Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Mishmash - Goin' to the Big D Again!

Ever have one of those days where you go from thinking "I should get dressed"  to "I REALLY should get dressed" to "Hey, it's pajama day!"?  That was my Monday, and a glorious day it was.  Pajamas, a couple of naps, eating Christmas leftovers - perfect.


Today we are driving to Dallas, where I'm going to meet up with Debby!  She's been in Texas, visiting family for the holidays.  We are meeting at Scotty P's for burgers (where else would two weight-loss bloggers meet?), and then I'm pretty sure we'll either A) shop; B) raise hell; or C) sit at a coffee shop and knit.  I'll let you know next week what transpired.  Max is staying here, alone.  And he's planning a party.  Which is my payback for all those high school "going away" parties that I threw for my parents - of course, AFTER they'd gone camping for the weekend.  I just hope he does as good a job of cleaning up the evidence as I did!


My last two shifts at the jewelry store are next week - Monday and Friday.  And while I'll miss my co-workers (and have made some new friends!), I won't miss the long days, and the disruption in my normal, boring life.  Plus, I'm done with working retail at Christmastime, and if you see that I'm considering doing this again next year, please remind me of that.  Oh, I want to give a shout-out to Weston, who was a blast to work with both last year and this year - he's leaving to be a full-time college student.  Good luck - you'll be missed!


One of the stocking stuffers I gave Jeff and the boys was a Lego minifigure...they were packaged so you couldn't see which one you were getting, but I knew that there was a 1:16 chance of getting a hula girl, so I told them that if they got that one, she was mine.  Wouldn't you know, Jeff got her!  I swear, between the Barbie and the little Lego girl, I was in doll heaven this Christmas.
 How cute, right?
I was trying to get a side view shot of the flower in her hair, but cracked up at seeing Paco in the background...that dog just LOVES the camera, and knows the beeping sound of when it's turned on, and poses accordingly.


Sam bought himself a new tablet - the Asus Transformer.  He was taking pictures with it while Kip and Paco were lying on the couch with him.  At first, I thought this was just a really good close-up of Kip, until I looked a little more:
See Paco's nose in the background?  I swear, even when he's not trying, he manages to get in the picture!  And actually, I love the juxtaposition of their random.


One of my co-workers, Lauren, always has fun painted fingernails, and she inspired me to get my first-ever manicure the other day when I went in for a pedicure.  I wished Helen was there to advise me on a polish color - I stood in front of the display for so long that the girl finally came over to see what was I was doing.  Anyway, I told her I wanted them cut straight across, like Lauren's (well, I didn't specify "like Lauren's" - that would have been weird).  She did that, but cut what little growth I had!  Oh well.  After it was done, I kept getting distracted by my hands - seeing color on my nails was strange, but by the next day, I was used to it, and actually liked having the nice nails while displaying jewelry at work.
The color is OPI's Purple-opolis...and yes, that would be Paco's behind in the background.


Have a great weekend and a Happy New Year - I'll see you in 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gingerbread House Throwdown, Year Three

Because of my work schedule and the timing of when the boys came home, we weren't able to do this until Christmas Eve - normally half the houses would have been eaten by then, but they looked pristine on Christmas morning, which was a first.  If you're new to the blog, we team up - Jeff/Sam and Max/me - to decorate a gingerbread house, and then decide on a winner.  In throwdowns One and Two, Max and I were the losers.  So this year, I started planning for a victory by "pinning" gingerbread decorating ideas on my Pinterest board.  Max and I reviewed them a couple of days before the challenge and promptly forgot most of them, dang it - we were ready to win this year, finally!

The decorations, minus the mini-marshmallows, which I'd planned on using on the base as snow.  Oops, forgot to get them out of the pantry.
As usual, Jeff and Sam immediately started cutting holes into their house...
While Max made me just watch as he thinks our loss last year was partially mostly to blame on my wonky roof decorating...
So fine, I helped myself to some candy while I waited!
See the cool chimney I built out of caramels?  Pretty cool, right?  Oh, and the boys, posing nicely for the camera as usual...
 I thought this shot and the one below were funny, just because I have no idea what we all were looking at.
I mean, really - what WERE we looking at???
The WINNERS!!!  Max and I declared ourselves the winners by default, since the other team (aka The Losers) used a non-candy decoration on their house - a Lego Santa.  Nope!  Invalid item.  We win!!!
Invalid Santa - I allowed the foil since it had been wrapped around chocolate.
 Winning house on the left, losing one on the right.
Side view - ours would have really looked cool had we remembered the "snow" on the ground!
Aptly named losing house - but they didn't know HOW bad Santa was going to be to them when they decorated it!
 I was pretty happy with the caramel chimney!
 And so was Sam...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Recap!

It's like they know me or something...
My purple gifts - new flip flops, a cashmere scarf (so soft!) and sparkly earrings!  
 My pink gifts - pretty new mouse, biking Barbie(!!!), insulated water bottle!
Apparently Jeff noticed that I would stop and look at her every time we zipped past the toy section in Target, and bought her for me!  Look how the flowers in the wheels match the flowers on my blog AND bike!  And she's wearing a running skirt/capri combo, just like I have (although sadly mine is not pink).  I'll have to find a cat to go in the basket and then the picture will be complete...and I promise to NOT cut her hair or give her pierced ears (shades of some failed childhood styling attempts on my old Barbies).
Deep down I'm an 8 year old girl who still loves her Barbies.

We had a nice, relaxing day - played with our gifts, watched some movies on our new big TV (we've finally ditched the big box and have a flat screen in the family room thanks in part to the boys), and ate our traditional Christmas dinner - only tradition was broken as Jeff and the boys prepared all of the side dishes on Christmas Eve since I was working all dang day.  I have to say, they did a nice job - everything tasted great!
Traditional family picture - someone ALWAYS is being goofy!
  Wearing the crowns from our Christmas crackers and showing our prizes - they were pretty good this year, with a squirt gun, colored pencils, a bottle opener and a parcheesi-type game.

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Almost Here!

The excitement is building...
 Dis one smellz like it for me (good sniffer, Paco - he was right!)

OK, so far it's just the dog...
Who dis man?  Why so many of him???

But soon these little boys grown ups will be home:
1993 - ages 4 and 6.  So cute!

And then?

 Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and get to enjoy spending time with your loved ones.  See you next week!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Owning It

  • I'm sick - finally gave in and went to the doctor on Monday.  Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in soon and I'll get my energy back.
  • My exercise for the month of December consists of standing for hours on end.  Short bursts of walking are also included.  That's it.  And that's all it's gonna be, until I'm done with this dumb job.
  • My appetite has been practically nil, although I did demolish an entire package (a small one, ok?) of peanut brittle the other evening.  That sugary, buttery goodness what just want I needed wanted needed.  And when I added up the calories?  I still hadn't come close to a normal amount for the day.  
  • I am over working retail at Christmas.  It was fun last year, but this year, they've just about doubled my hours, and apparently the fun stops after about four hours.  I'm working seven hour days all this week - you do the math...
The last week and a half has been rough.  I'm just enough of a big baby to see how working full-time would most likely wipe out me, my diet, and my exercise routine.  I give big props to those of you who manage to make it all work...because I'm hanging on by a thread, and I'm not even doing half of what I used to!  My normal life cannot return soon enough. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Exercise and Weight Loss Expectations

Not mine - Jeff's.  With all the running he's done over this year, he's lost weight.  Not to mention the changes to his eating that he's done since I began my journey (to fit!) - even though he travels all the time, now he almost never eats at any fast food restaurant other than Subway.   He really tries to make good choices, and that, along with the running, shows...he's had to buy new pants in a smaller size, and easily fits into size large shirts - I've finally convinced him to get rid of all of his old XL's as they are just tents on him now.  So obviously he's lost weight, right?

Well.  As I discovered when I trained for my half marathon, although my SIZE got smaller (and I did look good - much more "solid" than I do now), I actually gained about 5 pounds.  So on Friday morning, just before Jeff left for his sort-of annual physical (it's been a couple of years), he asked me how much I thought he weighed.  Loaded question, right?  Knowing that at one point he had been well into the 230's, I said 215.  He was surprised that I guessed so high, but I knew from my experience that while running does change your body shape for the better, it doesn't necessarily show up on the scale. 

When he came home, he was a little disappointed.  Although the doctor was happy with the weight he'd lost, he still clocked in at 213 pounds.  Now, that was after eating breakfast and drinking several cups of coffee (who DOES that before they are going to step on a scale???  oh yeah - men), and of course wearing regular clothes and shoes (has he learned NOTHING from my weigh-ins?? wear light clothing! flip flops!!).  So I'd say he was more like 210.  But he expected to weigh around 200 pounds.  I had similar expectations when I was working out a lot - that somehow all the sweat and effort I put into it would translate into a big loss on the scale.

It's a frustrating thing to accept, that exercise results do not always show up on the scale.  But they do translate to a healthier body, and I'm hoping that Jeff will be able to revise his expectations and be happy with how far he's come in the last year.  When I realized this, it was just one more reason why I stopped giving the scale so much weight (pardon the pun), and instead focused on my overall body size, health and fitness.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Mishmash - I Hab a Code Edition

The germs of the season finally got to me, and I have been dealing with a full-blown cold - the sneezing, watery eyes, congestion...what do you know, those TV commercial descriptions are correct!  While it's been pretty miserable and I haven't been sleeping well, I know that it'll be gone in a week, or seven least, that's what my Grandmother always said about colds, and she usually was right.  I guess I was due, considering that I haven't had one in several years - coincidentally, about the same time I started eating healthier and exercising.  But the germ factory of sick co-workers, customers, and money handling (even though I try to not touch my face AND wash my hands as often as I can while at work) finally got to me, and I'm now Typhoid Mary - and of course I went to work (the better to spread my germs!) because I'm not sick enough to stay home, and believe me, they need all hands on deck as people are shopping like crazy!  I swear, work in retail at the holidays and you'd never know there were any problems with the economy.


I have a "smart" phone, and occasionally it gets stuck, to the point where I can't even make a phone call with it.  I finally took it in to the Sprint store, and the technician there told me to think of it not as a phone, but as a computer that makes phone calls.  Okayyyy.  So apparently it needed the old "ctrl-alt-del" trick, which they did at the store (and showed me how to do it myself but do you think I can remember?  I'm counting on a google search to tell me next time I need it).  Another thing I need to change my thinking about - it's not a phone anymore, it's a computer!


While I don't recommend this for the long haul, and probably couldn't sustain it, one unexpected benefit from my seasonal job is weight loss.  Honestly, it could have gone either way - there always seems to be a plethora of treats in the back room for us (donuts, pastries from the local bakery, candy, cake, ice cream bars), but I decided on my first day there to not touch any of it - just not get started.  I'm always working over one mealtime, and while I can take a 20 minute break to eat, I've only been bringing a bottle of  light Honey Milk to tide me over.  So I guess you could say I'm sort-of doing a meal replacement diet, unintentionally - and honestly, we're so busy that I don't have time to notice any hunger.  Plus I think my protein-heavy breakfast and the protein in the Honey Milk helps with I said, I don't think this would work forever for me, but I have noticed that I no longer want to die when I put on my jeans, so yeah, some weight is coming off.  Woohoo - I'll take it, especially at this time of the year!


I need to make a public apology to Paco - for years now, he growls at the cats if they dare to come near him while he's gnawing a rawhide or one of his Nylabones.  We've always gotten onto him about that, because the cats have never taken one of his precious chews away.  Silly dog.  Except, apparently, they DO.  Well, Henry, anyway.  I was taking some pictures of Paco and Henry lolling around in the sunshine the other day, when the growling started.  LOOK:
And just when I thought Henry was done messing with Paco, he did this:
 I'm not doing anything...
Boop!  I touched your butt!
Annnnd, back to enjoying the morning sun.


A couple of contrasts with my Fashion Friday pictures this week.  Similar outfits, but in one, I felt thin.  The other?  Fat.  Weird, I know, but the way clothes fit me makes a big difference in my mood.
I felt stylish and slim in this outfit.  I dared to try something different (for me) with the animal print top - I was going for something brown to pull in the boot color.  Love these boots, btw - I am able to stand in them for 6 hours at work and not want to chop off my feet at the end of the day!
Close up of the top - love the bit of shirring and ruffle detail.  I never would have worn brown boots with a black skirt had it not been for Kristen, who gave me some fashion advice about mixing colors.  I think this worked - thanks, Kristen!

A few days later and a similar outfit - but in this, I felt fat and a bit frumpy.  Maybe I should have bought a smaller size in the top?  Or is the sweater (new - I wanted to try the long flowy style that is in now) too much fabric for me?  Also, I can tell that I was not feeling well - my cold had started the day I wore this outfit.
 Something about this outfit isn't working for me, but I don't quite know what.
I like the way the sweater looks from the back with the elastic adding some shape to it.  Also, this picture made me laugh when I uploaded it - Paco must have thought we were standing guard (ok, you take that side and I take dis side).

Once again, with my clothes, I'm reminded that I need to be more picky with what I buy - just because it's a deal doesn't mean it's a good buy, especially if I don't feel spectacular (or at least good) in it!


Have a great weekend - I am done with all of my Christmas shopping and wrapping (woohoo!), so I get to laze around (well, after I work on Saturday), which, after the last few super-busy weekends, sounds very nice to me!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update

I've been active, but I haven't been "working out" - and while I feel a little guilty, it's actually been a sanity saver for me to not add the 2.5 hours of gym time to my day.  I know that for those of you who work full time must think I'm being a baby, but dang, people...between my part-time seasonal job (retail at the holidays - what was I thinking?!?), the extra stuff I need to do for Christmas, and the super-cold weather (seriously, what's up with this - I thought Texas was supposed to have a mild winter this year), I'm hanging by a thread some days.  My lists have lists.  I'm working at getting things done while actually remembering to take time to enjoy the season - some nights I even turn on the lights on the Christmas tree, sit down, and just relax.  What a concept!

OK, so in the REALLY?!? category of my life, I have developed tendonitis in my left foot/ankle.  Which would explain the pain I've been experiencing since walking (walking!  I can't even walk!!) the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day.  Honestly, it was hurting so bad that I had convinced myself that I had the same injury on the left ankle as the right!  So I guess tendonitis is not terrible, but frack, it hurts.  My doctor said it's because I've been favoring the right ankle.  I swear, I can't win.  He had me get some arch supports, which do help when I can wear them, but they don't fit into my dress shoes, so I'm still standing at work for 5 or 6 hours without them.  He also said to lay off the walking until the swelling goes down.  Not easy to comply with that, between the job and participating in life, aka spectating the half marathon in Dallas and working a water stop at the BCS Marathon last Sunday.  I guess I'll heal in January?  Needless to say, I'm beyond frustrated at this point.

To recap:  No swimming.  No walking.  No formal exercise at all.  After the first week in January, I'll be done with this job and can get back to my regular life - and even if it's too cold to swim, I will find something to do at the gym...maybe I'll get brave and take a spin class!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Sunday, Another Race...

Yesterday was the inaugural race of the BCS Marathon and Half Marathon.  A few of our running club people participated in it, while the majority of us manned the water station at the 16.5 mile mark.  Why oh why couldn't we have had this weather for the Dallas Marathon?!?  It was cold, yes, but sunny and clear.  No rain.  Amazing what a difference that one factor - precipitation - can make.  It was funny, though, how we all were still suffering a little PTSD from the cold, rainy day of a week ago - one of our guys brought out a propane heater, while we all wore layers upon layers of dry clothes, and I even bought a pair of rubber rain boots, thinking that otherwise, I'd end up with wet shoes from splashy water handoffs to the runners.  And yes, I wish I'd thought to buy them for last week...oh well. 

I'll admit that when my alarm went off at 6:30 am, the last thing I wanted to do was get up and go stand in the cold for several hours, but I have to say that this was really fun and so inspiring to see runners - both the ones who made it look effortless (at mile 16.5, no less!) and the ones who, you could tell, were feeling every step.  While running a marathon is something that you choose to do, and it seems like a good idea at the time, it sure takes a lot of inner strength and determination to make it to the end.  I'm glad we were able to offer some encouragement along with water and Gatorade - oh, and mini Milky Way candy bars - Julia was given one toward the latter part of her marathon last week, and she swore that made the difference in getting through the race, so she brought a bag for the runners.

For a runner (I can still call myself that, right?), I found the behind-the-scenes part of the race interesting - usually, I just run the race and at some point(s) come across a water station.  Magic?  Apparently not!  We were given a time to arrive and set up - the tables, water and cups had been dropped off at our spot, but we (and I'm saying the royal *we* since some of our group had already arrived and started setting up by the time Jeff and I negotiated road closures to get there) set up the tables, filled the first round of cups, put up signs, started playing some music thanks to a generator being brought by one of our runners, and (of course) posed for pictures:
Moving the Gatorade table closer to the street - we were told to be off the street when the runners came by.
 Water first, Gatorade second...
 USA Fit BCS!  Don't let Jeff's shorts fool you - it WAS cold.  I'm wearing three layers under my coat! 
 Fun crew of ladies!  My half homie, Julia, is in the center...but now I have to call her a full homie since she ran her first marathon last week!
Will showed up dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow - he stood at the turn and hollered and waved his swore for the runners - they loved it!  He was a great distraction for them.
 Waiting for the first runner to come through...
The entire reason we were out there - the runners!
Yay - another runner! 
We were also responsible for cleaning up the cup trash - here's Rand coming back after picking up a discarded cup...we had the cleanest aid station by far thanks to him and Stan - all morning they kept up with the trash!

Nearly two years ago, when I was going to run my first race, I remember Helen giving me some advice about the water stations - she said to pick out one person and point to them so they'd know you were going to reach for their cup.  The races I did were never that crazy at the water stations by the time I got there, so that wasn't necessary for me, but this race?  We were told that some runners were trying to qualify for Boston and the Olympic trials, and to be really careful about not impeding their way.  So we were understandably a bit nervous when the first few runners approached.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I realized that as I stood there with a cup of Gatorade held out, a runner pointed at me!  Oooh!  I knew what he meant - I was in the club!!!  That happened many times yesterday - and the handoffs went really well with minimal splashing or missing the runner completely.  Quite cool!
 My new rubber rainboots kept my feet nice and dry - Paco approved them.
Again, why didn't I think about getting these before Dallas?!?  My mind, it boggles me.

While this was fun, and I have no intentions or desire to run a full marathon, I sure would like to be on the other side of the Gatorade table soon.