Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hey all! My apologies that the little break stretched into a 2 week deal! I am doing MUCH better & really just needed to be lost in my thoughts.

I'm heading out of town with Kevin to visit his brother for a couple days but will be back to blogging next week!

Last night, I hit a little breaking point in my life in relation to my health. Only good things to come!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Monday, July 27, 2009


I'm just sharing this with you all today. It was 3 years ago today that my Mom went to walk with Jesus. I miss her with every inch of my soul but know that she's smiling down on me daily.

This is such an amazing song & we had a dear friend sing it at her memorial service. I wanted to share it with you all.

My heart is filled with the joy of knowing that I will be married in just 7 short months to the man of my dreams! The date of the "27th" will always be bittersweet in my life but for today it will be joyful & filled with remembering!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Taking some time.

Chris, Mom, Pat (my running mentor) & Me at the 2004 Chicago Marathon (my first full marathon!)

Just a quick note. I may not be blogging much this week because if I do 1) you are going to get bored & 2) it might turn into a sob fest.

This is a difficult week for me still though it's only been about 3 years since my Mom died. It's hard nonetheless & I always have a hard time not re-living the week's events. They are still too fresh in my head & on my heart.

We can easily make new friends, start new relationships, etc but never in our lives can we replace our parents. That is a void that can never be filled.

I have so much happiness in my life & God's blessings are clearly abundant but the sadness still remains.

So this week I'll just be taking time to remember my Mom.

My parents

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Own your power!

It's such a gorgeous Saturday afternoon here in the Region! Sunny, a cool 70 degrees & not a cloud in the sky! Odd for a summer day but I'll take it!

I knocked out some cardio this morning, got groceries & have been doing laundry at home. Tonight's plan is to head downtown (just in Valpo) for a free concert a bike shop is putting on from 5-7. I suspect we'll eat at one of the downtown eateries that has a patio so it's a multi-tasked trip. Should be a good evening as long as the rain doesn't sprout up. If that happens, we'll head to Merrillville for dinner & the movie.

So today during cardio, I was reading the new SELF magazine (the one with Jillian Michaels on the cover) & in the article she talked about giving your power away. What she meant by that was when people come up to her on the street & says "you saved my life" or "it's because of you that I lost 30 pounds." Her point is that that person did the work, she did nothing but provide the motivation. It was a pretty good article. She comes off as much less hard-ass than she does on the show.

Have you given your power away? Do you ever let someone or something have control over your life? Do you OWN your life?

Our lives are always what we make them..good or bad. It's our choice. Yes, I fully believe in God & that our lives are laid out long before we enter the world but there's that little thing called free will that gives us an option. Would you willingly choose to give your power away?

Just a thought for the day. Give yourself credit for what YOU have accomplished. You may have had some encouragement to get there but ultimately it was YOU that did the work & crossed the finish line!

Enjoy your day!

***No fun picture for today since the laptop isnt cooperating!***

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday..woot woot!

All hail the day that we all look forward to the most!! The station that my alarm is set to plays the funniest Friday song EVER & I tried to find it online but with no success. It make you giggle & at times Kevin will do a little dance to it too. Dont tell him I

We opted to not run this morning, mostly because my body was tired. It turned into an incline treadmill walk instead. Then I did abs & foam rolled at home. Wowza my back is already sore from yesterday. Good stuff!

Not sure what's on the agenda for the weekend just yet but I think it'll be low-key. Maybe going to see a movie or just picking one up to watch at home. I did see that The Proposal is in the Five Buck Club so maybe we'll catch that! I'm also thinking about making some tasty stuffed peppers tomorrow that we can have for 2 night's worth of dinners.

I need a dessert idea though. Last weekend I made my friend's super easy Taffy Apple Salad. I'll post that on the recipe page in a bit. Ideas for me?

Have a FANTASTIC weekend all!

ps...yep, we are getting married at the Luxor and here's a pic from our first vacation ever! It was actually to Vegas in 2007 for the Olympia!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Afternoon! I've actually started to blog a few times today but then dont have much to say....GASP!?! I'm just in a the "go with the flow" mood today! That's a good thing right?

Wedding stuff has really been on the agenda for the most part today. Emailing with the catering person at the hotel. We have made some decisions about our "after party" as I'll call it. Instead of a dinner in Vegas, we are hosting dessert & cocktails for our guests. This will allow us more budget for our big reception here. Though it's not as big as it could be because the room is limited to less guests that we thought but all will be fine!

Anyway, Save the Dates have gone out & I cannot wait for our family to receive them. Only my Maid of Honor has seen them so everyone will be 100% surprised. So fun!

Things are just falling into place & that gets me super excited. Moreso just to become Mrs. B but to celebrate too!

We ran last night (about 4.5 miles) in the crazy heat & humidity with the sun beating down. Oddly enough, it felt pretty good. On our route, we passed Valpo Velvet ice cream & while I saw my friend's car, we didnt stop. I got home to a message from her because she saw us! There was alot of folks out in the downtown area inspite of the heat!

This morning I trained & have been keeping entertained at work all day. Tonight's plans are just making dinner for Kevin & I, running some errands & just vegging out.

Hope your day has been a great one!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I spied with my eagle eye.... BABY BUNNIES!!!!! I saw one having a little snack in the backyard last night! I was so happy to see them as the others have grown & gone away. I need to refill the bird feeder (they munch on what the birds drop) to see how many there are!

I had the alarm set for a walk this morning but it was storming something fierce so I just tinkered at home. We are running after work anyway. It's gonna be a humid one after all this rain!

That's it for now. I've got some things to tend to here at work & then a few wedding tasks as well :)

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Work schmerk!

I've been really busy the last couple days at work which leaves me no play time. Argh! lol

Had a good workout this morning with the boy & tossed in some abs. We are cutting back on the weights (just focusing on upper body) to run more! Yay! I will toss in a plyo workout or something on Saturday's when he's at work...maybe. I think the running is enough for my stems, IMO. When I was running ALOT, I rarely trained legs.

My Grandma's surgery went great & when I got there to see her (which was a surprise) she was chatting with my Aunt & Grandpa while answering the nurses questions. It was awesome to see her doing well. It was an easy procedure but anytime you go under anesthesia it's a little scary!

I really think that it for the moment! Boring, eh? Well, you know...that's just the way I like it!

ps...did I mention that I actually cleaned house BEFORE work today? Will check my temperature later! ha!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A new day!

So, we all have those moments were we feel that today is the beginning of the rest of my life. For me, today is no different.

Let's back track. On Friday, I posted a pretty deep/heavy post about friends. I really realized that people in our lives that cause animosity are not really friends. It shouldn't be that way. So I guess that really sealed my thoughts on that whole situation. I cannot thank you all enough (I say that ALOT) for sharing your own experiences. It really meant alot to hear your struggles with friendships & while I've been through this before, it never makes it easier!

With that, I realized that I had not been the best friend I could be to someone that had become very dear to me. I get sucked into drama, become someone I'm not proud of & let those that really are what I need in my life fall to the side. I emailed my friend to apologize & hope that she forgives me for that behavior. I knew her long before many so want to preserve that friendship if possible.

Sunday was an amazing day at church too. It was the grand opening of our new worship center. Appropriately enough, our band opened with U2's Beautiful Day. You know what? It completely was! I had my favorite aunt in town & she sang next to me. The most beautiful voice EVER! Aunt Pat makes me smile & is the closest thing to my Mom that I have sometimes. They were very close & though she's actually my Dad's sister, it's like having Mom there!

Got ahead of myself. Friday night, I got to visit with my oldest & dearest friend, her kids & her cousin (who I've known just as long.) We had the best time talking about everything under the sun. When I get to see them, it's like we saw each other yesterday. What could be better than that? I left Tammy's hotel at almost 1230am & could've kept chatting. I'll post a couple pics once she get's them on FB!

Saturday night, we headed to BW-3 to watch the UFC fights. I knew my good friend, Nicole was going to be joining us but was happy to have Kevin's roommate & his girlfriend also come too! We had so much fun! Great fights that night too!

Overall, it was a pleasant weekend enjoyed with great friends! I also got alot of yardwork done & scrubbed my garage floor! My body is still tired today but not tired enough that I couldnt plug along a run this morning.

After work today, I'm going to the hospital to visit my Gram. She's having surgery today (nothing major) but I want to go check on her & maybe grab dinner with my Aunt Pat & Grandpa.

I face this week with some clarity about what's important in life, who really is dear to me & why I live the life I do. I know that God is with me, always looking out for me & will never let me be hurt. Yes, I have to go THROUGH hurts but he will never let me BE hurt as long as I trust. You know that "gut" feeling we always get. It's not "gut," it's God. I will learn to trust him more!

Have a FANTASTIC day!

Friday, July 10, 2009

When to let go.

I find myself a hair-bit irritated today. I do not like drama, I do not like the he said, she said stuff, I do not keep alot of close friends because that's just how I am. I keep in touch with quite a few people via email, text, etc though sometimes that's even sparse. It's just part of me & a defense mechanism that was instilled when my brother died. You do funny things at the age of 10 to cope. Hello eating disorder.

Anyway, sometimes I feel that even though friendships can be made & bonds can become close, I also feel that sometimes friendships are not really meant to be. People come into your life for a season, that season passes & while it's not always easy to part ways, I know in my heart when that time comes.

So I get confused when I dont hear from "parted ways" for a long time then all the sudden the contacts pop up once again. I'm not trying to be hurtful & would NEVER EVER hurt anyone intentionally but sometimes it's just time to let go.

I've had my feelings hurt & probably hurt others without realizing I did it. I did reach out to an old friend recently after learning of a family struggle. I put on my big girl panties to let her know that I was thinking of her family. It was the right thing to do. We may or may not cross paths again but letting someone know you are praying for them in times like that is just important.

Now I'm faced with how to handle my current situation. Respond, let it go, etc? I really dont know how I'll handle it to be honest. Again, I dont want to hurt people & want people feeling like I've been someone I wasnt. That is not the case at all but I've been taught by a very wise woman who walks with Jesus now that sometimes just letting go is the best.

Gah, I wish I could ask her for advice now.

Sorry to be so heavy lately. I guess that's where my head is at the moment. But wait, it's MY blog ;) lol

Honestly though, life is good. I'm carrying on facing each day knowing that it really could be my last. Enjoying the friends & family that have been by my side for a very long time. And equally enjoying the new family that I will join come February!

My weekend is filled with lifelong friends, newer friends who've still been around for a long time, beer, wings & some UFC fights!

How would you handle the situation I described? AND what are you doing this weekend?

I suspect this could have folks wondering..OMG is it me? I suspect that the individuals this involves do NOT read this blog. So dont go getting all paranoid on me, K? lol

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Moments in time.

Do you ever have those moments where you just FEEL the world is bigger than you are? Or those moments where you just KNOW that God is holding you in the palm of His hands in that very second? Maybe He's whispering in your ear something that you don't quite catch but you know without a doubt that He's there?

That was me driving home from work yesterday! As I got stopped at the lights, I read the comments from yesterday's blog. I cannot even begin to stay THANK YOU enough for the truly thoughtful comments. They really touched my heart. I journaled on the Oxygen forums for almost 2 years & walked away from that board some time ago...just lurking to read but lately dont even do that anymore. Anyway, it really means alot that some of you have continued to follow the blog & keep up with me. And it's equally amazing to have new readers & folks comments. You can never know how much it truly means to know that I've inspired some of you.

My sole purpose in blogging is to just share my life, vent my frustrations & ultimately help someone know that they CAN get healthy & do not have to be stuck in the rut that life holds them in! So if I can encourage one person over the course of my journey then that makes it worth blabbering ;)

So as I drove thinking of the comments, I had this overwhelming urge to sing. Not just any song but songs of praise! So I switched out the ABBA ;) from the CD player & replaced it with a WOW CD that was left in the Blazer from my Mom (it was her vehicle.) I knew precisely what song I wanted & sang at the top of my lungs with the biggest smile on my face! It was a humbling, blessed moment!

I want to share that song with you.

The next song came on the CD & normally when I sing this song I cry. The thought of the whole song is humbling yet today I sang again with a HUGE grin on my face. It's humbling to know Him & be comforted in knowing that I dont have to fix the world.

This month is overwhelming for me but I'm learning again that piece of me can be filled again. It'll never be the same but that's okay. We continue to grow & restore with Faith.

A little heavy today but that's what was in my heart so I felt that I needed to share. I know we share different beliefs, faiths, etc but when it's laid on your heart to share we should no matter what our friends believe. It doesn't ever have to be preachy. Just a simple message.

Enjoy your day & thanks again for touching MY life in so many ways!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Random ramblings

Yes, this will indeed just be a string of random thoughts that have crossed my head lately!

1) I have a friend in the hospital & would LOVE prayers (or whatever you've got) that she's okay. As of yesterday, they were testing her for a mini-stroke.

2) My best friend has been through HECK & back only to find herself in the middle of a storm yet again. She's got the strength to get through with God's grace. But a litle prayer there would be great!

3) Do you ever get tired of weight training? Gah, I so am wanting to scrap it for a bit & just being a cardio bunny (or more of one anyway.) Is that bad? Do I need a break?

4) Wedding guest lists are a bit nerve-wracking. I keep forgetting very important people & it makes me feel bad. Partly because with that, it means cutting others to make room. Feelings will be hurt & there's no way to avoid that. How'd you manage that part? A BIG part of the "cutting" is due to finances. I just dont want the wedding to be a financial burden on my Daddy. That's MY part...not something he's ever said to me.

5) Clif Z-bars are REALLY good! I got a box of 24 at Sam's Club for less than $10! Yes, they are kids bars but I dont care :)

6) It's raining. Why? Because I worked on the wedding list instead of mowing my lawn last night. Oops!

7) Do you fear soy? Drink it? Eat it? Keep away from it because someone or something says it "might" be bad for you?

8) Anyone tried the Coldstone Cupcakes? I've seen them & wonder if they are tasty. (Just heard that commercial while typing..see I told you RANDOM!)

9) My Dad just told me that his dog's "failing" in some ways. He's an old guy (the fluffy lump from under my desk.) He was my Mom's dog so Dad always says he inherited him when Mom died. It'll be soooo awful when he passes.

10) Kevin's "making" me run 2 days in a row so he's not sore for golfing tomorrow! lol

11) I'm hungry & debating dinner at the moment. I want to be naughty but that still makes me feel guilty.

12) Why guilt? Because my head still makes me think sometimes in terms of food rules. Things like no fat with starches, limited fruit, protein at every meal, cheats only once a week, etc. Do they drive you nuts too? I dont live by them much anymore but that little guilt sneaks in. Never fear...I'll squash it!

Random indeed!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I'm currently watching the Michael Jackson Memorial. It's a bit tough with my own personal stuff this month but it's taking me back to the day that I bought my first cassette. Thriller of course ;)

And I just have to say that I think Queen Latifah is gorgeous. Strong, beautiful & a woman that can represent "real" women of the world.

Hope your day is a good one!

ps...yes, I changed the way I list my workouts. The other page was going to become to redundant. I like this way better.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm in love....

Meet Emma. She belongs to Kevin's sister & brother-in-law. Born just a couple days later than expected but she graced the world on the 4th of July. Like her soon-to-be, Auntie Heather, she wanted a holiday birthday :) Mine is New Year's Day for the record. lol She's just precious & I cannot wait to meet her. I suspect that'll happen early August when she & Mommy come to go wedding dress shopping with me & her Granny (who's loving her big-time right now!)

Speaking of wedding, I just got word from my groom-to-be that my Save the Dates are complete. It makes my heart go pitter patter (almost as much as looking at baby pics!) I will get my addresses together & get labels printed.

We had a great weekend doing alot of little things.

Friday had dinner at Hacienda, shopped, drove the lakeshore & went to the boat (I was $30 richer when we left.)

Saturday went for a run, shopped at Sam's Club, watched a movie, had dinner at BW-3 & sat on my porch watching neighbors set off fireworks with beverages in hand (wine for me & Michelob Ultra for Kevin.)

Sunday we went to the final service in the church's current sanctuary & got a glimpse of the new worship center. It was very overwhelming to see friend's come to the stage with just a piece of cardboard sharing their story. Some lived with abuse, neglect, addiction, regret, loss, etc. It was a tearful reminder that I said my final good-bye to my Mom in that very place as well. My friend's husband's poster said this "Opiate addiction left me for dead" and the flipside read this "but I was saved again by God's grace." God is good.

We spent a couple hours driving around the area because it was so nice. We did that as kids & it was so nice to just veg out taking in the sights.

I made us a big dinner last night...grilled steaks, oven potatoes & corn on the cob. It was intended for Saturday but it was raining. Dessert was our fave lowfat poundcake, FF vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries & a blob (yes, blob) of lite cool whip.

It was a low-key weekend & honestly one of the nicest I could have asked for :)

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend & shared in some blessings!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Sometimes when things just seem like they are falling into place, speed bumps rivaling the size of the Appalachian Mountains surface. I won't go into specifics but it's save to say that my poor Dad can use some prayers. He sounds broken but is doing his best to keep his spirits up. I simply asked God to cut him a break.

Today has been a quiet one in the office (thankfully.) I've still been searching for a decent hotel deal for us to stay in the city (Chicago) tomorrow but it looks like we'll be heading home after the fireworks. It's totally fine but it's always nice to be able to crash up there!

Our holiday plan is to hit the Taste of Chicago tomorrow evening (or earlier depending on my work day), catch the July 3rd Fireworks (yep, the city is odd like that) & then head home. I will say that the Chicago fireworks are listed as some of the best in the country. On the actual 4th, I suspect we'll go for a run or hit the gym for cardio then just grill out for us unless something earthshattering exciting comes our way.

Sunday, Kevin is going to church with me. It's the last service in the current sanctuary. Our church has been in the process of building a huge worship center that will open next weekend. Back to Sunday....this will be a very emotional service for so many. There are so many happy times, sad times, tragic times, etc that we've all experience there. Heck, the first time my Dad was ever there was for my Mom's service & now is there every week unless he's out of town. My uncle & his girlfriend (who we reconnected with when Mom died) are now members. My best friend & her family go there (I started attending with them.) And we have other friends that we've introduced to the church as well. So on Sunday, it will be a farewell to so many emotional moments. To top it all off, they will be having members give testimonials & my BFF's husband will be sharing his story. I wont spill alot here since I know some folks may not know the whole story (& may read the blog.) I will just say that some will be floored to know what he's gone through. I know that tears will be shed. I've already warned Kevin! lol

And just to end on a higher note. This is what I found on my bathroom counter on Saturday afternoon when I went up to get ready! Isn't he a riot?!? My sweet little (okay, not so little) Alex.

Have a fantastic holiday weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I like the dots...hehehehe (oh & I like Dots.) Sorry, corny but I found it amusing :) lol

So I did my "official" one month weigh-in & measurements. I'm down 3 pounds for the month of June & I think 7 inches! The inches mostly came from my waist, hips & thighs. Not a bad thing indeed! I think that's a realistic amount to drop for one month. I always go up during TOM & it takes at least a week to drop back down so one week of the month is a neutral ;)

I'm feeling good & definitely seeing changes in the mirror.

So how am I doing it? Well, I'm eating. I'm not counting macros or calories though we all know (especially WW folks) that you can still tally points in your head. I suspect I'm eating an average of 1500 calories per day if you really want to know. TONS of fruit, veggies (not tons), lean proteins & I always start the day with a smoothie. ALWAYS! I've been doing that for about a month now.

My smoothies always consist of FF milk or light soymilk, FF plain yogurt, ground flaxseed, honey, 1/2 scoop of protein powder, a banana, frozen berries of some sort & frozen spinach. It's such a great way to start the day, it's filling & I read in Thrive that your body best processes shakes after workouts. No...I'm not becoming vegan (after you click the link you'll understand that) but I love reading nutrition books of all sorts & this is a GREAT read!

Back to how I'm doing it, I'm having a more open weekend with eats but not going overboard. We even chowed a casino buffet this weekend & I didnt gain an ounce!

I'm working out 3 days a week with weights, doing 15-20 min of cardio on training days & 30-40 mins on non-training days (typically only 30 unless I'm running) and I'm taking at least 1 day off a week.

So that's what I'm doing. I'm LIVING! It's fun, I feel great & I'm not giving anything all! Did I mention the dark chocolate I have on some nights? Trader Joe's has the 100 calorie bars of 70% dark chocolate. So yummy!

I feel like no matter what the scale says that I'm living my best life. I'm grateful for that! I am ME, I am STRONG, I am DETERMINED & I am going to take nothing for granted!

Bring on July!