"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20 - Week 1

Hi there, everyone!
Let's jump right in, shall we?
Today walking in to WW I was pretty sure I didn't have a gain coming at the scale.  I honestly struggled with my eating a bit this week and I didn't get much exercise in, so I didn't think any loss I might have would be big.

I was right.  I was down 0.4 pounds this week.

That's okay, though.
I got up and ate a healthy breakfast and didn't starve myself until noon for an artificially-lower number on the scale.  That was the healthy decision and I made it.  Little steps to a big goal, right?

So, what I learned this week: life will always throw something at you, that's why you can't use it as an excuse.  Some weeks are easier and some weeks are much much harder, but end the end we decide what to do with our bodies. 

Goal for this week: Try some new meal ideas to shake things up a bit. Also, not throw away any fruit or produce because it went bad!  (I'm looking at you, Mr. Butternut Squash.)

So, how was your week?

(20 in 20 participants, please don't feel obligated to share you actual amount lost.  I am only going to share my actual during the challenge.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where did the time go?

Hey!  I hope everyone is having a good afternoon.  Sorry I haven't been around much lately but here's a few notes for the bored/grandparents:

BigBoy is loving Kindergarten.  He says it is the "greatest school ever" and has already lost his lunchbox.  I'd say we're in the full swing of things.

BabyCakes is getting over an ear infection and continues to terrorize the villagers, aka, BigBoy, J, Rapunzel, and myself.  Her exuberance for life is rivaled only by her cuteness.  (Two different people told me she looked like Shirley Temple today.  Let me enjoy it before she insists on only wearing basketball shorts and ratty t-shirts everywhere, m'kay?)

Rapunzel escaped her tower  aquarium in the middle of the night but was recaptured using a chocolate chip cookie.  (She's such a girl.)

I'm having another migraine-filled summer while these temps stay in the high-90's.  Like, where-is-a-guillotine-when-you-need-one, bad migraines.  Ah Fall, how I miss thee...

Okay, back to business.

Participation in the 20 in 20 Challenge will remain open for the duration of the event, but please go ahead and jump on the bandwagon if you have leanings toward doing so!

These are the people who've told me they are participating:  (If you know any of them, please encourage them when you see them!)

Cayce D. (Hi!)
Casey B.
Melissa N.
Becky T.
Daddy Bryan P.
Stacy H.
Stacey K.
Ally F.
Alesia M.
Sally P.
Molly O.
Jane J.
Ann B.

That's right, there's 14 of us now!
Be sure and check-in in the comments section of tomorrow's WW Wed post and let us know how your week went, what worked well for you, and/or to support other participants!
Spread the word!  People can join at any stage of the challenge.  That's one of the big things that has helped me rid myself of 53 pounds so far -- you can start any time you want.  Why wait until Monday, tomorrow morning, or even your next meal?
Healthy changes can begin any time YOU decide.
If you make less-healthy choices of food or behavior, reflect on the outcome and MOVE ON.  That's all it is -- a choice.  Good or bad,  it doesn't determine who you are as a person or what your future holds for you.

See you all tomorrow!  I'll try to have my post up by noon EST.

Friday, July 22, 2011

20 in 20 Update

Good morning, all!

Nope, I take that exclamation point back. BabyCakes didn't sleep very well last night so I, in turn, didn't sleep very well either.  Usually I can handle it better but this morning notsomuch...

Good morning, all...

I'm thrilled to share that, including me, there are 8 people participating in the 20 in 20 Challenge!  (Ok, THAT I can conjure up an exclamation point for.)

It's not too late to join, and I wanted to mention that this challenge can be more than a weight-loss challenge.
- You could make a fitness plan.  Even if it is as simple as walking 3 times a week.
- Maybe you want to give up an unhealthy habit; take it one day/week at a time and let us know how you are doing.
- Or you can just drop in to the comments section and show some support for those of us working toward a goal.  When it comes to support, I believe you get what you give.

Leave a comment or drop me an email and get started.

It's a new day.  It's a new day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20

Today at my weigh-in I was feeling pretty confident I had a loss coming at the scale.  I ate a good amount over the weekend, but I reeled it in this week and even got some exercise in.
So anyway, stepped up to the scale, down a pound ... but I wasn't happy.

You see, I had pretty much decided I was going to try to make "goal" by my birthday in a little over 19 weeks.  My goal number is a number in the healthy weight range for my height.  Ok, ok, actually it's the highest number in that range, but who's keeping score?  It's not like I'm bird-boned or anything.

The issue is that in order to do that, I would need to have 20 (including today) weigh-ins averaging out to 1.4 pounds a week.  A bit ambitious for a gal whose prides herself on taking this weight-loss thing nice and slow, no? 
So, I took the fact that I was immediately a bit disappointed at a one-pound loss as a red flag that the original challenge wasn't quite right.

I'd still love to hit a clear goal, even if it's not my actual WW "goal," by my 30th birthday, though.

So here's what I'm thinking, I'm starting a 20 pounds in 20 weeks challenge.  
Starting today and ending at the December 7th weigh-in.

Is there anyone out there who wants to lose 5, 10, 15, or 20 pounds?  Please join me!  

Check-in in my comments section with your goal and progress every week.  You don't have to share actual numbers, but everyone participating in the challenge will get a prize at the end of the challenge, and there will be a drawing amongst those for one grand prize.  
I only have one rule:  Your goal has to be reasonable.  I recommend 20 pounds or less.  If you lose more, great!  If, not, what did it hurt?

(To my email-only readers: you can email me instead of commenting , if you like.)

Ok now, who's with me?!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ok, maybe it was creepy after all.

Ok ok, I know I've been MIA lately, but I have good reason.  Well, not really but we're going to pretend I do.

- It's summer (as if the oven you step into when you walk out your door wasn't reminder enough--at least here in the South) but yet BigBoy is in school full-time (and LOVING it, of course), so BabyCakes and I have been having fun being busy bees girls.  

- I also have a kitchen project underway.  

Oh and we finally hung curtains in our bedroom.  And in BigBoy's room (on his closet).  
More pictures.  Soon.  Promise.
For now here's BigBoy enjoying the formerly-cat-resembling-dessert I gave him on his first day of school

I promise it looked cute & tasty, not what-the-heck-is-eating-creepy, in real life.

Check back tomorrow for "WW Wednesday."  I have a task I'd like your help with.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Girl Next Door

Aw, BabyCakes looks so sweet in that photo, doesn't she?

No wait! That's not BabyCakes!
THIS is BabyCakes (from a similar viewpoint... and a few months ago):

Lil Miss Strawberry is Neighbor Emma (daughter of Melissa). She is 9 months older than BabyCakes and in real life they look a lot alike.

Yesterday Emma, her Mom, and her younger sister Sara babysat BabyCakes and I during BigBoy's first day of school.  :)
We took a long walk around a small lake, played on a playground, and then went to our little downtown and had pizza AND frozen yogurt.  (Yes, I know how blessed we are to be able to do that on a Thursday morning.)
It was fun to do something JUST with BabyCakes who, by the way, had sweet Emma cracking up for several minutes in the pizza place.

Yessir, I told you she has personality.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BigBoy goes to Kindergarten

Today was BigBoy's first day of school.
(Only three other kids were there with him all day, but it was his first day, nonetheless.)

He was, as predicted, super-excited this morning. He wore his backpack around the house for an hour in anticipation of the big event.


When we arrived at the school, I took his hand and walked him the long walk to his classroom.
His tiny little hand, still willing and eager to hold mine... it felt more like I was the one being led into the strange, new world.

About 20 feet from the door, in the shadow of his new teacher and her classroom, I knelt down and told BigBoy that his father and I love him and will always be proud of him, and hugged and kissed him.
Then I slowly stood up and took his hand for the remaining steps to our next phase of life.
Very quickly and unceremoniously BigBoy was welcomed and ushered off to new friends and activities. I managed to give him a peck on the cheek before he ran off and never looked back.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

His teachers sent me packing just as quickly, though, probably in an attempt to prevent the separation anxiety I'm sure some children (and parents) feel in those circumstances.

I left the building and barely made it to the car before the hot tears bubbled out.
I ugly-cried for about 45 seconds, and then drove the strangely quiet drive home.

BigBoy LOVED school, of course.  He told me the same stories three times within an hour of picking him up.
The small child whose struggles with speaking in the past had his doctors questioning deafness, autism, and saying he was in the low-average range for educational development, was now telling me colorful tales of scavenger hunts and playground games.
He still has to work a little harder than others to communicate well, but never has a child been more ready for Kindergarten than BigBoy.

Monday is his first day with all his new classmates.
He's going to learn so much this year.

I think we all are.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Tomorrow is BigBoy's first day of Kindergarten.

You might need a pair of waders to get through the mush I am sure to fill this blaaahg with in the
next couple days.

I just wanted to ask you to bear with me.  We're all smiles and excitement over the event.

But you know it's tugging at my heart a bit.

WW Wednesday

This week in my weight loss journey (sorry, never going to stop cringing at that word) proved to be a calm one.
There weren't many ups and downs.  I tracked my foods and planned for bigger meals like date night on Friday.
I drank more water but still didn't completely give up the diet drinks.
Overall I am proud of the steady-as-she-goes feel of the week.
My weigh-in was nice -- I got my next +5 sticker at WW -- and I feel very secure that I will reach my goal one day.  That day might not be in 2011, but I'm just fine with that.  Honest.

Lesson learned this week:
I remembered how good it feels to be in control of my food choices.  Just because I have an urge or craving, it doesn't mean I have to give into it.  It can be a passing thought with no power over me.

When I try to feed boredom or emotions, I will always be left feeling hungry of spirit and sick of stomach.

Goal for the week: Add more fruits and vegetables to my day and continue tracking.

P.S.  I wanted to add that I've lost 36 pounds since I first enlisted your support through my blaaaahg eight and a half months ago.
Thank you for allowing me to share my journey and supporting me along the way.  Every word and action means more to me than you can know.
Also, I know many of you following my journey may be wanting to lose a few lb's of your own.  Please feel free to post a comment and join in the slow-and-lasting-weight-loss fun.  Or maybe you just made a healthier change or have a tip to share.  My ears eyes are wide open to suggestions!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A real "American Girl", and she's no doll

(Warning: BabyCakes overload!  Many of these are droid pics so forgive their quality.  Some pics are better than no pics, am I right?)

BabyCakes, my sweet second --  I mean YOUNGEST AND ALWAYS WILL BE YOUNGEST -- child is at a great age. (Whew, writing "second" scared me there for a bit.  Grandparents, don't get any funny ideas.)
Eighteen months seems to be the amount of time she needed to really take that personality of hers and run!

Now, as my friend Rachel and I like to reassure each other say, "It's not all butterfly kisses and rainbows" (or some variation of that phrase -- whatever we can remember in our sleep-deprived states), and I have the hopefully-gray-covering box of hair dye sitting on my counter to prove it. (I'm a little scared to take the plunge and try it.)
But as I said, my little curl girl is growing up quite nicely.

Even if she does eat cro.tch cheerios.
(Why do they taste better after being marinated in mystery carseat nastiness?)

AND proudly dumps entire cups of chocolate protein shake she stole from her brother all over herself.

AND if she does have a strange first-word-inducing fascination with shoes.
(I know. I'm the only woman in America who doesn't get into shoes. Can you blame with with my hobbit feet? At least I ventured into the world of wedges this summer.  They're like heels with training wheels and it turns out I like them.  For short periods, anyway.)

But she's always just done her own thing.
Held her own in bouncy houses and playing with the big boys.
Busted through whatever obstacles she encountered.  That is, if she even saw them as obstacles.

In the 18 months I have had the privilege of knowing her, I've fallen deeply in love with the independent, beautiful, strong, funny, boisterous, loving little person she is.

I'm so glad she was born an American.  So glad that I am an American.
There are many places in this world where being born a female means a very certain unenviable fate.
Millions and millions of girls and women who never hear the phrase "you can do anything you put your mind to."  Heck, who never even have enough food to eat.

BabyCakes, our ever-shrinking world may try to assign a low value to your worth.

You might love shoes and pink and all things sparkling and flowery.

But you will never, ever, EVER be "just a curl girl" to me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Friday!

Hey! Just wanted to pop in and tell everyone I hope you have a great weekend!

Also, I think I might have figured out what was causing a lot of you to have problems commenting. I *think* it is fixed now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

NC Science Center

As I mentioned earlier this week, Sunday we took a little drive to Greensboro, NC for a visit to the NC Natural Science Center. It was kind of like a small zoo mixed with a science museum.
We had never been there and when we found out they had tigers we knew we had to go.
Admission was half price because we are zoo society members, and I've told you what zoo nerds we are before.

We started our tour outside because we knew the day would heat up fast. We saw tortoises first thing. (Remember Mort? Mort, was cool.)

These were African tortoises and another type I couldn't pronounce so I can't remember it. :)

One tortoise started trying to flip another one over. A sign said that they do this when they are feeling territorial. As small as their environment is, I'd think Mort's cranky doppelganger would be over it by now.

Oh and BabyCakes does NOT like riding in the stroller anymore.  I can't really blame her.  You can see so much more when you are out of it.

It wasn't long before we either had to go home or let her jump ship the stroller.

Occassionally she had to be reminded that if she wouldn't hold hands she wasn't going to walk, though. Clearly she took it all very seriously.

After checking out the other wild animals and the petting zoo area,

we went in the air conditioned areas of the Science Center.

We saw this guy, who terrified BigBoy (even though he has a "dinosaur room" at home).

And his much smaller cousin. (not so scary.)

There was other stuff, too, but I didn't take many indoor pictures, and I don't think you really care anyway. :)

It was a nice outing and we will probably go back sometime.

The hubs and I feel quite the kinship with zookeepers these days.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WW Wednesday

I have a confession.
I haven't been doing so well in the weight-loss arena.

I take it back. I haven't really been participating in the weight-loss arena.
Keeping my head above water and barely staying afloat, yes.
Making the changes and choices needed to move forward, no.

I had a tiny gain at the scale today. I'm glad I did, though. Something needed to light that match.
I know I've said it before, but that's life baby.
There's no straight line to success.
There's no first draft that's given a Pulitzer.

Life is all about detours and revisions. If you are looking to me to be a saintly example of, well, anything really, then you will be sorely disappointed.

I will tell you that I'm still here. I still went to my meeting.  I'm writing my WW Wednesday blaaaahg.
I've learned what was bothering me/ holding me back, and I've resolved to fix it.
I'm not beating myself up over slow progress or wasted time.

My plant may have died, but look at that!
Aunt Caroline replaced it with something even prettier.

Everything's coming up roses after all.

*Edited on Thursday: Neighbor Melissa, my WW buddy, says I'm being too hard on myself. That I haven't checked out as much as I thought I had. Upon reflection, I think she may be right.
So anyway, just thought I'd lighten this up a bit and let you know things aren't as dire as I might have made them seem. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I have a new toy! I just discovered Picnik, a free photo-editing tool through Picasa (also free) and I love it! Here are a couple "polaroids" from an outing this weekend.

I'll go more into detail later this week, but I wanted to share a snapshot of our day for now. :)

There are so many new editing tools I can't wait to try!
Yeah, you're going to be tired of my photos by the end of this week.

See you back tomorrow for WW Wednesday!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Whiting-out my (bedding) mistakes

Like many people, my bedroom has become the last room in my house to be "finished."
I thought I was done a couple years ago with this look:

But it had issues. I got the lamps and bedding at Linens n Things at their Going out of Business sale. The gold lamp shades ended up clashing with the wall color and the cheapo comforter was coming apart on the underside. We didn't even use it at night. I had to fold it up and lay it to the side.
Also, the poster over the bed was okay, but J always said he wished we had one of my photographs up there.

So anyway, after a few changes, now we're at this:
(And I love it!)

I already had white bed sheets and so I just bought an inexpensive down-alternative comforter. I've always thought white fluffy beds looked so inviting.
Next I hunted around for almost a year (you think I kid) at yard sales, thrift stores, and anywhere that sells lamps. I really wanted to do it on the cheap but I very much did not want to buy yet another pair of lamps that weren't my favorite.
I ended up buying the lamps and shades at Target and never looked back. I'm thrilled with them!

The pillow was a recent HomeGoods find. I wanted something for my bed that was comfy, not pricey, and went with my beach photograph above the bed without being matchy-matchy. The design kind of reminds me of the sun but I see at is more of a nondescript botanical and I've told you I love those before.
I'm currently working on the other walls of the room. (I still have window treatments and wall art to finish up...and I've lived in this house for 3.5 years!) I'll show them to you as I get them completed.

I love that all I have to do in the morning is straighten out the blanket, adjust the pillows a bit, and throw the "pretty" one on top real quick. It takes literally less than 10 seconds and happily greets me when I walk in the room.
Simple and pretty, just how I like it.