The blog is back!

I am that blogger.  The one who only published a handful of posts, then didn’t post at all for over a year.

Oops.

But I’m back!  I’m disappointed that I let the blog go for so long, but I’ve been a very busy lady.  My last post was in June 2014…a year and a half ago!  For shame.  Thankfully, in The Rules section of this blog, I hinted that my posts might be sporadic.  But I didn’t mean for them to be that sporadic.  (By the way, if this is your first time to read my blog, feel free to poke around!)

I’ve changed my countdown in the right margin to June 2017.  That’s quite an extension from my original deadline of June 2014!  But based on how busy things have been for me lately, I’m guessing I better give myself a lot of leeway, both for losing weight and for saving money.  Next year will be my 20-year high school reunion (ummm…WHAT?!?) and I’ll turn 40 in 2017 (ummm…DOUBLE WHAT?!?).  So there are several big milestones on the horizon to motivate me.  :)

Here are a few highlights – and lowlights? – from the last 18 months of my life:

June 2014

At the outset of this blog, I mentioned in The Dream that I wanted to celebrate achieving my goals by taking a big vacation with my husband.  I also mentioned that it would take a significant chunk of change to make that happen.  Last June we ended up having to replace the roof over our garage…which took every penny of our vacation savings.  Boo!  But that’s life.  We started saving again.

July 2014

July was a very busy month!  My boys and I went with my parents to St. Louis for a Cardinals game over 4th of July weekend.  A couple weeks later, I got to go to New Orleans for a mission trip with the women’s ministry from my church.  Road trips do usually mean lots of eating out, and I did splurge several times, but I stayed plenty active on both trips!  No significant weight loss, but no weight gain.

Cards game!

Busch Stadium

October 2014

On October 4th – which is my birthday! – I got to participate in my first 5K…Race for the Cure!  I’ve participated in the Race at least a half dozen times, but I have always been with a group, and we have always done the 2K walk.  This was my first time doing the 5K walk/run.  It was so much fun!  :)  I didn’t get to participate in the 2015 Race (explanation coming), but I hope I’ll get to participate next year.

2014 Race for the Cure

November 2014

We decided to list our house for sale by owner.  Nothing is more exhausting than trying to clean and prep your house for sale.

January 2015

My husband began his third term in the Arkansas legislature, and he was also sworn in as Speaker of the House for the Arkansas 90th General Assembly.  It was overwhelming!  We also had the honor of attending the Governor’s Inaugural Ball for our newly elected Governor.

At this point I also started planning the Speaker’s Ball, which is held every two years to honor the Speaker of the House.  It was a huge undertaking, with only two months to plan!  And only two months to find a dress.  ;)  While the planning was fun, it consumed a lot of my “free” time.  Between that and cold winter temps, I did very little regular exercise during that time.

March 2015

The Speaker’s Ball, held March 19th, was pretty much one of the top ten nights of my entire life.  It was absolutely magical.  We designed the event with an old Hollywood/Great Gatsby-ish them, and we gave out “Oscars” to the House of Representative staff.  It was an INCREDIBLE night!

Speaker's Ball 1

Speaker's Ball 2

Speaker's Ball 3

April 2015

In April, we took a four-day weekend to go to the beach!  It was my children’s first trip to the beach, and they loved it.  We went to Orange Beach, AL, and decided it was something we would gladly make an annual trip…if only we could afford it.  <sigh>  I miss the ocean.  This little taste of summer and the warmer weather got me back to slightly more regular exercise, but again, not enough to see any significant weight loss.

May 2015

Our house did not sell after a six-month listing, but we REEEALLY wanted to sell it, so we decided to have an auction to see if we could attract buyers that way.  More cleaning.  More prepping.  More stress.  More savings used for repairs.

July 2015

The first week of July, I took a nasty fall down the stairs in our house and nearly broke my big toe on my right foot.  Ow.  Based on the amount of pain I was in, I say it was broken…but x-rays showed otherwise.  This put me out of running and aerobics for over three months.  So much for all those summer workouts I had planned.  Well, who am I kidding…I was so busy getting things ready for the auction, cleaning had become my main form of exercise anyway.

July marked the beginning of a rough patch in my weight loss success.  :(

August 2015

School started.  The auction was held.  Our house did not sell…again.  <sigh>  All that work for nothing.

It was very discouraging, but we decided that God must have some reason for us to stay in our current house.  And as disappointed as I was that the house didn’t sell, I was SO happy to have all that housework behind me.  I don’t think I cleaned again for about two months!  I had a cleaning block.  I simply could…not…dust…or vacuum…one…more…room.

After the auction, everything was pretty much a blur.  And during that extremely stressful time, the weight I’d worked so hard to lose started finding it’s way back to me.

And then the holiday season started.

And here I am.

Four days before New Year’s…resurrecting my blog…because New Year’s weight-loss resolutions are just around the corner.  So I figured I’d go ahead and start now.  It feels really good to be blogging again.  :)  I was much more aware of my weight-loss progress – or lack thereof – when I was using this blog.

Late last year, I did reach the halfway point of my goal – I lost 20 lbs of the 40 lbs I set out to lose.  Ten of those pounds are already back.  Ugh.  So I have 30 lbs to lose from this point forward.  I had gotten to the point where it was necessary to buy smaller sizes in pants – yay! – but those pants are now a little bit tight.  Uh oh.

Starting over is somewhat of a bummer.  I’ll have to walk more than jog for a while…I’ll have to go back to my 25-minute aerobic video until I work my way back up to my 45-minute video…that sort of thing.  Yes, starting over is a drag, but it’s better than not starting at all.

Rough patch over.  :)

Thanks for taking a few minutes to catch up with me.  I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!  I have been to nine Christmas parties this month.  NINE.  Oh boy.  I have my work cut out for me in 2016!  And I pray that 2016 will be the year YOU set out to follow a dream or goal of your own.  Even if it’s been 18 months since you first started.  ;)

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

The countdown is over?!?

Wow.  The past eleven months have flown by.  I started this blog last July with a goal of losing 40 lbs by my 15th wedding anniversary…which was Thursday!  Not only have I not reached my goal, I’m not even halfway to my goal!  Haha!  Guess it’s time for a little reflection….

So I lost 15 lbs last summer and fall, and somehow managed to keep it off through the holidays and winter months.  I had really hoped to be halfway to my goal (down 20 lbs) by the end of 2013, but I didn’t make it.  A faulty hip and several other obstacles kept me from exercising as much as I would have liked, not to mention the hectic holiday season.  I had high hopes for spring, but it is such a busy season for my family, and it seemed that I would never get back into the swing of things.  Now that school is out for summer (hallelujah!), I have finally gotten back into a (mostly) consistent exercise routine.

Some of you may have noticed that I have a countdown running on the side of my blog that was counting down to me and my husband’s 15th anniversary: June 26th.  As you may recall from The Dream, I wanted to lose those 40 lbs before we reached this milestone.  Well, today is June 28th, and I have not reached that goal.  But all is not lost…I’m giving myself a deadline extension!

That’s the beauty of setting your own goals, right?!?  I can adapt and rework them as needed.  So my new goal is to finish losing the weight by November 15th.  What’s so special about November 15th, you ask?  My husband and I are still saving and planning for a big, getaway trip to celebrate our anniversary.  Because he is a farmer and busy with the harvest during the summer, we knew we’d have to take a trip sometime this fall or winter.  Because my husband is also in politics, he will also be busy from now until the November election.  So we’re thinking we might try to sneak away after the dust from Election Day settles, but before he takes office in January.  (Spoiler alert:  He’s unopposed in his race, so unless something bizarre happens, he wins!)

So an extension to November gives me almost five additional months to meet my goal.  And if I haven’t lost those 40 stinkin’ pounds by then, I’m sure I’ll give myself another extension.  ;)  I’ve heard that it is good to lose weight slowly…but I didn’t mean to lose it this slowly!

The summer is off to a great start, though.  After taking off a week and a half from running to get rid of that cough, I started back VERY slowly to build up my endurance.  I probably shouldn’t say this out loud, but…so far, so good.  No shin splints, no hip problems, no cough.  Maybe, just maybe, I am starting to get the hang of this running thing.  I hope so, because I really enjoy it.

I know not very many people read this blog (which is fine, it’s really more for myself than anything), but for those of you reading this, please continue to pray for me.  And keep those comments coming…I love hearing from you!  :)

I’ll leave you with some more pictures from my morning walking/running path and the obvious joke that goes along with them.  Here’s to a good summer!

chicken1

Q:  Why did the chicken cross the road?

A:  To get away from the crazy runner who was slightly scared of them and the strange noises they were making!

chicken2

chicken3

And of course, my cows are still cheering for me.  And they are happy about my extension to finish my goal.  Can’t you see it on their faces?!?

cows

Iced In = Blog Time

Greetings, friends!  Once again, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  (I warned you it might be sporadic during the holiday season!)  But today is our second day of being “iced” in our house, so I’ve got a little extra time on my hands to bring you up to speed on my progress…or lack thereof.

Thanksgiving got the best of me…I gained two pounds in the last two weeks!  Oops.  I had three Thanksgiving meals: one at work, one at church, and then of course, Thanksgiving Day.  Also, we traveled to San Antonio for Thanksgiving to spend the weekend with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.  Between Thanksgiving leftovers and having an Einstein Bagel Bros. right around the corner (my favorite!), I left myself splurge the whole time I was there.  I’ve already lost one of those two pounds, so I hope to be back on track soon.

You know how everyone makes the big New Years Resolution to lose weight?  (I have done this several times to no avail.)  I’m resolving right now to be on good behavior for the month of December.  It’s such a fun time of year, but oh, the temptations that come with it!  My husband and I have several Christmas parties that we’ll be attending, and I know there will be tempting treats and sweets at each one.  Today, I recommit my efforts to working out more and exhibiting more self-control at social events.

I have found that the best way for me to stick to my goals is to revisit The Dream.  Thinking about my wedding dress in its box – which I will open sometime after the first of the year – reminds me how badly I want to wear it again.  Looking online at Caribbean resorts I’d like to visit helps me visualize myself and my husband on the beach for our 15th wedding anniversary.

My goal is to lose 40 pounds, and I was hoping to be at the halfway point by the end of the year.  I’ve lost about 15 pounds so far…and I can live with that.  I don’t think I can lose 5 more pounds in the next three weeks with Christmas gatherings upon us.  (Okay, maybe I can, but I don’t plan to!)  So I’ll settle for not gaining anything this month.  And if my resolution sticks, maybe even lose a pound or two.  But I’m not holding my breath… ;)

I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the ice storm we survived.  I am so grateful our electricity is still intact.  I hope everyone stays safe and warm this winter.  Love and peace to you!

ice1

ice2

ice3

ice4

Welcome to my blog!

Oh my goodness!  The big day is finally here!  Meaning I’ve finally mustered up the courage to “launch” my new blog.  Thank you so much for stopping by!  You can read THE DREAM, THE PLAN, and THE RULES for more details on this blog, but in a nutshell, I am trying to lose weight, and hope to lose enough to fit back in my wedding dress.  I’m really excited and totally freaked out about this goal and this blog!

I got the idea a couple of months ago, right before my 14th wedding anniversary.  I’ve needed to lose the weight for a while now, but I just couldn’t seem to get motivated.  My hubby and I started daydreaming about taking a big vacation for our 15th wedding anniversary, and the idea to “Get in the Dress” just grew out of that daydream.

Please bear with me while I learn my way around this whole blogging thing.  It’s a little overwhelming at first!  While I would love for you to “follow” my blog, I know most of us are very busy people, so don’t feel like you have to.  I don’t follow many blogs.  If you just want to check in on my progress every now and again, that’d be awesome.  I’m going to need all the support I can get!

Please take a minute to poke around my pages and leave me some feedback.  Stay tuned for more on my crazy little scheme!