we'll conquer them all

I saw the following survey on Howdy Girl and thought I would give it a try. Makes wrapping up the eyar 2012 a bit easier for me. Maybe in 2013 I will learn how to better sort, file, and label my posts? Also maybe I will do a better job of taking lots of pictures in 2013...

What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before? 2012 was a big year. We sold our first house, signed a contract to build a new house, and moved in with my in-laws. We also moved into our new house. We hosted Christmas (a day late) at our house.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did make resolutions for 2013. The resolutions I made for 2012 I didn't keep all the way. Though I am much happier than I was when 2012 started. And that's worth more than keeping any number of resolutions in my book.

Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes. Although more people are due in 2013 than were in 2012.

What countries did you visit? Does Texas count as a country?

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012? More free time. I'm not sure if that will happen naturally or if it is something I will have to make happen. There is so much I didn't do in 2012 due to lack of free time, and I refuse to use that as an excuse in 2013.

What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory? I'm not the best at remembering dates. My husband is much better at that. But there were a lot of dates that stick out. I started two new jobs in February. I moved into our new house on December 1st.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Not giving up. I haven't always been great at sticking to my plan of weight loss, but I have never given up. I think the fact that I also joined Weight Watchers is a big achievement. It took quite a lot for me to ask for help and admit that my way of losing weight just wasn't cutting it.

What was your biggest failure? I do not want to look back at 2012 as a year that had any failures. Rather I am determined to see setbacks and what I learned from them. You only fail if you don't try again.

Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes. Most recently I hurt my left knee. You can read about my thoughts regarding my illnesses and injuries here. I take full responsibility for how I have treated my body and vow to make 2013 a healthier year.

What was the best thing you bought? Our new house. Appaently, 2012 was the year of our house which is odd since we will celebrate a month in our house tomorrow.

Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband. He has been a constant source of companionship. He has also lovingly called me out on my unhealthy habits and supported me even when I was not doing well with weight loss. I feel truly blessed by him.

Where did most of your money go? Target. At least I save 5% on every transaction with my RedCard. Though it is a little startingly to look at how much I have saved and then multiply it by 20... We also spent quite a bit of money on our old house - getting it ready to be sold. Then there are bills (mortgage, car payment, student loans, etc.). We also did a better job of giving money away.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Moving into our new house. Selling our old house. Seeing where God is taking us and what all He is doing in our lives. The weekend I spent with my best friend.

What song will always remind you of 2012? This is a tough one. I'm not sure there is one song that will remind me of 2012 more than any other. One song I listened to a lot was Before The Morning by Josh Wilson. I started listening to it in 2011 and it helped to carry me into and through 2012. I also love everything by Taylor Swift and Mumford & Sons.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
  • Happier or sadder? Happier!
  • Thinner or fatter? Thinner!
  • Richer or poorer? Richer!
  • What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading, writing, crafting!
  • What do you wish you’d done less of? Shopping... Then I would be even richer.
How will you be spending did you spend Christmas? We celebrated 4 Christmases this year. It was one of the best holiday seasons I have ever had.

Did you fall in love in 2012? I stayed in-love with my husband. I also grew to love him in a deeper way and also grew to respect him even more.

How many one-night stands? Zero. I am happily married, you know.

Who were your best friends? Jackie. My husband. I've also grown much closer to a few of our couple friends. I am so thankful for couple friends.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? I hope a lot.. I do a lot that I don't talk about on the blog. And for me, I want it to stay that way. I do meaningful things to bless others - not to get recognition.

What were your favorite TV programs? Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Hart of Dixie, Modern Family, New Girl... to name a few.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No. I also didn't hate anyone in 2012. Life is too short for hate.

What was the best book you read in 2012? Love Does by Bob Goff.

What was your greatest musical discovery? I adore the new Mumford & Sons album.

What did you want and get? A new house. Two new jobs.

What did you want but did NOT get? A new MacBook. I don't need one just yet, but I will soon. Maybe in 2013?

What was your favorite film of this year? Argo was incredible - probably one of the best movies I have ever seen.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 27. My parents flew Justin and I to Houston to celebrate. Celebrating my birthday with my parents and brother was such a blessing.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I really can't think of anything. 2012 was what I needed. And there's no point in wishing it had been different.

What kept you sane? Music. Working out. My husband.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Justin Timberlake (who my husband claims is his twin....). I'm pretty sure he will be the celebrity/public figure I always fancy the most.

What political issue stirred you the most? Almost everything. There's a reason I do not talk about politics; it's just not worth arguing about. I am entitled to my opinions and you are entitled to yours.

Who did you miss? My parents. My Nana. My grandma and grandpa. My brother. My aunt and cousins. I'm hoping to see my family more in 2013..

Who was the best new person you met this year? I met a lot of people this year, and they all positively impacted my life. I am looking forward to continuing some very special friendships for several years. I'm being vague because I honestly don't think any one person was better than the other. I am probably most thankful for the girls at the group home; they turned me into a mom and gave me a lot of passion for foster care and social work.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012. God is bigger than anything and everything. He is always at work.

Also.. Love wins - every single time.

Quote that sums up your year... "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot... Nothing is going to get better. It's not." The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

(title from "awake my soul" by mumford & sons)


sunday social (link up)

It's hard to believe 2013 will be here in just a few days. 2012 has been filled with ups (like building and buying a new house), downs (like hurting my knee) and everything else in between.

I used to look forward to the next year like nothing else. I was always ready to move on and become the best me I could be.

Lately, I've realized that I am the best me I can be. Right in this moment. The start of a new year just means I can continue to grow and change.

I thought it fitting to link up with Neely and Ashley on the last Sunday of 2012 and welcome the new year with a few memories and resolutions.

1. Favorite New Years Eve you’ve had before: To be honest, I've never had an especially memorable New Years Eve. Those nights are always so hyped up, and often times, they fall short. I don't have any nights spent ringing in the new year out on the town or anything of the short. But I have spent many a New Years Eve with friends - laughing, eating good food, possibly drinking a bit too much... So I can't pick just one night. I've enjoyed every New Years Eve with friends - even when I fell asleep on the couch before the ball dropped.

2. Are you doing anything for New Years Eve this year? And if so, what? We are having friends over to our house this year. I'm planning to make Beer Chicken Legs and Thighs in the Crock Pot, Weight Watchers Twice Baked Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Asparagus, and a Weight Watchers Fruit Cobbler. I may also consume the remain PointsPlus Weekly Balance in wine and beer that night.

3. Name a book we should all read come January? I didn't read nearly as much as I wanted to over 2012. I'd love to say that will change in 2013, but I would need a few more vacations to the beach and quite a bit more free time to make that happen.

For fun, I would recommend the Mortal Instruments series. They're an easy read and quite entertaining.

As for the book that impacted my life the most this year, that would be Love Does. Such a wonderful read and a great reminder that love is so important. I hope to continue loving well and loving often in 2013.

4. What are your (2013) New Years resolutions? I have quite a few. Though some I am not sure if they are resolutions or just hopes for the new year, so I won't share those just yet.

i. Commit to Weight Watchers. I went to my first meeting on Saturday - which also means I weighed in on Saturday. The weight was much higher than I wanted it to be but it is what it is. And it's time for me to move forward. No reason to be upset about the number when I have the opportunity to move on.

ii. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Now that they don't count as far as PointsPlus, I find myself eating more of them. Before I was so worried about the calories they contained that I wouldn't eat them but would decide to eat something less healthy. No longer.

iii. Write more. I have a novel I've been pecking at for a while now. It is quite vivid in my mind, and I need to spend more time working on it. I owe it to myself and to the characters. I also want to grow my blog.

iv. Exercise four times a week. It doesn't have to be an hour-long session each time, but doing something active four times a week will help me in every way possible.

v. Tithe at least 10%.

vi. Pay off debt. We've started working on this and have a plan in place. 2013 is the year to make it happen. It helps that now I want to stay home and cook rather than go out. Who would have thought that would ever happen?


it's time now

I started 2012 with hopes of completing my weight loss journey. I am ending 2012 still in the midst of my weight loss journey.

There's a rather large part of me that feels like I failed. Like 2012 was nothing what it should have been. Like I let myself down and let everyone else down. But there is no reason for me to feel that way.

I didn't finish my weight loss journey this year. I'm still a ways away from the ever illusive one-derland. But I am on my way.

This year, I've tried and I've failed to lose enough wait to be in one-derland. I could focus on the failure. But why? At least I have continued to try. And I will continue to try into 2013.

I wanted 2012 to be the year. It wasn't. So now I move onto 2013 with the hope that it will be the year. I'm changing a few things for the upcoming year. I'm seeking out more support. I'm asking for help and allowing myself to receive the help I need. I'm setting a goal for Operation Red Bikini of wearing a size 10 by May 31, 2013.

I'm quite certain I'll never wear a bikini. No one else needs to see any of the stretch marks I have. Or the cellulite. But the point is not to wear a red bikini; the point is to find a goal and obtain in. This combined with the Facebook Weight Loss Challenge will help me to remain focused.

A large part of me wanted to lose weight all on my own (read: I didn't want to use Weight Watchers). I think I felt that way because I wanted to prove to myself that the weight loss would be easy. I wanted to be a success story without the assistance of chain weight loss institutions.

But I haven't been that success story yet. And I realized on Friday (the same day I mentioned the possibility of attempting Weight Watchers) that I desperately needed the help. So I joined Weight Watchers that day and immediately started tracking. There's something so freeing about tracking points instead of counting calories. And I like knowing how many extra points I can eat throughout the week. With calories counting, I never really understood how many extra calories I could consume throughout the week, so I often went over my calorie goal every single day and told myself it would all be okay.

It never was all okay. The fact that my once loose jeans are now a bit snug proves that. The scale shows an increase, and I can feel it too. Feeling the added weight is always hard - especially after realizing how much lighter you feel without it. It's not just the literal feeling of added weight; it's the emotional feeling and how it zaps any self confidence I once had.

I've tried a lot of diets. And I've been somewhat successful with them. But south beach diet isn't going to be something I can continue my whole life. I love carbs way too much for that. Weight Watchers? It's more lifestyle and realistic and if Jessica Simpson can do it then so can I.

I thought about waiting until the clock struck midnight and I stole a kiss to ring in the new year, but there's no reason to wait. And waiting would only make me hold tighter onto my pride. My sweet husband was supportive of my decision to add another monthly expense to our budget without consulting him directly due to his being at work and unreachable by phone (it also helps that my job will reimburse up to half of the cost of membership!); he wants to see me succeed more than anyone. He knows how much I want this and he would do anything to help me get there. I'm so grateful for the cheerleader and support and shoulder to cry on I have in him.

There will be more ups and more downs. Weight Watchers isn't going to magically fix things. But it's going to offer me help and support and a program that's proven to be successful.

What about you? Do you have a goal you would like to reach - a red bikini all your own? Don't spend any more time wasting that goal. Go for it. Do whatver you have to to make it happen - even if it means swallowing your pride.

(title from "red" by taylor swift)


it is my fault my own mistake

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately. About knee injuries and plantar fasciitis to be exact. I want to know what causes patella’s to dislocate. I want to know why my heel hurts so much in the mornings. I want to know what I can do to stop further damage by osteoarthritis.

Some of the information I’ve found has been expected. Other information… the majority of the information… has been exactly what I did not want to find.

what i struggle with includes cirrhosis, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis
Obesity has been a cause for everything I am struggling with right now. Obesity can lead to plantar fasciitis and to ortheoarthritis in the knees. It’s also the reason I was sick for so long with issues of the liver.

I shouldn’t have to struggle with this many health issues at 27. No one should. But I made choices that led to gaining too much weight, and that weight has led to all these health issues.

You would think knowing what I do about health issues would make it easier to stick to a healthy living plan and to lose the weight once and for all. But obesity is so much more than pounds needing to be lost. It’s a change in mind set and a change in how to deal with everyday life and stress.

The past few weeks, and the mountains of research, have forced myself to take a good hard look at myself. When you’re dealing with a knee injury that won’t allow you to walk up the stairs normally or climb into your tall bed without the help of a step stool, it’s impossible not to look at your life and how you’re living it.

It’s been hard to really come to grips with the fact that I am the reason for all these injuries. Yes, I was born with bad knees as evidenced by the knee surgery I had in junior high, but I could have prevented future injuries by treating myself and my body right. By making better choices instead of making bad choices that led to piling on the pounds.

I want to blame all these injuries and sicknesses on genetics. But my genes are good. No one in my family has any of the illnesses or injuries I do. If I can't blame genetics, I want to blame bad luck; I did that for quite some time but when the injuries and sickness continue, it gets harder and harder to blame just bad luck.

Sitting and wallowing in a hurt knee, unhealthy liver levels, and a painful heel won't do anything for me but keep me from moving on. Pretending like the injuries and illnesses are no big deal also will only keep me from moving on. I have to face the truth and see, truly see, what I have done to myself so that I can move on.

By turning to food and eating more than I needed, I've caused unneccesary stress and harm to my body. I've kept myself from being physically fit. And I've discouraged myself from dealing with the stresses of life. I've allowed myself to remain the "fat friend" and have never let myself truly discover who I am. I've also kept friends, family and my husband at arm's length.

I don't want that anymore. I want true, honest and meaningful relationships. I want to allow myself to discover who I really am and to see myself as more than a number of the scale or an image in the mirror. I've wanted those things before, but I've never looked at all the negative reprecussions obesity caused.

So how do I move forward? Slowly.

I've done this a lot in the past. Weight loss is so often a journey of two steps forward and one step back. Maybe it's more like one step forward and two steps back. No matter what, I move forward - slowly.

Here are my current slow steps:
  1. I am going to allow myself time to heal. I will not beat myself up for the injuries and sickness. Beating myself up will only make me want to turn back to food. Instead I am viewing this as an opportunity to become the strongest I can possibly be.
  2. I am going to honestly track what I eat and stay under my calorie goals. I might even attemp Weight Watchers. Paying for the meetings and for the online membership scares me, but I know the program works. I joined once in high school and lost a good amount of weight.
  3. I am going to forever break up with diet sodas. I did this following my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon and the discovery of a bone spur on my patella (as well as my husband's sweet, not so subtle urging). They are bad for me. Both because they make me want to eat more and because of how they eat away bone.
  4. I am going to find a work out I love and do it regularly. I might have to build up working out slowly again. But I will do it.
  5. I am going to bring snacks to work and eat breakfast every single morning. My snacks are going to include fresh fruit and other healthy foods.
  6. I am going to make myself a priority and love myself - struggles and all.
And I am going to continue to blog. Blogging helps so much. It's easier to stay on track when I'm documenting my thoughts, my struggles, and my successes. Some of my posts may be repetitive since I struggle with the same stumbling blocks over and over. And it might not be the most inspirational weight loss site. But it will be a space all my own - a reminder of how far I have come and also how far I have to go.

(title from "learn me right" by mumford and sons)
Let Them Eat Cake


this n that thursday (link up)

This: I go back to work today. I enjoy what I do for a living, but I really enjoyed having just over a week off. It's incredibly hard to go back to work. I am thankful that this week and next week will be short weeks; easing myself back into work will help.

That: We had a total of four Christmas celebrations this year. One with my parents the Saturday before Christmas. One with my husband's extended family on Christmas Eve. One with just my husband on Christmas Day. And one with my in-laws the day after Christmas. We also went to church with friends on Christmas Eve. This year was probably my favorite married Christmas so far.

This: I feel so much more grown up now that we are in this house. Part of it is because my parents and my husband's parents are treating us more like grown-ups. My parents brought antiques and pictures from their house along with Christmas decorations for me to have. I get a piece of home here in my home from now on. Having support on this big purchase, and being treated more like an adult, makes this next chapter of our lives all the more real.

That: I am going to be an aunt this summer! And on Friday, we should learn if it will be a girl or a boy. I am pulling for a girl. I think my husband is pulling for a boy because then there won't be quite as many cute clothes and such to buy. Not knowing the gender didn't stop me from buying things for Christmas, though.

This: I am doing my best to get back on the healthy weight loss train starting today. It is so easy to get off course but so hard to get back on course. I need to remember my why's and also think about how much better I will feel and look once I finish losing the weight. I also need to remember how much healthier I will be once I finish losing the weight.

That: I think I outdid myself this Christmas. I always like to say I can't cook, but I truly can no longer say that. This Christmas I made the following: a roasted turkey (with my mom's help -- she did the majority of it but I was there), roasted brussels sprouts with dried cranberries and balsamic vinegar, my Nana's potatoes, roasted butternut squash with moroccan spices, and rolls. I also baked the following: double dutch chocolate cookies, two cheesecakes, carrot cake, and mini apple pies. We also ate leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes on Christmas Day thanks to my mom's cooking.

This: There was an ice storm in Oklahoma City over Christmas. Most of it has melted now, but I am still nervous about getting into my car and driving to work. I do not do well with snow or ice on the roadways - especially since the side streets and neighborhood streets do not get plowed or salted. Most of it has melted, but I am still nervous. I might be waiting until the sun has been out for a little while to head to work. Also I think I need an SUV; driving a small car makes driving a tad bit scarier.

That: It feels so good to be back to blogging. I miss it when I'm away. Now to tackle the hundreds of unread posts on my Google Reader...

I'm linking up with with Jena from Recently Roached and Katie from Katie Did What today!
Recently Roached


a brighter day is coming my way

Today is Wednesday. It should be another Weight Loss Wednesday, but it's been 13 days since I've updated. And I feel like I owe an explanation of sorts.

We closed on our house the very last day of November and then moved the next day - the first day of December. It took us two weeks to have internet installed so my updates were sparse and short at best. I was excited for the date on which internet would be installed because then I could return to the world of blogging. I had hopes that we would be settled and fully unpacked in our house by that time as well.

We were close. There was still the garage to tackle and more boxes to unpack than I wanted to admit. But we were getting there. And we'd have the entire weekend to work together on unpacking and organizing our house.

And then I had an accident. I was at the Oklahoma City Thunder game on December 14th. It was a wonderful opportunity - one provided by the Thunder who donated several tickets to children in foster care. I had the chance to take one of my girls to the game. Everything was going well until I tackled the stairs.

It was the middle of the first quarter, and we were going to get food from one of the vendors. Three-quarters of the way down the steep, steep stairs, the patella in my left knee dislocated and I fell straight down, landing on the edge of a cement stair. My patella went back in as quickly as it moved out of place, and I forced myself off the stairs.

I'm not a stranger to dislocation of my patella. It's something that has happened for years on end, but this time, it felt different. My knee was weaker than normal, and it hurt more than normal.

I stayed for the entire game. I wanted to leave. Being at the game should have been enjoyable but instead I worried and prayed the entire time. Something felt different. Really different. And it most certainly was not a good different. I convinced myself that I tore my ACL. There's still a part of me that worries that is what happened although the doctors I've seen have said they don't think that's what I did.

No matter my fears, I had to stay. I was at the game for the kids, and I stayed at the game for the kids. After the game, I carefully made my way down the stairs and then walked the almost mile to my car. I kept the tears at bay until I dropped my kids off and then completely lost it when I called my husband to tell him I was on my way to the Emergency Room.

By the time I made it to the ER, I could barely walk or talk. Tears gripped my throat and flowed down my cheeks. I was lucky that the ER saw me within 15 minutes. The X-Ray didn't show any breaks and a preliminary test showed that I had likely just sprained (badly sprained) my knee. I was sent home with  a prescription for pain killers and instructions to rest and ice my knee.

My husband did a wonderful job of taking care of me for the weekend. I spent most of my time over the weekend walking with crutches when I wasn't spread out on the couch. By the end of the day Sunday, I was able to hobble without the crutches, and I made it to work on Monday. My dogs also did a wonderful job of resting with me, cuddling with me, and loving on me. They're still on duty now - curled up at my feet and helping me blog.

The past few weeks haven't been the best for diet or exercise. It started because I was busy and lazy with food choices. Then it turned into a need to rest my knee. Now I think it's just excuses. And I need to start over (yet again).

At church on Sunday, someone asked me if I was focusing on just upper body now for work outs. Or if I were swimming instead. I stood there and stumbled over my response. Because I let the injury be the reason for my lack of exercise and weight loss instead of finding a solution.

I don't want to let every difficulty send me off track. I want to take whatever life throws at me and turn it around instead of letting it turn me around.

I did that some with Christmas. I didn't let the things that could have easily stolen my joy do that. Instead I held tight to the reason for the season and enjoyed the holidays even though they didn't go according to plan.

Now it's time to do just that with weight loss.

I refuse to let my injury (MRI pending for January with a real diagnosis of what I did) stop me. Instead I am going to learn from it. And what have I learned from it so far? That's something I will have to wait and share.

(title from "tomorrow will be kinder" by the secret sisters)


this n that thursdays (link up)

I'm once again linking up with with Jena from Recently Roached. You can visit last weeks "this n that" post to see how Jena and I are "related."
Recently Roached

I need (and want) to figure out what it is that causes me to stay the same weight. I honestly feel like I am keeping myself from losing weight. It might have something to do with my sudden obsession with Chik-Fil-A. And it's not an obsession with their chargrilled chick sandwich, chicken noodle soup, or any of their salads.

It's been nearly three weeks since I've stepped foot in a gym. The hardest part isn't even admitting that. The hardest part is getting my butt back into the gym. I need an intervention with myself as soon as possible.

I am taking a whole week off of work starting the afternoon of Tuesday the 18th. I love my job(s), but I need a break. Both for my sanity and my house's sanity. The boxes are multiplying which is causing quite a bit of stress in my life.

There are a lot of changes on the horizon for my husband and I. Moving into our new house started the changes, and they are continuing to grow. Not that that is a bad thing - just stressful (in a good way). I so badly want to know what we need to do and how to do it. But God doesn't work that way.

Mark Driscoll tweeted the following today: Some of you are waiting for the Lord to reveal the future before you move forward. That's not how it works. Walk by faith.

I needed to hear those words. And I need to put walking by faith into practice.
I got to be in a Christmas vlog earlier this week. Did you see it on the blog? I'm so grateful to have been a part of it.

I officially have over 100 followers. That's over 100 people who are expecting me and waiting for me to finish losing 100 pounds. I'm looking at that as motivation and a reminder that people believe in me even on days when I eat too much polynesian sauce at Chik-Fil-A.

It doesn't hurt to walk! I think wearing shoes with real support actually made a difference (imagine that!). I'm looking forward to getting back into running, and I am looking to this girl for continued motivation. She's kicking ass at this weight loss thing!

There are only 12 days to Christmas. 12 days.. I kind of doubt I am going to hit my goal of one-derland by then. But that's okay. Because eventually (soon!) I will live in one-derland.


Happy Holidays (Blogger and 'N SYNC Style)

I've been a bad blogger.

My posts have been lacking, and I've barely commented on the blogs I read. My google reader also shows close to 200 unread posts. I'm sorry for that. Blame AT&T and our current lack of Internet. You can also blame my hectic work schedule and lack of time spent using Starbuck's free Wi-Fi.

I hope this little gem makes it better for you (my lack of blogging that is and also the fact that today is hump day). I am so thankful I got to be a part of it. Links to all the other participants to come!

PS: Weight Loss Wednesdays will return to its regularly schedule time slot next week. Until then.. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


this n that thursdays (link up)

Today I am linking up with Jena from Recently Roached. Little known fact... Jena and I are related.. through our sorority! She is one of my great grand littles. We also graduated with the same major - Professional Writing. Scroll down to the end of the post for an old school picture to prove our sisterhood!

Recently Roached

I am turning into a homebody already. It used to be that I always wanted to go out, but now I just really want to stay home. People are more than welcome to come and hang out with us. I just don't want to leave my house if at all possible. Can you tell I am a bit excited to be a homeowner (again)?

AT and T will be at our house later this afternoon, and we will finally have Internet and TV again. If I weren't a blogger, I might not miss the Internet as much as I do. There's only so much you can do from an iPhone and writing solid blog posts full of content is not something easily done.

My husband and I are taking a vacation together in 2013. Just the two of us. We haven't had a real vacation just the two of us since our honeymoon in 2009. I'm looking forward to five days and four nights of hiking, eating overpriced breakfast, sleeping in, reading, and probably shopping. Branson, MO I can not wait to meet you for the first time!

My house is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The boxes may not be unpacked. I might not have any idea where my Keurig is. But the Christmas tree is up and our stockings are hung. Priorities, right?

Today is my Friday. So thankful for the opportunity to take a day off and enjoy my new house. And unpack, of course.

I'm getting a brand new washer and dryer delivered on Friday. That was one of the things I was most excited to purchase. Clean clothes are pretty important.

No more shellac (or gel) manicures for this girl. While the polish lasts for two weeks, my bank account just doesn't have room for a mortgage payment, manicures, highlights, and new furniture. So I am getting rid of the manicures. It's back to chipped polish the majority of the time and painting my nails on my own!

It's getting cold(er) here in Oklahoma. I haven't quite decided if I like the cold or not. Living in a brand new house makes the cold more bearable than living in an 80+ year old house. But it is still hard to get up and out of bed in the morning.

as promised.. we look a little young, don't you think?


weight loss wednesday (week 14)

Today’s Weight: 216 lbs.

Total Loss: 49 lbs.

(Somehow I lost a total of THREE POUNDS over the last week! I'm honestly shocked given the amount of stress in my life right now. It's all good stress, but still it is stress. I'm just hoping the loss isn't a fluke and that I don't gain the weight back over the next week.)

What I craved this week: I don't know if there have been all that many cravings, but I do know that I have not made the best decisions when it comes to food. My life is very unsettled right now. I have no idea where any of our silverware is. I also don't know where my Crock Pot is. Needless to say, we've eaten out a lot. Pizza one night, Taco Bueno another night.. My choices have not always been the best, but they have been better than in the past. I'm off work Thursday afternoon and all day Friday, so I am hopeful about getting the rest of the house unpacked and put away.

What I noticed was different about my body: I can tell my love handles are ever so slowly disappearing. My thighs are also getting smaller. In the morning, my stomach is flatter, but then, depending on food choices, my stomach is more bloated. I think my face is also getting smaller. It is almost like I have a neck and a chin now.

I finally bought orthotics for my feet. And as much as I hate to admit it, they are helping. My plantar fascitis is still killing me, but I am doing what I can to make it better. Rolling my feet on an ice cold can helps a lot after a hard day.

What do you think? Where can you tell the most that I've lost weight? Or can you tell? Sometimes (okay.. MOST of the time) it is so hard to see the progress in yourself when you look in the mirror.

Workouts planned for this week: Work outs.. What are those?

Between closing and moving and trying to unpack, as well as dealing with little hiccups in the house [like no hot water], I have not been to the gym. I'm hoping to get into a routine next week that will allow me to work out regularly.  I know how important exercise is, but until I am settled in my house, it's hard to focus on anything else.

But I do have a designated work out room. So I need to start using it to work out. I am considering joining Jena, Meghan, and Sar on the 30-Day Shred. But I am terrified. I've done the 30-Day Shred before (though I never finished) and it is super hard. I might need some inspiration and motivation to get it done! And support.

Personal Goal(s) for this week: I want to get unpacked. I honestly think unpacking and settling into my house will help so much. It will clear my mind and allow me to see myself as truly living in our house. Right now it feels like a dream.

I also want to start drinking more water again. I do well for a few weeks, and then coffee comes calling. After coffee, diet coke starts knocking on ym door. And I am just too polite to say no to either.
Favorite Quote(s) for this week:

What I'm looking forward to: I am so excited for the next few weeks. My parents are coming to visit soon. I'm taking more time off work than I have in a very long time. All of these things are wonderful, but I also know they could help to deter me off the weight loss path. I want to prove to myself that I can enjoy the holidays without compromising on my health.

I don't think I will be in one-derland by Christmas. Though it would be amazing if I were. So I am focusing on being in one-derland by the beginning of 2013.

How are you doing this week? Tell me about it in the comments. I would love to know!


a little update

We received the keys to our new house on Friday afternoon. With closing done and our check cleared, we spent Friday night shopping for furniture and celebrating by eating dinner out with friends. Saturday brought more shopping for furniture and assisting the movers with boxes and directing them with where to put all the big furniture.

Internet will be installed on Thursday, and we are slowly getting our boxes unpacked. There are little things I've noticed that need to be fixed.. things that the builder is responsible for. As stressful as moving is, I'm less stressed knowing I don't have to worry about many of the things I worried about with our first house.

I'll be back soon - once I have Internet and my MacBook. Thanks for hanging in there with me during this time of transition, and thanks for celebrating our new house. We can not even believe that this house actually belongs to us.


high five for friday (link up)

1. Our fence went up on Wednesday. I can not wait to sit in the backyard, drink wine, and look at the stars. And yes that is a Christmas Tree Farm behind our house.

2. I went to look at Christmas lights with some of the staff and residents at the group home on Monday night. I loved listening to Christmas music and attempting to take pictures of the creations.

3. Furniture shopping, while fun and exciting, is stressful. Why must my taste be so expensive? I really try to like cheap furniture, but it is just so cheap.

4. We're supposed to close on our house today. Ready to have keys in hand and get everything moved on Saturday. It's all a tad bit surreal, and I keep telling people I can't believe it is all really happening.

5. I successfully completed the National Blog Posting Month. One post for every day of November. What an accomplishment. Feel free to check out some of my favorite posts this month (1 / 2 / 3 / 4).


thankful thursday (link up)

fence, brick, rock. almost there.
1. Our soon-to-be house. I've listed this one a lot, but with every week, I become more thankful for it. We're set to close later this week, and I simply can not wait. We had the chance to walk through the house on Wednesday afternoon/evening, and I simply can not believe it is going to be our house. I feel so unworthy of such a large space, but I also feel so blessed to have the opportunity to call this house my home.

We went to walk through the house last night and had an inspector come out as well. Not everything is done but it is getting there.

When we left around 6pm, people were still hard at work. I made sure to thank everyone I could for working so hard. There is something so humbling about seeing people do so much for you.

2. Gospel Centered Community. We have been a part of the same community group for almost four years now. Tuesday night, we talked about simplicity and what simplicity means for the church and for our own walk's with God. I needed the message and the reminder. With all the moving and buying and house stuff, it is easy to get lost and focus only the material possessions. Tuesday night reminded me to focus on what matters to God and not the things of the world.

I struggle with that a lot. It's gotten better over the years, but by no means am I perfect. Building this new house has excited me for many reasons - including the opportunity to shop for furniture. Tuesday reminded me of the blessing the house is and what we need to do with it and it's not just shopping.

nana and i at our rehearsal dinner 2008
3. My Nana. I called her on Monday evening as I was driving to work at the group home and wished her a belated Happy Thanksgiving. I have so many wonderful memories with her - like eating Popeye's Chicken while sitting on her couch and watching movies on the weekends I would stay with her.

When we talked on Monday, she told me how proud she was of me and how wonderful of a life I was building. I so needed to hear that. She always says something profound and something that reminds me to look at the whole picture and enjoy where I am.

4. My Dad. My parents live in Texas, so they have not seen the house yet except for in pictures. And yet, my dad has been a huge part of this process. He has given me tips and pointers on what to do, and I've done every single thing.

I called him last night when I left the house, and he told me that my husband and I were doing everything right with buying this house. That affirmation helped quench any lingering fears or doubts I have about buying the house. This is the right decision for us, but it is a huge purchase. Huge purchases are a little daunting.

I am also excited to see him soon. My parents are officially coming to visit us in our new house.

5. December. It sounds silly to be so excited for a month, but I simply can't wait. There is so much to be excited for. Those things include: moving into our house, decorating for Christmas, taking some much needed time off work, my parents coming to visit, hosting Christmas at our house, having a New Year's Eve party at our house, losing at least 10 pounds over the course of the month, living in our house, and looking at Christmas lights.


weight loss wednesday (week 13)

Today’s Weight: 219 lbs.

Total Loss: 46 lbs.

I lost the weight I had gained back plus another pound. Guess this means I am back on track!

What I craved this week: Lots of things. Some healthy; some not so healthy.

My healthy cravings: sushi, salad, soup.

My not so healthy cravings: Chik-Fil-A, queso and chips (which I did not eat).

What I noticed was different about my body: Nothing too different at this point in time. I'm less bloated than I have been in recent weeks which is always a good thing. I think some of my pants re getting to be a little big in the thighs.

Workouts planned for this week: I have become best friends with the elliptical again - since Monday of this week. I want to be an actual runner, but I'm not too ready to jump back onto a treadmill out of fear of hurting my knee. So I will be continuing my friendship with the elliptical. I have done two days of strength training so far this one - one day of upper body and one day of lower body. I plan to fit in some ab work and do another day of upper body strength training and another day of lower body strength training.

We are also supposed to move on Saturday if all goes well, so that will be a work out in and of itself.

Personal Goal(s) for this week: I joined a Weight Loss Challenge this week. It's 12 weeks long. Whoever loses the most gets the money. To help me along, and to keep me more accountable to myself, I've revamped my plan and have lowered the number of calories I consume every day to 1500. So far I have done well staying at that consumption and burning more calories. My goal is to keep that up.

Favorite Quote(s) for this week:
What I'm looking forward to: Closing on our new house is scheduled for later this week. If all goes as planned, we will be moved into our house on Saturday and then spend Saturday evening and Sunday unpacking. I'm so ready to be able to settle into the house and make it into our home.

In weight loss/health news, I have done a lot of soul searching this week. I wrote about why I started this journey and about my relationship with food. Those were difficult posts to write, but I feel so much lighter and so much more equipped to handle the next months of this journey. Opening up about things keeps me even more accountable, and accountability is key with weight loss.

I am also really excited about the Weight Loss Challenge. It provides me with more accountability and reminds me that I am not the only person on this journey. Finding people who understand where I am coming from weight wise is hard as most my friends don't have 100 pounds to lose, so I love knowing I can connect with others who have been there or are there.

How are you doing this week? Tell me about it in the comments. I would love to know!


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