Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Back from a Summer Break!

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost an entire month since I've posted!  I wish I could say that I've been away on a tropical island for the past month but this is reality.  I've been to church camp, doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, guitar lessons, searching 2 counties for a dog, plus everyday work and home life.  I register the kids for school next Friday and their first day is August 7, which is 2 weeks from today.  Where has the summer gone? 

We didn't make it to the beach like we planned to do over the July 4th holiday.  After really thinking about it, I knew my son & I would be wore out from camp plus the thousands of people that would have the same idea as us would only make for a very crowded beach and tons of traffic and a bad time.  I'm so glad we didn't go.  Our plan now is to take our RV down for the month of August.  So now this girl gets 5 weekends of beach time!  And with the exception of gas driving back & forth each weekend, it's actually costing us less money than the 3 nights in a hotel would have. 

My weight loss and working out has not existed over the last 3 weeks.  While at camp, we walked and walked and walked.  We also ate 3 full meals.  When I got back home, my weight was the same.  However, I have gained a few pounds since then.  I haven't worked out at all and I've pretty much been eating whatever.  I know I keep taking two steps forward and one step back and I keep saying I'm starting over and this is my last time and I'm going to do this.  This is how I've gotten to where I am now, by going through this yo-yo cycle.  I honestly can't say that I'm motivated to get back on track but that's my goal.  I know with everything we have coming up in the next few months that it will be hard, but I also know that nothing worth doing or having comes easy.  I hope by next week I can commit to getting back in a routine and at least have a plan to getting my eating back under control.

And to end this update I have to tell the story of Dan's journey through 2 counties if for no other reason than for me to look back on later!  While my son & I were gone to camp, my daughter stayed with her grandmother and my husband was working in New Orleans.  My parents live next door so they were 'dog sitting'.  Between both of us, we have 4 labs plus Dan, the hound.  They love to chase various varmits and wander through the woods.  So when they were gone that Tuesday, my mom really didn't think much about it.  But when all the labs came home later and Dan didn't she started to worry.  She rode around and called him and looked for him with no luck.  We got home late Wednesday night and he still wasn't home.  We rode through the woods Thursday morning thinking maybe he had gotten snake bit and had died.  We had no luck.  We continued to ride around and look on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.  Sunday night I posted his picture on our town's Facebook page.  I got a message back that there was a dog that looked just like him that appeared at the nursing home the past Wednesday and one of the nurses took him home.  I got so excited and first thing Monday morning I called the nursing home to find out if she had Dan.  Well, after she took him home and fed him, he ran off in the woods and she hadn't seen him since.  And, she lived about 30 minutes away in another county in a completely rural area!  Not giving up hope, I googled her address and took an early lunch break and went to look for him.  I made flyers with his picture to hand out.  One elderly lady was working in her garden and told us that her husband had seen a dog that looked similar to him a few roads over but couldn't really explain how to get there.  We continued to the next few houses.  While we were leaving the last house in that area, that lady's husband drove up and told us to follow him and he would take us to where he saw the dog.  I'm glad he did because after the 2nd turn I knew I would have never gotten there.  After about half a mile down this road he stopped and said this was the area he had seen the dog.  We called for Dan with no luck.  I decided to ride a few miles to the end of this road and put up flyers just in case someone else had seen him.  The road ended at the highway.  I stuck a flyer on the stop sign and turned around.  There was pretty much only 1 house down towards the end of the road.  In front of this house we met a guy in a golf cart and stopped and gave him a flyer.  There were dogs in the yard barking and we assumed this was his house so we didn't stop at the house.  We came back home empty handed and mostly broken hearted.  I ended up working late since I took a 2 hour lunch break.  About 6:00 I started packing up to go home and I had a voicemail from a guy that said he had my dog.  I immediately called him back and he told me he had my dog but he had to run to town and would call me when he got back.  We waited for his call and about 7:30 he called to say he was headed home from town.  The directions he gave me put me right at the house we stopped in front of earlier that day and met the guy on the golf cart.  Sure enough, when we drove up, I heard Dan howling.  I can't describe the pure joy I had just seeing Dan and seeing the excitement on my son's face after being reunited with his dog.  I know for a fact that this was a 'God thing' because if we never would have went looking and never would have met this lady who's husband tracked us down and drove us to this area and never had driven to the end of the road and put up a flyer, I don't think Dan would be home today.  Knowing that we live in the middle of the national forest and knowing that Dan is a hunting dog and likes to track and refuses to stay in his pen, I ordered a Tagg tracking collar and it has been great.  I have an app on my phone that can show me his location any time I want.  It also alerts me when he gets out of his designated area.  We also put a tag on his collar with our phone number.

Sorry that was such a long story, but telling a story without details is a huge weakness I have!  Have a great Wednesday!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday and Vacation & Wedding Talk

Pretty Strong Medicine

I didn't weigh this morning.  I completely forgot.  Last time I weighed was last Friday and I was 213.0.  I'm down just a smidge but I'm still 3-4 pounds more than I was back in February-March.  I'm once again at a place where I have no motivation.  My first 2 weeks on my macros plan was great.  Last week should have been week 3 but we had Vacation Bible School at church and I was going straight from work to pick up kids and then to church until almost 9 each night.  Being a single mom during the week, I still had dishes, laundry, bath time, etc. after I got home.  The last thing I thought of was working out and meal planning for the next day.  I know I'm making excuses but I just.can'  On a good note, there has been some sort of bug going through both kids and it seemed to have made it to me.  I have absolutely no appetite and I'm afraid anything I do eat will be right back up. 

I'm taking the children's group (3rd-6th grade) from church to camp next week, Sunday - Wednesday.  I have never been and have no idea what to expect.  I'm sure I will get in some walking and I know we will have 3 meals each day.  Then on Thursday we are headed to LA, also known as Lower Alabama.  I can't wait!  Gulf Shores/Orange Beach is one of my most favorite vacation spots ever.  Imagine my heart break when just a few weeks ago my husband informs me that he hates the beach.  Like, would rather stay at home than go.  We have been taking a beach vacation almost every one of the 12 years that we have been married and now he decides to tell me that! 

I guess now is a great time to link up with Holly and Amy and talk vacations.

My favorite vacation spot is the beach.  It's just so relaxing to me.  We went to Disney World a few years back and it was anything but relaxing.  That's not to say we didn't have a great time, but we were on constant go.  Not to mention the 16 hour drive and the kidney I had to sell to pay for the trip.  Gulf Shores is about a 4 hour drive for us.  Depending on where we stay, it's a trip I don't have to save all year to pay for.  Last year was our first year to splurge and get a condo, not a hotel.  It was amazing!  We stayed at the Caribe.  The amenities - pools, waterslides, lazy river, shuttle to the beach, covered parking, bay side docks for boating/fishing - was what drew me in.  The inside of our condo was great - stainless appliances, granite countertops, great furniture, plenty of room and amazing views.  Next week's trip is pretty much a last minute decision and since we are only going to be there 4 days, we are staying in a hotel.  My ultimate dream vacation would be Bora Bora

How beautiful is this?  Being that my husband doesn't fly, I'm sure if I ever go it will be by myself or a girls trip.  Of course I would also love to go to Hawaii and the Bahamas.  My husband's dream vacation is a cabin in the woods in the mountains.  Since we got married at the end of October, we did that for our honeymoon.  Sure, it was pretty and quiet and relaxing, but I'm such a sun and water kinda girl. 

Speaking of wedding, I'm such a slacker on blogging that I didn't post and link up with Melanie & Holly last week.  My wedding was pretty low key - small church wedding, my mom did the decorations and flowers, no caterer, grandmother made the cake, and a basic reception with no music or dancing.  Of course, if I could do it over there is so much I would change.  The 6 months leading up to my wedding was pretty much a disaster.  Lots of arguing, stress and opinions from everyone.  I would love a do-over and have a small beach wedding in March or April.  Decorations would be little to none.  Maybe one bridesmaid and groomsman.  Nice dinner reception.  Cruise to the Bahamas for the honeymoon.  Maybe in a few years we can do a vow renewal on the beach.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tardy for the Parties - Weigh-In Wednesday & Letter to 21 Year Old Mandy

I have seriously considered deleting my blog because I don't like to do anything half way.  I have been so swamped this week that I haven't had a chance to blog (or put up the mound of clean laundry on my bed).  So, here's 2 posts in 1 just 2 days and 1 day late!!

Pretty Strong Medicine

I can't tell you how much I love Weigh-In Wednesday.  It has been such a huge source of encouragement.  Since starting my Macro plan, I have been weighing in on Mondays instead of Wedesndays.  My eating plan has pretty much been a clean diet with no junk food.  So far it has worked very well.  I actually don't have the cravings for the junk food like I once did and I don't get hungry.  This is a win in my book!  I have slacked off with my workouts this week.  I just haven't made the time.  I am not a morning person but I eventually want to be.  I think I'm going to make that one of my goals before summer is over.  I want to be able to get up early and workout.  Sorry this was a short & sweet Weigh-In Wednesday.  My only advice for anyone reading this and looking for it - You have to seriously make up your mind to do it.  You can't do it for your husband or your kids, you have to want it for you.  It has taken me a long time to realize that and to make my mind up to do it.  You will have 'off' days and it's getting back on track that counts.  Always remember that one bad meal or even one bad day doesn't make you a failure.

And now for my letter to my 21 year old self.

I just love Holly (who doesn't?) and Jake seems to be the good, southern, boy next door.  So, here's my letter.  I also want to say that 21 was over 10 years ago for me and it was kinda hard to remember back to those times!

Dear 21 year old Mandy,

Even though you just got married 2 weeks ago, you should seriously consider going back to finish your last 2 years of college.  I know you love your job at the bank and don't want to do anything else but there will come a day when banking isn't fun anymore.  If you decide not to be a teacher, go into accounting.

Be wise with your money.  Think about everything you buy and don't buy things just because you want it and have the money.  There will be days when times are tight and you will regret not being frugal and saving more.

Get back in touch your former best friend.  No matter what happened the first year of college, she was your best friend for so many years.  Don't worry about who did what.  Suck it up and call her.  You will begin talking again over the years but you will be more like acquaintances, and won't be as close as you once were.  

Take care of yourself.  This includes eating right and exercise.  Clean out your drawer of Little Debbie's in the kitchen and do some research on eating clean.  You don't have kids and since your husband works out of town, you have plenty of time to workout.  You have no excuse!  You will have kids and being healthy and fit before then will be a great thing. 

Learn to love the house you bought.  It was a 'fixer upper' so don't expect a mansion.  You will both put in lots of sweat and tears but it will be yours.  Also, there is a family of bats living in the space above the second floor bathroom.  While renovating, they will fly through the ceiling into your bedroom at night.  Cover this hole up before going to bed.

Lastly, let loose and enjoy life!  Mellow out some and don't let things get to you.

A much older and wiser Mandy

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 1 of Macros Plan

Well, it's been over a week since my last post.  Blogger fail right here!  I wanted to do a quick update on my macros plan that I started last Monday.  The first week went very well.  I had a few small slip ups here and there, but I did lose 4 pounds so I must have done something right!  I stuck to the plan Ashley created for me and the only problem I had was trying to eat all the food each day.  There were a few days that I didn't.  I haven't had the craving for 'junk' food like I normally have.  We went to a baseball game Saturday and I bypassed the Dippin' Dots and hot dogs.  I did share some nachos with my daughter for lunch.  I asked them to put the cheese on the side and I sparingly dipped my chips!  Again this week I chose to stick to the plan Ashley gave me but I plan to try and create my own meals next week.  Anybody else experimenting with macros? 

Monday, June 03, 2013

The End of Operation Red Bikini = Another Beginning for Me


Well, the Operation Red Bikini challenge officially ended Friday.  I was no where near my original goals I set back on January 4.  I was so motivated and determined in January and February.  Then I let life get in the way and March came and brought a super stressful month at work, there was Easter, birthday parties, weekend road trips, and lots of fast food.  I am more conscious about what I eat and how much exercise I am or am not getting.  I definitely credit this challenge and the amazing ladies I've met along the way for that.  I just have a huge problem with commitment.  I get bored and have lots of off days where I lose sight of my goals. 

Knowing the end of this challenge was near and I wasn't even close to where I wanted to be, I felt like a total failure.  So last week I made my mind up to ask for help and I reached out to Ashley Leahy.  I originally began following her on Instagram.  Then I saw her post a few before/after pictures of her clients and I read a few posts from some ladies they were on her macro plan and what a difference they saw.  I knew I needed some structure and I also knew that I could do it if I tried.  Plus there will be someone to really hold me accountable.  I started my plan today and my weight this morning was 217.4.  That's a 5+ pound gain in 3 weeks!!  I honestly can't believe I let myself get here again.  So today is my new beginning of what I hope will be a successful attempt at changing my lifestyle to healthier eating, being fit and feeling good and I will never have to 'start' again!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kid Funnies

I've pretty much kept this blog for my weight loss/getting in shape journey with a few doses of my family here and there.  Today I want to share some funny things my kids have said in the last few years.  I've been keeping up with them on my phone notepad but I know it will all get wiped away one day so I want to put them here so I can have a back up.

(A little backstory: Hunter is almost 10 now, very laid back, can keep to himself or talk to anyone who will listen.  Abigail is now 7, very high strung, talks way too much, and thinks she's a princess.  This will help explain why I have way more Abigail stories than Hunter stories.  I'm not showing favoritism.  This also explains why I have 736 pictures on my phone and Hunter may be in 30 of them!)

Thanksgiving 2010
  • One day while riding somewhere, the kids were in the back seat arguing when Matt says in true parent form "If y'all don't stop, I'm pulling this car over and somebody's getting a spanking."  He slows the car down but doesn't actually stop.  Of course the kids get quiet and a little later we hear Abigail whisper to Hunter, "Whew that was close."
  • Hunter decided one day that all of a sudden he could speak Spanish.  Then he proceeds to say, "Hola, I can speak espanol." 
  • Abigail dropped something on the floor and when I asked her to pick it up, she walks behind the door and says "I'm sorry, Abigail's not in right now, please leave a message after the beep.  BEEEEEEP!"
Dr. Seuss Dress Up Day at school

  • Abigail loves going with me to get her nails and toes painted and she always gets so tickled listening to the ladies talk.  One day, she tells me, "I wouldn't want to be a finger nailer because I don't want to learn how to speak Chinese!"
  • During the Super Bowl the New England Patriots were leading when Hunter says, "They can barely speak English but they're winning a football game?!?!"  He thought the team was from England.
  • We were getting ready to go to town one day and Abigail was insisting on wearing her princess Halloween costume.  It wasn't even close to Halloween and I told her no, because nobody wears a princess outfit to town.  She then tried to convince me by saying "I can wear it and people may think I'm a real princess and we can just pretend that I am and they won't really know."

She has her own fashion sense.
  • When Matt & I got new iPhones, we gave our old ones to the kids.  They have no cell service and basically operate as an iPod.  Abigail loves taking photos and videos.  One night we were installing an update on hers when we look through the photos and videos.  There was a video of her 'teaching karate lessons'.  She started by saying "Here's the first karate lesson." and began kicking and karate chopping Hunter.  The video of course goes all over the place and he's laughing uncontrollably.  She turns the camera back on herself and says, "Sorry you had to see that."  Then she continues karate chopping Hunter.  When she's done, she turns the camera back to her and says "Yeah, that's how it's done."  I tried to email the video to my phone to keep but she got away from wifi before it sent and then deleted the video.  It was so funny!
  • After school one day I asked Abigail what her test was on (meaning what was it about) and she replied, "Um, paper."
Disney - November 2010
  • One day the kids were laughing about something and Abigail snorted while laughing.  Hunter tried his best to convince her that she had the 'pig flu' because snorting is the first symptom you get.  He really had her going for a bit until I could no longer hold it in and began laughing so hard.
  • I was having a Tastefully Simple party one night and Hunter made a sign to put on the door that said "Parking $1.00".  He thought he could make a little money!
Orange Beach, AL - May 2012

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Birthday Memories Linkup


Today I'm linking up with Chrissy, Lindsey & Holly to share my most memorable birthday story.  My memory is terrible but I do have a few vague memories of some of my birthdays. 

The first birthday party I can remember must have been when I was turning 5 or 6.  My mom worked at a rental place that had the inflatable bouncy houses.  For some reason I remember calling it a spacewalk.  I was told that I had to clean my room before everyone came over and I couldn't even come out of my room or my party would be cancelled.  So, I stayed in my room shoving all my toys under my bed.  When it came time for the party I went outside and there was this huge inflatable bouncy house.  I was pretty scared of it at first because it was so hard to walk and keep my balance.  Once I got the hang of it, I loved it.

Another birthday I remember was when I was 14.  I actually have some pictures of this one in storage somewhere.  I was a Freshman in high school and at the time I had way more guy friends than girl friends.  I had probably 6-8 people show up one Saturday night, with only myself and one other girl.  My plan was to just hang out around a bonfire but it must have been raining because I don't remember having a fire.  Well, I had a dirt bike that I had gotten for Christmas the year before and we thought it was a good idea to ride.  The night quickly turned into a mud riding event.  I have pictures of some of us covered in mud as I was blowing out the candles on my cake that featured a confederate flag.  Yes, I was redneck girl of the year back then.  I sometimes get an uneasy feeling of embarassment thinking back to those years that I thought it was cool to 'be one of the guys'.

Sorry I don't have any super awesome birthday stories.  I do remember having a Batman cake one year.  I remember having several birthday parties at the skating rink.  There was one year that I had a New Kids on the Block cake and thought it was the most awesome thing that they could put a picture on a cake.  I must have been 9 or 10 that year.  I don't really have any memories of my birthdays between 14 and 21.  I remember getting my first car, a 1996 Ford Bronco, right before my Sweet 16.  When I turned 21 I had been married for only 2 weeks.  Then I remember being bummed when I turned 22 because I was no longer 21 and really felt like I was getting old.  I turned 30 at Disney World and last year I spent my 32nd birthday eating pizza and playing games at Gatti Town with the kids.  Who knows what 33 will bring!