Friday, January 27, 2012


January 1 started our 3rd cycle trying to conceive.  Everything was pretty normal the first couple of weeks.  I kept charting so we could time things correctly, and while fertility friend only rated our intercourse timing as "good" I still felt pretty good about it.  This has been a difficult month for us financially with some unexpected things coming up, so we've both been pretty stressed.  But we still managed to do what we needed to do.  At 10 dpo, I took a pregnancy test.  It may have been positive, but I wasn't sure.  I didn't tell him until that evening, when he proceeded to dig it out of the trash to take a look.  He said he saw the line too.

At 12 dpo I took another one.  It was most certainly positive.  I took it in the morning but didn't tell him until I got home that evening.  He was really excited, despite being extremely sick.  In fact, a couple of days after we got our positive result, he was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fitness Update

So Monday was a holiday, so I'm lumping it in with the weekend of bad choices.  I'm still mad at myself for that.   I was just so tired - didn't have any energy at all.  I've been having that problem the last few days, actually.  The first week of my healthy lifestyle, I had all this energy.  But now I just seem to be tired all the time.

Tuesday I stayed within my calorie limit and did 30 minutes on the ellipitcal.
Today I stayed within my calorie limit and we walked the dogs (went around the block 3 times rather than  our usual 2)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mardi Gras - 2012

I've never been to a ball before.  This year, I will be working at the Mayor's Ball - which means I needed to buy a dress.  I looked all over for one that would work for the semi-formal theme and had such a hard time deciding on anything.  I even created a pin board on Pinterest dedicated just to formal and semi-formal dresses.  If you know me at all, you know I hate spending money on something I will only wear once.  I even tried hard to find bridesmaid dresses that my girls could wear again because I didn't want them to buy something to wear only once!  I found the solution in this dress.  The 10-Way Dress!  You can wear it 10 different ways - and I would wager there are even more once you start playing around with it.  I ordered it (in the black on the top row, but my version is a little longer) yesterday and it is scheduled to arrive on Friday. I can't wait!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Fitness Weekend

FAIL.  Yeah, I didn't do so well over the weekend.  I went to New Orleans with a friend to help her buy a Mardi Gras dress.  That was fun, but I ate really BAD food.  Let me rephrase that - the food was awesome, but it was very naughty.

We did get a lot of exercise, though.  I need to work on weekends.  These are my big weaknesses.  It's easy to be good all week because there are not a lot of choices.  But when the weekend rolls around, that's when the problem comes.  That's the focus for this weekend - working on making better choices.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fitness Days 4-5

Still managing to stay under the 1650 calorie limit.  I've been working to get some exercise each day, whether that is yoga, aerobic, or elliptical.  We are also walking the dogs more, which is making a difference in their behavior.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

a healthy mindset

I have spent a lot of time since January 1 thinking about my feelings about food and exercise.  Jon and I planned to focus on a lifestyle that includes healthy food choices and activities, and even though it was delayed for a week because we were both battling the aftermath of sinus infections, I have been thinking about it nonetheless.  I have started diets and exercise programs.  I have failed at Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers, diet pills, physician-assisted weight loss, and sparkpeople.  I have lost weight with these programs, of course, but I can't ever maintain that weight loss.  It's like my body wants to be fat.  But that's not the way it works and I do know that.

In the past, if I had come across a journal topic that said "Food Is..."  Here's what I would have written:
Food is: comfort, entertainment, happiness, pleasure, love, company, social, and the reason to live.

But that's the root of my problem.  I know that now.  Food can't be those things.  And if it is, you will most certainly have a problem.  The mindset I'm trying to focus on now is "Food is fuel."  It is what my body needs to function correctly.  It is what I need to consume to stay healthy and keep moving.  Food is fuel.  Food is not love or comfort.  Food is not something to do when I am bored.  Food is something to do deliberately and carefully.  It is to be savored and enjoyed, not picked up and eaten without much thought while watching TV or surfing the Internet.  This mindset has to change before real lifestyle change can begin.

So that's what I've been working on lately.  Changing my mindset.  Is that second piece of chocolate cake worth diabetes?  A small piece won't hurt, as long as I have been making healthy choices otherwise.  But a large piece, or a second piece - that's where we run into problems.  I want people to look at me a year from now and say "I can't believe you lost that much weight."  Not because I want to lose weight, but because I want to be healthy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fitness Day 3

Calories Consumed: Just under 1600
Calories Burned: Just shy of 300

Exercise was 15 minutes of yoga and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise using the Wii Fit.  You should have seen me trying to step when the little Miis stepped!  I'm so uncoordinated!  The good news is, I'm down 7 pounds from the first of the year.

Jon asked me tonight if I thought we could sustain this for the long term and I really think we can.  I'm working hard to make sure I make healthy choices (the most important thing) and continuing to do moderate exercise.

It's still going well.  I still feel great except for the neck pain, but even that seems to be getting better.  The yoga last night helped.

Another sewing project

I used the same pattern as the first skirt, but used the mid-length rather than the short length.  Obviously, the short one is too short for me.  When I tried it on without the flounce at the bottom, Jon said he could see my backside!  So I won't be able to make the short skirt, but the short with a flounce or the mid-length will be fine.  So all I need to do now is the elastic for the waist and the hem and I can wear it!  I love this fabric.  We got it at Jo-Ann's on sale.  It was $13 for all the fabric I needed for the skirt and some extra, which I'm considering making a purse with bamboo circular handles out of to match the skirt.  I also have enough scraps to cover a headband if I choose to do so.  The first time we went into Jo-Ann's, the rack of Asian-inspired fabric caught my eye.  The material is beautiful and rich, and feels great.  It's hard to cut, but not too difficult to sew.  I do have to pin more than I have been because it slips a little, but that's okay.  I love how this skirt is turning out so far.  I'm excited about wearing it (and the other one, of course!)

This effort took about 2 hours last night, from cutting to sewing the last stitch.  What's left is putting in elastic for the waist and hemming the bottom.  I also want to do something to each seam so that the fabric doesn't fray past the stitches, because frays pretty badly.  I would hate for it to fray so badly that the stitches weaken and pop open while I'm wearing it!  :o

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fitness Day 2

Calories Consumed: 1600
Calories Burned: 300
Water: 33 oz

Exercise was walking the dogs and 45 minutes of yoga and strength training via Wii Fit.  Stretching seemed to help my neck a little.  I'm hoping it will continue to help as I continue to exercise.

The goal is cardio every other day and yoga/strength training every other day.  This way, I get some activity every single day, but I'm not overdoing either one.  Of course, we will walk the dogs every day, so there will be a tiny bit of cardio each day.  Except for days when I have to work late and can't be home in time to walk the dogs, of course.

The yoga poses felt soooo good.  I haven't done it in so long that I wasn't very good at them, but they still felt awesome.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Fitness Day 1

Calories Consumed: 1173 (target range is 1500 - 1800, so I was too low)
Calories Burned: 700 
Water: 33 oz.

The exercise was walking the dogs and 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I did a moderate weight loss program on the machine, which felt pretty extreme to me, but that's just because I'm way out of shape.  

I've had some odd neck pain for the last couple of days and can't really figure out why.  My only thoughts are that either I slept badly on my neck one night or I pulled something while coughing like crazy.  I'm going to do what I can to make it feel better, but it's not going to keep me from exercising.

I'm trying to stick with moderate exercise because vigorous exercise can apparently throw hormones off balance and I really want my hormones to be working correctly right now!  

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Church shopping - Week #1

We visited the Mobile campus of Bay Community Church this morning.  It's a nondenominational contemporary church.  They were so friendly when we walked in - greeting us and ushering us over to the special visitor's area, where we filled out some information and were given a gift.  It's actually a pretty nice gift - a logo travel mug.  I plan to use it at work for water.

The service was good.  Worship was lively but the music was a bit loud.  Praise and worship songs, most likely by Hillsong United (which I love) and some nice interludes of quiet and loud music and moments.  And then it was time for the sermon.  It was simulcast from the main campus.  This is the thing that turned me off.  I don't really like watching a sermon on TV.  I want the person to be right there so my feedback means something.

We will probably not go back.  Not because we didn't enjoy it, but because it's just not what we are looking for in a church. Jon was a little uncomfortable, I think, with the somewhat unconventional worship.

Next week, we are going to try a more traditional church and see how it feels to us.  It's actually kind of fun visiting and seeing how we like different places!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Sewing a skirt

My first big sewing project!  I started with this pattern that I purchased along with several others, at Hobby Lobby on sale for 99 cents.  You could only buy 10 of them, so I bought 10.  Some are way beyond my skills, but I figured I could grow into them!  Anyway, I started with this pattern, which has a base skirt and several "flounces" to sew onto the bottom.  I chose the one with the slit and the bow, but I eliminated the bow.  For some reason, I just didn't like the bow.

So I cut out the pattern and pinned it to the fabric (Jo-Ann's Fabrics, on sale for $4 per yard)  This was a fun task because I had nowhere big enough to pin and cut the fabric.  The dining room table proved to be the best place for this, so we cleaned it off and used it!
So here are all the pieces for the basic skirt cut out based on the pattern pieces I was supposed to cut out.  It was time to start sewing, the part that was the most frightening to me!  Remember, I have never done anything remotely like this before getting this sewing machine in November, so I was a little bit terrified!  However, it worked out okay, because when I was finished, I had this...

These are the two sides of the skirt.  I then put those together to get a skirt-like structure, a tube of fabric, really, that was very, very short.  I had originally thought of just doing the basic skirt to see how everything worked, but I knew I couldn't wear it like that - no seriously, it was THAT short.  So I chose a flounce and cut those pieces out, put them together, and attached them to the basic skirt.  And came up with this cute little thing that I plan to wear to church tomorrow!  It's not as shiny in real life as it is in this photo, we had all kinds of strange light coming from everywhere - lots of lamps in the craft room.  Overall, I'm really happy with it.  There are some problems, of course.  There always are when something is hand made.  Of course, the machine did most of the work!  So here's a pic of my very clothing sewing project.  I hope it doesn't fall apart while I'm wearing it!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

No-spend update: Week 1

Hahaha... it's not going as well as I would have hoped.  Well actually, we are still following the rules, but we are spending more money than I would like.  I'm still sick, you see.  Remember that this illness actually started on December 12 and I went to the doctor that day, got antibiotics, and took them as directed.  10 days later, when the antibiotics were gone, I was feeling a little better and thought I was recovering but it hit me like a ton of bricks again a few days later.  So back to the doctor I went, this time I got a stronger antibiotic and some other medication.  I'm taking cold medicine too, but it's over the counter stuff.  So the doc visit and meds are expenses I didn't really expect in January, but other than that, we're doing pretty well.

We haven't really spent money on anything "fun" this week, mostly because I've been sick.  And the interesting thing is, we have A LOT of free entertainment coming up, so hopefully not a lot of spending in the next couple of weeks for that.  My boss gave out free tickets to the Bowl on Sunday, so we are most likely going to that, and we got a gift card and some coupons for Olive Garden, so that's this week's date night.  (Friday, yay!)

Can we keep it up?  No-spend is harder than it looks, but I think we can do it!

Monday, January 02, 2012

To audition... or not to audition...

I love theatre.  I really do.  I became involved in theatre again after a 13-year hiatus in 2007 by auditioning for a play at Theatre 98.  From there, I worked or performed in nearly every play produced at that theatre for 3 years.  In addition to being on the board of directors and doing a play at another theatre at the same time.  Burn-out... it's nice to meet you.

I started doing theatre because I was lonely and bored.  I wanted to do something that would give me opportunities to meet new people and make new friends.  I wanted to have something to do in the evenings that was more exciting than going home and watching TV alone in my bedroom.  I was a few years out of school and into my career, and the job excitement was wearing off, so I needed something else - something new to stimulate my brain and my social muscles.  (does that sound dirty?  I don't mean for it to sound dirty, lol)

While most of the time, it was a beautiful and fun experience, there are, of course, some bad things about it.  The long hours, the late nights, memorizing lines and blocking, getting yelled at by angry and stressed out directors, etc.  And sometimes the social aspect of it is a little... seedy.

I feel like I should get involved again.  It really can be a lot of fun and there's a great show coming up that I think would be a blast.  But... I refer back to the bad things.  I'm just not sure I have the tolerance for it right now.  I'm very interested in eventually getting back to it, but right now, what I want most of all is to go home after work and spend time with Jon and the dogs.  And our eventual children.  I'm not looking for people to meet anymore.  I have friends and I have the love of my life.  That's really all I need at this point in my life.  And theatre has been a problem with jobs I've had before, so I'm not really sure I want to do that again.

I do miss performing, though.  I think I need to find a choir or something I can be involved in and get that performance piece without doing theatre.  I'm pretty sure I just made a decision.  I don't think I'm going to dive back in anytime soon.  I want to give as much time as I can to my husband, my hobbies, and my home.  I don't want to be exhausted all the time (which I always am when I'm doing theatre) and I'm tired of the self-esteem highs and lows that come with theatre.  I want to focus on other things - writing, sewing, knitting, and doing other things that make me happy.  So that's the decision.  No auditioning for me this year.  I am just not ready to go back.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

My word for 2012

After looking at the words I listed in a previous post and realizing that making the decision was going to be difficult considering all the possibilities that are in store in 2012, I changed my mind and decided to use a word that has many facets and basically encompasses all the words I listed before.  So my word for 2012 is going to be HEALTHY.

Yes, healthy.  There are so many ways to be unhealthy and so many things to focus on when you are interested in being a truly well-rounded and healthy individual.  This word will actually be a lovely way to focus on things without making actual resolutions, which I am hesitant to do these days because they just get broken.  So rather than making resolutions, I'm focusing on being more healthy in several different areas.

I found this wheel and an amazing description of each aspect of it here.  While it is a university website so geared more toward students, I am going to use it to design an overall wellness plan for me and for my life.  In this year of new beginnings, I believe it is just what I need to do.

So here's what I plan to do with my word for 2012 - focus on these areas in different ways to truly become healthy.  Each area needs some work and some attention.  And altogether, these areas absolutely cover every aspect of my life.  So this is what I plan to do with each focus area.

Regular exercise, eating more healthy and well-balanced meals, and paying attention to what my body is telling me.  I am learning more about my body and am becoming more aware of everything it has to say about what's happening inside.

Exercise the brain!  I am going to take some time to do brain puzzles and keep my mind active.  Learning how to do new things is one great way to keep the brain active, and my newest hobby (sewing) will provide a great chance to exercise lots of brain areas!

Spending time with friends and family, not just on facebook, but in real life, is a hugely important part of social health.  I will make a commitment to spend quality time with family and friends, and will work on making some new friends and developing new relationships, perhaps at our new church when we decide on one.

This is a big one for me.  My home is my sanctuary.  While some amount of clutter is inevitable, especially with two adults who have big hobbies, two dogs who get into everything, and eventually children who pretty much destroy everything, (lol) I'm not a big fan of things getting too cluttered.  I love for things to be organized and neat.  If I could keep it looking like a magazine spread, I totally would.  But really I am just shooting for the house looking nice enough for company at any given time.  Organizing papers and making sure there's a system in place will help with that.  Organizing cabinets and designating a place for everything will also help.  Ensuring that we are both mindful of this and working toward keeping things looking nice is a huge step toward environmental wellness.

Budgeting and sticking to it.  Spending responsibly and saving where possible.  Paying off credit cards and not using credit irresponsibly anymore.  Working toward a raise or a job with a higher salary.

Find a church to attend regularly.  This one has been bothering me for awhile now.  It's just so easy to fill up the weekend with activities and errands and chores.  I miss my spiritual relationships and the renewal in my spirit that I receive when going to church regularly.  I miss singing and praying and praising.  I want to get back to that soon.  I miss sharing things with people in Bible study and/or prayer group.  I have been reading my Bible but it's not the same.  I want to start really going to some different churches and seeing which ones we click with and which ones we don't. It's very important to me to have a church family before we start our family.

Work on my response to stress.  RELAX!  Allow myself time to be creative and to play.  Enjoy the moment.  Write, write, write.  Indulge in hobbies, both old and new.  Read books for fun.  Spend some time alone if needed.  Try not to become devastated if things don't happen right away.  Good things come to those who wait.  :)