Wednesday, July 29, 2009

it's not a's a lifestyle...blah, blah, blah

Sooooo...another post about the never-ending battle to lose weight. I hope none of you think I am obsessed with this. And if you do, well, you're wrong. You can quit reading.

Oh, I kid, continue reading...I'm happy for you to read also.

A few years ago some of my family members joined Weight Watchers. After joining several phrases were constantly heard around the house. "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle", "If you fail to plan then you plan to fail", ""Set small goals, they are attainable".

I heard these phrases so often that they are now part of my occasional conversations.

When I signed up with Calorie Counters back in the spring I remembered these mantras and stuck with them.

I have had slooooooooooooooow progress, but progress. I have lost about 7 pounds and have 3 more to go before I reach my first goal. (And if I quit going on vacation and out of town so much then I might actually reach my first goal...sigh.)

The main thing I realized when I started making an effort to watch what I eat was that I was taking in more calories than I should have been...way more. Apparently I was trying to out eat linebackers and defensive ends.

Again, I kid.

Another thing that I learned (well, okay, that's a lie, I already knew this about myself) was that I HAD to eat 3 meals a day PLUS snacks. I'm not one of those people who can skip breakfast and eat again at dinner. I CANNOT skip meals. Doesn't it say somewhere in the Bible that "thou shalt eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner"? I'm just trying to follow commands. I tend to not be in a jolly mood if I miss a meal (ask Matthew) and my head hurts. So, I try not to miss mealtimes.

Because of this "quirk" I have, it was f(and is) necessary for me to write down what I was eating. It helped (and helps) me keep track of how many calories I have used during the day.

And here are some of the foods that have helped me lose the 7 pounds.

I eat a hard boiled egg EVERY SINGLE MORNING. The egg (along with two pieces of wheat toast) keep me full all the way until lunch time. I look forward to my morning egg when I get out of bed every day.

One cup of grapes is 62 calories. Yummy refreshing snack!

Apple and caramel sauce:

EVERY SINGLE NIGHT I have an apple, sliced, with a tablespoon of caramel sauce. It takes the edge off my desire for a huge piece of cake or a big ole bowl of ice cream. Really, it does. I'm not lying to you.
These almonds are DELICIOUS! Just typing this is making me crave some. AND, almonds are very filling.
Laughing cow cheese:
One wedge is 35 calories and is really nice on my morning toast or it often acts as the mayo on turkey sandwiches.
Speaking of turkey sandwiches, I usually eat one at lunch. I have been buying this sub kit and a piece of turkey and a piece of ham, together, is 60 calories. It makes a nice sandwich.
Can I get a show of hands on how many of you LOVE this white cheddar popcorn? Oh my goodness...I love, love, love it! AND you can buy it in 100 calorie packs.
String cheese:
Yummy. This is a great afternoon snack and only 50 calories. It's perfect for on the go eating.
Diet coke:
Really, I don't need to elaborate. My love for this beverage is hard to describe. I would drink it even if I was trying to GAIN weight, so really, it's not fair for me to put it on my "weight-loss list".
This has been my "secret-weapon". Whenever I feel the urge to eat something sweet I immediately reach for my gum. And, for me, it has to be cinnamon flavored!
Not the most exciting weight-loss tool, but important. I try to only use it once a week (because if I used it everyday I would be a crazy woman and stress if I gained weight every day). It keeps me accountable and makes the dances of joy possible when I have lost pounds (or ounces).
I have also found these websites helpful in my planning dinners. They offer nutritional information with the recipes which makes it easier for me to stay within my calorie target for each day:, and
And finally, it's important to have "cheat" days. How boring would it be to never eat the piece of cake or the big bowl of ice cream? When Matthew and I were in San Antonio, I ate a ton of Mexican food (and gained a few pounds-but lost it the following week) and focused on having a good time instead of focusing on the calories.
Maybe, for some of you, this will be helpful information. I hope so. And really, it's not a is a lifestyle.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

future roller derby queen?

A few years ago, Wal-Mart had a sidewalk sale. I was able to pick up several things for almost nothing. One of those items was a pair of trainer/in-line kid skates.

At the time, Nora was barely walking so I knew it would be awhile before she would be able to use them.

Fast forward several years and we have today.

Matthew pulled the skates down from the attic about a week ago. We showed them to Nora and said that when we got her a helmet and knee/elbow pads she could use them. I picked up the necessary safety equipment last night.


As soon as Matthew got home this afternoon we all headed outside for Nora's skating debut.

Getting first!

The skate looks as big as her whole leg
Hey mom, I don't know if this is a good idea. You know how I can get.
Seriously, I'm not kidding.
And they're up!
A little wobbly...
Starting to hate the skates...and us for making her try them out.
"I told you this was NOT going to be a good idea. You guys never listen to me!"
Please don't make me go any further...
I'm done...
You can't make me go!
Now look at me...I fell down. And probably need a band-aid.
What are you doing daddy? Are you making me go all the way back home (5 feet away)?
don't let go, don't let go, don't let go, don't let go
That was not fun
I don't want to do that again. EVER.

So, as you can see...probably a good thing she is not a child of the 80's. She is not going to be begging us to take her to the roller rink anytime soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Our summer has been crazy, crazy, crazy and, although menu planning has been going on in our house, I have not let the rest of the internet world know about it.

Here is our menu for the next week, with some links...enjoy!

Monday: Steakhouse steaks, brown rice, corn on the cob

Tuesday: Pan-Grilled Chicken with Cranberry Salsa, green beans

Wednesday: Turkey Burgers with Special Sauce, Sweet potato fries

Thursday: Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, orzo, broccoli

Friday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, peas, apple slices

Saturday: Chicken nuggets, shells and cheese, green beans, grapes

Sunday: leftovers

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jack and Jill had a pail

My good friend, Tanya, is a principal at a local elementary school. She, from what I gather from her staff and the loads of stuff that she does, is a fantastic leader of her school.

She asked me to make some fun door prize gifts for her teachers for when they return to school tomorrow.

She had a teacher who had purchased a Halloween pail for her daughter. It was super cute, embroidered with her child's name, had ribbons all over it, very functional....and pricey.

Tanya thought it was a great idea but didn't want to spend the money that her friend did. (She's also very smart).

I had seen similar pails online and even have other friends who have either purchased or made them too.

So, Tanya bought some pails (smaller than the ones online, but still worked) from Oriental Trading and asked me to turn them into treats for her teachers.

And here is what I did: (please excuse the poor photo quality...I have no excuse)
I thought they turned out pretty cute. And they were EASY PEASEY!

And no, I am not ever...never, ever, ever...going into business. If you want to pay someone to make them for you, go here and ask her, I bet she would.

I just thought I would show them in case some of you want a cute and easy idea for possible Halloween pails or teacher gifts.

(And if you are my good friend and BEGGED me, I might make you one. You supply the pail.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

I remember when I wore that.

My friend, Lane, came over today to borrow some maternity clothes. I have a million pieces of maternity clothing due to a very generous mother and friends who no longer need them. FOUR tubs of clothes. It's a tad ridiculous, but I share. I think I have helped clothe 4 or 5 other pregnant women.

As Lane and I were going through the tubs I had so many memories come back to me.

I don't usually have strong memory ties to clothing. (Definitely not the current clothing in my closet). But, pulling out the maternity clothes triggered tons of memories. It seemed like I could remember where I had worn each piece.

It was funny because these were pleasant memories for me. I remember always hating my maternity clothes at the end of my pregnancies. And I certainly never felt as cute as I thought the clothes were today. Funny how the mind works.

So, swallowing my pride and taking a trip down memory lane, here is a photo scrapbook of some of my maternity clothes.

Pregnant with Nora: at my cousin Clint's wedding. I love this dress and wish it wasn't maternity because I would wear it for every nice event.

pregnant with N: about to get family pics taken. The only thing maternity that I have on here is the skirt. LOVE THIS SKIRT!!!! I bet I could wear it as non-maternity...

Preg with N: I wore this dress a lot during this pregnancy. I always got a ton of compliments when I wore it so I guess I looked cute in it.

Preg with N: Christmastime...I really like those jeans. Sadly, my rear-end expanded so much during my first pregnancy that I was unable to wear them while I was preg with E. Nice.
Preg with N: You can't see this skirt very well but it is FABULOUS! This is the day of my school shower and the little cutie in the picture is a kindergartener who had made me the crown for my shower.
Barely preg with E: I loved that shirt. It was maternity and perfect for the transition period (which was only about 5 seconds long for see the thing about getting pregnant 11 months after you have a baby is that your stomach still remembers what it is supposed to look like pregnant and resumes that look as quick as possible). Side note: In this picture is me, Nora, my sister, my dad and my grandmother, Mommee. Mommee passed away Friday afternoon. She was 82 and had lived in a nursing home for 3 years. She was very ill and ready to go. I am flying to Texas tomorrow be at her funeral. We will miss her!
Preg with Elyn: Easter. NONE of my clothes fit this Easter and I was struggling to find something to wear that made me look pregnant and not fat. I found this little masterpiece and snatched it up. And doesn't it look like Nora is floating in the air?
OBVIOUSLY preg with E: Okay, I don't like how I look in this picture, but I LOVED those pants. They were so comfortable I could wear them almost my entire pregnancy...mainly because I had stretched them out.

Preg with E: I felt so pretty in this outfit. I loved that shirt because I felt like it covered up my rear-end...which was good because of all the spreading that had occurred.
One day before Elyn arrived in this world: Nice profile, huh. Could my stomach be any bigger? There was an 8 pound baby in there. (And a lot more pounds distributed around the rest of my body.) This shirt was a gift from the maternity clothes gods. Even though I weighed close to 500 pounds, as soon as I put on this tunic, I felt a smidgen of cuteness come over me. And you can barely see my shoes...they were the ONLY shoes that I could slide my sausage feet into. I can't wear them this summer (or last) because they are about 16 sizes too big from all the stretching.
Wow. That is a lot of change to my body. I told Matthew, after going through the clothes today, that I needed to lose some weight before we decided to have another baby so I could get into the maternity clothes. (okay, a bit of an exaggeration, I bet I could wear the yellow shirt right now.)
Do any of you have memories while pulling out old clothes?
And, if any of you saw something you liked, I will be getting rid of all clothes after our next child is born. I'm not THAT attached to them!

Friday, July 17, 2009

a last-minute trip

Due to the ABSOLUTELY gorgeous weather we have had the past two days we made a very spur of the moment decision to travel to Tulsa today and go to the zoo.

We have never been and didn't think we would have another opportunity this summer. So, we packed our lunch, hopped in the car and hit the road.

Our friends, the Grahams, went with us. Nora and Gibson are BFF's. I said many, many times today how thankful I am that they are both girls, born days apart from each other, love each other like crazy and get along so well. People even asked us today if they were twins.

Since we had never been to the Tulsa zoo before we didn't really know what to expect. And let me say, it did not disappoint!!!!! We loved it!

Our first stop was a the elephants.

Three sweet girls: Elyn, Nora and Gibson

We made it in time for an elephant show. Very entertaining! One elephant even painted a picture.

We walked around, saw more animals, DIDN'T SWEAT and enjoyed the breezes.

We stopped for lunch. Nora and Gibson ate their lunch and went to play on the playground. Elyn refused to eat 1/4 of her sandwich and threw a huge fit. If you can enlarge the picture you might be able to see how mad she is. That girl has stamina!
And then we saw more animals. Actually, we had a lot of luck with the animals today. I guess since the weather was so nice the animals decided to come out and play. We saw all the animals out and about.

Here are our little animals.
We took a ride on the train that goes around the zoo. We rode together...
and Nora and Gibson rode with Michael...who I accidentally cut out of the picture.
The drive home was BRUTAL! This little girl refused to fall asleep on the way home. When she finally did sleep, it was only for about 45 minutes. She woke up and cried (screamed) for 30 minutes. The only thing she wanted was for me to hold her. And I just wanted to jump out of the van.
These two did a pretty good job though. I popped in a movie and didn't hear of peep out of them. They are experts at going potty on the side of the road too.
It was a nice day. We are all exhausted too. Both girls were in bed and asleep by 7:20pm.
Thank you zoo for tiring them out!

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