Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Beginnings

I love New Years! I think January 1st is a fresh start and I always like the idea of a year full of promise and excitement. :) It's going to be a wonderful year and I certainly wish a safe a festive NYE to everyone!

I'll be blogging on January 1st with my 2010 goals. I hope you will all share some of your goals here with me.

Until then, please be safe and have a wonderful NYE! Love to you all!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Climbing Out Of A Hole

Yes, I am clawing my way out of the holiday food and calorie hole I have been residing in. I FINALLY got my tushie to the gym this morning and it felt great! And even better, I found that since Thanksgiving I have only gained 2.5 pounds! If you saw what I have eaten, you, too, would be in awe! So I can knock that off fast and get back to the business of getting healthy!

Kim and I are trying to find a worthy 5K for the early spring. (I am not a winter walker!) Our rule is that the 5K has to be for a good cause. If you know of one, let me know! Oh, and this is an open invitation for anyone who wants to come and do a 5K (Kim who is chasing rabbits, I am talking to you!!) to join in the fun! I am NOT a runner, so if you are a walker, come walk with me! I might try and jog some, but my endurance isn't there to do too much of that just yet. But set the goal and come and cross that finish line! It's like nothing you've experienced! I will post details when we've picked on and anyone who wants to come is VERY welcome! The more the merrier!

I hope everyone has had a great Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, etc. It's been lovely for me, but I think I am ready for the new year. 2010 is full of promise, and I have lots I plan to achieve. I am setting goals, not making resolutions. On January 1, I am going to post my goals for the year. I hope you'll think of some for yourself and post them in the comments that day. Let's all make 2010 OUR year!!!

Love to everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where Is My Mojo?

My workout mojo is MIA. I haven't done anything and my eating? Well, it's been less than stellar. So I am pledging to do better today. Baby steps, people. I just came off vacation! But tomorrow I am off work, so I am getting my butt to the gym. This is a must for me if I am going to get myself back in the groove. (And believe me, I want to be back in my groove...it's a really good groove when I am in it!) So good food choices today and a good workout tomorrow. These are the two things I am promising myself.

Had a great time with my dearest friend, Christine (aka Chris) last night. After years of being out of touch, we have reconnected in a beautiful way and it's like having my sister back, even though I don't have a sister. Chris has always been the sister I didn't have, and it feels so wonderful to be back in each others' lives. :) This is the best Christmas gift I could hope for! She is living in OK with her husband and two twin baby girls, and she is down here to spend Christmas with her Dad. This has been wonderful! I wish we had more time together, but it's just such a busy time. I think once we get past all the holiday craziness we'll need to plan a get together. They bought and restored an old farmhouse outside of OKC, and I'd love to drive up and see it so maybe I'll have to do that before I get too deep into the semester. (You know once that semester gets going I will fall off the radar for a while!)

Anyhow, it's been a wonderful week and I am looking forward to tomorrow. David and I are going to do some baking together, and then dinner and church with Mom and Dad.

I hope everyone, no matter what your religion or how you choose to celebrate this season, has a wonderful Christmas! I hope you feel all the blessings of the season, and please know that you are all in my heart!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Getting Back In The Groove

It's so hard to get back into the swing of things when you've been on vacation! However, I am slowly getting there. I've been enjoying food a bit too much, so there's no telling how much damage I have done in that department. Getting my booty to the gym tonight for the SET class will help a lot. I had visions of working out on vacation, but it didn't happen. However, we did walk a LOT so I am hoping that helped out some.

I am finding that I don't want to be at work. The good news there is that I am here today and tomorrow, and then off until the 31st. Yay! Lots to do to get ready for Christmas, but it's all good stuff.

I had lunch with my very dear friend, Christine, yesterday. We met in 7th grade and had been BFFs for so many years. We had been out of touch for longer than I'd like to remember. She had been like a sister to me and practically grew up at my house. (Mom and Dad called her their other daughter!) And now here we are, older and wiser, and in wonderful places in our lives. Being back in touch is wonderful and I am so excited about so many things for her. She and her husband have twin daughters who are delightful, and they are a very happy family. We are going to meet for coffee tonight and soak up as much time as we can, as she is here for Christmas and then goes back home to Oklahoma on Saturday. So needless to say, I am excited to see her again tonight!

I am pretty much ready for Christmas. The shopping got finished up last night, and now i just have to wrap a few things and we are all set. We got some hot chocolate and looked at Christmas lights last night, and that was a lot of fun. I am going to miss all the holiday magic when things go back to normal after all the fun. And once Christmas passes, it's just a couple of weeks and school begins again!

Where does the time go?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What A Week!!

We got back yesterday afternoon, and although we had a wonderful trip it is so good to be home! Our kitties, Zak and Kaylee, seem very happy to have us home again, and we always miss those little furballs when we're gone. We got to the airport early yesterday and American got us on standby for a flight that was much earlier, so we got home before we were even supposed to leave Orlando, so that was a nice surprise.

Our cruise was great! We had two ports of call, Coco Cay and Nassau. Coco Cay is a private island owned by the cruise lines, and that was a great stop! It was just beach and little craft markets and food and drinks. We did a little shopping and then parked our silly selves on beach chairs and relaxed with a fruity drink. It was something called a coco loco, and it was yummy!





Next stop was Nassau. Leave it to me to find the MAC store...ah, I am truly a lip gloss junkie. Did I buy anything? I most certainly did!!



The beaches in Nassau are beautiful! We stayed for a while and got some sun and then headed back to the ship. It was a great stop, but Nassau is a lot like Jamaica in that you are reminded that there is a lot of poverty there. I hope we did our part to help the economy!



Our last day on the ship was windy and overcast, so I didn't get quite as much of a tan as I wanted, but it is way better than getting burned!! We encountered some incredibly rough seas, and I was so seasick I couldn't eat dinner. Poor David - I had to leave him to finish dinner alone. But laying down helped, and I was fine when I woke up the next morning. Not how I wanted to end the cruise, but we had so much fun that it's okay. (Apparently there were tornadoes out on the water, nowhere near us, but they probably contributed to the rough waters!)




What a great vacation!! Now we have to get ready for Christmas! Hope everyone's shopping is finished!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just a quick check in...Disney was amazing! We had the best time at Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney. We are currently en route to Port Canaveral to board our ship and set sail for the Bahamas! We will be in Nassau for the day tomorrow, and plan to spend the day on Cable Beach with our toes in the sand and fruity drinks with umbrellas in our hands!!

We'll update as we can!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Recapping A Good Day

So I did much better yesterday. The food choices were better, and I got to the gym after work, which really needed to happen. I pounded out 30 minutes on the elliptical, and another 15 on the treadmill. I would like to have done more, but my legs are still beat from Tuesday's SET class at the gym. Hey, it's okay! I went and I got a great workout in! We were up late last night packing, so I didn't get up early this morning to work out, but we are going right after work today. I carpool, so I just have Leah drop me off at the gym and David meets me there. If I don't go home first, it all works out just fine! (Going home first just makes me want to stay there!)

We're packing our workout clothes for our vacation. Yes, we do plan to use them! We think we'll either hit the fitness center for jog the track on the top deck of the ship at least three times during the cruise. Will we work out every day? Probably not, but I think if we get three workouts in, we're doing good. :) Last year we didn't go food crazy on the cruise, and I think we'll be fine this time as well. I'm just happy for the chance to get away!

It's going to be a long day at work today. I'm ready to begin the Cruisemas fun!! We've had this planned since May, so it's been a long time coming. I'll post pictures when we return...hopefully we'll have lots of them! Somehow we never take as many pictures of each other as I'd like. Maybe we'll change that this time around! Being 75 pounds lighter makes me a little more interested in having my picture taken. :)

Everyone have a wonderful Friday! The weekend weather here looks like it will be great, so get out and enjoy!! (Kim, your race day looks like it's going to be perfect!! See? I told you I'd pray for good weather!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good Deeds

Last night David and I went shopping for our two Salvation Army angels. We picked out cute clothes and cool toys...a dollhouse for one and a very cool and girly looking Big Wheel type of thing. I think they'll have a good Christmas morning! (My hope is that they also remember the reason for the season!) I was stunned last Saturday when there were over 15,000 angels left to be adopted, but as of last night there were 6600. I am hopeful the good people of the DFW area will pull together and take care of all the angels. There are a lot of good people in this area!

In less than 48 hours from now, David and I will be well on our way to Florida to start Cruisemas '09! (Our annual Christmastime vacation!) We are very excited and will start packing tonight. We're going to be home tomorrow night, relaxing and having a glass of wine and celebrating the upcoming week of doing as little as possible. We're not even packing our snorkeling gear...we're just going to dig our toes in the sand and chill! I can hardly wait! And when we come back it will almost be Christmas!

We've already paid for Cruisemas '10...we're going to spend a couple weeks in Europe!! Starting out with a river cruise up the Danube from Vienna to Nuremberg. That's the first 8 days, and then the train to Paris for a few days, and then on Christmas eve he head to London and midnight mass at the Westminster Cathedral (being good Catholics for David). On Christmas day we will go to Westminster Abbey (to celebrate me being a good Protestant girl!) and then enjoy the city. We still have to figure out how long we'll be in London, but we're so excited about going! I am hoping to see snow somewhere along the way...I bet we will in Austria! Wow...I can't believe we're going!! It's a lot of saving money and planning, but it's something we've wanted to be able to do for a while now, and we're excited to make it happen!

But make no mistake, I am beside myself with happiness that we're spending next week in the Bahamas! Oh, and one more cool thing - one of my favorite restaurants used to be Bahama Breezes here in Las Colinas, but it closed a couple of years ago. BUT...there is one in Orlando!!! So Saturday night you can bet we'll be dining there, and I will be having my salmon tostada salad. YAY!!!

Everyone stay warm...it's another chilly day out there!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Workouts and Cookies

So we'll start with cookies...the cookie exchange was fun. I ate six cookies, which isn't necessarily a total train wreck, but it wasn't smart. However, they were awesome and I loved every bite. And what did I do to balance this? I went to my SET class at the gym last night. I am very sore today, but I feel good and I am glad I went. I am going to the gym when I get home tonight because I was sleepy and didn't make it this morning. We've been getting to bed late which has made me very sleepy in the mornings. Yes, this pretty much means my workouts have been slacking off. No more...gotta get back to it. So I am going to suck it up and go to bed early to start getting up at 4:30 again. I felt better when I was doing that, and I felt more in control. I need to really keep myself in check and get back on the ball. This 1/2 marathon won't go well if I don't.

I've been pondering this 1/2 marathon. I still find myself feeling so nervous about it, but it's something I really want to accomplish. I can't jog for long at all, and I worry that even with walking it will be tough to finish, but I am determined to do this. This is one of those things that's just for me. I'm not trying to win, but for me winning will be crossing that finish line. Now, it may be after everyone else has gone home, but I'm doing this!

So I think that's it for today. Stay warm...it's really cold out this morning!!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Today Will Be A Challenge

We are having a cookie exchange here at work. Not wanting to be the girl that didn't participate, I made S'mores Bark to bring. I chose this because I am the weirdo that doesn't like marshmallows. It's melted chocolate chips mixed with mini marshmallows and then sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs. Not anything I am into, but I am worried about what is coming my way. I have decided that I am not bringing any cookies home, but I have to figure out how to get rid of what I end up with. I think I am going to give them to other co-workers. I just hope no one is offended! It's been a rough enough time with the food, and I don't need any help getting off track...I do that well enough on my own. So all will be fine, I just have to be gracious about this. Maybe I can politely decline accepting any cookies...after all, people know I've lost 75 pounds and I think they'll understand.

I have been lazy with the workouts. However, that changes tonight. I have the 24 SET class (Strength Endurance Training) tonight at the gym. And yes, I am going! My SIL teaches it, so she is expecting me to be there. It's good to be accountable to others! So I am going to class, coming home to clean up, and then I am going shopping for the two Salvation Army angels I picked. David and I don't exchange gifts because we're going on our vacation next week, so since we have been blessed this year and are able to do so, we are taking care of two little Angels who aren't as fortunate as we are. I hope they have very Merry Christmases...we'll do our part to help!

I got the first of my grades posted, and I made an "A" in Crisis Intervention! Now I am waiting for my Humanities and History grades. I should get an "A" in Humanities, and History might be a "B". If it's 2 A's and a B, I am still on the Dean's List, and that will be just wonderful! :)

Everyone have a great day!! Stay warm, friends!!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Chicken Recipe

Okay, just a quick share...

This is a recipe for very easy and VERY tasty chicken, courtesy of my dear friend Sandra:

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp light olive oil
1 packet ranch dressing mix
4 chicken breasts

Mix the vinegar, oil, and dressing mix together in a large Ziploc bag. Then add the chicken and toss around in the bag to coat. Put the whole bag in the fridge and let it marinate for about 30 minutes. Then put the chicken in a baking dish and set under the broiler for 7 minutes, then flip it and let it go for another 7 minutes. Voila! Tasty, easy, and quick chicken!! And healthy, too! About 5 WW point per chicken breast! Pair with a salad and some green beans and you're in for a healthy meal!!

Had to share...this is my new favorite way to enjoy chicken breasts!!

Paying It Forward

I have been so very blessed with all the support I have from friends and family through all the weight loss stuff. Some time back I randomly stumbled onto a blog written by a woman like me, who is dealing with weight struggles. She's a great writer and has a wonderful blog. Anyhow, I finally decided to post a comment on her blog. (I hadn't before because I didn't want her to think I was a psycho stalker!) Anyhow, I thought it was time for me to try and encourage others the way that so many people encourage me. She has a desire to do a 5K, and I remember how I felt when I was preparing for my first one. (And here I am training for a 1/2 marathon!) Anyhow, I left her an encouraging post, and she has posted a very nice thank you on her blog, so I am glad she felt the support! I responded, and then noticed that when I signed my name at the end of my comment, I misspelled it. Yes, I misspelled my own name. Yeah, I rock.

Anyhow, it feels good to send some positive energy to others. Losing weight is difficult, and sometimes we need someone to give us a little something to help us keep going. I am blessed in that I get that from the people in my life. I just needed to share some of that love!

I am drained today. It's that drained feeling you get after you're passed something stressful, so it's a good drained. I am having dinner with my personal cheerleader, Kim, who is a rock star in her own right. She is doing a relay race a week from Sunday. I am bummed that I cannot be there to cheer her on, but I think she knows my heart is with her each step she takes. :) We're going to sushi at my very favorite place tonight, and she's going to come see our Christmas decorations. She's the first person I get to show them off to! Thankfully I have time before she comes over to get all my shoes out of the living room and wash my coffee mug in the sink!

I think that's it for now. I hope everyone has a great Friday!! :)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Finals, Concerts, and Struggles

Tonight is my Crisis Intervention final, followed by the TCC Community Choir concert in which I have a tiny solo. First, I am hoping that when I get in to take my final all the studying I have done doesn't leave my head. That's a fear of mine, you know. I just need a 75 on the test to make an A in the class. This should be easy enough.

The choir concert tonight is something I am looking forward to, but I would be a liar if I said I wasn't nervous. I haven't had a solo in years, and although it is 8 little measures, I just want to do well. *insert prayers for courage and strength here, please*

And lastly, I am yet again struggling with the food. I've been feeding my stress all week, and none of it has been very good. Oh, and I haven't made it to the gym in a few days. All this usually spells disaster, but not today. I've done okay today, and I'm going to push through. It seems that I have really had my share of tough WW weeks, but with 75 pounds gone, I'm going to keep moving forward. It's just what I do! :)

So it's been a tough week. I've written 2 Humanities papers, I have a final and a concert tonight, and then my online History final to complete before Sunday night. I can do this. After all...in 9 days I am on my way to the Bahamas with the Best Husband Ever and we're going to relax!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Breaking News...

SNOW! In Texas! This is so great! Too bad I have to work. But it isn't sticking, so I suppose it's not such a big deal. But it looks like a snow globe out there!

Good day to be home with hot chocolate!

That's it. No big news...just trying to keep my head above water during finals week. Ugh!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Photos I Love

Napa Valley through David's photographic eye. He's such a good photographer!

My neices and nephews (minus Ben and Rosemary...not sure where they were!)

Zak and Kaylee snuggling. This warms my heart!


Finishing the Komen!








Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time Flies!

I didn't realize it had been so long since I blogged! The end of the semester is quickly approaching, and I am a busy gal. I finally uploaded the Komen pics to my laptop, but I am blogging from work and don't have my laptop. One of these days...

Anyhow, things are good! I've lost 71 pounds now, but have really been struggling. I took last week off from following the plan, and although I gained 3 pounds, I feel much better and I am ready to get on it. I've had a great week so far, and I expect that to continue. This is a good time of year to feel empowered! I'm serious when I say that I am NOT gaining weight this holiday season!

School is going well. Finals are in two weeks, and I have a number of papers to write. I'm going to be busy for the next week! (Everything is due before Thanksgiving!) But I can spend my holidays not worrying about homework, which is worth all the work I am going to have to do over the next week. My choir concert is the 3rd, and I have a very small solo that I am excited about. :) Dad is going to record the concert, so I will have to see if I can find a way to post part of that here. No promises...that's more technology than I know what to do with.

We're counting down to our cruise! We leave for Orlando on the 12th and our cruise heads out on the 14th. We'll be spending the week in the Bahamas, and I can't wait! It will be a nice reward for finishing the semester. We're packing our workout stuff and I honestly have plans to work out on the ship. You may think it won't happen, but it will! I might skip one day, but I am going to keep on losing weight, cruise or not! Besides...the view over the ocean from the treadmill has got to make it all worthwhile!

I think that's about it for now. I have a lot of work to do this morning and I need to get it done.

Enjoy the day!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Quick Update

Okay...thought I would just bullet point the highlights of what's been going on:

  • I've lost 70.6 pounds now
  • David survived a tornado in Shreveport. That was scary for both of us!
  • I think I am going to pull off making the Dean's List again this semester, but it's going to be work!
  • Paid off my car
  • We put off looking for a house because we simply have no time. That's just sad.
  • We are looking forward to going to the Bahamas the week before Christmas. It's how I get to recover from a very busy semester!
  • I have registered for 12 hours in the Spring. This means I will work full time and go to school full time. And clearly I am full-time crazy, too.

I think that's about it. I have promised Komen pictures, but I haven't had time to upload them. One day...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ugh!

Between school, work, homework, and just life in general, I am behind on the updates. I promise I am trying to get to that! I am hoping to sit down and post this weekend, most likely Sunday. Until then, be well!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm So Behind!

I haven't blogged in a bit, but I have been swamped! 5Ks, a wedding, oodles of homework...I have pics to upload and a lot of catching up to do. Stay tuned...I'm going to try and get caught up tonight or tomorrow!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Break Up

I decided to make a list of foods that I love that I need to "break up" with. You know, those foods that you can't enjoy in moderation, or you know have no real nutritional value and only serve to make you want more? Yeah, that stuff. So I am publicly declaring my breakup with the following:

1. cupcakes. This is just sad. I love them so very much, but even a bit will make me want a dozen. Thank God Society Bakery isn't close to me! Maybe one day cupcakes and I will have a reunion, but not for a long time. Let's face it: I can't handle it.

2. chocolate. I could get my woman card revoked for this, but it has to be done. People say to just have a small piece of dark chocolate. I can't do that. You have to buy a whole bag to get a small piece, and that just goes the wrong way for me.

3. Diet Coke. You try to fool me, but I'm onto you, Diet Coke! You say diet, but you are full of dangerous phosphates and LOTS of sodium. I've kicked you to the curb and there will be no reconciliation!

4. Paula Deen. Girl, I love you! I share your appreciation of mayonnaise and butter, but really? I just can't go there any more. You create such wonderful recipes, but I can't do it. I've tried to find ways to make them healthier, but I think it just isn't possible. Your corn casserole was so yummy at Thanksgiving, but it actually does call for a stick of butter. Oh Paula. It's not you, it's me.

5. 100 calorie snack packs. This little demon in a baggie is clever. He seduces me with the promise of chocolate and cookies but it's only 100 calories! That should be okay, right? WRONG! Calories come with friends like carbs, fat, and sodium...all of which show up in multitudes with these things. So yeah, if I need a snack pack I am heading for the grapes or oranges.


So that's it. I broke up with all those things and now I am moving on. See? When you have the bigger picture in mind, breaking up really isn't hard to do, contrary to any song lyrics that say otherwise.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Goals

Everyone knows it's good to have goals. I can't help but wonder if the reason I have had trouble lately is because I didn't have a specific goal (aside from just losing weight). I emailed a friend in Houston today to get some encouragement, and I got so much more! She has a plan to help me stay motivated and threw out a pretty big goal for me, and I am accepting the challenge. It's a big one, and although I am not ready to put it out there publicly, I think this is going to be just what I needed to really light a fire under me and get me moving. :) So I will share soon, but let me get into my groove first. It's pretty cool and I am apprehensive, but I have the desire and drive so I'll make it happen. Sorry to be mysterious...I'm not curing cancer or anything, but I am getting my head into the game on this and I know once I put it out there I am really doing it.

We had dinner with my parents and Grampa and Ann tonight and had a WONDERFUL time! I'm doing the AIDS Lifewalk next weekend and the Race for the Cure the following weekend, and they gave me donations to contribute for some important causes. If you'd like to donate to either, let me know and I will gladly send you the link. It's all going to good causes!

While I have had some food struggles the last couple of weeks, I think I am really getting it together. I had a good workout this morning, but I am going to work on pumping it up a notch. It's time. I've been working out for 30 minutes in the mornings, but I think the time is coming to get up earlier so I can have an hour in the gym in the morning. This is going to be painful, and will take some time to get into on a regular basis, but I think it's going to have to happen. Ugh!

I continue to be amazed at the outpouring of love and support I get from the people around me. I am a very blessed girl!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Buying Into The Myth

That's what I did. I bought into it. I let myself be convinced that my cravings were stronger than me, and that somehow just giving myself permission was okay. I have now given myself permission to eat like crap for three days now. No more. I'm not buying into that whole "but my body is fighting me" thing. I know it's real, and that PMS is real, but do I have to give in just because I want something? No, I don't. I am now 3 pounds heavier this week, and have no one to blame but me. Not my uterus, not my cravings, just me. I made these choices, and now I have to deal with them. I don't like it. So this morning I got up and worked out HARD at the gym. I came back, showered and made myself a WW smoothie for breakfast. Lots of protein, two servings of dairy, and it's tasty! It also stays with me longer, so I know I won't be hungry until lunch. And if I do get nibbly this morning? I have an orange on my desk. And a 32 ounce water mug that I need to finish (twice) today. I watched Biggest Loser last night and it brought me to tears. There are people on that show that have bigger emotional obstacles than I can imagine, and they're doing it! You know what? So can I! I have all that stuff...the inner strength, the willpower, and the determination. So what happened this week? I allowed myself to make irresponsible choices. Well enough of that! I know there will be times when I will be stronger than others, but from here on out I need to be strong again! I know I have an army of people who believe in me and tell me so frequently. I am so grateful for all of them, and if they know I can do it, then I know I can do it.

So enough foolishness. No more chicken strips. I'm back, and I'm going to be better than ever!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Second Wedding Anniversary!


It's our second wedding anniversary today! I keep looking at the clock and thinking about what I was doing two years ago. It was such a great day and I enjoyed every moment so much. It's been a wonderful two years, and I look forward to so many more! :) I always wish everyone could have the happiness that we have, so if you are wondering if it's out there, it is! You just have to be patient, be picky, and live your life just for you...you'll find it when you least expect it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Remembering My Gran

Four years ago today I lost my grandmother, and I think of her so often and still miss her just as much. I wish she could have been here for so many things...my wedding, my successes with school, talking about traveling, and just getting to be with her. I like to think she was waiting for Cleo, and now they take care of each other until the day I get to see them both again.

So much has happened in four years, and I just miss her every day. I think that with someone people, we never really get over them being gone, we just get used it.

I miss you, Gran, and I love you so much!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Great Day


Today has been wonderful! I took today off form work, so I was able to get up and go to my sister-in-law's 24Lift class at the gym. Can I just say how wonderful Lea Anne is? She is so encouraging and motivating! That was a tough class and I was able to keep up with most of it, but I must say I am one very sore girl this evening! (That's a good thing, though!) Afterwards, I went home and showered and Mom and Dad picked me up and took me to the Dean's List reception at school. Both Anne and I were on the 4.0 list, so it was a big deal for us! After that, I had lunch with Mom and Dad (yummy fajitas!) and then came home and took a nice long nap. It sure felt good! I wish David could have been here, but he had to travel to Austin today for work. However, when we spoke this evening, he said I sounded better and more rested than I had in weeks, and I feel better! I spent my evening studying and watching Biggest Loser. I love that show! It's so motivating, and there are a couple of girls on there that I can really identify with. I've lost 65.8 pounds, and I'm not stopping now!


Somehow I have to find a way to get to the gym tomorrow - my muscles are sore but I'm going to push through. I'm determined to get stronger and healthier. It's my mission!


So it's been a really great day. I hope everyone else has had a wonderful day, too!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Recap

So it was a very busy weekend, with homework, tests, and the Cowboys losing. Ugh. We don't need to recap THAT part. But I got my history homework finished and turned in, studied for and took my history mid-term (it's not the middle of the therm!!) Sunday, and now I am prepping for my Crisis Intervention test on Wednesday. Whew!

The cool part of this week? I am off tomorrow to attend my Dean's List Reception up at school! It's nice that Dad finally gets to come, and my friend Anne made the list so once again, the dynamic duo get their certificates! And this time we get the 4.0 designation! Yay!! Hard work pays off! I am working my butt off this semester...I have to make two As and a B at the least to stay on the list. History is a challenge, and we'll see how things sit after the Crisis test!

I am still feeling good about the weight loss from last week. Amazing! Now I am feeling re-energized and recommitted! I didn't get up this morning to work out, but I am going right to the gym after work and not stopping home first. I did that last Friday and it worked out fine, so on those mornings when I just can't get up, I can do it in the evenings and not miss a workout. I am usually tired in the evenings, but I am going to push through and get it done! I am down 65.8 pounds and I'm not stopping now! I have a long way to go, but I sure have come a long way so far! I bought some clothes for the December cruise in a smaller size, so I need to get to it and make sure I can wear them in December! (I'm pretty sure I can do this!)

The one movie I have really wanted to see was Julie and Julia. I found that it's still showing in the theaters, so I am going to take myself at some point. I'm pretty sure David isn't interested, so one of these days I'll find the time! (Who am I kidding? It will be on cable before I get to see it!)

I am looking forward to this weekend! We are going to the Stars game (yes, it's pre-season) on Saturday night courtesy of our friends Jake and Diane. They have season tickets but will be on a cruise, so they gave us their tickets. Cool! And Sunday we are going to the state fair with Brian and Alma, so that should be fun, too. I haven't been there in YEARS! And no, I am NOT eating fried butter! A corn dog? Absolutely! Fried Twinkies/Ding Dongs/Butter/ etc...no thanks! I am totally up for some roasted corn, though! Yum!

On a final note, this week brings with it a sad anniversary for me. My Gran would have been 90 on Tuesday, and the anniversary of her passing is on Wednesday. I can't believe she's been gone for four years. I still miss her so much, and there are so many things I wish I could share with her. It never really gets easier, but I think I've learned to live with her being gone. I feel that way about Cleo, too. I guess I am a very sensitive person and have a hard time letting go of lost loved ones. At least I know I'll see them again some day!

I hope everyone has a peaceful week...sometimes that's just what we need the most.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How Did That Happen?

After a difficult week full of bad food choices, I lost 4.6 pounds!! Hey, I'll take it! I worked hard at the gym, and now I really feel invigorated and motivated. I think it will be another good week for me. It feels good to be back on track!

It's been a weekend full of homework. I had to finish all my history homework yesterday and then take my online test today. I have a Crisis Intervention test Wednesday and I really need to prepare for that. We don't get to use cheat sheets on the test in junior levels and above, so I need to be doubly prepared for this one. It's all essay, so I am okay with that. :)

I am going to allow myself the rest of the evening to chill. Mom and Dad and Dave's friend Brian are coming over for the game so I need to head into the kitchen to prep some food!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Struggling

This week has been rough as far as my weight loss goes. I haven't made very good choices in the last two days, and that just makes it worse. I haven't been sleeping well so I am having trouble getting up to go work out. Now more than ever, I need to get it together. I have a friend that is going to look for me in the gym tomorrow morning. I work with her and we live across the street from each other, so we're going to be policing ourselves tomorrow. If I don't get to the gym, she has my permission to chew me out!

I doubt I will post a loss this week. But I can live with that as long as I get myself back on track right now. I have my lunch packed for tomorrow and I have what I need to make a low fat soup for dinner tomorrow. I have choir rehearsal tomorrow evening, so I will be busy and not wandering around at home being bored. Tomorrow should be a better day.

I think the eating is from stress. I am stressed with school and it's hard to get it all done. I feel like I'm not getting enough sleep, and that's another factor. So I am going to wrap it up and get to bed to get what sleep I can. I am back on it tomorrow! (Pray for strength for me PLEASE!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loose For Good!

So part of my frustration with my weight loss plateauing a little is because the WW Lose for Good campaign is underway. For every pound members lose, WW donates money to a couple of charities that make sure kids/families have food. Great cause, and I want to help contribute! So I am going to have to step up the workouts this week for sure!!

You can join the cause by donating food or money to your local food banks. They need the donations badly! You can also visit www.loseforgood.com for more info on what WW is doing to help.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Frustration

So it's sinking in that I lost .2 pounds. Now, I know it's a loss, and I haven been losing a pound a week the last couple weeks, and that's a good thing, but as hard as I'm working and monitoring what I eat, I am a little frustrated! (I'm okay, people...just venting!) Seriously, .2 pounds? After a 5K? I know that my muscles had been engaged for a while and that can cause them to absorb water and pump up blood flow, but I'm ready for the scale to move a little bit! I am going to be extra cautious this week with what I eat and really try and be focused. I am close to busting through a number on the scale that I've been working toward, and it's taking FOREVER to get through it!!

I'll get there, and I'm not giving up, just need some progress here! I know I am building muscle and doing a lot of good for my body, but I like to see changes on the scale, too. My clothes are getting big, my measurements are shrinking, but I need the scale to move!!

Okay, rant over. It's perfect sleeping weather, and I sure wish I was back in bed! (But I was up at 4:30 for my morning workout!!) Have a good Monday everyone!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Success

Today I did my second 5K, and managed to finish in 54:41, better than my time of 59:32 for my last one so I am feeling really good about that! I went to WW to weigh in and only lost .2 pounds. It's coming off much slower right now, and sometimes I gets frustrating. However, it is still coming off, so I am not giving up. Slow and steady is winning this race!


It was a very wet 5K, as we did it in the rain. Kim and David did it too, and they finished very well! I'm so proud of all three of us! It's more fun to see your friends when you cross the finish line! My parents and Kim's parents weathered the rain to cheer us on, and it was wonderful! We're going to put together our own team for the Susan Komen on October 17th, so if you want to walk with us, let me know! Everyone is welcome!

It's been a good day. I did my homework and we've relaxed, which is something we have needed. Tomorrow we plan to go to the gym and then settle in for a lazy day of football watching. It's the first regular season game for the Cowboys, so I wouldn't miss it!!

I hope everyone out there is enjoying the day! Stay dry, everyone!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rockband!

After a VERY long day yesterday, I got home and found David's friend Bryan had bought Beatles Rockband and they were all set up to jam in the living room! It was almost 10pm already, and I was dead tired, but as soon as they handed me the microphone and I could belt out "Revolution", I was loving it! (Yeah, Dave and I are Beatles fans so this was really cool!) We had a great time, but then it got late and here I am at work and tired. I had promised myself I would be in bed at 9:30 all week, but that hasn't happened once. I've got to do better!

Tonight I have choir rehearsal and I am looking forward to it. And as soon as it's over? I am heading right home and going to bed!! I need to work out in the morning (just a light one...walking on the treadmill) and Saturday morning is the 5K. Beating my previous time of 59:32 shouldn't be too hard since I've been working out and weigh less than the last time. I am able to jog for longer periods of time, so my plan is to start out with a light jog and see how it goes. We all know pavement is different than the treadmill! However I do know this course and it IS flat, unlike the last one! So please send me good vibes for Saturday morning! I'll need them!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Feeling Lively!

I must have slept well last night because I am feeling much more rested today. I think much of this has to do with the fact that I got to stay home and do things around the house last night. We made dinner, did laundry, did homework, watched a little TV together...it was a good night! And something I was in real need of...time at home! Tonight is school night which means it's a long day. We went to the gym this morning, and I'm at work now, but I'll be leaving at 3:20 to head on to school. It helps to have classes I like with professors I adore and respect, and getting to sit in class with my dear friend Anne helps, too! (Wish we had more time to hang out!) So I feel bubblier and more awake today, too.

Another part of this comes from a conversation I had at the gym this morning. My friend, Knox, is the gentleman who is my self-proclaimed cheerleader at the gym. He's a really nice man and always talks to David and me, and is always interested in knowing how my weight loss is going. He tells me about people at the gym who have lost large amounts of weight and is a great encourager. He also teaches business classes at TCC, and says he's talked about me to his classes when he covers motivation and drive for success. Today he asked me if I might consider speaking to his classes toward the end of the semester about how I set goals and work to achieve them. I told him I'd have to think about it and he said we'd talk more later on, but WOW! Someone would even think of asking me to talk about overcoming hurdles and planning for success! Even if it never comes to pass, I think I will always feel so honored that someone would even approach me about that! If I do this, I have to find a way to overcome my discomfort with public speaking, though! But how cool...I always hope that maybe something I do can inspire success in others. Maybe this is a chance for me to put that in action? Who knows. It will be interesting to see what my future holds! Maybe this is a step towards becoming a Weight Watchers leader? (Something I have thought would be wonderful at some point when I have reached my own goals!)

I guess my wisdom for the day is that you never know who you are inspiring, so keep your own chin up and keep doing what you have to do to reach your own goals!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Worn Out

I do many things during the week, all of them are things I have chosen to do. I have school, which comes with lots of reading and homework, choir which will bring with it more practicing as the semester goes on, and lots of errands and chores. Let's not forget the 5am trips to the gym, too. This past weekend was a holiday weekend so I got an extra day that I was very grateful for! But my weekend was still such a blur. (But it was a good one, don't get me wrong!) Next weekend, there are very few things on the agenda, and I am working to keep it that way. I am running (ha-more like jogging/walking) my next 5K on Saturday, and I am looking forward to it. Other than that there isn't much planned. I really need to keep it that way. The house is a mess and I need to clean. When home is messy everything else feels so chaotic to me. I am going to make a promise to myself to be in bed by 9:30 this week to help my energy level. I have been so tired by the time Friday rolls around! I even had to cancel plans on Saturday night because I was so beat. This is the beginning of the 3rd week of school, so it's time for me to be settling into my schedule. This is the first time I have taken on 9 hours of school while working full time, and I think that has a lot to do with it. But I'll get it all under control...it's just taking me a little time.

I think it's time to get a good multi-vitamin!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Words Just Don't Convey...

Last night was purely magical for me. Sitting in the TCC Community Choir and getting to be with choir directors who helped shape me into the person I am now...wow! Spending time with Cherrie Townsend, Marilyn Derrett, and Bobbie Douglas was as awesome for me as it might be for someone to meet their most favorite rock star or actor. These women are amazing and strong and tough and wonderful. And I have the privilege of singing under their direction again! When Cherrie directed us through a song last night, I was almost moved to tears. Seriously, I know anyone else reading this will think I am crazy...but really I'm not. I'm moved by the opportunity to be associated again with women who were my mentors and helped me to learn to accept nothing but my person best from myself, and to be disciplined and to put my heart and soul into something I believe in. There's more to singing in a choir than just singing. It's a community of musicians who come together and bond through a love of music, but it's also teamwork and learning to work together. It's about connecting with something bigger than you are. It's about becoming one and creating something beautiful. It's art, it's energy, it's passion, it's pain, and it's love. Music has always been a powerful thing for me, and I have been blessed to have been part of several phenomenal choirs, but it takes the right director to make all of those things happen. And this is where I have truly been blessed...being under the direction of women who are masters of their craft.

I hope there in something in your life that brings this much joy to you. If you don't know what it is, seek out your passion! Find the thing that brings you pure happiness! You'll never be sorry that you did!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sleepy

It's late so I am keeping this short. It's been a busy week so far. I woke up this morning and my low back hurt so I didn't get to the gym today. I got a massage and it's feeling better, so along with some Alleve I think I am fine. Hopefully I can get on the treadmill in the morning! I can't just not work out!!

I am tired and tomorrow is my long day with school. I stayed home tonight to read and get caught up with all that. I still have plenty to do, but not much week left with everything on my plate. However, I am really looking forward to choir on Thursday, and especially since my dearest Bryan is coming up from Austin!! He's my choir soul mate (you have to be a choir geek to really get that) and he's coming up and going with me to rehearsal. Then we're going out to dinner to catch up. He is thinking he may want to go out while he's in town (he's here through the weekend) so we'll see what he wants to do and when. David and I are going to Craig's birthday party Friday and that's going to be a blast! :) I am so glad it's a long weekend!!

Anyhow, I am off to bed. Good night!

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's Been A While...

Sorry it's been so long! I didn't have time to blog on vacation, and school began last week so it's been hectic. Things are well, and school is off to a good start. We've had a very busy weekend and the week is shaping up to be pretty busy, too. I have a good amount of reading to do for all my classes, so I need to figure out how to balance my time carefully. I am very excited to begin Community Choir this Thursday. This is going to be my fun thing that I do purely for enjoyment. My high school choir director, my junior high choir director, and the choir director from my rival high school are all involved, as well as numerous friends from choir back in both high school and junior high so I can't wait for Thursday to come so I can catch up with everyone! What a treat! Plus, I get to start singing again and I need to get my voice back into shape. Perhaps I need to head down to Austin for some voice lessons with Bryan!

I am feeling tired today, but it's all good. I got in my early workout so I am on the right track today. My team was planning to eat lunch out and Christy and Baby Abby were coming, but Abby is sick so the lunch got cancelled. ACK! I didn't bring my lunch so I am still going to have to go out. That's ok. :) I just hope Little Miss Abby feels better!

I think that's about it for now. I have a lot to do this morning. I hope everyone gets through the day okay!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just a quick post to say that San Jose is wonderful! We spent the last two nights with David's aunt and unlce and got to visit with his cousins. Today we head out for San Francisco to enjoy the 65 degree weather! Try not to wither in the heat in Dallas!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Big Decisions

So David and I have decided that it's time to buy a house. Neither one of us has ever been a homeowner before, so it seems like a huge decisions ahead of us. We started looking online and found several that we really like. Last night when I got home from school we took a drive to go check out the neighborhood on a couple of the houses, and found several that we think we might really be interested in. Once we get back from San Francisco it will be time to go talk to the mortgage broker and get all the pre-approving done. Then it will be time to find our first house together! It's exciting but it's a little scary, too. This is such a large debt to incur and a LOT of responsibility. However, we both really want this and we feel ready. So the next few months will be filled with paperwork and deciding on where we will spend the next phase of our lives together.

The only sad part for me is that wherever we go next will be somewhere that my Cleo never came with me. Yes, I am still grieving the loss my angel-kitty. It's hard, but I suppose I am adjusting. Call me crazy, but next month I am planning to do a very small memorial for her. I still need that but we just haven't had the time yet and I don't want to rush it.

I am joyful to report that my Spanish final is tomorrow and that I only have to answer 35 questions (out of 100) correct to get an A in the class. Yeah, I don't think I am sweating this too much! Then we head out for San Francisco Saturday and I am so ready! A week of visiting family and just relaxing is going to be wonderful!

That's it for today! Try to stay cool in this oppressive heat! Ugh!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday. Need I Say More?

Ugh, the work week got here too quickly! It's finals week for me, thankfully! I had a great weekend but I am in the office and wishing I could be home in bed sleeping. I got up and got in my workout, but I feel pretty spent. Wednesday is my final and I am going to be glad to be done with everything. However, I am not as confident about the final this time around. The concepts this semester in my Spanish class are more challenging, and I am having trouble with double object pronouns. All I can do is study my butt off. Fortunately my final is multiple choice, so that helps. But I still need to know what I'm doing!!

All is well here...no news. I started looking at houses online yesterday and we found 3 we really like (2 have pools!). We're going to talk to a lender when we get back from our vacation and hopefully start the home buying process! It all seems so overwhelming! I don't know when we're going to buy or where or when, but it's cool to start thinking about it!! (I really want a house with a pool!)

So that's it for now...hope everyone gets through their Monday painlessly!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Long Day But Great Evening

It was an incredibly long day but it wound up great! After being in meetings ALL day and then going to school on top of that, I had dinner with Christy and it was just what I needed! Fortunately she works right by school so it's easy for us to meet up for a quick dinner. We went to Saigon Cafe tonight and we both had Pho - she had shrimp and I had chicken - and it was wonderful! We laughed all through dinner and had such a great time. :) We're getting together next Tuesday to go to an invitation-only (translate: we sent invites to the suckers that drop enough $$ on our makeup) MAC fall makeup release/preview party with cocktails and appetizers. There never were two bigger MAC junkies than the two of us, so this ought to be a riot! Don't worry, there will be pictures!!

Really I have no other news. Next Wednesday is my final and I will be officially done with summer school for 2009. Then off to San Francisco for a week to relax on a much-needed vacation. We'll be visiting David's family and spending a few days in Napa Valley - I am so looking forward to this! We're going to spend a day walking through Golden Gate Park, and that is going to be wonderful, too. It will be nice to see family and just kick back. We've both been working really hard and it's time for a break.

And everyone can breathe deep...tomorrow is Friday!!!! YAY!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Don't Wanna

I took Friday off to relax, and now I don't wanna be here today! However, I only have 9.5 working days left until our San Francisco vacation so I should be able to survive. (Folks, that means only 7 more classes of summer school left!!) I am sleepy today. I had another 5am workout today, and I would really have loved to sleep in. But the workout is a must, so we went. And of course, I am glad I did.

I am so ready to get out of town. And I am also ready for the fall semester to start. Only 1 night of school per week! (It will be a LONG night, but I can live with that!) These 4 nights a week classes in summer school suck the life out of me for sure!

I really have no news today. Just super sleepy. Ugh!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Mondays

I have a case of the Mondays today...didn't want to get up or go to work. (I did want to work out, so that was great!) However, coming to work and then knowing I have to go to school tonight wears me out! That's okay...two weeks from Wednesday I will be done with summer school!! Then it's on to San Francisco for a week of R&R and then back to school for the regular semester, which I really am looking forward to. Much more pleasant pace! I have to go to summer school next year, but it will be worth it to knock that stuff out of the way. I'll probably be taking biology and one more class, but I don't know what that will be just yet. I'll figure it out.

I reached a great milestone Saturday...I've lost 51 pounds now! I still have a long way to go, but I sure feel great about I've accomplished so far! I'm doing another 5K on September 12th, and I am hoping to beat my last time of 59:32. (Hopefully that won't be a problem!) Last time the course was quite hilly, but this one is over here by work and the course is flat. That should help me a lot.

I got my hair cut Saturday and got to visit with Christy and baby Abby...that little girl is getting so big and beautiful!! I just love chubby little babies!!

That's it for today. Gotta get some work done. Ugh!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bringing Cleo Home

We had Cleo cremated, and we picked up her remains on Saturday morning. It was hard, but it was comforting to have her with us. She is in a beautiful wooden box with her name engraved on the top, and there was also a note from the service that took care of her. It told us that we were in their prayers, and that they sent their deepest sympathies. It was very thoughtful, and also comforting to think they had taken such good care of her. I still miss her so much my heart aches, but the tears are flowing less frequently now and I think I managed to keep myself composed most days.

It really is comforting to have her with us, although I know her little spirit is in Heaven. Somehow it's helpful to have something tangible to represent that little angel here on earth.

I hope everyone can enjoy a little rain today. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What Am I Willing To Do Today?

That's what I am asking myself daily now. What am I willing to do today to make myself better? Today, I have decided that I am willing to go to the gym when I get home even though I decided I was going to give myself a break. I don't need a break, I need to do some cardio. I have done more weights this week and less cardio, and I need to make it balanced. So I am going home, changing clothes, and getting my workout done. (We don't actually have class, but I have a study group coming over at 6pm.)

So I am committing to getting that done. It needs to happen, and I am making it happen.

I am also willing to give myself some praise. I have been through the wringer lately, and never once turned to food for comfort. I have ditched old behaviors, and it's a big victory for me. So I need to figure out something small but nice to do for myself. Any suggestions?

I think that's what I want to remind everyone today...do something nice for yourself. A little kindness can go a long way!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trending Towards Better

Some days are better than others, and right now I think we're doing better. David leaves town today and will be gone until Friday, and I have been dreading being alone at home. Normally it's fine, but I know I will really feel the emptiness this time. My Cleo won't be there to fill that space. Zak and Kaylee are wonderful, but after 17 years with Cleo, it will be a long time before I can get used to her absence. But on the whole, I think I am better.

I feel exhausted today. I didn't sleep well and I don't know why. I took this morning off from the gym, and my body needed it. I had worked out pretty hard the last 3 days, and my body is pretty sore.

I honestly don't have much news. Just wanted to update the blog. Everyone stay out of the heat!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The End Of A Very Long Week

I am tired, to say the least. It's been the hardest week I've had in a very long time, but somehow we managed through. Without David, I don't know how I would have been able to get out of bed each day. Somehow, we found comfort in a routine, so we've been working out in the mornings and just trying to push forward. We miss our Cleo. It's harder than I ever imagined, and I always imagined it would be devastating. But I don't regret letting her go. It was just her time. She lived a very long and full life, she travelled, lived in other parts of the country with me, road tripped, and made it through break ups, bad dates, and my general nuttiness. This kitty was a real trooper. And I loved every moment I had with her.

So now for news that is about other things...I honestly don't have much. I am meeting Kim for dinner this evening, and I am looking forward to it. Tomorrow we're meeting our friends Jake and Diane for dinner, and Sunday we're taking it easy. I have a Spanish test Monday, so I'll need to study for that, but it's going to be a lot of relaxing during the day this weekend. I think we need it. :)

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Little Numb

That pretty much sums it up...I just feel kind of numb and hazy today. I've been sleeping, but I wake up and I don't feel rested. I think I really need that...some good rest. I think we're doing better, but I still find myself glancing in Cleo's spots around the house, waiting for her to come out from under the end table and announce to her staff (that would be me and David) that she is ready to eat and we need to hop to it. :) That would be a very Cleo thing to do.

I really do love reading the cards we've gotten from friends and from the vet's office. They wrote a personal note to us and it was so lovely. Everyone has been so kind and understanding, and I am so thankful. God has blessed us with a lot of wonderful people around us.

I am going to try and start talking about other things going on, as I know life keeps happening around us even though we are still grieving. I did end up with an "A" in 1st semester Spanish, so I am back in class this week taking the second semester. It's going to be a little tougher and I think I am going to have to work harder this time around, but that's okay. The professor (same one I had before) is giving us more homework, which is probably a good thing. It gives us more practice and I think I need it. We took a quiz the other day and I missed a couple that surprised me, so at least I know what I need to review.

I've still been working out this week. It's been really hard to muster up the energy to do it, but if I don't I think it would be bad. I've always been an emotional eater, and this would have been blown out of the water otherwise, although I haven't been very hungry this week. I am glad we've still been going to the gym and trying to maintain some semblance of a routine. It's been good for us both.

I'm going to wrap it up for today. I promise to try and lighten things up as much as I can...thanks for allowing me to indulge in the sadness this week. Anyone who knows me at all knows how incredibly attached I was to Cleo, so this has been hard. But if you'll pray for us, we'll do our very best to let God's healing move through us and help us move forward into more joyful, happy memory-filled days.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

How Do I Do This?

This pain in my heart weighs on my chest like an anvil, and I keep wondering how I will get through each day without Cleo. I keep looking for her in all her little places in the house that she liked to nap. David and talk often about what silly things she would do to make us laugh. She was truly a diva, and I wouldn't change that for anything. She was more than a cat...much more. She was my friend, and for a long time she was my main companion. When David came into our lives, she took to him the moment she met him, and she loved him fiercely. We'd sit on the couch and she'd climb over me to get to his lap so he could pet her. (I love that!) She loved to get into the shower and lick the beads of water off the wall, or curl up in the sink right when I needed to turn the water on. She loved the sound of the cat food can opening, and she would let you know very clearly when she was ready to eat. She liked wet food with lots of gravy...she'd lick the gravy up and leave the part you had to chew for later.

There are a million quirks and silly things about her that I will miss. Her big green eyes, her poofy cheeks, her rumbly purr. I keep wondering how I can make it through each day without a total breakdown...so far, I haven't. She was with me for almost 17 years, and I will grieve the loss of this beautiful creature for a long time. She was unlike any other.

I'll just keep asking God to help us heal. And maybe her sweet little spirit will surround us from time to time and remind us that the ones we love never really leave us, but live on in our hearts forever.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Goodnight, Sweet Princess.

Cleopatra passed away yesterday leaving both David and I with broken hearts. She passed away in my arms, and am glad I could be there to help her go peacefully. Her kidneys were failing her and she was so weak and tired. Anyone who knows me knows how much she meant, and I can tell you that I will be grieving hard for quite a while. I feel lost without her, and I don't know what to do with myself. I know time will ease the pain, but right now it hangs on me like a storm cloud. I loved her with all my heart, and she was not just a cat but my companion for so long. I was blessed with 17 years with her, and I know she's in Heaven with my grandmother.


Rest peacefully, sweet baby Cleo. Mommy loves you.






Cleopatra Willis

October 4, 1992 - July 5, 2009

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together

-Author unknown

Friday, July 03, 2009

41 Is The Magic Number!

I've lost 41 pounds now!! Holy cow!! I am so excited, and I sure feel good about that! It's been a lot of hard work and sweat at the gym, but there have been so many personal triumphs along the way that make it all worthwhile. For the first time ever, I worked out (twice) on vacation, I have completed a 5K in under an hour, and I have been able to do more than I ever have at the gym. And besides, I eat much healthier and feel so much better! I am so grateful for all the love and support I am getting, even from people I don't know. :) It sure makes it easier when you know you have a group of people in your life to cheer you on!

Things are good. I am between semesters at school but it starts right back up on Monday. It's not a bad deal to get 8 hours of classes out of the way in 10 weeks!

Everyone have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Feeling Good!

I've had a wonderful week, and it's only Wednesday! We had a really fun weekend in South Padre, and I got to really relax and unwind. We came home Sunday, and Monday I was home working on a project for my Spanish class. I gave my presentation Monday night and got a 100 on it! Then Tuesday morning I was at the gym working hard and had just sat down on one of the machines to work on my legs when I noticed a gentleman coming over. I assumed he was going to ask me if I would be long on the machine, but boy was I wrong! He was a tall man about my father's age, and he proceeded to tell me that he had been noticing over the last couple of months that I was making tremendous progress and that even though he didn't know me he was proud of me! I could have cried tears of joy! We talked for a few minutes, and just that one man made my whole day brighter! I felt so proud of myself, and my will to work hard got even stronger!! So needless to say I have been walking on clouds ever since then!! It really was very motivating!

I am so proud of Kim...she is training for her 5K!! Hers is in a few weeks and I am eager to hear how she does. I have a long way to go before I am running the majority of a 5K, but I told Kim that I'd like to do one with her next year. Maybe I can talk her into the 3-Day with me...(what do you think, Kim?)

I took my Spanish final tonight and I think I did pretty well. The second summer session begins Monday, so no rest for the weary. But it's okay...I am knocking out 8 hours this summer and that feels pretty darn good!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! My cousin, Ashley, is coming to stay with us Friday and Saturday, and we're taking her to David's parents house with us to enjoy the family party. It's going to be a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Let The Celebrating Begin!

This weekend we are going to really celebrate my birthday! Since I am in school four nights each week, we didn't really get to do much besides grab dinner (which was awesome! Mom and Dad took us to MK Sushi for dinner - LOVE that place!!!), I am meeting David in South Padre to kick back and relax. I am actually missing class tomorrow night (this is a first since I have been back in school!!) and flying out to start the weekend. He still has to work Friday, but I can lounge and read and sleep. This is just what I need! It's been a really nice birthday, though. One of my co-workers (who is more of a friend than merely a co-worker!) made me a special birthday cake. (His name is Bryan, by the way.) Bryan and his partner made me an angel food cake with fresh strawberries and fat free cool whip! How awesome! And Sandra brought in fresh fruit for breakfast! (I could have cried it meant so much to me!) They brought me cards and took me to lunch and I felt really special. And they didn't have to do any of it! They're just very thoughtful people, and it means more than I can say. :) I took pictures and will post them tomorrow when I have time to upload them.

I can't wait for tomorrow! I am going to get up at 7am and go for a good hour-long workout and then come home and clean the apartment. I have to pack ( and I am taking my running shoes so that I can keep on with the exercising!) and then head to the airport around 2:45 to give myself plenty of time. Tonight I have class, and my professor is letting me take tomorrow's quiz tonight so that I don't have to miss it. Although she's not the best teacher, I do think she's a nice person and I am grateful to get to take the quiz early.

It's going to be a busy day wrapping things up in the office. Stay cool, everyone!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Older and Maybe Wiser, Too

Another year older today, and I have to tell you that even with all the jokes about being 29 again, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't go back. As I get older each year, I think there are things about me that get better. Like this year, I am physically and mentally stronger than ever before. I have lost 35+ pounds to date, and have already achieved goals I didn't know I could. I am powering through school and working toward that goal with great success. I really feel proud of what I am accomplishing. All this comes with sacrifice, though. I don't have much of a social life anymore, but somehow I am okay with that. These things that I am doing are making me feel better about myself, and I am hoping that those who love me will continue to be patient with me. I won't always be in school, although sometimes it feels that way! It's all worth it to me, though. All the hard work and the time I have to put in means something and when it's all said and done I will be able to feel so proud of myself. And all the cautious eating and early morning workouts are already paying off, so I don't even have to justify that. :) I am pleased to say that my co-workers made me a sugar free and fat free angel food cake with strawberries for my birthday - how cool is that? And it's home made!! I am a blessed girl. So am I having a big birthday party? No, there's just no time. This birthday will come and go quietly, but I'm very okay with that. I'm looking at a much bigger picture and I like what I see. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Wrap-Up

I am exhausted. Truly, truly exhausted. Summer school is wearing me out, and I feel like all I do is work out, go to work, go to school, and go home. Last night I did get to have dinner with Christy, but it was a quick dinner and then home. I am really glad the weekend is here, although it's a busy one. Tomorrow I have WW (which I am hoping will be another good news weigh-in), a trip to the farmer's market, back home to make a salad, and then off to David's parents' house for the day. We're making dinner for them, and lounging in the pool. I am looking forward to that. (And I love going over there to visit!) Sunday we're spending with my family to celebrate Dad and to start celebrating Grampa's birthday - he'll be 90 on Tuesday!! I should be so lucky to have lived a life like his. And we are so thankful to have him in such good health, too.

So it's a busy weekend, but it's going to be a good one and I am looking forward to it. David comes home tonight and that's going to be nice, too. I've missed him like crazy! (even though he only left Tuesday!)

Have a great weekend, everyone! Keep cool in this Texas heat!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Just a quick note to wish my wonderful mother a very happy birthday, and many many more! I love you!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Best Feeling

I did it! I did the 5K, not in record time, but in a good time for me! I wasn't first or last, but because I crossed the finish line I feel like I won. :) My parents were there, and it was the best feeling ever! They had made a sign and were cheering loudly. I remember hearing a whole bunch of people cheering for me as I headed in, so I picked up the pace and ran it in under and hour. For anyone else, that time would be lousy, but for me, it may as well have been the time that won the Boston Marathon. I have the satisfaction of knowing that because I finished, I feel like I won.

To make a great day better, I lost 3.2 pounds at WW for a grand total of 31.2 pounds gone now!

I also got to welcome home a unit of soldiers from Iraq. My friend Anne's husband came home from his year-long deployment, and that was special to see. I took pictures, but that was a very personal moment and I think those pictures are just for them. I was honored to even be there. Everyone that deployed made it home, so God took very good care of them. (Thanks God!)

Hope everyone's week was wonderful!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Little Anxious

I am doing my 5K tomorrow, and I am feeling nervous. I have a lot of what ifs...

What if:
  • I'm the slowest one there?
  • I can't finish?
  • I somehow manage to make a fool of myself?

But here's the thing...who cares if I'm the slowest? I know I can finish, so I don't even need to worry about that one. And how many times a day do I make a fool of myself on a regular basis and never give it another thought? So I should be just fine! I don't know anyone there, so it's not like my reputation is at stake, and it's a church for Pete's sake...I'm sure they are lovely people! And besides, my parents will be there to cheer me across the finish line. Does it get better than that? No, it really doesn't. :)

So that's my big thing this weekend! Wish me luck tomorrow!!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Weekend Update

It's been a busy weekend! Friday night I hosted study group for a test in Spanish class. That was fun, and I made chicken tacos for the girls. Saturday was WW (I lost 1.4 pounds for a total of 28 now!), and then we went to the Farmer's Market in Dallas. I love buying lots of fruit there. They have some of the best oranges, watermelons, and cantaloupes!! After we got home I made a yummy Crunchy Avocado Salad (recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay) and we took it over to our friends Jake and Diane's house to enjoy some fun pool party action. We got home late and slept in on Sunday, which I never do! It was fun to sleep late, and I guess my body needed it. :) We made a yummy fruit salad for breakfast and spent our afternoon so far cleaning. Tonight is more studying and making dinner, but it's all good. :)

I have a Spanish test tomorrow, but it should go well. I hope everyone else has had a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

NSV

In Weight Watchers lingo, that means Non-Scale Victory. In other words, something that reflects success besides the number on the scale. I had an NSV this morning! I was able to put on two different pairs of pants that I had bought last August and couldn't wear. Not only do they button, they fit nice! One pair of pants has a matching suit jacket, and that fits, too!! I was so happy that I stood in my closet and cried while David hugged me. :) All this early morning workout stuff is paying off, and I am feeling great!

That's really it for now. It was just such a nice surprise I just had to share!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Okay, So Spanish Might Not Be So Bad...

There were a couple of people in class on Thursday that weren't there on Wednesday, one being a really cool girl named Sara who is much closer to my age, and we hit it off, so now I have a friend at school. :) I think I'll make it through the summer! LOL!

So I weighed in yesterday and have officially lost 26.6 pounds now!! I had posted it on Facebook and got lots of positive comments, so I am feeling pretty good today. I'll be going to the gym here shortly to work out. I am doing my 5K on June 13th, and that isn't too far away, so I have got to spend time on the treadmill for sure today.

It's been a nice weekend. Not too terribly productive, but I spent Friday night sleeping on the couch all evening, and it was wonderful! David had gone to Greg's so I have the place to myself and I was so lazy!! I hadn't slept well the night before. My blood work came back from the doctor showing that my triglycerides were high and my A1C was elevated and my HDL was too low. But all of these are things that should improve with the weight loss, so I am not going to let all that news get me down. I know I'm doing all the right things. :) I'll just keep it up.

I think that's about it for today. My brother in law and his kids are coming over later and we're all going to head to the pool and get some sun. I'm looking forward to that!! Have a good one!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Me Gusta la Classe de Espanol

Yeah, I'm not jazzed about my Spanish class. I'm the oldest person in my class, apart from the professor. Everyone in there appears to be relatively fresh from high school. And then there is the whole having to get up in front of the class and I hate doing that. We had to learn to introduce someone to the class in Spanish, and I felt really self-conscious. Honestly, I'm only there to fulfill a degree requirement. I miss having a buddy in class. One of the things I really love about going to TWU is that there are lots of people my age who are there to be focused and are also friendly. TCC? Yeah, this isn't my crowd at all. And of course, I'm the old chick, so that isn't helping. I always make friends quickly in class, but this one may be more of a challenge. And I'll need to make friends, because we're going to have to do a couple of group projects/oral presentations. This all makes me think that next time I am in class with someone older, I am going to go up and make friends with them on the first day of class. It's no fun feeling like this, and I totally know this is just my own issue, but I just hate it. At least it should all end quickly. And most of these people will be in the second summer session with me so it's not like I'll have to start all over again.

Ugh...enough. David spent the day yesterday sweeping and really cleaning the patio. It looks so good! We bought some beautiful new patio furniture and we have lots of plants, so he went the extra mile to make it really nice out there. He also made me dinner and cleaned the kitchen, which was a huge help for me! He told me that since I work all day and then go to school he wanted to make sure he did what he could to help me out. Seriously, I love this man so much! He takes such good care of me and I feel so special! It's nice to know he cares so much. :) It helps that he enjoys cooking so much, so I know he'll be helping with dinner and making things easier on me when he can. I'm so blessed!!

I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday! If this work-week was any longer I don't know what I would do! Hang in there, everyone...we're almost to the weekend!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Back To School For Me!

Tonight begins a summer full of school. I start my Spanish class tonight. Bueno! I'll take the second Spanish during the second Summer session, and I also plan to take my speech class then, too. If I pull it all off, I'll have 11 hours out of the way this summer, and that seems worth it to me! I'll be in class Monday through Thursday, and no break between sessions, but it's really okay with me. Class is from 6-8pm, so I still get to kick back for a bit after work, and I'll still have time to goof around before bed. (But not much time!) I'm just glad to be getting stuff out of the way!

No big news. It was a busy holiday weekend, but a good one. I'm really having a case of the "don't wannas" at work this week, but it's all good. I've been good and worked out like I should, so things are moving along there, too. :) I went to the doctor yesterday and still managed to get the weight lecture, but I'm doing something about it so I won't feel too badly. The hardest part is sticking with it, and I'm doing that!!

I really don't have much news at the moment. I hope everyone's day is wonderful!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anxious

I have been a good girl all week...ate carefully and worked out as I should, but I am anxious about my weigh-in this morning. For some reason I feel like it's going to be a week where the scale won't move, and it's not my fault. I hate those weeks, but they happen. I have eaten carefully and worked out 5 days this week, so I know I am doing all the things I should do. I just want that scale to budge in the right direction!! But if it doesn't, I'll just keep plugging away. I have to keep reminding myself that it's a marathon, not a sprint. But when you work hard at something, it's a bummer not to get the results you hope for. But I know my body, and I did have a large loss last week, so it's about time my body plays catch-up. And I am also building muscle, so there's that, too. Mom is going to come take my measurements today so that we can track things that way, too. Sometimes that is where I see results, not the scale. So anyhow...I'll update later with how it went. I've lost 21 pounds now, and I'm really happy about that. Especially since I did it in a month!!

UPDATE: I lost 2.2 pounds this week for a total of 23.2 pounds gone! I am quite pleased with this, and really happy to have lost this week!! :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

40 Before 40

I was thinking recently about where my life is going. I like my direction, and I feel really good about things. So I couldn't help but start to think about what I wanted to accomplish before I turn 40. I don't have a complete list but here goes...

1. Graduate with my BA in Psychology
2. Start Grad school
3. Buy a house
4. Do the Breast Cancer 3-Day
5. Get to my goal weight
6. Go whitewater rafting
7. Do a zip line tour at a tropical location...maybe Jamaica or Antigua

That's what I have so far. All are very do-able. And I plan to do them all! It's cool to be putting this list together. I think I am capable of achieving all of this, I just have to set my mind to it. and making it public means that it's out there in the universe and I have somehow managed to commit to doing it. So here goes!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Slowly But Surely, I'm Getting There

So I had a great weigh-in Saturday morning! I am proud to announce that I have now lost a total of 21 pounds! (I'll post a weight loss update again when I've lost a total of 40) I am hoping to have a total of 30 off by my birthday, so I have to keep up the workouts. Eating right seems to finally feel normal to me. I was at the Dallas Farmer's Market yesterday and bought some beautiful fruits and veggies. (I bought into a CSA, which is a community owned local organic farm, and each week I get fresh goodies grown on the farm. I went in with Samantha and Kevin so we all share when we get each week. It's really cool!) Anyhow, after going to the market, we went to a vegan diner called Spiral Bakery. It was absolutely amazing! I had a wonderful veggie wrap, Sam had the tofu scramble (VERY tasty!) and Kev had the veggie burger. Seriously good food!

I went out with a group of old friends last night and had a wonderful time! It's been forever since I've really even gone out like that, so it was good to get to see everyone. David was flying in from Houston and couldn't make it, unfortunately. But we had a blast and saw the new Star Trek movie, which is awesome so go see it! We had dinner at Uno's Pizza downtown, and I had the gluten-free veggie pizza and a glass of red wine. YUM!!! :)

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Fun

TGIF!! It's been a long week, but it's been good. I have caught myself enjoying my job more, which is a vast improvement from how it's been. It's still a means to an end for me, but I want to be able to tolerate it until I am done with school.

I bought Twilight on Blu-Ray last night and watched it. I like it...didn't love it, but that's because I usually prefer the book to the movie. The book has so many intricacies that the movie just can't cover. But I still enjoyed the movie, don't get me wrong.

Tonight after work, I am going to go to the gym. I didn't go this morning because I wanted to have time for a full hour, and I was carpooling today. I'm looking forward to just hopping on the treadmill and getting into my own world. Maybe I will load a movie onto my iPod. That's GREAT for making the hour pass faster! Tomorrow I am taking Cleo to the vet for her follow up to make sure her meds are working. Little prayers for Cleo, please!!

I also have WW in the morning. Hopefully the scale moves in the right direction this week!!!

That's about it in a nutshell. Everyone enjoy the weekend! The weather is supposed to be nice!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Twilight and Other Things

First of all, have any of you read the Twilight books? I hadn't until last week, and I have just finished book 3...I can't put them down! Rarely does a book(s) do this to me, but I am absolutely obsessed with reading them! Thankfully, my cousin Beth is right there with me and she understands. And like every other 16 year old girl, I am swooning over Edward! *sigh* (Not the movie Edward, the one in the book...I like the Edward in my imagination much better.) So I am about to start book four, and it's the last one. That makes me sad! I wish it took me longer to read to I could stretch it out!

On to bigger news...got my grades for the semester and I have a 4.0 GPA! Now I get to be on the Dean's List again, and this time with a special 4.0 designation!! I worked my booty off to get there, let me tell you. My finals really took it out of me, but it's all good. :)

And yes, I am still working out at 5am...I'm dead serious about sticking with that, too. Apparently it's my body's optimal time to go. At least it's out of the way early!

That's it for now. I sure am glad tomorrow is Friday!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Beat Down and Brain Dead

I have worked all weekend long on six assigned papers for school, and a 10 question take-home essay test. I am mentally exhausted. I still have 2 questions left on the test to write, but everything else is done. And I am completely whipped. Not to mention I have upped my workouts from 30 minutes to an hour now, so now I'm really wiped out! I did 60 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, and I did 40 minutes of weightlifting and 20 minutes on the treadmill this morning. I am tired! Oh, and I'm cramping. Lovely. But I'm trying to power through. :)

It feels good to be working out, and I really think it's becoming part of my routine. I'm doing a 5K on June 13th and I am trying to improve my time. Last time I did a 5K I did it in an hour and eleven minutes. Not a great time others, but not bad for me. But this time I am trying to get it under an hour. I have a bit to go, but I think I can do it. No one cares about my time but me, and but it's important and it's one of those goals I can measure. After no movement on the scale, I need to be able to mark improvement somewhere!

So today I take my papers up to school to turn in to Dr. Hall. I like being in his class, and I have him for Crisis Intervention in the fall. I think it's going to be a good class! I do need a little break, though. I don't start summer school until the 27th, so I have a little time. (Yay!)

Have a good Monday, everyone!