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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20 - Week 6

In my efforts to get this weekly post done during lunch time, it's probably going to be pretty short each week.
Keeping that in mind, let's move on.
I had a crazy week. No other way to describe it.

I actually hesitate to tell you what happened at the scale today other than I lost.
Like 3.4 pounds.


I'm really happy and honestly cranked up the exercise a notch or twelve, but I know that this week was not normal for my weight-loss journey (barf).
I don't want anyone to be worried that I'm over-doing it.  Don't worry, I doubt a loss like that will pop up again any time soon.  :)

So, goal for this week: Keep up my activity level and push the plate away when I'm no longer hungry.  Sounds so simple, doesn't it?

How are the rest of the 20 in 20 Challenge members doing?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An update on my imperfection and new Mondays

Remember this post where I said I was going to go back to school?
Well guess who messed around and missed the deadline to register for this Fall?
Yep, it was a couple weeks ago.
I'm not making any excuses, but I let it happen and I feel bad that it did.  See, sooo not perfect.  (As if anyone thought I was.)

Looks like I have plenty of time to gather old AP and ACT scores, reapply for admission (since it has been over a year since I attended at this school), meet with an advisor, and pick out my classes for next semester.

All the same, I'm doing it NOW.  Before you know it the holidays will be here and opportunities for excuses will be bountiful.

So, since this is MY blaaaahg and I'm the queen, president, CEO, and loving dictator (dictatoress?) that I am,
(Imagine a short pointy-shoed man is reading this off a scroll...)

I hereby decree that Mondays are now "Make it Happen" Mondays.

This will be a place where we can track how we are turning goals and/or dreams into reality.
For now, it will be where I will check in with my progress toward my educational goals.
My husband has always had a very strong "Make it Happen" mentality about his future and I've finally understood what it takes to embrace a mindset like that.
You don't have to have the entire process planned out to start changing things.

So, please check in with your own progress toward a goal in my comments sections.
Take my 56-lbs-lighter-selve's word for it, accountability and support does wonders.

Want to run a 10k?  (Or 5k for that matter)
Want to save up for a big purchase or vacation?
Want to gradually clean-out and organize your house?
Want to give up sodas?

No goal or dream is too big or too small to take a step toward achieving.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


This morning I walked in my bathroom, turned on the water for my shower, and took off my clothes.
I stood there looking in the mirror and realized a few things about myself:

My belly may be soft and full, but my gut tells me I can achieve anything I work hard enough for.

My face may not be on magazine covers, but it is clear, bright, and looking to the future.

My hair may be not be smooth and shiny, but I see the same curly wildness in my beautiful daughter.

My eyes may need glasses or contacts, but when I look to God no correction is needed.

My feet may be big and flat, but they help me stand firm in what I believe.

My arms may not be toned, but they can lift others up and open wide enough to give with a generous spirit.

My breasts may sag from weight and child-bearing, but underneath are clear lungs and a healthy heart fueling my days.

My mouth may not always say the right thing, but it is quick to laugh, smile, compliment, and apologize.

My hands may have scars and unkempt nails, but they can protect my children and soothe them with a gentle touch.

My head may not have ever worn a college graduation cap, but my curious mind keeps me an eternal student.

My legs may not be long and lean, but they are powerful enough to take me anywhere I want to go.

No, my body is not perfect, but it is the body God gave me and it tells my story. And for this I am completely grateful.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Per weather.com:

"Hurricane Irene is beginning to lash the Carolina coast with heavy rain and gusty winds. Buoys off the North Carolina coast were reporting waves to near 20 feet as Irene heads for landfall early Saturday. Irene’s fury is expected to deliver extremely destructive storm surges of 6-11 feet and torrential rains that could isolate the Outer Banks from the rest of the state. Strong winds will likely cause power outages. 

Residents are urged to heed the evacuation warnings immediately. Ferry systems continue to run on a first-come, first-serve basis pending storm conditions. It is being recommended that residents secure emergency supplies such as water, batteries, medicines and other imperative items as widespread damage and power outages are anticipated. "

We have family in the Outer Banks and friends in Wilmington.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20 - Week 5

Hi everybody!
I'm checking in really quickly with my results for this week's weigh-in.

I was up 0.8.  


I deserved it, though.  I had a big dinner out last night and there were burgers and milkshakes scattered here and there throughout my past week.  In short, I didn't eat in a manner that would lead to a weight loss.

New day, new week, though!

How are the rest of my 20 in 20 participants doing this week?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ein Gelber Ballon

A bad cell phone picture...

can still provide a beautiful memory.

See you all here tomorrow for WW Wednesday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's about time...

I got more etsy listings completed.

In truth I've only taken the pictures. Now I have the materials needed to do some listings during BabyCakes' nap, though.

She might be cute but she's not the most helpful business partner.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to the Gardens

Today BabyCakes and I met up with our girls Miss Rachel, Biz, and LadyBug at the Duke Gardens.

We hadn't been there in over a year and unfortunately BigBoy was at school today so he couldn't go. :(
(Biz lives in a school district that uses a traditional school calendar, unlike BigBoy's year-round.)

The Gardens hold a special place in my heart because when we first moved to Carolina I would sometimes meet J for a picnic lunch there. We would lay out the blanket in the Asiatic gardens and eat our sandwiches. (He's a turkey man and I was all about some pb & banana while pregnant.)
After eating we would lay back on a beautiful Spring day, watch the clouds, and hold hands. It was this wonderful little break from the real world where he was in a new job and I was alone during the day in a new place with no one to call a friend but the two Labradors at home. We had each other and the baby in my belly and that was more than enough.

Anyway, back to the present day.
It turns out ducks will eat Cheerios.  I actually thought to bring bread for the ducks but didn't think to get it out of the car.

LadyBug kept a close eye on me and my camera. 

BabyCakes made her brother proud and ran from many most of my attempts to photograph her.

Lil Miss Independent had to march around like a big girl after Biz most of the time.

Ha!  Got one!

BabyCakes and LadyBug didn't really have much to do with each other today. 
This is a posed shot of sitting on a rock.  Can you tell?  :)

Speaking of poses... 

There was a lot of construction and even more humidity, so today wasn't quite the relaxing stroll through a beautiful landscape that we expected, but I always enjoy our time with our girls.

And here as a bonus is the very rare shot of we Curls together, in all our sweaty, pale fair-skinned glory.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh how quickly things can change.

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20 - Week 4

Good afternoon!
Let's jump right in to today's results, shall we?
I myself felt pretty good heading in to Weight Watchers today.  I got more exercise than usual this week, and even though I had pancakes for dinner last night, I was pretty confident I had a loss coming at me.
I was right: 2 pound loss, baby!  Woohoo!  I'm making up ground for my slow start.
My loss also kicked me into the next decade of numbers.  Numbers I haven't seen since I was a Freshman in college, I might add.  Holla!


Okay, for anyone annoyed by my rejoicing right now, I'm sorry but I'm not sorry.
You all know how long I've been at this. It's hard to believe that I've lost another 40 pounds since reaching out to my blaaahg readers for support.  (Thank you all so much!)
It has been slow, meaningful work for me.  No crash diets, no pills, no deprivation.
Some days/weeks/months have been harder but I never gave up.  I'm not going to, either.
I still have a ways to go until I am at a "healthy" weight, but you too can start now and change the things that you are unhappy with in your life.  If you don't know where to start, just ask someone you trust and say a prayer for peace and clarity.

"You don't have to see the whole staircase.  Just take the first step." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lesson learned this week:  Fudge should not be in my house for more than 24 hours.  I even finished off the chunk that my non-sweet-tooth-having hubs requested I save for him.  Oh yes, yes I did.  And no, I'm not proud of myself.  Only oreos can live at peace in my pantry.

Goal for this week:  Continue to enjoy the beautiful weather by going for more walks with the children.  Try for 5 in the next 7 days.

So, my fellow 20 in 20 participants, how was your week?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

(Insert Clever Post Title Here)

I hope everyone is doing well.  This week we have enjoyed the small miracle that is BabyCakes sleeping through the night THREE nights in a row!

The sky is bluer, the grass is greener, and I'm not craving near as much chocolate!

I'm looking forward to this week's weigh-in.  Feeling naively optimistic, I'm afraid.

If you've had a less-than-stellar week with regards to healthy choices (like snacking on fudge you made for your grandfather every time you walk past it), just start over right now.  No need to wait until tomorrow.
Until then, a little advice from a smart man:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20 - Week 3

Hey there, I'm back in Carolina and ready to pick up where I left off in our 20 in 20 weight loss challenge.
How did everyone do with their goals this week?

I was out of town and around food a LOT this past week.  I didn't weigh-in last week because we left before my meeting. My in-laws didn't have a scale and the one my parents have was made during the Eisenhower administration.   Excuses, I know, but the fact is still that I didn't weigh-in.

Today as I approached the scale at WW I was a bit nervous.  I was afraid I was up.
I don't want to let you people down.  At the same time, I know you are my friends and understand that sometimes we handle life's difficult times by having a second (or third) piece of cake that is 10 feet away on the dessert table RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU.

So anyway, the weigh-in: I was down 1.2.   A nice surprise considering my past couple weeks but it means I am still behind overall for the past 3 weeks.  I'm down 1.6 instead of 3, but that's okay.  We're not "all or nothing" around here.  Hopefully I'll make up for lost time in the next month, anyway.  I'm one awesome weigh-in from the next "decade" of numbers and it feels a bit surreal.

Lesson learned this week:  Two pieces of cake doesn't taste any better than one.  It's just MORE.  Whether you have one or two (or three), you're still going to have to walk away at some point, so you might as well stop while you are ahead.

Goal for this week:  Plan my meals earlier in the week/day and incorporate healthier side dishes.

So, how was everyone's week???

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Spit Bubbles and Barrettes

This morning Neighbor Emma came over to play for a couple hours while her little sister had a doctor appointment.

Mostly the girls played with the hair barrettes I stole borrowed from my parents.

BabyCakes of course had to bring the stinker.

Not quite the Toddlers & Tiaras type, is she?

I'm so glad BabyCakes has such a great little playmate right next door.

Mmm mmm. Those cheeks!  Those lashes!  Those curls!

Just like BabyCakes, she may look cute, but she can be a mess.

That's good, though. Spit-bubble friends are the kind you keep.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pigtails and Party Planning

Today BabyCakes woke up with hair that was a frizzy, knotty mess. I really didn't want to go through our usual detangling battle, so I opted to let it be big for the morning. (And BOY was it big. Think blonde tumbleweed.)
It wasn't until this afternoon that I realized that I could try pigtails with her now straighter-than-normal locks.

Love it!

Can you believe BabyCakes is closer to her 2nd birthday than her 1st?

I've actually already started thinking about her party. I can't decide between a "Sock Monkey Second Birthday" or a "BabyCakes is Turning Two, Tutu Birthday."

She loves her tutu that she wore for Biz' 5th Birthday dance party, but her grandparents have started her a small sock animal collection and I could do that party with a vintagey twist.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thank You

A sick BabyCakes is coughing in her crib on the other side of the half wall in our smokey mountain hotel room.
BigBoy, teddy under arm, is sleeping right through it, as is J (thank goodness.  Someone has to drive).

The family decided to give me MeMa's pearl necklace.  I didn't feel worthy.  I will hold my head high when I wear it, though.

Neighbors back home have done everything from take out our trash to care for our hamster to hang up the wet laundry I left in the washing machine.  Not to mention guest-posting right here on my blaaaahg.

Friends sent well-wishes from 5 states and some even took care of the children this week.

This week.  It has been a hard week.  I've always been one to love with my heart wide-open.  That makes it easier to damage but it's how I'm wired, I suppose.
But all you people I love, who love me, have made this week just a little bit easier.  To say I appreciate your support would be an embarassing understatement.  For every email, phone call, card, blog comment, text, hug, prayer, pecan pie, word of sympathy, and selfless act of kindness my family has received -- I thank you so very much.
Again, Thank You.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20 - Week 2

Today Melissa has been kind enough to take the posting reins in my absence.
Thank you so much, Melissa!
Without further ado...

I am honored (and a little nervous) to be doing this guest WW Wednesday post for Cayce. As you may have seen, her Grandmother passed away and she is traveling to be with her family and to attend her funeral. Cayce, your whole family is in my thoughts and I am so very sorry for your loss.

So, just a little bit about me - I started at Weight Watchers a few weeks after Cayce - she asked me if I wanted to go with her. I'd had a baby in August (coincidentally, today is her first birthday!). So we have been on this journey (I know how you love that word, Cayce) together.  I've lost 48 pounds so far, including my weigh-in this morning. I'm proud of how much I've accomplished so far, but honestly, this morning, I was disappointed. I was expecting a big loss. I jogged 15 miles this week in addition to some other exercise classes. I worked so hard and expected it to show on the scale. Instead of a huge loss, I gained .2 of a pound. This reminded me that there is much more to this journey (sorry, Cayce) than just the number on the scale. I'm more fit than I've been in my life, I'm wearing smaller sizes, and most importantly, I've got more energy to chase my girls.

My goal this week is to stop thinking about finally getting to 50 pounds and to just focus on how great I feel. The weight will come off with all of the healthy changes I've made. The number is just another indicator of that.

Can't wait to see how all of you are doing this week. Stick with it - there are 18 weeks to go. You will be so happy you did!  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Heavy Heart

I knew this post was coming but it doesn't make it any easier --  my grandmother died this morning due to complications of Alzheimer's.

Ruth Pirtle became my grandmother when I was in elementary school.
She and my grandfather were high school sweethearts.  They went on to marry other people, live in different places, and have children of their own.  Later in life after their spouses died, they somehow reconnected and made a life filled with large portions of love, family, and faith.

From the moment she met me, Mema adopted me as her own.  I was very connected to my recently-diseased grandmother, and Mema, or "Miss Ruth" as I called her for many years, never tried to replace her in my heart.  I had a big, open heart and plenty of room for another wonderful woman in it, though.

Mema taught me about living with a humble work ethic and a cheerful heart.  She would prepare large feasts for her massive family until she was physically unable.
She worked for years in service as a nurse, one of the most thankless jobs in creation.
She believed in having a sense of humor about and taking pride in her work, her home, her life, no matter how modest or grande -- if only we could all thankful for our gifts.
A lot of who I want to be as a woman, a mother, is directly tied to her loving influence.

My grandmother may have died but she will live on in Heaven and in many, many hearts.