Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Earning Stars

I have to start this post with my Star Wars challenge chart. Not because I am bragging (well maybe a little bit), but instead,  I need to remind myself that not only can I do this, but that I am doing this. The past few days have been some hard earned stars. The challenge has been much more mental than physical. It has been difficult to get myself out and going - especially if I don't get my walk done first thing in the morning.


Millie was happy to take me for a walk after work. I convinced myself I was doing it for her. Because my Garmin wasn't charged I decided to not be concerned about the distance and varied my route and just enjoy a 30 minute walk with my pup.
The first sign that people are getting on the Halloween bandwagon. I would respectfully remind you that it is still September. I can deal with Christmas decor before December, but Halloween before October I am not so sure...  I will concede that these jack-o-lanterns are pretty cute.
This old dog is always chained up in his front yard. He likes to lie right next to the house and wait for you to get close - then he bounds out at you. It makes me a little sad because you can tell he just desperately wants to play. Millie always cries like a baby (puppy) because she wants to play too.
Our wandering might have gotten us a little far from home. Is that the Statue of Liberty I see in the distance?
 Definitely unique yard decor.
This was Millie's favorite part of the walk. There were a group of 5 boys playing football in a cul-de-sac. They were probably 1st to 3rd graders. They all wanted to pet Millie and tell me about their dogs. It was adorable. I couldn't help but wonder where they would be in 10 years. Would they still live in the neighborhood, be friends, etc.? Obviously, I did not take pictures of the boys, despite their cuteness. I do have my lines - squished squirrels and random children :)

Again with the  odd pavement markings. I have to wonder if this is the work of someone bored  with their job.
 Ooohhh...wet concrete! I stopped myself from letting Millie add her footprints to the new driveway.
With my walk finally out of the way for the day, I couch-potatoed and watched Monday Night Football. My husband contentedly working on his Slave I LEGO model. I love how much he loves putting them together. I wish I could afford to buy everything on his wish list.


Another morning that I didn't get out bed and walk before work. It almost ended in a streaking disaster. The night before my nieces had called wanting me to make them M&M cookies. Unfortunately, it didn't work out due to our schedules and lack of M&Ms. I had to stop at the grocery store on my way home so I picked up M&Ms - better late than never, right?  I called my niece and invited her over to make the cookies. We ended up having a great time together. There was a crazy moment when she dropped a whole tray of cookies (dough) in the oven while she was putting the tray in.  Dough blobs were all over the bottom of the oven and in the crack of the door. I was frantically trying to grab them with tongs before they melted. Millie was trying to grab the ones that fell into the crack of the door. It was quite intense. Thankfully, we were able to rescue most of the dough.

The whole time we are making cookies in the back of my head I am trying to figure out how and when I am going to get my workout in. By the time we finished the cookies, visited with my father-in-law (he came by to do final measurements for my craft closet shelving) and ate dinner I was feeling even less like a workout.

For the record, we gave away the majority of the cookies. We took some to my married niece, gave some to my FIL and sent some home to my sister's family. Right before we left the house my niece was asking me for paper. She was doing some "secret" thing - not unusual. My husband was trying to herd her to the door, but she made sure she was the last one out.

When we got back home I found this note in the middle of the living room floor in front of the TV. I had mentioned that I would probably have to do the dreaded marching in place while watching TV. And I might have mentioned that I really didn't want to do it.
How great is that?? Between my motivational note and Millie's supervision I completed my 30 minutes while watching that new Blood and Oil show (jury is still out on that one).
 I think Millie found my marching a bit odd.
 And a little boring. I confess I didn't love it either, but I got it done.

Not getting up and getting my walks done has created a bunch of unnecessary stress the past few days. This morning I was determined not to ignore the alarm clock and get my walk done. Poor Millie had to stay home. Today is trash day and I really didn't feel like negotiating a trash sniffing stop every 100 feet. I took this picture for her...she was unimpressed.
 This house is full-on Halloween.
I was a little fascinated by the floating ghosts around the window. That would have been enough decoration for me.
So, that is how I earned my stars the past three days. I am hoping to get back in the morning groove. Now that I am three weeks in on regular exercise, I need to get serious about the eating. Our ladies group is planning a "food" challenge for October. Each person will set their own goals for the month. I like that we are setting our own goals because we are a varied group and everyone is in a different place with their nutrition and relationship with food. I am still working out my final goals and will share them tomorrow.

How are getting in your exercise today?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Motivational Coaching and Side Eye

After an nice Friday anniversary I was looking forward to having an productive Saturday. Before he had to go to work, my husband and I went to pick up his anniversary LEGO set. I still have a little regret that I didn't pick out a new keychain.

We were in a bit of a hurry, so I didn't really have time to agonize over which one to get :)  While my husband was getting his bus ready I noticed a few yard sales in the area. I didn't find anything too interesting...except this pup.
She made it pretty clear that even though she was not allowed out of her yard, she was there to be petted. Sweet old girl.
I dropped off my husband at work. I hung out with him while he pre-tripped his bus.
I am fascinated by the dome shaped mirrors on the front.

So with my husband dropped off, I had good intentions to clean the house while he was working, Instead I spent two hours testing a couple of recipes. (More on that later this week). Then I pretty much parked myself on the couch and caught up on a bunch of shows that I had recorded, but my husband doesn't watch. I was feeling super lazy. Then I read Mary at Runs to Get Waisted's blog post. She is in marathon training and ran 14 miles on Saturday. I kept telling myself if she was out running 14 miles the least I could do is get my buns off the couch and walk 2 miles for our 30 minutes/day challenge. However, I was still having trouble getting myself moving. So, desperate times call for desperate measures.

My niece loves playing characters. All you have to do is her and ask "is this.....?" She will always say "yes it is" in whichever voice she deems appropriate. I can't count the millions of dollars my husband has spent on hairstyles from the "world famous hair designer" character. I can tell you there is a direct correlation with the number of times he has appeared before the "judge" for writing bad checks to pay for the hairstyles.

So, I decided my only option was to call a "world famous motivational coach." Her advice - walk to her house (about 1/2 mile from my house). Once you are there you might as well finish walking around the loop. Then once you are finished the loop there is nothing left to do but walk home. And there it is - 2 miles.

I told her that makes sense and seems pretty easy, but how do I get out the door? Then came her final advice..."pretend there is a cookie truck at my house."  Is it bad that I got up off the couch and got out the door??

She even sent me this snapchat to seal the deal.

And off I go...

Spoiler Alert!  I was duped. There was NO cookie truck anywhere in the neighborhood. I thought it was a little ironic that she used cookies to get me moving. The inspiration for me to start my blog was from reading Runs for Cookies. I hope this doesn't need to be said...I never believed there was a cookie truck out there :)

Since I was out there walking I figured I might as well take a few pictures. I didn't take very many because I was really trying to move quickly.

This house is really coming along. I can't wait to see the inside. And I am little jealous of the new driveway it is getting.
This next picture may represent the first time someone might have noticed me photo stalking and cast a little side eye my direction. I was walking along when I noticed someone had sprinklers in their yard. I thought it was pretty strange for someone to be watering the lawn in late September. And then the watering device caught my eye. I crossed the street (casually) so I could get a closer look as I walked. A guy by the garage noticed I crossed the street. When I realized it was a tractor I had to get a picture. Since the guy's view was obstructed by a bush I went ahead and took the picture. Then around the bush he comes. I don't think he saw me take the picture and he didn't say anything. But I am guessing he found me suspicious and had to keep an eye on me. So, I walked faster. My advice to him is if you don't want someone checking out your yard, don't put a fun tractor sprinkler in it :)
And because I want to keep readers I am not posting the awful squished squirrel on the road. Just when you thought I would take a picture of anything....

Confession. On that same walk I think I got another sideways look from someone. As I am walking down the street, I hear this from about a block away.

A couple was sitting in their convertible listening to music and when I glanced over the woman waved with "a what are you looking at" look on her face. I thought it was odd. And it was even odder the next day when my sister and I walked by and they were sitting in the driveway again listening to music.

Sunday was a pretty laid back day. My niece spent the night with us Saturday night. Of course, we had to have Sunday breakfast. It was fun working in the kitchen together. My husband was in charge of making the Dutch Babies. There are similar to a German pancake. We served them with sliced bananas and a little cinnamon/vanilla syrup.
We played some spirited games of Stinko. It is kinda like Solitaire except everyone plays on the cards up top. After a few games we upped it to Extreme Stinko - each person plays with two decks and twice as many stacks.  It was a little intense.
 Each person places with their own deck. I have quite a card collection. I haven't counted, but I am guessing 50-70 decks. Most of them are from places we have visited or someone has given us from their travels.
 Millie joined me on the couch to watch some football. It wasn't long before I fell asleep too.
 While we watched football and napped, my husband got a good start on his new LEGO set.

We sampled my produce find of the week. I was in the grocery store and saw Dragonfruit for 99 cents. I had never had it and figured it was worth a shot for that price. Then it rang up $4.99. Apparently, part of the price fell off the display. They ended up letting me buy it for the 99 cents :)
In general, I am not a fan of exotic fruits, but for the price I couldn't resist. I talked my husband and niece into trying it with me. Sadly, it had almost NO flavor. It was beautiful to look at but a complete disappointment in the taste department :)

Finally, when I was anniversary card shopping last week I came across a type of card I have never seen before.

Have you seen weight loss cards?  What are your thoughts?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Celebrate and Have a Good Time

This year his parents offered to build shelves in my craft closet for our anniversary gift. Since that was clearly more for me I told him not to spend so much on me. He showed up at my work with pretty flowers and some candy.

Umm...did I say candy? I am sure you didn't read that right. Okay, I confess he got me yummy Dove chocolates. I have two choices: 1) Hurry up and eat them so they are gone or 2) Savor them slowly as part of a moderate/healthy diet.  Please don't read the lack of pictures of the candy as that I went with option one. I have eaten some, shared some and still have some. So maybe there were more than two options.

He took me to lunch at place we have been wanting to try. We discovered it this spring on a Pizza Prowl (fundraiser - you pay so much to go around and sample various restaurants pizza). They have a bunch of vintage arcade games.
I got destroyed in skee ball. My husband used the one on the right - notice the difference in the scoring! Sorry I didn't get our actual scores. The scores cleared immediately :(  Even without the difference scoring system he won.
We were both going to play Guitar Hero, but we didn't get all the money in fast enough and it started a one person game (too old too slow). Once I watched him play I decided it was probably for the best :)
Behold the awesome graphics of Tron. My husband kept saying he remembered it being "so much cooler."
There were some pretty sophisticated graphics too. I lasted about two seconds before I was sucked up into a ship - game over :(
And of course we had their pizza.
The evening of our anniversary was spent at the very romantic high school homecoming game. We were treated to a gorgeous sunset....and a victory!!

And to my surprise....
Snapchat from my husband during the game.
And now that I have gushed about how fabulous my husband is and the sweet things he did/got for me...

My husband has been working lots of overtime lately, so I decided to spoil him a little - with his money :)  So, you know where we went...the LEGO store. My husband has had his eye on this set since it came out last year.
I'd planned to get it for his birthday in November, but he definitely deserves a prize for putting up with my wackiness for 4 years, right? See
He was so excited to get started he got everything prepped before leaving for a visitation, so he could come back and get right to it.
And this little brick remover device also doubles as a snowboard, according to our niece and I, but my husband did not agree and we were banned from touching any more pieces :)

All in all it was a wonderful cap on the first 4 years :)  

Friday, September 25, 2015

It's the Everydays

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 4th anniversary. I don't pretend to be an expert on marriage, but I know definitively it is all about the everyday life you build together. There are moments of romance, quiet, sorrow, joy, anger, silliness and those moments all add up to form a bond, a history and a unique love story. We start each day not knowing what life will bring. We end each day knowing we faced it together and tomorrow we will do it again.

Here are some of our 4th year everyday moments through my eyes...I could not love that man more :)

This to-do list I wrote during our flooring project sums it up...somewhere in the middle of all that needs to be done we need to remember to take time to focus on each other.
When I look at the next two pictures I am flooded with a jumble of emotions. Ten months ago, we were in the midst of the greatest joy I could have ever imagined. We knew I was pregnant, but had not yet shared it with everyone. These moments were followed by the deepest sorrow imaginable. I am grateful for all our everyday moments that had strengthened us as couple and give us the courage to go forward after a most devastating loss. We will always have that irreplaceable joy hidden deep in our hearts.

We wish our niece a lifetime of love and adventure as she comes up on her first anniversary and awaits the birth of her first child. We are looking forward to being the best grand uncle and grand aunt ever.

Which brings us back to our wedding day. The most perfect September day filled with family, love and laughter.

There are so many moments in a marriage that make it unique. I love the the special language couples use that is unique to them. One of my favorites is when we are planning a movie night and my husband will "get the nest ready" - which means set up the movie, take drinks/snacks in, fluff the pillows, etc. I love that he refills the soap dispenser (for some reason I hate doing it) - even when he just adds a little water to stretch it and it comes flying out of the pump at me. I love that he said his goal was for me never to have to mow the yard again (he may regret that on sweltering August days, but I am here to help him achieve his goals). I am looking forward to a lifetime of starting and ending all of my "everydays" together with the most loving husband imaginable.

P.S. If you want to read a little more about our love story (and see many more wedding pics) you can find them on this post from our 3rd anniversary post.