Saturday, January 31, 2015

Month in Review: January 2015

Books I've Read

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
I'm surprised that I haven't read this book before now, as I'm a lover of true crime books. And this is the second most famous true crime book after Helter Skelter. I have to say this book really freaked me out at times, meaning I could only read it during the day time. That is a rarity for me, that has only happened when I read Helter Skelter, and parts of the Stranger Beside Me (the book about Ted Bundy).  I did enjoy this read, as much as you can enjoy the retelling of such a tragic tale. I think the psychology behind it, is what is fascinating to me most of all.

Mary Poppins She Wrote by Valerie Lawson
I decided to read this book because I so loved the movie Saving Mr. Banks. But I knew from researching on my own that the move was of course, Disneyfied (which I have no problem with because I'm a Disneyphile). So I wanted to know a little on the real story of the making of Mary Poppins and the life of P.L. Travers.  I really enjoyed this book! What an interesting life Travers had, and she was such a feisty woman. It made me appreciate one of my favorite Disney movies, Mary Poppins, even more. Even if the movie was much, much different than the books. 

Movies I've Seen

I was so excited to see this movie because I absolutely loved the book, which I read a year ago. This movie was only playing in one theater in Huntsville, and I was thrilled because I thought I would have to wait for the DVD release. I thought it was an excellent book to movie adaptation. The writers only left out a few aspects of the book that I could recall. And I could tell why they did, as it would have cluttered up the movie narrative. The movie is less raw than the book. I found the book hard to read at times, because I felt her pain so acutely. I didn't have the same reaction to the movie surprisingly. But it doesn't mean it wasn't good. I just always respond more to the written word.

In Cold Blood
After I finished the book,  my mom lent me her copies of the original 1967 movie In Cold Blood. The movie really focused on the manhunt for the killers, and I think it was an overall good overview of the life of the killers. It was suspenseful and creepy at times, but it did not always hold my attention all the way throughout.

Of course, after I finished In Cold Blood, I needed to watch Capote. This move was so enthralling. I really liked learning more about Capote and his process for writing the book.  It made me wonder about the relationship between him and one of the murderers (Perry Smith). It was fascinating how the whole process of writing the book became his whole life (and he never wrote again after this book). The movie made me want to learn more about Capote.

The Honeymoon Killers
My mom basically forced me to watch this movie over the weekend  that I was recovering from surgery. I enjoyed it well enough, but it was not my favorite. It did make me want read the wikipedia page about The Honeymoon Killers, but really that was the only thing I got out of the movie. 

Books Read in 2015: (2)
Movies Watched in 2015: (4)  

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Eating after Weight Loss Surgery: Salted Caramel Protein Hot Chocolate

I really, really love hot chocolate. Especially now that I've lost so much weight, and I am literally freezing all the time. I am never found around my house without a sweatshirt on and a thick pair of socks. And their is a constant battle over the thermostat going on in our marriage. So what is more warming on a cold winter night than hot chocolate?

I have been experimenting with different ways that I can enjoy hot chocolate guilt free for a while now. And I have found several varieties I do like. I like the sugar free hot chocolate packets well enough, and I have had luck with just simply heating up some of my pre-packaged protein shakes and then adding some sugar free syrups to them. But this is my favorite way to make hot chocolate, although it takes a little bit more effort (but not by much). I adapted this recipe from the recipe found on Bariatric Foodie.

1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or skim milk)
8 oz. boiling water
Sugar-Free Sea Salt Caramel Syrup (I use Torani)
1 big Spoonful of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use unjury chocolate classic)
3-4 Packets Artificial Sweetener

Combine protein powder, sweetener, and cocoa powder in a large mug. Add milk and stir until well combined. It should be thick but smooth.

Add boiling water, a little at a time, stirring as you go. Add the sea salt caramel syrup to taste. I just kind of pour in the amount I want. I'm not big on measuring. So taste test until it is to your liking. 


This is just one of the many tasty ways I get my protein in!

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Weekend Report & Runs for Cookies Virtual 5k

I kicked off the weekend by meeting my mother for tea and lunch at the Sweetest Things Tea Room. It was a rainy and cold winter day, and that creme brulee tea was heavenly and warm. After our entree, we split a piece of the most wonderful tasting red velvet cake I've ever had. I'm really glad I have a small stomach now, because otherwise I could have eaten ten thousand pieces of that cake.

Friday night, we turned in our cable box, as we have decided to forgo cable for a while, and we will just stick with netflix for now to save a little money. I'll be honest, it all makes me a little ancy. Yes, some of our shows are available online, but I did have to give up some. We have done this before, and I guess really it is never a bad thing to watch a little less TV. But I was thinking I should keep some sort of diary of the whole experience, you know like I was a castaway on a deserted island. 

Day 1: spent several hours searching for something to watch on netflix, finally settling on finishing the most recent season of Orange is the New Black. Day 2: Watched all Disney movies on netflix in one setting.

Saturday morning, I had to go into my office because I left my workout clothes at work, and I wasn't going to use my lack of tennis shoes as an excuse not to work out. Of course, while I was there I got the wild hair that I should mop my office floor. As I never have time, and it is so messy. I hate that floor sometimes because I swear every time I mop it it doesn't look much cleaner. Maybe I need to bring my mop from home, perhaps it would do a better job? But I'm happy to have that task behind me regardless. Hoping when I get to the office tomorrow I will notice a difference. 

The rest of Saturday was spent grocery shopping, napping, playing Lego Marvel, and finishing season two of Orange is the New Black. And can we talk about how awful it is that I have to wait till summer for the next season? I also came up with a recipe for salted caramel protein hot chocolate, that is completely guilt free and completely amazeballs. 

Sunday morning I went to church, and in the afternoon I went for my first run longer than a mile since wisdom teeth surgery. One of my favorite bloggers, Katie @ Runs for Cookies, was hosting her 3rd annual virtual 5k to celebrate her birthday. I really wanted to do this last year, but it was so soon after my surgery, that I could not. I figured committing to running this race would be a good goal to get me back on track with my half marathon training.

I was nervous to run, as it feels like it has been forever since I've really ran. I will admit that first mile was hard, and I wanted to quit. But after the first mile, my breathing normalized, and I started to feel good. Although I have slowed a tiny bit, since I took the break. I was still pleased to finish in 40:07. I now feel confident again about my half marathon. So I want to say happy birthday to Katie and  thank you for helping me get back going again. 

Today also happens to be my niece Kayla's 18th birthday. I can't believe it. Just yesterday she was my little Kay Bear, and now she is my legal and grown Kay Bear. I'm getting old, Wah!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 3

Click on Images to Enlarge
This week of project life was an interesting one because this is the first week of this year that I felt I didn't do much that was very interesting. But I think that is what I am liking about this project. I have to think about how to document the little things that make up everyday life. Even the mundane, somewhat boring stuff.

The bulk of week 3 of 2015 was devoted to having and recovering from wisdom teeth surgery. Heck, I'm still recovering from surgery! Don't be fooled, dental surgery is a big deal! So I documented the arsenal of medicines I had to take, the pajamas I lazed around in, the milkshakes I attempted to consume, and our little trip to Ihop on Saturday night (our attempt to beat my severe, post-surgery, cabin fever). Plus, pancakes are soft and easy to eat when your entire mouth hurts. Also, I watched so many movies last week because I was home from work, that I decided to document them as well.

On the right side, I documented the Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole that I made, Carlee (my mom's dog) staying the night, and the arrival of my skirt for the Princess Half Marathon. I also put in a blurb about how Adam and I finished story mode of the Lego Marvel video game. Of course (as heartbreaking as it was), I included a little about the Packer's loss to the Seahawks. I did that by taking a photo of our cheeseheads being tucked away for the year in our closet, and I also added Adam's facebook status about the loss.

The materials I used this week included the week number card set I got from Studio Calico and Project Life Core Kit Kraft edition.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One Month Plus One Day

The pieces of my Belle inspired running costume for the Princess Half Marathon have started coming in, and I'm starting to love it. I am still waiting on a few portions of the costume to come in the mail, I'm really thinking the costume is going to be great! Tomorrow the race will be exactly one month away, and I'm starting to get nervous.

Part of the reason I'm nervous is my wisdom teeth surgery has really slowed me down. I haven't run in a week, and I haven't gotten in a run over 6 miles in two weeks Well, actually that is not true. I ran a mile on Sunday night, before my mouth started to hurt, and I had to quit.  Then, my mother came over and caught me running, and then she got mad at me. She said I could have wiggled loose my blood clots and aggravated my gums. I think she is paranoid, but she called me DUMB. Who knows, maybe she is right.

My goal is to get back on track tomorrow with my weekday half hour runs. I am paranoid that I've lost all my stamina, and I will never get it back, and I won't complete the race (probably a stupid worry). I need to at least be running ten miles again by half marathon time. I think the adrenaline can get me through the last 3 miles. Plus, I'm not worried about running the whole half marathon. This is my first half, and I just want to finish (hopefully in an up-right position).

Finishing the half-marathon is my number one goal right now, and I'm so overwhelmed with the want to achieve this goal that I am totally freaking myself out. But I'm always freaking myself out over one thing or another. But the other part of this nervous equation of knowing that I only have a month until I have to run a half-marathon is the pure excitement of knowing I only have one MONTH until I'm in Disney world!!

One month till Disney people, this is going to be epic.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Eating After Weight Loss Surgery: Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

I have really been feeling like doing some cooking lately. I haven't done much cooking since I had surgery, I have cooked occasional meals for Adam, which I didn't eat. Or a few things here or there for myself, but it is rare. But I have a cookbook specifically for people who have had weight loss surgery, and I have made several pinterest boards full of recipes that would be good options for me, and I need to start trying them out. 

So today I made pepperoni pizza cauliflower casserole via this recipe.  I really love pizza, and I used to eat it like it was my job pre-surgery. But now I just have a few bites here and there, so I would love to find something to fill my pizza cravings!

This turned out surprisingly good! It was pretty simple to make, I even bought frozen cauliflower to make it easier. It was creamy and cheesy, and it even smelled like pizza when it was baking in the oven.

OK, so it's no deep dish sausage pizza smothered in ranch dressing or a slice from mellow mushroom. But it will do. I think next time I will take the suggestion of adding a little pizza sauce to make it even more authentic.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

A Wisdom (Teeth) Less Age

This morning I had one of the worst food experiences of my entire life. Which says a lot, because I have had numerous, terrible food experiences. I had a sandwich once (I can't even remember what kind) in an Italy airport where  the texture was so mealy & awful, I can still conjure up the taste 10 years later, and it still makes me cringe. I once drank milk over a month expired at my Dad's house, a mistake I can chalk up to having a terrible cold that totally cut off my sense of smell.

But none of these experiences are as bad as this morning, when I ate a bite of watermelon. Yeap, that's right watermelon.  Because on Wednesday morning, I had my wisdom teeth removed. And I forgot that watermelon is very juicy and very acidic. It is not at all HARMLESS. That acid got into those open holes and it burned. For 15 whole minutes I was dying, I may never view watermelon the same way again.

Also after the watermelon incident, Adam said I shouldn't even eat watermelons right now because watermelon has seeds. And what if one of those seeds got into the holes in my gums, and then the gums healed over the seed, and I grew a watermelon in my mouth. 

This was not at all helpful.

Recovering from this surgery has been a lot harder than I would have thought. I have had a lot of pain, in some ways, more pain than I did after my stomach surgery. That was just discomfort, but do you know how much you use your mouth? Yeah, you use it all the time. I have taken way more pain medicine as well.

Eating has been difficult, which you would think that one year post weight loss surgery I would be used to complicated eating. But all of my usual foods were too difficult to chew, and I was starting to get weak from not eating. So out of desperation, I allowed Adam to bring me a Coconut Cream Pie milkshake from Sonic. I won't lie I was sort of excited about this indulgence.  Do you know how long it has been since I had a milkshake? But just as most sweets taste to me now, I really didn't enjoy it that much. And all the sugar just sat on my stomach in a weird way. So now I'm sticking to mainly greek yogurt and a few bites of Adam's shells and cheese to keep me going.

I am also kind of cranky in general. Which is not fair to Adam because he seriously is a great care taker. He picks me up food to eat, waits on me when I need something, and wakes me up from couch naps to make sure I get my antibiotics on time.

But I am just impatient, and I am ready for this to all be over with, I am bored, yet don't feel like doing anything. I actually am craving a run, that always lifts my mood considerably. And I just want to get back to the day in, day out routine where I can eat what I'm used to eating, and I can stop walking around looking like a chipmunk. 

Not that it has been all bad. I have cleared out the DVR, taken 4 hour naps, and watched numerous movies. But come on, that is only fun for a few days!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 2

Two scrapbooking posts back to back! Aren't you guys lucky? It really is my number one hobby right now, so I'm having a lot of fun with it. So every time a week is finished, I'm just so excited to get it in the album and see how it is going to take shape. So that is how I accomplished this one so fast (plus I just had my wisdom teeth out, so I have a few days off, and when I'm not in agony, I can get a few things done).

(Click on images to enlarge)

I devoted the first page of the week two spread to my weight loss surgery anniversary. I took a screen shot from facebook to show how many likes I got on the picture. I wanted to remember how nice everyone was about my before/after pictures. I then cut out my stats from my in-body test that I did at my nutritionist's office to show my progress. The before one is my stats pre-surgery, and the after is my current post surgery stats. You probably can't read it, but on the flowery journal card, I posted the words, "This was something great." 

On the second half of the spread, I shared a little bit about trying out Chicken Salad Chick, a restaurant in Huntsville, that I really enjoyed. I posted about touring the Frank Lloyd Wright house (I wrote the name of the house right on the collage of the picture). I used a picture of my new iphone wallpaper because it makes me so happy. And of course, I shared a bit about the Packer's play-off game, my long run, and the dinner Adam made me to refuel from my run (nutritionist approved by the way,  she wants me to eat more carbs and fats on long run days). Those few bites of Hamburger Helper were so good. Why is hamburger helper so freakin good?

Here are some up close up shots of some of the details:

I used bits and bobs from the Studio Calico Park Avenue & Far, Fay Away Kits. I also used some alpha stickers I have stocked piled. And I had some custom Green Bay Packer's flair buttons made from this seller on etsy.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Planning Stages of Documenting Our Disney Trip

I'm planning to do a whole separate album to document our trip to Disney, and I have big plans for it. I wanted to share a bit about how I've been planning to complete the album. I love reading this kind of post on other memory keeper's blogs. I don't know if it will be of interest to anyone but me though. But I mainly blog for myself, so I'm just going to go for it. It will be something to refer back to when I'm ready to begin.

I am planning on doing a hybrid album, which means using digital products, but putting them into an album like a traditional scrapbook (meaning by hand). I enjoy physically putting the items in the album, rather than ordering it like a book.  And I also enjoy doing some physical embellishments. The biggest reason I am doing digital is I don't like my handwriting, so I can use pretty fonts instead. 

I'm going to start each day of the scrapbook with a blown up 12 by 12 picture of our whole group. And then when applicable, for days we are in the parks, I'm going to put a copy of the touring plans I've made for us from (a planning site I love). I don't know what I will put behind the pages when we don't go to the parks. Maybe just a typed itinerary of everything we did that day?  By the way , I got the idea of blowing up the picture for a 12 by 12 title page each day from this blogger.

I have found so many resources for the pocket scrapbooking journal cards/embellishments/fonts both free or inexpensive.

1. These free, numerous, pocket scrapping, journal Disney cards found on this photo shop account! I took some time to go through and save all the ones I could possibly use. I then sorted them into easy to find folders for later. 
2. Project Mouse! Project Mouse! Project Mouse! These are scrapbooking kits made especially for Disney, and they are sooo adorable. 
3. So many resources on etsy for Disney inspired digital products such as these, these, and these
4. I also want to use some physical products like washi tape, flair buttons, and die cuts.

I plan to use tiny templates to combine multiple photos and journaling within one photo. And the last thing I have planned so far is to use envelope scrap-booking pages to hold my memorabilia that won't fit right into pockets.

Now to share the two pages I have already done. I placed them in the album Adam got me for Christmas. I decided to make a page about the decision of why we are going to Disney (The half marathon). You should be able to click the images to enlarge them a bit.

For this page, I mainly used the Princess themed cards from Becky Higgins Official Project Life products. I really liked using the once upon a time prompt to share a small bit of Jana and I's running journey (I wrote about it as you would tell a fairytale story). I also included our picture from out first ever completed race (Can't wait for our next after race shot for comparison)! I snagged the Princess Half Marathon Medal Pictures and Logo from doing a google search. Lastly, I took a screen shot of my confirmation e-mail I received after signing up for the race!

Before I even share anything about my planning page that I made for the album (which is my favorite by the way), I will point out that I am aware I spelled "recieve" wrong, I know it is receive. And as soon as I popped the card in the album, I became acutely aware of this mistake! But photoshop does not have spell check, and spelling was never my strongest subject. But since I'm am embracing imperfection this year, I am just leaving it for now. Unless it really starts to bug me, and I have to reprint it, but I'd rather not pay for the print 2x, even if it crazy cheap.

I wanted to document the planning process because I really believe what the quote says on this scrapbook page, "A huge part of the fun is anticipating the trip!"  And Jana and I should know because we text about the trip and what we want to do nearly everyday!

For this page, I used the super cute Project Mouse Planning Kit.  I included a list of our dining reservations, to-do list, and our general schedule. I also liked the "step 1 booked" card, as it allowed me to document when we actually booked our trip! Can't believe that was back in August!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

The RosenBaum House

This weekend my mother and I took a little day trip to Florence, Alabama, to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright (a.k.a The Rosenbaum house) they have there. It is one of the few of Wright's houses existing in the South, and the only one in Alabama. This has been on my to do in Alabama list for quite some time. And when I was driving home from my doctor's appointments on Thursday, I was taking a route I don't take often, and I saw a billboard advertising it. And I thought I'm going to do that this weekend! See people advertising works!

So on Saturday we made the 45 minute drive to the house. I wasn't particularly impressed by how it looked on the outside. It did look unusual, but it didn't stick out as anything awe inspiring to me. But I appreciated it more when I read that Wright designed his houses to blend into the environment around them. The house completely blended into the envirnoment around it, so I started to understand it a little bit more. 
The inside of the house was all wood, built in furniture, recessed lighting, vintage furnishings, and narrow hallways/doors. Wright liked narrow halls because he is said to have liked the feeling of compressing you and then opening you up into the living spaces. The ceilings were short, as Wright felt that anyone over 5'8 was a "waste of space." I felt a little like a gnome walking around that house, and I'm 5'7.

The living room had several doors, and one wall was basically just one big window. I tried to imagine what it would have been like to stand in the house, and look out at the boats going up and down the Tennessee River. You can no longer see the Tennessee though, due to the development of the city.

While I would never want to live in a Wright house, it was defintely interesting to tour such a unique place! And to know a little bit about such an interesting and artistic man.

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

1 Year Surgiversery

On January 8th, I celebrated my 1 year surgiversery. I waited all this time afterward to post about it because I've been so overwhelmed by it all, in the best way possible. I just can't believe it has been a year. I can't believe the changes I have experienced. I can't believe the nice things people have to say about me lately.

I posted this before/after collage on my own personal facebook profile and in my bariatric online support facebook group. Between those two posts, I received 300 plus likes, 40 plus comments, and 4 of my friends shared the picture on their wall with blurbs about how proud they were of me, and how I inspired them. I couldn't even deal with all the positivity being thrown my way, I could have cried. People were calling me an inspiration. I usually shrug off compliments, but just once I really let them all sink in.

It just so happened that my 1 year follow up with my surgeon and nutrionist fell on my actual surgery date. They were so kind and so complimentary of me, my nutrionist kept telling me I was killing it! And she begged me to send her a before/after picture for her office wall. So I did.

I had to do a redo of the in body test that I did right before surgery. It is basically a machine that breaks down the amount of fat, water, and muscle in your body. It was nice to see how far I have come.

 So here is 1 year of weight loss by the numbers:

Weight Loss:  Pre-surgery: 389lbs, Post-Surgery: 193lbs (195 lbs lost)
Pounds of fat in my body: Pre-surgery: 211 lbs, Post-Surgery: 67.7 lbs
BMI: Pre-surgery-59.4%, Post-surgery-30% (I am now in the overweight category, not morbidly obese, if I lose 5% more I will be in a normal range)
Pants Size: Pre-surgery, a tight 28, Post-Surgery: size 16/18
Miles Ran: 272

The transformation I have gone through in the last year has been so much more than physical. I have more confidence, and I worry less about what people think of me. I  used to feel like I had to overcome the first impression I made on people because I was so overweight (true or not, it is how I felt). I have less social anxiety, although it is still there, and it will always be there, as it is ingrained in my DNA. 

I am blessed that even when I was really fat, I still lived my life. I didn't hide, I didn't avoid experiences that were made more difficult because I was fat. Heck, there were times I didn't even want to post a picture of myself on the blog because I looked so fat, but did anyway, because I am a memory keeper at heart. Now I'm glad I did, because I still love that girl, even if she wasn't the most picturesque blogger.

Now I can do all the same activities without all the anxiety that came along with it. I run without fear of people thinking, "what is that fat girl doing running."  Now I can fly without worrying about what the person in the seat next to me thinks when I whip out my seatbelt extender, that I had bought to reduce the anxiety of having to ask the stewardest for one. 

The best aspect that I have gained in all of this is a sense of control. I once read in a weight loss memoir that, "there is being fat, and there is being on a runaway train." I was on a runaway train. I had given up, I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and non-stop. It was my happy/mad/sad/bored place. And I hated every minute of it.

I have such control over what I eat now. I have learned the difference between real hunger and head hunger. When I want a snack now, I can stop and think, "Am I really hungry, or do I just want to eat something?" Then, I decide my next move from there. 

I'm so in tune with my body now.

Not that I have been perfect or that I always eat perfectly. I struggled a little over the holidays, just like everyone else did. But for the most part I stay on routine with eating and working out, but I am not militant about food (because militant eating won't last with me a lifetime). And I've learned that if I just have a bite of what I'm craving, I either find it not as good as I thought it would be or that 1-2 bites is enough to satifsy my craving.  And I can go to restaurants, order what I want, eat a small bit of everything and walk away feeling satisfied. I don't need to be uncomfortably full to know that I've had enough.

I haven't had to give up my love of food, but my love of food is not my whole life anywhere. 

This has been one crazy and wonderful year. Most people celebrated January 1st, 2014 as the first day of 2014, but I celebrated the new year and my new life on January 8th, 2014. I have a feeling that day will be just like a 2nd birthday to me.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 1

Tonight I sat down and started on my project life 2015 album. The one I am doing in the classic project life style, week by week. I'm hoping this will really help me appreciate the little moments, and I'm so excited to have such an extensive album to look back on after the year is done. I plan on sharing these as I go. You can click the images below to enlarge.

This is my cover page for the year. All products for the cover page, and my week 1 layout were a combination of the studio calico kit, far, far away ,  and Project Life 5th & Frolic Edition. It is all soft pastels and girly, and I love it.

On the card, "This Year I Want to", I added achieve, because this year I have so many fitness and professional goals I want to achieve. I thought it was a great reminder.

Side One of the Week One spread features our New Year's Eve celebrations, and my 9.5 mile long run. I also did a little insert on the unusual cold weather we have been having here the last couple of days.

Side two is all about seeing the movie Wild (I even included the movie ticket), Un-christmasfying the house, and eating at Zoe's Kitchen.

I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out, although I've learned a few things. I was sizing some of my collages wrong, which made me have to print some a little smaller than 4x6. So I will fix that next time. I also learned that text needs to be not to close to the edge of the photo or it may get cut off.

I wonder what week 2 will look like?

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Monday, January 5, 2015

9.5 Miler. Check.

I woke up on New Year's Day, and I did an epic New Year's run. I went 9.5 miles for the first time in forever (yes, I just referenced Frozen, deal with it). I was so nervous before the run, I decided to go after my afternoon nap. Of course,when I laid down for the nap, I couldn't sleep, knowing that run was hanging over my head. 

So I pulled myself out of bed, had a small snack, pulled on my running gear, and I started my run around the neighborhood. I also prayed a lot before the run. I would say the first 5 miles went by pretty easily, and I was making good time, averaging sub 13 minute miles. About mile 6, I started to feel fatigued, and I slowed down a lot, but I just kept pushing myself to go another half mile and another half mile.  

When I got to mile 8, I was really gassed, and I really had to push myself. But I did, I just kept concentrating on making it one more .1 at a time (because that was all I could force myself to do).  When I hit 9.5 miles, I was sooo DONE. I was about a half mile from home, the distance I usually walk for a cool down, but I called my husband, and I had him come pick me up.

I really wasn't feeling the best after my run. Not like I usually feel. I'm usually so hopped up on adrenaline, and I am very energetic & talkative. But instead I felt somewhat queasy and somewhat dizzy, and I just wanted to sleep.

 I don't like to carry water much when I run, and I don't own a water belt at this point. So I think I was dehydrated, despite trying to drink a lot of water all day. I've decided for future long runs, I am going to stash some water around my route, so I stay hydrated. I also think the dehydration led to the slow down for me and affected my time. But I'm still pleased with my time! So no complaints here.

After a bottle of water and a hot bath/shower, I was feeling much better. And I was finally able to let the pride of going so far sink in. I can't believe how far I've come!

Now it is time to focus on that 11 miler next weekend (ecck)!

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Weekend Report

It was a very rainy weekend here in Northeastern Alabama, we were supposed to get really severe weather, but it never really happened. Saturday was a relaxed day. I had a few hours to myself while Adam slept in, and I did some chores around the house. I had to wake Adam up at 11 to make his grocery list, so I could go to the store, because I was hungry, and we had no food in the house. He was not happy about being woken up, and this made him kind him cranky, which made me cranky, and to be honest, we ended up a little snippy at each other for a bit. I hate starting the day like that. So when I got back from the store, we just agreed to start over, and LET IT GO. It was all silly and non-important anyway. Isn't that usually how it is? I love that we are so good at hitting the reset the button.

We watched the two play-off games, and Adam took down the Christmas decorations. There is some relief in knowing the holidays are over, and the routine has been restored. But I can't help being a little sad too! Christmas season is one of the best seasons, isn't it?

In the evening, I participated in three of my favorite at-home activities:  napping, taking long baths while reading, and scrap booking. I actually managed to finish up my 2014 scrapbook! Now bring on 2015.

Sunday, I was itching to get out of the house a bit. I started the day by going to church. We then drove over to Huntsville to see the movie, Wild. I had read the book last year, and I really loved it. I had to wait an entire year for the movie to come out. It did not disappoint. It was a wonderful book to movie adaptation.

After the movie, we decided to try out a new restaurant, and we ended up choosing Zoe's Kitchen. It is a quick service Greek/Mediterranean cafe. We shared a plate of hummus, and I got the spinach roll-ups. It was so delicious. Hummus has a special place in my heart, because I had never had it before going to Israel in 2008, and I fell in love with it there. It always reminds me of that amazing trip.

The food was so good, that I was worried the restaurant would think I didn't like it, since I left so much of it behind. But that is just one of my post weight-loss surgery hang-ups, that I'm working on.

I ended the weekend by ordering the last little bits of my Princess Belle costume for the half-marathon (I can't wait to get it), watching the exciting Cowboys/Lions game, and watching old episodes of America's Next Top Model. The new seasons are crap, but I loved the classic seasons! Although in college, I called it "Brain Rot," and I stand by that assessment.

This week is a big one for me, as I will be celebrating on my one year surgiversery, and I'm having my last ever appointment with my surgeon/nutritionist! I can't wait to compare the progress I've made.

I'm so ready to conquer this week!

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Friday, January 2, 2015

December in Review

Movies I've Watched:

Dumb and Dumber To
OK, this is so not a movie I would ever chose to go see on my own. When the girls were in town for the holidays they wanted to go to the drive-in, and this was what was showing. The movie was decent, for what it was, a stupid comedy. Way too many potty humor jokes for my taste though. But it did have some moments that really made laugh.

This is Where I Leave You
I purchased this movie on demand on a whim. The book version has been on my to read list forever. For the most part, I enjoyed this book. Yet again, there was a potty humor joke that I hated (they actually showed the poop!). Am I repressed? Are people really into this kind of humor? I don't know. But I enjoyed some of the story lines in the movie, and I really loved Tina Fey's character. There were some great emotional moments as well. So overall, I wouldn't watch it again, but it wasn't a bad way to kill 2 hours.  

Into the Woods
I love Disney. I love Musicals. I love Fairy tales being turned on their heads. So I loved this movie so much. It is pretty singing intensive even by a musical standards (think Les Miserables and less Mamma Mia). But I was enthralled by it, and it was pretty humorous at parts! The only downfall of the movie was that it was over 2 hours long, and I drank a liter of water during the first half, and I thought I was going to burst that last half. But I refused to leave the show, it was that good. 

Books I've Read:

The Andy Cohen Diaries by Andy Cohen
I was kind of excited by this read because I have a weird love for Andy Cohen, King of all things Real Housewives. So I was excited to read his year long diary. For the most part, I enjoyed the book. It was a light read with tons of name dropping (which he owns up to). But I was hoping for a little more dish on celebrities!  Now I really want to read the Andy Warhol diaries, which I had never even heard of before this book.

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
I recently signed up for because I love audiobooks and this was my first selection. I really love history, especially American history, so I was looking forward to this read. The first part of the book where they were preparing for the journey, sailing to America, and the early days in America I really loved. But once I got about half way into the book, I started to get bored with it. I probably wouldn't have finished it if it wasn't in audiobook form. I started to get all the Native American tribes confused, which made it hard to follow (it would have probably been easier in print form). And I wish it wasn't all about Native American relations, I wanted to learn a little more about their daily life. So after a while, it just felt like a book I had to read for class just to get through. But I don't regret reading it, I know a little bit more about the Mayflower than I knew before. So knowledge is power I guess?

Fun Things I Did:

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello, 2015

Just a few minutes ago, I realized that I have spent every New Year's Eve with Adam since 2007. That is 8  whole years, which blows my mind, because it doesn't feel like it could have possibly been that long. I'm pretty sure, although I wouldn't bet my life on it,  that we have never actually gone out for New Years, which is just fine with me. I really have grown to love our quiet night in on New Year's tradition.

When I got home from work, Adam ran to the store to pick up a few things, and I cooked us a homemade spaghetti dinner, which is definitely our favorite meal. I have been cooking it for him since the first weekend we ever spent together. This is only the second time I've eaten pasta since surgery, and I have learned it fills me up quicker than other foods. I could only have three bites, but Adam didn't seem to mind, he was just happy to be able to share a home cooked meal with me, something that rarely happens anymore. 

After dinner, we caught up on a little DVR (The Flash). Then, I was really sleepy as it was nearing my bedtime. So I decided to take a pre-New Year's nap because why not? Nap now, stay up later after midnight, and sleep in the next morning.  I like that plan.

Earlier in the day, I  had swung by a local fireworks store because Adam said we should shoot off fireworks in our drive-way. We have always been renters or living in a city our whole marriage where we couldn't do fireworks until now, so this was truly exciting for us! 

Adam woke me up about 11:30 to shoot off the fireworks. We stood in our drive-way in the cold, in our pajamas, playing with sparkly things. I loved every minute of it. We only had a few kinds, sparklers, spinning pandas (a childhood fave), and a shooting fountain type deal. That fountain was LOUD, I felt bad for our neighbors.  The spinning pandas are still my favorite after all these years. So stinkin' cute.

Soon, it was time for the countdown. We could not find an actual repeat this year on the TV of the ball-drop for central time. How lame is that? So we were frantically trying to catch it on a cable channel, when we came across a station and saw the  Village People performing in Mobile for the annual Moon Pie Drop. I had never even heard of the Moon Pie Drop? Apparently, it is a Mobile, Alabama, tradition? So yes, we rang in the New Year's, watching a Moon Pie drop. Only in Alabama.  I think attending the Moon Pie Drop should be on my to do in Alabama bucket list!

We kissed at midnight, and we toasted each other with a glass of wine.   

They say how you spend New Year's sets the tone for the entire year. If my 2015 involves quiet nights' in, sharing meals with my husband, and shooting off fireworks in my pajamas, I'm pretty sure I can live with that.

So cheers to being old, married, and boring. Welcome 2015. Be good to us.

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