Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All Things Divine in '09

It's amazing to think back at just how fast 2008 passed by. So many special things happened to our family this past year. So many that I cannot list them all, but here are the big ones that stick out to me:

  • Randy and I celebrated our 5 year Anniversary.
  • Our family grew by one more and was blessed with a healthy little girl...making our "Table for 4" complete.
  • After 4 long years, Randy graduated from Medical School and moved us to South Texas for Residency.
  • Josiah was blessed with another year of life; and turning 2 has turned out to be quite an adventure for all parties involved.

The Lord definitely carried us this past year. With the many things that happened, and we're not too proud to say, that without Him, we wouldn't been able to get through them as well as we did. Reflecting back on where we've come from only makes us excited about where He is going to take us next.

Continuing to reflect.....it's time for New Year's Resolutions. After all, I LOVE making lists and the feeling that crossing out completed tasks gives me. Last year, I set out to accomplish 6 goals. And I'm sad to report that I'll be dragging over some, if not all, of last year's resolutions to the 2009 List. Specifically, the half-marathon (it was too lofty of a goal to expect my body to be in the shape necessary to complete a 13.1 mile race 4 months after having given birth), learning to bake bread-from scratch, getting organized, and paying down debt.

So here is the list for 2009:

1. Lose 20 lbs. by May 1, 2009 (yes, the most popular of New Year's Resolutions made my list this year, but only because it is the year of the wedding).

  • Complete a few 5 and 10K races....and maybe a half marathon in one of the cities I'll be visiting over the summer.

2. Get Organized

  • Sort all of Josiah and Alayna's first year pictures in an album
  • Implement and stick to 'zones' for cleaning the house. "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".
  • Continue with meal planning (boy, does this make grocery shopping so much easier)

3. Pay down debt while saving

  • Last year, I tried a lesser expensive diaper for Josiah and they worked. For 2009, I will use cloth diapers for Laney when at home to cut down some of the expense associated with buying two sets of diapers. And hopefully, Josiah will become potty trained sometime this year, so I won't need to buy many diapers at all.
  • Implement and stick to a budget/envelope system (I know quite a few folks that use this methodology of budget control and it works--my big thing is just sticking to it and avoid getting sucked into the airline mile-accumulating credit card).
  • Set aside some monies each month to go towards a family vacation, plane tickets, or Christmas gifts.

4. Take a picture every day....with my new fancy schmancy digital SLR that my husband surprised me with on Christmas. I'm SO excited to enhance my photography skills, I can hardly stand it.

5. Invest in relationships....my friends, including my friendship with the Lord, my husband, and my children, are my lifeline. I LOVE getting to know people, especially those with whom I've met via the blogosphere. I LOVE keeping up with what my friends are doing (another reason why I LOVE the blogosphere and Facebook). Nothing is sweeter than opening an email and seeing a quick message or comment from a friend, letting me know that they are thinking of me. So I resolve to do the same for my friends.....send a quick email, comment via blog or FB, or even an ol' fashioned note in the mail. Sadly, I've lost touch with so many friends I've made in my 31 years...you know, life just gets in the way sometimes. I also resolve to rekindle some of those long-lost friendships, including that with my husband. With all of the med school/residency chaos and our family expansion projection during the last 4.5 years, our relationship has fallen from the top of the priority list. In 2009, I resolve to schedule (if we don't schedule it, it won't get done) one date night/month in an effort to rekindle the love/relationship we had "back in the day".

6. Get involved in a church....the last 4 years have been pretty tough on us with regards to finding a church family. When we left our "family" behind in FTW, we never expected for it to be so hard to find another loving "home". We have learned, the hard way, that we cannot put God or the way He ministers to us in a box. We have to be open to learn of Him in new ways with new people. We think we have found a new "home", I feel comfortable there and they have a wonderful Children's Ministry. We just are still seeking His confirmation. I'm looking forward to the day we make the decision so that I can offer my time to a couple of women's ministries.

Well, I think that's it. More details may follow as I lunge forward into the action plans. I may have no idea what I'm up against, but I'm pretty excited about it.

So are you, too, one of the many millions of folks around the world who participates in Resolution planning? If so, what have you included on your list?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Recap

Alternatively titled: 12 days of Christmas--Martinez-style (and my attempt to be creative)

Now that the house is quiet, I thought I would take a quick minute to share about our Christmas vacation.

We are now back home after a 5 day vacation to West Texas to visit Randy's family. We left as soon as Randy finished up in the clinic on Tuesday, drove straight through, and 12 hours later we arrived at the house Randy grew up in. We LOVED being at home, visiting with everyone....all 17 of us, under one roof. Unfortunately, the baby got sick, making our vacation less than spectacular. In fact, we were so distracted with her illness and sleep deprivation that we have little-to-no pictures documenting this milestone--First Christmas--for her. *sniff, sniff*

I won't bore you with all of the details, but I'll leave you with a song (to sing in your head--trust me, you don't want to hear me sing), adjusted to provide a recap of what the Randy Martinez family experienced.

12 hour drive to Pecos
11 x 11 ft. room to sleep in (all 4 of us)
10 homemade tortillas
9 new toys
8 on-the-road DVDs
7 dozen cookies
6 bottles of medicine

5 pounds gained back

4 songs on SingStar
3 trips to Walmart
2 vomiting children (and car seats needing to be washed)

and

1 trip to the Emergency Room (for 105 fever, vomiting, dehydration, & to rule out RSV, flu, and ear infection)

And just in case you're wondering, the children are doing much better. We are now treating Josiah for fever, cough and congestion; and Laney will continue to receive her antibiotic treatment through Friday, but she is back to nursing and bottle feeding (although not fully back to "normal") without vomiting and is sleeping without being held (although she was insistent on sleeping next to me in the bed just as she had for the last 3 nights). We learned that we will NO LONGER leave on a trip without a medical kit containing the nebulizer, Xopenex, stethoscope, oto/ophthalmoscope, tylenol, motrin, baby vicks, and benedryl.

And because we didn't want to "push" the children, we decided to break up our trip and stop half-way, in San Antonio. During our lay-over, we drove to a suburb known for it's Christmas lights. It was awesome. Our most favorite home won 2nd Place in the Creative Lighting category (1 of 8 categories). They had synchronized a light show to music which you tuned into on your car radio. It was very similar to this.

Anyway, I suspect it'll be a while until things are back to "normal". But till then, I'm just trying to survive being without Randy 24/7, unpacking, washing vomit covered laundry, and finding storage for new toys.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home Sweet Gingerbread Home

We finally did it!!!! It took us 5 days, but Josiah and I planned, constructed, and decorated our very first gingerbread house...from scratch. YAY! I was never so excited to pull the soup cans away (used in place of stability beams) from the roof panels and see it stay in place instead of crumble to the floor!

Josiah is just old enough this year to participate in projects like this, which is why it's so exciting and special. I've been chomping at the bit waiting patiently to start some family traditions. This will definitely be added to the list.

Once I got past the fact that it's not going to even slightly resemble those showcased on Food Network, it was a very enjoyable project for both of us. Josiah was so excited to share what he had done with his daddy (he helped me with the M&M roof tiles).

And without further adu.....






Can you see Josiah's monogram?
I thought it would add a little some extra to his house.

While I definitely enjoyed this project, I learned a few things...things that may make next year's project go a bit smoother:
  • make a house HALF the size (the roof panels alone were 7x11").
  • use larger candies for the roof tiles--placing each M&M became tedious and Josiah lost interest).
  • use candies that I don't have any interest in eating to decorate the house. wink
  • combine the peak and the front/back square into one piece instead of relying on the triangle cookie to maintain it's shape and size during the transfer from countertop to cookie sheet.
  • try buttercream icing instead of royal icing for the edible cement. I think I need something a bit more thick in order to keep the candies from slipping during the drying process.

Whew, now that the BIG project is done....it's time to bake a couple dozen christmas cookies.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday

Please forgive me as I'm not going to sugar-coat my report today, unlike the gingerbread house that Josiah and I are constructing.

My unfriendly scale read this morning that I have gained 2 pounds since last week. On one hand, I'm surprised. In the last 7 days, I was able to get in 5 workouts:

Friday--1 mile, strength train
Saturday--5 miles
Sunday--off
Monday--3.5 miles
Tuesday--1 mile, strength train
Wednesday--off
Thursday--2 miles, strength train

But then on the other hand, the gain doesn't really surprise me, I can feel the water being retained by my body (thanks, hormones). And I'm sure the fact that I've helped myself to some of the candies I bought to decorate our gingerbread house didn't help either (note to self: will only buy candies I don't enjoy eating for next year's activity). AND since my knee is still giving me troubles, I've had to lay off the long runs. All leading to a darn gain this week. UGH!

I was really hoping to report that I had reached my Christmas goal of 15 pounds, and I really think that without the extra water and M&Ms/peanut brittle, I would have. Bummer. Now I really have to watch it during our vacation. An just how do you propose I resist Glorified Rice, Tripas, and Christmas cookies?

I won't be weighing in next Friday since I won't be bringing my unfriendly scale with me to West Texas, but you can bet that I'll be stepping on it first thing Monday AM. ;-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday--Strength in Numbers

Even though the "Hot for the Holidays" challenge ended last week, I'm still keeping up my Fat Ticker Friday posts....mainly, to keep me accountable for my weekly workouts. Nothing kept me going more than knowing that I was going to have to post on my progress for the week.

Quite a bit happened this past week.....

  • I lost another pound, making my overall loss 13 pounds since starting in October. Only 2 more to reach my Christmas goal.
  • I found a running/workout buddy
  • Instead of waiting until Randy gets home at whatever hour, I get up at 4:15AM, nurse the baby, and head out to join my friend for an early morning run at 5AM.
  • I managed to wake up on time and workout EVERY morning.
  • I started incorporating strength training 2 days/week.
  • And lastly, I made a tough decision not to run in the Austin Half Marathon in February (sorry, Sabrina and Christie). Money is a little tight, and the race fee + trip to Austin would have easily equalled a plane ticket, 1 of 5 we'll need to buy this summer for all of the wedding travel. However, I'm going to continue training just as I would be if I were running the race.

In addition to finding a running buddy and changing up my routine a little bit, I joined TWO groups (one online and one IRL) of ladies to help me continue my journey to lose the baby. Christie, our hostess for HFH, at Baby Tea Leaves started up a new challenge, Quest for Greatness; and my MOPS group started a Biggest Loser challenge. I'm super excited about each of these opportunities to gain overall health, shed weight/fat, and do it with other ladies who share similar goals.

The "rules" behind the Quest for Greatness are....

  • Rule #1: There are no rules.
  • Rule #2: Find an event somewhere around Feb/March
  • Rule #3: PAY for it. It's harder to back out once you've put down $$.
  • Rule #4: Weigh in, focusing on completing runs and workouts
  • Rule #5: Add the event (rule #2) to Christie's calendar, so that it's there for ALL to see.
While I no longer have a mid-February "event", I'm still training for it. Plus, I'm planning to participat in a 10K scheduled for January 10. It should be pretty awesome, and I'm really excited about it...it's the Causeway Run. The cool part about the race is that the run is on the causeway bridge from Port Isabel to South Padre Island. FUN!!!!!

Of course, most everyone is familar with The Biggest Loser, so I don't need to go into all of the specifics. About 15 of my fellow MOPSters have joined in on the fun and challenge to change their bodies. We all put $5 into the "pot" and signed an agreement stating that should we gain, in either inches or pounds at any monthly weigh-in, we owe $1 per inch or lb. to the "pot". We will weigh in each month till our last MOPS meeting in May. And there are also incentives...not only will there be a big "stash" earned by the one of us that loses the highest percentage of weight loss, prizes will go to the one who is most consistent with their workouts each month. You can bet that I'm working my tail off to earn the most prizes. (It's no secret, I love gifts--it's my love language. That, and I can be very competitive person). My particular weight loss goal for The Biggest Loser MOPS Edition is 20 pounds, which would put me 10 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Laney, which was 10 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant with Josiah. I just love that trend. :-)

I am hopeful that I can achieve my goals with a little bit of support from my bloggy and IRL friends...and that there's some truth in the whole "strength in numbers" thing. :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thanksgiving (Better Late than Never)

So much has been going on that I've been saving my post, a very comprehensive post, about our Thanksgiving until I've had more than 5 uninterrupted minutes. And now that all three kids are in bed.....

Mom and Dad arrived on Wednesday evening after a 20 hour drive from IL. Don't ask me why they drove, it's just something they've always done. Plus, Mom had a trunk full of Christmas gifts, her fancy sewing machine, and luggage; flying just wouldn't have allowed her to bring everything they did. However, I think after they experienced just how faaaar south we live, they'll be considering flying next visit.

Thursday morning was spent cooking relleno and jello cups, two side dishes I agreed to bring to our Program Director's home for Thanksgiving dinner. Josiah helped Dad wash the car and clean out the garage, Mom worked on assembling a display shelf for Laney's side of the kid's room, and Randy kept Laney entertained. I also had a fun time experimenting with Mom and Dad's new fancy camera. That afternoon, we spent a lovely dinner at Dr. Liebert's home and enjoyed a yummy dinner with his family and a few of our friends. It was during this dinner that Laney experienced her first bites of food, straight from the table...mashed potatoes, turkey, and a roll. Now that she's tried "real" food, she has very little interest in her fruit and veggie purees. Oh well, who could blame her?


Friday morning Mom and I avoided the craziness of the mall/WalMart/Target, and started on our craft project, curtains for the kid's room. I intended starting the project 4 months ago, I even purchased the fabric. But as we got closer to Mom and Dad's visit, I decided just to wait so that I would have Mom's sewing expertise. And I'm so glad I did...they couldn't have turned out more perfect. If I had tackled the project alone, I know that we'd be re-doing them once Mom got to town. Here are a couple of pics of the newly decorated room for the kids. It's almost done. Now I just need to track down some natural wood frames to create a memory wall/collage in the last bit of open wall space.




Friday afternoon, we decided to take Mom and Dad to the Island. Yep, the beach in late November. Wanna come visit? It was a lovely day for the beach, a little breazy, but lovely. Josiah even got in the water....there's very little that would keep that kid from the pure joy of splashing around. And Laney just LOVED watching him get tackled by the incoming waves. For dinner, we sat outside on the restaurant patio, taking in all of the sights and smells of the beach. It was lovely.


Saturday morning Mom, Laney, and I were out the door by 9AM to drive 45 minute to McAllen to do a little bit of shopping, mainly in search of a couple of potential bridesmaid dresses for a wedding in May. Well, we were very unsuccessful in finding the particular dresses, but we did find Josiah some black dress pants for his Christmas outfit and Laney a cute little romper to open on Christmas day. We were home by 1PM to enjoy freshly grilled turkey burgers. The rest of the day was spent just enjoying each other, some football (Auburn where were ya?), and a nap here and there. For dinner, we took Mom and Dad to a locally owned restaurant known for their brisket and banana pudding....yummm, what a combination. It was a delicious meal, except that Dad still thinks that Randy's dad's brisket is the BEST. I'm with ya there....once you've had Rudy's brisket, you can never go back.

We took Mom and Dad to the Lutheran church service on Sunday morning. In the many places the Randy and I have lived thus far, we have not lived somewhere where there is a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod...until now. And what's interesting is that the Pastor of the church, here, in Harlingen, is an old Concordia classmate of the current Pastor of my parent's church. What a small world. After church, Mom and Dad stayed just long enough to take a few more pictures, change clothes and load up the car....and then they were on their way back to IL, another 20 hour drive.

Thanks, Mom and Dad for a wonderful visit. Randy and I so very much appreciate the long hours you spent in the car so that you could spend some much needed time with your precious grandchildren (and us, too). We enjoyed showing you where we live and introducing you to our new "family members". We only hope that it's not another 6 months before we get to spend time with you again. We love and miss you.

1 Year

Over the weekend, Table For 4 celebrated its 1 year Blogoversary. Yay for a wonderful year of blogging!

It's hard to believe that a little over a year ago, I really didn't know what a blog was. But thanks to my SIL, Elizabeth, I have found a new addiction extra-curricular activity. I always enjoyed reading about what my niece and nephew were up to since we lived so very far away and only got to hug and kiss on them once a year. And because Randy and I were expecting a new little one and were preparing for a move, I thought a blog would be an awesome way for our friends and family to keep in touch with us. I never expected to be so sucked into the blogosphere the way I have....and I LOVE it.

The blogosphere has been a wonderful way to stay connected with old friends and build relationships with new ones. I have accrued/exchanged many wonderful recipes and stayed on track coordinating weekly menu plans for the family, joined in a weight loss challenge that has kept me accountable and helped me lose 12 pounds thus far, and has encouraged me to learn more about my camera and take better pictures. The blogosphere has been amazing!

I don't have anything too special to share on my blogoversary, except that in the last year I have submitted 132 posts, and I have linked you up with my favorite. Josiah was only about 18 months when I took the video....we (including Josiah) LOVE watching it.

Thank you, readers, for your support (and comments). Looking forward to what the next year of blogging holds.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday~December 8

I know, I know, it's been forever since my last MPM post. Rest assured, though, I have still coordinated/stuck to a plan even though I never got around to posting it. This time of year is so hard for me to stay focused, all I want to do is party, shop, and enjoy time with my friends....leaving the cleaning and, most definitely, the cooking behind. But I have forced myself back to a semi-routine, and that means trying new recipes again (using old, tried and true recipes is just waaaay easier). Everything planned for this week is NEW. I'm excited to see if they become repeat customers.

Monday--Lemon Chicken with Green beans & New potatoes
Tuesday--leftovers
Wednesday--Pork Tenderloin, rice & veggies
Thursday--leftovers
Friday--Skillet Sausages & Peppers
Saturday--MOPS Social
Sunday--leftovers

For more menu inspiration, visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

From the Desk Mouth of Josiah

As we drove through a neighborhood, on our way home from our progressive dinner last night, Josiah noticed all of the Christmas lights.

Josiah: "Look at the lights. They're pretty!"

Randy: "They are pretty." "Is mama pretty?"

Josiah: "No, lights are pretty."

Laughing.

Me: "Is daddy pretty?"

Josiah: "No, lights are pretty."

More laughing.

Randy: "Daddy's handsome, not pretty."

Me: "Is daddy handsome?"

Josiah: "No, I handsome!"

If we hadn't been in the car, we would have been rolling on the floor.

******
This afternoon we spent some time outside (how could we not, it was 75 degrees outside). Josiah enjoyed rolling around the grass, literally.

Josiah: "I don't eat grass, I not a dog."

We just laughed at the randomness.

******
Later this afternoon, Laney was rolling rocking around on the floor, just cooing.

Me: "Wow, Laney, is that right?"

Josiah: "She's talking Spanish."

Me: "She's talking Spanish, huh?"

Josiah: "Uh-huh"

******

Oh, how my boy just makes me smile.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday (HFH)~Weeks 10 & 11

Due to the craziness of Thanksgiving and my parents' visit, I didn't get a chance to post about last week's notsogreatness. So I'm going to share now before I report about this week. Well, thanks to both hormones, if you know what I mean, and Thanksgiving goodies (aka Mom's famous chocolate chip cookies), I gained 2 pounds. YIKES! And the sad part about it was that I was fully expecting it. I didn't make it to the gym one day. Nope, not one day. There were too many things that needed to be accomplished before my parents' visit and heading the gym was the last thing on my "to-do" list.

Now onto this week's details. As the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end". Sadly, the 12 week Hot for the Holidays challenge ends today. But because I didn't find out/start the challenge with the rest of the group, I still have 2 more weeks left, which is plenty of time to accomplish my weight loss goal of 15 pounds. ;-)

While I wasn't any better about getting my butt to the gym this week, I was a lot better about tracking what I put in my mouth and took the kids out for walks around the neighborhood each night to enjoy all of the Christmas lights (I just LOVE it). I'm also experiencing patellofemoral pain syndrome in one of my knees, which is making it extremely hard to complete my runs. Simply, this means that the muscles around my knees (quads) need some strengthening to support the stress of running. UGH! I hate strength training, but my body is clearly telling me that it NEEDS it.

Thankfully, I was able to lose the 2 pounds gained last week. So now I'm back down to having lost 12 pounds. I am kind of bummed because I was really hoping to have lost those pesky 2 plus 1 more. Oh well...at least I'm still a loser. ;-)

HFH Hostess, Christie, asked us to post a pre- and post-challenge picture of ourselves. Sadly, there aren't many pics of me. Instead, I'm the picture-taker, which I'm loving BTW as I'm figuring out how to really use our camera. So I don't have any to share. Sorry. But just know that I'm now wearing some pre-maternity pants and my XL shirts (that I bought to accomodate the nursing boobies) are looking more like drapes. :-)

I can't express just how much I'm going to miss the Hot for the Holidays challenge. It has been a wonderful accountability tool, I've lost some serious poundage (10 lbs is serious in my book), and I've made a couple of new friends along the way. Christie says she has something else up her sleeve as a way to keep the accountibility going, and I can't wait to see what it is. Thanks, Christie, for hosting such a wonderful bloggy event. ((HUGS)).

I enjoyed posting about my weight loss/training progress (and regression) so much that I'm going to continue with it. I know that many of you will bother ask me about it if I miss a week. Thank you in advance for doing so. Bother Ask away. ;-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

7 Down--5 To Go

Our little princess is 7 months today....she's getting so big. And yes, I do say it each and every month...but really, where does the time go? I can't believe that there are only 5 short months left until we celebrate her 1st Birthday!


Please do let me bore you with the details of this past month....

**Alayna's hair is FINALLY growing! Slowly but surely, but it is, indeed, growing!
**She has FOUR teeth (2 on top and 2 on bottom) and is working on cutting more, as indicated by the constant chewing of her fingers.
**Laney tried pears, sweet potatoes, avocado (which she hated), butternut squash, and apples....now it's time for carrots, peas, and a 2nd go around with the avocado.
**She, too, enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner....1st hand, not through "Mommy's milk"....and she LOVED it. In fact, she loved it so much that she doesn't particularly care for the purees anymore. The look on her face while we eat at the table is one of "You guys get real food, where's mine?"
**We are STILL working on rolling over. Rest assured, she has rolled over at least 3 times, like 2 months ago, but she has rolled over.
**While she may not be the most mobile child, she is working on other things like waving when we wave "Hi" to her...it's so cute. She even tries to mimic saying "Hi" back to us....again, so cute!
**Laney has officially graduated to 12 mo. clothes and easily fills 12-18 month onsies even without the bulk of the cloth diapers (just look at her hamhocks in the picture above).
**And she still thinks that her big brother, Josiah is the greatest....and she laughs at nearly everything he does....she's such a happy baby.

Happy 7 Month Birthday, mama!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful

We are just 2 days away from Thanksgiving, one of my three most favorite holidays, and I'm torn with how I feel. While I'm excited that we are so close to a favorite holiday, I'm saddened by the fact that Thanksgiving seems to have been forgotten in all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday, including but not limited to whether or not stores will be turning a profit this year with our current economic situation. Christmas decorations were hung and placed on the store shelves the day after Halloween. And folks have been blogging about getting out their own Christmas decor, if they haven't put it up already. Don't get me wrong, I'm just as excited as the next person is about celebrating Christmas, but I want to take a few extra minutes to enjoy Thanksgiving first.


On Sunday, I was reminded that Thanksgiving is a day when we should turn our focus from Black Friday shopping, football, and special foods that we only get to enjoy once a year towards God, thanking Him for His mighty provision.
I found out about Ten Things Tuesday, hosted by Mrs. Brownstone at XBOX Wife, thanks to a bloggy friend who is a faithful participant. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to to share what I'm most THANKFUL for, in an effort to turn my focus.
1. I am thankful for my hard-working and loving husband with whose help, I have....
2. TWO beautiful (and healthy) children.
3. I am thankful for Randy's successful completion of Medical School so that....
4. I can stay home to raise our two little blessings.
5. I am thankful for my parents and their love for us that they are driving 26 hours (one-way) for a 3 day visit.
6. I am thankful that the Lord provided me with 4-5 ways in which to GIVE during this season of Thanks.
7. I am thankful for wonderful friends who know when I need to be listened to, encouraged, loved, or given a good ol' kick in the butt.
8. I am thankful our move/transition back to TX went smoothly, and that I've started forming a couple of true friendships.
9. I am thankful for my change in attitude regarding homekeeping duties, keeping in mind Joshua 24:15.
10. I am thankful that in just a few short weeks we will be spending another favorite holiday with my very loving extended family, something we haven't done in 2 years.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

What's in a Name?

I saw this done on another blog and thought it looked too fun to pass up.



What Jessica Means



You are fair, honest, and logical. You are a natural leader, and people respect you.

You never give up, and you will succeed... even if it takes you a hundred tries.

You are rational enough to see every part of a problem. You are great at giving other people advice.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic “Type A” personality.

I have to admit that this descriptive is pretty close. I would agree with most of it except the parts about being creative and adaptable. :-(

Friday, November 21, 2008

Small Fryday Contest

It's no secret that I, in addition to 1000's of others in the blogosphere, am addicted to enjoy reading MckMama's blog, My Charming Kids. She tells the most miraculous story of how our Mighty Creator healed her unborn son, Stellan, from a fatal heart condition. Stellan is now a 3 week old perfectly healthy little man.

Stellan joins 2 older brothers, Big Mac (K) and MckNugget (C), and an older sister, Small Fry (M)...hence the name of this contest. MckMama is offering a customized blog header and some photography goodies. The only requirement for entry is to mention her contest on your blog....hence this post.

Oh, how I would LOVE a customized blog header....I've really been struggling with this one but I'm too frugal to spend the dinero to have one "done" for me. And photography goodies....ooh, la, la. I'm secretly hoping my husband blesses me with a digital SLR camera for Christmas so some photography goodies would be awesome!

Again, if you haven't checked out MckMama and her MSC (many small children) yet, you're missing out....on one Charming addiction.

Fat Ticker Friday (HFH)~Week 9

Wow, what a week! Since making the decision to bump up the date of my race (February instead of April), I had to bump up the intensity of my work outs, starting this week (ie. a lot of interval training).

And since a bloggy friend and I decided to become training progress buddies (she is training for her first Half at the end of Feb), I'm using this post to outline what I did each week...as a way to stay accountable (to both myself and my bloggy friend).

So, the nitty gritty of my week looked like this:

Friday--off
Saturday--5 miles (average 10:45 pace)
Sunday--6 miles (average 10:58 pace)
Monday--3 miles (average 10:30 pace)
Tuesday--3 mile tempo run (average 10:04 pace)
Wednesday--off (I was so tired at the end of my day that I decided to take a 2 hour nap instead)
Thursday--3 miles (6 x 400 intervals, average 10:08 pace)

I'm definitely starting to notice an improvement in my cardiovascular endurance/strength, which is such an encouragement for me. I started out barely able to keep up with 12:00 m/m pace, and now that seems like a slightly-faster-than-walking pace. I LOVE seeing that my average pace during my long runs is below 11:00 m/m and 10:15 m/m during my interval runs.

But that is not even the best news.....my scale told me this morning that I'm 3 pounds lighter since last week. Woohoo!!!!! This weight loss is quite monumental.....
  • 3 more pounds means that my overall weight loss has now hit the double digits.
  • 3 more pounds means that I'm saying "HELLO" to another decade of numbers.
  • 3 more pounds means that I'm only 3 pounds away from my pre-Josiah weight (unfortunately, I'm still another 13 pounds away from my pre-Alayna weight).
  • And 3 more pounds means that I have reached a weight where I can finally wear my engagement ring again.

Our "Hot for the Holidays" host, Christie, asked us what our "Aha!" moment was that influenced our decision to get up off the couch and do something about the way we looked. I think mine was the day that I decided to graduate from maternity clothes to "real" clothes (about 3 months after Josiah was born)....when I had to buy a size 18 pant and an XL shirt. It took me another couple of months after this day to buy a new pair of running shoes and find my way to the Huckleberry Trail (I wanted to wait until I was done nursing Josiah), but I REFUSED to stay that size. I also REFUSED to lose all but 10 pounds of the baby weight (I had read once to expect to keep 10 pounds from each pregnancy--sorry, that's not going to be me). Fortunately for me, my sister was running half and full marathons during this time. She was my inspiration for setting a goal to complete a half marathon. So there begins my running journey/obsession....until I stepped foot onto the "Huck", I wouldn't have considered myself of a runner. Yes, I ran track in HS (I was 400 and Hurdles gal), but I always died when it came time to do the 1 Mile Run. I never thought I'd be able to "kick out" 12-13 miles in a single run....and now I have and am more than ANXIOUS to try it again. Not only am I excited to see what my body can do but to lose ALL of the baby fat that came along with my latest pregnancy). :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh, Brother

My conversation with my 2 year old son this morning while he rolled around in his blanket on the kitchen floor and I made a breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls for Bible study....

"Mommy, I wanna brother."

"You do? How come?"

"So that I would have someone to play with me."

"Oh, Son, but you have Laney. Not too much longer, and she'll be able to play with you."

"But that's different."

"I'm sorry, but you won't have a brother to play with for another couple of years....Laney will just have to do."

Seriously??? Did I just have that conversation with my 2 year old???

All By Himself

Randy took the weekend off from the ER so that we could spend a little bit of family time together...something we definitely don't do enough of due to one thing or another (ie. Randy's work schedule). We were out and about Saturday night and discovered that a small carnival had set up just outside of town. Of course, it didn't take long for Josiah to start with his "pleeeese", "pleeeeese, daddy", "pleeeese, mommy", "I wanna go" once he saw all of the lights. It was late and past Laney's bedtime when we drove by so we promised that if it was still going on on tomorrow (Sunday afternoon/evening) that we would take him. Well, it was...so we were off.

Funny thing was that before we could go, we had to make sure that everyone was dressed warm, ready to handle the 55 degree weather. Boy, did my blood thin quickly or what!? 55 degrees and I'm needing a sweatshirt and gloves. Unfortunately, we had packed most of our winter gear away....but fortunately, I knew where the stuff was. I pulled out a fleece pullover and hat for Josiah that when it had been gifted to us it had been too big. I dressed Laney in a warm sleeper and pulled out Josiah's winter hat from last year for her (I planned on wearing her in the Baby Bjorn zipped up in one of Randy's sweatshirts so that she would be extra warm). And Randy and I pulled out our heavy sweatshirts and jeans. Okay, now we're ready.

Josiah was itching to get released from his car seat the minute we parked the car....just a few feet from the rides. He did really well and held Randy's hand whenever we were walking between rides. We bought Josiah the "ride all you want" bracelet (it was the same price as buying 20 tickets)....and in retrospect, it was a good purchase....he had so much fun!

Not only did Josiah have a blast, but the first ride of the evening (riding on a motorcycle, of course) was the first time that he's ridden ALL BY HIMSELF. Randy and I were very nervous since he'd never been on a ride without one of us by his side. We thought he would be scared and start crying as soon as the ride started....well, we should have given him more credit. He wore a smile, ear to ear, the moment his motorcycle jumped forward.

Now for pictures.....








He started off releasing just one hand, but a few minutes into the ride he was comfortable with doing the "rollercoaster wave". It was so funny to watch because after watching him do it a few times, a couple of other kiddos found their courage and copied him.


Josiah was very interested in riding on the ferris wheel..."I wanna go way up in the sky". And because I am fearful of heights I was wearing Laney, Randy was the blessed one to accompany Josiah on his very first ferris wheel ride.

There was also a band playing Mexican Cumbia music. Josiah loved watching the musicians playing their instruments, particularly the guitar, drums and piano. Excuse the slight bouncing...it's hard for me not to dance along. This is just a small glimpse into what we hear around town when we drive with our windows down. :-)

video

We had a fun night, a little cold, but a lot of fun! Even Laney enjoyed looking around at all of the muchas personas (many people) and luces bonitas (pretty lights).