Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday: Laugh Or Cry

My fears have become a reality.  I put it all out there for y'all to see...setting it up to post on Monday while I was away from the computer for the weekend.  (That way I couldn't chicken out of posting!) 

Monday morning I woke early, grabbed the bathroom scales and weighed myself.  I had GAINED 1 pound!  Seriously! 

Where it all went wrong:
  1. I did not write down a single thing that went into my mouth all weekend.
  2. It was a holiday weekend with the boys gone so mealtime was not structured and the snacking took over.
  3. On Sunday night Jim and I went to dinner with friends.  We drove to Jim's favorite place, a country seafood restaurant in the middle of nowhere.  Almost everything on the menu was fried...and everything that I chose to eat was fried.  Fried pickles, Boudan balls, crawfish pie, catfish fillet, fried crawfish.  I did at least have the sense to order smothered okra with tomato.  It was the only healthy thing I ate all night.  And I was sick all night after eating so much fried foods!
  4. I only worked out three times last week.  Will missed the bus one morning and the other we had to leave early for his doctor's appointment.
Y'all, I am seriously kicking myself this week!  I want to ball up in the fetal position and just sob.  Instead, I am going to tell y'all a little story about my workout video to encourage you to accept where are you are on this journey and just go with it.

Several months ago, while reading a magazine, I spotted an advertisement for a "20 minute exercise video" by Tonya Larson.  This particular advertisement appealed to me for two reasons: it was only a 20 minute commitment and it boasted a time of stretching and meditation to Scripture.  I went to my local Lifeway Christian Store and picked up a copy of Tonya's video. 

Upon getting it home, I realized that I needed a stability ball in order to complete the workouts and I could not find mine.  (In a house full of young adult children, these types of things disappear all the time!)  So, two days later, I head to WalMart on my lunch hour for a stability ball.

While reading the packages to determine what size I needed, I noticed a Jane Fonda workout video hanging on the wall.  Once upon a time, when I was much, much younger and had much prettier legs, I did Jane Fonda workouts with a neighbor and enjoyed them.  (Well, as much as you can enjoy whipping your body into submission.)  I noticed that the video cover boasted two workouts and when I turned it over the amount of time was 20 minutes each.  I can do that!

So, I head home with my Jane Fonda Prime Time: Trim Tone & Flex workout video.  Thursday morning I pop in the video and do the Upper Body workout.  Jane makes me work up a little sweat as she has me gently stretching and reaching and doing rows with hand weights.  While 'warming up out wrists' she makes mention of the need to keep our joints lubricated by stretching.  I'm thinking to myself, "that is an odd comment".  But then I'm off to the shower and quiet time before heading into work.

Friday morning I am actually excited to get up and complete the Lower Body Workout.  At some point during this workout, she wants me to sit in a chair and lift my heel off the floor.  She begins talking about the muscle around the side of the knee cap and how we need to keep it strong "because there are XXX number of falls in the United States annually, most of them by women."  What???

And then she begins talking about some of those falls leading to death.  Then the clincher about "us women in our 50's, 60's and 70's."  Y'all that is what Prime Time means!!!  Suddenly she is talking about osteoporosis and the meds that challenge our balance.  I am laughing to myself when she suddenly says, "Keep on trying, Fonda!"  She is talking about her own struggle with finding her sense of balance...but, needless to say, she is using my name which I NEVER hear unless someone is referring to me!

That is when I absolutely crack up!  I am exercising with a 74 year old woman and she is KICKING MY BEHIND! 

I would be mortified if Jim walked into the living room and heard any of those references...but I am still working out with Jane!  Between her and Tonya I am finding my flexibility again.  While Tonya makes me sweat more, Jane makes me stretch more...and I need them both!

So, if you find yourself getting your rear end kicked at the gym by a woman nearly half your age and you just want to quit; remember me.  In my living room, working out with a 74 year old woman that has me all red faced while her hair remains perfectly coiffed! 

Tammy at Loving Every Second of My Life suggested in the comments Monday that perhaps we could all check in on Wednesday with our goals, successes and struggles to find encouragement.  I would love to hear from all of you.  So, if you have a blog...please leave us a link to your post in the comments so we can follow along.  If you don't have a blog and would like to join us on Wednesdays, just leave a comment with those same thoughts.  Even if your goal isn't weight loss, we all need encouragement at we try to work toward healthy life changes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thirty One and Counting

When I awake tomorrow morning, I will be on an island with this handsome dude!

I just love looking into those eyes.  (He hates when I take his picture while he's driving!  LOL!)

We will be in Galveston celebrating thirty-one years of wedded bliss!

Okay, not all of it was wedded bliss...but we are still hanging on and looking forward to many more.    In honor of our 31st anniversary, here are some pictures of us from the past year.
Christmas Party 2011

Tubing on Independance Day 2011

Tailgating with the Bulldog Cheerleaders 2011

Weekend Get Away With Friends October 2011

He is one of the only people who can make me laugh from the heart...and this is why.  I never know what he is going to do next!

October 2011

Thanksgiving 2011...before the four wheeler accident

Easter 2012 with our Grands!
"All because two people fell in love!"
Thanksgiving 2011 (missing Bri, Josh and Matt)

I love you, baby!  Happy Anniversary!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Letting The Elephant Out

As you all know, things have been pretty busy around our house lately.  A wedding and prom and school and work and graduations and parties...busy, busy, busy.

But really, I have been spending a lot of time writing about those things because I have been trying to ignore the 'elephant in the room' that would cause me to get "real" around here. 

Sometimes it is just too hard to write about "real" when you are in the middle of it.  I fear saying the wrong thing and unintentionally offending someone...or making a comment that makes me appear to be "doing better" (or worse) than I really am.  I also have a fear of sharing a success with you about something that I am accomplishing only to NEVER do it again.  That is a real one...and it happens to me a lot!

So, here's the truth...the "Real" state of me:
I am making lifestyle changes in order to live healthier AND to lose weight.

Shoo!  That was tough!  My fingers didn't even want to type those words.

This journey actually began back in February.  During Grandmas Trip, I realized that I was shutting down emotionally.  After everything that our family endured the last half of 2011, I battled the consistent feeling of  OVERWHELMED.  So, when I got back home from New York, I made an appointment to begin seeing a counselor.  I have been in his office every two weeks since that first appointment.

That was my first step in trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

In early April I began to spend quite a bit of time thinking about finally trying to lose some weight...but it wasn't until after Bri's wedding that I could actually begin to do the work.  It is not that the wedding was difficult or that I found it a bother, neither of those things are true.  It was just that I had very little emotional energy to invest and I wanted to make sure that she had the wedding of her dreams and that I was fully there to share that time with her.

So, the Monday after the wedding I made up my mind that it was time to invest in Fonda.  I have started keeping a food journal and am attempting to stay under a certain calorie amount.  I have made a pledge to drink the minimum recommended amount of water per day.  I load my plate up with vegetables and watch my carbohydrate intake (mostly because they are so high in calories!)  I try not to indulge in sweets except on a special occasion.  I attempt to work out for 20 minutes each morning before work.  And I try to do at least one thing every week that is just for me -- because I want to do it.

To some people, that might sound like a normal day.  Others may look at it and think that I am not doing enough.  But I am quite aware that my life has to change.  No diets.  No new gym membership.  No complicated resources.  Those things are all well and good and have their place.  I'm not knocking any of them, nor am I saying that I may not decide that I need to implement one or all of those in the future.  It is just that right now I know that I need to keep this simple.  It needs to be something that I feel like I can do...and I need to do it for the rest of my life.

"How is it going?", you ask.

  1. As of last Monday, I have lost five pounds. (3 the first week and one each during weeks 2 & 3 -- too many meals eaten out lately!) 
  2. I am much more flexible.  (I can actually pull my sports bra off without it taking ten minutes and tears to do so!)   Just keeping it real for you. 
  3. I feel lighter in my body and more energetic.  (I've even helped Jim to hoe in the garden a few times lately!)
  4. I am really not hungry most of the time.  (I rarely even eat the allowable snacks each day.)
  5. I have seen more movies in the theatre and gotten more manicures/pedicures than I have in years. 
  6. I have also invested more time in the people in my life who are important to me by inviting them to join me in the adventure. 
The struggles:
  • Eating out for a meal.  (Too many places don't have a menu with nutritional information.)
  • I am an emotional eater, so stress is even more stressful for me these days.  (My only candy in four weeks was after Jim made a comment that made me mad.  {It was Skinny Cow, at least!}
  • Fresh garden vegetables.  Yes, they make it cheaper for me to add those veggies to my plate...but most of them taste best fried!  :-(  Which leads me to one of my biggest struggles.
  • Cooking dinner to satisfy Jim and our two growing boys while still being able to eat it myself and not break the calorie bank.
So, now you know what is really going on with me.  Aren't you so glad you asked?  LOL!

For accountability's sake, I plan to share my journey in a "Weight Loss Wednesday" post each week.  (I can feel the Fear setting in again...what if they don't want to read it?  What if I quit tomorrow?  What if they figure out how much I weigh?)  Goodness, I think too much!

I would love for you to share your 'real' story too.  Oh, and tips on how to overcome those struggles I listed above.  That would be great too!

I love you all!  Thanks for taking the time to read this whole, messy, thought-processing post.  See you again by Wednesday at least!

I have been considering how to write this post since I began to make the lifestyle modifications.  I am still unsure how to handle it and wonder if I will ever actually hit the post button even after typing all of this.  While I wasn't sure what to say (nor am I sure now), some place deep inside of me has set the deadline of 'when' to post at the one month mark.   Memorial Day will be the beginning of my fifth week...and it is my plan that you will all be reading this post at that time.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekend Links: 5/27/12

Here is some of the "good stuff" I ran across while reading this (last) week.   Hope you have time to take a look.
  • Pushing the River by Michelle at Graceful.  I have recorded the following quote from her in my 'mini-me' notebook.  "Sometimes I realize that I'm practicing how to have a realtionship with God, rather than actually being in relationship with him."  Good stuff!
  • Veggie Pasta - love her or hate her, you have to admit that Jillian Micheals makes a difference in the lives of those she trains.  I have been so overwhelmed by the amount of calories in pasta dishes, and we eat them at least once a week.  I need to keep this idea in mind during next week's spaghetti feast!
  • The Number One Thing That Is Getting In Your Way - This one by Emily at Chatting At The Sky has me thinking...and pondering...and hoping I have a little something else to share with you next week.
  • Listening - Lisa Leonard wrote this post over at (in)courage and, oh boy, she so could have been talking about me.  A timely reminder, indeed.

This was supposed to post last Sunday, but for some reason it never happened.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Jim and I just found out that we will be spending this weekend at home ALONE!  For the WHOLE weekend!  The boys are off on different adventures with their friends for the, short of a visit from our married children...we are pretty much on our own.

So, for the rest of this long holiday weekend, I am going to attempt to unplug.  No facebook, no draw something, no blog.

See y'all next week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"This Is Just A Dream": Waller Prom 2012

William attended Waller High School's Junior/Senior Prom, "This Is Just A Dream", last Saturday night. The theme this year was an ode to Alice In Wonderland.   In case you haven't seen these on Facebook, here are a few of my favorite pictures from the night.

Will and Cali:

The beautiful Miss Cali:
The crew:

The guys:

The guys being guys:

They are a pretty handsome group, don't you think?

I think the kids had a really good time at Prom this year.  It was better than Will had expected.  And even though they all said there was no way they were staying until the end, they closed it down and came out exhausted...but happy.

(To give credit where it is due, Fenja did say that she was staying for the WHOLE thing.  She is here from Germany and wanted to get the whole American Prom feel out of the evening!)

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Crazy, Beautiful, Busy Weekend

What a weekend we had!  Sometimes these kind of weekends wear me down a bit.  Other times, like this one, I wake on Monday mornings feeling energized and fulfilled.  I'm most thankful for the latter!

I am not one that you would call a 'people person'.  I'm just not comfortable around strangers and I am certainly not good at instigating conversations.  Yet, in God's sense of humor, He chose to make me highly relational.  And it is when I get the opportunity to invest and share in the lives of those I know and love that I feel most fulfilled.  Hence the energy I sense today rather than feeling spent.

Jim spent the weekend in Arkansas' Delta country attending our nephew's high school graduation.  He, Meagan and Davin left Thursday morning for the West Memphis area.  I mention that fact because if he had been home, my comings and going would have been a lot less.  He is a home body.  Having spent the first seven years of our marriage traveling non-stop for work, he really, REALLY enjoys staying at home with his cows and his pond and his garden -- and his wife.  LOL!

Thursday night after work Will and I had to make a trip into Houston to pick up his tuxedo for Junior Prom.  We have learned the hard way that you never want to put off your tuxedo rental pick up for the last minute.  When you do, you are almost certain to either be missing something or something will not fit.  This time, everything was perfect.  So, off we went to dinner at his choice of restaurants -- Subway.  He certainly is a cheap date!  Since we didn't have to wait for a table at Subway, we finished our meal with plenty of evening ahead of us.  We decided at the last minute to go see a movie -- "Dark Shadows" was the next one available. 

(As a side note, it was nothing like I was expecting from the trailers!  Still a little on the 'campy' side, but all in all, we liked it.)

Friday after work, I stopped by Houston Garden Center for some rose bushes.  It was a spur of the moment decision, but I really, really want a flower bed by the back door.  (A project for this weekend if we don't get it completed before then.) 

After picking Will up from football practice, he wanted to go to a percussion concert at school with some of his friends and Brian was hiding out (ie. watching television) in his room.  Stacy and Albert had asked Jim and I to dinner for Friday night...but with Jim going out of town, we had to decline.  Rather than spend my night at home alone with the flat screen, I decided to take a chance and see if they were still available.  They were, so we met at "Waller Mexican" (our pet name for our favorite local restaurant) and had a really nice and relaxing meal catching up.

Saturday morning I was scheduled to meet Kelli in Bellaire to tour the Southern Living Showcase House.  It was the last weekend of tours and I love Southern Living Homes.  Kelli is always up for a house tour.  It feeds her designer's heart to get new ideas.  Plus, I needed a little time with my girl. 

We walked the house in a little under an hour.  We were taking it all in as slowly as we could with fifty to a hundred people milling about.  I love a new house that feels like an old house.  This one certainly fit the bill.  The architectural details made it feel like a home that you might tour on The Strand in Galveston.  It is not my dream home (it is two story)...but it is beautiful.

After soaking in all the beauty and discussing what we liked, what we didn't like and what we would tweak a bit...we headed over to La Madeleine's for brunch.  We talked houses and decorating and kids and life and dreams.  It was a great day!   And then it was time for me to head home and begin getting Will ready for his Junior Prom.

He had called me while Kelli and I were at brunch to ask if I would be willing to ride with one of the other moms who was chaperoning their group.  It seems someone else couldn't make it at the last minute and she didn't want to be by herself driving these really loud and slightly crazy teenagers to dinner and then the dance. 

Off we went, first to take pictures at the country club then we dropped the kids off for dinner and went to a place next door to eat ourselves.  We dropped the kids off at Prom and went to see a movie.  We were a little late getting in to the theatre, but still enjoyed "What To Expect When You're Expecting". 

We arrived back at the Prom just before it was over.  Picked up the kids when they came out and headed home.  Oh, was the ride home so much quieter than the ride there.  They were tired!  Still excited, but tired!  When we got home, Will and Cali changed clothes and headed out to an after party.  I loaded a few pictures to Facebook so that Jim would be able to see them the next morning and fell into bed exhausted.

Saturday night, Bri had come over to see Will off to prom.  She was so disappointed when she found out I was going with them.  It seems my sweet baby girl had come over to take me out to dinner and a movie so that I wouldn't be home alone.  (Brian was having a date night with Jasmine.)  She suggested we do Sunday lunch after church instead.

Well, let's be honest here, I didn't go to church on Sunday morning.  I slept until a few minutes before church services began.  Not Sunday School, mind you...Sunday Morning Worship!  We met at Mc Alister's Deli just after noon and had a wonderful meal and catch up time.  I miss her.  I really do.  I know she is where she is supposed to be...but I miss hearing about her day and what is going on at work.  (A recent promotion!  Woo Hoo!  You go, girl!)

After a nice relaxing lunch, we headed over to the movie theatre and saw "What To Expect When You're Expecting".  LOL!  That was really okay with me.  Especially since I had missed the first part the night before.  I could understand the interconnections a little better.  The movie is funny and touching and a little bit sad at a few points.  But then again, our hearts are very tender about some of the subject matter.  We laughed, we cried, we tried to hide wiping our eyes from the theatre full of viewers...and then we headed home.

Well, she headed home while I went to return Will's tuxedo and avoid the $20 late fee I would have incurred if I had waited until today.  I fully intended to just pay it instead of making the 45 minute drive into Houston...but since I was already going to be in Cypress I figured why not drive fifteen more minutes and get it over with.  Then I stopped in at Home Goods just to browse about and take in all the beautiful things.  I picked up a few storage boxes that were on clearance for our home office and headed home.

And that's were I stayed as I counted down the hours until My Hero would arrive.  I ran out to meet him in the driveway, helped him unload and then we started feeding the cows, and picking the garden, and feeding the fish, and fixing the fence, and moving the cows...and catching up on our Crazy, Beautiful, Busy Weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Mother's Day Weekend

I have been so busy this week, trying to get the last wedding pics up and get Will ready for prom on Saturday, that I forgot to post the pictures from our Mother's Day Weekend! Yikes!

Okay, this first one is a just a glimpse into our Saturday night gathering "What Will It Bee?"  Meagan and Derrick decided that they wanted to make the gender reveal a reason for celebration this time around.  So, they went to the doctor on Friday evening for the ultrasound BUT they didn't let the technician tell them what they were having. 

Instead, they called Kristi at Kristi's Cakery (she did Bri's cakes), handed the phone to the technician and LEFT!  That's was also a surprise to them! 

Saturday night we gathered to the cutest decorations.  Meagan had everything in theme.  After enjoying a dinner of barbecue and playing a game of Pictionary, it was time to cut the cake to see if the inside was pink or blue.  Davin did the cutting and...
it was pink!!!  If you are friends with Meagan on Facebook you should take the time to watch the video of when they cut it.  You will see how excited they were and how surprised!  But, when I asked Davin what pink meant, he said, "It's a boy!"  Oh, well, he'll enjoy his sister too. 

(Meagan will probably be posting pictures of the whole event on her blog soon.  She is in Arkansas with Jim for Casey's graduation this weekend.)

My family spoils me rotten on Mother's Day.  I thank My Hero for this fact.  He set the bar high when the kids were younger and encourages them to keep it high.

I was the first one up on Sunday morning, but other than make a pot of coffee, I did NOTHING!

A little later, Bri and Meagan came in with these.
Aren't they beautiful?  And those sprig-gy things bloomed a few days later to make this.

I don't know what it is but it looks like tiny orchids on each stem.

I was then sent to my room while they got my Mother's Day gift ready for me.

I loved all the red and white.  I told Jim that they were getting me ready to celebrate the Razorbacks National Championship next season!

After a delicious meal of Grilled Pork Loin (Jim), Green Bean Casserole (Meagan) and Company's Potatoes (Bri), we sat on the back deck and talked until it was time to head out to the pond to feed the fish.
Davin was fascinated with the....
tadpoles!  He played with them the whole day and even took some home with him in a Mason jar.

While out at the pond I snapped this picture of Meagan and Derrick chilling on the four wheeler.
Jim jumped into the paddle boat at one point and headed out to the middle of the pond with the dogs.

The yellow one, Allie, is Jim's dog.  Hoss, the black one, is mine, I guess.  He was born on the property and though everyone claimed him at one he hangs beside me when I am outside. 
You can tell Hoss is part Labrador retriever because when I called him from the middle of the pond...
...he dove right in...

...and swam across the pond to me.  Allie is not a water dog.  She may look like a yellow lab, but she is a yellow mountain cur and wants as little to do with water as possible.

And for fairness sake, here is the 'baby' of the family.  Pib has been with us since the kids were little and he is the only one allowed in the house.  (With the exclusion of thunderstorms, when Allie has to be inside too!) 

We call him the 'Old Man' because he is getting very gray.  He has passed down along most of the children and is now William's dog.    Not sure how much longer he is going to be around, but when he is gone, remind me that I NEVER want another house dog!

Everyone left around dark and headed home...but it was a good, good day! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Favorite Bridal Portraits

I believe I mentioned that Brian took Bri's bridal portraits.  She really wanted hers taken outside on the property and Nicole, the talented photographer who took the portraits on my blog header and wallpaper, was unavailable.  So, I enlisted Brian to put to good use that semester of photography that Jim and I paid for at Blinn. 

My son has an artists eye for detail...but when he showed me the edited photos, I was blown away.  The following are some of my favorites.

Okay, I'll stop bombarding y'all with wedding pictures now!  We have so much other news to share!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend Links: 5/12/12

If you have some time to peruse the World Wide Web this weekend, I recommend the following:

  • What do relationships and frogs have to do with one another?  You will have to read Sarah's post at (in)courage from last Wednesday to find out.  It is a good read!
  • I loved this vignette from High Calling Blog about motherhood.  (And by the way, I did name our bull calf Sir Loin...but Jim and Bri changed it!)
  • I found this link in Ann Voskamps blog on Wednesday.  Their story is a thing of beauty...not in the traditional sense...but in the God's marvelous grace kind of way.  If you haven't watched Ian and Larissa Murphy's story yet, you should.  But with a tissue at the ready -- you've been forewarned.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Shindig: Part Three

Well, after all these pictures I still haven't shared what is the most important one according to Brooke.

The First Dance

Like Cinderella and Prince Charming...they are ready for their 'happily ever after' now.
After twirling around the dance floor to a Texas Two Step, he kisses his Bride.

Time for the Father/Daughter dance.  She chose the music.  "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw.  While Jim was barely able to hold it together on the dance floor, I sobbed sitting on my hay bale and watching. 
It was so appropriate.

Then we had the Mother/Son dance and Kim chose their song.  She made him laugh with her selection of  "Long Line of Losers" by Kevin Fowler.

Then it was time for the money dance.  All of the kids wanted to dance with Bri at once.

Meagan even made her brother pay for the priviledge.
Not too bad.  They racked up $100 to spend on their honeymoon!

The party lasted well into the night.  Here is Jim dancing with all three of his girls to his favorite song by Colt Ford.  "Dirt Road Anthem": the orginal as he likes to call it.  He thinks Jason Aldean stole it!  LOL!!  Oh well, gotta love him.
Most of the crowd left around 11 and by 1 it was mostly the immediate family left at the party.  When we saw Davin trying to get comfortable on the swing to go to sleep, we knew it was time to pack it up and head home!
It was a wonderful evening!

In case you have never heard the Tim McGraw song before, I'll share the lyrics so you can see the reason I was sobbing.

My Little Girl
written by Tim McGraw and Tom Douglas

Gotta hold on easy as I let you go
Gonna tell you how much I love you
Though you think you already know
I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm
You've had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born

You beautiful baby from the outside in
Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again
Go on, take on this whole world
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

When you were in trouble that crooked little smile could melt my heart of stone
Now look at you, I've turned around and you've almost grown
Sometimes you're asleep I whisper "I Love You" in the moonlight at your door
As I walk away, I hear you say, "Daddy Love You More"

Your beautiful baby from the outside in
Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again
Go on, take on this whole world
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand
But I won't say "yes" to him unless I know, he's the half
That makes you whole, he has a poet's soul, and the heart of a man's man
I know he'll say that he's in love
But between you and me
He won't be good enough

Your beautiful baby from the outside in
Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again
Go on, take on this whole world
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl