Friday, July 20, 2012

The Circle of Life

Last Sunday the girls and I met for brunch at Artista restaurant in the Hobby Center.  After a delicious meal of Pan Roasted Chicken (Meagan & Bri) and Churrasco, a delicious center cut beef tenderloin with chimichurri, (Kelli and I), we indulged in Tres Leches Cake and a chocolate concoction that was so rich it would take your breath away for a moment. 

We enjoyed the view of Houston's theatre district while we dined, even as the rain fell in sheets outside.  It was the perfect choice for our Girl's Day Out.  It was such a wonderful meal and I truly enjoy the time we get to spend together like that.  No husbands or children around to interrupt the girl talk.  Just me basking in the wonder of the women that the three of them have become. 

As they talk among themselves, I still catch glimpses of their 'little girl selves', especially as they discuss the dream trip that the four us want to take to New York City some day.  Talk of shoes and fashions that leave this oftentimes uniformed mother of theirs out of the loop.  (Truly, I have no idea about designers and such.  But you can bet those three know the latest fashions!)

Then the talk turns to a question about their roles as wife or mother.  How to handle this or that.  Or stories of the grand children's latest antics.  And I sat, wondering to myself how in the world they grew up to be such beautiful and confident young women.  (My conclusion?  By the grace of God.) 

After the conversation tapered off, we made our way downstairs and found our seats for the show. 

We saw 'The Lion King'.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  I can't even describe the wonder that overtook me in the opening scenes.  As the giraffes made their way across the stage, I was swept back to May of last year in South Africa.  The awe I felt as Jim and I walked among the giraffes our first day of the trip washed tears from my eyes that I didn't even realize were there.  Poor Kelli, who was sitting next to me, worried that I was in pain from my hand. 

The show was gorgeous and afterwards I wished we had brought the kids because they would have loved it.  I am determined to have at least one grandchild who will attend plays with their Nonna when she is old and bent and needs help to her chair.  LOL!

I know that the theatre is not every ones cup of tea.  But I truly treasure these times with my girls. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday: Unexpected Hurdles And Results

Can you believe it is already Wednesday?   It seems like the first of this week has flown by me. 

Between the wrist/hand pain and the dreary rain that has settled over us for the past week, the days have seemed to all run together.  Finally we have some sunshine this morning and the wrist/hand is much better (though I am still seeing the ortho this afternoon to determine what is going on).

Speaking of the rain, what a difference a year makes!  After last year's drought, I would certainly never think to complain about it.  But this is the first time in years that I can remember the rain staying around for over a week during the heat of summer.  Our yard is water logged and the fish don't know what to do with all this fresh water....but we are so very thankful for it all.

I did remember to step on the scales this morning, though it was with a bit of trepidation.  You see, I had stepped on it Sunday only to watch the numbers climb.  I kept hearing a voice in my head repeating the Weight Watchers mantra from years ago, 'sometimes our hard work/lack of takes two weeks to reveal itself.'   Had my week of vacation fun and food come back to haunt me now? I climbed onto the scale with no small amount of anxiety rising inside.

The result?

Down 2.6!

I was suddenly so happy that I had been sticking to that 'What NOT to eat' list.  I had passed up on non-favorite candy at work in favor of a cup of Greek yogurt.  At my birthday dinner with friends on Saturday evening, I ordered a salad alongside the fried pickles -- ensuring that by the time the pickles arrived I would only indulge in a few.  (Because they really are my favorite splurge right now.)  And I cannot tell you how many times I went to the pantry to fill an empty place left from the constant discomfort I was in, only to find it empty of any of my usual comfort foods.  (See, there are benefits to not doing your grocery shopping.)

This past Monday marked 11 weeks since this journey began...and I am now down 12 pounds. 

As I have said before, a pound a week is nothing to sneeze at.  I certainly put it on slower than that! 

This week's Weight Loss Mission is "How to Burn More Calories: Part 1".  Honestly, I have worked out only once since returning from vacation.  I have just been in too much pain...and gripping a hand weight has been impossible. 

This challenge has revealed my lack of cardio training.   It has been all core and weights.  Though I seriously doubt that I would have been able to swing my arms in a normal walking rhythm at the time, it is something to think about and to correct. 

So, even though I haven't been able to put any of the ideas in this week's mission to use YET, I am planning to add a few days of cardio to my video workouts.

How are you doing in your summer challenge?  Have you met any unexpected hurdles?  (I really did not expect to lose the use of my hand out of nowhere.  I have never had anything like this happen before.)  Have you celebrated any unexpected reward?  I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One Fish, Two Fish, BIG Fish

I apologize for the delay in posts. I promise to get our family vacation photos up soon. You see, I have been suffering with some pain since we returned. First I couldn't use my left arm due to pain in my forearm and elbow. When that finally cleared up late last week, I began having severe pain in my right wrist. So much so that I had Jim take me to the ER early Saturday morning...only to have the doctor say, "I don't know what it is. Go see an orthopedic." I seriously wanted to punch him in the face when they presented me with a $200 ER bill as I left.

Tomorrow afternoon I hope to get a few answers. So, please say a little prayer for me.

I have had the following pictures loaded to the blog since last week waiting for the commentary to be written.  I hope you will understand why this is going to be short and sweet!

Back in early April, Jim and I made a trip to our local feed store to buy fish for stocking our new pond.  The pond was dug last year during the drought and it had taken it that long to fill up enough to support its own ecosystem.
Brianne getting ready to introduce the catfish to their new home.
Those plastic bags held 50 catfish you get an idea of their size.

This was one of the little devils before it took off for deep water.  You can see its size in relation to the blades of grass growing in the shallows beneath him.
Jim has been faithfully feeding every evening since we stocked the pond.  I love to go out with him and watch them eat.  Over the past month or so, the catfish have begun to 'skim' across the top of the water with their mouths open to take in more food.  They looked to have put on some size since stocking day, but they swarm the food so fiercely that it is hard to get a good look at them.

We had three boxes of night crawlers left over from our vacation trip to Lake Conroe, so Jim and I decided to take a fishing pole out to the pond on Thursday evening to see if we could catch anything. 
I don't know if you can see it very well in this picture or not, but there is a cork floating out in front of Allie.
Allie is NOT a water dog.  She is a yellow mountain cur and usually you cannot get her to get her paws in the water.  But, when she figured out that fish were coming up on the other end of that line, she would nearly swim out to it in hopes of being the one to catch the fish first.

We caught one each, though we didn't get a picture of mine before letting it go.  So, when Jim brought his in I made sure to snap a picture of it with his phone.
Look how fat that little fellow is!   We didn't have anything with us to measure him while we out at the pond, but Jim took a measurement of the tailgate when we made it back to the house.

His fish was over 12" long!  They still have a little bit more to grow to be table sized, but they are certainly big enough for the grandchildren to have some fun out on the pond.  We can hardly wait!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday: Holding My Breath

I love family vacation.  Love, Love, LOVE! 

And this year's vacation was even better than last.

For starters, we were ALL there for THREE and a HALF days!  Not a one missing.  Every child, grandchild and in-law.  A small miracle I tell you.  The bigger miracle?  We actually took a family picture with everyone included.  Wow!

Also, we shared the kitchen duties this year.  Each family took a breakfast and a dinner during the week...and boy did we eat good.  The funny thing is that, although the girls and I discussed the arrangements, the husbands were more excited than anyone else.  They each got to show off their special skills.  Kelli's meal went from meatball subs to fajitas so that Matt could grill.  Bri's went from hamburgers/sliders to a chopped steak smothered in queso that Josh had been perfecting since eating it at a restaurant.  And I have never seen a man as excited over French Toast as Derrick was.

You see where I am going with all this on Weight Loss Wednesday, don't you?

Yeah.  I was holding my breath as I stepped on the scales this morning. 

And guess what.  The scale...DID NOT BUDGE! 

That's right...I weighed exactly the same as I did before vacation.

No loss....but after all the birthday cake, homemade ice cream and delicious meals...I count that as VICTORY!!!

Woo Hoo! 

I am still 6 ounces from the ten pound mark.


So, back in April I signed up for the "30 Day Weight Loss-athon" over at 52 Weight Loss Missions.  My head and heart just were not in it back then, so I filed all the emails into an online folder to look back over at a later date.  Though I still haven't gotten around to that, Michelle has just started a '52 Weight Loss Action Challenge'.    One challenge a week....I think I can handle that.

This week's challenge is to make a 'What NOT to Eat' list.  These would be foods that we do not LOVE, yet do not hate either.  Foods that are high in calorie count but also have low rewards.  In other words, foods that you may find yourself eating but not really enjoying only to regret eating it later.

Let me be clear, my 'What NOT to Eat' list does not include things I never eat anyway.  Nor does it contain my Favorite things that I eat occasionally.  These are the foods that I find myself eating just because they are there...but I don't enjoy them, so why bother?

My list is pretty short.
  1. Fast food fries - Especially if not eaten when they are really hot. Yet I eat them if they are in the bag.   Give me a bag of apple slices any day.  It is just remembering to order them that gets me!
  2. Store bought cake/desserts - Homemade is a different story altogether. 
  3. Non-chocolate candy -  other than Skittles.  You can't beat a bag of Skittles when driving on a long car trip. 
  4. Non-diet cola - I drank one the other day because I was out of diet...I wish I had just grabbed a glass of water.  It was too sweet and didn't 'refresh' me at all.
  5. Appetizers without a salad first.  SO HARD not to eat what is on the table at a restaurant!  I need to order a salad that comes out at the same time.   Then I will only be tempted by the ones that I really enjoy.
These are all things that I have fallen victim to in the past week or so.  I'm sure the list will grow, but this is my starting point.

What things would you put on a 'What NOT to eat' list?  (Remember, these are not things that you don't eat any way...but things you eat without true enjoyment.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vacation Time!!!

It has finally arrived...

Lake House Time!!!

The boys went straight to the pool table. We ordered in Dominoes pizza and now, it is pool time. (Seriously, we have been living in the boondocks for so long now that I forgot that some places actually DELIVER pizza. The kids had to remind me that we didn't have to go pick it up.)

Jim and Josh are launching the boat and then we will be all set for fun.

This is going to be a great week!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Lake Conroe