Stand By Me

Everyone needs a little feel good song every now and then, right? This one hits the spot. Enjoy!

*While I have not been to most of these places, I can say I walked where Dimitri plays his violin.Cool, huh? Makes the world feel a little bit smaller, more connected...okay even warm and fuzzy. Which of the places on the song have you visited?

**I bootlegged this clip from The Gab Blog. If you've never visited her delightful blog before, you definitely should!


What's Up With That?

So we make our weekly trek to our favorite Tex-Mex place for fajitas. We get settled and start gorging on chips (because it's mandatory). As we were going to our table, I noticed a couple in the booth across from us, the guy was on his cell phone.


A few minutes pass, I glance over to see him STILL on the phone. His date or wife or whatever is just sitting there.

A moment passes. She starts to send a text to someone. He continues to talk on his phone. She fiddles with her phone some more.

This goes on until about five minutes before we finish our fajitas. They have not spoken to each other AT ALL because of their cell phones! I happen to hear him say to whoever he was talking to, while ignoring his date/wife, "Well, I'll call you back later."

What on earth is there STILL to talk about? What is SO important you ignore the actual live person sitting across from you for 30 minutes? I just don't get it.

Not that I'm a confrontational person, not that it was ANY of my business, but it was all I could do not to poke my nose in and ask him about it.

Thank goodness there were plenty of chips and salsa to keep me occupied.

Domino Theory

Imagine the concentration, the determination...

the carefully plotted strategy...

which apparently are all necessary skills,

to build houses for your train while awaiting your next turn.


Channeling My Inner Jane Fonda

Except without the big hair, leotard and legwarmers, thank goodness.

Once again it has dawned on me that I have not posted anything remotely running related in, well...it's too long to remember. Every time I look at my blog title I feel slightly guilty, like I'm a fraud. Maybe I should temporarily change my title to Faux Marathon Bird?

In a nutshell, there hasn't been a lot of running going on. Not having a training goal or event on my calendar has busted my feeble running groove. I've been finding tons of excuses for not running outside or schlepping myself (and usually A.) over to the YMCA to be a hamster, which has led to not doing anything. Blech.

Recently, in an effort to kick start my exercise mojo, I've gone back to my trusty in-home exercise DVDs. Some may poke fun at these, but over the years they have served their purpose. Starting with aerobics with Jane Fonda back in the late 80s, moving on to Buns of Steel, The Firm, Cindy Crawford, Pilates and a few others I can't recall. Not that I stuck with any of them too consistently, but for short, committed periods here and there they were effective. Say what you will about their cheese factor, it's so convenient to pop a DVD in, whenever I want, and get a work-out done. Here's my 2 cents about the some of the newer ones I have tried:

This is one tough workout, but I really like it. There are 3 different levels of workouts, each about 20 minutes. Jillian uses an interval training system of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs, which is repeated throughout the workout and keeps things moving. I like that there are three levels to work up to as you get stronger (I've barely made it to Level 2 and Level 3 frightens me). Not that I want Jillian to be my BFF, but she can be a little harsh (if little people are around when you do this DVD, be warned she does say A** once or twice).

I bought these two DVDs a few months ago as well, hoping to get some strength training done to complement my running. Ahem. They have three different levels to work through and you can customize your workout if you want. Both workouts are challenging and incorporate your whole body, some of the exercises use dumbbells. Of these two, I think I like the Boot Camp one better than Power Sculpt because more cardio is incorporated and Bob is just nicer than Jillian.

This week I discovered a new series, at least it's new to me:

I guess Turbo Jam has been been around a while, but I am joining the party a little late. It is a fun kickboxing/dance style workout that also incorporates resistance bands for toning. I ordered my set from Amazon and it came with 5 DVDs, a resistance tube and band. I really like them so far! The cardio party is a lot of fun, the time goes by quickly while you are punching, kicking and of course, sweating. The strength and toning exercises with the band and tube are definitely felt later. Chalene is peppy and encouraging, not cheesy and annoying, which is good.

As with anything else, exercise DVDs can become boring, for your body and your brain. I guess it's good to have a few different ones on your shelf to mix and match or add in walks/runs/bike rides to stave off boredom (so far, that's just my theory). With most of these you can gradually increase your weight or resistance and work through more challenging levels as you get stronger, that's a plus. While no exercise DVD is perfect, it's nice to have them as an option when I need them.

Have you tried any of these DVDs? Do you have a favorite exercise DVD?


Tree Hugger

Our resident little person has succumbed to the call of the wild and has found a new place to roost...

She can be found most of the time perched rather birdlike in the cleft of a tree in our front yard. Being still small, she benefits from a stepladder her thoughtful dad placed beside her new home. Her essentials include a coloring book, crayons (notice the perfect natural spot for them, thank you Ma Nature), binoculars, a cheese stick and the occasional Popsicle.

First thing in the morning she begs to go to her tree and who are we to refuse?

This is where she can ponder God's creation,

or take a siesta.

Ahhh...this is the perfect spot for our little tree hugger.


Peeking Up From the Pit

So I'm gradually coming out of my funk and returning to semi-normal. Why not push myself all the way back to normal? Well, that would just be boring.

Thank you all so much for your gentle words of encouragement, thoughts and prayers after my soul baring last post. Writing about it helped, as did your kind comments. Thank you.

A few other things have helped me climb up from my self imposed pit of doom and gloom. I highly recommend keeping a supply of at least a couple of these in case you find your chariot swinging a bit too low:

*A group of your bestest girlfriends ringing your doorbell one morning and kidnapping you for emergency coffee and chatter. They don't care that you are wearing stretchy yoga pants for the third day in a row and are on the wrong side of fresh, they take you anyway.
*A rainy weekend timed perfectly with a sleepover with the grandparents for the little person.
*A date, albeit drenching, to eat Mediterranean food at a favorite haunt followed by renting a stack of movies at Blockbuster.
*Escaping mentally for several hours with Marley & Me, Hancock and Transporter 1 & 2.
*Develop crush on Jason Statham.
*Decide it is your duty to deplete a copious supply of fundraiser cookie dough in a surprisingly short period of time.
*Once the sugar high wears off, realize you will have to exercise non-stop for the next three weeks to balance the damage you have inflicted upon yourself.
*Banish those thoughts from your brain. Check to see if any cookies are left.
*Discover zippers and buttons are overrated. Elastic is totally the way to go. Continue to wear yoga pants with head held semi-high.
*Be incredibly grateful your family and friends put up with your moods and love you anyway.


April Something, 1983

I'm finding myself a little bit blue this week, down with a case of melancholy with a side effect of mopey. Thinking back, these feelings took root Sunday evening when I was at my dad and Peggy's house surrounded by her family. Which is now my family, sort of. Some of which I met for the first time that afternoon.

I stepped outside for a while to sit in the swing and started thinking about the changes to my family over the years. My mom and dad, my grandparents, my mom's death, my dad's marriage to Ruby, family functions with her children and grandchildren, her passing, seeing her family less and less, and then I was back to where I started on the swing watching Peggy's grandchildren play basketball. Family, at least in my case, fluctuates. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful my dad married Peggy and for what she (and her family) brings to our lives. And yet.

I miss my mom. I'm forty years old, my mom died 26 years ago, and I still miss her.

This is my remember week, the week my 14 year old's world turned upside down so many years ago. My mom was 42 when she died on April something, 1983. I say something because I can never exactly remember the date she died and the date of the funeral. Believe me, it was a blur. I do remember it all happened quickly, around Income Tax Day.

My mom, Joan, had always been very thin, small-framed, even skinny. She had health issues over the years like hyper thyroidism and colitis, which kept her thin. Looking back, maybe there was more to it, but this was what we knew. February 28, 1982, on my grandparents' 51st anniversary, my grandmother had a heart attack and died the next morning while in the hospital. Our little family was in shock as we struggled with the sudden absence of our family cornerstone. I remember the whirlwind of family and church friends offering so much love and support those first few weeks, especially to my grandfather, Archie. He seemed so lost without his bride beside him. After a while though life appears to go on and you attempt to go with it. We all missed Sue so much, but didn't talk about her too much because the hurt was still raw.

I carried on with my 8th grade life, the dramas of junior high, the ups and downs of friends and of course, the pursuit of boys (totally the stuff of notes passed back and forth, in the vein of "Do you like so and so, check yes or no"). The fall of 82 I started high school. Being a teenager and therefore quite self-absorbed, it took a while to fully notice the decline of my mom. We were used to her health concerns and spells over the years, we, and most likely she, thought this was another spell. What we did not realize until too late, was how depressed she really was. She began to see a psychiatrist, who not only prescribed several loopy inducing drugs, he diagnosed her with Anorexia. Remember, this was the early 80s, we didn't know that much about it except for the Karen Carpenter made for TV movie. My mom told us that she didn't agree with the diagnosis, she wasn't really anorexic.

We believed her.

Looking back, I think she was in denial and had been for years. I will never know for sure, but I think she was anorexic most of her life, it just never had a name back in the 60s and 70s. I think her grief over the death of her mother sent her denied disease spiraling out of control. Over the course of 1982-1983 she was hospitalized several times in an effort to help her gain weight, even to the point of a feeding tube through her neck. She would make some progress, but then relapse, until her body just couldn't function any more. I guess we were all in a form of denial, because we did not grasp how serious her condition truly was. In April 1983 she went in to the hospital for further diagnostic measures, except this time she never came home. I remember going in with my dad to talk with the doctor and hearing the words "multiple organ failure" and "needs to be transferred to Methodist". I remember visiting her that evening in her hospital room, the nurses preparing her to be transferred later that night and talking with her for a little while, though she was weak and groggy. I remember her telling me she loved me as I left. The next few days in my memory are quite blurry. ICU visits (though I elected to stay in the waiting room, not wanting to see her connected to all kinds of tubes and machines, though now I wonder if I made the right decision), phone calls and visits from family at home, selfishly regretting missing the drill team try-outs I had practiced for the week before, staying home from school the next day, and hearing the phrase "She's gone." The viewing, the funeral, the finality of it all soon followed. Like I said, it's something of a blur. I remember pieces, snippets almost like photographs, some vivid and sharp, others smudged and faded.

No matter what I remember, I was definitely changed. I remember going back to school and sitting in my freshman typing class and the silence that followed when the girl that sat beside me asked why I had been absent for a week or so. I remember trying to find the right words to tell her, but really, how do you say, "My mom died ", except just to say it. So I did, and she just stared at me in disbelief. I felt like telling her it's okay, I don't believe it either. Eventually word spread and I didn't have to tell too many people, but it was still awkward. I was paranoid my classmates were staring at The Girl Whose Mom Died, and whispering about me. Being teenagers, and just as self-absorbed as I was, they probably weren't, but I imagined they were.

One day blended into the next and time bravely marched on as it is apt to do. I marched along with it. I had a couple of really close friends that helped me stay sane, along with a friend that was a boy and was kind of my boyfriend so I was caught up in typical young teenage stuff like hair, make-up, clothes and Kevin Bacon. As I look back I wish I had talked about it more, but I guess my way of dealing with her death was to file it away under Painful Awkward Subject instead of working through all the grief and related feelings. My dad is a big Move On kind of guy along with being rather stoic, losing my mom ripped him up and it hurt him to talk about it, so we didn't. We should have, but we didn't.

I feel like a part of me was lost back on April something, 1983. I was forever changed, not necessarily in a bad way, but still different. While I am grateful for my dad's remarriage to Ruby, then after her death, to Peggy, I still feel like a spoiled two-year old having a tantrum wanting something that I can't have and not understanding why. I play the what if game a lot, wondering what my life would be like now if my mom was still here, wondering what kind of relationship we would have, etc. I still struggle with jealous feelings when I see families, still with the blessings of many generations being together. The rational side of me knows that those families have their own set of issues, but I still feel a longing for that type of constant. The rational side of me also knows that in this life I will face trials that will make me stronger, that will teach me a lesson, that will serve a purpose even if I don't understand it. But there is the emotional side of me as well.

I am 40 years old and I want my mom.


Eggs & Peeps (and some life lessons too)

Saturday began with a morning jaunt to our local park for the annual egg hunt. I don't know if it was the fact that Annelise has moved up into a more aggressive age group (the 5-7 year olds), she was too slow or if this was the reflection of harder economic times, but her basket was woefully shallow this year.

It didn't phase her too badly since there were plenty of friends to visit and play with and Pappo and Grandma too.

Saturday was also the day Annelise mastered the monkey bars. She was quite pleased with her upper body strength and agility. Well, I guess that was me, she was just happy she could finally do it.

After the egg hunt and playground excitement, we gathered back at our house for lunch. One of my goals this year is too practice more hospitality. Finally in the fourth month of this so called goal, I got around to it. I know. I have a tendency to make big hairy deals out of things and can find myself getting caught up in paralyzing perfectionist paranoia. Do you know what I mean? Is my house clean enough, Is the food good enough? Will every one have a nice time? What if...? blah, blah, BLAH. So, you know...I usually end up not inviting people over like I should.
Go ahead, smack me.
Saturday was different because I was determined not to get caught up in those silly worries. I did not super duper clean my house. Yes, you read that right. Since we have Sadie, the Incredible Hair Shedding dog along with two cats, I did a quick vacuum, and made sure the potties were clean, but that's about it. I planned a super easy lunch of sloppy joes (that warmed in the Crock-Pot while we were out), this yummy Asian Cabbage Salad, chips and drinks . That's it.
The morning had been cooler than usual, so instead of eating outside like I had semi-planned, we decided indoor dining would be better. Lickety split I dumped a stack of stuff from the table into a laundry basket, moved another stack to a chair, set up a card table, and pulled two vintage tablecloths from the drawer and we were good to go. We used paper napkins and plastic cups, but real plates, and you know what? It was all okay.

The kids took breaks from eating to play and the grown ups had plenty of time to chat. Love that.

I was relaxed and really happy to have friends in our home. I don't think I can adequately describe my feelings of joy, mixed with kick myself regret for not doing this more regularly. The afternoon reminded me that the most important thing is friends being together, not being paralyzed into rarely entertaining because of ridiculous doubts and worries.

In between outside play time for the little people (and the big), we dyed eggs. Once Annelise made it clear she'd rather play than be creative with food coloring, I briefly questioned my thought pattern in boiling 1.5 dozen eggs the night before. Oh well.

However, she was all about cupcake decorating!

As was Scott.

She was aghast when her sweet 2 year old friend, J. went slightly over his Peep quota. She may have also doubted his methods of smooshing instead of toothpicking. Girls vs. boys.

Of course her worries did not keep her from enjoying the fruits of her labor. YUM!

Is is just me, or do Peeps make you giggle too? I was just tickled pink with my creation, though little did my pink Peep know, his days were numbered...

Later that afternoon Scott, A. and I got a little crafty with the remaining blank eggs. We decorated hot eggs with crayons (idea from Crafty Crow). I heated the eggs in the oven (350 degrees for 15 minutes), then used A's peeled crayons to decorate. It was so cool to watch the wax melt against the eggs! She alternated wearing one of my knit gloves and using a hot pad while she colored.

I had fun swirling the melty wax and making cool patterns. This crafty activity was a hit with the whole family.

Annelise had so much fun Saturday, she totally forgot about checking her Easter Basket Sunday morning. In the past I've put a lot of thought into her Easter gifts, choosing just the right bunny, her favorite candy, a special book, etc. I've always bought everything well in advance.
This year I found myself wandering the aisles at Walgreen's Thursday while she was in dance class. What's up with that?
Once she remembered to look for her basket, she was pleased as punch with the smattering of random candy, her own stash of gum and a $1 carton of sidewalk chalk. Note to self: kids are easy to please, even by last minute Walgreen's shopping, so calm down.
After church we spent the rest of the day over at my dad and Peggy's house. Of course there was food, food, food, with a side of more food, all of it delicious. Her son's family and her grandchildren were there too (I had not met some of them yet) so that was nice. Two of the grandsons are older (one in college, one a senior in high school), so Annelise was completely in awe of them, whether they were playing basketball outside or watching the final rounds of the Master's golf championship on TV, she was a bit of a stalker. It was so funny to watch her watching them, and actually being kind of shy. There are also two younger grandsons close to Annelise's age, so she LOVED playing with them. Hunting eggs, playing basketball, playing soccer, playing tag, climbing a tree and having a water balloon *fight*were all on the agenda.
All in her Easter dress.

Oh well, it'll wash.


Five for Friday

1. Tuesday evening Scott and Annelise went on a daddy/daughter date to the Astros game. I don't know who was more excited! A man at Scott's work sold the tickets to him, which were right behind the dugout along first base. In other words, rockin' cool seats complete with a parking pass. There were only 2 tickets though, so I gracefully sacrificed going so A. could go. Ahem.

2. The above scenario meant I had a WHOLE evening to MYSELF! What to do, what to do? There certainly were things I could or should do around the house, but I felt like escaping my corner of normal for a while, so I took myself to the movies. You bet your sweet bippy, I did. (What is a bippy anyway? I never really watched Laugh-In, but I think it was one of their catch phrases.) The show times worked out that I would be able to see not one, but TWO movies. Do I live large or what? Don't answer that. I have a fondness for quirky independent films, so I saw Sunshine Cleaning first. Eh, it was so-so. It could have been better, some parts were good, but it wasn't as sunshin-ey as I'd hoped. My plan was to also see the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen (um, hunk-il-icious) spy flick, Duplicity. While I was waiting in the theatre four older ladies made their way to their seats. They were so cute in their nylon jackets and supportive shoes, chatting about their water aerobics class earlier that day. One may or may not have had a fanny pack. Seeing them made me flash forward to my future, hopefully still going for girl's night outs with my friends, possibly with the perk of a Senior Citizen discount. I promise to skip the fanny pack though.
Anyway. Somehow there was a mix-up and they switched the movie in the theater I, The Nylons, and a handful of others were waiting in, without telling us. After watching a seemingly endless stream of ads and semi-previews, and waiting fifteen extra minutes, we formed something of a brigade and went to see what was the dealio. This is when we learned Duplicity had been switched to #10 and Monsters vs. Aliens was about to start in #13, from whence we came. The badly suited (seriously, his poorly fitting suit needed help), silly headset wearing, teenaged manager tried to explain the dealio to one of The Nylons and another scarily tanned, slicked back hair sporting older man (think George Hamilton freaky). Mr. Hancock, the manager (seriously, Mr.??) escorted them back to #13. Even though Duplicity had already started in #10, I darted in there to see it anyway. I had missed the first 10-15 minutes, but don't think it mattered. I ended up liking the corporate espionage twists and turns, plus there was that whole Clive Owen thing.
3. Its official, Annelise is completely obsessed with braids now that she knows it's an option. What have I done? Every single day this week she has requested them, even though they make us a little late to school. Note to self: must adjust morning routine if this trend continues next week. I've decided that two braids are my favorite.

4. Thursday Annelise had a little Spring party in her class. Not only did they get to frost and decorate their own cross shaped cookie,

they also made their own ice cream sundae. Can you say sugar overload?

After all the sugar consumption they hunted for Resurrection Eggs outside. Have you heard of those? Inside each egg is a small item relating to Jesus' betrayal, arrest, crucifixion and resurrection, like nails, gauze, silver money, dice, crown of thorns, etc. After finding the eggs, they took turns opening them and explaining what the items meant. I was impressed because they all did very well describing the items and retelling the story.
5. Since there was no school today for Good Friday, we had a highly enjoyable lazy dazy morning. Annelise crawled up in bed with me with a stack of books and we read a few. Love that.

Scott is playing golf this morning then we are meeting him at the boardwalk in Kemah to eat a late lunch and fritter away the afternoon. This weekend's forecast calls for egg hunts, egg decorating, friend and family time and of course, plenty of food.
Do you find yourself somewhat perplexed trying to explain the whole egg dyeing/egg hunting/spring/Easter Bunny/candy/basket thing while still focusing on Jesus to your little people? Of course the two things aren't related, but it all seems to get jumbled together in this one holiday. Annelise hasn't really asked too many whys about the Easter Bunny and egg related activities we do, she just has fun and eats the candy. I guess that's all right.
Hope your Easter weekend is EGGStraspecial!! (Forgive me, I just couldn't resist the corny spelling.)


Get Yourself a Grandma

A couple of weeks ago Annelise told me she wished she had a grandma. For those of you new to my story, Annelise's MeeMaw passed away in 2006, Annelise was not yet 3 years old. As she has gotten older she is more aware about families and relationships. This past summer my dad (A. calls him Pappo) married Peggy. Got it?

At first, A. did not want to call her anything of the grandma variety, so she called her Miss Peggy. So back to our conversation a few weeks ago, when Annelise mentioned she really wanted a grandma. I told her I understood and that Miss Peggy could be her grandma is she wanted her to. A. didn't really say any more, but I could tell something was stewing in her little mind. About a week later she and Scott rode their bikes over to see Pappo and Miss Peggy.

Later, when she came home, Annelise burst through the back door and ran right up to me with a loud, "Mama, guess what?!?! I HAVE A GRANDMA!!!" Turns out that during their visit Annelise asked Peggy to be her grandma and told her she wanted to call her grandma. Is that not the sweetest? There may have been a few tears of happiness shed. Peggy and Annelise put their heads together and decided a celebration was in order as soon as Pappo and Peggy returned from their camping trip. Annelise told me Grandma would make the chocolate cake and I was supposed to make the punch (she remembered me making the punch for their wedding I guess).

Yesterday afternoon was the official Grandma & Granddaughter Celebration...

We enjoyed a yummy lunch of burgers and hot dogs followed by a tasty chocolate cake with strawberries. I did eat a turkey burger (WW friendly) and a piece of cake--with some Blue Bell vanilla ice cream (not WW friendly, but it was a party after all...).

Peggy even gave Annelise a little present to remember their special day. She was thrilled to get some play jewelry and her first piece of real silver, a little ballerina necklace. Here she is proudly displaying her new rings.

Overall the Grandma/Granddaughter Celebration was a huge hit. I'm so thankful to Peggy for easily accepting Annelise as her granddaughter and filling that vacancy in her life.


The WW Report

The Woo Hoos: I survived week one of being back on the plan. I tracked my food intake and calculated points fairly faithfully. Careful with my portion sizes. Mostly made better choices. Go me.

Along with eating more fruit, leaner proteins and veggies I tried a new cereal that was a hit.

Mixing it with vanilla yogurt and fruit makes it like a parfait (except not as pretty just dumped in my bowl). The Ezekiel 4.9 cereal is high in protein, lowish in fat and does not have all those icky preservatives. It was a bit pricier, of course since it's better for you. Grrr.

More salads have been on my menu too. Love them. This one had pears along with salad veggies and a sprinkle of low fat feta cheese. Sometimes I'll top them with tuna (love those single serving pouches) or chicken, I had half a turkey burger patty with this one.

Replaced junky treats with Fiber One yogurts and bars, sugar-free pudding, 100 calorie packs , 94% fat free microwave Kettle corn and Skinny Cow treats. Of course even with these moderation is the key.

The So-Sos: Only ran once during the week. Still nibbled on chocolate.

The Blatant Uh-Ohs: Ate chicken fajitas with all the trimmings (hello, what's the point otherwise?) on Saturday afternoon. Ate coffee ice cream with Heath bits at Marble Slab Thursday night (head hung in shame, BUT...it was GOOD).

The result: I only lost 1.4 pounds this week.

I am trying to be okay with this, based on the above confessions, and the fact that I know losing weight the best way will take time. Pause for deep cleansing breath.

Goals for next week: Get more exercise in, at least 4x, hopefully more. Stay on track even with all the upcoming Easter celebratory eating. Try not to raid A.'s Easter basket.

Wish me luck.


Opening Day

While the major leagues were kicking off their season Monday evening with news cameras and much fanfare, our church softball league did the same.

Except without the news coverage and elaborate fanfare, unless you count a few spouses and offspring who braved the brisk evening winds to cheer on their players.

Or chat amongst themselves while the offspring played. Whatever.

Devoted wife that I am, I managed to stop chatting and shivering at some point to snap a photo of Scott on first base.

During the chatting, as a few of the little people were nearby, one of which had two cute braids, I realized I have never braided A.'s hair. Why? Not sure. Ponytails, pigtails and barrettes, yes; braids no.

This morning A. was beside herself with glee to finally sport a braid. She had to keep checking her look in the mirror.

Scott's team won their two games and A. discovered braids. Although the Astros ended up losing to the Cubs, I'd still say our Opening Day was a hit.


Five for Friday

1. I am relieved to report that Annelise's playdate Tuesday afternoon went well. Thanks for all your advice and talking me down off the play date ledge. They were all giggly and silly when I picked them up after school, their excitement was infectious. After a cloudy, drippy morning, the sun finally came out and the girls had a muffin tin picnic.

Since I had never served lunch in such a fabulous way before, A. declared, repeatedly, that I was a GENIUS. Well, thank you.

I realized I may have gone a little overboard with the variety, but it worked out because they nibbled on it in phases.

Their few giggly hours together were spent playing outside, jumping on the trampoline, playing in her room, going on a June bug scavenger hunt (E. found 13, A. found 9, plus one roly-poly) and playing her Littlest Pet Shop game. Whew!

2. I finally gathered my wits about me earlier this week and managed to send out a bit of Good Mail. That felt good! I've been rather negligent (okay, lazy) in that area lately, so I hope this was a spark to ignite that habit again.

3. Is it just me, or do you think Valerie Bertinelli's face looks completely different too? Enough to bug a person. I think it's fantastic that at 48 she has lost weight and toned up (hope springs eternal), but has she nipped/tucked her face too?

4. Last Friday morning was Dads and Donuts at Annelise's school. She was THRILLED to have Scott drive her to school and sit in her class room with her. I was THRILLED to stay in bed.

5. We survived dance class photos this week, thank goodness. I'm not sure why it always seems like such an ordeal, especially since she is only in one costume (older girls are in more dance numbers). I guess I always worry we'll forget something or have attached something wrong, though we haven't yet. Can you guess what she is? Yeah, that's right (those dangly things are stretchy sequined strings that will attach to her tap shoes so she'll seem more puppetesque). I do hope she doesn't develop identity issues from dancing a tap routine in drag at such a young age.

Hope your Friday is FABULOUS.


Walk of Shame

Who: Me

Where: Local Weight Watchers facility

When: This morning

What: See above picture

Why: Taking responsibility and seeking accountability.

This morning was a turning point. After months of waffling, excuses, denial and serious lack of self control, I got over myself and went to weigh-in. Going through those doors and stepping up on the scale was so much harder than the first time (about this time last year).

Y'all. It's bad.

It's not like I didn't know it would be, not like I haven't seen and felt the changes. Believe me, I have. Seeing my poundage # printed on the little sticker attached to my new WW pocket guide was difficult on several levels. Embarrassed and humiliated that the # was almost the same as when I first began WW last year; shame for the food choices made these last five months; regret over the lack of self-control and spotty exercise regime.


Stepping on the scale this morning at WW signifies a new beginning. Better choices and habits. Weekly accountability. A fresh start.

I'll keep you posted along my journey.
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