29 April 2011

slippery slope

The few nights a week I'm actually home for dinner, I try my hardest to have us all sit at the table and talk while we eat. Last night I was asked if it was okay if the television was on (um, no) or if I was planning to sit at the computer and eat (no again).

The teenager was the last to fill his plate in the kitchen and his brother and I were already seated at the table when he started to walk through the dining room. As I cleared my throat and said "hey, come back here." he complied, but chose to sit in what is typically his father's place at the table. Good enough.

Given the chance, the nine year old will totally monopolize dinner conversation, so typically it's just easier to let him go first and tell us about his day. His enthusiastic report included that both of his loose teeth bled at lunch time and that most of the kids spent quite a bit of time falling while attempting to roller blade in gym. "And I even told (so-and-so) that rollerblading isn't about speed; it's about focus, concentration and balance." Nice, Son.

Getting the fourteen year old to tell us about his day is touch and go. Some nights he's more than willing to spend time with me in the kitchen while I'm making dinner because he has so much to tell me and other nights all I get in response to questions I ask are guttural noises.

Parenting is hard. Parenting a teenager is sometimes impossible. One minute everything is right with the world- the sun is shining, the birds are singing and life couldn't be better. Then in the blink of an eye (and sometimes faster), there's no communication, no more smiling and lots of "I hate you people" eminating from the human who was perfectly pleasant less than five minutes ago. And don't you dare ask if anything's wrong either, unless what you'd like to hear and see is loud sighing, an exasperated 'I don't know' and multiple eyerolls.

Last night, perfectly pleasant. He volunteered that tutoring went well as he'd spent the lunch hour with some fifth-graders teaching trumpet. We talked about how my brother and sister-in-law will be headed to the hospital for Aunt Cassandra to have the new baby next week. He told me that his buddy Noah's girlfriend had broken up with him at lunchtime and that Noah wasn't taking it well, as can be imagined.

Just then, his phone rang and who would it be but the aforementioned buddy, who wanted to know if Matthew had asked for permisson to stay the night over the weekend. He told Noah he hadn't asked yet and then proceeded to ask while Noah was still on the phone. As I told him that I didn't see a problem with it but would need to check with Jon and then we'd let Noah know, Matthew relayed the message and then after a short pause said "I can't, not right now, maybe later. See ya."

When I inquired as to what he'd told Noah he couldn't do, he said "Oh, nothin' " but when I pressed just a smidge harder he said "I told Noah that I couldn't talk to him right now because I'm talking to you. I'll just call him later."

I freakin' love that kid.

*I'm linking up to share my awesome with Momma Made It Look Easy this week.*

27 April 2011

divide and conquer

Last night, I met Carrie for dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Both of us commented that we couldn't remember the last time we'd eaten there whether we were together or not.

She apologized as she could see that I was sorta ga-ga over what to eat, but I assured her that it didn't matter. Needing to make choices when eating out is part of life for everyone and I wasn't stressed; just figuring I could find something.

I ordered water since it's still free and I could play catch-up then we got to talking and I forgot to concentrate on choosing my entree.

Shocking, I know.

Moments later our waitress came back to the table and Carrie ordered steak, salad and a baked potato. Yum. I took a deep breath and ordered the smokehouse burger well done. In the next second I heard the waitress say:

"Fries okay?" Sure. I don't really like steak fries much anyway. Much.


"Did you want cheese and bacon on those?" Um, me? Cheese and bacon? Why yes!! "No thanks, plain is great."

Score one for me.

Carrie's salad arrived and moments later, so did our entrees. My plate doesn't even hit the table and I realize that the burger is HUGE and there's no way that I could ever eat it all without some major consequences. So before the guy who brought us our food walks away, I said "Can I get a box right away, please?"



He said sure and less than a minute later, my burger was divided followed by half of the fries being placed in the box and laid on the table.




Another point for me.



Then I didn't even eat four of the fries I left for myself. Really. And for ten bucks, I wasn't stuffed to uncomfortable leaving the restaurant and I have lunch today.



Doesn't get better than that.

25 April 2011

three days, a smaller size and a sniper scope

Good Morning! Hope you all had a blessed Easter! We did and it was very busy.

But before we get started, I'd just like to toot my own horn a bit here; you don't mind, right? Of course you don't. My pounds lost total continues to climb and once again, I saw a smaller number this morning on that dreaded scale. This morning's display read 158 which makes for thirty three pounds lost since December 27th.

That's nuts. And while this morning was the first time in two months of taking my measurements that they stayed exactly the same, there is no despair. I'll tell you why in a second.
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So I've been sorta shopping in my closet for a few weeks. While it's true that there were casualties in my smaller sizes every time we've moved since 2005 (I'm never gonna be small enough to wear that again), I did keep a few items.

One was a pair of jeans in a size 10. Now a ten is the smallest I've ever been, even on this roller coaster, since seventh grade. When I tried the jeans on a few weeks ago, I got them to my knees and just figured it was a lost cause (for now) and put them back in the closet. Something came over me on Friday afternoon and I just had to see if they fit.

With no struggling to get them over my hips and no having to lie down and suck in until I pass out, they fit.

THEY FIT!!! (I was in a getting-very-tight size 14 in December, just so you know what I'm dealing with here.)

Without shame, I immediately posted my victory as my FB status (because isn't that what FB is for?!?) and even wore the jeans to my meeting, I was so excited. And you do know what that means, don't you?!?! Next stop, SINGLE DIGITS!

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Friday evening I went to Green Bay, which is about 50 miles from my house for a church board meeting. I had to make a stop at the store afterward and didn't get home until almost 11:30pm. And it rained all the way home and I hate driving in the rain. Hate.

Then Saturday morning brought Easter cantata rehearsal so Jon and I went to Green Bay again. And of course we went to church service yesterday morning, so that was a third time in three days. We basically used an entire tank of gas in the van and at $3.89 a gallon currently, that's no small feat.

As for Easter weekend, the boys and I spent the day Friday at home. That is until Matthew decided to take off for his friend Noah's house. Noah lives about 7 miles from us and Matthew is completely comfortable with taking the journey by bike. About an hour before Matthew was due home, I got a text.

"I got myself in the face, just above the nose, with a scope on a 270."

I didn't panic, just sent the reply: "ouch, you okay?" and his response was "yea, it's a pretty cool gash on my face."

I asked if he was thinking it needed stitches and he responded that he didn't think so. A few days of keeping it covered with antibiotic cream and mostly the pad of a band aid and it's looking much better. He even showed his battle wound to a couple of kids at church service yesterday who were dying to see. Rumors were flying around pretty fast and furious at church too about just why it is that Matthew has a band aid between his eyes. One fifth grade girl heard that a squirrel shot Matthew with a gun. Huh.

I took a picture, of course, I did; but he'll kill me if I post it here. Let's just say that we've been teasing him a bit about calling him Harry Potter when it scars over. Or Scarface.

Just kidding.

22 April 2011

Here's to knowing why

Three weeks ago, I hated the treadmill and vowed to stay away from it until after Easter. Follow that with two weeks of weight training and a few inches lost and a new decade of numbers.

Then I got three and a half hours of sleep following a late night field trip with Matthew for band and gave myself the day off the next day.

And this week the boys have been on Spring break. And it snowed; no kidding. And I didn't work out this week at all.

I got on the scale eleven billion times.

Nine days from my last workout, this is what I've gleaned about having lost thirty pounds but having thirty more to lose.

Excuses not to exercise are prevalent every single day. Motherhood, my part-time job, the pain my body experiences almost every day, my responsibilities at church, everything can be an excuse if I make it one.

And I have. For the last nine days.

Even the busy-ness of the upcoming Easter holiday is an excuse. And as I sit here writing this post, I know that I just need to quit writing, change clothes and get on the treadmill already.

My body needs the exercise. I've learned that I can't just eat well for nine days and expect to see results on the scale. It didn't cut it. In fact, I'm up two pounds since my last weigh-in almost two weeks ago.

I can't go back to 165, let alone 191. I just can't.

Now, I can promise you that I'm not in the frame of mind that what I'm doing is a failure if I grant myself a day off from exercise. I just need to get back to where I never take more than two days off in a row. That seems to work the best.

I'm eating my veggies and fruits and eating less processed and more whole foods. And that's really the only thing that's been keeping my head even half in the game at this point.

But all is not lost. I'm determined to never see 165 again.

Time for the treadmill.

14 April 2011

the bigger gap

I see my family twice a year; once in the summer and then at either Thanksgiving or Christmas, depending on which holiday it was we went last.

I haven't seen my family in 137 days. When I calculated that out, as yes, you knew I would, I was a bit shocked that it was only 137 days. It seems so much longer since I've crossed the border from Indiana into Michigan and exclaimed to all of the occupants in the vehicle "We made it! Only one-hundred and fifty-five miles to go!"

Yep, I know what you're thinking, "Have you really calculated just how far your family lives from the Michigan/ Indiana line?" I did that once too. That's the longest part of the trip there sometimes.

In fifty nine days, we'll spend hours in the car and do it again. (Hopefully, we can come there and back in the time we planned this year; the extra time with my family last summer was nice and they were totally gracious to allow us to stay while the van was undriveable, but if that happens this year, I'll probably lose my job. And that'd be bad.)

Fifty nine days seems awfully long. To wait fifty nine days, it's a good thing that I have things like work to keep me occupied. The closer it gets to time to go, the more I just wanna go.

I wanna have coffee with my mom. I wanna see and hear my dad play his drum set. I wanna go shopping with my sister. I wanna hug my sister-in-law and laugh for hours at my brother's sense of humor. I wanna play with my nieces and nephews. And I'm even lucky enough to say that I look forward to meeting my newest nephew by then who should be just a few days over four weeks old.

In fifty-nine days.

13 April 2011

12 April 2011

It worked

Last Monday, I was frustrated. I'd spent more time than ever on the treadmill and was smacked in the face by a 2.2 pound weight loss in TWO WEEKS.

Two weeks, people. That was just over a pound a week....unfathomable to me considering my effort in exercising. And I hadn't been just busting tail in exercising but eating crap either; my food choices were as good as ever. Honest.

After I spent a couple hours stewing in my frustration, I just started to wonder if it was simply time to concentrate on another method of exercise and take a break from the mind-numbing whirrrr of the treadmill.

So I just subbed a Firm weight-training DVD; and this was even better. I could workout only three days a week without feeling guilty and see later whether or not the plan was any good.

Yesterday, I got on the scale and was "rewarded" with a four pound loss for the week. And not just that, either, but an inch lost too. I hadn't seen that particular number on the scale since 2005. Do you know how long that's been?

Friday's workout will be tough. I'm chaperoning a band field trip to Madison on Thursday and we're not due home till nearly midnight, but I guess the good thing is that I'm not expected in to work until 11am on Friday, so I should be able to get some weights in. And next week the boys are on Spring break. I'm off a few days and working a few days, so I'm just hoping that I can make myself a priority and get in my workouts before work no matter what else is going on.

Because I think that's key.

08 April 2011

there's a piece of my heart in Nebraska

I'm a strange girl. Growing up, I loved every place we ever left and every new place we ever moved to. I'm lucky enough to say that I have friends all over the country. Sure, it's tough to leave, but making new friends while keeping in touch with old ones was always one of my favorite parts of growing up.

When I was eight, we moved from Lexington, KY to Arnold, NE. I became fast friends with Renae Watson, who was the little sister of our (soon to be) babysitter, Shelly.

I think it's the next Christmas that Mom made Heather and I our Cabbage Patch Dolls. Heather named hers Renae and mine is named Shelly. Yep.

When I was almost fourteen, we moved three and a half hours East to Columbus, NE. Rebecca Baker became my Renae. Rebecca lived about three blocks from our church and of course, our town was small enough that we went to school together and spent a lot of time together, especially summers.

Her brother Christopher locked us in the shed once. That was a terrifying five minutes. We put pink hairspray in our hair quite often. I think it's the same brand that's in my department today at Walgreens.

I have an email address and a cell number for Rebecca that I should check for accuracy; they're more than a few years old. Once again, we moved on and I got a new best friend. But I've always loved Nebraska.

Our pastoral family has taken a call to McCook Church of the Nazarene in McCook, NE. This coming Sunday is going to be the last that they are with us after almost eight years.

When I received Pastor's resignation via email, I immediately looked up the location of McCook, and was ecstatic (cuz I'm strange, remember?) to discover that McCook is located just a little over an hour straight south of North Platte where the closest Pizza Hut was located when we lived in Arnold.

Pepperoni pan pizza and pop at Pizza Hut. Not often, mind you, but I remember.

That discovery immediately helped me feel connected to where Pastor and Bettina are going for their new church. And I'm gonna miss them "like the dickens", but part of my heart has been in Nebraska since 1983.

It's just a bigger piece starting next week.

07 April 2011

What I Deserve

I have a coworker who's getting married in June of next year and as she's found herself wanting and wishing for certain wedding dress options, she's on a mission to lose 40 pounds by September first.

Last night she tells me that she'd bought some "dance" exercise DVD and she'd done the workout every day so far this week. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that the definition of exercise varies from person to person. I totally get that it all depends on what shape you're in when you start exercising that tells you what you can and can't handle at the moment.

Weighing thirty pounds more than I currently do, I started out walking on the treadmill in my den twenty minutes a day at 3.3 miles per hour. The intensity of her exercise isn't what's chapping me here, believe me. It's what she said next.

"I worked out three days this week; I deserve this chocolate"

She had three Russell Stover chocolate easter eggs and a large bag of chips sitting on the cosmetic counter wanting me to assist her with her purchase.

I didn't say a word, but all I'm thinking is "Three days and you think you deserve it?? How interesting."

Going with that line of thinking, I totally deserve a stop at the drive thru on my way home from work on a day when I've busted my butt for nine hours straight putting away freight; and I also deserve a stop in the candy aisle for anything that's 39 cents with coupon this week, just because I did a weight training DVD before work yesterday.

HUH???

Here's what I actually deserve for my efforts; for weeks and weeks of smaller portions and exercise that I hated (most of the time) four to five times a week.

I deserve to wear smaller pants. (and I am; by one to two sizes so far)

I deserve to feel accomplished when I can out-lift the instructor on my weight training DVD. (I totally kicked her butt; you can see in certain camera shots that her heavy weights are 8# and mine were ten)

I deserve to be able to say "thank you!" and mean it when someone gives me a compliment on how I look. (I'm working on this one.)

And I think that I even deserve to get kinda excited to look at my reflection in the mirror and see that indeed, I am smaller and this is working.

No offense, Russell Stover, but this beats your chocolate any day.

05 April 2011

formulating another plan

I'm so tired. I hate that for the last eleven days the alarm has needed to be set. Every stinkin' day there's been reason to require me to get out of bed.

And I can't stand even the sight of the treadmill at the moment. Good thing it's behind me when I'm at the computer or I may start screaming. Just the thought of getting on it for miles and getting no where makes me want to rip my hair out; that doesn't even take into consideration staring at the wall all that time.

And no, moving the treadmill to watch tv is not an option.

I wasn't happy with my weigh-in this week either. Granted, my eating hasn't been as good as it should have been, but logging twelve miles on the treadmill in one week should have meant that I was down more that 2.2 pounds in two freakin' weeks. Before you ask, no, I didn't take my measurements either in the last two weeks, I'll do that today.

I can't seem to get out of the 160's and it's driving me crazy. So here's the plan. I'm taking a third rest day and I'm not even gonna feel guilty about it. And with a trip to the grocery store this morning to stock up on foods I know I can eat that are good for me ie: salad greens, fruits, lean meats; I'm coming home with better focus on conquering these next twenty pounds one at a time.

And I'm staying off the treadmill until after Easter Sunday. In the meantime, I'm just going to focus on three weight-training sessions a week, starting tomorrow morning before work.

I'm not giving up; I'm just focusing elsewhere. It can be done.

04 April 2011

blessed to wash the dishes

Before Easter Sunday is upon us again, our little congregation will be without a pastoral family. It's only been a couple of weeks since the announcement was made that our Pastor and his family were answering God's call to move on after leading and loving us for nearly eight years.

It's been hard to accept, but we have confidence that the best days are ahead for our congregation as in a few weeks, we wait to see who God has called to lead us next.

One of the things we've been faced with as a church board is how many things Pastor and Bettina have just done over the years. Without question, Bettina spends hours in the kitchen helping prepare and serve food and even spearheaded the cleanup on several occasions. And who but Pastor knows whether the heat in the sanctuary needs turned down before the building gets locked every Sunday and there are countless hours that he himself has spent cleaning the bathrooms in the church building or cutting the grass. All things that we as a congregation need to see to on a regular basis in their absence.

It's been said that five percent of the people do ninety-five percent of the work in a lot of churches and that's certainly true here. And we're really spread out as a congregation too, as several families drive a half hour or more every week to get to services; so there's challenge in that also. But yesterday after the boys in my Sunday School class and I finished watching a Veggie Tales DVD while eating food prepared by several hands, I wandered into the kitchen and noticed that the sinks were full of dirty dishes. And I took it upon myself to get fresh hot, soapy water in the sink and start washing. I got help that I didn't require or expect in a friend who offered to dry dishes and put them away and several others brought dishes into the kitchen, wiped and put away tables and even accomplished the vacuuming.

Neither our Pastor or his wife had to lift a finger and all was accomplished. And that's the way it should be. And I think working together to accomplish a nice farewell dinner for our pastoral family showed them just a little glimpse of how much we appreciate all they've done for us.