Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's Kind Of A Big Deal...

In February of 2013, I started riding a spin bike and thought I was gonna die after a 25 minute class.
Now, I'm doing 60 minute classes and feeling awesome.

In June of 2013, I was doing 3 point dumbell rows with only 5 pounds of weight and struggling to do that.
Now, I am doing 30 pound dumbell rows. I won't say with no problem, but they aren't as hard as I thought they'd be.

Somewhere over the winter, we started doing pushups, but you did the down action, then used your knees to get back up. AND IT WAS HARD.  I struggled and struggled to get through 10 of them.


There's days that I walk into that fitness center and I just have no energy to be there, but I push through because I know it's good for me, I (overall) want to be there, and there are people waiting for me to show up.  I like knowing that people are looking to me for help and also for inspiration.  And then there are days like today where I WANT to be there and I WANT to do well and I WANT to lift more than the girls next to me. I love being challenged there!  I always thought that if I tried a weight and I couldn't get it that I failed, but I'm learning that that's SOOOOOO not the case!  It just means that you can't get it YET.  I can do some pretty awesome assisted.  But, take away that band and I got nothin'.  And yet, I keep trying and I will  get there.  Just one stinkin' unassisted chin up would make me so happy!  :)

I never thought I'd be this girl, but I'm happy in the weight room.  I'm comfortable there...especially when my friends and trainer are pushing me to be the very best way.

***Update 5/29/14...since January 1st, 2013, I'm down 47.8 pounds and over 22 inches!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

One year in...

One year in and I'm down 37 pounds.  The healthy small step at a time.  I'm down inches, too, but couldn't tell you how many because I didn't get myself measured until June. (DOH! Kinda kicking myself for that!)

I feel great and can't wait to see what this next year brings! 

GO ME!  :)

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The "new" me.

January 2013 brought me to a new place in my life.  I wanted to get fit and healthy.  I want to be active.

In 2012, I was having knee pain...had an MRI on both knees and yes, there was an issue, but the doctor told me that PT was the only way to get better.  The physical therapist made great strides toward helping me feel better and after a couple of months, I could do stairs again and my knees were stronger, so I graduated out of PT. And did like most PT graduates do: I quit doing the exercises that the physical therapist had given me.  Because I was all better.  Except I wasn't.

In December of 2012, we were at my parents house for Christmas and were getting ready to leave to go to yet another party when my 6 year old dropped some coins on the ground.  I bent over to help him pick them up and SPLIT MY PANTS WIDE OPEN.  I laughed it off, but inside I was dying.  I was 33 years old, couldn't fit into my size 18 jeans, knees hurt, back hurt, and I was tired. Always tired.  I have 4 kids to keep up with; I don't have time to be tired.  Honestly, when they were at school, I would do a little housework and then crawl in bed for a nap nearly everyday.  In the winter, I would curl up under the covers with a book and some hot cocoa and wonder why the pounds kept creeping on.

If you've been around here for a while, you know that I lost a crap-ton of weight when we moved to the other side of the state.  I put it all back on. And then some.  I quit running. I quit eating decent. I quit watching portions. I quit doing everything I was doing that was making me healthy and strong.  I made excuses...I was great with those!

But, that cold December night when my pants split open, I knew in my heart something had to give and that I couldn't continue to live like I was.  That wasn't really living; I was only surviving.

New Years Eve 2012 brought us a houseful of guests for dinner....a dinner I do nearly every year.  Something indulgent to celebrate.  I stepped on the scale after they all left and it read 214.5.  Aside from the times I've been pregnant, that's the biggest I've been.  And I was done.  I knew the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans was having a New Years weight loss challenge, so I started it.  I had an awesome partner, Kari, that I started texting with almost daily.  My chiropractor's office had a Biggest Loser challenge with a cash prize, so I entered.  And then my friend, Angie, told me about a free spin class offered at the fitness center at our school.  It was at 5:15 every Friday morning.  I am SO not a morning person. Ever. But, I thought it would help me with the two challenges that I was in and it did!  My husband and my brother-in-law were taking bets that this wouldn't last long.  They knew I loved sleeping in and weather in Wisconsin is less than inviting in February....especially at 5:15am so they figured that I'd give it up after a few weeks.  Well, I fell in love with spinning.  And then they told me they offered a free spin video class on Monday's, so I started going to that.  Then, they had yoga on Wednesday's and I thought, "I can do that." So I did.

And when the Sisterhood contest ended Kari and I were in the Top 10.  There were over 100 people in that challenge and we were in the Top 10!  Then the contest ended at the Chiropractor's office and I finished 3rd of 20(ish).  I felt so good that I had made it that far!  I dropped some weight, felt great, then it was time for school to end and my new friend teaching the spin class graduated her program to be a personal trainer and needed some people to "practice" on and offered me 3 months of free personal training.  This brought me to 5 days a week at the gym.  And the more I go, the more I love me.  The more I love seeing the weight shrink, but more than that I love seeing me get stronger.  I can see the muscles in my quads and calves.  I can see biceps.  My muffin top is (oh so very slowly) shrinking.  I went from a size 18 jean to a size 10 and I'm not done yet.  I'm learning so much about myself, fitness and nutrition.  I am learning that I am ok....just how I am and that I need to keep working out if I'm going to prevent the backslide.  I don't want to be the mom who can't keep up to her kids, but I really, really like being able to outlast the boys!  :)

I'm on a mission now. 

Saturday, March 09, 2013


I am in the mood to clean and organize things.  Usually this means that I throw away a ton of stuff.  I'm embarrassed to say that yesterday I threw away 1-55 gallon construction bag FULL of crap that was laying around my bedroom AS WELL AS 2 kitchen garbage bags FULL to bursting.  All of it from our room.  It makes me so happy to walk in that room now.  I have a ginormous box full of papers that I need to sort and file, but for the most part, it's clean and wonderful.  Hubby asked me a couple days ago to change the sheets because he's getting to warm with the fleece ones, so I put the microfiber ones on for him.  And it's so peaceful to sleep in there now.

Today, I was trying to menu plan at my desk (also in the bedroom) and the shelf was a disaster.  So, I saw a pin that I could duplicate easily that I liked, whipped that up and organized just the one shelf, but it made a HUGE difference.   So, here's the mess I started with...
Added this SIMPLE TO DIY beauty....
 Put away things where they belong (GASP! Oh, the horror!) and was left with this....

It just makes me happy to look at.  My markers are in one, pens in one and pencils in another.  My note paper is there on the left side of the shelf and the pretty mosaic candle holder has a cinnamon bun scented Apple Creek candle in it that I just left open and it still scents the area :) 

So, that's my one organizing project for the day.  Have you done yours yet?  I'd love to hear about it so leave me a comment (an a link if you have one!).  Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Remember me?

Remember me?  I haven't posted here in FOREVER and a day.  I'm not going to give you the laundry list of excuses, but I'm back again....and I've got a mission.  Since we moved back to this side of the state, I've let my physical health slide.  I quit running.  I quit eating right.  I quit taking care of me and immersed myself in what everyone else was doing and needing.  I am up to my eyeballs in kids activities (and loving it!) but need to carve out some time for me again.

So, back I went to The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and found that they were starting some new challenges for the new year.  I jumped on board for Fab Abs, C25K, and an 8 week team weight loss challenge where I was matched up with 2 ladies in the same boat.  :) Kari and I have been texting and emailing often.  It's nice to have someone out there going through the same stuff, working toward the same goal and holding me accountable.  Yesterday, I was due for a run on the C25K thing and it was DARN COLD outside.  If it hadn't been that Kari and Juliana are counting on me to drop my fair share, there's NO WAY I would have gone for that run...but I did and I'm glad I went.  I really do have more energy when I do that at the start of my day.  I didn't make the full run because I couldn't feel my face and was having a hard time breathing in the cold, but I was there for half of it and that's more than I was doing 2 weeks ago. 

So, that being said, we were asked to come up with some goals for these 8 weeks.  Since the challenge is 8 weeks, I think I can come up with 8 goals :) Here we go:

1.  Lose 10 pounds. 

2.  Drink more water.  I'm not a soda drinker, but when the weather is cold, I want tea and cocoa...and they aren't too great for the midsection :)

3.  Get back to running.  Stick with the C25K and sign up for a 5K before the end of the challenge.

4.  Make healthy meals.  I cook 99% of the meals that we eat.  It is so rare that we  go out to eat but the meals that I do make aren't always the best.  But biscuits and gravy tastes so goooooood....

5.  Eat breakfast.  I am notorious for trying to get the kids ready, then once they are on the bus I get busy doing something else and I seriously forget to eat breakfast. 

6.  Make DAILY contact with my accountability partners, Kari and Juliana.  I don't want to let them down, so making sure I email or text with them at least once a day will keep me on track.

7.  Make a better attempt at keeping organized. 

8.  I need to remember that I am my own worst enemy.  When I'm out for a run and it hurts and I start to tell myself bad things, I need to take a sec, regroup and start again.  I can do this...I've already done it and I let myself undo everything I had accomplished.  Me.  I need to learn positive self-talk and to gain confidence in who I am.  So, I will attempt to beat that day at a time. For as long as it takes. 

And, just to keep me honest, here's a picture of the scale from New Years Eve.  This is my official weigh in wonder I split my pants open Sunday night when I bent over.  At least I wasn't reaching for a cupcake. 

Friday, July 08, 2011

Porch update

Hello again so soon! Yay! I thought that I would give you an update on my porch since it's been my pet project of the summer months. Remember last year? CLICK HERE. Go ahead and review, I can wait.

Back again? K, lovely! Anyway, it was coming along well enough. My problem was with the chairs. I like the chairs, but they have foam cushions and weren't really meant for outdoor use. I have been on the hunt for comfortable chairs (I like to sit and read on the porch) that were meant to be outside and wouldn't break the bank. Good luck, right? I had friends watching for me and one even found a set I liked, but the chairs didn't have arms, so I thought I'd wait and see if I found something I liked better before I jumped into buying that set. Just DAYS later, while in Fleet Farm, my mom found the perfect set! It was comfy, the chairs had arms, there was a table to match and it was on clearance! ROCK ON! So, here it is:
My little endtables that I made last summer are holding up quite well. Tucker decided to paint the walls of the porch with spray paint this spring. At least it's a pretty robin's egg blue. :) We'll be power washing and restaining hopefully this summer, so I didn't freak out about it tooooo bad!

I also picked up this little fountan at a yard sale this spring. I love the calm, gently falling water noises. And the kids love to play in the water. lol. I emptied it now because I was raising mosquitos in there, in advertantly, ooops! Guess I'll fill it just when I want to use it.

This is the table. I cut some lilies from my garden and some other misc flowers to have some fresh flowers on the porch. I had peonies in there earlier this spring that were super cool looking. The green candles are citronella candles so the bugs don't eat me alive while I'm out there. I'm still waiting for Tim to have time to hang my ceiling fan. In the meantime, I haul a standing fan out there when I need a little breeze (like today).

And this is the little bench that Tim made out of a toddler bed. The cushion is dirty, but aside from that, it's held up as well. The plant on the right there is from my Uncle Lowell's funeral. I had to repot it since it outgrew it's other pot. I love how long and kind of wild it's getting.

Ok, so that's the grand tour of the favorite place to just sit and chillax.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

11 months

It was all I could do.

We officially have internet back at the house and I could NOT be happier about it! It's sooooo nice to be able to pay bills, read facebook, and look for recipes on a real computer vs. my phone and SOOOOOOOOO much more convenient than the library since their hours don't usually jive with my schedule.

I have update my porch....again! So, I will be posting pictures of that soon as well as some other pictures of the kids and some updates on them as well. See you soon!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The End Tables (and I need your help!)

I finally got around to building my end tables for the front porch and then painting them up. When I bought material for them, I didn't have a plan, other than I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them. I found a piece of pine that was the right width and double the length that I wanted for less than $1 at Menards-SCORE! So then I picked up two furring strips, each 8' long thinking 2' for each leg. I found a gallon of Behr exterior paint on the oops rack at Home Depot in "Sonoran Sands" for $5 and that will be more than enough for this and many, many other projects!

So, I had my grandpa cut the piece that I was going to use for the top in half so I had two square-ish pieces. Then, I realized that by simply cutting 4 legs for each table was not going to make it very sturdy because there would be no bracing. 4 kids = the need for bracing. So I scoured the internet for ideas, picked my daddy's brain, and my BIL's brain. Didn't find anything that I really thought I wanted. So, I took bits and pieces from all 3 places and came up with these tables.

For one, I realized that 24" is too tall for the space I wanted. 12" would be plenty tall. So, I had my BIL cut me 8 pieces 12" long. Then, I laid two pieces on the board flush with one side and measure the amount of space that was left and that became the length of the piece that is the bracing section. In my case, that was 8 1/2" and I used 4 of those for each table.

Now, I could have lined the braces up so it made a square around the legs, but I didn't like that look. So, I put two of them high and two of them low and I love how it turned out.

While I was in the store picking up some screens we had made for our back door, I found a paint sample that I fell in love with. But it was interior paint . There was an easy fix to this problem...have them mix me some exterior!

The plan became to paint the legs the sonoran sands Behr paint and the tops were this gorgeous Pollination from EcoLoco. The only problem is I think it might be a smidge too bright and that creates other project I paint the table between the two chairs to match the new end tables and/or should I paint the frames of the white chairs the pretty green? Let me know what you think! Last night I had the brilliant idea of using some white bed sheets (the unfitted ones) to make floor to ceiling "drapes" for out there that we could close to create some privacy and/or to keep the bugs out/down. Not sure about that, yet, either. Anyway, that's the long and short of it. Hope you like the tables and I can't wait to hear what you think about my other potential projects!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Has it really been that long?

WOW! I didn't realize that it's been so long since my last post. Not really feeling like blogging lately and seems like there isn't much to blog about. Though when I took pictures off my camera today (first time since June 16th) there were 179 pictures, so OBVIOUSLY something was worth taking a picture and therefore blogging about!

While I was watering plants this morning, I noticed that my rosemary wasn't doing so hot, so I pulled him out of his spot in the flower bed and planted him in a pot on the front porch, added some vines and petunias that I hadn't planted yet. That turned out nice and started me on a whirlwind cleaning expedition of the front porch. I really need to power wash it and restain and seal the wood, but sweeping made a major improvement for today.

My SIL, Sue, gave me some great white chairs when she was cleaning out her storage unit over the 4th, and they found a home on my front porch as well. Two weeks ago, while I was at my parents, I saw a great oval mirror with a nasty gold frame in the pile headed for Goodwill so I rescued that and gave it a coat of spray paint and that turned up on my porch, too.

Then I had a mad stretch of ambition and tackled a project I never thought I would with Tim being gone....I used the mitre saw to trim down a scrap piece of lumber to use as the base of a cushion I made for the bench that Tim whipped up using the old toddler bed frame that met an untimely end as a bed, but was destined for greatness as a bench. A couple weeks ago, Tim made a beautiful hoosier style cabinet for someone and had this scrap piece laying there from the I grabbed it up and trimmed it to size. It was a bit too wide for the mitre saw, but I cut what I could, then flipped the material the other way, lined up the blade and cut again and it was perfect! Then I took some quilt batting to use for filler and some material I had laying around from another project (that I have yet to finish...) and stapled it to the base. EASY PEASY once I got the base board cut! I popped it in and I love the results! Here's the bench before the cushion....
And after.....

And so, with those improvements, a couple throw pillows and a lamp, I give you my front porch...comfy and cozy and waiting for a ceiling fan for many summer nights sitting there reading or chatting or just relaxing.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Laws Of Illusion

Recently, I was contacted by the One2One Network to see if I wanted to review a new CD by Sarah McLachlan. I remember hearing her music, but didn't realize that it's been 7 years since she's had an album. I took the chance and have to say I LOVE IT! It's great to have music that you can listen to with the kids around...I wasn't too careful about that before, but since Riley's favorite CD is not one I care for a 7 year old to listen to, I do have to be more careful and this is a great one for the whole family!

I've had the CD playing for days while I'm cleaning or playing with the kids...just whenever we're home. I've even caught myself singing along. :)

If you like the music Sarah has put out in the past, you'll love this!

(CD was provided to me for review, but all opinions are my own. Thanks!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tucker Story

I have a funny story that I forgot to share.

A couple weeks ago, Tucker got up early so Tim was helping him get dressed. Tim sent him to the bathroom to get his undies. It took him a long time, so Tim went to see what he was up to. Turns out he found something more fun than undies.

He unwrapped and was trying to insert a tampon. He looked up and told Tim, "I need dis in my butt, Dad."

What do you say to that? :)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Remember that old Bert and Ernie clip where they are out on the lake and Ernie doesn't bring a fishing pole and Bert doesn't believe that you can catch fish by calling them?

It kinda feels like that around here lately. The boys (all 5 of them) are in a race to catch the biggest bass. Tim will catch a big one, then one of the boys will catch a bigger one and it goes back and forth. Tim doesn't ever get to hold the family record for more than 24 hours. This weekend, Tim caught a 17" bass in the morning.

And TJ caught a 20" that afternoon.

He wanted to cast while we were out fishing, so Tim put a big bait thing on the hook and let him go. About a half hour of him casting and reeling it in right away and we hear a big splash. We thought it was Riley catching a big one, but he yelled that it was JoJo. Tim went running. TJ was reeling it in, but trying to hang on for dear life. He got it about 5' from shore before it was too tough and Tim had to help out.

What a beauty.

Of course, the water was just too hard for Riley and Tucker to resist. Riley was playing in the water and Tucker jumped in....he didn't expect it to be so deep, so he wasn't able to catch his balance and needed Riley to rescue him. There's a reason we don't have a pool in the yard! Here's a shot of all the boys on the way home from the lake.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Very well, thank you.

My friend Kelly asked to see pictures of my garden, so I thought I'd share them here. It's easier to load lots of pictures here than to post them on my FB profile pulls my blog posts so it's win-win.

April 17th, I planted my raspberries and then on the 19th, I planted the peas between the rows of berries. This will work for me this year, but not in years to come because the berries will be too tall and pokey. :) I have 3 rows of snap peas and 3 rows of snow peas, each are about 8 feet long.
April 30th, the potatoes went in. This is the first year I've ever done potatoes, so we'll see how it goes. I may skip these in future years to have room for my peas, but we'll see. Dotted among the potatoes, I planted broccoli. 10 plants went in, but ole Mother Nature was hard on a few of them and I now have 8 plants. This day I also planted about 80 yellow onions.

May 16th the rest of the garden went in. This includes:
*15 rows of corn (2 varieties)
*5 rows of green beans (2 varieties)
*3 packets (2 varieties) carrots
*3 cucumber plants
*2 pumpkin plants (which are flowering already?!)
*2 watermelon plants
*80 red onions
*3 jalapeno plants
*10 roma, 3 cherry and 7 slicing tomato plants (That's 20 tomatoes....those of you that live close, be prepared to receive tomatoes, lol!!)
*3 celery plants
*and a cabbage that is Rugby's project for school.

Tim made me a trellis (well, one for each row) for the peas and they are climbing that pretty well. I still need to do some training there.

We have a trellis built with 2x4's and chicken wire for the cucumbers to climb, but he needs to put stakes in yet to hold it up. The tomatoes are going to be staked on broom sticks or trained around twine on a wooden frame...we'll see. We need to plan that yet.

And the most exciting news? I have baby peaches on my tree!! They are about the size of cherries right now, but this summer I WILL HAVE PEACHES!! YAY!!

So, that's how my garden is doing. How about yours?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Send clorox wipes and wine...STAT!

We're knee deep (almost literally!) in potty training's hit or miss, especially with the #2 portion of the training. Tonight, he is standing on the deck and pulls his pants to his ankles, "Me go potty outside" and I whisk him to the toilet, "No, we go on the potty" and he did. He took off running outside to play with Dad and JoJo and the neighbor boy. Five minutes later, I was heading outside to see how things are going and to see if Tim needed help, but caught Tucker trying to get in the back door. Being the FABULOUS mother that I am, I let him struggle with the door while I took the time to hide (right next to the door) to scare him when he walked in.

Should I stop here and tell you that he dressed himself earlier in the day and was sans undies? Yes, that's important to know.....

So, he gets the door open and I scare him. (yay! lol!) He's saying "Me going poops, Mom. Me going pooooooooooooooops." Too late. It had fallen from his bum, slid down his leg and out onto the concrete step. I scooped him up, pulled the pants and shoes off and plunked him on the toilet....where he realized there was poop spread on his leg, so therefore it was on the toilet seat and totally grossing him out. Straight to the shower with the kidlet, out come the Clorox wipes and while he's showering, I'm sharing this all with you....then I'm getting my wine. I may need more by the time the weekend is over.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Amazing Godfather

My amazing godfather lost his battle with cancer last Saturday. Tomorrow is the funeral.

Uncle was a great man. Always quick with a joke and a smile. Anyone that ever met him, loved him. He was so much fun and we were all better just for knowing him. He loved his wife, Brenda, and her two girls just as much as he loves his own 3 kids. He was so self-less, giving what he could to make everyone else happy and was always the peace-keeper.

When I was growing up, I remember always laughing with him. I remember him sitting me on his lap and letting me drive his baby blue cutlass...he put it on cruise and let me steer...I was probably only 7 or 8, maybe even younger. I remember going go-carting with him. I remember going with him and his kids to the hotel in Green Bay while he was playing in a cribbage tournament. I'd watch the kids and then after we'd do something fun. The circus was in town the same weekend as that tournament, so we'd usually get to do that, too.

I remember taking Rugby and Riley out on the lake with him. Uncle loved to spend time on the water in his boat...either skiing or swimming or fishing...just having fun.

A few years ago, it was his idea to get all the family together for Christmas and get a block of rooms at a hotel with a pool and hang out there. We were living across the state at the time, but we made it for that. All of us did. And we all had SO MUCH FUN!

In recent years, he was getting into making his own wine and he was SO GOOD at that, too. He made the wine for his wedding, even. It's something I wish that I'd have talked to him more about because I'd love to learn.

I was looking for pictures to scan and post, but I can't seem to find my book with them in. Maybe that's better for now, I don't know if I could look at them without crying.

I'll miss him. I already do. We all do. He was a great man, but he's leaving behind some wonderful kids and a legacy of love. And I'm sure he's in a better place and we'll see him again someday.

Love you, Uncle.