The WW Report: Week 6 Begins

Each week, as the Monday morning meeting time approaches, I feel a mix of anticipation and fear. What will the scale say? How will I feel about what the scale says? I think we all relate to the scale in different ways and it holds different degrees of power for each of us.

Until WW, I did not pay too much attention to the scale. I used the way my clothes were fitting, or not fitting, as my guide. Now that I weigh-in each week I am much more aware of the POWER OF THE SCALE. I don't like giving it so much power over my mood, but I do.*

My goal these next few weeks is to stay positive and focus on other aspects of the entire Weight Watchers experience. It is about more than just the silly scale. Soon after the meeting I began to ponder this verse:

Galatians 5: 22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
I must practice patience during this WW process and accept that losing weight will take time. I must practice faithfulness in following my points. I need to feel and exhibit true kindness and goodness to my friends that may lose weight even when I do not. I must practice self-control. This one is HUGE for me. I seem to have given myself permission to eat two or three frozen treats in the evening. Each evening. Yes, they are WW or Skinny Cow and low in points, but one needs to be enough. It just does. I still need to display gentleness to my family when I might be craving something and feel deprived. I am thankful for the love and support from my family and friends. I need to find joy in the small changes each week. I hope to find peace with my self image.
*I only lost .6 pounds this week and was quite the CrankyPants. Yes, that's a decimal point BEFORE the 6, otherwise this post would have had an entirely different tone.


Nothing Gets Past Me. Maybe.

Yippee! It's my turn to play goalie.

I better squat down and be ready to stop the ball.

I'm your girl. My eyes are on the ball. You betcha.*

*Bless this little goalie's easily distracted heart! Somewhere in between all the digging and daydreaming she DID manage to block a goal though.


Five Four For Friday

1. I am dire need of a hair overhaul. Dire. It is taking on a life of its own, and I am scared. Yesterday evening, one side blew dry with a bit of an outward flip. I thought, "Okay, I'll work with you." So I flipped out the other side. It looked like an awkward shag or something. I kept fighting the urge to slap my thighs twice and make guns with my fingers a la Leather Tuscadero.

I am so calling for an appointment.

2. For a few weeks I kept forgetting to buy the stair-step can organizers for our pantry. Once I bought them, they sat on our table for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, after I schlepped in the groceries and opened up the pantry doors, I knew my organization moment had arrived. I just couldn't stand it any longer. Here is the before:

I am not completely finished. I need to tackle my baking shelf and I'd like to get some cute baskets for a few other areas. But. This is already so much better. Look...

I tried to better utilize the side areas for little things that take up entirely too much space. Somebody please stop me from buying any more granola bars. I am apparently obsessed with them. That, and Progresso soup.

A. had a job too.

Stomping on empty boxes for the trash.
Scott had barely walked in the door from work and I was all, "LOOK AT THE PANTRY. LOOK NOW! " Thankfully, he was impressed by the changes.

3. Is it just me, or are you sick of seeing Brooke Shields brush her teeth on TV too?

4. Great Googley Moogley*--I have a Half Marathon NEXT week. In eight days to be exact. Hmm...seeing how my longest run has been 4.5 miles, I'm sure I am well conditioned and ready. Yep.
*from the old 50s song Stranded in the Jungle.

Yeah, I just couldn't pull out five random things this week. As you can see, I had to throw in the Brooke Shields thing just to get to four. My life is so full.


Oh My Goodness Look at the Good Mail

I have been terribly negligent in posting about the wonderful Good Mail that I have received lately. I must post about all of the goodness (and let go of the guilt). Without further ado...

Crafty girl Aranne sent me the festive card above for St. Patrick's Day AND...

she was also so sweet to send me this darling Easter card. You are so talented and thoughtful! I am so LUCKY to have met you through blogging. Thanks so much Aranne!

Maria sent me a kind thank you note for some recent good mail. Thanks Maria!

Little Miss Patsy, the original busy bee, was so kind to send me this delightful package. A fun flamingo for spring flowers, tasty milk flavoring straws, a thoughtful note, and an article about Disneyland (which my hubs was so excited to read). Thanks so much Patsy!

I was so tickled to receive this clever thank you note from Kristi. She even had return address labels to go with her "theme". So funny!! THEN...

her brain was on fire again when she came up with this outstanding idea. For Easter she mailed envelopes with only this sticker inside.
Mark 16:1-6

"When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."

Isn't that wonderful?!? The empty envelope is a great reminder of the empty tomb and the real reason to celebrate Easter. Thank you Kristi!

Lacie has been quite the busy bee as well. First, she sent me this very sweet and thoughtful note reflecting on our recent trip to Savannah. Then...

she spread a bit of green joy for St. Patrick's Day with these treats. And...

then she sent a kind thank you note for some recent good mail. Thanks for everything Lacie!

Dear bloggy friend Amy sent me these great wrist bands for running along with a nice note. Thanks so much Amy!! Please keep her mother in your prayers. She is recovering from a heart attack and is in the hospital.

I also received some Good Mail from the Queen herself! I love how Jill takes pictures of different things and turns them into lovely cards. Isn't that a great idea? One of my favorites is the first card she ever sent, which is a picture she took of a charming shop while she was in Paris. Yes, Paris!! This time she took a picture of a bit of good mail I sent her.

I sent her some Goobers because I was a goober that couldn't figure out the ordering steps on her Etsy site. I'm sure it's not that hard, my brain was on low power that day. If you would like to add a little pizazz to your letters and packages, check out her FAB site. I can't wait to use my fun new labels! Thanks Jill!

Heather also brightened my day by sending me this sweet thank you note. Thanks Heather!

So. Oh my goodness that was a bunch of kindness sent my way! I consider myself very fortunate to receive such fun mail. It picks up my spirit and certainly brightens my day. Thank you all so much!
I must confess I have not only been negligent in posting about Good Mail received, I have been negligent sending it as well. Sigh. Head hung in shame. I have had good intentions (whatEVER), but I need to get off my duff and do it. Now!


SPT: *eggs*tra special

worship. lunch with family and friends. children filled with excitement and joy. hunting eggs. paas kits. candy. a sunny spring afternoon. naps. delightful.
hop over to lelly's blog to see other *eggs*stra special moments.


The WW Report: Week 5 Begins

The girl follows her points pretty closely.
The girl ran 4 days last week, plus this morning too.
The girl did NOT eat ANY Easter candy. Not. One. Piece.

The girl GAINED 1.4 pounds!

In the words of Gary Coleman, "Whatchu talkin' about?"

The girl is bitter. Oh so bitter.


I Promise I Did NOT Say I Told You So

However, in all honesty, I can't promise I didn't think it.

Snippet from conversation earlier this week:

Scott, "I think I'll take Friday off from work and we'll go to the zoo. What do you think? It's supposed to be a beautiful day."

Me, "Um, yeah...but it's still Spring Break. Don't you think the zoo will be a madhouse on a *beautiful day*? Maybe you could take off a Tuesday or Thursday in a couple of weeks."

Scott, "Nah, it won't be that bad, let's go Friday."

Me, "Mmm...k."

On Friday, we pack lunches and load the trusty red wagon in the car. Soon we are on our merry way.

A few miles from the zoo, traffic slows way down. WAY down. To. A. Crawl. This does not bode well. As traffic tip toes around toward the entrance we see the steady parade of families, strollers, and coolers on their pilgrimage to see the animals in their not so natural habitats. We take in the sight of several long lines of people waiting to get through the gates. We look a bit farther to view the full parking lots and optimistic cars stalking the lot anyway.

We both contemplate how dedicated we are to this whole Zoo thing. Apparently not that dedicated after all.

I quietly mention to Scott, "Well, it IS Friday of Spring Break. And it IS a beautiful day."

Scott is quiet for a moment, and then replies, "I could take another day off in a few weeks and we can try again."

Ever so sweetly I say, "How about a Tuesday or Thursday?"

There we were back to our ORIGINAL conversation. Sigh.

A. was only slightly disappointed. Once we mentioned a picnic in the park and a round of Putt-Putt, she was so over the Zoo.


The BBBC: Selection for April

I am thrilled to see some interest in The Bodacious Bloggity Book Club! I hope it will be a fun way to connect as bloggers and celebrate the joy of reading.

Almost as soon as I hit publish on my previous BBBC post I started making a mental list of books, with one book in particular firmly seeded in the top position. In my opinion, this is a book that should be on everyone's reading list. It is one of those special books that can burrow its way into your heart and soul and change you. The story stands the test of time. It can be re-read at different points in your life and it will impact you in a new way.

This book has to be our first selection...

So visit your local library, bookstore, your own bookshelf, or borrow from a friend and get your brain into this book. We will have our first *meeting* April 25th, this gives us close to a month to read. Hope that works for everyone. I will post a reminder a bit before that and have Mr. Linky figured out by then. After our *meeting* we can pop some popcorn and watch the movie in our pajamas, K?

***Please offer some suggestions for upcoming BBBC selections through comments or email. Remember this is for everyone interested and you can participate whenever you are able. Let's get busy reading!


Bodacious Bloggity Book Club

Many of you are part of book clubs with actual breathing people. You usually meet in each other's homes to share a meal or snacks and discuss the recent read. In this season of my life, I am not a member of a book club, though I would like to be. So, what is a girl to do? Well, start one of course! I propose something of a virtual book club and would LOVE for you to participate!

This is what I am thinking:

~Open for whomever is interested and able to participate.

~Select and read book by a certain date each month, say by the 25th.

~Format would be a blog carnival, complete with a Mr. Linky (once I learn how to add a Mr. Linky. Will investigate.) We would each read the selected book, each write our post about the book and our thoughts, then link back here so we can read each other's post. Does that make sense?

~Of course I am open to suggestions about types of novels, and a variety of styles will hopefully offer something for everyone involved. I would prefer that we only nominate books that we feel aren't too racy or rated R. My first thought was to have a book club that focused on Classic literature (because I feel like there are so many I have never read and would like to) or historical fiction. Thoughts?

~Try to participate each month, but of course life happens or maybe the book that month is just not your thing, WHATever. No pressure, this is for fun.

If you are interested in doing this, please leave a comment. If you have any thoughts for book choices or ideas/questions about the mechanics of this please share. Also, tell your friends about this, link or post about the BBBC on your blog to spread the word. The more the merrier! I'd love to get this going and have our first *meeting* in April. I'll bring the dip.


Garbage Disposal 2 : Family 0

All has not been well in the kitchen recently. This week I was so excited to prepare some recipes from the Weight Watchers website, enough so to haul a cart around HEB along with a wired 4 year old for close to an hour. Yeah, now I'm bitter.

Last night I tried Mustard-Dill Chicken and the flavor was good, but someone (okay, it was me) left the birds in the oven a tad too long. Sigh.

Tonight I made Baked Shrimp with Lemon Garlic Sauce. None of us liked it. Poor Annelise had to have a sip of milk after each bite. Sigh.

So, let's just say our garbage disposal has been whirring and churning. Thankfully, I have plenty of lemon peels leftover to freshen it up. Sigh.

I'm not giving up though. A turkey white bean chili, baked tilapia, a tuna casserole and an enchilada pie are all on the kitchen horizon (all from WW too).

Do you ever fail in the kitchen? Any favorite WW recipes to share?


The WW Report: Week 4 Begins

After tracking my points for a few weeks now, I am starting to think about food differently. First of all, I am actually THINKING before I put something into my mouth. Do I really want it? Am I really hungry? How am I doing on points today? Keeping track of everything I eat and drink was a bit daunting at first, but I am now grateful for the responsibility that I'm learning.

Here are some things that worked for me this week:

~Cooked Spicy Turkey Pasta this week and the entire family loved it. It was odd though, cooking the turkey and seeing it just get whiter. See?

~Another tasty meal this week was Southwest Turkey Tacos. Even A. liked them and said, "It was like a fiesta in her tummy."

~Tried to follow my points very closely since I wasn't able to exercise a lot due to my cough.

~The Progresso Light Soups are still a lifesaver, for a quick yet filling LOW point meal. I either eat Kashi crackers or a whole wheat tortilla with the soup.

~I did buy a few low point treats, two words: Skinny Cow. Two more words: Two points.

~The trick of course is to eat ONE treat and not the whole box. So far, so good.

~ These fudge bars taste like mousse on a stick and only have ONE point! I like the word GIANT, too.

~My new favorite breakfast is Bob's Red Mill oatmeal with a few tablespoons of Dannon Light and Fit vanilla yogurt stirred in, with fresh strawberries and a few almonds. Smack-smack!

~I also like to scramble Southwestern Eggbeaters with Canadian bacon. Another quick protein I like is turkey pepperoni. These are all low in points and filling.

~I survived Bunco without eating any of the M&Ms or Reese's Pieces on the tables.

~I politely declined when another Amish friendship bread starter was offered to me. Thank you though!

~I have not eaten any fast food in three weeks. Wow.

~We have eaten out less. I can't live completely without Tex-Mex though, but I have scaled back.

My goal this week was to lose 2-3 pounds. After my moment on The Scale, I was happy to see the little sticker on my booklet said,-2.2!! Yea!! That puts me at 9.4 pounds total lost.

Goals for Week 4: Get more exercise in, at least 4 days--more if possible. Track my points closely and continue to think before I eat. Stop snacking at night(this is big for me).
I appreciate all your comments and encouragement last week. If you are on WW too, or making changes on your own, let me know so I can cheer you on too.


Sights and Sounds of Soccer

Heard from the sidelines:
Go Sharks!
Kick it, kick the ball!
No,no... the OTHER way!
Good job!
I've got it!
Heard from the field:

Mom, I'm thirsty!
My legs are tired.
Did we bring a chair?
Look at the flower!
My head is hot.
Can I bring a pillow next week?
I kicked the ball!
I'm hungry.
Can I take a break?

Can I have my snack now?

We, the Sharks, lost our first game with a score of 5-2. It was clear from the first whistle that the other team knew what they were doing. Our team was easily confused and distracted. I was completely okay with that, however many of the dads were not. The snacks were barely passed out when one of the dads started talking with the other dads about changing the practice time so HE could be there and therefore *help* with the coaching and skill practice. Other dads nodded in agreement, their competitive nature was peeking out. Scott was already promising to practice skills with Annelise two extra evenings at home. I kept reminding him that she's FOUR and we just want her to have fun. She didn't even know her team lost, she was thrilled with the little plastic bottle of Kool-Aid (cringe) and a bag of Cheese Nips. That's the spirit!


Five for Friday

Welcome to another riveting edition of Five for Friday where I describe five random happenings and loosely try to tie them together. Or just let them stand on their own. WHATever.

Here we go...

1. I have almost completed one actual scrapbook layout. That's right, one, but I'm still rather proud of myself. The fact that it is of Easter LAST YEAR makes me cringe, but I'm trying not to dwell.

2. In an effort to combine WW with actual exercise, A. and I ventured out to the YMCA Tuesday. I tried to walk briskly on an incline without coughing up a lung or passing out. Well, I didn't pass out, but I coughed throughout the experience. Sigh. And cough.

3. After being recently poked by a wire, I have decided I must get new, shall we say, over the shoulder boulder holders (anyone a Beaches fan?). If you have never gone for a proper fitting, PLEASE give it a try. It makes SUCH a difference to be wearing the right size. As Oprah reminds us, a majority of women are wearing the wrong size!! I have been fitted at Nordstrom and at a local lingerie shop, and believe me, it is worth a few moments of possible embarrassment to know your correct size and style. It is also worth the money. It might seem expensive at first thought, but remember how much you wear it. So, I am going to visit Her Room and get a couple of replacements. Aren't you glad I shared all of that?

4. Annelise and I had a little date yesterday. We went to a local community college and saw their production of this...

It was really cute! I kept reminding A. that it was a play, with people in costumes, not a cartoon. She stayed interested through most of the whole 2 hours and enjoyed it. She was a bit concerned that Snoopy was played by a girl and that their costumes were a little different than the cartoons and books. She also surprised me by deciding that Lucy was her favorite and she did not like Sally AT ALL. I think the actress portraying Sally was too loud and harsh and it came across angry. Odd.

In case you didn't know, we love all things Charlie Brown and are raising A. to appreciate the genius of Charles Shultz. Smirk.

5. Last night I played Bunco and actually won a prize! There was a kitchen theme, so we each wore an apron and told its story. It was neat to hear the history of some of the aprons. I wore one that I bought when I was hunting flea markets for vintage tablecloths. One of my crafty goals is to sew aprons someday, since they are so darling and fun. ANYway, somehow I rolled 4 buncos and won the prize for most Buncos. It was a bowl filled with cutie pie kitchen thingies, an apron, kitchen towel and a slow cooker cookbook. Thanks Kim!
Look how cute it is...

Have you had a proper fitting? (You know what I mean.)
If you scrapbook, how far behind are you? (I hope I have company!)
Do you play Bunco?
Who is your favorite Peanuts character?


Guilt Absolved By Hi Ho Cherry O

I have a confession to make. I do not think of myself as a fun mom, at least not on a consistent basis. I seem to go through phases of fun, but it is not a daily occurrence by any means. Reading books together, arts and crafts, occasional baking, some imaginative play with toys are within my comfort zone. Scott is really great at the physical play like wrestling, outdoor sports and general silliness.

Since Annelise is an only child, she usually either plays by herself or she wants me to play with her. This is not one of my strengths, I admit. She is so loving and patient with me when I tell her later or not right now, never quite making the connection that playing together later doesn't always happen. Ouch.

Why don't I do it more often? Does it relate to my own childhood experiences? Maybe. I was an only child too and either played by myself or had friends over when I was older. My parents did not play with me a whole lot. I don't know if that was a generational thing or selfish personal thing, but that was the way it was.

So here I am. I truly don't want this pattern to repeat itself. I have decided to challenge myself to engage more and not put off the playing. Even if I do it in baby steps, I need to do it. Take the other day, how hard was it to sit on the floor to play a few rounds of Hi Ho Cherry O with Annelise? Turns out it wasn't hard at all AND it completely made her day. I forget at times how easily pleased these little ones are by simple activities. Ouch.

This was the scene this morning before breakfast. Evidently she was preparing for a rematch.

Note the nightgown with her sneakers. Not sure what her plan was there.

Are you a playful parent or is is a bit of a struggle for you? Is there hope for me?


SPT: Welcome Home

Lelly asked, "if i came to visit you next week, how would i know which doorbell to ring? do you have a formal entrance? should i come to the front door? or do you prefer your guests to come around back? (would you be surprised if i came in through the garage?!?)

Why, hello there friend!

As my grandmother used to say, "If I'da known you were comin' I'da baked a cake." But I've got fresh coffee ready. Come on in...

I heard you ring the bell, then I heard our dog Sadie bark her fur off, so I knew somebody had come for a visit. Don't worry, Sadie is beyond friendly. Nah, you don't have to take your shoes off. With two cats, one dog, one four year old and one husband, what's the point?

Next time you visit, just come to the back door, K? We're all friends here. Oh, yeah, you can ring the cowbell back there. That will make Sadie bark too. She is our third doorbell, and is louder than all of them. We love her though.

This old cowbell hangs beside our back door. It's special because it belonged to my grandparents and used to hang beside their back door. My grandfather made the post it hangs on from a tree branch. Isn't that funny? I love to hear it clang-ity-clang!

Come back anytime!
Pop over to Lelly's blog to find out other door habits.


Help Save the Ta Tas

My sweet friend, Deanna, has been gearing up to walk in Avon's Walk for Breast Cancer. She has been training hard to prepare her body to walk for TWO DAYS in and around Houston. That's right, her little sneaker clad tootsies will walk the distance of a marathon and a half. That is a long way folks! A total of 39.3 miles to be exact. Whew!

She has committed to complete this amazing walk to raise money for Breast Cancer research and spread awareness about a disease that has touched so many women's lives. If not within our own family, certainly within our circle of friends Breast Cancer has affected many lives. HERE is a video that explains more about this incredible nationwide event.

Deanna is very close to meeting her goal for the fundraising part of this experience. She just needs a little bit more. If you are interested in helping her reach her goal, please visit her page on the Avon Walk Site. Thanks!

Have you ever participated in a walk for Breast Cancer?
Is there an Avon Walk in your town?

Tiny Talk Tuesday

In an effort to better document some of the funny sayings and deep thoughts that spring forth from my four year old daughter's brain, I am participating for the first time in the Tiny Talk Tuesday blog carnival.

So yesterday afternoon Annelise and I are in the race against the clock to get ready for dance class. This race happens every week, and the clock always wins. You would think I would learn, right? Um, nope. A. pops into the bathroom before we wrestle into tights and leotard.

Soon, from atop the potty mind you, I hear, "Mom!"

Me, "What sweetie?"

A., "You know what?"

Me, "Hmm?" (Only halfway paying attention because the clock is ticking madly away.)

A., "Easter is NOT about the eggs, it's about Jesus." (Said in serious, almost severe tone.)

Me, "Oh, you are so right sweetie."

Suddenly, I am not so concerned about the ticking clock, but overwhelmed with happiness that 4 year olds do listen after all.

Although I don't think she will boycott the hunting of candy filled eggs. That's okay too.

To read more pearls of wisdom from the mouths of our younguns, pop over to Tiny Talk Tuesday. Thanks for hosting Mary!


The WW Report: Week 3 Begins

I must take a moment to document my journey on this thing called Weight Watchers. I hope to post about my experiences weekly as a record of my successes, my not-so-great weeks, and I Think This Scale MUST Be Broken moments.

Join me for the ups and downs, won't you?

This morning was my weekly weigh-in. I try to only weigh once a week, before the meeting. Weighing on that scale feels a little different, I guess because you are paying for it. I was hoping to have lost 3 pounds or so, but since I hadn't exercised I wasn't sure what the scale would say. Speaking of a scale, that is one powerful tool isn't it? It holds a lot of power over my self-esteem and mood, even though I try not to give it that power. Anyway. The lady recorded my numbers, but didn't tell me the result. I didn't look at my booklet either because I wanted it to be a surprise when the awards are given. Imagine my COMPLETE GLEE when the meeting leader called out my name at the end of the meeting with the words "...five pound award for a total of 7 pounds overall." Somehow, just by watching my points and food choices, I managed to lose 6 pounds this week!! Pause for quick happy dance. I will ride the euphoria for a while, but I know it's mainly my body adjusting to this new change. Each week will be different, and probably a lot less. My goal is to stay positive whatever the scale reads. Ahem.

While I ended up having a successful week, I still don't feel like everything has come together completely. The first week included our trip to Savannah, otherwise known as Eat Til You Drop, and then last week I had the Seal Cough action going on and shallow lung capacity, so no running or other exercise. I am trying to follow my points fairly close and make better food choices/substitutions. Here are some things that are working for me:

~Kashi granola bars and crackers
~Dannon Light and Fit Smoothies and Activia yogurt
~Throwing out a starter of Amish Friendship Bread. I hated to do it, but I knew I would be terribly tempted to eat it all.
~Drinking a lot of water, often with Crystal Light Mix-Ins
~Lean Cuisines for lunch
~Sugar-Free Jello pudding snacks(While not a bowl of Blue Bell, it still helps tame my sweet tooth.)
~More fruit and salads
~Progresso Light Soup is smokin'! It's tasty and low in points. Somewhat redeeming after a splurge or heavier meal.
~Eating out less
~Dark chocolate in severe moderation
~Twizzlers have been fun because they are low in points and take a while to chew.

I still have not tried any WW recipes, but I plan to soon. I also hope to feel up to exercising this week, maybe even go for a run (gasp).

So...I start Week 3 with hopes of continuing weight loss, even if it is small. I need to prepare myself mentally for the fluctuations and plateaus that are sure to come, but I am trying to be committed and optimistic. That's the plan at least.

Have you tried WW? Any favorite recipes or tips? What is your favorite (healthier) treat?How do you feel about the SCALE?
Click here if you are interested in a kids' book exchange.


That's The Sound Of The Men Working On The Chain...

Not chain gang but chain LETTER.
This arrived in our mailbox yesterday. See?

It's a chain letter for a kids' book exchange. Have you ever participated in one of these?

Over the years I have received chain letters from time to time for everything from recipes to underwear. Yes, underwear. And yes, I broke the chain on that one. Shiver. One time I got one for flip flops and I actually bought a pair, mailed them along with 6 other letters, and patiently waited for my 36 pairs of flip flops to arrive.

Yeah, I'm still waiting.

Back to this kids' book exchange. My friend Lacie sent this to me and I am guessing she sent letters to the other mom's in my little circle of friends. Since it involves books, especially books for kidlets, I would like to participate. However, I need 6 people to send a letter to.(Do I sound pitiful or what?) So, I thought I would ask my dear netpeeps. That includes you!

Would you like to participate in a children's book exchange? (Please, oh please?) If so, leave me a comment and email me your address and I will send you a copy of the letter. Won't this be fun? Yessirree!

Anyone? Bueller...Bueller...


Reflections About My Camera & Desperate Plea for Advice

As you know, I have been pretending to be a better photographer. I am trying to learn. There has been much head banging against the wall and deleting of images while I practice the manual settings on my camera, otherwise known as Baby. I have also played some with different lenses like this one, this other one, and sometimes the Big Mac Daddy.

Not only was I excited about the Savannah trip for the girl time, sightseeing and food, but also the trip would be my first with Baby. I packed my cool new bag with Baby, 50mm lens, 17-85mm lens and an extra battery and felt good to go.

I am glad I had Baby with me, but I am now wondering about the advantages of using a digital SLR vs. a point and shoot on a vacation. Was it worth it to lug it around? The jury is still out. I was able to zoom in more and take some pictures without the flash. I was also able to get a few wider angle shots. However, since I am still so slow using manual mode, I found myself using auto mode more often. I could do that with my little Powershot.

Here are a few samples:

I took this picture in manual mode (50mm, 1.4 lens) while we ate at The Olde Pink House. It was nice not to have a distracting flash in the restaurant, but with only ambient light it came out orange-y. See?

I don't like the harshness of flash, but I am not a fan of orange friends either, though this one is softer. Any suggestions?

Here is a sample of the zoom. I guess I took fill the frame concept literally, huh?

Hmmm...is that too close?
This shot of the coastline is a bit more wide angle than a point and shoot, I suppose.

Another reason I like the SLR is for the blurred backgrounds. Here is an example of that:

I missed out on a lot of face shots of the four of us together because no way was I handing over Baby to a stranger. A point and shoot is a lot faster to pull out of your bag or pocket to snap a shot. Carrying Baby around was a bit of a burden, but not too bad. As I look at my pictures now, I am wondering if it was worth it.

So, here are my questions for you, my dear netpeeps:

If you have a Digital SLR, do you take it on trips? Or do you use a point and shoot?

In your opinion, what are the advantages to using a DLSR on a vacation or for an event? Do you have any tips? How do you usually carry it? What lenses do you use most? And finally, do you shoot in manual or auto on a trip (when you feel rushed to get the shot)?

One more question, if you do have both types of cameras, which one do you use most?

Thanks so much, friends! I knew I could count on you.


Five for Friday

1. Maybe I should just go ahead and retire to Florida with all the other phlegm-ified elderly with Kleenex stuffed into every possible pocket. Or hang out at Sea World next to the seal exhibit. I have a case of the coughing crud that has taken up residence in the recesses of my lungs and doesn't seem to be planning on leaving anytime soon. Actually, I am somewhat improved, but still have the chest rattle. Mucinex has been my BFF, so hopefully the CC will pack its bags and move on down the road. Bye-bye now.

2. Since the CC has taken over my lungs, I find myself short of breath after talking for long periods of time (reading aloud) or walking upstairs. Nice. Needless to say, I can't remember the last time I ran. It has to be at least 2 weeks. Nice. Oh, by the way, I have a Half Marathon in exactly ONE month. Nice. I guess I will truly test the concept of muscle memory.

3. I have joined a cult. Nah, not really. I have joined Weight Watchers though and am currently on my second week. Now, granted the first week didn't yield the best results because of All The Eating In Savannah, but I did somehow manage to lose 1.2 pounds. I'll take that. This week has not lived up to its full potential either because of the CC and inability to run without coughing up a lung. Nice. I am following the points pretty closely and making some changes, so I am hopeful it will all come together soon.

4. I have reached a new pinnacle in motherhood. Sort of. Not really. Anyhoo, I am now a soccer mom. Annelise has started soccer through the YMCA and had her first real practice the other day. Well, they ran and kicked balls and stuff. Blessings shall be heaped upon her coach's head, as there are 13-14 four and five year olds (only three girls) with gnat like attention spans. This should be highly entertaining on many levels.

Future Brandi Chastain, right?

5. I'll wrap up this ramble with a little good mail. I was thrilled to receive one of Lelly's darling homemade valentines recently. So very cute.Thank you Lelly!

Mique sent me this fun card along with a flamingo set. It's so funny! Thank you for thinking of me Mique!

I also received this beautiful card from my sweet friend Olivia. Thank you!

Olivia's darling daughter, Kim, sent this adorable card my way recently too. Thank you Kim!

Finally, I was so surprised to come home from my little trip to find this special treat waiting for me from a new blogging bud, Linda. She wrote the kindest note and sent a fun koozy and yummy mints. As if that weren't enough already, Linda also tucked a Sonic gift card inside the koozy. I had mentioned once about getting sodas at Sonic's happy hour and she remembered!! Thank you very much, you generous little thing you! Love all the black, white and of course, pink too. You are so sweet, thank you bunches Linda!

What is your remedy for the CC? How long is too long for it to linger? Is it so wrong to laugh a lot at soccer practice?

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