May 31, 2010

Today we remember...

those that have given their lives for freedom.

Like Pvt. Ray Worth, an unmarried farmer, drafted into duty during World War II.  He gave his life during the Normandy invasion.  My Papaw was never directly informed how his brother died, but after the war a fellow soldier came to visit my great grandmother to recount the story.

My great uncle was killed by enemy fire before his boat ever even made it to the beach.

Having no wife or kids to remember him, once his brothers and sisters have passed away there will be no one left to remember his sacrifice.  My mother, along with Jay & myself, go every year to remember an uncle she never had the privilege of meeting.  She and my father take an American flag, while Jay & I cut fresh wild flowers to put on his grave.

Who do you remember?

May 28, 2010

South Carolina Weekend Part 1

This past weekend was so action packed I'm not sure how many different blog posts I'm going to have to break it down into several different blog posts. 

Several years ago I met some incredible people on the ABC Lost message board.  Friendships developed on the board and spilled over into real life.  Over the 6 years of the show's run, I've been able to meet 6 of my board buddies in real life, as well as getting to speak with a couple over the phone. 

This weekend I had a chance to hang out with two ladies (and their families) that I had previously met as well as one that none of us had met before.  Mingo and CAM both live in South Carolina - Mingo just 4 hours away and CAM 2 more hours, next to the beach. 

Mingo was our hostess with the mostess.  She was set to pick up the newbie to the group (in the real life sense only - she's been a part of our group for ages) Poo aka Fran Friday night, and Poo understood that the rest of us would be arriving the next morning.

CAM & I decided to show up early and surprise Poo at the airport. 

None of us had so much as seen a picture of Poo, but hoped we would know her when we saw her.  Sure enough, she and her husband "New" Steve came walking through the airport holding hands - a telltale sign of a newlywed couple!

We headed back to the house for some girl talk before finally calling it a night.  The next day started with a wonderful meal provided by Mingo then we headed out to the mean streets of Lexington.  CAM and her husband Jose had visited Mingo before and Jose wanted to swing buy the giant fire hydrant. 

My only defense is that I'm nothing if not a dutiful and obedient wife.

"Dude you gotta pee on it!"  My LOST fans will recognize that quote.  If you don't shame on you - go rewatch the earlier seasons on DVD.

As for the hydrant itself, it doesn't really have a purpose - just something interesting in the middle of downtown.  Totally not as cool as being able to grope the Dolly statue in front of the court house of my hometown, but you work with what you've got.

I finished up and it was time to head to the USC, to see where our darling Mingo works.

This part of the campus was original to the school.  One of my favorite parts about South Carolina is the trees they have there.

This is pretty much the only picture of myself from the weekend that I like.  Ironically, I don't think it looks like me at all.  Probably why I like it.

Our final stop was the zoo, starting in the botanical gardens.  Jay got some great shots that would make my you capture bloggy friends jealous.  Let me know if you'd like the link to all of the pictures.  Jay takes a lot so sorting through them can get exhausting.

Our lovely host and hostess

As we finished up in the gardens the Lostie girls decide to conteplate the meaning of the show.  Everyone besides Poo, who ran ahead to take care of her nasty tobacco habit and wasn't around for the pics.

Then it was on to the animal kingdom. This guy took Hurley's "pee on it" command quite literally.

This turtle was a persistant guy and didn't get his way first time around...

...but hit the mark by the time we came back around.

Thankfully, Jay has an awesome zoom on his camera and isn't stupid enough to actually get this close.

The Koala Bear exhibit was air conditioned, which I found strange.  I thought Austrialia was a hot climate but apparently not.

I found a buddy to snuggle with...
(damn my legs are huge.  ugh)

We got one final parting shot, and headed back to the house...

Where Jay demolished the ribs (both wet and dry rub) and bbq chicken that Todd had prepared for us.  This trip was Jay's first group visit, and up until now they called him "Mr. Cardboard" because they insisted he didn't exist - I just had a cut out that I carried around for pictures.  Mr. Cardboard ate enough that they had no doubts on him being a real boy.

Stay tuned for Sunday's festitivies...

May 26, 2010


Some of you know via twitter (or daily mile, or email) that I've been officially bench.

No training. 

No Memorial Day triathlon.

Due to my fairly substantial case of anemia, I have to flush 2 months of training down the crapper.  Per my doctor's orders I'm allowed to exercise, but if I get short of breath or fatigued I have to STOP what I'm doing.  So basically I can walk, ride my bike at a leisurely pace, or swim with frequent breaks. 

I'll just tell you it totally sucks.  And I've considered doing it any way.  After all I completed a marathon (with elevations that practically make it a hike) with said anemia.  I didn't know it at the time, of course, but all my symptoms where there.  Surely if I can walk 26.2 miles and be fine - swimming 350 meters followed by a 10 mile bike and a 2.6 mile run wouldn't hurt me, right?

I got the news on Friday and all weekend long the great theologian Kenny Rogers spoke to me:

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away, know when to run
You never count your money, when you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin', when the dealin's done.

I remembered the soldier from the Mountain Man March, holding his cell phone.  Unwilling to make the call that would make the previous 20 miles worthless, all the while knowing that he didn't have it in him to complete the last 6.2. 

This decision sucks. 

I know there are several of the Sisters broken right now, so in a way I know I'm not alone.  Its also not at all the same.  I feel like I could go do the triathlon tomorrow.  Its an injury where putting pressure on my foot/knee/leg/back is painful.

I feel fine.  Athletes are use to fatigue.  Those of us with exercise induced asthma are use to shortness of breath. 

I can do this.

In the back of my head, however, I have my doctor wagging her finger at me.  With severe anemia, racing could put too much strain on my body.  Said strain might lead to congestive heart failure.

Do you see my frustration?  These aren't things that are likely to happen.  I'm throwing away 2 months of training "just in case". 

I realize there will always be other triathlons, and in the end I decided to take her advice.  I haven't been performing up to the best of my ability lately (and know we know why).  When I finally do compete in a triathlon, I want to be able to give it my all.  To do my best. Not hold back during the bike over fear that I might be taxing my body too much.

I fear gaining weight.

I fear losing conditioning.

But mostly I fear the anxiety I would feel if I allowed my fear dwell on the problem, not what the problem is keeping me from.  Because at the end of the day its not about the race.  Its not about how much I weigh.  At the end of the day I'm severely anemic and probably losing blood somewhere I shouldn't be.

And if I let it, that prospect could scare me sh*tless.

So for now I'll focus on my fear of growing back into my fat clothes, because that's the only way I know how to function.

May 25, 2010

Catching up...

I'm in the process of catching up on my long weekend so I'm going to keep this pretty short and sweet.  Also, I've got over 75 blogs in my reader so be patient - I'll get to you I promise!!

This weekend was full of fun times, and not so fun office visits.  Both of which I'm going to go into greater detail about.

Friday I had a doctor's appointment about some blood work that came back less than stellar.  I'm anemic, and instead of discussing food options and writing a RX for iron supplements, my doctor wants to poke and prod me until she finds out what's causing it.   Responsible I'm sure, but totally not fun.

Friday afternoon we left to visit a friend I met on the LOST ABC message board.  She was having a finale party, so we made the trek to visit her.  I'm waiting on Jay for pictures and then you'll get a 10 page long blog about the weekend complete with pictures.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

May 20, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Most of us, even through our rough times, are blessed more than we realize.  The fact that I realize my blessings probably makes me fall into the "cup runneth over" category. 

What do I have to be thankful for?  I thought you'd never ask!

*I'm thankful for all the wonderful resources I've found lately regarding being married to an unbeliever.  Fitting, since I've recently gotten the smack up side the head call from God to stop focusing on myself so much.  What could I achieve God work through me if I poured myself into my husband? 

One of those resources lead me to Thankful Thursday today - a new (to me) blog Spiritually Unequal Marriage.  Off from their links I found (and purchased through amazon) a great book on how a Christian wife should minister to her unbelieving husband.

*I'm thankful that said husband is a wonderful provider for our family.  He works hard to make sure that we have enough, more than enough really.  We have different strengths when I comes to finances and compliment one another well.

Just a few moments ago he called me to sign some paperwork at the bank.  He arranged it so that he'd be the one sitting waiting, and that I would only have to pop in for a few minutes to open up our new account.  All of that so that I could get a swim in during my lunch hour. 

If I want a picture of what love does, how it serves its beloved - I only need to look to my husband.  Busy as he is, he gave of his time so that I could spend my time doing something he doesn't think is necessary.  He thinks I workout too much.  How easy (and reasonable) would it have been to ask me to skim my 3rd swim of the week (the training plan only calls for 2). 

Instead he stepped up to the plate and took one for the team. 

*I have incredible work benefits.  If I listed them all here you'd be jealous.  To keep you from breaking one of the commandments I'll just focus on one benefit - the free blood work they do for us once a year.  Its so extensive my doctor asks that I fax the paperwork in to her every year.  Assuming I'm feeling okay and the bloodwork checks out okay, I don't even have to go in for a checkup.

This year my blood work revealed that, along with low blood sugar (I'm up to 50 this year - last year I was at 40, a normal person is 70-100), I also have low iron.  I've left a message on the nurse line to see what I need to do to get it up, if I need to come in.

Hopefully I won't have to stoop to eating liver and giblets, but I am willing to do what I need to do to get it up.  Researching anemia and the classic signs, I have most every one.  Not sure why I hadn't thought of it before.  Fatigue, shortness of breath (no wonder the inhaler isn't helping all that much), trouble sleeping, eating ice, dirt, and clay.

Okay I haven't progressed to the dirt and clay, but I've eaten my weight in ice the past few months.  Enough so that a friend of mine commented on how annoying/concerning it was.  We assumed it was a mental disorder - a way for me to be eating something without consuming calories.  Like a weird eating disorder or something.  I'm thankful to know that its more of a physical symptom than that.

*My LOST buddies.  This weekend I'm traveling to South Carolina to watch the finale with a group of ladies I met on the LOST message boards several years ago.  Who knew that a group of women could develop friendships over the Internet without having ever met in person?  (It was before my blogging days, give me a break 'kay?)

*My family.  I have a great set of parents, sister, grandparents, niece, nephew, BIL.  We look out for one another and know that we have each other's back - but also expecting nothing in return.

Got something you're thankful for?  Laurie's hosting Thankful Thursday today, head on over and link up!

May 19, 2010

21 Day challenge or reason 815 why I'm a mental case

Sisterhood 21-Days Challenge

I'm pretty sure I failed this challenge all the way around.

The purpose of the challenge was to set goals for ourselves and work toward making them habits.  I was all excited about the challenge because it wasn't focused on weight loss.  Due to my recent revelation that I'm freakin awesome if I weigh 120 or 138  I haven't weighed except that one day I cheated in over a month. 

No more tracking, obsessing, or general foolishness.  But this challenge was a great opportunity to focus on healthy habits, not necessarily weight loss.

What did I choose?
  1. Eating 5 fruits/veggies a day
  2. Serving 1 veggie with dinner every night
  3. Picking up the house every night before bedtime.
After the first week I decided to log the fruits and vegetables I had each day, as well as what I cooked for dinner.  The second week I added a running tally of how (and how long) I cleaned the house.

Each Wednesday I would review the list and put a big FAIL beside each goal because I didn't achieve it.

Until I realized I was falling back into the tracking trap yet again.

Don't get me wrong, its a very useful too.  I'm just crazy and I became obsessive about it.  I'm like a gremlin, bad things happen when you feed my obsession.

So without tracking for the past week, how'd I do?  Pretty well on the serving one veggie with dinner every night.  I never quite hit it on the fruits and veggies, but I am more conscious of what I pair with each meal and snack, as well as being sure to buy plenty at the store.  The clean up hasn't worked as well as I'd like, but I've had so much going that when I do get a free moment its just nice to collapse on the couch.

For my final review this challenge was one giant FAIL. 

Only not.  Because it made me think, consider my choices, and know when give myself a break. 

I mean really, I could pick up tonight and they'll just be more empty dip cans, dirty socks, and full spit cups waiting on me tomorrow.

How'd the challenge go for you?

May 18, 2010


I officially earned my title this weekend.  Up until now I only suspected I was the best.  I mean surely there are other childless women out there who treat their nieces and nephews with the utmost adoration right?  How could I be sure I was the best?

Now, there is no doubt.  An unbiased observer officially bestowed the title upon me this weekend.

When my sister called last weekend, wanting to know if I was going to attend the Princess's dance recital I told her I would have to check but I thought I was free.  My sister made no mention that she wasn't attending. 

My sister is one of my best friends, so I was definitely bummed when I found out that she would be away for a work conference that weekend.   Little by little the story began to unfold.  My BIL was away with his school's 7 & 8th grades the prior week, not getting back until late Friday night.  Since my sister was leaving Friday afternoon at lunch, they needed someone to pickup the Princess from school and the Little Man from the baby sitter's.

We were left with an instruction sheet of all the different activities we had to attend. 

Friday:    5:30 dance practice
Saturday: 12:00 soccer game
               5:00 dance recital 

Dance practice seemed to go on forever.  Thankfully my purses is large enough to hold a small book, so I plowed through several chapters of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  By the time we got the Princess home (thankfully my BIL showed up to take the Little Man home and get him ready for bed) we still had to wash her hair, and Baby (my dad) had to braid her hair in several sections.

According to my sister, her hair had to be curly for the recital but her hair type won't hold curl well (and she doesn't sit still well for my sister to use the curling iron.)  The Princess has chin length hair, so Baby's job wasn't easy but he got it done and we eventually all called it a night.

The next day was a whirl wind.  They don't keep score for KinderSoccer, but the Princess scored 4 goals and didn't even play half the game!  My  mom kept the little man occupied playing in the dirt during the game while Baby & I cheered on the Princess.

After the game we went to the creek to have a picnic and were accosted by some parents of another team.  Apparently, before leaving for her conference, my sister had gotten the game time wrong and we'd played the wrong team.  After 10 minutes of seeing my BIL apologize for any blame he had (remaining calm all the while having two women in his face yelling at him over a soccer game involving 5 year olds), I commented trying to get them to see that there was nothing to be done about the situation.

Instead of helping matters, I'm pretty sure I just made things worse.  Even though one of the women was twice my age - she mocked me like she was a child.  When I started to say "The point is there is nothing that can be done about it now," she interrupted by saying "Tell us, just what is the point" in a mocking tone.

Then later they had the never to comment on us being rude.  My BIL stood there and took their crap for 10 minutes, then when we were finally sick of it, we defended him - yet we were the rude ones?  So I reminded them "Yall got hateful first."  So then this same mature 60 year old woman, in the same high pitch tone mocked me "Yall got hateful first."

Wow, all of that over a soccer game for kids so little they don't even take score?

So that was my big oopsy this weekend - getting myself involved.  They ran back, twisted the facts, and accused us of accosting them.  I don't care for getting involved for my sake, but turns out they thought I was my sister and tattled as much.  I joked with her yesterday now she knows how those people on Soap Operas feel when their evil twins run amok in the town and the good sister gets the blame!

Moving on to the part where I was the good sister/auntie...

My sister had informed me that someone would need to be in the dressing room helping Claire change, and the duties would probably fall to me.  After all, they probably wouldn't let a Dad hang out in the dressing room and my mom gets nervous in stressful situations.

In flies Super Boo to save the day.

This was the Princess's first recital, so my sister couldn't have anticipated how to prepare me.  I didn't bring snacks.  The dance teacher had said the recital would last 2 hours and water would be provided for the girls, so I didn't bring water.

My sister had the dance bag packed, so all I had to do Saturday morning was go through the bag marking the Princess's initials on all of her gear.  That should have tipped me off as to the mass confusion that happens while performing costume changes on 5 and 6 year old girls, but it didn't.

The air conditioning had broken and been patched back together the night before, but it certainly wasn't doing its job well.  The dressing room got hot and miserable, the water ran out an hour and a half into the performance (which actually lasted 4 hours), and the Princess asked to go home after the first act.

With the opening number, I prayed (a very sincere prayer) that the Princess wouldn't get caught up in the world of dance. I'm sure it has plenty of redeeming qualities, but I worry about her getting involved in an activity that is so focused on appearance.

When I mentioned having not thought to pack snacks I said "I guess since I'm not a mom I can't win the 'most inept mom of the year' award right?"  The lady beside me stared at me. 

"You're not her mother?  And you're down here in all the madness?  You must be the best aunt ever!"

So there you have it.  Super Boo is willing to wade through the superficiality and craziness to help her niece enjoy her very first recital. 

Although given the boredom and even the dry heaves (from exhaustion and being over heated) in the parking lot, I'm not sure its an experience the Princess will want to repeat.

May 14, 2010

Financial Friday

This is going to be a quick driveby post as I've got a lot going at the moment, and I still want to be able to get around to your blogs!

Just wanted to give you a few financial suggestions from your friendly neighborhood frugaltista who splurges and pays $1.99 for fancy, smancy bread.

Do a budget!

A budget is important for several reasons.  You need to know where your money is going.  Jay & I work on the budget at the first of the month, calculating the projections of our spending.  Then I go back at the end to see what our actual totals are. 

It also promotes conversation in my marriage.  I don't have to tell you how busy life is, but real, meaningful conversation is vital to the health of a relationship.  Jay and I have plenty of "hi honey how was your day" conversations, but I love having at least once a month where we discuss our hopes and dreams.

The first month we budgeted, we made a list of all the things we wanted to do with any "extra" money that came our way.  Since then we've both opened Roth Ira accounts and have had a contractor to the house to give us a rough quote about adding a garage to our home.  I think it might be awhile before we get the $30,000 in the "garage/master bath" column of our savings, but its nice knowing where it stands on our priority lists.

Eliminate wasteful spending

A lesson our government could stand to learn. 

Seriously though look around.  How many button up blouses do you really need?  Really wear?  And 60 pair of shoes?  Come on that's pathetic.  What - I'm the only one with that many?  Oops, forget I said anything.

I think most of us have more than we would ever need.  Today Lois issued a challenge - starting June 1st, no clothing shopping for a year.  I'm going to take her up on it, with a slight modification.  I do need new pants, as I've dropped 2 pant sizes in the past year.  The HR lady has even commented on my pants being too big (Lois - no telling them she's one of my besties and is trying to  make me feel good). 

I'm taking her up on her challenge in part - no new tops, no new shoes (besides Jay would kill me if he had to build even more shoe shelves), no new purses.  If I buy pants, I have to donate a too big pair to charity.

Consider your gifts

This year, my sister threatened bodily harm if we bought her children toys for their birthdays & they didn't need new clothing.  The princess lied to her babysitter and told her that her pants were so tight she couldn't eat lunch (lie #1) and that they were bruising her belly (lie #2) so the babysitter took her on a target shopping spree.

My sister's suggestion was to either put money in their college fund, or buy a toy for an orphan.  Since I don't know any orphans, Jay and I wrote a check to be deposited in their bank account.  I wouldn't be cool Auntie Boo if I didn't buy them a toy to open at their party, but a $1 DVD from the Dollar Tree about Daniel and the Lion's den will work just as well as a $20 Hannah Montana DVD.

When I called my niece on her birthday she told me "thank you for the money making money."  That's how my sister explained it to her - that Aunt Boo and Uncle Jay put money in an account for her so that it would make even more money.   It wasn't a lot, but hopefully over the course of the next 12 years compound interested will work in her favor and it'll help her further her education.

Follow the Babysteps

Its no secret I'm a Dave Ramsey fan.  His baby step process really works - so try it!  (He's also giving away $1,000 every day in May so go register!)

May 13, 2010

What kind of blogger am I?

This week I'm both versatile and honest. 

C-Foxes gave me the versatile blogger award last week and RR Mama gave me the honest blogger award. 

The rules of each award say I have to tell you some random stuff about myself, so I decided to combine the two into one big fun award post!

  1. I won the 5 year old division big wheel race when I was only 4 years old.  It was held in the Pizza Hut parking lot.
  2. I learned to speed read because of the Book-it program.  For every book you read (or maybe 4 or 5) you got a free personal pan pizza growing up.  Too bad they don't have something like that for adults!
  3. I was embarrassed just a few weeks ago to be shopping in the children's section of the used book store, but I want to read the Chronicles of Narnia series and our local library never has the first book on the shelves.
  4. Jay wants to have build in shelving installed in the upstairs landing of the house.  While it would be beautiful, I'm hesitant because I just see it as another surface to clean.  Also currently all of our books are properly housed in bookcases, so I would have to go shopping for something to put on the shelves.
  5. He also had someone to the house 2 nights ago to get a price quote on building a garage and revamping the master bath.  The revamp, turned into building a first floor master and landed us with a $30,000 quote.
  6. This was moments after I left the grocery store feeling guilty for spending $60 on out of season veggies to make a salad and fresh strawberries.  Okay so since I'm supposed to be an honest blogger I also got a 12 pack of orange soda, loaded up on $0.84 2 liter drinks, and got some whole wheat bread products for myself.  But I seriously felt guilty for "splurging" at the store.
  7. On one hand, I sit back and judge the people I see chugging cokes, eating greasy hamburgers, on the other I'm jealous.  Not that I never eat those things, just to be able to eat and not think about it.  That sort of freedom sounds wonderful right now!
Okay so there you  have it.  I'm also supposed to pick people to pass the award along to, but I'm feeling particularly lazy today.  Feel free to snag the awards and post some random things yourself.

On a more serious note - I had an eye opening moment last night.  One that makes me want to cry just thinking about it.  Don't worry, no one is hurt, my world is not crashing around me, but out of sensitivity to the other parties involved I don't want to share in an open forum like this the details.  Please just pray for me about this situation.  It breaks my heart.

Now that I've killed the fun/random vibe this post had going for it - I shall release you to the comments section!

May 12, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday - 21 Day challenge

I have a tiny confession to make.  Even though I've sworn off calorie counting, exercise tracking, calorie burn tracking, and weighing myself - I stepped on the scale today.  Honestly it wasn't all that bad.  In my head I was convinced that I had gained every last pound back and that I was as fat as ever.  Never mind the fact that all my clothes were still fitting the same. 

Given all the different variables, I really haven't fluctuated all that much.  That should take a huge burden off my shoulders, but it doesn't and I can't really pinpoint why.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful.  It seems that my body has found its happy place and as long as I don't go extreme in either direction I'll be good.  Then again maybe its just too soon to tell.

Okay now on to my accountability for the challenge.

Sisterhood 21-Days Challenge

My goals?

1) Serve at least 1 veggie with every meal
2) Eat 5 fruits/veggies every day
3) Pick up the house every night before bedtime.

How'd I do?

1) Veggies with dinner

I did okay on this one.  Last Wednesday we went out to eat and he got a Philly cheese steak burger topped with green peppers and onions so that was a big - CHECK - for the evening.  By Friday, I was feeling bluesy and couldn't muster up the gumption to do much in the way of cooking.  He had a leftover hamburger  with a side of ramen noodles.  I just had a bowl of ramen (fail).

The others nights' veggies included fries (fail), canned diced tomatoes, and salsa.  Then there was last night...I was so overwhelmed at all I've got going right now - I just laid down on the couch, wrapped up in a blankie and did nothing.  I had chips and salsa for dinner.  Jay had chex mix.  (Epic Fail)

Final count 4/7 days serving at least 1 veggie with dinner

2) 5 fruits/veggies

Even stretching it and counting pizza sauce as a veggie, I didn't meet this goal.  Most days I had 3 servings - typically 1 fruit, 2 veggies.  Saturday I did the best, eating a pear, green & red peppers, onions, and green beans (teriyaki steak at Outback).  While I did get in 5 different kinds of fruits/veggies, I'm sure I didn't 5 full servings of each.

Today will most likely be another fail, as I've only had pizza sauce thus far today.  Maybe a strawberry/chocolate/banana smoothie for dinner with a side of green beans.  Okay I said that jokingly but how easy would it be for me to make a salad* and a smoothie for dinner after spin class?  I'll be getting home late any way. 

Okay so if today isn't another epic fail - I need ideas as to how I'm going to get Jay to eat a veggie to accompany his frozen pizza (his dinner standby when I don't cook anything). 

*I always wash/chop my veggies when I bring them home from the grocery store - just add lettuce and I've got an instant salad.

Final count 0/7 days eating 5 fruits/vegetables per day

3) Pickup the house every night before bedtime.


My house is a wreck.  Partially my doing, partially Jay's.  I've let it get bad though.  I've got to get back on the wagon or go crazy.  My next week is booked up, so it'll be hard to get anything done.  Maybe I'll tweak this one for the coming week and pledge to spend at least 15 minutes per night (not including dinner or dishes) cleaning or picking up. 

Right now I have 3 loads of laundry waiting to be folded and put away, as well as about 2,000 square feet of hardwood flooring begging to be swept (thanks Misti for letting me know I'm not alone in my plight!)

Monday night I was going all all cylinders.  I took spin class from 5:30-6:15, got home around 6:45 and didn't stop going until I went to bed at 10.  Even when I slowed down long enough to watch one of my favorite TV shows Chuck, I still stayed busy.  I started laundry while I cooked dinner, did dishes during the commercials of the show, and during the show itself I wrapped the birthday gifts I just purchased for the Princess and the Little Man, as well as preparing all my birthday cards for the month.  (May is a busy month - I've got 5 card worthy people born this month.)

(I can hardly believe that today is her 6th birthday!!  And he'll be 2 at the end of the month.)

Before you think I'm super woman (or every woman if that sounds like your life all the time), I did just the opposite last night.  I went grocery shopping after work, skipped my weights class and doing the Shred workout I promised myself would replace the skipped weights workout, put away groceries, chopped veggies, got freaked out because Jay had a contractor to the house to talk about adding a garage and doing a complete master bath overhaul, (which turned into adding another full bath & walk in closet completely).  As soon as dude left I put on my jammies & crashed on the couch to watch the 1st hour of biggest loser.  Then I moved into the hearth room (our living room TV doesn't pickup ABC) and crashed in the big red chair to watch LOST. 

All the while 3 loads of laundry were staring me in the face.  You see, yesterday morning I couldn't find my wedding rings.  I freaked out, afraid I lost them while transferring laundry from the washer to the dryer.  So I emptied both machines shaking out each item as it was removed.  Turns out the rings were on the counter by the sink.  I'd removed them to bleach the sink and forgot to put them back on.

Back to the story at hand - I managed to not look at the load of towels in the laundry basket, load of workout clothes on top of the dryer, and completely forget about the sheets in the dryer. 

I am a woman in desperate need of a list.

Final count 2/7 days tiding the house nightly before bed.

Hopefully I'll make it by your blog today to see how you're doing.  If not I'll get there eventually, but apparently I have an emergency list situation that desperately needs my attention.

May 11, 2010

Pictures from the homestead

After church on Sunday morning, the whole crew met up for Mother's day lunch at our favorite homestyle cookin' joint.  (The whole crew = my grandparents, my parents, my aunt & uncle, cousin & his wife, my sister & her kids, Jay & me.)  The restaurant was giving away free red velvet cake to all the mothers, but as my cousin's wife and I learned, they didn't bother to ask who was a mother and who was not.  All of us adult women at the table got a piece.  I suppose I earned my piece by being the best auntie in the world & she earned hers by being a mommy to a beagle.

Jay and I followed my parents (who were driving my sister's minivan with her crew in toe) back to their house to just hang out for the afternoon.  We found ourselves out by the swing set.  After the Princess demostrated her mad skillz on the monkey bars, we decided to go track down Beautiful the donkey.

My grandparents came over to the house as we were loading up, so they decided to join us on our journey.  Mamaw hates having her picture taken so for the entire afternoon these are the only shots we were able to get of her.

Jay was slightly more creative getting his picture of her than I was. 

He captioned this one "sexiness in a pickup", but prefaced that the redneck in him wanted it to be a picture of me holding a beer can, rather than a Pepsi can.

We found Beautiful on the back part of the farm, protecting her charges.

My pawaw got Beautiful because several of his calves went missing the night they were born - no doubt cyotes were to blame.  Its her job to protect them, kick the crap out of anyone who tries to mess with them.  Although she's not above kicking them if they come between her and her feed.

At first the Princess didn't want to get her shoes dirty, so she requested that Jay hold her.  She quickly got over that though and got down to the business of letting the donkey eat out of her hand.  Beautiful sneezed on her, so the Princess had enough.  I stepped in to help Jay out feeding the donkey.

The countrified men looked on, probably amazed that what they consider chores we consider a fun way to spend the afternoon.

We call this section of the farm "honeymoon lane" because my Papaw (on the right) had to go milk cows on this part of the farm on his wedding night. 

I'm not sure how I became lucky enough to get all blessings of growing up on land this beautiful and none of the chores, but I'm not going to complain!

May 10, 2010

Mount LeConte Take 2

A little over a month ago I took a day off work for Jay & I to hike to the top of Mt. LeconteJay & I got into an argument about a mile in The weather was terrible so we decided to turn around and save it for another day. 

A coworker mentioned going this weekend,  so Jay and I decided to give it another try.  The hike to Leconte Lodge is 5 miles via the Alum cave trail (there are several ways to get to the top).

I could talk all day about the area, the history, and what its like.  Instead I'm going to skip straight to the pictures.

The Lodge:

You can click the picture to make it larger or I can save you a step.  It reads "LeConte Lodge" then under that "Elevation 6593" and the date.  The elevation is important because LeConte is the 4th highest peak east of the Mississippi.  Sure, the Rockies make the Smokies look like babies, but for this side of the country Leconte is just about as good as it gets.

To stay in a shack like this on the top of the mountain, people make reservations a year in advance and pay over $100 (per person) to stay.  If you do stay, be sure your food is protected - you never know when a mouse or a bear might be tempted to share.

One of the aerobics instructors at my gym also works at LeConte, so I had to hunt her down while I was up there.  Sure enough she was trying out new moves for the next class she'd be teaching.  One thing is for sure - those steps were not made by Reebok.

After that we headed up to Myrtle Point.  I'd been up to the Lodge area 2 other times, but never had I made it to the true summit of the mountain.

High point is the tallest part of the mountain.  As we passed, Jay decided to stop and make it just a hair taller.

Myrtle Point, while not the true summit, certainly has the best views.  The views going out are wonderful, but can be a little concerning if your child wanders off and gets a little too close to the edge.

The views from the point itself are magnificent.

My willingness to talk to strangers typically pays off - and this day was no exception.  I offered to take a picture of an entire family together, so they returned the favor.

Sometimes I forget just how blessed I am to live in the middle of all of this natural beauty.  Not to mention almost 12 miles of hiking and I wasn't all that sore the next day!

May 07, 2010

Mixin' it up - Oh My blog!

aka Freestyle Friday.  I did a Shrinking Jeans Monday project a few weeks late, and never got around to posting the pictures.  Then Pubsgal nominated me for an award and the two meshed together beautifully.

First the award:

Here's what I get to do:

  •  Get really excited that you got the coolest award EVER! 
    Good enough?
  • Choose ONE of the following options of accepting the OMB award:

  1.  Get really drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight, or for as long as you can focus.
  2. Write about your most embarrassing moment.
  3. Write a “Soundtrack of your childhood” post.
  4. Make your next blog a ‘vlog’/video blog. Basically, you’re talking to the camera about whatever.
  5. Take a picture of yourself first thing in the morning, before you do anything else (hair, make up, etc)and post it.

  •  Pass the award on to at least three, but preferably more, awesome bloggers as yourself. Don’t forget to tell them.
Here where my shelved Monday project comes in - I'm going to take a few liberties with the instructions.  I mean the point is to make a fool of myself right?  So here you go my pictorial embarrassing Monday Project moment - Super Boo goes Skiing.

May I interject that I love being a super hero?  I use to call my adventures "Fat ass goes to _______".   Mostly because all of our memories are on a camcorder - video taken from my dad walking behind my mom, sister, and I.  Totally not a flattering angle.  Anyhoo, so glad I have a positive adventure name now.

The Monday Project

Step one in the skiing process (when you live in an area that never gets substantial snowfall) acquire snow gear.


Step two - find a place to ski


Step 3 - Try not to get discouraged that this little guy picked up skiing quicker than you.

If a ski suit circa 1980 and a small child skiing circles around me isn't embarrassing enough - I'm not sure what more you could want!

Okay fine, I'll admit that I only went down the regular slope twice.  I stayed on the learners hill practically all night.  When I finally got going, I'd freak out that I was going to fast and I'd bail.  I got very good at stopping and at getting up unaided with my ski's on.

Now for part 3, choosing 3 other bloggers to shame themselves for the entire blog-o-sphere to see.

  1. Amy (who could just add this to her Miss-series)
  2. Amanda (who could use a break from law school stress right now)
  3. Jen (who's always up to something fun with her 3 monkeys)

May 06, 2010

Thursday's Three

Normally I'm happy enough to participate in the Sisterhood's Thursday's Three by replying to their post with my answer.  This week's three thought provoking, and I think it deserves more than just a 2 minute glance.

Lisa has asked us to fill in the blank:

When I look in the mirror I like my...

1)   Hair.

Even back in the day when I wasn't working on loving myself, I couldn't help but admit I had great hair.  My mom and sister both have thick, coarse hair that is difficult to manage.  Not sure how I wound up with fine hair - but I'm thankful.  Granted its just as thick as theirs, but that really makes it the best of both worlds.  I don't have to worry about limp, flat hair like most people with fine hair.  I also don't have to worry about unruly hair.

My hair does that I want it to, and in most cases without a fight.  I typically wear it curly due to workouts.  A glob of gel & 2 minutes and I'm ready to face the world.  If I workout/shower at night, I let it dry naturally and use the curling iron on it the next morning for that Claire Bennett look.

Yep, that's me.  I totally look like that. 

When I'm feeling really adventurous, I wash my hair, then use the hair dryer and a straightening iron on it.  The 15 minute process didn't seem to be all that involved until I discovered the beauty of the wet/curly look.

It even looks good short. Okay so I thought it did you might not.

Okay so this picture is proof that the pixie cut isn't the most versatile, but I loved it none the less. Most of the time I would spike the back, making it look funky. 

2)   shoulders/upper back.

Oh look - a picture of my curly hair in a pony tail! (I went looking everywhere for a curly hair shot).

I love all the work and improvement I've done on my upper body.  I could stand to have a bit more of shrinkage in the arms, but I love the way my shoulders and back have really started looking.

Don't neglect your weight training boys and girls!!!

3)   my hands. 

They may not score me a hand modeling gig, but they've served me well.  How else would I change gears on my bike, write this blog, stuff donuts in my pie hole, or chop fresh veggies for lunch?  Not to mention holding up around 2 carats worth of bling.  Larry Bird has nothing on me ladies - 33 diamonds total (22 small stones in the engagement ring + the big one & 10 in the wedding band).  That's not easy work for my little left ring finger.

Given the tendency to arthritic hands (my mom at 54 years old already is dealing with them) I know I need to appreciate them now while they are working well!

Now its your turn!  Fess up, I know there is something you're just dying to brag about!