EM:ME

{ae filkins}

I am sure you all know the drill by now, so head over to Amber’s blog and link up for this week’s EM:ME!

Amber wants to know ‘How are you doing’?

Well Amber, since you asked, I am doing fantastic! I haven’t weighed myself this week, but at last count I had lost 5 lbs and dropped an impressive 23.5 inches (as of a 4 days ago). I am up to 12 or more miles a day on the stationary bike and that includes hills and increased resistance. Some days are harder than others to get through mentally, but I am fighting through it and completing my miles every day and I WILL hit my goal of 150 miles biked for the month of July (and yes I am doing that 150 in less than a whole month, I am doing it in just over 3 weeks!)!!!

I am heading into vacation this weekend at the beach and I am so excited to be heading out of town. But I was worried about not having my bike and not getting my miles in while on vacation. I don’t want to fall behind on my progress and I know how much harder it will be to come home and try to get back on the wagon. So I talked to my MIL (who we will be staying with) and we have agreed to keep each other on track while we are there. They have a pool, a treadmill and of course we can take lots of walks. So hopefully I won’t fall behind at all, it will just be 4 days of a different kind of exercise, which will be good for my body to spice things up!

Wooohooo! Here I come vacation!!

Random-ness and Stuff…

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If you haven’t joined in on RTT, head over to The Un-Mom and check it out!

My mind is working a million miles a minute today, so much to do and so little time. Today started off lazy and hasn’t gotten much more active. I have cleaned the kitchen – score one for me! I ordered pizza for lunch – bad mommy! Oh well. I have piles of laundry to do before I can start packing for the upcoming trip to the beach this weekend. I have to clean the whole house so that my BFF Cat doesn’t have to live in squalor while she is house and pet sitting for us. I have to hit the grocery store to get some snacks and drinks for the road. Oh and I have to work in my miles (at least 12) before 3 pm today so that I have time to shower and get ready before I have to go out in the awful (115 degrees today – IN THE SHADE) heat to take Hannah to pom and cheer class. Ugh. Mommy is soooo tempted to skip class today so we don’t have to go out at all….hmmm, that is sounding better and better as the day goes on…

My husband works in the Emergency Room of one of the local hospitals, they are one of only 3 level 1 trauma units in the valley and his is the furthest North which means they get lots of stuff from the northern part of the state (car accidents and things like that). They are a really REALLY busy ER. I don’t know how he does it. Seriously. He sees some of the nastiest stuff this life has to offer and of course comes home and tells me about some of it and I usually am sitting there either bawling my eyes out or trying not vomit. Blech. Anyway, my point of all that was that he works with some real characters. I love most of the people he works with. There are a few who are really funny and a couple of them are gay men. The part I find really hilarious is when they hit on my straight-as-an-arrow husband! Teeheee! Cracks me up.

Let’s see what other randomness is floating around in my brain….Gold Canyon candles. Love them. Used to sell them, I have one burning right now – Cinnamon Vanilla. YUM! I haven’t bought any candles in FOR-EVER…well at least since it came out the GCC was employing TONS of illegal immigrants. I don’t want this to turn into a huge political debate on illegal immigration, but I live in Phoenix. HUGE illegal immigration issues. Speaking of politics, did you see Obama’s ‘dad jeans’ as they are calling them? Yeah, not a fan of that look, but honestly I don’t think the jeans he thinks are comfortable have any bearing on how well he can or cannot run the country…just sayin’.

2 Weeks …Progress

So I thought it was about time for an update on my new lifestyle that incorporates working out daily and eating healthier. It has been 2 weeks since I got the exercise bike and have used it every single day. I am really proud of myself for not skipping any days and steadily increasing the amount and resistance each day.

I started out with 2.5 miles. I figured that while I am totally out of shape and overweight, I could do 2.5 miles and not kill myself in the process. I may not be happy by the end, but I could do it. So that is what I did. I felt great afterward! I continued with 2.5 for a couple of days and then started increasing it, trying to go as far as I could. I am happy to announce that as of today I am doing 6.6 miles at an average speed of at least 15 mph (up to as much as 17 mph) in 30 minutes.

I am finding that for me the hardest part is finding a balance in my mental process dealing with eating/exercise. The first couple of days especially. I would eat something and immediately I would think ‘oh crap I better go workout’! No, I didn’t actually follow through on the thought because I realized that it was so unhealthy! I would have been falling right into another disorder – instead of overeating for a whole host of reasons, I would have gotten into either an overexercising thing or starvation. None of them are healthy and good for their own reasons. Anyway, now I am not having those same thoughts when I eat, but I am being more mindful of what I am eating and acknowledging that the more healthy I eat the more weight I will lose. Which is a big goal for me. I want to be healthy, but I have a lot of weight to lose in the process.

I don’t know about y’all, but I find that I have to play this mental game with myself to keep me from just getting off the bike after a mile or two. I tell myself that I can do anything for 5 minutes. Since it takes me less than 5 minutes to do a mile, I just keep telling myself at each 5 minute mark that I can do anything for 5 minutes. It is working pretty well to keep me going. Another thing that I have been doing is visualizing the goal. See, when I was younger (and actually still to this day) my dad was big on visualize what you want out of life and it will happen. Yes years before The Secret book craze, my dad was preaching this to my brother and me. Visualize what you want, dream about it and eventually it will happen. So every night before I go to sleep, I get in bed and lay down and close my eyes and I visualize myself how I want to be. The things I want to be doing, places I want to go with my family, things I want to be able to wear and not be an embarrassment to myself or others.

I have decided that for me, I shouldn’t base things on the scale. While I have lost 5 lbs, I am noticing bigger changes in how I feel and how things are fitting me. I have lost 16.5 inches overall and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.

Where Has This Week Gone?

Wow, this week has really gotten away from me. I have been crazy busy with finishing up the swim lessons this week and planning the trip to the beach next week and tons of other stuff all thrown in!

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This is Hannah with her level 2 swim instructor – Brian…isn’t he dreamy?! Hannah has had a huge crush on Brian since the first swim class! She was always trying to get his attention or show off for him. Today before we got out of the Jeep, she had to put on bracelets and her sunglasses and a necklace to look pretty for Brian. Where does she come up with this stuff?? Seriously, she is 4.5 years old, I thought the boys thing didn’t start til at least the 6th grade?! Man are we in trouble with this one….

Friend Makin’ Monday

This week Jolanthe from No Ordinary Moments is filling in for Kasey at All That is Good for Friend Makin’ Monday! Head over and check out both of their blogs for some great tips and lots of cool pics on Kasey’s blog as they are on a cool vacation right now!

So Jolanthe has chosen Vacations as the theme and here is what she says:

Today task ~ VACATIONS!!

This task has two parts {numbered ever-so-nicely for you}. You can do either one or both ~ it’s up to you!

1. Tell us about the best {or worst} vacation that you’ve ever taken.

2. Tell us FIVE places/vacations that you would like to take at some point your life. It doesn’t have to be next year…maybe it’s the vacation of a lifetime or somewhere you just dream of going years from now.

To start off with I will tell you about our first vacation as a family, Hannah was about 18 months old and we went over to SoCal to visit my inlaws. We flew over. Total waste as far as I am concerned. We had to bring a pack-n play, carseat, stroller, 3 suitcases. It was ridiculous trying to carry all of it from our car where we left it in long term parking – hopped on the shuttle – traipsed through the airport til we finally came to the check in. Then it took forever to check everything in, by the time we got to the plane we were exhausted and sweating, dreading getting off the plane after the 40 minute ride to SoCal. The plane ride was uneventful – just the way I like my plane rides =). When we landed we collected all of our stuff and went off in search of a shuttle to take us to the rental car desk. Oi. Finally we got all loaded up in the Dodge Durango (which I adored driving) and got on the road for the 1 hour drive to the inlaws house in Friday evening traffic. Fun times.

We got to the inlaws house and pretty much just crashed! The rest of the trip was great though, we went to the beach, hung out and bbq’d at the house and swam, went to Joe’s Crabshack on the beach which is one of my favorites just because you can watch the water while you are eating! lol. We stayed for a few days and then loaded everything back up and headed back to the car rental to return the car, then the shuttle again lugging everything, back to the airport and finally on the way home. I couldn’t wait to get back to our apartment! It was then that we decided it didn’t really save us any money and it was a huge pain the in butt to fly when you have to bring all the kid stuff. So we have just driven every time since then. Surprisingly Hannah does great on the trip and its not too long so that is helpful! We will be making that trip in 2 weeks again! Yay!!

Ok now for step 2, I am excited about this one because there are really a lot of places I would love to go!

I would love to go back to St Lucia for starters. It was so beautiful and I absolutely adore the Caribbean island vibe.

Another place I would love to go and stay for a while is Puerto Rico. My parents go every year and they absolutely love San Juan.

I would love to take a Caribbean cruise and visit a bunch of different ports.

I would love to go to Ireland one day.

I would love to go to the Mediterranean and visit all sorts of places!

Aloha Friday =)

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It’s that time again, Aloha Friday! Check out Kailani over at IslandLife808 for info on Aloha Friday and link up with your own question.

My question to you is, What Is One Thing You Want To Do Before The Summer Is Over?

For me I want to do several things, but the biggest is to get away with my family to the beach. We are heading to SoCal the end of this month to stay with my FIL/SMIL for 4 days. They live about 30 minutes from Oceanside and the ocean is my Happy Place =). We will drive over on Friday morning, that will put us at their house in the afternoon, probably around 3. We will have a bbq and swim at the inlaws house that night then most likely the next day will be the Wildlife Zoo or San Diego Zoo. The next day will be all beach. We will head to the beach in the morning with our lunch packed and some beach toys and will stay all day. The next day we will have to head home, probably shortly after breakfast. It will be a short vacation, but a vacation all the same!

We will actually be taking two trips before the summer is over hopefully. The beach this month and then in early September we are planning on getting back to Mt Vernon Iowa where my hubs is from. His mom passed away in January of this year and we are still closing out her accounts and dealing with her estate so we haven’t been able to have her memorial yet. She was cremated the day after she passed and her ashes or on a bookshelf in the house now. We were hoping to have her memorial in May, but that didn’t happen so now we are aiming for September because all of her estate should be dealt with by the end of this month. It won’t be a super fun getaway in Iowa, but it will be nice to see friends and family. Hannah has never been to Iowa and most of the family has never met her…or me for that matter and we have been married over 5 years!

Anyway, that is what I want to do before the summer is over, how about you?

Writers Workshop

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It’s Thursday, that must mean it’s time for another Writers Workshop! Head over to Mama Kat’s Losin In for details and to link up! The prompts for this week are:

1.) Ask A Dad! Write a letter asking your husband for advice regarding any issue you might have and record his answer.
(inspired by Three Bay B Chicks)

2.) Describe a situation that forced you to confront a neighbor.
(inspired by Jori-O)

3.)Tell us about Grandpa.
(inspired by Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary)

4.) Which appliance in your home would you most miss living without if you had to live without.
(inspired by Amy at Escape Into My Thoughts)

5.) What are three things we would love to know about you!
(inspired by Live. Laugh. Pull Your Hair Out)

This week I am going to talk about…ME! I am choosing prompt 5 and I am going to tell you three things that I think you would like to know about moi!

The first thing we will talk about is…my ‘job’. I am the Site Admin for PhoenixMommies.com, we are part of a National Non-Profit Organization The Mommies Network. PhoenixMommies has been around for 2 years (this past June) and we have about 400 members across Maricopa County. We cover over 9000 sq. miles of territory. I have a staff of 8 managers and 16 moderators. We have online forums to discuss everything from what happened during the day to how to deal with a boss to diaper rash and everything in between. We also host at least 30 events around the Valley every single month. As the Site Admin (SA), its my job to make sure its all running smoothly, be the boss lady, oversee all aspects of the site from technical issues to fundraising for different charities around the Valley to making sure the calendar is planned each month and creating the monthly newsletter. Being the SA is frustrating at times, but its also very rewarding to see what all my hard work has created. Every position with PhoenixMommies including mine is a volunteer position too.

The second thing you all should know is I was homeschooled. From grade 8 through high school graduation. The biggest reason my parents decided to homeschool my brother and me was that we were living in Sacramento at the time and the Jr High that I was going to was known as one of the roughest because of gang activity, teen pregnancy and underage drinking. I have no idea how I am still alive as I was friends with members of both gangs and somehow that must have protected me. Anyway, my parents pulled my brother and I out of public school and the first year of homeschooling was using Abeka program. The next year we enrolled in the Advanced Training Institute (of America at that time – now its just ATI) through Bill Gothard. We became really involved in the program and I was invited to attend a 2 week program in Indianapolis. I was later invited back to Indianapolis to work in the program they had working with troubled youth in the not so great area’s of town. After that I was invited to Dallas to participate in the EXCEL program for 2 months, teaching young women how to be Proverbs 31 women. We had classes all day that included things like cooking, home decor, sewing, courtship vs dating, being a Godly woman, midwifery and lots of other subjects. When that program was over I graduated and returned home to my family. I graduated from high school with 17 other kids through the Arizona Families for Home Education.

The third thing I think you would like to know is that during Hurricane Katrina I was working for my dad, who is a general contractor building multi million dollar homes. I was his office manager. When I heard that some of the evacuee’s would be coming to Phoenix, I got in touch with the people organizing the coliseum where the evacuee’s would be housed to see if I could setup a booth to get jobs lined up. My hubs also worked at the coliseum one night as an EMT and he met a man named Terry who had been evacuated with his wife Zinda. Terry was a plumber by trade and so of course I wanted to try and get him a job lined up if I could. When we got down there to setup our booth, I brought my dad and my hubs and we did find Terry. We hooked him up with not only a job, but the hubs and I took Terry and Zinda into our home until an apartment was found in Phoenix for them. We ended up securing jobs for about 30 men through our subcontractors. Terry and Zinda are still living in Phoenix and Terry calls my dad and my hubs to check in with them from time to time to see how every one is doing and to express their thanks, even after all this time. It was a great experience for all of us I believe.

Well, that is enough about me for today!

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition

{ae filkins}

You know the drill, Amber over at {AEFilkins} started Extreme Makeover: Me Edition and each week she posts a new topic or question. If you haven’t checked her out or joined in, you totally should!

The topic this week is :

What’s Been Inspiring You?

In all honesty, what has been inspiring me is reading all my fellow EM:ME’rs who are pushing themselves to be healthy and fit. It’s so easy for all of us to come up with 1000 excuses for why we aren’t eating better or exercising and I am at the front of that line with my excuses in hand. Since joining in the EM:ME though its a different story. I am eating better, writing down exactly what I am putting in my mouth and how much, I have cut soda almost completely out, and I am exercising daily!

This is huge for me, I have been a SAHM for 5.5 years. I haven’t woken up to an alarm in that time more than maybe a handful of times. In the last week however, I have only not gotten up to the alarm one time. That was today…and I felt horrible about it. You see, for the last week I have been getting up at 6 am when the hubs leaves for work. I have been rolling out of bed, getting some water and throwing my workout clothes on and lacing up my tennies and getting my happy butt on the exercise bike – see this post and doing at least of my total miles for the day. I am starting out slowly and building up since its been FOR-EVER since I have worked out. Anyway, I have faithfully done at least 5 miles every single day, broken into 2 workouts, half in the morning and half in the afternoon. Today not getting up with the alarm – I felt all out of whack. I didn’t have time to workout because my daughter was needing my attention, so that means I had to wait til it was quiet time. I am happy to say, I did 6 miles today instead of 5 and I bumped up the resistance. Yay me! I feel awesome – not only physically do I feel better, but mentally and I am so proud of myself. Oh, and yes, I do notice the changes physically already which totally shocks me, but it keeps me motivated.

So, you ask who has been inspiring me…it’s you! And me too!

Random Tuesday Thoughts

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I am new to this feature this week, so lets give it a go. If you want to join in just head over to The Unmom and check out her site for the button and all that good stuff.

Why is it that my dog and my daughter have to be all up in my business all.day.long.? This drives me insane!! Just for once I would like to not have people or animals constantly touching me. I am all touched out by the time the Hubs gets home from work and then he wants to snuggle on the couch and I give him the look of death for coming near me.

And Hello! What the heck happened to 15 year old girls actually LOOKING like 15 year old girls and not 20-something girls? I swear, why do Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus have to wear enough makeup and sassy clothes to make them look older than me (at the ripe old age of 32)? Of course my daughter loves these girls, yes I said GIRLS – that is what they are!! and mimics what she sees them wearing. I am so not ready for my not-even-5-year old to be dressing and acting like a hooch.

I remember the days when I had 3 hours to get myself ready in the morning…I miss those days sometimes. There are some days when I am lucky to brush my teeth and throw my hair up before running out the door to swim class, dance class, pom/cheer, library, playdates, zoo and all the other million things we have going on.

My mom got her first tattoo today. She is in her early 50’s. She is in Connecticut (where we are from originally) visiting her sisters and some other assorted family members who shall remain nameless…cuz this is my blog and that’s just how I roll…anyway so my Aunt Bert (Bertha) decided that she and my mom needed to go get tattoo’s. My aunt got a winnie the pooh and piglet tat on her ankle while my mom got a heart with a bow thing on her ankle. If you knew my mom, its totally her – all girly and stuff. Mom flies home tonight so I am excited to see her tattoo tomorrow. I remember when my brother and I got our first tattoo’s (and second and third…) and how she flipped out originally.

Well I think that is enough random-ness for now!