Changes are Coming

A Look at Our Week

Things have certainly not slowed down this week! Between working, hiking/walking and cooking it has been a full week! During our trip to Ollie’s discount store last week, I stared at the kitchen gadget aisle. I just knew there was a kitchen gadget that I needed and had to have. Finally, I found it … a cookie scoop! It was perfect for making our mint chocolate chip cookies for St. Patrick’s Day! But this baking cookies every week deal is killing the diet plan!

My transcription work is continuing to go well. I am becoming faster each day and learning new tricks of the trade along the way. When I owned the preschool my guy built me the most amazing computer program. It proved to be a business saving tool! I loved it dearly and was always so impressed with how much easier he had made my job. Well, now he’s gone and done it again! I know have a computer program to track my transcription work. It even figures up how much I am making per hour with each job I complete. Quite impressive! (And yes, it may just be $9/hr…but let’s not forget, I made that $9/hr in my pajamas! :))

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The dieting scene seems to be at a standstill. May have something to do with the weekly batch of homemade cookies? We are exercising every chance we can! I make goals for myself with small steps on the weight loss journey. This usually works well for me and helps to keep me focused and grounded. I always share my goals with my guy, because that makes me accountable! My current goal is to lose 9 pounds before our NYC trip on April 12th. I had also made the goal this week that we would not go out to eat all week. We worked really hard on that one. We both absolutely love going out to eat. It’s one of our most favorite activities! We made it until Wednesday night when we broke down and headed out to one of our fave places for Nachos. And then it continued Thursday as we were traveling. Oh well, there’s always next week!

Pic 1: Nachos from our fave place in Boone, N.C.

Pic 2 & 3: Peppers! We LOVE them! We eat them with/on everything! Cannot wait to grow our own!

The House Hunting Scene

We took big steps in our house hunting this week! We are in the process of renting a small 2 BR duplex in Mountain City, TN! This is our favorite location of all that we have visited and ideally where we would like to settle. We will not officially move in until Summer, but will use it as a home base when we are in the area until then.  We are currently waiting for everything to become finalized with the rental. Once this is done we will return to the area and begin setting up house!

We also stopped in and spoke with one of our favorite realtors in the area and began discussing the building process and what steps would need to be made first. We now have a list of local contractors that we will be setting meetings up with to review our plans and ideas. We have started looking at land and will be going to check several out once our housing situation is settled. Our house hunt is not over, we will continue searching for  houses, but are preparing ourselves for what may be our next step.  Exciting times! Scary times! Frustrating times! We are feeling it all!

This video was taken on the front porch of our rental house. I am absolutely in love! Cock-a-Doodle-Doo!

Hiking Adventures

We managed to get several short hikes in this week despite the 2 snowfalls we had! The animals are out and about and just as ready for Spring as we are! The green is beginning to show itself from under all of the brown! Sooner or later Spring is gonna happen, I just know it is! We keep check on a Mountain Laurel tree that my guy pulled another fallen tree off of in hopes of saving the beautiful Mountain Laurel. The tree is looking good so far, no blooms yet, but they should be coming soon.

The first pic is of a big black snake that was stretched out right across the hiking trail. Either she was pregnant and soon to deliver, or had just had a large lunch, not sure which. Now of course I could have very easily stepped over Mrs. Snake and went about by way, and I have no doubt she would have been fine with that, or I could have followed my guy as he just skirted right around her, but I needed a little more distance between us. So, I ended up going way uphill and off trail in order to put much as much distance as possible between me and the snake!

The second pic is from one of our hikes when we took the trails that go around the Danville Braves baseball field.

The third pic is 2 deer we saw during one of our hikes. They stood there still for a few minutes before running away. I love watching these animals in their natural habitats! Not too closely though!

The last pic is one of the small waterfalls on the Riverside trail that we walk on frequently. It is one of my favorite trails and has several bridges and small waterfalls.

Traveling Times

Our only traveling this week was to Mountain City, Tn. but it was a beautiful drive! Once we hit Wilkesboro, N.C. the view starts to change and you can see the mountains ahead. On our drive the mountains were beautiful capped with snow. It is a truly breath taking sight. I cannot wait until I get to see it every day!

Cutler and I will be going to Tennessee this coming weekend to see the family for Easter. Time to take more pictures of our kids since they insist on constantly growing! My guy is staying here solo so he can play in his annual Easter gig at a local church.

 

Sappy  Selfies

Here’s one from one of our hikes this week!

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Have a wonderful week! xoxoxo

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Day One

My new life has begun! Three years ago when I laid out my “three year plan” it seemed so far away in the distance. I didn’t think it would ever arrive. Yet, here we are, three (well two and a half) years later. The sale of my business is complete and my new retired lifestyle began today!

It’s been a strange feeling over the last few days. Very hard to pinpoint and describe just exactly how I’m feeling. My man was out of town the last five days so it’s been just me here dealing with all these new feelings. For 19 years I had a specific purpose to fulfill. I knew each and everyday what my purpose was. Each day brought on it’s own different challenges, but the purpose remained the same. Work. I’ve been known to work entirely too hard and too much and way too many hours. I’ve worked since I was 14 years old. I was raised by two of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. That work ethic was instilled in my sister, brother and myself. I wish the rest of the world had that same experience!  The work ethic is still here, although “retired” I am working from home doing transcription work. Today was my first full day home with no “outside work”. I worked all day long! Between computer work and cleaning and reorganizing and Spring cleaning (yes, I Spring Clean during a snowstorm) and cooking dinner it was a full day! Staying busy is definitely helping settle the mix of feelings I’ve been having.

I began this blog a couple of  years ago to help myself deal with the death of my Dad. Writing the feelings out really did help me to deal with all those emotions. The emotions are still here four years later. The four year anniversary of Dad’s death was last week and my mind just kept going back to that last week four years ago. It seems like yesterday, yet it seems like a lifetime ago. Then the purpose of the blog seemed to shift to dealing with being alone for part of the summer while my guy worked out of town. Those days and weeks are hard! We love being together and when we cannot be we both have a difficult time adjusting! The blog gave me the chance to catch him up on my day to day activities. Now, I think it may be time for the purpose of the blog to shift yet again. Several people have expressed an interest in keeping in touch with our many adventures now that they will not be seeing me on a daily basis. I’m no longer a big fan of Facebook. The drama filled posts turn me away. And we always joke that the Facebook world hates us! Our super, sappy, lovey-dovey posts and selfies everywhere we go, faces aglow, big smiles, always so extremely happy… yeah, it’s sickening! So, to keep from flooding Facebook with our happiness, I will use this blog instead! I will post a link to the blog on Facebook and any who wish to follow our journey may. Others are free to scroll past and never click, and that’s fine!

I’ve been asked several times since an end date for work has been set, what our first big trip is going to be … Well…. We’re going to New York City! I have always wanted to go to NYC. Never been before! Want to go see the sights and say I’ve done it. He on the other hand would much rather prefer going just about anywhere else. The big city excitement does absolutely nothing for him. No mountains, no hiking, pollution, noise, traffic, yeah.. totally not his scene at all. I’ve mentioned going before and he’s always shut it down rather quickly. As things with the business sale began falling into place, one night he looked over at me and said, “So, do you want to go to New York City?” I said, “Well, yeah, always have.” He then announced that we would go as our celebratory trip for selling the business. But his promise came with stipulations. We would not set anything or buy any tickets until the sale was complete. Everything done and then the planning for a long weekend trip would begin. We set our time for sometime in April. And so, the concrete planning will begin tonight! A friend that visits NYC frequently has hooked me up with a perfect agenda! All the sights, Broadway show (I’m leaning towards Phantom, easy tickets to get on such a short notice), and all the excitement that NYC has to offer. I can’t wait! Let the planning begin.

And then there’s reality. The reality of this move we are supposed to be making this summer. To where you ask? Well, yeah, we aren’t really quite sure of that yet! We know the areas we would like to be in. But have had 0 luck finding a house in those areas. We have started tossing around the idea of buying land instead and building our house. That option is both exciting and scary at the same time. Most nights we have a difficult time deciding what to eat for dinner, and in building a house there are major decisions that have to be made, lots of them! It is overwhelming and mind blowing at this point. And well, if you know my man you know he is somewhat of a perfectionist type, and from my experience very little about building a house is considered perfect. We have already decided that if we do end up building, we will rent a house/apartment in the area so that we would be able to report to the job site everyday. He will be there for inspection, I will deliver doughnuts and coffee to act as a buffer for his questioning and scrutiny. We still hold out hope that as the housing market opens up this Spring, we will find the perfect house, already built, in the perfect area. Come on universe…hook a girl up!

Dinner tonight was delicious! Weight loss is a big part of my everyday. I go up and down on a regular basis it seems. I go from eating right and living a healthy lifestyle to going out to eat and eating big every night. It’s a hard ride. But I am confident with my new life that I will finally be able to stay on track once and for all! More time to exercise, more time for meal planning and preparation. And once our move is made, I will be all about growing our own vegetables and canning foods to enjoy throughout the year! I can’t wait! So tonight’s dinner plan was Sweet-n-Sour Turkey Meatballs with peppers & onions over Egg Noodles. So yummy! See picture below! And so easy to make! Just popped meatballs, sugar-free grape jelly, chili sauce and peppers and onions in crock pot and done! IMG_1779[1].JPGThe blog will more than likely include more food pics and hiking pics than anything else lol. I will try to keep the sappy selfies to a minimum though. 😉

Have to go start my snow day puzzle now! More to come later!

xoxoxo ❤

 

My Reasons Why

My Weight Watchers journey is going great!!! I have lost 9 pounds in the last two weeks and have managed to follow the plan with great ease. I am working to extend my activity each day. I am loving how I am feeling already! Eating healthy really does make a huge difference! My refrigerator is stocked way more than it ever was when I was eating unhealthy food! I am cooking much more frequently and our eating out nights have been reduced drastica

lly! Our grocery bill has expanded…..but the eating out decrease is helping make up for that! We are both feeling amazing and are quite proud of ourselves! I have become addicted to the Weight Watchers Feed (very similar to a Facebook news feed) and spend every free moment looking for good recipes, meal planning, or prepping.

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A big part of the Weight Watchers Feed is sharing your “Whys”. Your “whys” are your reasons for wanting to be a better you. Your motivation for making these huge lifestyle changes that are going to make you a healthier, overall better, you! I am working on sharing my “whys” there as well and wanted to share them here as well. My whys are not numbered in any particular order, only numbered for identification purposes.

  1. He is my why! But not for the reasons that many may think. Not because he dislikes the way I look, or complains about the weight gains. Exactly the opposite lol! He is one of my whys because our love is such a special, precious gift. We had to wait most of our lives to receive this gift. It is such a rare gift, many people live their entire lives without ever finding anything even remotely similar. But we did, we defeated the odds, took an impossible situation and made it work. Upon meeting, we instantly knew “We just have to be together!”. And we were both willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. I had to wait 4o very long years to experience this kind of love. I am willing to do whatever it takes to stretch what time we have together. Classic case of the quote “I wish I had met you sooner so I could have loved you longer.” When we first started talking about changing to a healthy lifestyle way back in the beginning, he told me “I love you no matter what you weigh, but I want you to be the very best you that you can be and be here for me to love for a very long time.” And that is exactly what I am doing! I can’t wait to see what the rest of this life has to offer us and I am ready to take it on!
  2. He is my why! He has had my heart since that very first day I laid eyes on him. I have always tried to be a good mother, but I always knew I was not one for setting all the perfect examples of how one should live. He grew up in a “do as I say, not as I do” type of environment. I can remember him as an elementary student learning about the effects smoking has on one’s lungs. He came home very upset asking me and his dad to stop smoking, showing us the pictures in his books. I look back at that now and cannot imagine why that did not have an effect on me! How could I continue to smoke after that? But I did. I am now smoke free for 2 years! And he was so very impressed, supportive and proud. He takes pride in all my life changes. I also ended my addiction to Diet Mt. Dew. Now 99% of what I drink is water. He is supportive of my weight loss, and very encouraging. He pushes me through workouts, cheering me on and challenging me to do more. I lost my Dad when I was 40. I have often said 4o years was not long enough to be his daughter. I don’t want my lifestyle and choices to shorten the time Cutler has to have me as his Mom. I am going to do whatever it takes to try to be there for each of his milestones along the way! And to set the good example of how one should be living their lives, what foods they should be eating, what exercise they should be doing. I want him to learn from watching me, not just listening to me!
  3. She is my why! That is me! Most importantly and before all others I am doing this for myself! That is the only way it will work! I want to feel better about myself and in day to day activities. I want to be able to look into a mirror and have that “yes girl” reaction instead of “whhaaaattt!” I want to know I am making the best decisions for myself that I possibly can! I have struggled with happiness in the past and always had food there to support me. I am slowly, day by day learning that true happiness is only found inside of ones own self. Others cannot make me happy. If I am set on being miserable, it doesn’t matter what happens, that is how I will feel. I had to go out searching for myself for quite a while. For so long I had only been what everyone else wanted me to be! I did not know how to make a decision myself, was not even sure of my own true likes and dislikes. I just went with the flow. I did finally find myself along the way, and have slowly began to understand who I actually am. Now on to making me the very best me I can be!
  4. They are my why! That is where I come from. My family! I have such love for each and everyone of them! I want to be here for them and be the best version of me! I want to stand  back and watch as my nieces and nephews go through this life and become who they are meant to be. I want to be there for my brother, sister and mother. I do not want to hinder any of them. I want to show them how making the right decisions for myself have turned me around. No more reasons to worry about me, those days are over. This is the new me and we are going to be just fine!

    And those are my reasons why. These are the reasons why I am on this journey. I will make each of them proud as I go along this path.

It’s the small wins

A win is a win no matter how big or small! I had several victories today in this weight loss battle! First, I didn’t eat any of the foods I served the children today. Like I talked about yesterday, it is sooo easy to serve 3 eat 1….and it is done so absent mindedly! Today, I stayed focused and was determined not to have even one. And it felt great!

Tonight I stayed after work and did some extra cleaning and painting etc. I do this often to stay ahead of the game. Usually, it’s a free for all as far as food goes. Full access to everything and anything goes. Cookies, cereal, candy, anything! Tonight I did my work, even worked longer than usual and ate nothing!!! Wooo hoooo! Then to top the day off, I had to stop by the dollar store on the way home to pick up something. One of my hidden secrets is that I very rarely ever go into a store alone that I do not buy some type of candy. I have mastered the art of quickly eating a small candy bar and hiding the wrapper on the quick ride home. Tonight, I was not even tempted, it never even crossed my mind to check out the candy selection!

I stayed in my points today, without dying of hunger. I exercised, an hour long walk with my love. And exercised my right to vote as well! This was definitely a great day! I’m ready for tomorrow! Let’s do this. Now….I just hope I can sleep tonight when the marching band comes through my bedroom!

The New Me!

The time has come! Time to break old habits and obsessions and concentrate on being a healthier, better, new me! I know..I know…I know….I’ve said it before. This time is for real, legit, the real deal! I started today and have done a fabulous job if I must say so myself. I joined weight watchers online yesterday and have been tracking everything that has gone into my mouth today! And wow …..when you are held accountable for what you eat it makes a huge difference! I have decided to use this blog as my diet blog for now since my amazing bf no longer leaves me for extended periods of time and goes out of town. We just need to be together….and we are…..every second that we can be!

Food has always been a comfort item for me. I am the definition of an emotional eater. I eat when I’m sad, when I’m happy, when I’m mad….I can always find comfort in food. The unhealthier the food the more the comfort level increases. I am also guilty of being an absent minded eater. It’s an occupational hazard. I work with small children and think nothing about popping Nilla Wafers into my mouth as I serve snacks. Before I even realize I’m eating without even being hungry, I’ve ate half the box! A big mistake I make when attempting to diet is to go too long without eating. That’s when this insane hunger hits and I would eat anything sat in front of me.

I am trying very hard to improve on these things this time around. I am eating small snacks throughout the day (healthy snacks, not Nilla Wafers!) and I am being very conscientious of when and what I am eating. Again, holding myself accountable is HUGE for me! And even when the newness and excitement of it wears off, I must still continue! I know that I am not the best me that I can be right now. I am seriously overweight and it effects my health greatly! I want to live my life to the absolute fullest for as along as I possibly can. I don’t want this adventure cut short because I made poor eating decisions and was unable to control my eating. I will be a better me. I will stick to my plan and be successful…..and keep the weight off! I can do this! And each of you can watch me as I complete this journey! Wish me luck!