July 30, 2010

Mamaw & Papaw

This week I've decided to join in the Flashback Friday fun over at Christopher & Tia's. 

In going through my electronic photo albums I came across this one of my grandparents on "Honeymoon Lane"

I'm only flashing back 3 years on this picture, but Honeymoon Lane goes back much further than that.  My papaw has been a farmer all his life.  Growing up, he helped his dad on the family farm until it was time for him to get married and start farming his own piece of land.

My grandparents didn't have an elaborate church wedding, in fact, my grandmother got married in her best church dress.  (Thankfully she saved it and my mother still has it in her cedar chest.)  Since they were just poor country farmers, they didn't have the option of going on a honeymoon.  Instead his dad expected him to climb this hill and milk the cattle.  Not wanting to leave her new husband, my Mamaw went with him.

My Papaw worked the farm as his sole source of providing for his family until my mother & her older sister were in school, then he took a factory job at the local canning plant.  (If he knows Bush's secret recipe - he's not talkin!)

Retired, my grandfather still works that land today.  He within the past year he got a donkey to protect his cattle - too many calves were being taken by coyotes.  He still has a garden full of veggies, grape and blueberry bushes in his back yard, and black berries in his fence row.

Thanks to everyone who's been praying for my grandmother.  She's currently in transitional/rehab care - neither of them are spring chickens so its really good for her to have professional assistance while she (quite literally) gets back on her feet.  Her breathing problems are now under control as well.  She's still struggling a bit, but nothing like she was.

Flashback Friday Button

Photo credit: Jay Fradd aka Mr. Right aka The Mutant 
He snagged this photo on our way up Honeymoon Lane.  We all loaded up in the trailer to find/feed Beautiful the Donkey.

July 29, 2010

The Parable of the Lost Necklace

Quit looking in your Bible, its not in there.  This is a very personal parable - God using my life to teach me a lesson.

I'm a perfectionist.  An extreme type "A" personality.  Obsessive almost.  Okay who are we kidding, there is no "almost" about it.    I live and believe the mantra "A place for everything and everything in its place."

Moving was hard on me.  My anemia was hard on me.  That should have been my #1 sign that I was ill - I let my house go.  That's just not like me.  My clutter bug husband makes life mentally hard for me.*

*In a very minor way - he's a great husband.  He's just messy and it drives me crazy.  Don't want my visitors to think he's abusive or anything.  He just leaves work papers everywhere!!

So what happens when everything isn't in its place?  I feel like I'm losing my mind.

I'm not great at accessorizing, so I always love birthdays and Christmas.  Even though we're far too old to still be exchanging gifts, my sister and I still shop for one another.  I get excited opening gifts because chances are I'm receiving a new outfit.  Sometimes its a top and shoes, other times its a top and a bracelet. 

This year for my birthday it was a top, a bracelet, and a necklace.  She specifically got the 3 to match, but the necklace was generic enough to wear with other things.  So last week I got a bit adventurous and tried it with a different outfit.

Only it didn't make it home on my body.  I can't remember the details - maybe I exercised after work or something.  Had I worn it home, it would have been hung on the necklaces hangers my wonderful husband put up for me.

(Honey if you're reading this we need to finish up the closet so I can do a thankful Thursday post about you and my new closet design!!!)

I worn the birthday shirt Tuesday, only I couldn't find the necklace.  I decided that it must be in one of my lockers (at work or at the gym - where I hang my jewelry while I'm exercising).

Only it wasn't.

For 2 days I searched with no luck.  I started freaking out.  I was so upset that Jay (my darling messy husband) assumed it was a family heirloom (I'm blessed to have much of my great grandmother's jewelry).  I was about to give up when I found it.  In a gym bag I rarely use.

I ignored my husband's great news that he was the #3 salesman and rejoiced in finding my lost necklace.

In the Bible, Jesus told the story a little differently: 8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:8-10

Praise God that He doesn't stop reaching out to us.  Whether we've rolled under the rug, or ran away.  He still seeks us. 

For that (and finding my missing necklace) I am thankful.

July 28, 2010

Wednesday Check-in

Good morning! 

Things are a changin' around the Sisterhood.  Seriously - go look for yourself!  I'll wait.

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

One thing that's changing is our regular Weigh-in Wednesday.  Since so many of us are focused just as much on training as we are on weight loss, not to mention our intuitive eating sisters who've thrown away their scales.  Wednesdays have officially become our "check-in" times.  Slight change of wording, but huge shift in focus.

I've also signed up to be a part of the group challenge starting next week.  I had great success (and made some great new friends) during the last challenge, so I certainly wanted to join in on this one.  Not to mention those 7 pounds I've gained in the past 2 months. 

The Scale

I don't remember exactly what I weighed last week, I just remember that the scale said 13_.  When I stopped weighing myself weekly, I weighed 122 point something or other.  That's 7+ pounds I've put on in the past 2 months!

I promised myself that if/when I hit the 130s I'd do something to stop myself.

I had several excuses reasons I didn't start as soon as I saw the magically growning number, but in my head I kept saying that I'd change my behaviors on Monday.  I worried that I was just putting it off, but come Monday I was back on Livestrong tracking calories. 

For the past 2 days I've done a great job of monitoring what I eat, eating healthy, and not going over my calories.  Not sure if it worked or if it was just water retention last week, but I saw something on the scale this morning that I haven't seen in a while - the number going down.

This week: 129.6

After the obligatory "you look perfect just like you are", he suggested that 125 be my goal.  Not even knowing what I currently weigh.  His reasoning?  Nothing scientific, just that anything lower than that sounds too small.

But he wasn't complaining a few months ago when I was at 122.  I'm just sayin.

So I've decided my goal range should be 120 (in my dreams)-125. 


For whatever reason I've noticed that my weight lifting (although it seems easier at the time) is more tiring to me than my cardio.  Maybe its a lack of endorphines or something like that.  Who knows really.  I don't want to give up the weights though, so I'm trying to change up my eating patterns and stuff to help out.

My running is all coming back to me - only faster!  This past week I held a 5.5 MPH (10:54 minute/mile) on the treadmill with only a brief walking break.  I wouldn't have needed the walking cardiovacularly, but I do want to ease back in for the sake of my muscles, joints, and tendons. 

My first spin class is tonight, but I've taken my bike out for a couple of rides.  At this point the only problem really is the swim.  Right  now the indoor pool is closed and the outdoor pool is full of frolicking children.  I'm probably going to have to break down and start going to the pool one city over (and have to pay!) but I need to get that work in.  I was pleased last week though, with my one and only swim, how I haven't really lost any conditioning.

The Hair

Of course this isn't really a weekly check-in feature, just wanted to share that I've found I can scrunch this do and go too, for those days I really do have to wash my hair after a lunch time workout.

So how'd you do this past week?  Hopefully you're doing all you can to push yourself toward achieving your goals!!

July 27, 2010

My Bucket List

Several years ago I had a very brief list of things I wanted to do - there were 4 items on there, and all four have been completed.  I figure its about time to make a new list.  I'm struggling with it just a little bit, but here's what I've got so far.


Run a marathon
Complete a triathlon

Find that happy weight both my body & mind like
Hike the Appalachian Trail


Read the entire Bible


Paying off the house
Developing a Million dollar + net worth
Help my niece and nephew with college




Write a book
Celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary

Its a work in progress, so I need some more suggestions.  What are you top items? 

July 26, 2010

Need a boost?

Have I mentioned how much I hate Jay's Jeep?  Cause after this weekend I hate it all the more. 

Yesterday morning, my car wouldn't start.  I remembered a few weeks ago at an infusion we boosted off a doctor with a dead battery.  At the time he mentioned the battery connection needed cleaning off, but Jay hadn't gotten around to it. 

He didn't have time yesterday either (he had to meet clients) so he told me to just drive the Jeep to church.  Not an easy task given my dress and 4 inch heels, but a girls gotta do what she can so I climbed in and took off.

By the time I arrived at church I was a sweaty mess with wind blown hair.  If you'll remember, the A/C in the Jeep is broken and since its just a toy that mostly sits around in our driveway, we're not willing to shell out the $$$ to have it fixed.  I had no choice but to drive with the windows down, and even still it was toasty.

After church I climbed in, excited about meeting my mother at the pool.  With a high of 95* + humidity, it was the perfect day to cool off splashing in the water. 

Only the Jeep wouldn't start.

So practically all of the men in the young adults Sunday school class pushed it, while Brandon (a buddy of Jay's) tried to pop the clutch. 

The stupid thing still wouldn't start.

Apparently something had set off the (now silent) alarm on the Jeep.  It wasn't a dead battery, it was the tripped alarm not allowing the vehicle to start.  Jay told me that there was a series of things that I needed to do in order to turn the alarm off.

Only he didn't know what those were.

Most everyone that was out there with me had young children sweltering in the car, so once they saw it wasn't going to boost they took off.  Brandon offered to leave the church open once I said that my parents were on their way to get me, but an older (than me at least) couple offered to take me wherever I wanted to go. 

I figured it'd be easier to meet my parents in town, so we headed off. We got about 10 minutes from the church and Jay called.  He found the sequence to the Jeep and wanted me to try it.  When I told him that we weren't in the parking lot any more, he asked me to turn around.


Cause those people were really nice and I hated putting them out any more than I had to.  They obliged when I ask them to turn around and take me back to church.   I put Jay on speaker phone and he tried to walk me through the steps.

Only the Jeep wouldn't start.

The guy told me that it seemed as if I was following all the instructions, but that the toggle switch might have been disconnected - it looked like 2 lines should be going in, but instead only one was.  At that point my dad called back and I told him to come onto the church.

Jay wouldn't let me leave the stupid thing, but I had about had it.  I begged the couple to leave me - after all I wanted to kick, scream, cry and be ugly, and I couldn't be any of those things in front of them.  They insisted on waiting until my parents showed up.

Jay's clients cancelled on him 2 hours after they were supposed to meet, and it was another 20-30 minutes before he arrived at the church (thankfully I had packed a cooler of drinks for the pool or else I'd have been dehydrated at this point) and started working on the Jeep.  Turns out one of the wires had become disconnected and he had to rig it back up.

Around this time, we saw a white vehicle pull into church then turn around on the back side.  A few seconds later the preacher drove around.  Apparently we'd been messing with it for so long, the preacher & his family had time to go out to lunch, eat, and return. 

He drove around and asked if there was anything that he could help with, if we needed any tools.  Jay was pretty sure he didn't need anything, but the preacher said he just lived a couple minutes away if we needed him.  He gave us his phone number just in case.

Something I'd done in my haste and frustration killed the battery.  I think I left the switch on or something.  Honestly when I was done with it I would have put it in neutral and rolled it into a lake if one would have been nearby. 

So once Jay got the alarm issue fixed (I mean who the beep keeps an alarm on a 14 year old vehicle that doesn't even have air conditioning???), the battery was officially dead and...

the stupid thing still wouldn't start!

So my dad got out his chain, hooked it up to Jay's Durango.  He pulled the Jeep all around the parking lot for Jay to try to pop the clutch.  My dad maybe be old and rapidly becoming feeble, but he fully believes its not how much effort you put forth its what you get done.  Why kill himself pushing the Jeep when the big ole chain and V8 engine in the Durango can do a better the same job?

That was when I desperately wanted a camera.  Only I don't have one, and Jay's was in the Durango.  It put me a lot in mind of the kiddie rides at the fair, where they ride in circles pretending that they are driving something, only someone else is really in control.

When that didn't work, Jay decided we were just going to have to buy a new battery.  It was close to 3PM (church lets out shortly after 12) and I was starving, so we hit Auto Zone, then McDonalds before heading back to the church).  After the ole switchero, the Jeep fired right up and we were on our way.


Then we headed home.  He boosted my car, then shut the engine off.

Only it didn't start back.

You've got to be beepin kidding me!  After he cleaned the corroded connections and greased them up really well, it started without having to be boosted.

A  flat tire last week, a dead battery this week - this better be all of our car trouble for a while!

July 23, 2010

I < 3 me 3 X 5

Over at the Sisterhood they gave us a mini challenge for the week - this one tougher than the "drink enough water" and "get in your fruits and veggies" challenges of the past.  Monday - Friday for 5 days come up with love your self in 3 different ways each day.

It could be pampering yourself or just finding something to compliment about yourself.

I must admit the week started out promising...


1. Got a cute new haircut

2. Took pictures of the cute new haircut for all the world to see

3. Closed my eyes and enjoyed the scalp massage that came with the shampoo.


1. Knowing what a hot chica I am wearing a skirt, driving a manual transmission Jeep with big mud tires. (Seriously one of the dudes at work told me how much guys love girls driving Jeeps. Jay has since confirmed. Boys are so weird!)

2. Accepting (not deflecting or denying) a compliment from Jay about my body – and actually believing it to be true.

3. Took a short bike ride at lunch while it was still cool enough to enjoy.


1. Put fears of relapse aside and signed up for a Mud Run 5K in September.

2. Went for a run. (It feels so good to be back, even if its walk/running for now.)

3. Rejected that the number on the scale defines me & read excerpts from Geneen Roth’s Women, Food, & God.


1. Microwaved dinner for myself, left Jay to tend to his own dinner.

1. Cranked up “9 to 5” on the radio and jammed while getting ready.

2. Wore my silly bands to remind me how much I’m loved by my niece & nephew.

Yesterday and today were a real struggle for me. I wasn't able to complete the challenge 100%, but I did my best.  
How'd you do on the challenge?  Hopefully you had an easier time of it!

July 22, 2010

Thursday's Ten - I Confess...

This week over at Lora's blog, we're doing a little confessing.  Since I haven't joined the Sisterhood's confessions in a while I figured I'd join in.

1)I tend to forget how much I enjoy healthy foods until I force myself to eat them.

2) I'm not following the triathlon training plan as it is written. I'm not built back up to two exercises a day so its either sacrifice a day or two of the plan, or weight lifting.  I enjoy lifting far too much to give it up.

(This was me, pre-anemia.  I'm not quite back here yet, although I did get a compliment on my lats the other day at the gym.)

3) I started the Fly Lady program yesterday, but only cleaned half my sink.  Today is "dress to the laces" and since I do that every day I'll use tonight to finish off my sink.

(My sink - from a distance.  Still haven't figured out how you make a white sink shine.)

4) My grandmother has been in the hospital a week and I haven't asked you to pray for her.  Oops.  She went in last Friday for surgery on her foot.  She had a few complications but was moved yesterday into transitional living care/rehab section of the hospital.

5) I've stalled a little in my reading of the Millionaire Next Door.  I'm loving the information in it, but have been busy living life and only have a few minutes here and there to pick it up.

6) I finished the chapter I was on in the book last night and then proclaimed myself too tired to read my Bible.  Since my priorities were very obviously askew, I went ahead and read a few chapters in the OT from Kings.  I'm not a big fan of the 2 books of Kings.  And rumor has it I get to start the fun over in Chronicles.

7) I <3 twitter.  I'm @smartstrongsexy if you're not already following me.

8) I decided this morning to try to accept my body the way it is.  Then I went at got on the scales at work just to see how much I weigh.  This is gonna be slow going.

9) Jay and I might be going to Maui in January!  A buddy of Jay's lives out there and has invited us to visit for a couple weeks.

10) I'll kill Jay if we miss out on this opportunity - It'll be my post-marathon treat!

July 20, 2010

The Hair Cut - Before & After

With all my training, my hair began to take a back seat in life.   Long hair was preferable because it meant an easy pony tail, or a scrunch 'n go with some gel and I was done.  Very low maintenance for a busy life.  I'd go 6 months between cuts and my hair just kept getting longer and longer and longer.  Until it got to this...

I'm not sure if you can tell by the picture, but that's a lotta hair!  I have very fine, very thick hair.  It got so thick that I quit using a hair dryer on it.  Air dry all the way baby!!  Sometimes I even went to bed with a wet head to keep from fooling with it.

Last year my niece & sister donated their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and I considered doing the same.  After all I've been blessed with good hair and it was already pretty freakin long.  Plus I was sick of the long hair and ready for a new short 'do.

Unfortunately, when I got to the salon my stylist told me that they measure by your shortest layer and it would be several months until it was long enough to donate.  I'm not the most patient person in the world, so waiting until Christmas really wasn't up for consideration.

I took in these pictures .  When consulted a few weeks ago, Jay liked the blond better.  Raise your hand if you're surprised?   Okay those of you with your hand up obviously don't know my man!

I thought that was pretty funny since he claims to love Katie Holmes - he didn't even recognize her in the top picture!   Any way both hair cuts were Jay approved (not that they needed to be - its my hair after all, and I'm the one fixing it.)

He called right as I was walking into the salon and when he found out where I was asked if I was chopping it all off.  My answer of "maybe" was met with a "do it, do it, do it, do it" chant.  Weird, I thought most men liked long hair.  Maybe my pony tails were truly getting out of hand.

Or maybe he was hopeful that this would get me out of my rut without me dropping too much cash!

I decided to go ahead with the cut after a brief discussion with my stylist.  She seemed to think the cut would work well for me, going so far as to tell me that I was too petite to have so much hair.  Apparently she knows just what to say to encourage a woman to chop it all off!!

And chop we did.  They didn't even think I was all that weird for wanting to take pictures of the hair in the floor.  Yes, that was just my hair.  After cutting several inches off, she also thinned out what was left.  I have very fine hair, but I've got a lot of it!

I'm still not comfortable fixing it (it doesn't look any where near as cute today as it did yesterday) but over all I love it!  Now to see how easy it is to fix after working out!

Here it is after she got done with me yesterday.

July 19, 2010

Jesus Calling - A Review

  I recently received a copy of Sarah Young's devotional book Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence to review from Book Sneeze.

Jesus Calling - Deluxe Edition: Enjoying Peace in His Presence

I've never reviewed a devotional before, so it felt slightly odd to me reading more than page at a time.  I'm such a rule follower that I felt a bit like I was cheating reading page after page.  That of course says more about me than the book - a friend told me once I'd make up new rules just so that I could have more to follow.

As I started through the first few pages, I marked a day that particularly spoke to me, meaning to quote it in my review.  Flipping through a few pages later, I moved the marker to another page, then again.  This book, with the passage written as if it were a direct message from Jesus to the reader, is full of wonderful words for daily living.

Most importantly, the message inside was beautiful and really spoke to my heart.  As a side note I'll also like to say that this particular edition is gorgeous in appearance also.  Its leather cover, attached ribbon bookmark, and wonderful message make it a great gift idea.  Or certainly it would be something worth getting for yourself and having the daily reminder of God's goodness, grace and mercy.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com http://BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

July 16, 2010

Financial Friday -

I've whined mentioned a couple of times how I want a computer with Internet access at home, but its just not in the budget right now.  More so for the monthly Internet fee than the couple hundred dollars that it would cost to buy a computer.  Jay uses a Verizon card, so sharing isn't an option.  If I'm unwilling to waste $60 a month on cable, why should I be willing to spend a similar amount to get on the Internet every now and then?

Dave Ramsey, on his radio show a few weeks ago quoted David Campbell, who put it all as concise as possible: "Discipline is remembering what you want."

What is it that I really want?  A shower that I can comfortably shave my legs in.  (The current shower is a tiny 2 foot by 2 foot stall).

 I want a tub that I can fill will hot water and soak in after a hard day/training session.  (Current tub is jetted, but too large to realistically fill with water & enjoy.  Seriously - you could fit 3 of me in there!)

Jay said after his next commission check that we'd start seriously looking at a new bathroom remodel.  That was 2 months ago.  He went through a dry spell for over a month and it went on so long he forgot about his comment.

The Bible says "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12 The bottom line is I'm heart-sick and having trouble remembering what I want because it seems so far away.

So while a new fancy gadgets might be nice - a beautiful claw foot tub with shower adapter and a double bowl vanity in my master bath would be nicer.

I just need reassurance that my frugalness, couponing, and careful attention to budgeting is going to pay off.  Sooner rather than later.  I don't want to pass on movie invites, skimp on vacations, or deny myself cable & Internet for the rest of my life just for the sake of being a cheapskate.

The good news? After a couple of months of no closings, July seems to be Jay's month.  We're going to start getting quotes from contractors at the end of the month (once we've got our checks in hand...erm...in the bank).

I want to enjoy my money, I suppose my wants in life are just a little too grand. I'm willing to give up the little things for my dreams.  I'm just not willing to give up the little things AND the big things.

Which is it for you?  Would you rather have a luxury home but no cable or an apartment filled with gadgets and such?  I find it interesting to see what people think brings them most happiness  (when it comes to material things). No right or wrong answers here.  Well except "the free wildflowers that grow in my back yard make me happy." 

While that may be true, that's not what we're talking about here.  I know we're all living in a material world.  So material girl - talk to me!

July 15, 2010

If I were a Disney princess...I'd be Belle

Sure Cinderella is my favorite.  After all she has her own castle in Disney world and everything.

But Belle...she has all those books!  My favorite scene in Beauty and the Beast is when she's being given a tour of the Beast's house and she sees the library for the first time.

Books are a beautiful thing.

Honestly this morning I was struggling to come up with something I was thankful for.  My family has been incredibly blessed.  It shouldn't be hard to be thankful, but I've been in a bit of a mood all week and I just wasn't feeling it.

A couple of things reminded me that I should be thankful for my ability to read, as well as my love of curling up and getting lost in a good book.

First off, a couple of weeks ago a TV special honoring Dollywood's 25th anniversary.  The theme park has changed this area probably more than we realize.  In the special, Dolly Parton was asked about why she started her Imagination Library.  Like a lot of poor country farmers in this area, her father never learned to read and was limited in life because of it.

Then yesterday, some buddies and I were discussing reading and two of the ladies mentioned how much better the young ladies in their life are reading now.  One has dyslexia and listens to the book on CD as she reads the paper copy in her hand.  The other recently got a new pair of glasses which introduced a whole new world to her.

Reading is something I never remember struggling with.  When Pizza Hut offered their Book-It program, I earned personal pan pizzas weekly!  I've always loved it.

This week has been an interesting book week for me.   A friend let me borrow her copy of The Hunger Games.  A littler dark for my taste, but very well written.  I started the book on Tuesday night while Jay was working late and fully intend on having the almost 400 page book finished by the end of tonight.  (Jay had rented a movie so I only made it through a couple chapters last night.)

Also, I received my copy of The Millionaire Next Door in the mail yesterday.  I ordered it last week and have been anxiously awaiting its arrival.  Its recommended by Dave Ramsey so I know its going to be filled with practical advice about getting where we want to be financially.

Some friends and I are also starting a book club.  We all love to read, and we love to get together and chat - perfect combo right? 

I definitely have to say I'm thankful for the ability to read, but I'm even more thankful that I enjoy it.

What are you thankful for today?

July 14, 2010

Time to get down to business

This is weigh-in day of course, and I was actually a little surprised at what the scale said this morning.  I'm pretty much where I was last week, where I was the week before.  I suppose this morning I "felt" fatter, my pants felt a little more tight.  (Then again I think I was wearing a dress last week.)

I'm okay with that.

Not happy, but okay.

I run with the Sisterhood

When I decided to start weighing myself again, to stop the gain, I decided to be more moderate this time around.  No fretting (or celebrating for that matter) over a 0.4 pound gain/loss.  Water retention, what I had to drink this morning, or a number of things could make the scale bounce around a little, why stress over it?

Friday when I went to the doctor (and got the all clear to train just in case you hadn't heard) I was up 5 pounds from 3 weeks earlier.  FIVE POUNDS!!  Apparently I'd had a big lunch or not enough water or something because there is no evidence that it stuck around. 

My doctor (who's a very funny man) said "I see we gained 5 pounds, that's good."  Then he looked up at my horrified face and then said "Oops, I mean not good."

Honestly I'm afraid to diet.  The word "restriction" scares me considering lengths I had to go to in order to refill my body of a vital nutrient.  My exercise/calorie restriction probably didn't have anything to do with the anemia.


But since he didn't pinpoint just what did cause it, it leaves me to wonder.

Did I do this to myself?

So this time around (just in case) its different.  As I shop at the store, the first thing I look at on the food label is iron then calories.  Spinach in my salad instead of romaine lettuce.  And a multi vitamin daily.

Come September 26th I'm totally gonna rock that triathlon.   I can truly say I just want to finish.  Even if I finish last, it'll be a hellova accomplishment. 

Looking over the training plan yesterday I thought it looked perfect.  I remember thinking the first time around that the first few weeks were a huge decrease in my activity level.  This time around they look like the perfect way to ease myself back in.

So today at lunch I'll walk/run 15 minutes, then follow that with a 5 mile ride on stationary bike.  (I had to combine 2 in 1 because I'm getting a late start on the week.  (The training plan is an 11 week plan and the triathlon is exactly 11 weeks away!)

I had to laugh at the compliment Kim gave me in the comments yesterday.  "you are the most successful 'all or nothing' person I know!! :) "  That is a compliment, right??? :P

So how'd your week go on the healthy & fitness front? 

July 13, 2010

Getting out of that Rut

Not sure why, but as I said yesterday, I've been in a bit of a rut. 

I've been wanting a computer (or at least a phone with Internet access) for a while, and when we were shopping for Jay a new computer his dad assumed our chatter about it meant we would actually buy one, and even asked me what kind I was looking at.

While they were haggling over price, I made my way to the phones to drool.  The guy offered to help me when he saw my rockin Razr circa 2005, but he backed off once he looked me up and saw that I'm not eligible for an upgrade until April of next year.

My eating habits have been less than idea as of late, but I can't seem to find the motivation to change that.  I groan about how I don't want to be fat people, yet I continue to do fat people things.  (Although I will say my breakfast of bran flakes, blueberries, and almonds covered in almond milk was quite yummy this morning.)

A friend invited me to the movies last night.  What better to break a rut then spontaneity?  It sorta helped, until Jay nagged me about getting popcorn and a drink at the concession counter.

My sister purchased me a new Vera Bradley wristlet at the outlet store, but once again Stingy McStingerson begrudged the $20 she spent on my behalf for a fun new item.

So I'm left with one final idea.  It'll take hard work, dedication, and a bit of insanity.

But I think I can do it.

The final sprint triathlon of the year.  What better way to celebrate getting back at it then...well...getting back at it.  The major problem is the pool part - the indoor pool is closed .  If I want to get my swims in I'll have to be and and out of the outdoor pool by 7 AM.  That's when the swim team arrives.

But I'm a little scared. 

Maybe easing back into things more slowly would be a better idea?

July 12, 2010

Weekend Recap

Morning all!

This weekend was eventful, but I'm mentally not feeling it today so you're getting bullet points instead

  • Got great news at the doctors - I'm cured and released for full activity.  I have to go back in 3 months to make sure that all is well but Disney Marathon here I come!!
  • Saturday we met a client for dinner and they introduced me to a red wine I like - Lindeman's Merlot. 
  • Sunday my parents, Jay & I went on my first hike in ages.  It was an easy one, but I've definitely lost some conditioning.  (Hopefully Jay will get me the pictures soon and I can blog about it.)
  • I'm sick of this luke warm crap.  I feel fat and it gets me down, but it doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it.  I either wanna eat what I want and not care, or care enough to alter my behaviors.
  • I'm also in a bit of a spending mood.  I feel like I'm in a rut.  A little tired of the first part of "living like no one else." 
Oh, and let's not forget the new store that opened up 5 minutes from my house.  I decided to stop by on Saturday and check them out.  This could be very dangerous!

So, how was your weekend?

July 09, 2010

Financial Friday the Sizzin Summer Edition

We had a little air conditioner issue two days ago my husband turned the a/c up to 82 on the hottest day of the year, when we reached a record setting temperature and it taking the upstairs unit 3 hours to cool 2 degrees that got me laying in bed last night worrying about it.  Only time will tell if the upstairs unit is broken or if it was just poor timing on Jay's part.  (It seems to be working okay now - we just might be in the clear).

That night Jay was still up working and so I told him to chat with me to get the worry of an a/c repair off my mind.  He reminded me how blessed we are - to have a house big enough to need two a/c units, to have enough money in the bank to repair them if need be.

Laying there I remembered that when I turned 30, I let my aunt down.   She's always said that I'd be a millionaire before I turned 30.  Needless to say I didn't quite make it.  Jay laughed at how difficult that would have been to do with me making $12 an hour. 

That led into a conversation about where we wanted to be financially before we cut loose.  Basically when are we going to stop living like no one else, and truly start living like no one else.

Jay suggested that when we have $250,000 in the bank we could start altering our habits some. 

Yeah, that's what I thought too.

I told him that he was crazy and that we'd do stuff with money before we ever accumulated that much.  We've got a bath room to remodel, a garage to built, a mortgage to pay off, and by that time a new (to us) car to buy for Jay's work purposes. 

We agreed that when we did all that AND had $100,000 in the bank we'd really cut loose.  (Sad isn't it?  I'm never gonna get a Kindle!)

What does cutting loose mean to us?  Jay really didn't say, but I was able to list off a few things.  Most of which yall probably think are crazy and already do.

  • Leave the A/C on 78 in the Summer and the heat on 68 in the Winter.
  • Buy an Amazon Kindle - I love reading and it seems like a fun new technology.
  • Get a phone with Internet access so I can play on Facebook, Twitter, and check my email any where.
  • Maybe, just maybe, get Cable TV.
*Puts on geek glasses*

I'm a wild one aren't I??

Who is probably never going to get a Kindle cause I've got some pretty lofty financial goals.  But seriously people - I've always got trade credit at the used book store and I'm desperate to get rid of that tiny, claustrophobic 2 foot X 2 foot shower. 

Then again maybe by the time I get a Kindle we'll also be well off enough to get Laser hair removal on my legs and never have to shave again.

I guess a girl can dream.

As long as she's not lying awake worrying about money.

Or anxiously awaiting her (used paperback) copy of the Millionaire Next Door.

July 08, 2010

Thankful Thursday - The Food Edition

This week I'm thankful for the energy to cook! 

I'm also thankful that I've been blessed with creativity in the kitchen.  I might not be an expert chef, but I can look at a skillet full of Jambalaya and know that adding a can of corn would be a cheap ($0.30 per can) way to stretch the meal.

I'm thankful for one pot cooking.  I'd be lost without my skillet!

I'm thankful for a husband who's not too picky about what he considers a meal.  While he loves meat & potatoes he'll eat pretty much whatever I put in front of him.  Which is a good thing since I'd probably just let him starve or feed himself if he was too picky.

As I shared yesterday, I'm thankful for the energy to try a new recipe AND thankful that it turned out despite missing ingredients.

For those of you that aren't regulars to my blog, I've been battling a pretty hearty case of anemia.  After two weeks of iron infusions I think I might be on my way to being health again.  Finding the energy to do much of anything is a blessing these days!!

Don't worry guys, I'm not going to turn into a foodie, but I was so proud of myself I wanted to share Tuesday night's dinner with yall.

Lemon Pepper tilapia, (another $0.30 can*) green beans seasoned w/lemon pepper, and balsamic potatoes.

*Don't judge.  The MIL bought 3 cases each of corn, green beans, and peas for us per the Mutant's request.  I'm not even sure that she let us pay her back so technically they were free.  A girls gotta be creative to use 108 cans of veggies before the expiration date.

I would like to note that I didn't follow the recipe exactly.  I didn't have nutmeg, rosemary, or thyme so I just left those out.  I also substitute a shallot for a green onion.  They turned out great though!

Lynn is hosting Thankful Thursdays this month, head on over and link up!

July 07, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

Its going to be another scorcher today (we have a chance of breaking the record of 98 degrees), my  hair is frizzy, and my tiny serving of cereal went down way to fast.

Why is today so wonderful, you ask?  (Okay so even if you didn't pretend like you did.  'Kay?)

It is Weigh-in Wednesday after all.

I run with the Sisterhood

But the scale isn't why its wonderful either.  I decided on the drive to work (before I got on the scale) that today was going to be wonderful.

The wonderfulness actually came last night.  I worked out at lunch, so I got to go straight home after work.  I tidied the house up a bit, but a load of laundry in the washer, then started cooking dinner. 

I was inspired to try a new recipe.  If I'm completely honest, I haven't had the energy (mental or physical) to try a new dish in a while.  What if I put all that effort into it and it doesn't turn out?  I just didn't have the umph to spare.  Last night I tried a balsamic new potato recipe, enjoyed cooking, and the potatoes turned out great!

I ended up loading/running the dishwasher, doing some pots & pans by hand, doing 3 loads of laundry, fixing dinner, unpacking my workout bag, repacking it for today, and packing my lunch for today.

The best part?  I wasn't worn out after I finished all of my chores!  I could have kept going if I had needed to.

I was quite pleased with the evening's accomplishments, so I decided to hit the couch and start a new book.  I'd finished 2 books in the Stephanie Plum series over the weekend, so last night I started the 3rd that a coworker let me borrow last night.  By the time Jay got home I was 1/3 of the way through the book.

I'm sorta scared to say it, scared I'll jinx myself, but I think maybe the infusions worked.  It just took a little while for the Benadryl to work its way out of my system so I could get out of the tired slump it had put me in.

I'm even going to try running today at lunch.  Just a mile.  And I promise to stop if its too much.  For the record I was never told I couldn't run, just that I couldn't do anything that made me out of breath or fatigued.  Running did both of those. 

On to the scale - no change to speak of this week.  I'll certainly take it because I ate like a cow this weekend.  To my mother-in-law, food is love and when your at her house she makes sure you eat well.  And by well I mean she stuffs you, not that she feeds you healthy food. 

Cause I'm quite certain those macadamia nut cookies turned into ice cream sandwiches weren't health food.  As much as I tried to reason, that apple pie ala mode doesn't really count as a fruit and dairy serving either.

Hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday as well!

July 06, 2010

The Weekend Wrap Up

I'm in a mood today.  Shocking I know.  After all its the 4th week of my month and I just visited Yuppiville.  A brutal combo in my book.

I haven't talked much about my infusions, but I had a problem with the Benadryl (given because of a high risk of allergic reaction) burning my veins.  Yes its as painful uncomfortable  as it sounds.  They tried diluting it, and it helped to a degree. 

Friday I wasn't given Benadryl at all.  Not sure if it was because of my problems or she just forgot, but I thought it was odd that I was able to read my book during the infusion.  Normally I'm so loopy headed I can just hold my head back and wait it out.

Then, on the drive to Ohio I didn't fall asleep.  At all.  Normally (non drugged) I sleep in the car.  It doesn't matter what time of day or how long of a journey it is.  I get narcosleepy.  Add to that the fact that I've been going to bed at 6 and 6:30 on infusion days and I should have seen the red flag waving.

I didn't see it until we arrived at Jay's parents and took the bandage/wrap off. 

My hand was swollen.

Totally not cool.

That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the week.  Instead of riding to my rescue and getting me some OTC Benadryl from an all night pharmacy, the Mutant told me not to over react and just go to bed.

I woke up with my hand hurting and still swollen.  Before lunch we stopped and got me some Benadryl, and I took the dosage for a 6 year old child, hoping that it would incapacitate me for the rest of the day.  Add to that the scorching 90+ degree heat and the sun beaming on the asphalt at the zoo, and I was looking for a bench to set on at every moment.

I've taken a full dose every evening since and most of the swelling has gone down, but its still a little puffy and hurts.  I'm sick of this.  I'm ready for it to be over.  I'm tired of my veins hurting.  I'm tired of the low energy levels.  I thought this was supposed to fix me.

My mom assures me I'm probably just tired from the allergic reaction and my body trying to fight it off.  Well that and PMS.

I won't tell you about our trip to the pool and how the Mutant said that he loved my fat.  (Actually I mentioned being fat and he said "I love your fa...body").  I also won't tell you about how he wanted to go to the Glick Rd pool because of the eye candy.  (His parents subdivision has 2 pools - the one closest to their house is the "old people pool" because its filled with people like them who were there when the subdivision first started.  The Glick Rd pool is full of 20 and 30 somethings.  Real Trophy wives.)

I'm glad to be home.  The pretense, superficiality, and love of money that permeates Yuppiville is just too much for me.  Not to say that I'm above all that.  More accurately, I'm below it.  Not good enough to fit in. 

I'll make it through this week.  I always do.  And on Friday I'll visit my Hematologist to get my new game plan, to see if the infusions worked, to get the results of my blood work.

Next week will be better.

July 02, 2010

Financial Friday - List o' goals

Looking back over previous posts, I found this one from last year.  I blogged about the things I wanted to accomplish (I didn't set a time period).

Looks like I'm gonna need a new list!!

Here is my financial checklist (July 2009):

Pay off land
Get life insurance
Open Roth IRA
Save for a down payment for a house

1) Pay off land
That one's been marked off for a while now.  Funny, sometimes I forget about it.  I mean when there is no bill in the mail each month for it, its easier to slip your mind. 
Jay and I aren't sure we're going to build on it any more.  We love our current house so much (and got such a good deal on it) we're considering making it our forever home.  If that's the case we'll have to do some updates (adding a garage, completely revamping the bathroom, buying the neighboring lots). 
For now, we're hanging on to the land, just in case.
2) Get life insurance
Done.  We were already working on that when I created this list.  Now I don't have to think about it any more until the bill shows up in my mailbox once a year. 
3) Open a Roth IRA
This was the most recent item marked off the list.  We did it April of this year, right before the tax deadline - which is also the deadline to contribute money to retirement funds for 2009.  We decided that way would leave us open to adding more for 2010, but that if business for Jay wasn't as good we would still at least have retirement started.
4) Save for a down payment for a house
As you know, we not only saved for a house - we've found one and are settled in. 
Okay so now that Fiscal Year 2010 is wrapping up and FY 2011 is starting (at least at my work place) I'd like to set some goals for the coming year.
1) Save up the cash for a bath remodel
I'd like to rip out the jetted tub & tiny shower in the master bath and replace it with a claw foot tub.  I hate that tiny shower!
2) Fully fund our Roth IRAs for 2010
3) Save up for a new vehicle for Jay
Hopefully his Durango has a bit more life left in it, but its not a spring chicken, and he's hard on vehicles.  Dave Ramsey says never buy a car from a Real Estate agent and I agree with him!  (Unless of course, you're interested in a Maroon Dodge Durango with over 150,000 miles on it.)
4) Begin to pay off our home early
Jay and I have a 5 year goal of having our house completely paid for.  That's a lofty one.  It would mean saving up $20K each year just to put towards the house (not including retirement, vacation, or other savings). 
Dream big right?  After all most people thought I was crazy jumping from a 5K to a half marathon and I pulled that one out.  Maybe, just maybe, we can make this one work too.
How are you doing with your financial goals.  You do have goals.  Right?  Talk to me!

July 01, 2010

I < 3 Quinn

Today Lynn of Spiritually Unequal marriage is hosting Thankful Thursday and I decided to join in.  My thankfulness this week is one of those "you never know what you've got until its gone" moments.

This weekend, my mom, aunt, and I were in K-town shopping and my mom's car wouldn't start.  Thankfully my MIL had gotten me triple A coverage when I first joined the family so we were able to call for a tow then wait for my dad to come pick us up.

Since Jay & I are a 3 vehicle family (he just couldn't bare to part with the Jeep when he got his work appropriate Durango), I offered to let my mother borrow my car until it got repaired.  (The Jeep is a manual transmission & jacked up pretty high so it wasn't practical for her to borrow.)

For the past 3 days, I've driven the Jeep. I'm not an expert on driving a stick, but I can do it well enough to get by.  Never would I say I enjoy it.

Also, when I offered my car, I had forgotten that the a/c went out in the Jeep and we'd never bothered to repair it.  After all, its just a really expensive toy at this point and who can justify dropping more $$$ into it?

Around here a/c isn't optional in the summer.  These last few days have been cooler though, "only" reaching into the high 80s.  Still, add the humidity and I'm a sweaty mess by the time I get home.

I got Quinn (my car) back yesterday evening.  My mom said she might need it again next week, but for now, he's mine again.  No more sweating at red lights willing them to turn green.  No more desperate prayers that I won't kill the engine trying to pull out of the driveway.

And for that, I am thankful. 

(Also, that I'm blessed enough to have 3 vehicles to help my parents out when they need it.)

Some people might not think so, but I definitely consider trading this (with the top on)

For this...

moving up in the world!!