Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Findings

Ok, so I am not the most creative gal when it comes to post titles.  Hence, you get to see weird ones like this one.

It's Friday, and I for one can't be any happier.  I just got done teaching my last lesson for the semester (holla!), and I think it went fairly well.  I taught low to high functioning students with Autism how to cross the street.  While it didn't go exactly as planned, it was a gorgeous day (hello, 62 degrees in November!) and no one got hit by a car.  Sounds like 'winning' to me.

Secondly, I've decided to try a little bloggy challenge.  It's 31 days of blogging, and here's the how the challenge goes:

day 1 – recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself
day 2- the meaning behind your blog name
day 3- a picture of you as a child
day 4- a habit that you wish you didn’t have
day 5- a picture of somewhere you’ve been
day 6- favorite super hero and why
day 7- what's in your bag
day 8- short term goals for this month and why
day 9- something you’re proud of in the past few days
day 10- songs you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad
day 11- write a bucket list of things you want to do before you die
day 12- what I would find in your bag
day 13- your 5 favorite books and why
day 14- a picture of you and your family
day 15- put your ipod on shuffle: first 10 songs that play
day 16- a picture of yourself
day 17- someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
day 18- plans/dreams/goals you have
day 19- write about a sweet memory from your past
day 20- write a letter to someone
day 21-a picture of something that makes you happy
day 22- what makes you different from everyone else
day 23- something you crave a lot
day 24- post your favorite quote or verse of scripture and why
day 25- favorite holiday tradition and why
day 26- list 10 things that you are thankful for
day 27- my day job verses my passion
day 28- cruise a thesaurus and pick out 10 words you like the sound of
day 29 – favorite tv shows and why you like them
day 30 – movies you can watch again and again.

day 31 – what is your wish for the new year?
I know I have been super busy with this semester, and even though my teaching is done with, my classes still have a few more weeks to go.  So, at least with the challenge I will at leats be able to write something.  That's the plan, anyways...

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  Can't wait to recap what I'll be up to Saturday night.  Here's a hint:  I may or may not be rubbing elbows with sports celebrities in St. Louis, all in the name of a terrific cause.  Any guesses?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Well, Thanksgiving was wonderful.  I have no pictures to share, unfortunately, as my parents don't really like photos.  Shocking, I know.  But, while I am thankful to have had the time with them, I have a different kind of Thanksgiving post to write.  We will call it a "pre" New Year's resolution.  Better known as the "post" Thanksgiving resolution.  And like most women, it involves losing weight.

My weight has always been a struggle for me.  Well, at least in my mind.  I was always thin in high school.  I never thought I was, but looking back, I was at a really healthy weight.  I was 5'4" (still am) and about 120 lbs.  I always thought I was the fat girl, but what I wouldn't give to be at that weight today.

Before Joel deployed, I promised myself that I would lose some weight.  And I did.  In six months, I lost 17 pounds.  I felt great, bought a cute new wardrobe, and was finally content looking at that girl in the mirror.

That's me about to run a race in July.  And yes, it was a costume run.
Now, post Thanksgiving, I realized that I have gained back ten pounds in just a few short months.  I feel disgusting, I can barely fit into my new wardrobe, and all of my pants are nearly unbearable to wear because I tossed all of my fat pants in the trash.  But, no more.  Starting today, I am making myself accountable.  Today is day one.  I did 20 minutes of kettlebells, and can't believe the step back that I have taken.  Below, if you are brave enough to look, you will see my "before" pictures, as I like to call them.  I will lose this weight again.  For good.  I will be a more active person and I will eat better.  Because I refuse to look like this much longer.  I just need to believe that I am not meant to be the fat girl.  Because for most of my life, that is who I have seen in the mirror.  And I need to make sure that "she" doesn't define me.  I control my destiny.

Yes, I have a bra on.  It just happens to be the same color as my top.

My last before pic.  Gross.
Any tips, hints, or suggestions are recommended.  I want to make this weight loss sustainable.  No more fad diets for me.  I know the only was to keep the weight off is to make a lifestyle change.  I want to be a fitter, happier, and yes, thinner me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

True advice, for reals.
Yes, I know it is only Wednesday and not actually Thanksgiving, but because my parents moved to the middle of nowhere, Indiana from my fabulous hometown of Indianapolis, and therefore do not have any internet of any kind (please pray for me), you get this post today.

This year, in spite of all its challenges and frustrations (at times), I am thankful for so many things:

I am thankful that my husband made it back from his third deployment safe and sound and that we are spending the holidays together.

I am thankful my old man pug, who is about 16 now, is still with us through another holiday season.  I am also thankful or other little guy is such a good fit with the old man.  They totally wub each other.

I am thankful I am gainfully employed, and I am thankful that I am nearly done with my Master's Degree.

I am thankful for the roof over my head and for the fact that we bought the house we live in so I can do whatever I want to it.  New floors and countertops?  Yes please!  New bathroom?  Working on it...

I am thankful for the opportunity to write this blog.  It has given me the opportunity to discover so much about myself and "meet" some pretty awesome people that I may have otherwise not known.  And I am thankful to all of you that follow me.  Makes me feel special.

I am thankful for the relative health of my family and Joel's family, and I am thankful that I am blessed with some pretty amazing in-laws.  They're really good people.

And on a silly note, I am thankful to all the Housewives franchises, New Girl, Modern Family, and the NFL and NCAA seasons.

There is so much more that I know I am thankful of, and even though I didn't do the "30 Days of Thankfulness" like most people, I feel blessed every day I get another chance at life on this earth.  It really is an amazing life, and through all of its challenges, life is really a lot of fun.  I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving wherever you're at and with whomever you're with.  Enjoy it.  In the words of Usher (holla!), "you've got one life, just live it."  And I thank God for every breath he allows me to take.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Recap

First of all, can we talk about this adorable little guy?  Gomez, our youngin' pup (he's almost two now) scared the bejeezus out of his.  To say that he is a spirited pup is an understatement.  This little guy is always abounds with energy 99% of the time, and then crashes at the end of the night.  He's a great pup, but Friday morning was acting like a mere shell of himself.  He just kind of moped around, didn't get excited as we came/went from work, and barely lifted his head up for food.  This is a dog who has never missed an opportunity for food.  We were super worried, and monitored him to make sure that he was ok.  Luckily, the next morning he was back to his normal self, and we couldn't have been more grateful

I took a trip with Outdoor Rec (an outdoor travel kind of place on the base) to St. Genvieve, MO to do a wine tasting trip.  We went to a couple of vineyards in the area and sipped on some of Missouri's finest.  Now, maybe because I am a wine snob because of my past European living situation, or maybe because this area was inspired by French wines (and I prefer the German variety), but I wasn't impressed by the wine.  The Riesling didn't taste anything like it should, and a large majority of the wines had too much of a citrus-y taste (i.e. lemon-yuck!).  Although, one particular winery, Crown Valley, had some fantastic fruit wines and the best Peach Sangria.  Yummers!  But, I haven't lost all hope in finding a great Riesling.  There's still a German area in Missouri with vineyards (I think it's called Augusta) and I haven't given up hope on that, yet.

Oh, and I failed to mention one of the most important things that happened this weekend.  Umm...Notre Dame is ranked #1!  Yes, I know I didn't atten Notre Dame.  But, as a Hoosier I always take the time to recognize when another Indiana school makes their way through the rankings.  So long Oregon!  There's a new tam in town.  For now...
Photo found here.
Sunday was just hanging around the house and almost dying of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Well, that last one may be a tad dramatic, but our detector totally went off late last night and I woke up in a panic to get to fresh air.  I think Joel just shut the chimney a little too early after our fire, but still.  Scared the hell outta me.

This weekend I am heading back to Indiana for Thanksgiving (I know, I am as shocked as you are that it is here already) where I will be spending some much needed bonding time with the best sister in the world.  I will not, however, have Internet.  My parents left wonderful Indianapolis a few years ago and moved to the middle of nowhere, Indiana where Internet does not exist, except in dial-up land.  And I do not do dial-up well.  Patience is a virtue that I have not yet mastered.  That's ok, my dysfunctional family is (mostly) entertaining enough.

Sisterly love.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's OK Thursday


It's ok that I am spending Thanksgiving at my family's house this year.  It will be the first time in eight years that this has happened.  Even though we have a dysfunctional relationship, it will be good to spend the holiday with them.

It's ok that the semester is almost over and I still have so much left to do.  That just means after the next four weeks are up, I get four weeks off.  And somehow I always pull through.

It's ok that I dream of being Jess on The New Girl.  Who wouldn't want to be as cute and quirky as she is or have a hilarious friend like Schmidt.

Found here.
It's ok that Joel is exactly like Phil Dumfy on Modern Family.  Most of the time, anyways...
Found here.
And finally, it's ok that I have been slightly obsessed with my DVR lately.  Sometimes it's all the energy I have.  And comedies these days have been hi-lar-ious!

Ok, one more.  It's ok that this blog is short and sweet today.  For goodness week is Thanksgiving!!!  I better get it together.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekend Update

Happy Monday (err...Tuesday) to everyone!  I was happy to get a respite from work yesterday.  I have been feeling so overwhelmed and busy with school and everything else, so taking a break from the norm to do a little relaxation and shopping was just the ticket I needed.

Oh, and can I say, wow?  I hit triple digits!  I see that I have hit 102 followers (and hopefully counting), so I just wanted to say thanks for the support, everybody.  I feel so blessed!

So Saturday was...interesting.  We woke up and headed into Forest Park, one of my favorite STL spots, for a 5K known as the Cupcake dash.  basically, you run the 5K, and at each kilometer, you ate a cupcake to shave time off of your run.  Sounds great in theory, but after the third cupcake, the bloat definitely kicked in.  And throwing up was a disqualification, so I knew I had to keep it down.  I am glad I did it, but probably won't be making this one a repeat.  Oh, and I gained a pound from the experience.  I'm not sure that's the point...

Pre-run smiles
Saturday night was dinner out at a new restaurant.  It's called Tavern on Main, and it's located in Belleville, IL.  All I can say is...I wouldn't eat there again.  A 25 minute wait ended up being close to an hour, they didn't take call aheads, they were out of a few different beers that the guys wanted (and were told was on tap), and the food was just "ok."  The kicker was they had a ton of TVs, but with all the sports on, they were just showing mostly random TV dramas (that you couldn't hear anyways because the place was so loud).  When I asked them to turn it on the Notre Dame game, they said they would, but it never happened.  Not cool for us sports fans.

Sunday was filled with errands, school work, and a little relaxing.  We had dinner at one of our favorite local farmhouse restaurant called Eckerts (I swear I do actually cook sometimes) and we took advantage of Family Video's offer for a free rental for the miltary and had a movie night in.  Considering we went from 70 degrees to 40 degrees in a matter of a day, we decided that starting a fire in our fireplace was in order.

Monday was a little pre-holiday shopping and lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.  They had an offer for service members to have a free pizza and soft drink, and the pizza fiend I married couldn't resist.  We thought it was a great gesture on their part, so we made sure to tip well.  If anyone from there reads this, thanks for thinking of our men and women (both past and present) in uniform.

And speaking of Veteran's Day, I was busy spending time with my vet, but it made me think of friends whose husband's are serving overseas and friends who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.  Free meals and a day off work are great, but let's never forget who we have to thank for making our nation what it is.  Joel always feels odd when people thank him for his service because he says that it should be a thankful job, but if I see someone in uniform outside of the base, I try to always tell them thanks.  They should know that someone out there cares and remembers.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fill in the blank Friday!

Link up here!
1. I like snuggling up with my pups in the evening, finally getting back to working out (although no one can tell yet) and the fact the the red cups are back at Starbucks and they still have my beloved PSL.  Don't judge!

2. A life goal of mine is  simply be happy where I am at in life.  I can always point to something that I want to change or improve, and although I think you should always strive to be better (because, hey, no one is perfect) for just once in my life I want to be happy exactly as I am.

3. The last thing you would ever expect me to like (even though I secretly do) is trashy reality tv.  Yes, I may claim my undying love for it on my blog (sometimes).  But, in real life, unless we are super close you'd never know how obsessed I am with people that I have never (and will never) meet.

4. Some wise words that I love are "be still, and know that I am God." (Psalms 46:10) Pretty powerful stuff, and something that I struggle to be at peace with often.  I totally have control issues.

5. Most mornings you will find me  barely awake and trying to fumble myself around to get to where I need to go (work, etc.).  I am not a morning person, so unless I have had that first (or sometimes second) cup of coffee, it's best that we don't speak.

6. Right now I am super into  all that fall has brought.  I love the cooler (not cold) weather, my comfy sweaters, pulling out my boots, pumpkin everything, the fireplace crackling, and hot cocoa.  I heart fall.

7. Right now I am super over people who think that their opinion is the only one that matters and stereotypes the other person for believing in something different.  I am beyond over this.  People seem so judgmental lately!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's ok Thursday!

Link up here!

Hey you out there in blogland!  It's Thursday, and I can not wait until this work week is over.  I have been so overwhelmed with this semester coming to a close at school, and I am not being very successful when it comes to time management lately.  Joel likes to say that if you wait until the last minute that it only takes a minute, but I'm finding that one minute is pure torture.  But, it's Thursday, so...

It's ok that I am not ready for the holiday season yet.  I am just going to pretend that Thanksgiving is not in just two short weeks.  And I will not succumb to the Christmas music all around me.  No sirree, store.  I will walk right out of you!

It's ok that I am super excited that I got my PSL at Starbucks in a red cup.  Red Solo Cup, meet your match!

It's ok that the elections didn't really go my way.  The people spoke, and that's how Democracy works.  Right?  Right???

It's ok that I avoided Facebook yesterday.  The pure hatred I've seen regarding other people's views was enough to make me sick.

It's ok that I am in full sweater and boots mode.  While I am not a fan of the cold, I am a fan of boots.  And sweaters, and hot chocolate, and bonfires.  I am not a fan of snow, however.  Stay away, snow!

It's ok that I am participating in a 5K this weekend when I know I won't be able to run the whole thing.  While I am sad that I had a major setback in my run time, I am just happy to be back on track.

It's ok that I have been struggling with some major decisions lately.  These are major decisions, and shouldn't be taken too lightly.  I just wish I didn't always have an internal struggle regarding my life's path.  Anyone have a crystal ball I can borrow?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Southern Nights

I know that I am a Hoosier (and darn proud of it!), but I think I am a true Southern girl at heart.

I like long nights with a cool glass of sweet tea.  The only real kind of tea.
Image found here.
I live in my blue jeans.  And having at least one plaid shirt in the closet is a must.

I break out my boots whenever I get a chance, but apparently never get good photos of them.
I like my gentlemen callers (AKA my husband) to have manners and charm.  A military man, no matter how Northern, will do.
I like my music country (as well as a lot of others), I like the great outdoors, and nothing beats watching the sunset on a big wrap around porch with a pup in your lap, wrapped around in a blanket on a cool, fall eve.  As much as I love my home in Indiana (Hoosier Hospitality is a close second), and the big cities of Chicago and NYC, I had a fabulous, better than expected time on our most recent trips to Kentucky and Tennessee.  If we don't get to go back overseas I hope for a new home in the South.  You here that, Air Force?  I'll take Charleston next, pleaseandthankyou.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

So, here is my PSA for today.  Vote.  It's not just about the Presidency (although that is super important), but it is also about our local leaders.  Our Governors and Senators and all the folks who represent us at the state level.  What they do directly affects our lives, and I don't take my right to vote for granted.  These are the people that are supposed to work for us, the citizens.

Picture found here

In other news, happy birthday to my favorite little girl in the whole wide world, my Goddaughter!  Although I might not be as active in her life as I'd like to be (stupid physical distance), she is nonetheless always on my mind and in my heart.  I was so blessed to catch up with her this weekend in Indianapolis.  I love you, baby love!!

Isn't she adorbs?

Monday, November 5, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" /></a>
Link up here!

I am back from my short Indianapolis adventure.  It was great to be back in a city I am so familiar with and have it be "my" place to show the hubster.  Of course, cold, sleet, and rain were there to great us, but it was nice waking up to the Indianapolis skyline.  Well, minus Lucas Oil Stadium.  That thing is an eyesore!

We had a trip of my favorite things.  We had Long's donuts (in my opinion the best donuts in the world!), Acapulco Joe's Mexican for lunch (although the food was great, Hossier hospitality there was sorely lacking), and a dessert treat at Ritter's Frozen Custard.  Joel and I took in some shopping in my old stomping grounds.  And of course, a trip to the circle is a must.

Mmmm...fresh deliciousness.

All geared up for the game.
The game was a good one.  It was close, and I can't say that either team played paricularly well, they just played decent football and one team one.  It was great seeing so many Dolphin fans represented, and I am sure I confused many people there in my hometown rooting against the home team.  Oh, well.  Most Colts fans were fairly well behaved, but there was an abundance of drunk girls cussing and flipping off Dol-phans.  Way to stay classy, Indy.  But to the rest of the fans, thanks for not rubbing it in too much.  And to the guys sitting next to me, you can't spend the whole game talking about your fancy cars, the stocks you bought, what you're doing to update your new boat, and then at the end of the game, yell "Dolphins suck."  I think you have to actually watch the game to have an opinion.

Our not too shabby view.

We'll be back soon, Indy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Home is where the heart is.

I am off to my wonderful hometown for the weekend.  Be back soon.  For now, enjoy this GORGEOUS picture of a place I am blessed to have grown up.  This city has made me who I am.

Not my picture, but amazing, nonetheless...