Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weight Loss Challenge....Take 2

Weight Loss Challenge

Well, project "maintain weight" went well....until Thanksgiving.  Then everything fell apart.  In the past month, I've gained (I'm gulping VERY HARD RIGHT NOW) 10 pounds!

Realizing that I won't be able to to fit into my work clothes come Tuesday when vacation is over, I became motivated by anger, and frustration.  The time has come to once again seriously get back on track, or I will quickly find myself at the weight I started at last June!

I've spent the last few days rereading my blog entries, and remembering all that I did to be successful when I lost weight over the summer.  The biggest problem I've had is finding the time to exercise since school started.  I've been swamped, and exhausted.  Well, I can't use those as excuses anymore.  Even if it's just for 20 minutes every other night, I WILL exercise.  If I can do that, and get back on the healthier eating track, I should be able to loose these 10 pounds in the next two months or so.

I'm thinking slowly again; over the summer I lost almost 10 pounds each month.  I know that won't happen now because I won't be exercising as much.  Shooting for 5 pounds a month is a reasonable goal, and what I'm going to start with.

I went grocery shopping today and I've stocked my fridge and cabinets with all the foods I ate over the summer that were so wonderful.  I ate a red bell pepper the other day and couldn't believe how much I'd missed it!!!

So here's to the next chapter in the weight loss challenge.  Every one is allowed to "fall off the wagon".  I've not only fallen off, but I can't even see the wagon in the distance left me behind!  I'm now running to catch up to it, and I will try this again.

Here's to 2012, loosing 40 pounds, AND DOING BETTER AT KEEPING IT OFF!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Star Wars Saturday.....on Sunday

Wow, I haven't done this in so long, I've almost forgotton how blogging works!

This morning, on Facebook, my cousin's son, (my first cousin?) posted this to his account.  We ALL know what a huge fan I am of Star Wars, so how could I resist?  I HAD to post this!

Okay, why do I think this is blog worthy?  First of all, hearing just the cello play The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme), The Star Wars Main Title, and Duel of The Fates was a wonderful twist to the usual versions.  There were some nice added rhythms that made it fun to listen to.

But let's face it:  what a unique idea!  And for once, the Darth Vader costume looked real.  Most of the time on a YouTube video the costume looks like someone made it; this one, not so much. 

For me, the video just didn't look stupid.  Parodies often are.  I thought everything that was done added to the cleverness.  And what a fun way to promote learning how to play a musical instrument!  But that is just my opinion, and I am, after all, obssessed with Star Wars!

What did you think?

Friday, November 25, 2011


So, yesterday I attempted my first Thanksgiving dinner.  Yep, I'm how old and I'm just now cooking Thanksgiving dinner?!?  What can I say....I DON'T COOK!  And when you have a husband who loves cooking turkey, there's no need to learn.

However, this year, Nick worked Thanksgiving morning at Target, so it was up to me to get the turkey in the oven, and do basically all the cooking.

I did pretty well.  The turkey was done, and looked lovely.  My problems came with the timing of the rest of the dinner.  There were potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, and gravy to make.  Unfortunately I made a beginners mistake, and started making all the other dishes BEFORE the turkey was finished.  Needless to say, the turkey wasn't finished when I thought it would be, so all the other food was cold by the time we got to eat it!  

Needless to say, I was bummed.  Oh, who are we kidding; I was BEYOND bummed.  I had very high expectations (my first mistake), and the perfectionist in me took over.  Nick and Brandon loved the food, and Nick attempted to make me feel better, reminding me that this was my first time doing this, and that my turkey turned out better than the one he cooked last Christmas (that was very sweet of him to say!)  Oh well, live and learn.  

I found this picture today, and it made me laugh.  My dinner might not have turned out the way I really wanted it too, but at least my Thanksgiving didn't look like this:

It says, "And you thought YOUR family was dysfunctional"

However, knowing me, I probably would've LOVED to be sitting at this table!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What Week Are We In???

Weight Loss Challenge

Well friends, until life slows down.....(like next summer), my weight loss challenge is over, and maintaining my current weight continues.  Call it an excuse, call it whatever you want, but there is simply no time to exercise. 

I miss not being able to exercise, I really want to loose that last 20-30 pounds, it's just not going to happen for a while.  So I will take with me the tools I've learned and keep using them until I can really get back on the bandwagon and do this right again.

I came across an article a few days ago, and I still can't decide how I feel about it.  A man named Drew Manning, who is a personal trainer, has decided to go from being extremely fit, to fat, and then fit again to help show people how it's done.  Read his story here.

Someone please explain this to me.  I can't figure out if I'm offended by this, or if I should be applauding him for wanting to help so many people.

Pros to what I think he's doing:
- learning how hard it is for people who struggle with their weight; that it's like an addiction to many
- his transformation has been disgusting to watch; something that might help people realize how quickly they can become obese

- he's a personal you really think it will be that difficult for him to shed this weight?  He's got access to all the right equipment, he's got all the knowledge, and HE'S A MAN....we all know they loose weight easier than women!!  If I could afford a personal trainer, and someone who could cook for me, I'd be down the last 20-30 pounds too! 

Yeah, I don't think I like this.  It feels like a slap in my face.

His challenge is almost over and then loosing his weight begins.  It will be interesting to see just how quickly, and easily he does it; because I have NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that he will look just like his before picture, in no time at all.

Be sure to check out the link at the bottom of the article; he has a blog, and many videos on YouTube where people have told him what he had to eat each week.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Neverending Move to Utah

There's a running joke in my family about my mom.  Every time she drives to Utah, something goes wrong.

The first time she came, last year when Nick and I moved, she was driving my car, and Nick was driving the moving truck.  Towards the end of the trip we were separated.  Mom and I ended up in nearby Cottonwood Heights, while my brother-in-law guided Nick into Sandy.

When she came for Christmas, she took the train, so there were no problems.

Mom came to visit us during the 4th of July weekend this past July.  Again, she ended up in Cottonwood Heights.  That has also become a joke:  we believe she will eventually live there since she seems so drawn to it!!

Friday night mom moved from California.  We thought it wouldn't happen until after she retired, but life has a funny way of turning the tables on you and pushing you the direction you need to be going.  My brother-in-law, (BIL for short) took the train to California to help mom pack up, and drive the truck.  She rented a trailer for her car to be pulled on, and they were on the road by 8pm California time.

All was going well until 4:15am Saturday morning.  In the middle of NOWHERE, 30 miles out of a town called Winnemucca, they had only five hours left til they would arrive.  Mom was driving and felt the truck jerk.  A few minutes later she looked out the rear view mirror and noticed sparks coming up from behind the trailer.  One of the tires on the trailer had not only blown, but was smoking and completely turning into tar.

She called the truck company and they told her it would be 2 HOURS before they could get someone out to them.  Mom asked if she could just take the car off the trailer and leave the trailer behind.  She could, but it would be considered abandoning the trailer and she'd be liable for it if anything happened.  They decided to wait.

2 hours comes and goes......and no one comes to fix the tire.  She calls back again.  Apparently the truck company had two other trucks with problems and instead of making it clear that there was now a THIRD truck, they accidentally told the tire company it was only two trucks.  The tire guy had already fixed one truck and left.  It would be another two hours.

Four hours pass and a Highway Patrol Officer notices their truck and stops to find out if they're ok.  They tell them the situation and he lets them know that he will drive past again in about two hours to see if they're still there.  I would've thought he could do more, being a Highway Patrol Officer, oh well.

Now six hours into the mess, the tire guy shows up to fix the trailer.  He takes one look at it and realizes there is no fixing it.  (Yeah, I think my mom and BIL had already tried to tell the "powers that be" all about that!)  The truck company is called back and they have the NERVE to actually tell my mom that they have to stay with the truck until sometime SUNDAY before they can get another person to them!  The lady on the phone tells the tire guy to just leave them there in the middle on nowhere.  Oh, and by this time both of their cell phones have died.

The tire guy gets involved asking to talk to the person in charge of the truck company.  He explains that HE WILL NOT leave them there with this truck, stranded.  They are finally told that they can leave the trailer and that my mom won't be held responsible for it.  Gee, didn't mom try to do that 7 HOURS AGO?!?

So then my BIL gets into mom's car to drive it off the trailer.  The tire guy immediately notices that the trailer the company gave mom is too big for her car, and that if she drives it off, it will probably damage the undercarriage of her car.  They continued to drive it off, and it made a lot of noise on its way down....something was probably damaged.

After spending nearly 7 hours stranded, waiting for a company that claims to provide 24/7 roadside assistance, they finally got back on the road.  Five hours later, they arrived.

There are so many things wrong with this situation.  When mom first called in to report the problem, they were more concerned with the condition of the truck than the people who were in it.  They NEVER asked how they were doing; if they had food and water, etc.  The company screwed up the maintainence order and they had to wait 5 hours for someone to arrive.  After discovering it couldn't be fixed, they had the NERVE to try and tell mom she had to stay with the truck until who knows when on Sunday, without a cell phone, in the middle of nowhere!  And during one point in this mess it was also discovered that the trailer the company rented to my mom was NEVER SUPPOSED TO LEAVE THE YARD!  It's a PIECE OF JUNK and had problems to begin with!  Gee, you think?!?  We all wondered how it made it out of the they not put signs on these things that say "Out of Order", or "Do Not Rent"?  Shouldn't they?!?

This company is going to get an ear-full, that much I KNOW.  Mom had to spend more money on this trip since she ended up having to gas up her car twice.  She will also have to pay to have a mechanic look at her undercarriage, and fix it if any damage was caused driving it off the faulty, too large trailer they gave her.  We all think she should demand they not even charge her for the truck and trailer at all.

We are all grateful that mom and my BIL were together.  It helped keep both of them calm, thinking clearly, and continued to help pass the time while they were stranded.  The situation could always have been worse, but it was ridiculous enough as it was.

But they made it, and now mom is onto new adventures in Utah.  We are so excited that she's here!

To be continued......

Week Eighteen

Weight Loss Challenge

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  That's about all I have to say for this ridiculous week!

Work was a NIGHTMARE all week long, and I ate SO MUCH fast food that I was stunned to see I'd only gained one pound!  I was certain I was at least five pounds heavier.

I'm TRULY, TRULY hoping that this is the week that life will slow down, if only just a bit.  One thing is for sure:  NO MORE FAST FOOD.  Believe it or not, I'm actually getting tired of it!

I'm going to find a way to exercise this week.  I'm hoping after dinner, and after Brandon is ready for bed....around 6:30/7pmish I will be able to put in 35 minutes of exercise, at least three times this week.  Then I will be pushing myself to also exercise the full hour on Saturday.  This is simply getting ridiculous.  I'm maintaining well, but I don't want to simply maintain, I want to keep DROPPING POUNDS!

Wish me luck, and free time!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chef Brandon

At school this week, Brandon learned all about people who help in the community.  Monday, he was a dentist, Tuesday - Thursday, Police Officer, Doctor, Fireman, and Friday they were all chefs.  Each day of the week he came home with the funniest hats, all having to do with the profession they had been talking about at school that day.

But the chef hat put them all to shame!!  How completely adorable is this?!?

A few minutes ago, I noticed that Chef Brandon was helping Daddy with dinner.  They are making spaghetti...yum, yum.

And just for you, Grandma, a video!  I hope everyone else likes it too!!  5 MORE DAYS TIL GRANDMA MOVES TO SANDY!!!!  Yea, we aren't excited at all!

Working Vs. Stay-at-Home Moms

I have a feeling that I'm going to catch a lot of heat for this one, but oh well.....BRING IT ON!

Back in college, before marriage and becoming a mother, I wrote a paper about the controversy surrounding working and stay-at-home moms.  It's been on my mind A LOT the past few weeks, as I've been feeling incredibly overwhelmed and at my whits end.

Below, I've scanned the paper I wrote, since it's easier than retyping it!  Yes, I had to scan it because it was typed before the internet was popular, and when I still used a word processor and saved articles on a disk instead of a computer!  Man, I feel old! 

It's in the biggest print I could get it in....bare with me.  It's also a long paper, but I believe it's worth the read!

Ok, so that was my paper BEFORE I had a child.  It was made clear in my last paragraph that I clearly thought working wasn't going to be a problem.

I've been on both sides of this controversy.  I worked as a substitute teacher until Brandon was born, and then didn't work afterwards.  I've been the stay-at-home mom.  I don't remember much of it because after Brandon was born, my health began to decline and I was having seizures on a regular basis:  I probably couldn't have worked even if I wanted to!

When Brandon was about two, I slowly began working again.  I worked a few hours as an After School Program Teacher, and then began working as a Kindergarten Aide.  That was no problem because they were simple jobs that didn't require much.   

We moved to Utah, and I began working pretty much every day as a substitute teacher, taking on the long term substitute teaching jobs.  These were more of a committment, but I was able to leave it at the end of the day because I had plenty of time at school to figure out the next day.

Summer came, I wasn't working again, and found time for not only Brandon, but for myself.  Granted, I was ready to ship Brandon off to Timbuktu by the time summer was over, but the point is, we had PLENTY of time together!

And then working full time began in September.  It is kicking my butt!  I'm up at 5am, off to preschool by 6:20am, straight to work to miss traffic, on my feet all day, done with school at 4:15pm, back to pick up Brandon, and home by 5pm.

That's when my second job starts.  Dinner, entertainment for a demanding, tired, grumpy four year old, grade school papers, (among other school tasks) bathe four year old, clean up dinner, put four year old to bed, and by the time that all happens, I'm ready to fall asleep by 8pm....and quite often, that's exactly what I do!

I miss the hour I took each day for exercise, to cook healthy food, to relax! 

Both working and stay-at-home moms work hard.  However, today, I would LOVE to be a stay-at-home mom; and I can't believe I'm saying that!  I would LOVE to be home to keep the house in order, since messy kitchens, laundry all over the place, and complete disorganization makes me insane!  Healthy dinners?  Check- I would completely be on top of it!  Weight loss?  Check- it would still be happening because I would have a little TIME for MYSELF!

I keep hoping that work will slow down, but it hasn't happened yet.  I know that it will, I just don't know WHEN it will!  I was telling Nick the other day that I only have enough brain to focus on work right now; there's no room for anything else.  Until that slows down, I don't really exist!  Heaven only knows how crazy I would be if I had more than one child......kudos to those mothers!

I LOVE MY JOB.....I just need there to be three of four more of me...or more hours in a day.  Maybe we could try cloning me and see what happens?!?  One clone could be responsible for keeping the house clean and running all the errands, another would be in charge of meals, and another would be responsible for all the extra school stuff I have to do each day.  That would leave time for me to be able to exercise each day and actually spend some quality time with my family!  Hey, it could work!!

Moms:  if you're able to stay home, be grateful.  Smoke is practically coming out my ears because I'm moving so quickly!

Week Seventeen

Weight Loss Challenge

This sums up week seventeen, and how I'm feeling perfectly.  This week, no, the entire month of September, has been HORRIBLE!  And I'm trying to not get upset and throw in the towel.

From my weight today, I've only lost one pound the entire month.  Yes, that means I've put weight back on:  about 3.5lbs.

I'm frustrated because since work started, I can't find any time in the day to exercise.  That's what is killing me and making it so I can't continue to loose weight.  I'm not eating as healthy, even though this week I stuck to the Smart Ones breakfasts and lunches, measured out my dinners, and drank as much water as I possibly could.  Unfortunately, stress and being overwhelmed is getting to me, making it easier to make poor choices on days when the last thing I want to do is come home from work to a dirty kitchen and cook something. 

This is a pretty good description of me right now

And this is what I wanted to do this morning!

I continue to hope, although that hope is dwindling away quickly, that work will slow down, I can breathe, and figure out a way to get back on top of this before I find myself right back where I started.  And that, my friends, scares me TO DEATH!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week Sixteen

Weight Loss Challenge 

Where has the summer gone?  I miss having time to exercise, drink tons of water, cook healthier meals!  Week sixteen found me not loosing any weight, but not gaining any either.

Saturday I decided it was time to get back on the bandwagon.  I finished all the Dove I'd bought (yes, I fell!!), and had my last "fast food" meal for the next few weeks.  I may not be able to exercise right now because, let's face it.....THERE IS NO TIME LEFT IN MY DAY......but that doesn't mean I can't eat correctly.  That's the one thing I can do in my attempt to continue loosing weight.

So, we'll see what happens.  Hopefully my body will continue to loose weight, even if it's slowly.  I'll take any weight loss.  But hey, at least I'm not gaining!!!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week Fifteen

Weight Loss Challenge

Not much to report this week.  At one point I'd gained almost three pounds, but when I stepped on the scale today, I had lost it all, plus about 0.2lbs.  So my current loss is 30.4lbs, down 0.2 from last week.

With school finally getting into the swing of things, I'm hoping that I can get back to work on this challenge.  Exercise will simply have to come naturally through the week, with an actual exercise "session" on Saturdays.  Continuing to eat properly is what I'm hoping to get back to.  I've been eating like a pig!  Luckily I haven't been paying for it too much.

A Night With Rascal Flatts

Back in June, I bought tickets for me and my sis to see Rascal Flatts at the USANA Amphitheatre, last Friday, the 9th, in West Valley City, Utah.  I was beyond excited since I love this group, and I hadn't been to a concert (besides Ernie Haase and Signature Sound) since I saw Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson six or seven year ago...and I also attended that with my sister!

Neither of us had been to USANA before, so we relied on Google Maps for directions.  There's a standing joke in our family that MapQuest often takes you the wrong direction and Google Maps are more accurate.....that will be important in a minute.

The concert was an outdoor event, rain or shine.  Unfortunately, it began to rain before we left.  I didn't think about it, but my sis brought an umbrella.  The entire time we drove there, we were listening to the radio to hear the weather report and praying that the storm would swing another direction.  We were lucky....the storm hit and was gone by the time we arrived.

The concert was to begin at 7pm, so we left at 6pm, giving us plenty of time to get we thought.  The directions from Google Maps took us to a residential area, and if it wasn't for my sister's great sense of direction (and eventually the line of cars we saw), we would've been lost.  So much for the accuracy of Google Maps!

Entering USANA, people naturally had umbrellas in their hands.  At the gate we were told that no umbrellas were allowed inside.  We were to simply drop them in the growing pile of umbrellas and hope that it was still there when the concert was over.  With reluctance, my sis dropped her umbrella, never expecting to see it again.

The opening act began around 7pm.  His name was Justin Moore and let me just say this:  Rascal Flatts need to screen their acts better.  The job of the opening act is to get the crowd excited; this guy believed we were all there to see him.....whatever!  He would try to get us screaming and when we wouldn't, he resorted to basically yelling and cursing at us because we wouldn't get off our butts.  And if that wasn't enough, he was on stage for almost an hour!  My sis and I were beyond ready for him to be gone....he was terrrible! 

Once he finally left, the crew began setting up for Sarah Evans, the second opening act.  This was different.  I was always under the impression there was one opening act; guess times have changed.

It took 30 minutes of waiting, then Sarah Evans came on.  The time was now 8:30pm.  She came onstage and was much more enjoyable to listen to.  However, she also outstayed her welcome as it was almost 9:15pm before she was finished.  By this point, I was getting beyond anxious, and a little tired of waiting to see the group I'd paid so much money to see!

While the crew came back out to prepare for Rascal Flatts, my sis and I became familiar with the four people sitting in front of us.  Two couples, one younger than the other, with one man who was very obnoxious, and intoxicated before he got to USANA and began drinking!  (and he drank A LOT while he was there!)  We couldn't figure out why he went to the concert; all he did while both Justin and Sarah performed was scream at them that he wanted them gone.  We shared the sentiment, but he was very loud.  We discovered while the crew was getting Sarah off stage that he was quite funny, and if he hadn't been so loveable, my sis and I would've died!  A few people sitting in front of them actually got up and changed seats.....yep, he was that loud!

So now it's 9:30pm.  We'd been there since 7pm and endured rain, one wretched opening act that went forever, and another decent act that also went too long.  Just when we began to wonder if Rascal Flatts would ever come onstage, the lights went down and the fun began!

USANA Amphitheatre

We were in section 304, row L, seats 13 and 14; we were right in the center of the action!

This guys head just wouldn't get out of the way of my pictures!

My sis and I had decided that when we knew the concert was near its end, we would head out early and try to avoid the massive crowd of people.  Around 10:30pm, Rascal Flatts began talking like the concert was over.  We were very confused.  They'd only been onstage for barely an hour....weren't they just going to intermission and coming back?

They left the stage and we were still confused.  The crowd continued to scream, and suddenly they came back.  However, it quickly became clear that this was their encore......seriously?  My sis and I left once we were certain that this was in fact the end of the concert, but half the amphitheatre had the same idea.

Power walking as fast as we possibly could, my sis was able to find her umbrella and we headed to the poorly marked parking lot.  This was one time I wished my car had an automatic lock....I could've pushed it so the horn would go off to help us find my car!  Surprisingly, I found it quickly, but it was too late:  we were blocked in because the people to the left, right, and front of us had decided to stick around and wait for the crowd to leave; and we couldn't back up at all....we were completely stuck.

It was now 11:00pm.  Since we weren't going anywhere anytime soon, my sis and I started reflecting on the concert....and I was not happy at all.  We waited over two hours to see Rascal Flatts, and they were only onstage for about an hour.  During that time they probably talked to the crowd for 20 minutes total, sang four or five songs that weren't theirs, and only sang two songs off their latest album.  I paid a pretty penny for those tickets, and that was all we were going to get?  SERIOUSLY?!?  When I go to a concert, especially one from a group of this caliber, I expect to get what I paid for...and be entertained by THEM, singing THEIR songs!  I guess I paid to also be entertained by the boring opening acts too.

When my family goes to an Ernie Haase concert, it's almost three hours long, and with tickets only costing $25, we get WAY more than what we paid for.  I suppose this is another way times have changed.

Back in the parking lot from hell, the clock continued to tick away.  An hour, then 90 minutes pass, and before we knew it, the time was midnight and we had barely moved an inch!  By this time my sis and I had been sitting in my car longer than Rascal Flatts were onstage!!  Thanks to the cars blocking us in, we were one of the last cars out.  We finally started moving a little after midnight and made our way home.  I walked through the door of my house at 1am!  

Now, the concert wasn't all bad.  Yes, I was BEYOND disappointed, and no, I will NEVER pay that much for tickets to their concert again.  However, the time they were onstage was great.  The crowd screamed, I screamed (I wanted to loose my voice, but they weren't there long enough!!), everyone was clearly enjoying themselves.  Unfortuntately, there were just too many cons to this experience.

Live and learn.