The Power of One

The Power of One. It is the theme of the new challenge at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.
I signed up for the new challenge as soon as it was posted. I was doing so well with the last one, and my team was amazing. We ranked each week! I knew I needed to sign up.
Right now, I'm feeling quite discouraged. I know I can get through it, but I have had a rough couple of days and right now am resting, not even ready to start a challenge. I have hurt my hip/lower back. I know the right thing to do is to keep it iced and rested, but it sucks starting a challenge with an issue like this. I am going to stop feeling sorry for myself though... I am going to look on the bright side and think, just a few more days and I can get back in the groove. If I do well eating and hydrating, I should be able to flush out all this extra gunk buildup I have from the holidays!!!
SO - On we go… The Power of One
Here's what I think of when I reflect on this challenge:
"I may only be one person, but I can be one person who makes a difference." 
That is actually one of my favorite quotes. I took a photo of it at a museum many years ago and I used to keep it hanging in my office. 
I think I will look for the negative (that's how long ago it was taken) and get it blown up and framed. I think this will be a good theme for not only this challenge, but this year. 2011. The Power of Me!
The beginning day of our challenge we are to post our Healthy Living Goals, not only for this challenge, but for the new year. I have so many I just don't know where to start. I've heard that when making goals, it's best to break them into small achievable items and to make them very specific.
That means, me saying I am going to be healthy by the end of the year. well, that isn't going to cut it even though that is exactly what i want.
Goal 1. Be done with the first 6 weeks of the Couch to 5K training by the end of this challenge. (I will restart it in 2 weeks. - after I get to see the dr on Monday I will confirm this)
Goal 2. Finish the C25K training and then move on to train for the 10K Zooma I am signed up for in June.
Goal 3. Run the full 10K in June.
If I can do these three things, I will most definitely be able to accomplish things that I would normally put here. Like lose 5-10 pounds, eat healthier, fit into my old clothes. You get the picture.
I have more goals that are not fitness related, but challenging in other ways. Number one is to outline and prioritize that list. I have 4 hours to sit in a car on our route to visit the family in WV this weekend. Though I doubt it will be excellent for my achy back and hip, it will be a good time to work on the list!
Happy day one of the Power of One Challenge everyone. 
I can't wait to workout with everyone again and get back in the groove!


Photo Review

I am going through a lot of images and trying to clear out the clutter. I came across this photo I took earlier in the year and I think it's still one of my absolute favorites. Not too amazing that it has beat out many of the photos of my son!

I just love how she looks. Hope you do too!

Time to start up the next year's plethora of posts and photos. I am still wavering (yes, me) on doing the 365 Photo Challenge. Has anyone else done the challenge? If so, do you just post them on your blog? I think that's the right thing to do, but not sure. I'm not worried about taking the photos, I know I can do that, I am worried about posting it each day. I know it will be easy if I start to use my phone for some photos, but Hmmm ... I guess I have a few days to decide!

Hope everyone's Holiday was wonderful and you are ready to begin the next year!


Holiday Hoedown Wrap-up

Happy Weigh-in Wednesday!

Okay, it wasn't exactly a win. It wasn't a gain either. I stayed at the same weight. I'm not going to complain. There were holiday parties on Friday and Saturday and Sunday I spent the entire day in the kitchen baking.

I got in a good deal of workout minutes but it could have been better. I cannot wait until the holidays are wrapped up. Literally. I can't wait until all the packages are wrapped, and then Saturday will be a lot of fun and I can sit back and relax. And gear up for the next challenge.

This challenge was a great start for me. I needed it. Shrinkingjeans has been great with tworkouts and teams and different things to challenge us. I loved every minute of it and I especially loved that I met people I had or never would have known if it weren't for the team they created for us. I didn't just lose weight, I gained friends. I will even get to meet one of the ladies in June because we're signed up to run the Annapolis Zooma in June!

I am looking forward to even more challenges, friends to meet and weight to lose in the new year! I just signed up for The Power of One that begins December 29th. See you all back on shrinkingjeans for the first weigh-in!

Yes, this is a short and sweet note. I am editing photos as I type and looking forward to the actual wrapping of presents so I can get some sleep! I also need to start my 2011 goal list. I need to set some so I get a plan for my new year. I cannot do another year of "wish I'd done's"

Night all!


Something Old — Something New — Something Blue

Whew! Another week is over for Team Winter Wonders and our ShrinkingJeans challenge and another week closer to Christmas! Yikes! I have got to start wrapping presents.

Today was weigh-in day. Whew = relief! I am down 2.4. That is a huge accomplishment for me. I really hope it sticks! I guess it's more like - I need to make it stick. I also got in more minutes than in the past couple of weeks and that is great for me too.

OLD - I stuck to some old routines, walking and walking and more walking. Last night was another fabulous tworkout. I am sore in the abs and thighs from that. I walked more in between the exercises - when I had time.

NEW - The new class I took was right before this week's challenge - last Monday. It was a kickboxing class which was fun and hard all at the same time. I have not had time - but had planned to take another class. I'm meeting a friend tonight for it "a modern mix of yoga and pilates".  We'll see how flexible I can be - I fear lots of achy muscles tomorrow.

BLUE - I think the biggest challenge for me this past week (besides the normal fitting it all into the time I have free) was staying clear of the sweets surrounding me during the holidays. To make matters worse, I co-hosted an annual cookie party. It's always a lot of fun, but it also has lots to do with bad calories. We make 6 dozen cookies to exchange. I must say, I am quite proud of how I didn't taste test every single cookie. It was not easy. Look at these beautiful blue snowflake cookies and melted snowmen cookies one wonderful participant made. Really?!! and I haven't tasted them yet. I left them for sharing with my son and friends!!!

All in all, I think this was a very successful week. I am hoping that next week is another successful one. Now it's time to head off to this new class and stick to my guns, um, goals!


Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

It's week 3 weigh-in over at Shrinkingjeans and this one wasn't exactly my favorite. I was up a pound. Grrr!

There's been lots of holiday chaos and workout squeezing going on these days. Doing it all is not easy. What does that mean? It's the mad dash to get to the stores ahead of closing time or in the split second before those annoyingly enticing bonus bucks expire (only to find out that the store is not closing until 12am-holiday hours are in full effect!) Then the rush over to meet a friend for a new workout class. Which was definitely fun and burned quite a bit of calories. Can't wait to get back!

I can accept todays crappy weigh-in, but only because I have worked out and eaten well all week. I drank tons of water, more water than I have in the past two weeks. I know it's a salt intake issue. My body holds on to every little granule of salt that goes into it. That darn canned soup - I knew better! Time to get to cooking some home made grub again. It tastes better and is healthier!

This week's fitness challenge is to try a new class. I did it! I had joined Transformations with one of those Living Social deals. It was a really good price. $20 for 20 classes. A girlfriend bought the deal with me (and that was before this week's challenge was posted) and we were able to pick a day to go together. We went to their Kickboxing class. There were 3 instructors. I was impressed. I tried to keep up, but it was NOT easy. I forgot to start my HR watch when we began the class, and by the time I did, the heart was already kicking and then the darn thing beeped at me the rest of the class. No clue what that was about, maybe just to keep on my toes! It was a lot of fun, and I will be trying another class again soon. I had forgotten how much fun a group class can be. I also was reminded of how being with a friend in a class or at the gym can help energize me. It's one of the reasons I have enjoyed being part of Shrinkingjeans. They are great at helping you get out of your comfort zone, work off some calories, and meet a lot of wonderful, supportive people!

I am not comfortable squeezed into my skin right now.

What am am is, excited about getting out of my comfort zone and finding a new me I am comfortable with.



I cannot believe it's already December 1st! Does anyone have an explanation for why time is flying by so quickly these days? Is it because everything we do in life is done in a hurry hurry hurry mode? I know it seems like fast forward anymore myself.

My clients are always late getting me things, but I have to Hurry Up and finish it at the original agreed to time. I do meet these crazy deadlines, but it's always at a cost.

For me, the cost is that I lose out on ME time and FAMILY time. When it all adds up, it's an incredible loss because I miss workouts, relaxation, reading, and the fun I could be having with my family watching my son grow up. It also adds up physically in weight gain. My health has to do with part of it, I know that, but I also stress eat, which is horrible. If I could only figure out what I can eat continuously, all day, and not gain weight!

All that being said, this past week was not that way. I had just come off a crazy overtime schedule with work, and was able to sit and relax. Almost too much and I really was antsy because I wasn't used to it. I was supposed to get in as many exercise minutes as possible for the week with my Holiday Hoedown challenge, and unless I can track shopping from 5am until 2pm, I had a pretty low number to record this week. I did walk a 5K as part of my Winter Wonders team plans. Most of my team mates recorded theirs for a virtual Turkey Trot on Thursday, but I was traveling. I made mine up on Sunday finally. I did pretty well with eating on Thanksgiving despite unhealthy food options placed in front of me to tempt. Tasted small amounts vs eating big helpings and I think that made a world of difference. I didn't feel like the stuffed turkey at the end of the day.

I was really pleased when even though my workout minutes were low, my weight decreased again. I was down 1.6 pounds this week. YEAH!

As I have dressed for work this week, clothes are starting to feel a little less stretched to snap or fasten. It's such a good feeling!

The Holiday Hoedown challenge this week wants us to post three things I'm going to do to stay on track this month.
  1. Prepping for Breakfast and Lunch.
  2. Getting outside the house to workout
  3. Continue to visualize a smaller ME.
Number 1 is very important. I am always running out the door to the office, and most of the time it's about 5 minutes late. It never fails that as I am leaving my son decides he is hungry and I am a sucker for getting him his breakfast. Instead of telling him to wait until his father is ready to make him food, I prep it. What that does is hold me up from leaving. (And as a mom it still is hard to leave him at the kitchen table eating solo.) If I get things together, even in my mind, the night before it makes it so much easier to just head out. It's still another late night thing for me to do, but I have always been more of a night owl than an early bird!

Number 2 will be easier to do since I got a great deal on some classes at a gym to use for a bit. It's a little more out of my way, but it's a 20 class deal, and I am going to try to get in there for 1-2 early morning classes to help me get back to a morning workout routine (long term goal!)

Number 3 is the most important. I have so many nicer clothes in my closet from just before I got married, and before my pregnancy. I have stopped shopping for lots of clothes, I buy only necessities. There are more than one item in my closet I am visualizing fitting back into. It's what helps me keep going.

I pass my wedding photos hanging on my wall and see a really different me. A ME without this extra weight that pulls down on me, and makes my clothes not fit, and say - I can get back to that ME. A ME that I was really proud of, and looked healthier.

A ME I visualize being again soon!



I have so many goals, it's hard to focus on just a few for the Holiday Hoedown over at Shrinking Jeans, but I am going to give it a shot.

The Holiday Hoedown is a challenge and I am participating with a group of 6 women that have never met. We are the Winter Wonders and are getting to know each other virtually. Already it's been great fun. (Come Cheer Us On!) Tomorrow wraps up our first week. It is time for the first weigh in along with a few other items. First being to post our week's workout minutes. As I sit here writing this, I have completed 203.36 minutes, and I have 40 minutes til #tworkout time on Twitter with the @shrinkingjeans group. It's always fun and a challenge at the same time, plus tonight there will be another round of prizes. I have to tell you that if you haven't had the pleasure of a workout with them - they are great and I've won a $20 Subway Fresh Buzz card working out with them, so it's worth it in more ways than one!

Okay, enough of the chit chat. Time to focus. I have been working really hard at trying to get in shape after foot surgery in 2005, my 10lb son was born in 2006, and then finding out that there was a thyroid issue going on. Hypothyroidism to be specific. It all made sense, all the symptoms, maybe 10 in all - besides the weight problem. Other worse symptoms that I had to pay more attention to. Months of back and forth with the dr finally came down to that. I got to the point where I was feeling better, but I just couldn't continue with working out for long periods because I would get so drained. I bugged the dr more and got specialists and now it all really makes even more sense. I just wasn't being medicated correctly. I had Hashimoto's which is more intense and apparently there is a lot of fluctuation with the hormones. It's still hard for me. I still get huge bursts of energy and go for a few weeks and then all of a sudden it's like the floor dropped out and I am drained. I have to sleep and I mean SLEEP. It'd been not only physically hard for me, but mentally. It's definitely one of the big goals I have. I want to drop some of the excess inches so I can feel healthier. It's one thing the dr has told me I really need to do.

That shares the first goal in a very roundabout way, but I think that tells you who I am and why this is so hard.

In addition to that goal - I want to:

- Drink 64 oz of water a day

- Workout at least 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes

- Keep training for the C25K and do the virtual 5 K in January
(and after that, continue and train for the 10K in June - Zooma Annapolis. I really want to run the whole race this time, and not just half!!)

Those are the top 4 goals for me.

Besides the health aspects for me, and how it will benefit me for years to come, I want to do this for my family. I need to be healthy so that I can keep up with an active 4 year old, and a very outdoors and active husband.

As for how I am doing this, I am using a spreadsheet along with other components like SparkPeople, Daily mile, Lolo burn and of course Shrinkingjeans #tworkouts to keep me going. I figured out that not just one thing is going to help me get there.

Okay all - it's time to do the aforementioned #tworkout. I have 15 minutes to clean this up, warm back up and get moving!


A Not So Well Thought Out Plan

I tried to take some photos at a place I have been stalking for a few months. It's been overgrowing and just getting more fabulous day after day. I finally decided the time was right. I had been watching the weather for a week. Finally, it was gorgeous this past Wednesday night. I began to visualize the shot in my mind ... it's just about time for the sun to set, a mostly blue sky all day, a bit of cloud cover starting to form, and a few old building with lots of ground cover, an old boat and who know what else there is ... I was really ready to give it a shot. Literally.

I got off work, picked up my son, ran home, got started with some of our party projects (piñata), and we needed a trek to the craft store. I decided we were going to do a drive by of this place and see if my timing was right for sunset. I had been trying to coordinate with a photographer friend to go do a shoot there together. We did a quick drive by and stopped in a big parking lot across the street. I was thinking we'd cross the street, but then the amount of traffic changed my mind. I didn't want to try running across the heavily trafficked road with my almost 4 YO. So, I finally got the nerve up to try to fit in front. Yes, I can be a bit of a chicken. It's not exactly in a remote location, and there is just this tiny drive up area in front. There's logs blocking the actual drive.

I pulled into the small area and it was definitely tight. I finally managed to get in the space and was confident I could get out of the car without being in traffic. I got out of the car, grabbed my camera out of the trunk, helped my son get out of his seat and we walked up to shoot a few shots. You know how you get all excited, a little anxious and all that? Well, I am full on ready. I can see it working, I am even thinking - tripod. I need my tripod.

I am pressing on the shutter - you know, ready for the result. It's not focusing.

Wouldn't you know it - DEAD BATTERY!!! I apparently left the camera on and since I am really not shooting long days, or full days (yet), I don't have a backup. GRRRR.

My heart plummets at this moment. I cannot believe I have pulled into this crazy spot, with a toddler in tow, where there is actually a sign saying NO TRESSPASSING (you can't see it until you are up next to the logs) without a camera.

I start to jump back in the car and it dawned on me, why not try to at least try the phone. I needed some proof, and it was really beautiful. We were there at the perfect moment. I just had to capture one frame (or 6). I know it's not the same. The thing is, there are just no real controls on the iphone. I am going to have to do some searching and see if there are any apps. I needed a few things to force it to expose longer, and I had never tried it before on my phone. I do have a timer, which I almost tried to use, but then left it with the sun glare and then got one shot where the phone exposed better to see more of the scenery.

What do you think? I was happy with what I ended up with. I was not completely disappointed and it made the cost of the phone a little bit more justified - but man there is some serious noise in them.

I really can't wait to have a charged D200, an adult accomplice, and another gorgeous sunset to give it one more try! Oh and I know, double posting, but I have to take advantage of my ME time as much as possible. I know it might be a while before I get a new one up.

Thinking of the Future - Reminiscing the Last 4 Years

As always, things are very busy, but this time of the year it actually begins to pick up speed. Time flies by even faster and all of a sudden the holidays will be here and then the new year. 

No, I am not wishing it away just yet. I really love this time of the year. It's almost my son's birthday, the beginning of the holiday season for me. It's the one big party I give every year. And this will be our fourth party. I cannot believe there have already been 3 birthdays!! He already says he is 4. Please kid, don't rush it, you've got two weeks. I want to enjoy the few days he has left of being 3 way more than he does I'm sure!
I go a bit overboard with the planning for his parties, but it's so much fun. Here's the run down:

1st birthday - Animal/Monkey theme. I loved that one. Yes, there was a good amount of prep, but the monkey cake inspired by Martha Stewart was one of the easiest to do. The invitations were fun, and it was the beginning of making his party hats too.

2nd birthday - Trucks. That year we actually had two cakes, well, a cake and a dirt cake. How fun!! The cake was a fabulous design from Family Fun Magazine and was an excavator. The dirt cake was in a plastic dump truck! 

3rd birthday - I went a bit over the top, with Fire Engines. So, what else but a fire truck for a cake. I think I ended up making 4 cakes to make the whole thing. It was enormous! (I cannt find my photos. Gonna have to add them later)

This year is all about Superheroes. It is going to be so much fun this year. (If there is NO rain... Puh leeze do not rain!) It's time for all the superheroes to show up for training. Gonna have games and fun. My son is really excited too. We've almost finished the piñata, just a little more paint and we are done. Thanks to the Manic Mommies for inspiring me to give this a try! Ours is going to be a Spiderman and kind of similar to this pirate one Kristin made. Hopefully there will be fun photos to show of that fairly soon after the party. 

That all being said, I should have been working on one or more of the projects to get ready for the party, or get a few extra dollars made by working overtime. But, now I have spent the better part of my evening reviewing old photos trying to find these and reminiscing over the last 4 years. This was a lot more fun than work, and as for the projects, there is always this weekend to finish it all up! I think i will spend the rest of the night getting my list ready and watching The Mentalist!


With a bit of chalk

This week on I Heart Faces it's all about chalk. I had a photo that immediately came to mind when I saw the title of this challenge. In a weekend full of family activity we went to my dad's for a cookout. As always, it was a blast. All of the kids were running everywhere keeping the adults in constant check. This photo captures a "slow-down" period with my son and one of his  big cousins. I love the spiderman face tattoo and the faces they drew on their chalk outline people too!

Happy Tuesday and Happy I Heart Faces Challenge day!


That's right, it's time

I am making time again to stop in and say hello. I am coming live to you today from the home studio now located — on my treadmill. My DH surprised me last night with a new "desk." It's now situated on my treadmill so I can type as I walk. Of course I can't go too fast while typing, but it helps when trying to do my tworkout or watch Biggest Loser and tweet and walk. Or while just watching Glee over and over again on Hulu. I love it! Hoping it get's lots of use while working out during the cold winter season.

OK - short and sweet. I know, really short though, i am squeezing this in before picking my son up from daycare, so it's time to shower and go get the weekend started. At least now i can say I burned a few (200) calories beforehand!

Have a great weekend!


End of Summer Veggie Roundup

Today was a blah kind of day outside, and with the rain washing out our plans to head out to Alexandria for our anniversary, we sat and sat. I couldn't just sit around any longer so decided to finish canning some hot peppers.

Thursday night was my first canning session ever. I hope they turn out and we use them. There are a TON! They are hot banana peppers and used a basic pickling recipe. It was simple enough, and since it was so easy, I had the in-laws send more out with my husband this weekend and canned three more jars. Five in total. I also make a sausage stuffed hot pepper recipe last night with them that was so good I used the rest of the stuffing today in a few more.

I just sat down from making a batch of zucchini bread. I have enough zucchini to make about 10 batches I think. I am not sure that is an exaggeration either. It takes 3 cups of grated zucchini per 2 loaves and the one zucchini I grated yielded almost 8 cups. Then I have 5 more to use. The loaves just came out of the oven and it has a great flavor. I altered an altered version of a cooking light version. I recommend it! I have been using the recipe a while, but the altered version turned out perfect. I think I will make one more batch of bread and freeze the loaves, then try out a casserole and a lasagna. That should do it, but will I find the time? That remains to be seen,

I am going to take a few shots of my peppers and my bread tomorrow! I will get back to posting photos here soon - I promise!


It's Been Too Long

I've been completely out of touch and in more ways than just the blogging kind.

I have been feeling physically out of it too. Just last week I finally got the reason why. I got my diagnosis. Not one of the bad kind, just more detailed than in the past. I was given the diagnosis that I have Hashimoto's. Yep, but I already had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism so the treatment is now to increase the meds. Hopefully that will reduce the fact that my body is now fighting itself. Well, that is how I explain it.

The results so far? The increased meds are doing the trick with the energy. Let's just hope in 6 weeks the number of antibodies goes down and things settle down. It does explain why my energy goes up and down in spurts. Apparently that is how this whole thing works. Does anyone take care of their thyroid naturally? I really think that I would prefer to increase the health of my thyroid that way. I have been trying to get more info and put a book on hold at the library that I am hoping has more information than most of what I have found so far.

This past weekend was really fun, for the most part. It was really COLD. BRReath seeing cold. Not so fun when you are camping in a tent!! Thank goodness for family and long extension cords. Yep, camping with an electric hookup saved the day. The in-laws had a small space heater and that kept the tent nice and toasty. Well, and probably encouraged the daddy long legs.

That was something my son just did not enjoy. It made for a tough night getting him to go to bed. Here how it all progressed ... as I was telling my son a story. Being the attentive kid he is, Big E saw one daddy long leg on the side of the tent. hmmm. but then I saw one more Of course I didn't tell him that. I attempted to get the one he saw but it ran (what else). Here's where the story gets interesting. While I am trying to get said spider out the door, one decided to run right over my son's sleeping bag. He screams like crazy and so I work to get it out the door. Which would be nice, but no, the story is not over cause the second one goes scampering over him just as I am attempting to settle him down, but he is in full force bloody murder at this point. I summon my DH away from the fire to help me get the second one out the door. Problem solved right? NOPE. Not at all. I get the Big E sitting down, since we all know he isn't laying down, cause he is kind of shaking all over. Well, I decide at this point to pull out the movie and see if I can get him to watch it and calm down. Over saunters spider number 3. I maneuver the small screen he is engaged in to keep his eyes on the video and not on the big spider sitting on my blanket now. I threw a pillow at him and still the thing is relentless. It's like a mini invasion going on now, cause I have spider number 4 crawl up on my right side. UM - really? So, I swat at it and tell my son that it is a mosquito. Yeah, well, that is about the point I decided that we were just not going to be able to calm the kid down and took him out by the fire to help him fall asleep. That was the only way I could see him going to sleep. There were more, but he didn't see them. THANK GOODNESS! At naptime the next day I had to have my DH sneak another one past him so he would not see it, I am certain there would be no nap otherwise!

Well, right now is the first time I have sat down and done nothing. Okay, not nothing, but nothing but kind of watch a movie, while blogging. It's a movie I have seen before. One I wouldn't exactly say I love, but one that I LOVED the showtime series it was made from. Dead Like Me. I just love how they say what they think, and how bizarre it is. It is so weird it is funny.

On that note, it is time to end this overdue post. I am going to get things back in order soon. Somehow!


End of One Crazy Month, Beginning of Another

Whew. July is over, and now August has begun.

August has always been a great month for me cause it's MY birthday month. I don't normally get all excited about it, but I am deciding right now it's going to be an awesome one this year! Not just my birthday, I want the whole month to be great.

I want it to include several things, good friends, good fun, a lot less weight (yes- pounds less) AND of course, my awesome husband and son spending some quality time together with me. I really want it to NOT include chaos. I have had my fill for a while.

Today not only marks the beginning of August, it marks the beginning of some changes being made on my part, on many levels.

I'd love for the main change be a turning point in my weight loss journey. I am so ready for a permanent change to happen, and for this vicious cycle of weight loss to end.

Bring it on August - I am ready - OH and bring it on Down & Dirty in 30 Challenge!


Busy. Busy. Busy.

Whew what a month! It's been a whirlwind. Not quite over, but just about, and that is what matters.
I type this using my new iPhone. It's an early birthday present. Gee I hope my DH gets a job soon so we can continue to eat AND pay our bills.

Last week was so insanely busy, I never had time go sit and type in a blog post. I did weigh in but it was not a good weight. It was back up. There were foods I ate that caused the water weight to creep up. I know that, but it did more than creep, it spiked. I had one dr appt that day and according to their scale I had lost 1 pound in a bit over a year and a half. I had another dr. appt today and explained how frustrating it is. The dr. retested my thyroid and hormones and we'll see how that goes as a start. She also has me keeping track of my food for a week and she'll give me some feedback. Thing is, I went and stocked up on my apples, red pepper and snap peas. She won't see how I cut soda and coffee (loaded with chocolate and milk) from my diet. Or that I increased my workout minutes over the past months. What hopefully she will be able to help me with is what my diet has too much or too little of.

I know one thing I absolutely know I am running low on. Time. If there is some magic answer on how to be super mom, super wife, and fit in working out while also making dinner or taking time to play a bit, puhleeze fill me in. Mkay?!!

Hopefully the much awaited surprise party photos will get posted. I have lots go go through, and edit. I will do my best!!


Weigh In #7

It's Weigh-in Wednesday. The Shrinking Days of Summer is coming to a close soon. Today's weigh in went pretty well, down a little.

.2 to be exact. which isn't a lot when looking at numbers, but when we talk about how I am feeling and how the clothes are fitting, it is a good thing.

Now if I can keep that going. Today is going to be rather tough eating wise. I didn't have all my fresh veggies in the fridge cut up and ready to go. I haven't been grocery shopping to restock, and I really need to do it soon. I had high hopes of replenishing my stash of hummus for today's snack and making some yummy sweet potato fries. None of that happened.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't a slacker. In my usually hectic and insane life, I ran multiple errands and as we were heading to the grocery store, it was that moment my son said "I have to go potty." Of course you do.

Rushing to make sure we didn't have any "accidents" caused me to forget to grab my list, and my coupons and then it all went to pot. I grabbed the absolute necessities to get through the night and that was that. We cruised home and it was dinner time. Thankfully my husband got home early enough to put my son to bed, and that allowed me to do my wii More Workouts. I even added in a few crunches and some chest presses and flyes.

Wrapping up my workout did not mean it was rest time for me. I am working on a surprise party and that is what consumed the rest of my evening's "free" time. When I finally looked at the clock and realized how late it was, and that my lunch was not packed, AND that there wasn't a whole lot to pack, I left it for today to worry about.


Today's lunchbox is not that exciting. It consists of slices of bread to make PB&J (NO it is not the natural kind, but it is the kind without High fructose corn syrup and won't cost me a fortune to purchase for my toddler who would eat it from sunrise to sunset - maybe when my husband gets a job we'll get the more expensive stuff). It does contain one apple and a container of peach sauce so my fruit is covered. Other than that, it's pretty sparse. I have been bringing two lunch containers packed full of bright colored veggies to eat. This seems so lame. Maybe I will find a few minutes today and run to the store. Without a toddler and with coupons in hand.

If I could just find a few more minutes to complete a few more tasks in this crazy life of mine, I could find a few minutes to relax too!


Hanging with my favorite blogs

Well - things are shaking up at my house. My husband lost his job Wednesday. WOAH!!! There are many people that have been dealing with this as well recently. Like them, I am sure, it is going to be a major adjustment. We were already cutting back on things for about two years, and now will have to make even more changes. We had actually just begun to come out of the woods with finances. We paid one car off and were about to start paying off a few other debts. Life was looking good. Just goes to show you not to get too comfortable because that is when life turns. Not always for the better - however - there is an upside.

Yes, you heard me right, there is an upside. My DH wanted to make a career change anyway. Now is his time. I really hope he is able to do that, quickly and easily. In this economy and lousy job market, we are not going to manage things well without a solid income for long.

I will not go down without a fight. My game plan is to get through the initial shock (only allowing myself through tonight) then hit all my blog resources. There are quite a few of them that I have only kept an eye on here and there. Blogs I tend to go to when I need a quick recipe or a little coupon advice. Now it's going to become required reading and much more coupon-ing than in the past few months.

Here are a just a few places you'll definitely be able to find me to help me cut back and plan:

These are just a few of the resources I already use, though, not as hard core as I feel I will be in the weeks to come. Now to settle in with some scissors a meal plan and get serious about staying healthy, in budget and happy!

Oh, and sane!


It's Weigh-In Wednesday

And I don't care!!!!

I weighed in today and the scale said 137.something. And it was great. Not because the numbers were magically so much lower than they have been in a while (cause they aren't) but because I made it.

I made it through an entire month of no chocolate, no coffee and no diet coke. All in the order of how I crave them. It's been okay missing the diet cokes. Those I am not excited about. The coffee was tough. The chocolate was insane. Especially when you have people that know about your specific plns!

This past weekend was our high school block party. It was a blast. I was surrounded by people I had been friends with in a past life - one which I vaguely remember - and one where I was a skinny girl. I do have one memory being a teen where I sat on the lap of someone (nothing weird) and they told me I had a boney butt. Um, that ain't happening anymore. My son told me (love the honesty of kids-NOT) tonight as he was hitting me for some unknown reason, that my behind was jiggly. Yes, jiggly. Thanks kid! Thanks for reminding me that I am no longer the 115 lb kid from 20+ years ago!!!

I am however on my way back to a physique that makes me happy. For the first time in quite a while I can see it, and I definitely can feel the improvements. Most of the time. Tonight working out was a bit hard. there is a kink that just won't go away in my neck and lower back. But I trudged on. And I am glad I did it. I don't weigh any less than last week (well, i don't think I do) but I feel a lot better.

Here's a photo of me (on the left) and one of my close girlfriend's from H.S. We have been re-acquainted for a while now. Before facebook if you can believe that?! Thanks to our friend for capturing a very happy moment in time!

Now I must stop making yummy mint brownies from the Cooking Light magazine and get back on track with my healthy eating and working out.


Not so new photos

I have been wasting time tonight and realized I haven't posted some photos I took a couple of weeks ago. These are of a friend and her family at their new home. I was really pleased with the results and am anxious to do some more. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. I know that is all it will take.

I am getting more adjusted to my camera and the settings that I should be using. I am not, however, as comfortable getting people to relax and just be themselves. I am sure it also will come with practice.

Feel free to be critical, I need to know what you like and don't like about my photos. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!




Wednesday Weigh-in #4

It's time for the Shrinking Days of Summer Challenge weigh-in. This is week 4. I've not blogged about this prior to today, but am going to attempt to return to my blog with updates more consistently. I logged in to post today and see that there have been two posts I began and never finished. One being week #3's weigh in.

Okay enough of that. Here's the are the numbers. ding ding ding... 138.6.

<< BUMMER >> My weight is up slightly again. I am fluctuating up and down like a roller coaster. Where the heck is that descending hill to the end goal?

Since I haven't posted any numbers previously here (and am still a little freaked out to post them) I'll face the music.
Week #1 - 138
Week #2 - 141
Week #3 - 137
Week #4 - 138.6

It's interesting. The big jump up was a cycle week as well as a race week. I felt puffy all over. I feel better, but it would be so nice to be back down about 10 pounds. Photos just don't look good. My eyes are dark and I just don't look like me.

I know my body has taken a beating over the past couple of years. (for those of you reading this and who don't know my story -in short I gained 80# with my pregnancy and after the birth of my 10lb 4oz son was finally diagnosed with Hypothyroidism almost 2 years later.) Now that my hypothyroidism is finally under control, my body has been a priority for me, though responsibilities have consistently gotten in the way. I manage a couple of weeks being gung-ho for working out, and getting IT ALL done, and then crash pretty hard. It takes me a couple of weeks to recover and then I have to start all over again. I am not sure what the right answer is, but if anyone knows it - definitely let me know!!! I wish hiring a nanny and a housekeeper/cook or personal assistant were options for me because I would jump at those solutions in a moment.

Since a personal trainer and all that other stuff isn't in the budget, I am once again attempting to Get My Shhhtufff Together. I have been working pretty hard at watching what I eat. But it's not enough, it's definitely important to get the workouts in. In effort to get back into the swing, today I got up and worked out before work. It wasn't easy to get up at the crack of dawn, but I managed. It felt pretty good. These creaky bones do not like the am workouts. I didn't have as long as I would have liked, but 27 minutes of cardio is better than none! Tonight I took my son to the pool, so got a few walking laps around with him. AND that kind of cardio is way more fun for me. Looking forward to some more workouts like that.

Okay, time to end this if I am going to make it up again tomorrow morning!


Ready to roll

The Zooma Annapolis 10K is coming up on Sunday. It's too soon!!! I am not prepared. Mentally or physically. I am hoping for some kind of epiphany by the time I hit the starting line. I will do my best, but as of today, things are not looking very good. 

Yikes! Time to change the subject and stop freaking myself out. Can't wait to get through that.

Today was fun! A coworker and I signed up for the rollout of the Chick-Fil-A spicy chicken sandwich. It seemed like it was just a coupon for a new sandwich. And I am always game for spicy food. More like a sucker for it. My friend and I slipped out for lunch thinking, we'll be in and out of there in about 15 minutes. No biggie. It says you have to dine-in on the coupon. Sounds okay, right? What we were not expecting was the red carpet, balloons, hostess, waitress, or the table cloths and the real looking plastic silverware! Our server was fabulous. Christina (or was it Christine) was wonderful. She took our order brought it to us, took our payment, brought back our receipts, refilled our drinks, got our to-go bag, and then she and the hostess actually took our photo to post on facebook. How funny is that? I think Chick-Fil-A is such a fabulous company. Hmmm. Thinking that the fact that this young lady had a badge that said she had worked for them for a year is a great sign. She was enjoying her job waiting on people, we felt that she really was happy with her job. Would it be insane that a career with them is sounding quite luxurious right now? It wouldn't be the craziest idea I have ever heard of?! And notice, I said career, not just a job. I want to work with the fun people that make the cow calendars and make the cow ads and billboards. Hanging out with some creative people would be so nice. People that want to give critique in the designs I do. 

Lastly, I finally broke down and bought some presets for Lightroom. Trying to learn to use LR properly, and smarter. I have lurked around this fabulous website, Pretty Presets. There are some amazing photographers out there. It's kind of intimidating to me. So, then I tried out some of the free presets they have available on a couple of photos. They worked so well, that when the site offered a special discount yesterday, I decided to take the plunge and not just buy one set, but the combo pack of Pretty Presets Collection I and II. I had one new photo that I had taken on Saturday and used it to test a few of these presets out. Here is the photo I decided I liked best. 

This photo used Deep Blue.
He's following in his mommy's footsteps, and I am not going to fight it!

Right now Pretty Presets is offering a giveaway. All the rules are on their website. Of course I am entering the contest. I want all of their presets now. I am officially hooked! 


A Year's Worth of Goals to Achieve

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster.

One minute things seem to be rolling along, kind of easily, then it takes a sharp turn and leaves me flailing my arms in the air wondering where the road is taking me.

With that, I decided it was time to put the goals in writing. Set them with a serious goal in mind. I thought I was doing that signing up for a race that happens to be next weekend. I did not stay serious about it. I need to stay the course on this new list of goals.

The first goal I began working on was taking a photo every day. I want to start with a month, and see how I go. So far I stuck with it for a week, up until today. I could get up and put my battery back in my camera, and may still do that before I head off to bed, but I would rather take some time and update my blog. (since this isn't posted yet - you should know I didn't get a shot taken, instead I took about 300 photos Saturday and Sunday - tomorrow will most likely have me hitting about 400.)

I have been enjoying the process of a daily photo which entails finding something different to take photos of (instead of my son). It kind of reminds me of college photography classes. The exercises the teachers assigned us to go out and take photos of (minus the darkroom time and film expense). What is the most challenging about this project is finding the time to post the pictures. I am going to have to figure out how I can get them posted and which website is going to work best to help me continue with the 365 photo challenge. I'm going to post some shots at the end of this post. I am really pleased with them all, and even more excited to attempt to take pictures tomorrow at my sister's dance performance. I am even planning on taking a tripod (haven't done that in years) to see what might happen. If you are just logging into my blog, I have a serious L.O.V.E. for my camera. I just can't even express how happy it makes me.

As for the year of goals - it is really more like this: I signed onto the Day Zero Project website. What is that? It is a place where you log in and put 101 goals into writing and are committed to making happen in 1001 days. Yikes, right? Yep!!! 101 goals. I have posted 18 so far. I need to put something about finding time to make my list! That will need to be goal one.

Well, I never finished this post Friday as planned. It's now Sunday night, late. I hope to get some more photos up from the Saturday performance, which were great - for what I had to work with. I also found out today that I had changed a setting and the at some point my settings got shifted and my images are not shot at the highest resolution. Maybe that is a sign I need to start trying some raw photo shots? What a change that would be for me. Hmmmm...

Okay, this is a long post. Hopefully I didn't bore you and you enjoy the photos! I am now getting it posted live so it doesn't continue for 3 more days before it gets live. Happy Memorial Day!

écarté dance theater 
Spring 2010 Performance. 
The Path Forward 
Choreographed by Natasha Ramminger
Performed by Melani Coles and Natasha Ramminger.


Biggest Loser, and Big Goals

Tomorrow is the finale for Biggest Loser 9. I am so excited. I think each season I seem to get more emotionally tied to the contestants. This has been a great season. To the point that I really don't know who I think should win. It's a hard call. I am sure we'll all love the outcome. I think the reason I liked this season so much is because it was a team effort throughout. It wasn't so much about ME ME ME, which I think is why we disliked those that really just wanted to win. The rest of the contestants wanted everyone to be the biggest loser. It has been a great ride with these inspiring people. I am going to be very sad to see it end, however I am excited to see Jillian's new show. I hope it is just as inspiring. I work hard to keep Tuesday nights all about ME and getting myself back in shape, and really want to keep it that way, besides, I will miss all the twitter about!

Speaking of getting back in shape. I have been having some physical limitations again, and with that, I have put off working out as much as before. It's amazing how quickly weight comes and settles in when I don't workout. And then it is twice as hard to get moving again. But it's time. I am going to have to work through the pain. As much as I would rather not. It's kind of hard -it's my spine, which obviously is huge when it comes to working out. It's really hard when you are signed up for a race that you know you are no where near prepared to run and it's only a week and a half away. (YIKES!)

Regardless of pain and all that, I am now the proud owner of EAS more workouts and am very excited to get using it. I started yesterday with the first of the 6-week challenge workouts. I went ahead and used the low intensity mode, but mainly because it was pretty late. Tonight I boosted it to medium, then did a few extra boxing workouts to see which I liked best. So far the workouts are good. I like the warm up and cool downs. I am a huge fan of the boxing, hence me adding more of that in later. I hope that as I progress, the workouts change up and get faster.

Other than that, I am working on a new challenge for myself. Not that I really need to add anything else t my list of challenge, but I was already thinking of taking a photo a day or something like that. I realize that those have been done, so I keep trying to figure out how to change it up a bit. One blog I ran across tonight has a challenge on it where the goal is to take a photo of yourself with your kids. I think that would be really hard for me. I LOVE taking pics of what is going on around me, HATE taking photos of myself. Wonder if that is why I should try that one? I am going to wait a bit longer before I set my goal. I just am not ready to commit to this one just yet.

What I am ready to do, is get fit!


Flowers & Faces

It's time for Flowers and Faces at iheartfaces, and I am officially sending a photo in for this week's contest.

I took these photos early Sunday morning as my son excitedly told me I had to "COME" he had something to show me. It was a sweeping vine of blossoming honeysuckle. They are perfect for picking right now, it's been a while since I have seen a plant so 'juicy'. He had a blast tasting it's nectar. Here's one showing the dripping, our fingers got quite sticky! I love spring though I am quite thankful the allergy meds are working this year!

If you haven't seen some of the beautiful shots or contests on their site, you should check them out now at iheartfaces. I get lost for hours looking at the beautiful photos there. There are always great tips and submissions on their site. 



Seriously - amazing.

I have blogged about this before, but I really must say it again.

Tonight I made Spicy Shrimp from The Pioneer Woman (I originally found out about this recipe through a favorite website A Year of Slow Cooking. Her recipe was called CrockPot Barbecued Shrimp.)

I was nervous switching recipes. Whenever I deviate from a version I know we like, it never tastes the same, but there were two reasons I decided to try her way.

  1. The Pioneer Woman's recipes have never failed me (try her cinnamon rolls 101 for example), and 
  2. It was seriously faster her way. (10 minutes vs 2 hours)

My son assisted with tonight's meal, he's 3 and a half. His job was to inspect the wonderful and helpful pictures on TPW website and let me know when my dish was looking the same way as her's. So helpful! I must have done it right though cause, Oh. My! It went fast - and that I made 3lbs of shrimp. For the two of us.

It didn't matter, this is all that was left. (for the record, this was my plate, my husband's was piled much higher!)

That was not on the list of diet foods, but I don't care!

Thank you to both of the ladies that posted these recipes, it is a keeper! I really hope everyone that reads this will try it, you will not be disappointed!


Taking my own advice

That is so much easier to say than to actually do.

I am speaking specifically of me relaxing. I just wrote that to a client. "Relax - we'll get it done." And I will. I will complete the job needed for them, and it will be okay. Their deadline will get met. 

The question I pose is, what will get put off to make it happen? Will it be other client work, or will it be personal things. Most likely the latter. It's what happens. I quantify putting my life on hold by saying I get paid OT for this stuff. And I will, I will get paid extra for sacrificing my life for my work. 

Is the money worth the sacrifice? Somedays it's not a big deal, but other times I see myself getting gipped of my family time, and of the sacred minutes I save for just ME. 

The reality is: I won't finish my book for this weekend's bookclub meeting. I won't find as much time for my race training and I will be more than grumpy when the job is complete and I have lost hours of special bonding time with my husband and son. Am I setting myself up to not have a close relationship with my child? I certainly hope not, because that would make helping my client and my company an even bigger sacrifice than it's worth (for money's sake). If all that was here in this world was a job that might be a different answer. 

Work is not all there is for me to live for. I know this. I know that what is there is my dear son and husband, my friends and family, And somehow I need to work towards taking my own advice and - Relax, with them! 


I Heart Faces Collages

I was going to post this collage for the I Heart Faces Collage Challenge. I hesitated, procrastinated and have now actually missed posting it before the deadline. If I only had looked for this collage a little bit earlier in the evening, instead of waiting until almost midnight. I am still going to post it, cause well, I still love it. My happy smiling Big E collage is on my desk down in my basement, and it makes me smile every time! I used it for an Easter card and I think my mom has it framed in her living room.

The collage of my son bouncing on my bed was the first thing I thought of when I saw this weeks challenge. Our wall color brought out the color in his eyes, and the daylight streaming in was the most natural in our home. It was the beginning of my obsession with my digital camera, a D50 at the time. It's only grown from there along with the love for my Big E. He's only about 1 here. Now he's 3 and a half and even more full of energy.

I heart his face every single day!

I am going to keep the I Heart Faces links, cause I love their site!!! Next time, I am not going to hesitate - just going to go for it!

Beach time

It's about time - for a lot of things, but most of all it is time for the beach season to start.

Since the warm weather is coinciding so well with my "making time for me" I think it is only fair that I put on my list of things to do for me -to get to the beach at least 5 times this year. If not alone, with the family.

There. And this weekend does not count. It will make it an even half dozen!

I cannot wait. This weekend is just me, and my friend. Heading to stay with my sister and to meet up with the rest of my friends in Dewey Beach. If you know Dewey - you get it. It will be a fun weekend. Regardless of the fact that it is supposed to rain all weekend. Us girls can find things like shopping and just bonding to kill time. Better yet, my HS friend and I haven't hung out solo like this since before my son was born (and me 7 months or more pregnant). I think the ride there might end up being the best part!

If the forecast was better, I was planning on major beach time with my umbrella and book. But, that is fine, I will find time for at least a few minutes and page turning.

So, it's time to end this short post. I have a lot more to say, but no time to spend typing it all in. I will have to pick some of the more exciting thoughts to put in writing while I am relaxing over the weekend!


Empty House, Empty shelves.

I've had the house to myself since Tuesday night! It's been excellent.

My stress left with my husband and son as they headed for the hills Tuesday evening to go camping and fishing for the week. It has been really good for me. I needed the break. I have enjoyed the quiet & empty house.

I didn't do a whole lot all week, but I did get to stay later at the office and I was able to workout without any guilt. I didn't have to make multiple dinners every night (one for the 3YO taste buds and one for the adults) and there were no laundry concerns, no inordinate amount of dishes piling in the sink.

Today, Saturday, the day before they return with all the stress that comes with them, I spent all day today trying to catch up without a toddler on my heels. I had a bookclub meeting - the first meeting of a new club a friend is starting. I got to meet 5 new people and am hopeful that this will help me keep doing things for myself on a regular basis. In other fun news, I attempted to fight an ant invasion in my kitchen before it gets beyond control again. (PLEASE let the fogger work!!!) I headed to Naptown for a quick jaunt and had an excellent but late dinner with my bestest friend and our fav sushi. Then back home to clean up and de-fog the house. Started on the laundry and finally am settling in to catch up on my blog. 

Oh, one other stop I made today was to my library to check out some magazines and see if I could get the book to start reading. I apparently am a bit behind, because as I headed to the magazine racks, I noticed these signs on the shelves. I was thinking, oh, hey, they are trying to make it easier for people to find the magazines with the titles of them. I was sadly mistaken. They were not there for ease of use, they were there to notify us serious library consumers of the budget cuts and it's effects on us. I cannot believe how many magazines they have suspended subscriptions to. There are about 20 left on the shelves that they actually continue to receive. Look! The signage says that they cut magazines back in December. 

This wasn't the first change I have seen at the library, they have already changed the hours, but having a visual reminder like this makes me wonder what other cuts are being made that are not so in your face!

It makes me very sad. I am so happy with the Maryland library system. I know my library card number by heart because I use the library THAT often. It was important to me to introduce my son to the library and how it works at an early age. He asks me to take him there now. I don't have a problem being late a day or two on my books because I don't mind paying the late fees. Today I had a $1.50 fine, and I paid it, because if they can use that $1.50 along with any one else's fine to pay an employee, buy a book, transport my books to me from a different library, or maybe even reinstate a magazine subscription, that is fine with me. What would really make me mad though is if the other shelves within my little dewey decimal system world began to empty out in a similar fashion to the magazine shelves!

I think that brings you up-to-date on how I have found some time for me. I have certainly enjoyed every single quiet moment of it!


Dude - What's With That Butt Crack?

Picture this - a very heavy, extremely pale, teenager sitting on a cannon (the metal artillery kind) along the side of the road in front of the American flag. It's a little park that pays homage to some type of military group. 

That's right. Sitting there, pants coming down 3/4 across his behind. 

I got a serious mooning. At 3:30 in the afternoon, on a bright sun shining day. After one of the more stressful days I have had in a while. One where no one is happy with my speed of work. I can't get enough done, still have monumental amounts of work left to do, and well, that butt crack had me laughing hysterically out loud. 

Thanks young man for not wearing pants that fit you at all. I certainly hope someone else needed a good mooning as much as I did!

That got my mood changed at least until now, when I finally sat down to get back to work. As the stress is tensing up my muscles again, I reflected back to that large behind shining my way, and it made me laugh again, and that's what I plan to take with me through the rest of the night, and into the last remaining day of the weeK. 

TGIF!!!!!!! (well, it will be soon!)

For my "Me Hour" I actually got a bit more than an hour. I rushed out of work, picked up my son, dropped him at home, rushed to the chiropractor, next to a friends for a computer drop off, then to a hair appt. AHHHHH - Deep breath. Can you feel the relaxation kicking in then?! AHHHHHH savor that moment. That was my hour break. The minute I walked out of those doors i went to the organic food store for some recommended herbs. I was told they are crack for women. I hope so! (I'll share more if they help me out!) Then i rushed to Target to exchange shoes for said son, and then home. It was 8:05pm. 

Officially 3 1/2 hours to myself. 

Does it count though when you are running around like a crazed maniac trying to squeeze in every errand possible while you are alone? i don't think so, but that hour? That hour was mine, and I definitely savored it!

I have a couple of photos to share. Of course they are of my son. He looks so much older in the first shot. The freckles are starting to show and he just is to cute with that smile. The other you can see the proud look in his eyes as he looks over his newly colored easter eggs.

And now my time is officially over. 

Happy Easter everyone!


So Glad it's Friday!

It's amazing how long a week can feel when the last hour of work is upon you on a Friday afternoon! Fortunately, I was busy enough that the time passed by - and then some. Finally at home and ready for the weekend.

Can I get a Hell Yeah?!!

Hell Yeah!

Now that the weekend is here, there's more than enough to do. Somewhere in there I am going to actually try to get a couple of workouts in. The weekends have been the hardest for me to get in either the cardio or the strength training. But I have got to stick to it this weekend. Otherwise, the lower weight on the scale is going to switch over again to a higher number. Um-no thank you!

For the most part, I think I did really well with working out this week. Got in either 3 or 4 a.m. workouts. It's that bad. I don't remember which. I know I missed Thursday, other than that, I am kind of clueless. I also managed to get in 4 days of strength. That includes a combination of the Wii Active and Shredding. I really like that when I hit the 15 days of the 30 day Challenge (which I didn't get to finish in time to complete) the game kicked it up a notch. I like using the "hard" program and it is really close to feeling like I have a personal trainer. I can't wait for the new arm band and leg bands to come out so the cords are no longer in my way! That's going to hopefully work really well!  They can't get out on the market soon enough! I am debating on pulling out the Jillian Michael's game I got again. It just was really intense when I got started with it, and don't want to get stuck again where I am doing a program and can't complete it in time. It made me mad that I just needed to work out a little less time and I knew Shred would only take me 20 minutes to do and by skipping just those couple of days, I forfeited my 30 day challenge. I almost had it too!!! I was planning to reward myself at the end by buying the "more workouts." Maybe next time.

Today was a bit of a challenge at work. I sat and watched job after job roll in. It is great to have work, and kind of wish it was all my own business work that was rolling in, but it isn't. And I started to once again get overwhelmed. I got into a groove later in the day by loading Pandora. They played me a great selection today. It was a good mix! I brought 6 or 7 jobs home to work on this weekend. Nothing major. HA! That's like twice as much as last week. If I can get a few of them wrapped up, I can get ahead of the game by Wednesday I think. I am kinda glad it's not supposed to be another beautiful break in the weather. I will need to spend a lot of time inside.

On another note, I tried this recipe today. CrockPot Barbecued Shrimp. She got it from The Pioneer Woman. Let's just say YUM!!! No, really. My husband just left to go buy more shrimp so I can make more. There were 2 pounds cooked. Really. I was lucky to get any. This is a definite crowd pleaser. Thank you for the great recipe. Crockpot365.com is such a great site. I am impressed every time I log in. I still can't believe how she stuck to it for an entire year. I wish I was better at being that committed. I am trying. If you haven't checked out her site before, you should. It has every recipe she tried, along with what kind of rating she and her family gave the meal (or dessert). It's my first stop when menu planning.

I know, this is a long post. Stick with me, I am almost done.

I ran across this fun website today. http://cpbintegrated.com/theherofactory/ You know I had to check it out, I needed to make The Big E (my son) into a superhero. I knew he would be fascinated! Of course, I needed to see how it worked first, and I made myself into a superhero. What would any mother who just went face to face with her 3YO son turn herself into? None other than a Super Grocery Shopping Momma! After doing that, I then proceeded to create The Almighty E and his sidekick Super Dad. Aren't they the best looking Superhero Team you've ever seen? Go ahead, you know you want to try it out! It's okay, I won't tell.

That about sums things up for the time being. I'm gonna try to balance the work and home life this weekend. Right now, it is quiet time for me. I really like it. A lot! 

I am trying to bathe myself in the silence … it would be a lot easier if it were truly quiet. All I can hear is the humming of this really loud hard drive. Not the one on my MacBook, but the one on the Mac Mini I am helping a friend out with. YIKES! But it could be worse. It could be me in the grocery store with the Almighty E! No thank you!!! 

Happy weekend everyone!