Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whoops!

Steve hasn't exactly understood why I have totally and completly overwhelmed this week. School started this week - I have two classes right now. Contemporary Business Communication (COM 140) and Skills for learning in info age (GEN 105). In these classes, I have to post my participation three times a week and have three writing assignments (two small and one big one) due every week. Yikes! I've been doing my best to keep caught up with the reading assignments, the posts, and writing my papers. I thought I was doing really well since in my COM 140 class I had completed both reading assignments and posted in the DQ (Discussion Question) threads. I've already started my "big" assignment that's not due until Sunday and was feeling pretty capable. In my GEN 105 class - I have a small paper due tonight, another small one due Friday, and a large one due Sunday (I think...) and have written both the small ones and am working on the big one.

Then I logged on and checked my inbox, etc to find that I had posted my first GEN 105 paper to my COM 140 class. Talk about embarrassed! At least the professor was really nice and low key about my mistake.

Steve had a good laugh at my expense.

It made me really understand how important it is to get and stay organized with my classes. I have felt so exhausted this week - mentally and physically. Staying up late to get my work done, working at the store (this week I've had two physically challenging major projects to work on), being a Mom and a wife - my head is spinning.

In other news - my weight loss has once again come to a stand still. In fact, I've gained a few pounds. But, my size 12 jeans continue to get baggy. During my craziness this week, I've misplaced my one and only belt that actually fits me so my pants seem to slipping again. I hope the weight gain is muscle and not fat. I've been working really hard to maintain and gain muscle.

Now I'm going to drag myself to bed. Any prayers for our van would be much appreciated. I've got to take it to a few shops in town and have our rear shoes looked at. I'm officially jaded.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another Brain Dump

This weekend is BUSY! We went out for a nuclear/professional/engineer social last night. Two different professional organizations came together - the ANS (American Nuclear Society) chapter from UNLV (surrounded by those who hold Master's Degrees and currently in school for their PhDs was tiny bit intimidating!) and Steve's organization of NAYGN (North American Young Generation Nuclear). Plus, earlier that same day - we took Steve's Mom and Dad out to eat for their birthdays. Plus we had major cleaning to do since we were having a babysitter over that night for the social.

This morning was the local National Pit Bull Awareness Day held by Monsiour Pit Bull Rescue (10 am - 2pm) and tonight we have Halloween plans with Steve's co-workers from ISSI and BSC to go to the Spring's Preserve for their Halloween special. Whew! We were supposed to go camping - but um, didn't have the time. :(


I've been weighing in at 171.2 - SO close to that 40 lb mark now! I am so excited. For one, Cosmo put out an article (actually a few good ones for a change in their magazine) this month about healthy eating and exercise. After reading this, I've added The Runner's Diet to my Amazon Christmas Wishlist. Sounds like a fantastic book. And I am seriously considering buying into the Nutrisystem program for these next few months. I'll have to read up more on it - because lots and lots of protein is VERY important to me due to my biking routine. I'm just growing weary of trying to plan our entire family's meals around my protein diet when the kids are less than thrilled about it. No way do I want to make two meals each seating - one for me and one for the rest of the family. Grrr...

I've also picked up some Muscle Milk. I was reading the ingredients this morning - and I'm just a tiny bit skeptical on how good this is for me. It's something crazy like 230 or 250 calories per serving (WOW) and it says 25g of protein. I am trying very hard to get as much protein in my system as possible to really make sure I do not burn any muscle mass on my rides. I also picked up some (I believe) Garlic and Cayenne supplements (I read that these spices help boost metabolism) - I forget what exactly it was, but it was spicy spice. :) I want to really crunch down on the last leg of this weight loss before Christmas arrives.

School starts Monday. I am very nervous. I've already started my first reading assignment - about a great topic. Blogs and the affect they have on business. So far, it's proven to be an excellent and interesting article. It really reminds me how far behind some people can be in technology. The stories it provides are very interesting as well - from a young man fired from Google for blogging about his experiences as a new hire, to someone who blogged about Netflix in a negative manner and then became their informant due to the high response he got. Wow. All this from blogging. Who knew?

I am not thrilled to be a Psychology major, but it's the stepping stone to my Ethology Masters.

T-Mobile launched their G1 phone and Steve and I are both smitten. The price tag is outrageous BUT being the nerds that we are, we are seriously considering investing in atleast one of these phones if not two. We are such geeks I swear. This phone is amazing.

Well, that's enough blogging for now - I must get off my rear and go workout and get ready for our Halloween outing. Have a great weekend everyone!

(Pics below - I believe they look utterly horrible. Wish I had had the a300 with me to take better quality pics.)

^ Steve and Norman playing head to head pool. Just like the old days in college.

^ Mr. Plato himself. ;)

^ Ashley from the ANS UNLV chapter. She had a ton of fun whooping on the boys during pool.

^ The ANS chapter.

^ The Freemont St. Experience.






Friday, October 24, 2008

God = Trouble?

So we've been going through a conflict for over a week now with our neighbors - BB and husband. This week I've been listening to Chuck Swindoll's sermons about how to come through unfair treatment. And I wonder as I listen to this series based on the book of Daniel 6 how he would have reacted?


The short lowdown: BB was our childcare provider when I returned to work full time starting in August this year. I tried to overlook the fact that every day the kids were screaming when they had to go to her house, when I'd pick them up they mysteriously had "accidents" or one of her younger sons had bitten or scratched our kids. I mean, Paul and Anya went through phases like that where they bite and scratched other kids (although it was never a daily thing). When I realized they were walking 8 miles everyday with her to take her kindergarten daughter K to school - I began leaving them our van. I never asked for gas money or anything - although I assumed she would use the car seats that I left in the van for our kids since they were Paul and Anya's car seats. We've gone through a lot to be kind and show these people God's love - including loaning them money, lending them our car and never asking for gas money, watching their newborn baby for free, sending over food to them, and more. So I assumed, perhaps like other Christians do, that she would repay my kindness with kindness.


But Daniel learned - sometimes trouble comes because we did the right thing. The Thursday directly before our camping trip, we learned that BB had been acting illegally with our kids. The van has three rows of seats - and she would place her smallest and youngest children in our kids' car seats and then place our kids - without ANY restraints into the third row. Of course, we would later learn - this was the better of the things she was doing while "caring" for them. When confronted about the issue, we caught her in several lies to try to get herself out of it. We were shocked for sure and took the kids to different areas of the house and began asking further questions. Come to find out - that this woman whom we had trusted to care for our kids, was leaving them alone and unsupervised in her house while she took her daughter to school. Now, it's unclear if she was doing this while she was borrowing the van (which puts our kids alone in her house for 20 minutes) or if she was doing this before she had the van (putting our kids alone for atleast 2 hours).


She of course denies all of it and I don't believe her. In this neighborhood, Steve and I have often struggled with people who believe their kids over adults. We try our best to bring situations to parents' attention because they should be aware of when their kids behave badly in the neighborhood. When Kenzie kicked her younger brother Andrew in the face several times I told Becca, when kids were stoning a little girl in the park - I talked to their parents, when a little girl spit on me and I saw her mom - I told her mom. I think it's important that those in a community keep parents in the loop. Of course, these parents are more concerned about their kids' reputation and the fact that police were called (the stoning incident) than about whether or not their kids really did it OR if they had any responsibility to stop the incident. In situations like this, it's easy to see why the kids lie to their parents, "I didn't do that. No not me." I lied to my parents about tons of things I didn't want to get caught in (none of them as bad as stoning other kids or spitting on adults) simply because I didn't want to be caught. When our kids told us about what was going on with the car seats and being alone in the house - they had no reason to lie. They were super excited and wanted to sit in that third row again when we went out for pizza. It was only when we were like, "No you must always sit in your car seats." That they realized that it wasn't something good. I think taking in account the circumstances, it's pretty easy to know who to believe. Who has something at risk (in this case BB because her actions were illegal and got her fired) and who doesn't (the kids who just wanted another back seat adventure).


Daniel spent the evening in the lion's den without complaint and without petition for revenge or retribution. And yet, knowing that this woman repaid my kindness and doing the right thing with such evil, is really hard. I know God is speaking to me about this since Chuck Swindoll began this series right around the time this all came to a head - but it's still hard to think about. My friend Barbie reminded me that it is my Christian duty to forgive them.


And yet - with their continued harassment of our family (for example - flooding our backyard) it's hard. When I asked for our things that we had lent them to be returned - she screamed at me for 20 minutes through a door, the kids she babysat spit on me, and then she finally returned my ruined book that reeks of cigarette smoke with a note trying to tell ME how to be Godlike (directly following screaming at me in front of atleast 7 kids or more and then screaming at those same kids so loud I could plainly hear it outside because they came out and talked to me). I mean - we HIGHLY suspect the woman was stealing from us when she borrowed the van because several things went missing during this time period. Yet we continued to employee her because we felt that she earnestly needed the money and that we would simply go to a few thrift stores to replace what was stolen. We simply took away her access to our house and felt that her theft was probably the worst of it. When I've come home from errands or what not - I've heard her screaming to her kids, "I'm tired of your fucking bullshit. Go away!!!" - to her own kids, it makes me wonder what else she was doing to and with our kids while they were in her care. And I can only be grateful that they are okay and safe now.


This is of course not to imply that I am perfect - if I was I wouldn't need Jesus in the first place. But the first thought that crossed my now jaded mind was, "Of course - criminals always seem to find Jesus. Just look to our prisons - they are filled with 'Christians'." Which is such a jaded thought - but really. We're not the first family they've taken advantage of and since I wanted to believe her so badly, I ignored that they lived with another family in our neighborhood for two weeks, ate all their food, trashed their house, and when they moved out - refused to pay for anything OR at the very least buy that family groceries since they ate all their food. (We were friends with that family, so instead we fed them for a week until they were able to go purchase groceries.)


Daniel saw a lot of good repaid with evil in his lifetime, but was never jaded by it. It really makes one marvel at the relationship and trust he had with and in God. It never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there laying in wait to suck dry some sap (us) because they simply want to do right. So what now?


I suppose the right thing to do is to turn to God and allow Him to refine me. While Steve is angry - he already pities them and wants to continue trying to be kind to them by sending them food, etc since they "need" it so badly (which jaded me seriously doubts - they'll always find a sucker to believe their lies).


Not wanting to became jaded, I guess I'll have to take it one day at a time and atleast attempt to lift it up to God. As usual, the atheist road would always be easier - no responsibility to God there. :P

Thursday, October 23, 2008

24 going on 12...

<-- That's me in the pink top May 2007. While heavy, I simply avoided the camera. So there's not a lot of "before" pictures from my heavy days (not to say that I skinny now or anything). At my heaviest, I hate to admit I wore a size 24W and I think there were times I pushed that limit. Very embaressing. However, since none of either my jeans or Steve's fit me, I've had to venture out and pick out a few select items to add to my wardrobe. Which means - SHOPPING! :)


While flipping through the clothes, I had no idea what sizes to try on. A 16, a 15 - maybe even a 14? My parents bought me the fashionable Seven7 Jeans promoted by American Idol contestant Kimberly Locke in a size 14, so I dared to think - could I be down to a size 14? Trying on one frustrating pair after another, I finally found two pairs that fit like a dream and were size 12. I never thought I'd be so happy to be a size 12. Only 4 more sizes to go and I'll be back to a size 6. SO CLOSE!

So here I am below, a few more recent shots of me in the middle of my weight loss. I seem a little stuck at having lost 37 lbs - so I'm kicking up my workout routine with my Yoga Booty Ballet (here's hoping) and an Ab Rocket that my best friend recommended. Obviously, it's very important that I stick with my high protein, low carb diet but gosh it's so hard. I was super good at keeping to it until we went camping. If any of you have any yummy high protein recipes PLEASE share, I'm getting a little bored with roasted chicken, chilli, oatmeal, and omelets.

Not the greatest look on my face and I think my face still looks too fat - but me in size 12 jeans!

I'm wearing my favorite orange biking top here - I normally don't walk around in my work out clothes, but Steve and I were trying to capture a good picture of me right now in something that stuck to me a little better than what I had been wearing that day.

This top used to be snug on me, now it's very loose. I kind of like it - but it doesn't reveal my weight loss that great. These jeans are too loose on me now. Oh and the "x" in the back on the floor - it's for training with Maya and Tye. We use the command "mark" or "place" to put them in a hold position while we practice recall and stay.

Before my (I think) fabalous haircut. Maya and me after a run. You can see my collar bone in these pictures! Not sure if you can tell in the very top picture at the beginning of this blog - but my collar bone disappeared for a few years.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Holy God and Mud


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Two weeks ago, we were discussing the cross - and how it is a popular symbol today, but - is the horror and magintude of importance of the cross often forgotten in the mix of culture? During this conversation, one of the discussion points/questions were:

There are some key biblical concepts that define why the cross is so important. Talk about each of these truths and what they mean specifically:

God is holy and without sin

We were asked to share any example of how we had heard God's holiness explained. So I shared my example:



My example uses lots of imagery. Imagine God is dressed in all white - and that heaven is all white. When we sin, it is like rolling around in the mud and becoming dirty. Our own parents would not let us enter their all white home, with an all white carpet, covered in mud would they? In comes Jesus - through His atoning sacrifice, He has cleaned the mud from us and made us able to enter into the prescence of God. Because, "no unclean thing can dwell with God". We need to be bathed in Jesus in order to be justified to enter God's prescence.

Quite a few people liked my example - and so I simply added, "This is how my parents taught me about God's Holiness when I was a child." I'm not sure if anyone made the connection - that I was raised Mormon. I feel like many Evangelicals and other Christians critical of the LDS faith - believe that Mormons ignore such simple, and basic foundational teachings like God's Holiness and justification through Jesus alone. Neither my family or my Primary teachers ever taught me that I was the one bathing myself to become clean before God - but Jesus alone.

I thought about this all week and on Sunday - attended my first block meeting in over a year. This decision was very last minute so I didn't have anything ready when Paul chimed in that he wanted to go with me. He was very well behaved considering we hadn't been to a service with him in over 18 months. He seemed to really enjoy Primary - he's now a Sunbeam and out of Nursery there. For Sunday School - I had to choose between attending Gospel Principals and Gospel Doctrine. I decided to go with GP - and sat down. The teacher was brand spanking new and this was her first Sunday teaching the class. At one point during the lesson, while explaining that in the Pre-Existence we were all spirit brothers and sisters (one Holy Father who created us) - she seemed to have a realization, "I think that's why we call each other Brother Jones and Sister Smith..."

I pondered over how some people seem to never delve into deeper understanding of their faith. To be clear, this isn't always bad. Personally, I think some people have the gift of faith like children - as Jesus explained in the Gospels. They simply accept these things on faith and perhaps have no further desire to study deeper but rather just live out what they have accepted. I've posted before - we're all different on our faith walks, some of us simply accept things and others are students - always learning more. It returned me to the cross - how many of us wear a cross everyday without thinking of the gruesome scenes that led up to the cross and on the cross itself?

During the small group discussion, the leader (who was subbing for our normal small group leader) discussed how some groups have crucifixes, some have empty crosses, and made a joke about how Mormons don't have crosses at all. Stubborn me chimed in.

- A crucifix is the atonement of Christ outside of time. It is a forever sacrifice that is given freely to all.

- An empty cross for a Protestant is to remember the sacrifice there but that Jesus lives and is not on the cross anymore. I don't believe Protestants agree with or believe the same as Catholics as the atonement being outside of time.



- Mormons don't have crosses for similar reasons that Protestants don't have crucifixes. If you look at a LDS building they have a spire that points heavenward. This is because LDS don't believe that Jesus is on a cross or in an empty tomb - He LIVES and as such is in heaven with Heavenly Father. It is to keep our focus on the eternal - to center our lives around Christ. If you look at a LDS temple, you'll see the the Angel Moroni with a trumpet - heralding the Good News of Christ and His Church on this Earth.



It is easy to look to the cross and merely think of salvation. But I think it is harder to look to the cross and think of the Garden where Jesus sweat great drops of blood from every pore of His body, the whipping, the crown of thorns - being forsaken as He became sin for us, and the great wrath of God pouring out upon His Son. I think, regardless of our differences - those of us who are His - be it Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, etc - that our lives center around His. My best friend recently learned something that I wish all Christians could remember - my perspective of black and white, and shades of gray - are not the same for all Christians. We are all unique on this walk of faith and as such, simply have to let God be God. A Catholic with a crucifix, a Mormon without a cross, and a Protestant with an empty cross - can all equally and passionatly love God.

At the end of the day, His arms are for those who call out for Him. Not, for only those with the currently accepted theology.



Saturday, October 11, 2008

What a weekend!

Well my oh so strict high protein/low carb diet went out the window - mildly, this weekend. I tried very hard to be good - but on Thursday had pizza (only 2 slices!), Friday had McDonald's "Chicken Selects" (I highly doubt they are healthy with as much yummy junk that is deep fried on them), and on Saturday Del Taco with my second helping of popcorn.

Why did I go off my diet? We finally got to go camping! And it was AWESOME! Steve's birthday is Wednesday and we wanted to use his birthday gift before it gets too cold - so even knowing that there were expected "wind gusts" Friday afternoon, we packed up the minivan (<-- lesson 1) and headed out by lunch time for Lake Mead. We had two dogs, two kids, and two adults. Before I list out our adventure, below are some lessons I learned for next time:

1. Do not take the minivan for off road driving and camping. Thank GOD we did not have any problems - and I mean 200% literally. It is only through His divine Sovereignty and protection that we did not have issues. We had our reasons for wanting to take the minivan over the SUV - looking back now, none of them great. It had been years since either of us had been to the lake, so we didn't think about needing a higher vehicle that was meant more for off road driving than say our minivan.

2. One gallon of water and 8 water bottles are STILL not enough water for 2 adults, 2 kids, and 2 dogs. I don't know why I didn't think of a jug of water for the dogs alone, a jug of water for sanitary reasons, and a jug of water for drinking and cooking with. So atleast 3 jugs minimum next time. I was able to succesfully ration out the water and am proud to say that everything was covered - not excellent, but okay. The kids had something like 14 drink packs and Gatorade to boot, and they barely made a dent in those. So we were okay.

3. Pack two sets of clothes. We were expecting freezing cold weather so I pulled out all our jeans and sweatshirts and everything I could find to help keep us warm throughout the day and night with layers. And when we got there, it was SO hot! I had my pants rolled up and stripped down to my tank top and still was hot.

4. Bring two air mattresses. I got Steve a 7 man tent - so we had room to spare. And I need to exchange our camping air pump - because the VPC pump just is not going to work since we've got a slow leak in our air mattress. We need something that can be in the tent with us and top the mattress off right before we go to sleep.

5. The tarp I bought was like 4 times the size of our tent! So we should have doubled or tripled it up under us and made a entrance so we could have kept more sand out of the tent.

6. REMEMBER THE CAMERA! Our first camping trip, there were so many priceless picture moments - and not a one was captured to share with anyone.

7. Set up the tarp thing that goes on top of the tent BEFORE it gets windy and dark. And, read the instructions - they will come in handy and it will matter later.


Here's our adventure. It took us almost an hour to choose a campsite - it was a little ways from the water's edge, but that made exploring a ton of fun. We actually ended up back at where we went a lot when we were in college. Where all the frat parties were. We made sure to camp away from the major party locations and (or atleast where they were when we were in college) found a place that already had a great looking fire pit in place. Yippie! We let Maya and Sally roam around off leash. They were so well behaved with a few exceptions from Maya who got to go duck hunting at one point and no amount of recall training was working on her. No way. She was fixated on those birds and at another point when we came upon a pack of dogs (like 4) and their owner. Lucky for me, they were all friendly and no problems. I leashed her up and brought her back to camp and made sure to keep her closer to camp (we were hiking when we saw the owner and his dogs) and the water.

The kids loved the lake - they couldn't go swimming - no swim suits since I thought it'd be freezing. But they stripped off their pants and squished their little feet over and over again in the mud and waded a little in ankle deep water playing with grass and whatnot. Sally, the dog of a couple from church, had a BLAST when she discovered the lake. She dove right in, went straight into zoomies when she came back out, and then super rolled in the sand over and over again. Maya could not get enough of the water, swimming further and further out. I was a bit worried so I made sure to pull out the high value treats and she came promptly back (exception being when she saw the ducks). On our way back from the water, the girls raced the boys - Anya and I were leading the way with the boys hot on our tails - so I scooped her up and ran with her in my arms... only to end up with my pants around my knees. That's the downside to loosing weight - none of my pants really fit me right right now. But Paul thought it was the best. He was laughing so hard. Anya went ahead while I struggled to get my pants back up and won the race for the girls. Go GIRLS! :)

We got a fire going around dusk which was surprisingly easy since the wind had finally started to pick up. The day had been warm with a light, barely there breeze all day. We didn't know what the weather reporters meant by "strong wind gusts" in the afternoon. The tent went from warm to chilly, so we finally decided to put the overhead tarp on, but did so in the setting sun with the breeze kicking in. So, of course - it wasn't on correctly. We would regret this later.

On our way out - we picked up last minute things for our cooler, one of which was supposed to be hot dogs and hot dog buns. Well, I remembered the buns - but forgot the hot dogs. So, luckily - I had packed lunchables for the kids - that was their dinner combined with the Chex Mix I had packed and juice. Not a great dinner. We had a can of chilli (I was trying to stay to my diet) with some extra red kidney beans. It came out funny - not sure why. :( So I didn't eat much of it and chowed down on a protein bar instead. The kids got to roast marshmallows for their first time. It was PRICELESS! I wish I had had my camera to catch their reactions to the crusty outside and sticky inside.

The wind kicked up so we let the fire die out and took the kids inside. They were so excited to play with their flashlights and then we played a game of Candyland. Finally, it was bedtime. Once the kids were asleep - Steve and I snuck out of the tent and got the fire going again. We popped some popcorn (I've always wanted to do that over an open campfire) and had some snuggle time as we looked up at the night sky. It was beautiful. The moon looked huge, and the lights of Las Vegas illuminated the horizon in beautiful - bold yet blended and subtle colors. The stars were clear and since the wind was only breezy at the time, the weather was perfect. All very romantic.

As I was drifting off to sleep, I look at the shadows on the tent and was utterly convinced there was a snake climbing up the tent wall. So I freaked out and made Steve go outside and investigate.

About an hour later - if even that long, the wind gusts picked up. Looking online at weather reports for yesterday - I found that the maximum wind gusts were up to 36 MPH! When I woke up and couldn't back to sleep, I wiggled out of the bed as Paul was snuggled against me on one side, Maya on the other, and Anya asleep at my feet on the other end, and stole a peak out the tent window. I unzipped it slowly so as not to wake anyone up - it was freezing in the tent. I was suddenly glad that I had packed and dressed the kids in warm layers for the PJs. I thought I could see the sun's light from sunrise on the horizon and tried to snuggle deep under the covers and go back to sleep. But I couldn't. The tarp was flapping so hard against the tent and the tent itself was shaking and moving around. I got nervous and finally woke Steve up and suggested we break camp and head home. I figured, with the sunrise happening - by time we broke camp and everything, it would be daylight and it'd be easy to get out of the valley we were in. I cleaned up the car and organized everything, then packed it all away as best I could. The kids woke up and played another round of Candyland with Daddy while I was doing this. We got them all bundled up and then put them in the car while we broke down the tent. After everything was said and done and we were in the car ready to go, I was really confused as to why it wasn't light out yet. Then I looked at the clock - 2:20 AM. No freakin' way. Yep - I had dragged us out at 2 in the morning. AH! Looking at the play by play hour by hour weather report, the wind calmed down by us around 3 am until almost 7 am. We could have totally waited until light.

When we drove into the valley for our campsite by the lake, we had to drive down a super steep and kind of scary road to get there. So I was beyond not thrilled that we were doing this again - in the dark. Steve got out and would scout ahead on foot to make sure we stayed on the road and didn't get lost, at one point hearing the rattle of possibly a rattle snake. He made his way back to the car FAST. :P When we came out of the valley area, we realized we had come out a totally different way than we had come in - it was super steep, more so than when we came in on, and I felt very blessed by God for His protection and our safety.

We got home around 3:30 I believe, we dragged in what we needed to - perishables, the kids' blankets, and such. And then Steve and the kids' finished the camp out in the living room. I've no clue how long they stayed up, but I went up to bed.

Today we got a lot of errands done and then relaxed with a movie and some popcorn (2nd helping this weekend for me). We got some new clothes and shoes for the kids for the cold weather. Paul's cold weather clothes have mysteriously vanished from our house. Tomorrow will be about getting things done.

Watched The Happening on Thursday night with Steve - great movie. Very disturbing, but my kind of horror movie. Light on the gore (but not too lite). I totally recommend it for anyone. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Almost There!

At 2:50 am this morning, I sleepily stepped on the scale and as I looked down at the numbers, it dawned on - I am 12.5 lbs away from officially having lost 50 lbs. I could not believe it. Today was my first day that I rode my 25 mile commute back to back days (usually I space them out every other day so as to rest my muscles).

And I survived. :)

I cannot believe 50 lbs is so close. I've passed 20 lbs, I've passed 30 lbs, and I'm about to pass 40 lbs - and about to be in the home stretch for 50 lbs. After that landmark, I'll only have about 30 lbs more to go and I'll be at my goal weight.

Also - for anyone in Vegas - Huey's Mart:

2.99/Gallon for Regular unleaded.

Need I say more? :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Total Ramble - Protein, Ballon-A-Palloza Pics, and Religion!





Yay it's Friday! I've got two days off - which I really need. My house is a wreck, I need to get a ton of errands and shopping done, and would love some family time. Which this week - has been really lacking.


So this week, I've been majorly increasing my protein intake and taking out my carbs as much as possible, doing my best not to have any carbs in my meals (next to impossible for me since I love carbs so much!). I've managed to jump start my weight loss again and have taken off 5 more lbs. I'm so excited. I'm eating a ton of almonds, beans, eggs, and chicken in almost every meal. For breakfast I've started having either a bowl of oatmeal with almonds in it or a Chilli Cheese Omelet with Shredded Chicken. I am full for HOURS whereas before I was starving all day long and hopefully after being on a high protein diet feeding my muscles, my next bike commute will be easier. I noticed my last commute, prior to starting this diet, that the commute itself was much easier - in fact, I hardly felt a burn or anything at all, and was less tired than I was even last week when I initially started doing this. However, when I get to that 1.5 at the end of the day, I feel suddenly feel exhausted, overheated, and tired. And it happens in a matter of minutes. Fine when I get to 2 miles out from my house, but another 1/2 mile away and suddenly I am dying. The people I talked to about this all said that it was my diet - even though I had cut all soda out, even though I was drinking a ton of water, even though I was eating 5 small meals, baking and grilling, etc etc - I was on a high carb low protein and all the wrong proteins and meats diet. IE - red meat which is high in the wrong fats. I can still have my red meats, I just eat fresh pineapple afterwards. ;)


So hopefully, this will feed my muscles what they need to make all 25 miles of the commute and not give out that last 1/2 mile.






In other news, Steve's birthday is less than two weeks away. Now that I'm in shape, I cannot wait to use his birthday present (camping gear). We went hiking when we initially adopted Maya - I was in horrible shape then, and now I am eager to tackle it again. Although, even though I can bike 25 miles a day, I wonder, does that equal good hiking shape? Not the same beast by far, so am I still going to be wheezing, dying, and wishing I'd never suggested it?





This past week on Focus on the Family, they spoke about adoption agencies not adopting out to homosexual couples and that Christians who support same sex marriage try to support it from the Bible. Last night, on another program I heard four total reasons given for Christians not speaking out against same sex marriage - none of them were kind to those who support it. Like me. But none of their options were where I would classify myself. I know that homosexuality is a sin. But there are a ton of things that the Bible says is a sin. I know that. We are all sinners (or beggars) in need of a Savior. As I recall, in Protestant teachings, all sin is equal. All sin is covered by the blood of Christ. Homosexuality, stealing a pen, telling a white lie - all the same. But I also believe that there is separation of Church and State - freedom FROM and OF religion. If other's do not share this belief, Christian or not - they should not be forced to share my belief, especially not legislated to share my belief. So, therefor, I will not vote to "protect the sanctity of marriage" (<--- that's a prime example of attracting criticism and might I add - MORMONS tote that one too) because I will not force my belief on others. I don't see Jesus forcing others to follow Him and adhere to the Law so I'll follow suit.
Now, of course, I am on a ramble. This is what I get for blogging before my morning Amp. Which of course has become more of a mental addiction than any real need. Off to get costumes, face paint, and more! I'll leave you with some pictures! I recently volunteered with GP for their Balloon-A-Palloza booth and was stuck face painting. Shockingly, I had a fantastic time (even if I felt horrible every time the kids' faces fell when I did a horrible job). To bypass having that happen again - I've pulled out my year old face paint from last year's Halloween party and been practicing on my kids. You can also see pictures from GP's booth here.
Anya and Maya playing in Pahrump two weekends ago.



Playing with "poof dirt".


GP's booth. Face Painting.










(That's only a few of the pics from BP, so check out the link for all of them.)