Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Journal Your Christmas - December 29th

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I didn't need a "catch up" page today, plus I didn't want to throw my numbering system off, so I just wrote about how we're thinking about taking a handmade pledge for next Christmas!

Journal Your Christmas - December 28th

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This year, our big indulgence was not to worry about what we were eating for many days. After working so hard for 4 months to lose a total of 75 pounds between us, it sure FELT like an indulgence to have pizza, burgers, and whatever we felt like!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Journal Your Christmas - December 27th

No sleep for us today. We got up earlier than any other day this holiday season, including Cookie Day or Christmas Day!!!

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It was awesome to see Kevin, Kat, and 10 year-old Jake, who were just visiting for yesterday & today, from AZ! Jake had never seen falling snow before, and I played in the snow with him. And threw him into a drift, face down, when he put snow down my back. Fair's fair, right?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Journal Your Christmas - December 26th

We spent the morning cleaning up a bit, starting dinner (Italian Beef) and making lunch (Jambalaya), and then we had friends over to play Monty Python's Holy Grail Fluxx card game & the Talisman board game. What a blast! I featured leftover wrapping paper & a photo of our friends who came over to play with us!

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Journal Your Christmas - December 25th

I kept today's page very simple & just started filling in the Making Memories' circles with random memories from the day ... the I embellished the ones I didn't fill in, just with little stickers! It was fun & I think I've captured a lot of the best parts of the day!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Journal Your Christmas - December 3rd - 9th

Between our vacation, our sump pump pipe bursting, and our 8th annual Cookie Day, I've been a wee bit busy. I am slowly catching up on pages for Journal Your Christmas, though! Here are the pages for the 3rd through the 9th. Enjoy!

December 3rd

December 4th

December 5th

December 6th

December 7th

December 8th

December 9th

Monday, December 21, 2009

The frenzy is over!

Since we returned from vacation, we've had 2 goals: clean up after the sump pump pipe burst & get everything in readiness for our 8th Annual Cookie Day. Well, we met both goals, and we think the party was a hit. People keep coming back, so it must be a good thing, right? We tried 9 all new recipes this year & we wound up with so many cookies from all of the participants that we had to expand to the extra table downstairs ... and the side table, too. At the end, once everyone had left, we corralled all of the leftovers & this is what we had:

Cookie Day Leftovers

Yes, those are the LEFTOVERS. We're well practiced, now, at distributing them, so we sent some down to my brother's family, packed a huge bin (more like a small trunk!) for the homeless shelter, and Ken packed up a box full to take to his co-workers to put them all in the holiday spirit. The remainder (3 tins' worth) will be distributed later today, to some people who make our lives a little bit nicer, who weren't able to attend this year.

Now, we can just sit back & relax. Well, except for wrapping a few gifts for Ken's side of the family. We'll be celebrating with them on the 27th, so no rush! We're very happy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

We're back ... and busy!



We spent a week down in Florida, soaking up all of the holiday goodness at Walt Disney World! So, now begins the catching up process -- trying to get caught up on JYC pages, on all the accumulated mail (electronic and otherwise), and on everything that needs to be done for the holidays! If you were wondering where we were ... well, now you know!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Journal Your Christmas - December 1st

Here's my first entry for this year's Journal Your Christmas album! Let the fun begin!

December 1st

Friday, November 27, 2009

The day after Thanksgiving means ...

... all of my Christmas gifts are purchased (and the ones that have to be mailed have been wrapped and sent), and it's time to turn on some Christmas music & get some holiday decorations put up!

While a huge segment of the world is shopping (*shudder* I don't enjoy shopping most days of the year ... and wild horses couldn't drag me out today), I am home, stringing Christmas lights on the crabapple tree outside (which took an incredible series of logistics to get the remote control on/off switch hooked up), pulling out ALL of the Christmas-related stuff (where did all of this come from, anyway), and then systematically sorting things out into three piles: (1) Stuff For Cookie Day (2) Christmas Village Components and (3) Everything Else. The Cookie Day stuff can be stashed until about the 17th. The Christmas Village Components are going back in storage. Everything Else can be put up throughout the day. I'm going to ask my dearest to help make some choices about what to decorate our space with, and what we might be able to donate to places that can use it.

So, let Christmas preparations commence! I'm putting Christmas music up on my blog!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An A-HA moment

This morning, during savasana, I had a bit of an epiphany. Heretofore disconnected statements all of a sudden were hanging together. Here they are, slightly paraphrased from memory:

"Go just to your edge, but not beyond." - Joyce Owens (my yoga teacher)
"If you feel awkward, that's GREAT!" - Catherine Ehret (my Nia teacher)
"The loosest of the loose people have to work twice as hard as a beginner to achieve the same benefits." - Bryan Kest (of PowerYoga fame)
"Invest in loss. Celebrate." - John Peebles (my tai chi teacher)

Here's the connection. Awkwardness ... tension ... failure ... loss ... these things only occur when I dare to try something new, or to do something old in a new way, or to live on the edge of my comfort zone. Isn't that cool? The discomfort or pain just means I've bumped up against an edge. But the fact that I've bumped up against an edge means that I've been willing to explore and to try and to risk learning something or experiencing something new. I don't know if I'll be able to hang onto this, especially on the days my balance seems shot or when John can send me flying with just a subtle shift of his body. But right, for today, I get it. Which I think is pretty cool.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am hating on my left knee right now

Apparently, I did something to it on Friday the 6th. I know this because it suddenly was in excruciating pain when I went to do the very first move of tai chi (a simple, gentle bend of the knee), and I had to stop. Same thing the following morning. I did my best to rest it all day Saturday, and it seemed to be fine on Sunday. No pain, but a weird crunching/clicking/ticking/grinding noise. Very quiet, but there, nonetheless. I did my workouts all week, being very careful not to overtax it. I managed tai chi class last Saturday, and wasn't in any pain ... but then, Saturday night, after riding the clutch through bumper-to-bumper traffic for 40 minutes, climbing several sets of stairs for the el, and walking about a mile, my knee wasn't so happy. Sunday I meant to rest it, but wound up doing some walking & standing to do about 3 hours of Christmas shopping. Well, by Sunday night, it was inflammed and irritated with me. So I rested it yesterday. And it's still inflammed and irritated with me. So I'm hating on it right back. I am doing my damndest not to tax it today or tomorrow. I want it to heal. That's why I'm icing it ... taking anti-inflammatories ... and slathering it in China Gel. It is SO hard for me to sit still. And to add insult to injury, my weight's up by a couple of pounds. Stupid knee.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Goal Achieved!!!

As I mentioned this past Monday, I had less than a pound to go, to reach the goal I'd set back in, gosh, probably the fall of 2001. Well, this morning, the scale smiled on me, and I've met my goal! I am now lighter than I've been in almost 8 years! My sweetie's on the verge of reaching a weight milestone, too ... just another pound or so. We've both set a new goal, to lose 5 more pounds, in 4 weeks. Wish us luck! We'll just keep on working at it!

A shoutout to our good friends next door, who've lost about 40 pounds a piece! WTG, you two!!! Between the 4 of us, we've lost abou145 pounds ... that's almost a whole person! And all of us, I think, would be happier to lose a bit more!

I am just glad we've all found plans that work!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's taken me 7 months

and I've lost a total of 25 pounds. I am pretty happy right now! And I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that we seem to have found something that WORKS! That's always been the sticking point -- I'll go through a lot, if I can see some results! You see, 17 of those 25 pounds have come off in the last 10 weeks of that 7 month time frame. 10 weeks ago, we started working on an item for our 101 Challenges in 1001 Days list, wherein we ate only food we made from scratch for 2 weeks. The weight started coming off dramatically. Mind you, I was eating the same number of calories as before ... and working out the same amount (sometimes even a little less!), but the weight came off. I'm pretty damned geeked right now, because we've found a way to have about 18 meals a week that are from scratch and 3 that are not & the weight is still coming off. Just gotta keep on keeping on. In another .7 pounds, I'll be at the goal weight I set back in 2002 & couldn't achieve in time for my 2003 wedding, so that's not far off ... and it's pretty damned exciting.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seriously, laughing out loud

I think the abbreviation "LOL" is a bit overused, so let me just start by saying I really did laugh out loud. I almost shrieked in glee. Ask my husband; he shouted downstairs to find out what all the hullabaloo was about. Next, let me say that if you've never seen the show "Firefly," you will not understand why this is so damned funny. That being said, if you want to continue, please click on the clip & enjoy.

Wow. What a fascinating time we are living in!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An emotional roller coaster comes to a full and complete stop ... and we are sad.

It's time to relate the events of the last 9 days. When we embarked upon the adoption process, we had discussions with our adoption counselor & amongst ourselves about how much information we would share at different stages of the process. We decided not to share any information about the early stages of any selection process, and we're glad we made this choice, although it's been tough for the last 9 days. Having a 3 day weekend away, in Walt Disney World, was perfect timing. It gave us the chance to talk, to regroup, to dream, and to connect with each other. So, here's the story.

On the 20th, we received a call from the adoption agency, about "a situation." I fielded all the details, and it sounded pretty good. An African-American little girl, whose due date was 12/3. I shared it with K, and he agreed, so we asked that our profile be shared with the birthmother. Then, we just had to wait. All through our trip, we saw little girls & thought about what it would be like to be parents of a little girl. Suddenly, the onesies in the gift shops drew our attention. We knew our profile would be shown sometime this week. We thought about what our current plans were for December, and how significantly they'd change if we had a little baby by then.

We came back & we waited. And Tuesday afternoon, we got the call. Again, I fielded it. Sadly, the birthmother had "gone with another family." Before I could be too dejected, though, the adoption counselor said there was another "situation" that might be a good fit. An African-American baby boy, now almost 2 weeks old, recently moved from the NICU. Some birth trauma, but nothing that seemed like something we couldn't handle. Again, I shared the info with K, and again, we agreed for our profile to be shown. How would we feel about being parents of a little boy? What would be different about parenting a boy, instead of a girl? We knew that the agency planned to share profiles with the birthmother yesterday.

Yesterday came & went. I mentioned this afternoon, when K got home, that I didn't know why we hadn't been called, and the tension was getting to me. I went downstairs, and the phone rang. He saw it was the adoption agency, from the caller ID, and picked it up. I came back upstairs, and he looked at me & just shook his head. I am so incredibly sad. We got pretty attached to the idea of being parents to these 2 little babies. I'm glad to be off the roller coaster for now. I'm glad that finally our profiles have actually been shown. And I'm sad that we weren't picked.

A tiny voice inside me wants to know if there's something wrong with us, and that's why we're not getting picked. A more rational voice says that it just means it's not a good fit, it's nothing about us that's wrong. And a spiritual voice pipes in to say that in time, we'll understand why things are unfolding the way they are. And my emotional side isn't saying anything at all. It's just crying.

We'll get through this, and I have hopes that in time, an adoption will come through. Heck, we just got an invitation to create an online profile, which will make it easier for birthmothers to find us. I'll probably work on that sometime soon, just not tonight. I need time to just be, I think.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dangerous Neoprene

Okay, this story is just too funny for me not to relate. And I have promised not to give the details of which friend I am referencing. That being said, let me tell the story:

A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) (and who has lost a significant amount of weight recently) said to me today, "I almost called you at 11:30 and asked you to come over and help me, with your eyes closed." Well, that certainly conjures up some interesting ideas, doesn't it? She goes on to explain that she and her husband are planning on getting recertified to dive so they can go on a diving trip in mid-December, so she decided to try on her wetsuit, which was previously too small for her to get into.

Well, after 7 minutes, she had it on up to her knees (at that point, I would've given up, I think, but she's much more persistent than I am). A few more minutes and it was up to her hips. She said at about the 25 minute mark, she had just gotten her arms through and rolled the shoulders over. At that point, she realized that she had gotten rather warm, the suit being made of unbreathable neoprene, and her having exerted an awful lot. So, now she has on a too-small wetsuit, which has now glued itself to her body. Oh, did I mention that she'd decided to not put on her swimsuit, but just to try it on in nothing but her panties?

Oh, but this is not the point at which she considered calling me for help. She managed to get it off her shoulders, and partly rolled down her upper arms. At which point it got stuck. So, now she can't move her upper arms, just her lower arms. THAT is when she thought about calling me. Instead, she found a backscratcher & was able to insert the handle strategically, create an airpocket, and slowly extract herself from the offending wetsuit.



Even she finds this whole thing wildly amusing. I can just picture her, flailing around, with her arms stuck to the side of her body, brandishing a backscratcher & hen trying to decide if she can dial for help without being able to see the numbers on her phone.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"After" photo

I've lost 21 pounds ... and he's lost 33. And we think it shows!

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I'll have to dig around for a before photo....okay, yeah, here's one from May 2009.

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We're both down by at least 2 sizes, so we're pretty happy. And we're planning on keeping on doing what's working for us, too!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Days 28-30 for Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class!

Well, we've reached the end of Shimelle's class! Here are the final 3 pages:










































































It now remains for me to punch holes & make a cover. First I have to find the chipboard ... and the rings. I had thought to use my Bind-It-All, but there is no way this monster will fit.