Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving and Such

Just a quick update on our weekend. It was great fun.

We got up at the butt crack of dawn (that's at 3 AM, if you were wondering) on Thanksgiving and headed to NYC for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Our cousins were staying in NYC and had a suite at the Trump and were gracious enough to allow us to come for the parade. Their youngest daughter was in the parade cheering. When the team came through we all looked down from the tenth floor and tried to pick her out of the 700 girls who oddly had the same shade of blonde hair in a pony tail with a white bow. But we found her. At least we all said we did. It made us feel good.

Now let me tell you something about the parade. It's not as good as the Powell parade, first off. I just need to get that out there. Hometown parades are far better. And if your hometown is NYC then yes, you have the best parade.

There were lulls in the parade. I mean it's not like on T.V. when Matt and Ann say, "And here comes Cee Lo Green and right behind him is Kermit!" No. It's more like, "Oh there's Cee Lo Green [go to the pastry table and pick at the pumpkin muffin and pour some juice, hear the crowd yelling, run back over] and there's Kermit!" But it was so much fun! It's something that we probably will never do again (because let's face it, we're not going to stand after sitting in a warm corner suite with pastries).

This is my favorite picture, Kermit's booty. The floats look to be about ten stories high on T.V. right? Well, they're not. Because we were ten stories up and this is what we saw.

After the parade we said our goodbyes, caught a cab back to the ferry and off we went to the in-law's house. Dinner was fabulous. Of course any dinner with mashed potatoes is fabulous. Friday was a veg out day. It was great to chill and sleep and chill and sleep. Then Saturday we did yard work, bought our Christmas tree, and decorated the house. Sunday was church and homework and then back to reality and the gym this mourning, I mean morning at 5:30.

I love holidays and I love family and I love Kermit's booty.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks.

Next Year.

Next year at this time I might be a mom. It's a weird concept to grasp now days. It's always been in a few years or maybe in a couple. But today it's next year.

Holidays always make me think about where we will be next year. I remember when I was single and another year would come and go and I had no one with me at Christmas. And I would think, "Maybe next year I'll have a boyfriend or a fiance or even a husband." But then another year would come and go and it seemed as if other people's lives were progressing and mine was the same. Then suddenly, I had a friend who, for a very short time, was a boyfriend then quickly a fiance and then what seemed like forever (11 months) finally a husband. And suddenly it felt so normal.

As I look to next year and the reality that our paperwork is almost finished and ready to be sent over to that big ol' country in Africa, I am thankful that I get one more year of quiet with my husband. That we get to go to NYC tomorrow and hang with family then down to southern edge of New Jersey to spend time with more family. I'm thankful that we can get a Christmas tree this weekend and I can turn on my favorite Pandora Christmas station and decorate all afternoon while Martin watches football and falls asleep. I'm thankful that we can buy fun things for each other for Christmas without worrying or debating its practicality.

For next year we may be walking around like zombies from sleepless nights and adjusting children. We may be calling our friends asking them to buy a Christmas tree for us and asking if their kids can come over for free pizza and decorate our house for Christmas. We may be getting Amazon boxes filled with diapers, formula, and toys instead of making trips to the store. We may be having English lessons with our older children.

And it will all be worth it. Just like these last quiet 10 years being alone with my husband have been worth it. And for these things I'm thankful. God has given me more than I could want in ways I never would have expected. And why does that surprise me when his word says he wants to do more than we could ever imagine or think.

And for quiet times that are here and crazy times to come, I give thanks to my maker. For he is so good and worth it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Breakdown

Today, I am recovering from a near breakdown. Who knew you could bake breaded chicken for dinner and three hours later be blubbering in the family room over computer and marketing books, You Tube tutorials, notes and a computer?

But you can.

And I did.

My school has changed their due dates from Sunday night at 11:59 to Monday night at 11:59. The only thing that means for me is I don't work out on Tuesday mornings because I've been up until midnight on Monday compared to not working out on Monday mornings because I was up until midnight on Sunday.

This session has been different than my other sessions. I think it's kind of like babies. You're always surprised how different the new baby is from your previous one or ones. Like you forget they have their own DNA and personality.

I am in a marketing course and a computer programing course. My major is management and computers so one would assume I spend the majority of my time in the computer course. It's why I decided to go back to school, yet again. It made total sense to me at the time.

But well, my marketing course has a group project that is 20% of my final grade and there are drafts due throughout the entire 8 week course. And I'm in the group with a bunch of military people who chose to design and market a device to, you guessed it, THE MILITARY. Awesome. The most I know about the military I've learned from the following: Saving Private Ryan, G.I Joe cartoons and that's about it. That's really all I got. I wasn't allowed to watch M*A*S*H growing up. I mean, my husband does watch some military shows on the telly but I get so nervous when they're out looking for bombs I have to leave the room and look at craft websites to soothe my soul.

I've never worked on a group project over the Internet and I'm going to tell you how I feel about it. I hate it. Like genuinely hate it. Like I want to stomp on it and do the Dance of Joy that Balki did on Perfect Strangers. But instead I obsess over it. I don't want to be the slacker so I spend hours researching the device they want to design and market just to get close to their level of knowledge. Then I volunteer for the hardest part of the project. Awesome.

And do you know what we call this? The fear of man. And by we, I mean the Bible and God and Jesus.

So that leads to last night. Sitting in a pile of papers, books and computer crying because I couldn't grasp variables in codes. A foundational piece of coding and I had not spent enough time on it because I was working hours on that stupid project. And I had to take a midterm for the marketing course that I had spent hours on that stupid project. All because I wanted to be awesome.

I sure hope I learned my lesson. And I know that my poor husband regretted coming home from the gym last night. I'm sure he was hitting himself thinking about how he should've climbed up the gutters to the second story and gone through a window so he could've avoided me. But God used his words to me and his silence. And he used my stupidity. I sure am glad it's good for something. That's what we call "working ALL things together for good." Stupidity might be one of the main ingredients for that. At least it is for me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

So How's the Weight Thing Going?

When I first started blogging I counted the days that I had been alive (it was a slow work day, okay?) and then talked about how much I needed to obey God in all things and one of those things was my weight issue. I HATE talking about it. And I really HATE blogging about it. It's mainly because I fail most of the time with losing weight and who wants to write about their failures unless it's things that happened years ago that you have been able to overcome?

I named this blog "Two Steps Forward, One Step Back" because that seems to be the pattern of my life and I have a very slight feeling it's the pattern of many people's lives. Unless you're my dad and in that case you should have a blog entitled, "10,000 Steps Forward, 2 Giant Steps Forward." It's not because he's perfect but because he's goal oriented. He loves to set goals AND reach them. Me? Not so much. I like to set them then enjoy the ride to reach them. If I reach them, then hooray for me. If I don't, then at least I'll have tons of pretty pictures and stories of my journey.

So how is the whole weight thing going you ask? It's going okay. Thanks for asking.

I've actually gained some weight this year. Can I blame it on the ridiculous stress at work and the ridiculous paperwork for our adoption and the ridiculous full-time school load? Yes. I can blame it on all of that. But at the root of all of that is a bigger problem. My heart. I run to food when I'm stressed, sad, happy, bored, busy, lazy, and on and on I can go. I shut off my consciences and turn on my "I deserve this" button and off I go. And that folks has brought me to a dangerously high weight. I'm not the largest I've ever been but I'm close, a little too close. My clothes are doing the typical "you need to go up a size" things on me. You know, sleeves too short. (Did I put this in the dryer too long? NO, your arms and shoulders are fatter and therefore are taking up more arm space which means your long sleeve shirts are more like three quarter length.) Pants too tight in the rear (I won't elaborate on this. You're welcome).

So what is a girl to do? I went to the doctor. I had to. I needed a physical for our adoption so I found a doctor close to work (you see, I didn't actually have a doctor) and went to hear it from her. She was great. She checked my blood pressure and it was normal. She sent me for blood work and that was normal minus my cholesterol but she thinks I can get it down naturally (and I will because this girl ain't goin' on meds). Then I told her I wanted to be healthy. I didn't want to be size 6 or 8 or maybe even 10. I simply wanted to be healthy. And that woman said the sweetest thing to me. She said, "Honey, just lose 50 pounds and you'll be fine." Now some of you are thinking, "50 pounds? That's a crazy amount of weight!" But I was thinking, "I can DO 50 pounds!"

I am about three weeks or so into this "Honey, just lose 50 pounds and you'll be fine" diet and I have to say it's not bad. As of November 1 I am down five pounds. I'm getting up most days during the week and going to the gym before work. I'm not going for an hour of intense training. I'm simply going for 30 minutes on the elliptical. Soon I'll add some arm weight lifting to that a couple times a week but I'm not worrying about that right now. I'm eating raisin bran or granola with skim milk in the morning and then some raw nuts in the mid-morning. I'm eating tuna or salmon or a lean meat for lunch along with some whole wheat crackers or bread. For dinner, I'm eating the usual stuff - grilled chicken, turkey burgers, turkey tacos, etc. If I crave something sweet at night I'll eat a little something. And on the weekends I lighten up and try to enjoy some things I might be craving.

Now didn't that sound like a normal person talking? No plan. No fancy additives. Just eating less and more healthy and exercising. I know I'll have to tighten things a bit more when I plateau but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

And for now, it's working. My pants have that familiar looseness to them. My shirts are getting back to their long sleeve status. I may have a relapse at some point. But I do fear my doctor. She's a little thing but also Italian so I don't want to cross her. And consistency is a beautiful thing, people. If I get up every morning with the same routine then I have less of a chance to forget to spend time with God in his Word and praying. I don't crave that yummy chicken biscuit from Chick-fil-A (most mornings). I don't panic and wonder what I'll do for lunch.

That's how I'm doing. It's nothing fantastic. It's nothing mind blowing. But it's working. And I go up a level on the elliptical every week or so. This morning I went to level three and it said I burned almost 300 calories. Which is not at all surprising cause I was going all fast for about three minutes doing 8.1 mph. And that is pure craziness.