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

Monday, November 28, 2011


BigBoy saved his allowance and bought a kid-friendly camera.

It doesn't take the best photos but it does take a beating well.

These are some iphone and kid-camera shots from this weekend.

(I left my nice camera at home on what was possibly the most photogenic day at the zoo we've had in a long time.)

We had a relaxing IHOP breakfast with well-behaved children who actually ate their food, a new experience for us.

They had fun in the mostly-empty zoo -- we all did.

I might not have had my Nikon but our family's moment in time was captured, nonetheless.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cheers for the weekend

Stopping in for a rare Saturday post... I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

We had a fun visit with my aunt and cousins, ate too much, and did some shopping.

I am very aware that I have a lot to be thankful for, but a holiday built around it is pretty cool.

Ok, so now that Thanksgiving is over... bring on CHRISTMAS!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WW Wednesday

Well I'm late again but I'm here!

It's been a long, productive day and this is my first chance to sit down at the computer so let's get to it, shall we?

I had a good week for weight-loss efforts.  I tracked via WW and kept a positive attitude.  My feeling of starting over never went away, even as I stepped up to the scale today.

I had a nice loss.

I know I told y'all that I have 25 total pounds to go, but I think I'm going to refrain from the week-to-week details.

The big achievement for me today was the fact that I wore my jeans (aka, not-the-lightest-thing-in-my-wardrobe) and again ate breakfast before my weigh-in.  You know, the healthy thing to do.

So, here are some strategies for Thanksgiving this year:

1. Give myself permission to go back for seconds if I LOVE a dish.  Don't go ahead and dump a larger portion on my plate, because it's harder to stop eating what you have than it is to decide not to go back for seconds.

2. Sip my drink with the hand I eat with.  Read: put down my fork and pick up my glass instead of using one hand to sip while the other is holding the fork, itching to get back to business.

3. Remember that it is a holiDAY.  Not a holiWEEKEND!  This is a biggie because I hate to waste those tasty leftovers.  I'll just have to watch the portions.

Last year I actually LOST weight the week of Thanksgiving.  If you look back at that post you will notice that I was at 30 pounds lost that week.
If you are keeping score you will notice it took me 3 months to lose the first 30 and a YEAR to lose the next 30.  I am okay with that, though.  I didn't give up and I am very proud of that.
That next 30 pounds is gone and that is all that matters.

Today I am very thankful for all the support I receive in-person and via my blaaaaahg.  
Every. single. comment. helps and means so very much to me.  Truly.

Happy Happy Thanksgiving, from me, J, and the chitlins!

Psst... How are my Challenge participants this week?  Only 2 weeks to go!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Growing With Grace

Today I want to mention a great family and raffle taking place over at Growing with Grace
My old friends Amber and Nathan are trying to save a life.  More specifically, the life of their future daughter Anna Gray, who currently resides in an Eastern European orphanage.  
Because of her Down's Syndrome, a future in her country would mean a life in institutions.  
With any luck -- and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears -- she will soon be in the arms of her loving family!

First, some background (stolen from Amber's adoption blog):

Amber decided she was going to adopt at the age of four years old. 
When she and Nathan began dating as teenagers, she told him her plan and said he was either in or out… he was in! They were married eight years ago and blessed less than a year later with a biological daughter, Layla, who is now seven. 
A couple of years later, they started the adoption process, ready to grow their family. About halfway through the process, they were told it was impossible for them to conceive- even though they had a healthy 2-year-old at home! 
This news just confirmed that they were already doing what God has always planned for them to do. Before they could even complete their homestudy, Nathan and Amber were asked to parent girl/boy twins! The babies had already had four homes and three sets of names in their short six weeks of life. Brynn and Cale are now four years old and almost as tall as their favorite person (big sister, Layla)!

Just recently, Nathan and Amber began updating their domestic homestudy. They planned on another domestic infant adoption, but God had better plans! Amber was introduced to Reese’s Rainbow by another adoptive mother, slightly by accident. 
After combing through the website once or twice, praying for the precious waiting souls, she saw Gracie. Little Cale had been praying for God to bring him “a baby with a mohawk” and he found one! All three of the children started asking, “When can she come home?” before Nathan or Amber ever mentioned doing just that! They took some time to pray about her, seeking God’s will for their family and felt very clearly that this was His plan for them. 
They are all so excited to hold this little squishy and bring her home. She, and her “mohawk” , will fit right in!

And now for the raffle*:  
The prize is TWO nights in an upgraded room at beautiful and unique Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort in Nashville, TN!
ALSO, dinner for two at Ravello, a delicious italian restaurant inside the hotel!
For my fellow Triangle residents, Southwest Airlines runs $59 flights to and from Nashville on a regular basis and the flight is under an hour and a half.  Talk about a great weekend getaway! 

You have until noon NEXT Monday, November 28th to enter the contest.
You can get ONE ticket for $10. Each additional ticket is $5. (i.e. 1/$10, 2/$15, 3/$20, etc.). Your name is entered for each TICKET. 
Check out this post on Growing With Grace for the details!

Whether you buy a raffle ticket or not, please remember the West's in your prayers -- especially as they spend Thanksgiving so far from a child they love so dearly.

*As a side note, I hope I win this raffle!  This is where the hubs and I spent our short honeymoon (I was taking summer classes) and the restaurant we ate at on our subsequent anniversaries.

Monday, November 21, 2011

We've been just raking it in!

Leaves, anyway.  ;)

Somehow raking leaves,

Became playing in leaves.

It was fun for some.

But for others the fun was in a thumb.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

WW Wednesday: The Reboot

Better late than never, right?

First of all, sorry I've been MIA lately.  We had family in over the weekend and BigBoy is tracked-out of school so things have been a little off.  I'm back now, though.  :)

For the last several weeks I've been riding the weight-loss yo-yo up and down, up and down.
I was practicing weight maintenance instead of weight loss.  That would be good except I'm still not at a truly heathy body weight.

So, since quitting is not an option, I decided to skip it and go straight to the "restart" portion of the joooourney.
Yesterday I ate breakfast, wore jeans and a shirt (instead of running shorts and a tank), and weighed in as a healthy me.  Not a skipped-breakfast me.  Not an oh-no-I-hope-the number-isn't-up-2-tenths-of-a-pound me, but a healthy me.

I asked the lady at the desk to write my weight on a new weight-tracker and not write down the difference gained or lost from last week.  I then filled in my five and ten percent goals and saw my weight as a starting point in this phase of the journey.  I will celebrate my first 5 pounds lost just like I did a year ago.

I might as well tell you right now: I have 25 pounds to lose.  Yep, 25.  Somehow seeing it as a new undertaking instead of the last stretch of a long run makes it feel easier.
(And for those of you who may be worrying that that is too much weight, don't! I won't be super-skinny or model thin, but rather at the top end of the healthy weight-range for my height -- a place I feel mighty comfortable and proud to have a strong, curvy body.)

So, that's where I am today.  I'm tracking my food and activity via WW again.
I'm no longer complacent yet I am happy with how I feel and look right now -- healthy!

It is Week 17 of my Challenge.  How are y'all doing?

Friday, November 11, 2011

This morning I was seeing red.

I took some quick photos of Neighbor Sara and Emma, runny noses and all, in their pretty red clothes.  :)

I have talked about them before on my blaaaahg.

The girls are wonderful playmates for my kids, especially BabyCakes.

They are sweethearts like their mama.

Oh, I hope someone can say that about me and my kids one day!  ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20 - Week 16

"Oooohkaay, so enough of that."

That's how I feel about my weigh-in this week.

Yep, you guessed it: I gained again.

Not much and in all actuality I might have broken even at the scale if it weren't for the slightly heavier garments I was wearing.
In fact, I told Melissa that I wouldn't be disappointed if it weren't for my Challenge.  :)

But again, ENOUGH OF THAT!

I'm getting tired of this crawling and I'm ready to put on my big girl pants and roll through the rest of these l-b's!

I know maintaining a healthy weight won't be a walk in the park but I'm ready for THAT challenge.
Like antsy for it in an are-we-there-yet?-every-five-minutes sort of way.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I decided to take this process slow but I'm ready for this portion of the journey  (baby barf with cheese on top) to be done.

(Yes, I just said "baby barf with cheese on top" in reference to my use of the word joooouuurney.  Sorry 'bout the mental image.)

It's kind of like going on a long trip --  you can have a blast while you are gone but as soon as home is within sight you just want to be there.  You know a massive amount of laundry awaits, but again, just to be there.

So, that's where I am today.

At least I've cured my craving for melted cheese on food.

Temporarily, anyway. ;)

 Challenge, participants, let us hear from ya!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Forget-me-not Friday

Like I mentioned earlier this week, I want to start taking the time to better document the little things in my life.  
From now on I am going to attempt a Forget-me-not Friday where I include random, otherwise overlooked parts of my life that I want to remember in the future.    
I may or may not write about the photos, I probably won't try to be witty or insightful. The point is that I take them.  I think these are the things I will really remember one day.  Or WANT to remember, anyway.
Moving on...

BabyCakes had a hard time going to sleep last night so BigBoy let her use his pillow.  (See all the balls?)

This is him at only a month or so younger than she is now, inexplicably holding a shoe...

A lego dinosaur carcass.

Priceless artwork.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reunited and it feels so gooood

It had been too long.

BigBoy had not seen Biz since her birthday in June.

During our visit yesterday, they played hard and had a great time as usual.

Every time they are together, they laugh, love on each other, and almost never argue.

Biz' mother and I can't really explain it.

They can spend long periods apart.
They can make lots of new friends.

They can even have completely different interests and skill levels.

But the sweet friend they see in each other never seems to change.

Thank goodness. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WW Wednesday: 20 in 20 - Week 15

I'm barely getting this post in under the wire today!

It's late so I'll keep it short & sweet like me.  ;)
(I can actually be quite mean if provoked.  Remember my list of 10 ways to destroy holiday inflatables from last year?  Oh yeah, I'm dark like that.  lol)

I didn't push myself much this week.  I kind of took the week "off."
It wasn't planned -- I just lived life and didn't really think about this whole goal of mine very often.
On top of that I may or may not have unabashedly stolen borrowed a fun size snickers or three from BigBoy's Halloween loot.

It showed at the scale.
I wasn't emotionally attached to the gain at all, though.  Numbers are numbers, after all.
My self-worth can not be accurately measured and plotted on a graph.  That is simply not what a scale is for.

I'll get with the program.  I already have, in fact.  I even worked out some holiday eating strategies today that I will share at a later time.

Challenge peeps?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daily Details

If this blaaahg is about me and my life, maybe I should take the time to remember some of the details of this life.
Remember not just the big stuff, but the little things as well.

Like how BabyCakes sticks her sippy cups in the water bottle-holders on our stationary bikes.

And how BigBoy wrote our family's names on a pumpkin in the charmingly imperfect way only a young child can.

And even wearing my very first scarf -- an act that had been firmly locked in the "I'm not cool/classy/stylish enough to try that" category.
Turns out it was just a scarf.  A little fabric.
Nothing to be afraid of, by any means, and definitely should not be a statement on who I am as a person.

As a person, a whole, I am ( veryveryvery) not perfect.  None of us are.

But sometimes the details can be pretty great.

Boo Humbug

Oh yay.  Halloween.

Give me a break, it was raining.  

BigBoy didn't want to wear the mask that went with his Optimus Prime costume, and I didn't try to push it.

BabyCakes only had a pseudo-costume in the giraffe-print dress Aunt Jane made her (because I don't really care about Halloween and didn't want to spend $15 on an outfit she would wear once and never remember).

But I faked it and pretended I was we got excited about it anyway!
At least we went trick-or-treating, unlike last year.

BabyCakes got so excited that it took 3 hours for her to finally go to sleep.
Yep, she put the trick in trick-or-treat.

Boo humbug.

Now where are those fun-size Snickers BigBoy got tonight???

(Forgive the point-n-shoot shots.  That camera was closest when I went for one.)