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

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!  :)