Monday, September 29, 2014

Belt Help Needed

Checking myself out in the mirror at work.  Not too unhappy with what I am seeing :)

In the past, I haven't been much of a belt wearer.  Mostly cause my pants were so tight in the waist already who needs a belt to keep them up?  I got this belt because my pants were getting looser.  I didn't take measurements back in May when I started this blog, but I can report that I have been going down belt holes.  I am officially on the last hole!

Since I am still not quite used to wearing belts there may have been a wardrobe malfunction or two.  I've caught myself a few times undoing the belt and forgetting to undo my pants.  Funny thing is the pants sometimes come down with a tug without me having to undo the button. That never happened before :) 

I am going to need some fashion advice or maybe it is body shaping advice.  I would really like to wear belts more - with sweaters or dresses too. I love the look, but my torso is a hot mess.  My waist seems to be in the wrong place for anything belted. And the dreaded muffin top is a serious obstacle to getting the belt in a good place.

The first one seems to hide the muffin top the best, but makes my waist look enormous. What is a girl to do??

I am aching to wear more fashionable clothing.  How can I make my figure cooperate?  I am sure there will be improvements as I lose more, but if I remember correctly (from long, long ago), my waist has always been an issue. I know "they" say you can't target specific areas for weight loss, but if anyone out there has a tried and true tip I would be willing to give it a shot.


I am working on my goals for the Halloween Challenge hosted by Skinny Geek Within and One Crazy Penguin which begins on October 1.  The list gets longer by the second.  This always happens when I start to make to-do lists.  I can't stop thinking of things that I want/need to. The list becomes so ridiculous that I can't possibly accomplish everything or worse yet become so overwhelmed I accomplish nothing.  So I am looking at this phase as brainstorming and then I will choose the final goals - challenging, yet reasonable is the key to my goals for this challenge. And I will be the one with my goals posted on the refrigerator.

The challenge includes avoiding Halloween candy until it is actually Halloween.  I take that to mean not buying candy to give out then eating it all before Halloween and having to re-buy some to give the kiddies :) I am not anticipating that being the most difficult part of the challenge for me.  I am more interested in stuffing my face with these babies...and to make it worse they make them for every holiday/season.  Bad, bad party cakes :(

Evidently I am not the only one with the snack cake issue.  This morning I saw this "Walmart wall of fall craziness."  If I eat all that, I would actually be the Great Pumpkin. Yikes!

Be brave out there. "Pumpkin-palooza" will be over soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Playing Photographer in Kimmswick, MO

Spent the day wandering around Kimmswick, MO with a photographer friend.  It was my first visit.  The town wasn't exactly what I expected.  I thought it would be more picturesque overall.  Most of the pictures I took were of displays in the shops. 

When we first arrived the town was nearly empty. We didn't realize shops don't start opening until around 10 am on Sundays.  We walked around for awhile and soon the shops did start to open. 

By the end of the day I felt completely overwhelmed by the abundance of "cute" things in all the shops.  I was excited to check out the Christmas store as I am a serious collector of Christmas ornaments.  But, honestly, I was so overwhelmed by the millions (okay, maybe it was thousands) of ornaments.  There were probably 30-40 completely decorated Christmas trees.  I ended up only buying one ornament for a gift.  I just couldn't process fast enough to fully enjoy the shop.

This isn't exactly a weight loss/fitness related post, but it tell you more about who I am.  I hope you enjoy Kimmswick through my eyes.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Great Start to the Weekend

There is nothing better than fall weekends. I can't fathom living somewhere a fall chill doesn't replace summer's heat.  Everything about fall makes me happy...except maybe that it just isn't long enough :)

Friday night we went out to my in-laws' farm. The farm is the perfect place to relax and enjoy fall. And hanging out there on a Friday night is a wonderful transition from a crazy week into a fun weekend. For dinner we roasted hotdogs on the fire.  I took some turkey hotdogs for my husband and me. As you can see below I sub-contracted the roasting...he does a much better job than I do. My mother-in-law is the most generous hostess.  She made apple cake and pumpkin pie...perfect fall food. I did have some of each, but I took half portions so I could enjoy them without guilt. 

There is something so relaxing sitting around the fire. Sometimes it is the silly conversations and sometimes it is just watching the fire burn in companionable silence. I love to add wood to the fire and watch the sparks, flames and glowing coals. We have a fire pit at our house just like this one. Watching the fire dance through the animal cutouts can fascinate me for quite a long time.

My in-laws make and sell birdhouses.  My father-in-law was showing us this one last night.  It was a design he came up with years ago, but felt like it was a bit of a mistake. Apparently it didn't sell very well,  However, I think it is adorable. Everyone needs a little something quirky.

We took our niece and a couple of her friends with us to the farm. The girls talked us into playing hide-and-seek tag after dinner. Actually, it wasn't too tough a sell.  My mother-in-law and I are usually targets because we are the slow ones, but I think they might have taken a little pity on us this time.  We play in the dark and we've learned that laying on the ground can be a great hiding spot.  I don't usually want to do that because I am not so great at getting up and down from the floor/ground.  Last night I tried it and was pleasantly surprised how much easier it was - I was up and down in some great hiding spots without much trouble at all :)

Saturday morning we had planned to go hiking at the state park where we got married. Since we celebrated our anniversary this week it seemed like the perfect date. And the gorgeous weather was a total bonus.

On the way to the park we stopped at the farmer's market. I have been impatiently waiting for the Fuji apples to come in.  Great news - Fujis are here!!!  Of course, since we were there I took the opportunity to see everything and take a few pictures.

One of the wonders of fall is the infinite varieties of squash. I just can't get over all the wacky looking squash. 

How fun are all these hats?  I am pretty sure women my age should not include them in our winter fashions, but I seriously want to.

I didn't realize until I was looking at the pictures how funny the expressions were on these two hats.  Makes me smile :)

I like the display at this booth.  The soaps smell great. I tried a sample of the cilantro pineapple a couple of weeks ago.  Unfortunately, I don't think the aroma lasted well in the shower.  I really wanted to love these soaps because I love their creativity and the presentation. And who doesn't love free samples??

We bought a bag of apples, a summer squash (the most beautiful golden yellow) and some yellow tomato marmalade.  Yes, I said yellow tomato marmalade.  It was made with lemons and yellow tomatoes.  It was very tasty on the sample crackers and the vendor recommended using it on grilled meat.  I am definitely going to try it on some grilled chicken. My mother-in-law loves citrus so I think I will put her on the guest list.

We continued up the river road to the park.  We were surprised to see this boat cruise by.  Looks like they might do tours.  I've never been on the Mississippi.  Maybe I will look it up for another day's adventure.

By the time we got to the park, Millie was ready to go.  She got herself a stick and we started out on the three mile hike we picked out.  I can't believe my husband is actually wearing his Garmin watch and we didn't think to start it.  I would have loved to see our speed and the elevation changes.

My husband said it was a good thing he had Millie to pull him along.  She is a bit like a self-propelled lawn mower. There were plenty of steps to climb in addition to the ridges and ravines themselves.  I felt like I did pretty well even though we had to stop a couple times so I could catch my breath.

I made sure to have my husband take pictures of me from all angles.  I know I look better, but while I was hiking I seriously felt thinner than these pictures show.  Check out the picture of my backside from our May trip to the park. I specifically asked my husband to take pictures of me from various angles. I want to be able to compare them to pictures later.  Unfortunately, I can't tell too much difference because the May pictures is of me much farther away.  I think I have become bolder in my picture posting. Hopefully, this set will really help me see a difference a few months from now :)

Imagine our surprise when we ran across a couple of cows along the path.  I am guessing they must have escaped their farm.  It was funny to watch Millie.  She was going along her merry way and then suddenly noticed them.  The cows didn't seem to care about us at all...until they noticed Millie noticing them. One started toward Millie and my husband. I won't lie...I was a bit nervous it was going to charge them. Thankfully, he just stopped and stared at them.

His companion looked up, but really didn't seem to care.  He went right back to eating. Can you imagine a running of the bulls on a hiking trail??

We had chosen a different trail than we have done in the past. It was marked moderately difficult.  It had some challenge to it, but it wasn't ridiculous.  We did end up on a trail we have gone on several times in the past.  It has the most beautiful outlooks and the rocks are incredible. It is aptly named the Goat Cliff trail. We stopped at one of the outlooks and enjoyed a couple of our fresh Fuji apples.  An apple has never tasted so good.  We both agreed this was our favorite part of the morning.  Sitting at the lookout, enjoying the view, chatting and eating our apples. We even spied a touch of fall color.

It was beautiful every direction we looked.  But, obviously, for me this was by far the best view :)

The perfect bite of fall. 

We asked a passerby to take a family portrait of us. I get a little nervous handing over to a stranger, but have never had a problem.  I am so glad to have this picture of us.

I always end up taking a ton of pictures of the rocks when we go on this trail.  The word awesome may currently be the most overused word on the planet (or maybe it is amazing), but in this case, I don't know any other way to describe these massive boulders and bluffs - simply awesome.

In closing, I feel like I need to address the "elephant in the woods".  My husband is extremely manly, very chivalrous....okay, is European!!!  He was such a good sport to carry my purse...umm..I mean my European shoulder bag :)

Cloud watching on the drive home was the ideal icing on a wonderful fall morning.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Best Three Years

Today we celebrate our third anniversary. It is crazy to me how time works. It seems impossible it has been three years already and yet so difficult to remember a time without each other.

My husband was my sister's family's jiu-jitsu instructor. (He is a black belt in jiu jitsu, tae kwon do and hapkido.) My sister invited him to a couple casual get togethers. Of course, I was soon interested in him. But when my sister first tried to "fix us up" I was convinced there was no chance he would be interested in me. I thought surely someone that athletic would not be looking for an unathletic girl. One day after going to watch their jiu-jitsu class I took the plunge and asked him to go hiking with me. It was the most gorgeous November day ever (28th). I felt instantly comfortable with him. We talked and laughed. His story would include me joking about pushing him off the cliff...but I don't remember that :) After our hike we went to lunch at his favorite Mexican place...about a block and a half from my house.  We were so busy talking I couldn't concentrate on the menu...I just ordered the same thing as him (arroz con pollo).  We got engaged the next year on Christmas Eve.

Today I am sharing pictures from our wedding.  I apologize in advance I couldn't stop adding pictures.  I have read so many blogs in the last few months and it always hurts my heart when I read that their wedding pictures make them so sad because of how they looked. Even then I had hoped we would eventually lose weight.  But I promised myself I would never look at the pictures and be sad that we weren't in perfect shape.  That was our moment in time - we met, fell in love and married at the weight we were.  It makes me happy to know we loved each other for who we were not for what we looked like. 

 At the time we met, I was 40 years old and had never been close to the aisle.  I truly thought no one would ever want to marry me...I have never been so happy to be wrong!

We got married at the lodge in the park where we went hiking on our first date. The perfect circle :) 

We took a ton of pictures on the paths we had walked on our first date.

There was no way I was getting married at the lodge/park in fancy shoes.  I loved my "something blue."

We decorated the tables with our engagement pictures and various other pictures from our relationship.

My niece was the best flower girl. She was 7 when we started dating. The first unofficial time we went out was my sister inviting him to my oldest niece's high school play.  After the play we ate at Steak n Shake. My little niece grilled him with a ton of  "what is your favorite?" questions. My favorite  was "what is your favorite waffle?"  At the time it was he says my peach waffles.

 I surprised my husband my entering to Princess Leia's theme.   

And exiting to  Star Wars Throne Room theme song.  I loved the look on his face when he realized what was playing.  Such a fun moment. He is such a nerd :) I might have promised if we ever did a vow renewal we could do a complete Star Wars theme....  Wouldn't he be the cutest 80 year old Vader??

The lodge has a giant chess board.  We have played several games on it before and since the wedding. 

Happy Anniversary to my love :)