Wednesday, November 28, 2012

With a Little Help from My Friends

A few months ago, I finally snapped out of my eating frenzy and started to lose weight.  My appetite was curbed (probably due to my new medication) and I lost around 10 pounds fairly easily.  Now its starting to creep up (I blame vacation + holidays) and I don't want to lose the momentum I've found.  In fact, I want to lose about 10 more pounds (from where I am - about 6 from where I was at my lowest this time around.

This photo has nothing to do with this blog,
but it was a gorgeous hike and I wanted to include a picture in this post. 

I've noticed I'm not alone.  Bari posted today about her return to blogging her weight journey and the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans is currently hosting "The Great Maintenance Challenge."  I think for the holiday season (Thanksgiving stretching through New Years) the pressure of losing gets overwhelming and I end up going the opposite direction. 

So........its time to get back where I was a couple of months ago.  I'm not just talking about a 133 weigh in, but smarter food choices.  Smaller portions.  Being mindful about my hunger.  Less calories wasted to beverages (be it carbonated or fermented).  Truly savoring my food and not just consuming it.  Liking who I see in the mirror - with or without the extra pounds.

Current weight: 137
Do you have any tried and true ways of avoiding holiday weight gain?  Do tell!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My story

Sarah Farish set out to tell God's story - from the perspective of 30 different women, one each day in November.  Over the weekend, she shared His story as lived by me.  I'd love for you to pop over and take a look.

My life is the American Dream. My husband and I are hopeless romantics. We have 2.5 houses and a community pool. With no children (of the regular or furry variety) to care for, we can pick up and go whenever we take a notion. I have a relatively easy job with excellent benefits; he is a real estate agent bringing home the big bucks. (Or no bucks, whichever way the game of straight commission sales is going on any given month.)

And if I’m honest, I’m rarely grateful for any of it.

I want to be a missionary, but God won’t let me. Or rather, I want to live the glamorous side of the missionary life – being bold and on fire for Him, traveling to exotic places, not getting trapped in the humdrum, first-world American life.

Instead I am called to live on mission, the one playing out in Smalltown, Tennessee every day...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Autumnfest 8K - Race Report

Wednesday after work, I clocked out and headed home.  I was in such a toot to get home and start my long weekend, I forgot my gym bag.  Translation - no GPS, no music, and old shoes for Thursday morning's race.  (See also, diva sunglasses instead of sport sunglasses.) 

Thankfully my 1980s stop watch was in my jewelry box, my friend Kelly let me borrow her iPhone (music AND pace calculator), and I have plenty of old shoes as a back up.

Add my forgetfulness to Thursday morning insomnia, and I anticipated a crappy race.   My super secret goal was 44 minutes, but I knew without a doubt I was capable of a PR.   Until that morning.  When I struggled to breath the cold air.  (That's right, no inhaler either.)  Then I hit the hills.  Runkeeper was telling me my average splits, so I just kept trying to push faster to not lose my PR hopes too.

In the first mile, Kelly and I stuck together.  The course was crowded and we didn't want to go out too fast.  Having volunteered to work the event as well, we'd spent our morning directing racers to the appropriate parking spots.  I didn't really get a good warm up or a chance to size up where to line up in the race.

Despite the first big climb, I felt strong.  My split (as spoken in my ear by runkeeper) agreed.

Mile 1 - 9:51

As the climb continued, Kelly went ahead.  She's super strong on hills.  I was able to pick up my pace a bit, and was pleased with the result.

Mile 2 - 9:39

Finally, we got a break from the hills and I took off.  Or at least it felt like I took off.  My goal was to make up for time during this section.

Mile 3 - 9:16

The Knoxville twist to the old saying is more accurately "What goes down must come up." The brutal hill stretched for about a quarter mile and ended up being a walker for me.  For reference as to the steepness, here's a picture of my friend Kelly in the same spot at a different angle.

Mile 4 - 10:32

With most of the hills behind me, I was able to turn it up a notch and bring it in for a strong finish.  Even at this part, the course was crowded and I didn't really get the straight-shot sprint in I wanted.  Also the start line was different from the finish, so until the last few hundred feet, I wasn't sure how much I had left to go.  Even still, this was my fastest mile.

Mile 5 - 8:89

Official finishing time - 47:00
28/80 - Age Group
While I didn't reach my super-secret goal, I PRed by 1:16!  Not bad at all, considering my old PR was from 4 months ago on a super flat course.  This was definitely a race I can be proud of!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I was doing so well posting my #dailythanks ...until I wasn't.  Blame my lack of social media time, a busy life, or an ungrateful heart.  I'm really not sure why I haven't done better this past week about expressing my thanks.  No time like the present to make up for it.
15. $10 hair cuts.
I get my hair cut at Hillbilly Hair 5 minutes from my work.  Not only are the cuts inexpensive, she's good.  After throwing in a 50% tip, I'm still out the door for half the price of my previous stylist AND I like the cut better.  Win/win!!
16. My cousin Zach getting incredible news at his doctor's appointment. 
Only 2 more chemo treatments and he'll be DONE!  The doctor even commented that Zach is the first time he's ever seen someone gain weight (looking at the pictures you'll see why that's a good thing) during a successful chemo treatment. 
17. 12 hours of sleep.
Followed by 2 more hours of doing nothing but laying in bed playing on the computer. nothing will force me up this morning save a dead computer battery, overwhelming hunger for breakfast/coffee, or the urge to pee.
The next 3 days I forgot to post, but I can go back and fill in the blanks.  Now that I look, 3 days isn't as much of an epic fail as I had originally thought.
18. My mama
My family took advantage of $5 Sevier Co. days at Dollywood on Sunday.  My mother doesn't ride roller coasters, but she was more than willing to go to the park with us and hang out while we rode the Wild Eagle and hung from Adventure Mountain.  When my sister and I were kids, my mom was always patient at amusement parks when Daddy, Kelly, and I would leave her on a bench while we had fun. 
19.  Allergy shots
Admittedly, they are no fun.  But a decade ago when I wasn't on allergy immunotherpy, I spent the winter battling one illness after another.  One particular bout with bronchitis was so severe it left me with a bruised rib.  I'm thankful for a great allergist, and a body that responds well to allergy shots.
20. Free Kindle downloads
Now that I have a library full of ebooks, I'm more selective in what I will download/read.  I've really enjoyed the last couple of Kindle books I've read and look forward to reading more by the authors.
21. (as posted on Facebook) Obviously I am a "daily thanks" failure. Day 21 - Grace and mercy to start each day with a clean slate!
What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

{hot} Wheelin' and Dealin'

Its been a while since I've done a "deal" post, only because its been a while since I've done a good couponing deal.  Life has gotten busy and hectic and I just haven't found the time for hard core couponing.  I'll clip a Pillsbury crescent roll coupon here and there, but nothing like I use to.

I was shocked to see how many good deals CVS has this week.  I chalked it up to their black Friday sale, until I noticed the ad said the deals were only good through Wednesday.  Presumably they'll have even more deals for the end of the week.

Here's the breakdown - I spent $29.02 out of pocket.  I did 3 separate trips into the store so I could use as many of the Extra Bucks as possible, so they wouldn't run out and I could spend the least out of pocket as possible.  I even took advantage of some non-ECB special prices, which is why my total is a bit more.

Because we don't have a state income tax in Tennessee (nana-nana-boo-boo), we do have a high sales tax.  $4.08 of the above mentioned total was tax.  The rest of the breakdown is as follows: $49.92 in total goods, $22.98 in extra care bucks.  $2 extra care bucks not spend to be carried over for next week's shopping. 

My haul?  Deoderant, hair gel, 32 oz PowerAde, panty liners, eye/lip color palate, Charmin, 3-12 packs of Pepsi, Listerine pocket pack strips, Chex Mix, Starbucks canned drink, Almay eye make-up remover pads, a hot wheels car  AND {4-2 liter drinks, 1.25 liter Coke Zero, 2-32oz citrus teas - my Thanksgiving dinner contribution}

Not my best deal every, but certainly a good one.  A couple of those items will be Christmas gifts, $10 on Thanksgiving dinner, $10 on canned drinks for the house, and I have $10 in quite a few personal hygeine goodies.

Have you gotten any good deals lately?  Do you have a black Friday trip planned?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Monthly Thanks

For the month of November (hello Thanksgiving - are you next week already??) I've been posting my daily thanks on Facebook.  For today's Thankful Thursday Friday post, I wanted to share what I've been thankful for so far this year.

  1. Boots! I got my free pair of boots in the mail thanks to Jay helping me with some Ohio Bobcat trivia. (See picture with #4)
  2. My dad (who officiated his 2nd "last" game high school football last night as head referee)

  3. My beautiful home. I love this place, even if we will be moving to a different beautiful home next year.
  4. My sister, for all the awesome clothes she's ever given me. Both as gifts and hand-me-downs, I never fail to get compliments when I'm sporting fashion by Kelly"

  5. The opportunity to talk to my Savior any hour of the day. If I'm gonna have insomnia, might as well be productive right?
  6. Food to eat. Whether it be a drive thru breakfast surprised from my Mama & Daddy, lunch leftovers, or my sister's chicken pie recipe for dinner.
  7. Warm clothing and shelter from the elements
  8. My darling love and husband of 4 years Jay on our anniversary! I very much enjoyed watching his negotiating skills, while trying to get us the best rate possible at the fancy B&B at which I wanted to stay. ♥

  9. Making new friends and finding out about interesting places thanks to my ability to "Delmar" people.
  10. My hubby and I know how to have a good time - Jay is so scruffy/cute he just got asked if he was tonight's musical entertainment. That's right - I'm with the band!
  11. Military veterans
  12. A fun, relaxing, indulgent, enjoyable vacation. and my darling love being by my side every step of the way
  13. Free stuff in the mail - a book I won on Marla's blog and a Zatarain's perk from Klout.

  14. Knoxville Track Club Socialites - group runs and team racing

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Light the Night - Team Zach

Last month I was proud to participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walking event in honor of my cousin, Zach.  Zach has been battling Lymphoma since he received his diagnosis, shortly after his high school graduation this past spring.

The event had a great turn out - including a few famous faces.  David Keith walked in support of a friend.

Zach, far too young to remember An Officer and a Gentleman, misunderstood who he was meeting and asked Mr. Keith to say "Touchdown Titans." 

"Um, yeah, that's not me..."  Apparently Zach and his buddy thought they were meeting Tennessee Titans announcer Mike Keith. 

Local UT celebrities were also in attendance - including Men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin (pictured with Zach above) and football announcer Bob Kesling.  Both men are lymphoma survivors. 

Towards the end of the 1.5 mile walk, we were treated to a fireworks display.  Yes, that's the back of my head in the bottom right corner of the above photo.  Yes, my hair is getting long and scraggly.  I'm trying to grow it out so I can donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign - they make wigs for cancer patients - in honor of Zach.
For all of those who have supported my family along the way, both in prayers and financial contributions, please accept our thanks.  No one fights alone, and with your help Zach will defeat this monster.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

APB on the FTW

I'm here, I'm here!  Life has been a little crazy and I haven't been able to post, read, or comment as much as I'd like.  I just wanted to take this short little post to say "hay!" and let you know a full report is coming - promise!!

Jay and I just got back from vacation.  Partly taking advantage of the Veterans Day holiday and partly using up comp time from the big event here at work, we spent about 5 days out of town.  Much needed and much appreciated no doubt.

I'm going to try and catch up on the blogs, but please leave me a comment today catching me up on what's new with you.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Review: {Starring Me} by Krista McKee

My most recent selection from Book Sneeze is Starring Me, a fictional young adult novel written by Krista McKee. This book is the follow up to First Date, although each is its own unique story. The characters cross over, but Starring Me is its own story.

Kara is a young, hopeful, wanna be actress who is selected to be one of 10 girls to "audition" for a variety show. The exact details of the show, including the costar, are kept secret from the girls trying out.

The exact details revolve around Chad - the latest winner of an American Idol type show who, after only a year, is already tired of the teen heartthrob lifestyle. When he and his parents are pitched the idea for a variety show, they set some ground rules of their own. Chad's parents insist their son's costar must be a Christian, desiring the girl to be uplifting to his spiritual walk.

For me, the book was only meh. The story line didn't contain twists, turns, or anything surprising/exciting. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed the author's writing style. I think its unfair of me to expect a novel for teens
to be as complex as others I read, but I found the predictability a bit tired.

I review for BookSneeze® 
This book could be a great spring board, however, for the "in the world but not of the world discussion." Should we surround ourselves with Christians lest we be tempted to stray? I don't agree with the position taken by the parents (and presumably the author) but is certainly a topic worth talking about.

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Daddy

This past weekend was my father's last regular season game as the head referee.  He's been a high school football official for the past 37 years - longer than his children have been alive!  This was a difficult decision for him, but its time.

I wanted to share this video with you and take a moment to say thank you for all your prayers.  I've been worried about him for the past several years (after his on-the-job accident which resulted in an early retirement) but day after day God has proven faithful.  God's got my daddy right where he wants him.  Can't ask for anything better than that!!