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

My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

Oh boy.  How to begin this post?  I have so much on my mind I don’t know where to start.  First of all, I hate that I have only been making about one blog entry a month…not very bloggy of me.  It’s been more than a month since my last post.  A lot has happened during that time, and yet I feel that there’s not much to report.  Just the usual life-stuff that keeps me hopping.  The most noteworthy news is that I got to squeeze in a quick trip to Albuquerque to visit with friends…yay!  Other than that, it was business as usual.

I need to clarify two things in the title of today’s post: 1) it’s really more of a like/dislike relationship that I have with running (love and hate are probably too strong), and 2) when I say “running,” I really mean jogging/walking.  I do not – and sadly don’t think I ever will – consider myself a runner.  Remember when I first tried running last fall, I ended up with the most terrible shin splints.  I think that the main culprit of those shin splints was that I was running a path in my neighborhood with lots of hills.  After I finally recovered, cold weather had started to set in and the days were getting shorter, so I never really got back in the groove.

I really thought things would turn around for me this spring, but it seems they may not.  I can’t really come up with a cohesive way to tie together all my thoughts about my running experience, so today you are getting a list of random thoughts, some funny, some serious, and a few pictures sprinkled in.

Running Randomness

  1. Consistency is my biggest problem.  When my oldest son’s basketball season ended in February, he moved right into spring soccer.  At our local soccer complex, there is a decently smooth paved path between and around most of the fields.  Since the weather was starting to get nicer, I decided to start taking my running clothes to work so I could walk/jog at the soccer fields after work.  I was amazed at how easy it was!  A nice, flat area to run meant no shin splints for me, thank goodness.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t always the one to take him to practice, and soccer season was short-lived with several rainouts.  There is also a nice running/bike trail near my work, but I almost always have to hurry to pick up my boys from their grandma’s house.  The only time I can run on that trail is if my husband can pick up the boys.  Which leaves me with running in the mornings or evenings in my neighborhood.  So this past week, I started jogging in my neighborhood again, this time going a different direction that is not as hill-y as my previous path.  Here is a picture of said new path:running path
  2. Swallowing bugs is so gross.  I’m sure this happens to city-dwellers too, but running on a country highway has caused me to swallow lots of extra rough-age.
  3. But the fragrance of honeysuckles is amazing!  Oh my, the air is heavy with the smell of honeysuckles right now!  This was something I haven’t encountered yet since I started running in the late summer/early fall.  Running in the spring is great!honeysuckles
  4. Running is giving me bronchitis.  Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but this week I have encountered a whole new problem with running…runner’s cough!  It’s a real phenomenon!  This week I ran on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Wednesday night I started having a little bit of a cough, and by Thursday afternoon it was getting worse.  Friday morning I was coughing so deep that my chest was burning and I had to get out my cough drops.  I have heard of “runner’s knee” and things like that, so I decided to search online for information about “runner’s cough”…and I found all sorts of information about it.  The biggest thing I learned from my research is that I’ve been breathing wrong.  Figures.  I guess I’m supposed to be breathing from my belly.  And also inhaling through my nose, which I’ve tried before and found to be very difficult.  Anywho, I read several interesting articles.  Here is the link to an article from Runner’s World, which I found to be the most helpful:  http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/breathing  I debated about whether or not I should run yesterday (Friday) since my chest was already hurting a little, but I decided I would go ahead and run a shortened path with my newfound breathing information.  Today I am coughing up green stuff.  Yuck.  This has not been an issue before.  Why is it happening to me now?  I read that it could be the pollen, humidity, or other environmental factors, but who knows.  I’ve wondered if running on a treadmill would be better, but now that I’ve run outdoors, I’m not sure I could enjoy a treadmill.  <sigh again>  Maybe I’ll give it a try.
  5. Cows make a great audience.  I pretend that they are cheering for me as I pass them.  Or maybe telling me to “Eat Mor Chikin.”  No, I cannot run on a treadmill without cows.running audience
  6. I enjoy running.  I really do.  I love being outside, and I feel like I’m going somewhere.  As I mentioned in The Plan, I’d love to run a 5K someday.  It’s still a goal I’d like to reach, but boy running is complicated.  For me anyway.  Does it come very naturally to some people?  It seems like a science, this running business.  And I never really did care for science.  I’m not giving up yet, but I can’t seem to get the hang of it.  Between trying to arrange childcare and getting my body to cooperate, it seems like running may not be in the cards for me.  I guess we’ll see how things go after I get over this cough.

Well, it’s about time for me to sign off.  Despite my yucky cough, I did a ton of yard work this morning, and I’m worn out!  I wish you all a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  Please thank a service man or woman for their dedication to our country!  My silly running problems seem trivial when thinking about those who gave their all for our nation and our freedoms.  May God bless and comfort those who lost someone in the line of duty.  Goodnight, friends!

 

Fondue for Two

Greetings from Antarctica!  Oh wait…I mean Arkansas.  We are iced in…again…and it makes me forget where I live.  But that gives me time to catch up on the blog, so I won’t complain!

As mentioned in my previous post, my husband and I had to postpone our Valentine’s plans on account of the flu in our household.  Our plans finally came to fruition last Saturday, and we had such a great night!  Let me give you a little backstory first….

My hubby, Jeremy, and I have a tradition of taking turns surprising the other with Valentine’s Day plans.  So one year, he’s in charge of planning Valentine’s, and the next year, I’m in charge of our plans.  And so on and so forth.  Several years ago, I surprised him with a trip to Memphis to see “Spamalot” (which was so stinkin’ fantastic) and dinner at The Melting Pot.  When I told him it was a fondue restaurant, my usually up-for-anything husband said, “Do what?!?”  Haha!  He is a very picky eater, and fondue was something he never intended to try.

When we got to The Melting Pot, we were shocked to discover that you cooked your own food.  We were like, “We came all this way and are paying all this money to cook our own dinner?”  Little did we know what a fun experience it would be!  For any readers who have not experienced The Melting Pot, you get four amazing courses when you order the whole nine yards: cheese fondue, salad, entrée, and chocolate fondue.  The entrée is the part where you do your own cooking – and it was so much fun.

We were hooked upon the first bite of the cheese fondue, but if we hadn’t been, the variety of meats would have sealed the deal for my husband, and the chocolate fondue would have made a believer out of me.  All this to say, we love The Melting Pot!  It is a bit pricey, so we usually only go once a year, usually for Valentine’s Day or our anniversary.  We love the fondue experience so much that we asked my parents for a nice Cuisinart fondue pot for Christmas four years ago.  And they bought us one.  And we never used it.  Until now….

Flash forward to Valentine’s Day 2014, my year to be in charge of Valentine’s Day.  I thought to myself, “By golly, I am going to use that fondue pot that’s been in the cupboard for four years to fix a romantic fondue dinner for us at home.”  I hadn’t gotten around to using it because I knew it was going to be a huge undertaking.  But I was determined to make it happen!  I got on The Melting Pot’s website back in January to see if they had any of their recipes listed, and lo and behold, they are now selling a Melting Pot cookbook!  I ordered one right away, along with some marinade, salad dressing, seasoning, and chocolate wafers.  My goal was to recreate a night at The Melting Pot…and we did.

It really was quite a production…it took us five hours!  Lol!  We started at 5:00pm and didn’t finish until 10:00pm.  There was a half hour break in there for me to rest…I was worn out!  Not only was there TONS of prep-work that started the night before, I had to clean the fondue pot between each course.  My back was killing me from all the cooking and dishwashing.  But it was so much fun.  Jeremy was my sous-chef, and I every time I needed him I’d holler, “Get this, Sous!” or “Fetch that, Sous!”  It was great bossing him around the kitchen, and he learned a lot.  Together, we cooked a fabulous meal.

Here are some pictures from each of our four courses:

We started with a traditional Swiss cheese fondue.  Not nearly as good as the cheddar one we order at The Melting Pot, but I wanted to start with a classic.

cheese fondue

Next up were salads with The Melting Pot’s house dressing.  Can you guess which salad is Jeremy’s?

salads

The main course included teriyaki sirloin, jumbo shrimp, barbecue pork loin, and four cheese ravioli (for me).  On the side, we had potatoes and broccoli.  We had so much leftover food, it was ridiculous.

main course

The fourth and final course was Bananas Foster fondue, which is made with white chocolate.  Absolutely. Divine.  This course was all mine, and I had all kind of goodies for dipping: strawberries, bananas, pound cake, marshmallows rolled in graham cracker crumbs, Rice Krispie treats, and sugar cookie pieces.  And of course, plain iced sugar cookies for my honey.

chocolate fondue

It was a memorable evening for sure, and even though it was hard work, I look forward to doing it again.  Not anytime soon, but sometime.  I am so thankful for my Valentine.  He is my best friend, amazing father, hard worker, and love of my life.  He has been very supportive of my weight loss goals, and I look forward to celebrating with him when I accomplish them.  Maybe we’ll celebrate with a trip to The Melting Pot.

Ode to a Cadbury Creme Egg

“Oh, messenger of spring,

how you lift my soul when I see you in the store.

Your shiny foil wrapper brings a tear to my eye,

and I realize that everything is right in the world.

Your milk chocolate shell…so scrumptious.

Your soft fondant center…so decadent.

Your richness is worth more than all the gold in the land.

Though each moment with you is precious,

it’s for the best that our time together is brief.

When Easter has passed, we must go our separate ways,

for I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I…keep going.

Oh, and I love you with milk.”

creme eggs

Okay, you get the point.  I love Cadbury Creme Eggs.  And yes, I bought a five-pack of them at the store last weekend.  I couldn’t find them last year!  By the time I gave in to the urge to buy one, all I could find were the mini-eggs, which are totally different and completely inferior.  So even though Easter is still two months away, these babies are hot-off-the-shelf so I don’t miss out this year.

In other news, I am still struggling to get back to a regular exercise routine.  Things have been super-busy lately (nothing new there), and I’ve only managed to squeeze in a few sporadic workouts.  The good news is that I have been able to exercise without any serious flare-ups with my hip.  It’s still sore sometimes, but it’s not popping out of place anymore.  For the time being….

I was really looking forward to a fun night of cooking with husband for Valentine’s Day, but our oldest son came down with the flu.  :(  Thankfully we caught it very early, and he recovered nicely.  So our cooking plans have been rescheduled for this weekend.  Stay tuned for details!

One thing that has made me determined to get back on track ASAP is the warmer temperatures we’ve had this week.  It’ll be time for flip-flops and shorts before we know it, and I am hoping to buy some new spring clothes!  My winter clothes have gotten pretty loose, but I’m trying not to buy too many new clothes because I am only about halfway to my weight-loss goals.  I think it will be kinda fun – and kinda sad, because I get attached to my faves – to pull out my spring and summer clothes and find that they are too big for me.  Warmer weather has also got me thinking about that tropical vacation my husband and I would like to take for our 15th anniversary.  I still don’t know if the stars will align for it to happen, but I can almost hear the ocean calling and feel the warm sand between my toes!

As we dream of palm trees and warm breezes, I pray that we all stay safe and warm during this last month of winter.  I love winter, but I think I’m about ready for spring!  And Easter candy.

Happy New Year!

I cannot believe we are about to put another calendar year in the books!  Where did 2013 go?  Well, I suppose it went to the same place most of my recent years have gone – to work and school, to church services and grocery shopping, to doctor appointments and birthday parties, to basketball and soccer games.  To all the activities and life-stuff that fills up our daily schedules.  My December, just as every month before it, was filled with plenty of activities and life-stuff…

My last blog post was fortuitously timed.  I said that I was okay with not losing any weight for the month, what with all the Christmas parties and gatherings, and the very next day I hurt myself.  Thankfully I hurt myself doing something truly heroic – vacuuming.  Because we were iced in at the time, I was giving my poorly neglected house some fairly deep cleaning.  I was vacuuming under the dining room table, and as I stooped down to extend my arm, my back went completely out.  The pain buckled my knees, and I fell on top of the still-running vacuum cleaner.  My husband and youngest son heard my cry and came to help me.  I ended up spending the next several days on a heating pad on the couch, with exercise absolutely off my to-do list.  Or more accurately, off my can-do list.

After nine days, the pain had not gotten any better, so I called on a friend of my husband’s who is a physical therapist.  I went to see him at his clinic, and he informed me that my ilium (top of the pelvic bone) had rotated out of place.  What?!?  I really wished I had gone in sooner.  He had to pop my hip back into place, then pop my lower vertebrae back into place.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I felt like a new woman.

I made it through Christmas and all our Christmas get-togethers just fine, but my lower back/hip area started hurting again a couple of days ago.  This time I didn’t wait.  I made another trip to the physical therapy clinic again this morning (thank goodness he could meet with me on New Year’s Eve), and that rotten old hip bone was out of alignment again!  He set everything back where it belongs – again – and sent me home with some exercises for strengthening my lower back and my core in general.  I’m back on the heating pad as I type this, so we are having a very low-key New Year’s Eve here in the living room watching movies.  Which, by the way, is precisely my favorite kind of New Year’s Eve.

So it looks like I won’t start 2014 guns-a-blazing as I would have liked to.  But this is just a minor and hopefully temporary setback.  I somewhat dread going back to the daily grind on Thursday after having been off for a week and a half, but it will be nice to be past the calorie-fest that was December.  And it is so nice to start 2014 already 15 pounds down from where I started 2013.  I can’t wait to make more progress!  (Watch out for an increase in blog posts as I get back in the swing of things!)

Whatever your plans or dreams for 2014, I wish you all the best.  As the old saying goes, I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.  I pray that God will reveal Himself to us in amazing ways this year.  It seems He always does….

Happy New Year, friends!  :)

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

Chocolate, Chocolate Everywhere!

Chocolate.  Mmmm.  One of my favorite sweets.  It seems chocolate has been popping up in my life quite a bit here lately….

First there was Halloween.  We took our boys trick-or-treating in the same neighborhood we visit every year.  And each year we seem to get a pretty balanced mix of candy – 1/3 fruity chewies, such as Starburst and Skittles; 1/3 hard candies, such as lollipops and jaw-breakers; and 1/3 chocolate goodies, such as Snickers and Milky Way.  This year we somehow ended up with about 90% chocolate goodies!  I let myself nibble on quite a bit of it, but there’s still tons of chocolate goodness left in the boys’ buckets.  I plan on taking it to work and putting it in our candy bowl for students so I won’t have it in the house anymore.

Next there was the onset of cool, crisp fall weather.  Each fall when cooler temps arrive, it stirs up a craving for three things: 1) flannel pajamas, 2) snuggly blankets, and 3) hot chocolate.  I discovered that Swiss Miss makes “diet” hot chocolate that tastes really good.  Only 25 calories and 2g of sugar, so it’s not a costly treat.  (My only complaint is that it doesn’t dissolve quite as nicely as regular hot chocolate.)  I’ve been making a cup nearly every morning at work.  Random Fact: Hot chocolate is the ONLY form of chocolate that my husband likes.  Go figure.

swiss miss

Finally, the women’s ministry group at my church sponsored a fabulous retreat called Café Chocolat.  That’s right – a whole retreat and Bible study based on chocolate!  We spent the night at Camp Paron where we participated in Bible study, sang worship songs, sewed a cozy fleece wrap, and ate TONS of chocolate.  I never dreamed it was possible to have too much chocolate, but I think I got very close!  The bible study was a comparison of chocolate to God’s extravagant love and extravagant grace.  It was definitely a “sweet” time of fellowship!

cafe chocolat

As much as I love chocolate, I think I’ve about reached my quota for November…and we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet!  Guess I’ll just have to focus on pumpkin cheesecake and sweet potato casserole instead.  I’m very much looking forward to Turkey Day, knowing that I will be saving all my splurge calories that week for the biggest meal of the year.  Here’s to turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce!  Bring. It. On.

Candy Corn is Beckoning

Reese’s and Snickers and Twix!  Oh my!  Halloween candy is here!

Halloween candy

I went grocery shopping tonight, and I had to fight with every muscle in my body not to grab a bag of Candy Corn, my all-time favorite Halloween candy.  One thing I love about this time of year is the seasonal baking display that our Wal-Mart sets up every year.  It is stocked with cookie, cake, and pie-making goodness.  I did give in and grab a mix for pumpkin muffins…yum!  But I can use self-control eating muffins.  Not so much with Candy Corn.

One reason I’m glad I started my weight loss plan this summer is that I wanted to see some significant weight loss before the holidays.  I have lost 12 pounds so far – woot! woot! – and I do not want to see all that hard work undone during the holidays.  Thinking about those 12 pounds got me safely through the candy aisle today.  Phew!  And that is really amazing since I saw a big bag of the new White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s.

I am so excited that tomorrow is the first day of fall!  I am beyond ready for changing leaves, jackets, scarves, apple cider, pumpkins, mums, and all the cozy things that accompany the season.  Happy Fall, everyone!

A Football Feast!

Happy Labor Day!  Hope that you are enjoying this holiday weekend.  We certainly are!

Saturday we spent most of the day in Jonesboro for Legislative Day at Arkansas State University.  My husband is a State Representative, and he and several colleagues were honored throughout the afternoon.  It started with a lunch at 1:00pm, then we went to a reception at 3:30pm.  The main event was the Redwolves football game at 6:00pm, which we watched from the Chancellor’s Box.  Lunch, a reception, AND dinner?!?  Food was everywhere!

Even though I’m allowed a couple of cheat meals each week, I was hoping that there would be a few healthy options.  The ASU catering team did not disappoint!  Lunch enabled me to get almost all my veggie servings: cabbage slaw with pine nuts, asparagus with crabmeat, and grilled cauliflower.  Delish!  My only cheat at lunch was a piece of strawberry cake.

ASU Meals

I forgot to take a photo at the reception, but it was very nice also.  They had a variety of fruits and cheeses set out, as well as several other appetizers.  I had some cantaloupe, pineapple, and strawberries.  Not really sure how, though, since I was still full from lunch!

I figured there would be some food for us in the Chancellor’s Box, but I had already told my husband I was eating a hot dog and popcorn for dinner, my two favorite ball game foods.  As luck would have it, they had hot dogs for us, and since I did alright at the lunch and reception, I didn’t hesitate to splurge at dinner!  I had a chili cheese hot dog, a stuffed jalapeno pepper, and a Howl cookie.  Never got my popcorn, but my belly was plenty full and plenty happy.  :)

We had an awesome day, and to top things off, the Redwolves won their first home game.  Driving around Jonesboro and around the ASU campus always brings back lots of great memories since my husband and I met here.  Good times.

Stadium

We have been celebrating our Labor Day at home, and tonight we are grilling burgers and eating outside on the patio.  Kind of one last summer hurrah.  I like summer just fine, but not as much as I love fall and winter, and all the events and yummy foods that come with these two seasons.  I’m also looking forward to cooler temperatures so my outdoor exercises don’t leave me in a sweaty puddle.

Hope your Labor Day weekend has been filled with fun.  Fall is only a few weeks away!  Next weekend will be our local county fair, and I can assure you that my cheat meals will be saved for corn dogs and funnel cakes.  Woohoo!