Tuesday, June 25, 2013

down and up and up and down

Before I got married I think I weighed somewhere around 135 pounds.  I lost weight before the wedding like a lot of brides do.  All I remember for certain is that I ordered my wedding dress in a size 10/12 and had it altered down to a size 4.  I felt wonderful.

I remember feeling fabulous in a pair of 6/8 jeans when we went to the mountains in those early years.   But the years of early marriage naturally added on some pounds.  By the time I got pregnant with Julianna four and a half years later I weighed 147 and had been had been trying to get back to the 120s.

I gained 37 pounds with Julianna and lost it all but ten.  Those last ten pounds just would not come off and somehow I learned to be satisfied with my weight in the mid 150s.  The medically recommended weight for a female of my height is 137 pounds but at 155 pounds I was just barely in the "normal" weight range and I was satisfied with not being "overweight."

July 2007
Then I had a miscarriage and then got pregnant with Josh.  I was 157 when I got pregnant the third time.  I was determined with that this time I would have a healthy pregnancy and I tried to only gain the 25 pounds the doctors wanted me to gain.  Of course, I went about 15 pounds over.  I was walking the Dixie Classic Fair for numerous hours trying to induce labor.

August 2009 - this was 2 whole months before Josh was born
July 2010
After Josh was born it took me about 13 months to get back to pre-Josh weight.  Even after that I struggled to keep it off.  I went back to working full time and it was so much harder to lose.  I finally made my mind up to lose weight and I signed up for my first half marathon.  After the race I started really trying to eat right and continue the exercise.  At about 175 pounds, around June 2012 I started losing weight consistently and easily.

November 2012

Last Fall before our Mexico trip (November 2012) I made it back to 147 (my pre-Jules weight) for the first time in more than seven years.  I felt great.  I wore a bikini in Mexico on our anniversary trip (not for pictures and I still probably shouldn't have but that should indicate how comfortable I was with my weight 8 months ago).  My clothes were about to fall off.

Since I took the weight off slowly (about six months) I felt like I had made life changes that would stick with me for a long time.  I was running half marathons and making good food choices easily without feeling deprived or counting calories or anything like that.  For some reason, I was wrong and it didn't stay off long after the holidays.

June 2013

It's now June. The two pictures above were taken on Saturday.  I weigh 157 pounds.  I'm fighting to take those ten pounds back off.  Then I'd like to lose 12 more, hopefully cutting off some of that nasty thigh bulge and putting me at 135.

Hold me accountable, friends!

What's your best weight loss tip?

Monday, June 24, 2013

beach bags

Not sure why, but I've been looking at lots of cute beach bags lately.  I don't need one.  I actually have the one pictured below that my mom got several years ago and it was too big for her so she passed it to me.  It's wonderful!  It has the perfect amount of space for a family of four.

In mine right now I have four large beach towels, a swimsuit, goggles, several snacks, a pair of flip flops, two containers of sunscreen and a few other small items.  There's a key clip so you don't have to dig out your keys and it's all mesh and therefore easily washable.  It came from Saltwater Beach Company.

At any rate, I also love these other beach bags.  Isn't this flip flop one from Thirty One adorable?


This one is really cute, but I think it might be too small for most people.  I've seen it at Barnes and Noble many times and wanted to buy it.


Amazon has this fabulous whale bag for sale for $37 and there's a beach towel that matches.


Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for stripes.  This large boat bag from Buckhead Betties is so stinkin' cute AND it can be monogrammed.


Etsy has a gazillion bags and sometimes I can get lost on Etsy filling my cart and then emptying it again, but here's one of my favorites for a beach bag.


I like this one too, but it's most certainly out of my price range.

Now, let's go to the beach!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

books I read long ago but still think about every so often

Room - This book impacted me greatly at the time I was reading it and I recommended it to a lot of people.  Ever since I read it I've thought about it a lot.  Some people shy away from reading books that they know have the potential to describe women or children being harmed inside their pages.  I don't like espeically violent or graphic novels but this story kept me intrigued and not afraid to hear the ending.  I think about it a lot now perhaps because I want to protect myself and my kids and because I feel like I learned a lot about safety and emergencies from the story.  Plus, it popped in my mind frequently in the recent aftermath of the women rescued in Cleveland.

Beauty Queens - I don't think I ever mentioned this book on my blog except to say that I was reading it and I really didn't care for the book all that much at the time; it just isn't my style.  Now I realize that it must have made more of an impact on me than I thought.  Random characters from the story pop into my head all the time.  I listened to the audio book instead of reading the print version and I still hear certain characters voices in my head all the time.

Shadow of Night - I think about this one a lot probably because it's the second book in a trilogy and the third one hasn't been released yet.  Nevertheless every once in a while I wonder how the characters are doing.  Do you do that?  It's weird, I know, but I think since the story is still unfinished in my mind I'll find myself thinking, "Whatever happened to..?" or "Wonder where so-and-so is?"  And if I happen to see something that looks like an antique, for whatever reason it makes me think of this book (and it really has nothing to do with antiques).  Anyway, it's another one that seems to have stuck in my mind.

Gone Girl - I read this one when we were in Mexico last year.  It was so captivating and yet weird to be reading it on an anniversary trip.  It was so real though, that every once it a while I have a flashback and think about the book as if it were a true-life story happening... like I saw bits and pieces of it on a news report.  I've since reserved several of Gillian Flynn's other novels at the library but haven't read any of them yet.

Now, I'd love some new book recommendations.  We're headed to the beach next week and I hope to be able to squeeze in a little reading... suggest away!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It was a nice idea...

  • It was a nice idea to volunteer to put together the 8th grade graduation slide show but that was before I knew there would be 300+ pictures sent to my email.
  • It was a nice idea to decide on bangs, but when it came down to it ponytails without hair in my face while I run sounded better.
  • It was a nice idea to schedule my Microsoft certification exams for the teacher workdays at the end of the school year so I would have more time to study, but just going and giving the tests a shot without reviewing the material sounded better.
  • It was a nice idea to think about inviting a friend with us to Carowinds, but having a mommy-daughter day sounded better.
  • It was a nice idea to think about running steps at the high school stadium this evening, but staying at home in the AC sounded better.
What was a nice idea you had lately?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ribfest, mani/pedi and baby shower + giveaway winners

We had a full weekend.  Friday night we went to Ribfest and National Doughnut Day at Krispy Kreme.

Saturday morning I ran in the pouring rain and then redeemed a gift certificate from Christmas for a main/pedi with Jules, Jonathan's mom and grandmother.

After that we went straight to my sister's first baby shower which was fun.  We stayed for a cookout at my aunt and uncle's and goodness! there were a lot of babies there.

Sunday we went cherry picking at Levering Orchard with my parents and sister.  The cherries weren't the best because of all the rain we've had lately, but it was still an adventure and we got a few pounds to eat.

It was a full weekend but a lot of fun.


I used random.org to pick winners for the Chick-fil-A giveaway and Jennifer C, Whitney F, Chris H, Karen W, and Beth C were the winners.  Look for an email from me soon!

Thanks for playing!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

the last day of school and another nature box

Tomorrow is the last day of school for my classes.  Julianna still goes a couple of days next week but those are teacher workdays for me.  As is typical for me this time of year I feel like time is passing and passing and passing and I'm getting nothing accomplished but just being where I'm supposed to be whenever I'm supposed to be there.  I guess that's a pretty big feat considering the busyness of the End of School but I still feel like my wheels are spinning and I'm going nowhere.

So.  Today I'm going to think about summer.  Some things I'm looking forward to this summer include:
  • early morning runs
  • eating tomatoes and basil from the garden
  • water balloon fights
  • trips across town to meet Jonathan for lunch
  • bike rides on the greenway
  • putting puzzles together
  • going to Summer on Trade and other local events
  • popsicles on the deck
  • skeeball at the beach
  • baby showers for my sister
  • catching up on some fiction reading
  • writing a bit more on the blog
  • road trips

I also wanted to tell you about my latest delivery from Nature Box.  My most recent box  was possibly the best one I've gotten so far.  This time I got two of each of the following snacks:
  • Taj Mahal Snack Mix
  • Peanut Butter Nom Noms
  • Fiesta Snack Mix
  • Blueberry Nom Noms
  • Cherry Ganache Granola

I've had the Blueberry Nom Noms before and I liked them so much I decided to get them again, plus I added the peanut butter ones to try this time too.  You can read about my previous two boxes here and here.

Fiesta Mix

I think my favorite snack this time around is the Taj Mahal mix.  It's not something I would think I would like but I do love it which just goes to show that it's good to try new things.

I still have one bag each of a couple of the snacks from my last box so I think next month I might lower it to the 5 snack box instead of the 10.  It's more expensive per snack, but I can up it again next month.

I encourage you to give Nature Box a try.  I've had three boxes now and there's only been one snack I didn't really care for.  I have a feeling it's really going to make packing for road trips this summer a lot easier.  I can grab something that I know will be delicious and a healthier alternate to any of the other convenience snacks we usually take on trips.

I saw on Facebook that you can save $10 by using promo "snackhealthy" or $5 by using code "HEALTHY" for a discount off your first NatureBox! With the code you can get 5 snacks for $10 or $15 which is comparable to something you'd buy at the grocery store.  If you sign up, I'll receive a referral credit too so please consider using this link: http://fbuy.me/bvaz   Also, don't forget that they donate a meal to Feeding America for every box they ship so you help others a little bit too when you place your order.


There's still time to enter my Chick-fil-A giveaway before Tuesday.  With only 15 entries so far and five prizes to give away you have a really good chance of winning something!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Marine Corps Mud Run

Jonathan was asked by some coworkers to join their team for the Marine Corp Mud Run and when he agreed he brought home the information about the Pollywog race for Julianna to look at.

We encouraged her to sign up for the one mile obstacle race and posted it on the refrigerator but we didn't pressure too much.  Eventually she asked us to sign her up.

We headed up to Pinnacle Saturday morning after picking up my mom and dad.  We got out of the car and climbed the hill to the race area.


The 1 mile Pollywog race was before the team 5k so Julianna, my dad, and I walked over to the starting line.  Jules only got nervous when the announcement was made that there would be marines available to carry some children through one of the obstacles on their backs if necessary.

We took off in the second wave.  We ran down a little hill and across a very small creek.  Then up a steep grassy area and up an even steeper dirt hill climb with ropes.  One of the marines shouted something about "here comes Baywatch!" to a person behind me and I wet my pants laughing. 

Dad and I tried our best to keep up with Julianna running through the woods and then we got to a creek crossing area where there was a huge traffic backup of people.  Someone had fallen and broken their ankle and medics were trying to get to her.  She was laying on her back screaming and all of the other participants were being shuffled to the side to go past single-file.  It slowed us down a lot but the important thing is that the medical teams were able to help her.

We made it through the creek and over some logs.  Then we had to go through a punching bag area which Julianna had a blast in.  She was hitting and jumping and kicking the whole time. She said she didn't want to come out.

For the last bit we had to climb over several walls and run up a gradual hill until we got to the final obstacle.  It was a large mud pit that Jules couldn't reach the bottom of.  She had to swim through it and there were marines there to assist.  She never needed any help and my dad and I made it out right behind her.  We ran across the finish line shortly thereafter.

Jonathan started his team 5k not long after that and we cheered for him a couple of times when his group ran past.  He said it was definitely the hardest event race he's ever participated in but he also said it was a lot of fun.

Josh was bored out of his mind.  The sun got really hot on the little guy too.  Next time I will be more prepared and pack him a whole bag of stuff for entertainment.

I've never done one of these obstacle course races before but it was a lot of fun.  I was glad to not have had to do the 5k on Saturday especially since I had run 6.5 miles with my training group at seven that morning but I do look forward to participating in a similar race sometime in the future and I'm proud of Jonathan for doing it.  His team's time was 42:41 or a rank of 66 out of 359 which is impressive I think.

Have you ever done an obstacle race? What do you think about them?

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