantime, hi and hugs. :)

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mini-Me Friday #7ish

A month? Seriously? I haven't blogged in a month? Hmmmm. I guess that must be right!

Wellll, a lot can happen in a month, as we all know. Things like traveling to Albuquerque for a long weekend, Thanksgiving, your first "baby" turning six years old. (Ouch. Still hurts to type that one.)

I am happy to report that although I have been MIA over here, I have NOT completely derailed myself from my weight loss efforts. It is actually amusing for me to report that I actually went, jogging, I said...on Thanksgiving morning to "earn" my big ol' meal! I mean, people -- JOGGING. On Turkey Day. This is big change. Big.


Basically, here's the update. I found this program through word-of-mouth from a great friend (who has a blog but no actual BLOG there or I'd hook you up -- subtle hint that I would like her to blog, isn't it?? she knows who she is.) and downloaded these podcasts to my iPod. So now I jog with good ol' Robert 3 times a week. I did day one of week 4 this morning and Robert -- whoo, he had me questioning whether or not this was such a good idea. BUT, I did it.

And, for all of you Biggest Loser fans out there -- I am pleased to tell you that both Vicky and Heba are good for something, after all. I just pictured them running on either side of me and told myself two things: (a) if THEY could run, I could run and (b) if I quit -- it would be a bad omen for Michelle, so I had to keep running if I wanted to give her some mojo. And guess what? I did it. So. Those two evil, scheming *ahem* women (this is me not cursing at them) actually kept me running this morning...who knew?

Okay. So we have one week left for our group before this session ends. I weighed in last night for the first time in 4 weeks -- I missed because the kids were sick, I was sick, Thanksgiving, and a snow cancellation -- and I was down 5 lbs from my last weigh in! This was very exciting to me because...

It means that I am only 1/2 pound over the weight that I was when I got pregnant with Mason and have now lost 38 pounds since having him! Yay!!!!! I'm also only 17 pounds over my lowest weight -- that was right before I got pregnant with Miss G, so June 2005. I'm so happy about that!

My first goal is 7 lbs.
My second goal is 17 lbs. I'd love to do this by April, as I am in my best friend's wedding and will be in a strapless gown.
My ultimate goal is 37 lbs. This seems more within my reach now that I realize I've already lost that much. Funny how your brain needs little things like that. Or my little brain, I should say.

I am just taking it one day at a time and trying not to be too crazy or obsessed. I'm also trying to be realistic about things. For instance, I have a date night tomorrow with my husband. We have a Christmas party at one of his co-worker's houses and will probably end up out for drinks with friends or by ourselves later. typical Friday cheating will not be happening. Nor have I had a glass of wine while I cooked dinner this week. (My favorite thing!! Love to do that.)

Anyway- there's the update. Have a long way to go but am proud of myself for the hard work I've put in so far. I'm giving all the glory to God though -- He has certainly provided me with a team of loving, supporting, encouraging people to cheer me on, and most importantly -- the strength and courage to do what I need to do.

He is so good. So very, very good.