30 May 2011


Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I'm pretty thankful to have a day that's mostly down-time for all of us except for a little matter of two parades that Matthew's marching in later this morning.

Just thought that I'd give you an update on the goings on here, since I've a few things that just couldn't really create a whole post.

Here goes:

*Caleb's baseball team is 1-5; that is in stark contrast to being on the only undefeated team last year. He's playing right field this year and still enjoying it most nights. And there are only 3 teams in his age division this year as well, so that means fewer games. That's okay, it'll be the first time we weren't missing games of some kind for vacation in June since Matthew started playing soccer in kindergarten.

*Speaking of soccer, did you know that I am now the mother of a high school soccer player? Crazy, right? Matthew signed up for the team this week and got his sizes in for home and away uniforms and practices start in July with the first game being Tuesday, August 16th, or so I've been told. (I told him yesterday that I'm starting to already feel the pressure of planning his high school scrapbook..... spring of 2015 will be here before I know it.)

*We purchased a new stove and refrigerator with part of our federal tax refund and they were delivered last week. After the deliverymen had to remove my front door from the hinges and Jon needed to borrow a crowbar from the neighbor to get the old range out, all was well. Turns out our house has narrow doorways and the somewhere along the line someone thought it was a good idea to bolt the range to the counter top to its right. Yep, bolt. I only wish I could have been here to see that. But my new appliances are lovely and I'm a happy girl; although the counter top and cabinets are green with envy.

*Matthew was awarded the Outstanding Eighth Grade Musician award last week. This is given to the student who school officials feel is a superior musician but who also encourages other students to do their best in band and teaches what they know, going above and beyond what is expected. Receiving the award was a complete surprise to him (and to us!) and I don't have to tell you that I was proud.

*Caleb's recently made friends with a little guy who lives just around the corner in the next block and they have a blast together. I'm constantly being asked if he can go play with his friend and always hearing about how much "cool stuff" his friend has to play with. It's nice though for Caleb to have a friend close by, all his other friends live in the town where the schools are and that's harder to make time for play work with all schedules.

*Work's going well. We got a new EXA last week, his name is Mike. He's older than our previous EXA but he's fitting in really well so far and I like him. School's out for summer though, so the college kids are all back to wanting hours so almost every body's hours are cut to make room. I'm down from 25 last week to 22.5 this week to 17 next week. Oh well, 17 hours is more than I was working last year at this time, so it's all good. We'll adjust. And I've been kinda going back and forth on that number of hours anyway; it will allow me to spend time at home with the boys while they're home for summer and that's good, but we won't have as much money for "fun stuff" as we thought. We'll just have to get creative, I guess.

And finally.......

Take time today to remember all those who gave of themselves so that we could have our freedoms. What a gift.....

26 May 2011

(random) 30 day shred - day 16

- I just finished my sixteenth workout for 30 day shred and it was my sixth workout with level 2.

- I've taken four days off since I started day 1 on May 6th.

- Wanting to be a "graduate" of the system before we leave to visit family on June 12th, I need to get the workout in every day until then to finish on the 10th, which is the first day of summer vacation for the boys.

- I hate squat thrusts just as much now as I did in gym class.

- I'd rather do jumping jacks for days than plank jacks. Dude.

- Two workouts ago, I decided to see if I could actually do the pushup part of the "walkout pushups". My form isn't great, but I did them. You should see my developing biceps. heehee.

-If you don't think that a 20 minute workout can leave you screaming for relief from the burn, gasping for air and wishing for death as an end to the torture, you'd be totally wrong.

-But changes in the mirror and in the fit of my clothes are proof that if you're tough enough to stick with it, it totally works.

There ya have it. :)

25 May 2011

(Sorta)Wordless Wednesday - the pictures don't lie

(June 2010) I love that baby (my nephew Carson) on my lap, but good grief....I mean. really. And yes, I keep this picture on the fridge to remind me of lots of things; how little I thought about myself, how sad I really was at letting my weight get out of control, how embarrassed I was at having my picture taken, and most of all, how I'm never going back there again.

(May 24, 2011) getting there.... I'm still not crazy about having my picture taken, but I'm beginning to see that all my hard work is paying off, and even though sometimes I still feel like I'm in the body of the top picture, it's obvious even to me that even that is beginning to change.

16 May 2011

keep movin' - day 8

What a crazy weekend!

Friday night Jon took Caleb to his baseball game. I've had a headache off and on for almost a week and that night was awful, so I stayed home. About five minutes after they came in the door, I was upstairs but I heard Caleb say "Daddy, Dina has a mouse and she's under the sofa."

Suddenly I had no need to go downstairs and shower anyone with kisses.

Saturday morning I was awake by quarter to six. Crazy, right, since it was my weekend off. And as I headed down to the bathroom, I noticed that the cat didn't greet me at the bottom of the stairs. That's odd, but my bladder was demanding attention, so I just went to the bathroom to do what I needed to do.

Odder still is that when I came out of the bathroom, she was ignoring me. Then I noticed that she was playing with something that I thought was a toy, but as she flung it into the air, I noticed it was grey. I didn't have to look real closely to notice that she'd captured prize number two and I ran right upstairs and announced to Jon that there was another mouse and he needed to get out of bed and take care of it.

I'm lucky he loves me, let's just say that.

I was planning to do day 8 of 30 day shred, but suddenly Jon was up cooking bacon and eggs and then I was making coffee and eating one egg, two slices of bacon and a slice of toast and watching reruns (obviously) of One Tree Hill on SoapNet.

It's my day off, you know. I'd had two Saturdays off since the first weekend of March and one was for Ladies Retreat and the other for cantata practice at Easter.

Then three of the four of us headed into town to Lowes, just to "look" at their refrigerator prices. Low (prices, really) and behold, forty five minutes later (and Caleb did a great job entertaining himself looking at kitchen cabinets and fancy things; *swoon*) we left having purchased a new refrigerator and the hook-up for the ice maker; the delivery is to be this Saturday between noon and four.

I'm so happy to get rid of my 1988 side-by-side refrigerator, I can't even tell you.

I'd have ordered a range too, if Jon (or I) had written down the measurements for that opening. And since I want black finish, the range will be an extra two weeks from date of order, but it's not pressing, so we might not even order for another week or so. But I'm getting a smooth top range and I'm pretty excited about that too; I hate cleaning burners, like, a lot. So much that I never do it, but that's another thing.

Yesterday morning, I intended to get my tail out of bed and complete day 8...again. And I completely ignored my alarm at 6:15 and slept till after 6:30, so no 30-day shred there either.

But I'm still on track to finish just before we head to Mom and Dad's for vacation next month and I will finish.

And now for some random, but sorta related points.

  • I looked in a full length mirror at Wal-Mart on Saturday and almost liked what I saw. Almost.

  • My scale is in a time out in the cabinet above the refrigerator and will remain there for at least another week.

  • I tried on my size 10 jeans on Friday and they still fit, in fact, just a little better than two weeks before; still not well enough to be super comfortable though, but I think that'll come.

  • Jillian is kicking my butt, but I totally have definition in my arms again, which is AWESOME.

  • I wore Matthew's hoodie on Saturday cause mine was MIA and it fit. It even zipped and still fit which was totally cool.

And there ya have it, I'm off to be abused by Jillian and get the house cleaned.

Have a great Monday!

12 May 2011

get up and go

Putting in the 11-8 shift yesterday and then turning around and needing to be at work by 8:00 this morning to work the front register doesn't leave me much time.

I hate 11-8 because I feel like I get nothing done, but I love it because I can enjoy my coffee after the boys leave for school and still get in a workout, eat a leisurely breakfast and get a few things done before getting myself to work.

But I'm tired after getting up at six to get everyone ready and not getting home until well after 8:00. Tired.

I still need to get in my workout, so I figured that the easiest thing to do would be to lay out my clothes for morning, workout and work clothes. Then it dawned on me that if I slept in shorts and a t-shirt, it'd save one more step in the morning.

I didn't just come in on a load of turnips, ya know.

That turned out to be the best decision ever as at 5:15 I heard the faint "beep, beep, beep" of the alarm and thought "Already? How is that possible?" But I drag myself out of bed and down the stairs, make a stop at the bathroom and think "okay, it's 5:18 but I can do this" Open the fridge and retrive the water pitcher to get myself a bit hydrated before I present myself to Jillian and take a drink.

"It's 5:19? Really? Man, I'm tired."

This workout is challenging enough during ideal circumstances, but when I'm yawning every ten seconds and struggling to get sleep from my left eye during punches, it takes on a whole new level of difficulty.

But day 6 is done. Mark it.

10 May 2011

on Mother's Day

I was pretty proud of my boys this last weekend.

We're without a pastor at the moment, as you may know, so Sunday was my "turn" for pulpit fill. Our church board secretary had asked me if I'd preach and I told her that I'm not a preacher, I was a preacher's kid, big difference, and she said "how about a mission lesson then?"

As I'm about to complete my first year serving as local church mission president, that I could do.

I spent several days thinking and praying about what it was I was going to present and just kept coming back to the Haiti Water Project. Basically, this is a missions outreach through our denomination that aims to provide the Haitian people with clean drinking water.

For the unfathomable cost of one dollar. One dollar provides one person in Haiti clean water for one entire year.

Now, I'm not creative at all, but I really felt like this project was something that my church and I could donate to, so I covered an ice cream bucket in paper and printed pictures of little tiny faucets and the title Haiti Water Project and armed with some scissors and glue, I created a vessel in which to collect the money.

I had two video clips also, one for an update after the January '10 earthquake and one specifically about Haiti Water Project and the boys watched both clips on Friday after school. Then Caleb looked at me and said "I have dollars, Mom" and he went upstairs and came back down a few minutes later with eight dollar bills and placed them in the bucket.

"Those kids on the video need clean water, Mom, and I can help." I almost burst.

Matthew participated in Sunday's service as part of an instrumental trio, he persented a solo and he took part in playing with the pianos. He did a great job. And he didn't hesitate at all when I asked him to come forward during the presentation to help me out.

And my church family has responded greatly to the need of the Haitian people.

I couldn't be prouder.

09 May 2011


I started 30-day shred again on Friday.

I'd done the workout before and never made it past day seven. My knees would get so sore and I just never felt like I could do the workout well enough to make it worth my time, so I'd quit.

I think this is my third go at the workout. I just finished workout number three of thirty.

This time around, I find that the workout is still tough, but doable. And my knees are a bit sore but nothing like in the past attempts. I'm positive the reason for that is that there isn't so much load to bear with those dreaded jumping jacks.

I still hate the sound of Jillian's voice. I hate that the DVD won't let me skip the intro where she brags on herself for being "tv's toughest trainer" and when she says "There are three workouts; one, two and three" I wanna scream " Can't you get more creative than that?!?!"

But I take a deep breath, stare at the art on the wall during jumping jacks if I have to and just do it.

I weighed in this morning at the lowest I've weighed since 2006. I also realized that in thirteen pounds, I'll be able to speak of my weight as the lowest since 1996.

Almost 15 years. FIFTEEN. My aim is to be so near goal by Matthew's birthday that I can taste it. That's the sixth of September, the day after Labor Day.

I'm gonna win this war.

06 May 2011


Good Friday morning, all! Despite having to drive Caleb in to school this morning, we're off to a great start.

I'm being featured at Momma Made It Look Easy this morning, (click here for the link) so be sure to stop by and read. And many thanks to Jennifer for the chance.

Have a great weekend.

05 May 2011

in the eye of the beholder

Logically, the change in the numbers must tell me something, but I don't see it. When I look in the mirror, all I can focus on is where improvement is continually needed.

Even before and now pics don't really help since I just can't really see it. And I know that all of my size 14 pants won't stay up and on a great day, I can get into a size 10 and even breathe but I don't see it.

I saw this picture that was taken April 10th and thought two things.

(that's me on the far left, in case you didn't know, with my friends Bettina, Melissa and Diane; great ladies and great friends!)

One, I need a haircut and two, boy, do I need to work on the shape of my arms.

Not thinking anything about the pants that I had on that day which I hadn't worn in six flippin' years.

I just wonder if what I see is ever gonna catch up to what actually is.

03 May 2011


One of my best friends in high school was Mykal. She and I sang in the choir together; she's an alto and I'm a soprano. She was fun and friendly and loud and I loved her.

We spent several days a week together between my sophmore and junior years of high school. We go "crusin'" in T-ville on the weekends; I had a fairly early curfew and her's was much later than mine.

I wasn't busted for breaking curfew too often. Once that I remember for sure, my dad was literally sitting just inside the front door as I opened it at one in the morning. And all he said was "We'll talk about this in the morning."

I'm pretty certain I spent a couple of weeks grounded.

And this morning, as I look out the window and a rain/snow mix is falling from the sky, I got the overwhelming urge to go to Shelbyville. Let me tell you about it.

Mykal worked at Subway sandwich shop in high school and it just so happened to be located directly across the street from the church my family and I attended where my dad was pastor. (This isn't really important to the story except that I was just thinking about that.)

The summer before my junior year which was also Mykal's senior year, she always had at least one day where if she didn't work at all, she wouldn't have to be to work until 4:00 and then she'd most often show up in my driveway in the "turd-mobile". (Her car was older and painted brown, thus the affectionate name, and for the record, could go (once) 100 miles an hour on the highway. It was just for a second that we went that fast, in case either her mom or mine read this...promise.)

And she'd say "Wanna go to Shelbyville?" That was where the man-made "beach" was located off Lake Shelbyville; you know, in the middle of central Illinois where there's so much culture. heehee. And of course I wanted to go; my only "job" was babysitting on the weekends, I had nothing holding me back.

As we drove to the beach with the windows down and the Meatloaf cassette blaring from the speakers, we figured that this was as good as life gets. We'd swim for hours, lay in the sun (I got some killer sunburns that year) and then we'd either hit DQ for dipped cones or KFC for chicken little sandwiches, fries and pop on our way back home; wind blowing in our hair, singing at the top of our lungs, not a care in the world for the afternoon.

Good times.

In the years since, we've kept in touch; even through those years she served in the military and was constantly on the move. She and another friend from high school drove hours to attend my wedding in 1995 and although we've kept in touch, I haven't laid eyes on her since.

I wonder if she's got time to go to Shelbyville.

02 May 2011

my eulogy*

*Yesterday morning while we were in church, Jon received a message from his mom that his cousin Emma who lives in England had unexpectedly passed away. She was only 32 and was a wife, a mother to two very young sons, a daughter, a sister and a friend to many. We're deeply saddened and at the same time reminded that there isn't a second we can take for granted. Thus the inspiration for this post.

Do you ever wonder what loved ones will say at your funeral? I do. And last night while I was at work, all I could think is "what if I died this very second and no one had anything good to say about me?"

Despite my mother's many attempts to the opposite, I am a pessimist by nature. And this fact makes situations such as this intensely more difficult.

God forbid something happen to me now or in the near future, what would my sons and husband say if given the chance? Things like "she was hard to make happy and we were never good enough" run though my head. I don't want them to say "she yelled a lot and we felt as though we weren't a priority".

God forbid.

Taking not one more second for granted here on out, here's what I'd hope my sons would say:

"She loved God with all her heart and sought to serve Him and she loved us just as much. She believed we could do anything and reminded us that our best was all that was necessary. She taught us that even though doing the right thing is not always easy, it's always worth it.

She was patient with us even when we didn't necessarily deserve it and we were never afraid to go to her for help or comfort. She made everyone around her proud to know her and even on her worst day was a great example of Christ and I'd be happy to be half the parent to my children that she was to me.

And even in our sadness, we take comfort in knowing that she now sits at the feet of Jesus and we'll see her again. We love you, Mom."**

Not one more second.

We'll miss you, Emma, but we'll see you again. Enjoy eternity with Jesus.

**every word I could say about my own mother; I'm truly blessed to have been raised by a woman who "amazing" doesn't even begin to describe and I am so thankful.