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February 28, 2014

Gregory - A Year Now Has Passed

A year ago today I found out Gregory had died and went into the hospital that evening. I delivered Gregory into the arms of Jesus on March 1, 2013. Of course, his soul was already there from about 10 days before that, but the physical delivery is what happened a year ago.

A day never passes that I don't think about him and miss him. At least once an hour, I would imagine, I think of him. Losing him has shown me just how much I think about all of my children...it's a constant...and he's no different.

In the days following Gregory's funeral, Rebecca, my dear friend over at The Road Home and Gregory's godmother , sent me the following video from Mercy Me. I actually waited almost a week to watch it, but I was glad I did. It did make me cry then and it does now, too, but in a good way.

I stumbled upon this song by Daughtry a little later. It was so perfect and even now, feels that way still. I always imagine a little mini-Craig running around -- because most of my kids look like their dad as babies. But the words of this song are so true, "Not a day goes by, that I don't think of you, (Gregory)."

And this song, is for my "Precious Child."

It is now 5:00 and last year I was finalizing arrangements for the kids and making our way to the hospital. I had spent 5 hours coming to grips with the fact that I had carried my son 10 days further than his life had extended. And the sadness; it was overwhelming. And that heavy heart hung around for another 5-6 months.

But then, I finally felt able to breathe again. I remember it distinctly...about a week into August, I could finally breathe a full, deep breath and not feel like it might be my last. My youngest sister announced her pregnancy with her first child in October and I was shocked to realize it was the first time I was truly happy at the news of someone else having a baby. I was so grateful that God filled my heart again for someone else.

This afternoon, a package came in the mail. Of course, Rebecca and her husband were so very thoughtful and sent us a beautiful creation that could be hung from the chandelier in our dining room. Here are two pictures:

Aquamarine is the March birth stone

I'm glad there is a chandelier in this house :)

Craig and I spent some time at the cemetery today. You know, it would have been easy to pass on the Memorial marker. It was an added cost, and how often will we have time to go up there? But...I'm really glad we got it and that it was placed before the anniversary of his birth/death. We need it there. We need to have that place to go. It was good to visit there today and I know it won't be the last time we go there.

The Memorial Marker where Gregory was laid

I have received such an out-pouring of love and support from blog-readers, friends and family over the past year. I appreciate more than anyone can know that I was allowed to grieve openly. It's such a hard thing, I think, to grieve a child who never was able to be born, but it's important to acknowledge that person and everything he was and is to the parents and family. At this time, I am filled with gratitude at the empathy and understanding I have experienced from so many in the last 12 months: our priest, our parish and school community, our family and friends. Even our children here on Earth with us -- who had to watch their mother cry for much of the last year, were such a great support for me. And the counseling I received through my therapist was helpful and how could I forget my awesome doctor and his staff? They hadn't seen me since March 8 when I walked in there in November and they were so tender and caring with me and asked how I was doing.

2013 was a rough year and I experienced loss on a whole new level. But I was able to process it and get through it all (with amazing support) in a healthy way. I feel ready to tackle the future and know that I will never forget my baby.

Son of God GiveAway Results!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this Son of God Giveaway, sponsored by Grace Hill Media. I hope it was fun and I appreciate those of you who tweeted the blog or pinned it. And of course, I always love to get comments, so thank you also for commenting.

The movie comes out today, so go see it. :)

I'm not real high-tech over here, so I wrote each of the commenter's names from the post on slips of paper and put them in a container and had my wonderful husband pull a name out.

The winner is Maryann! Congratulations!

Here is a picture of what you'll be getting:

CD and Novel plus a 1000 piece puzzle
Maryann, I will be contacting you via e-mail to obtain an address where Grace Hill Media can send the this.

Thanks again to everyone for participating!

February 26, 2014

Weight Watchers Wednesday (15)

Happy Wednesday!

I was a bit nervous about attending my meeting and weighing in last week, but it turns out I had no need. I was down 2.8 pounds! That is just crazy talk! I have never been rewarded on the scale with a loss on a week where I stopped tracking. The receptionist asked if I was sticking to the Power Foods, and I thought that maybe I was...but since i hadn't tracked, i couldn't say for sure. Either way, I was very happy!!

I was worried that it would cause me to slack again on the tracking and I have to say...I had good reason to worry. I didn't track real-time this weekend...went back on Monday and tracked though. For some reason, on Saturday night I really wanted Guacamole from this restaurant that makes really good guacamole, so I had that for dinner. Plus some other things I probably shouldn't have had.

The only major change I have made has been to stop drinking Diet Coke. I asked Craig if he thought it would make that much of a difference and he said, "Yes." Man of many words, that Craig. So, I thought about it some more and then I thought about it again when I was tempted to get diet coke and I put it off. Who am I to argue with continued weight loss after a change like that?

My workouts have been good this week. I made it to the Y to workout while Dani swam Thursday, then Friday I went to Crossfit. Saturday I rested and Sunday I did an Indoor Triathlon. That was fun, but challenging, too. Monday I was back to Crossfit and Tuesday I ran on the treadmill at the Y. I'll make it to Crossfit tonight, too.

I feel like tempering my expectations this week since I had such a great week last week. I guess I shouldn't be surprised if I am up slightly because that usually happens after I have a week where I lost 2.8 pounds or something like that.

I guess we'll see! Until next week...

Photo Here


February 25, 2014

Keep the Joy Amidst the Grief

This week started kind of slow. And it doesn't appear to be speeding up much. Oh sure, we're just as busy as we always are. Work, School, workouts, activities for the kids, homework and we threw in beginning to potty-train Vincent into the mix, too.

I can't deny that Friday's date looms heavy on my my heart. I know we delivered Gregory on March 1, but February 28 was the day that I went in for the ultrasound and found out that Gregory had already died.

It's funny being a year removed. So much has changed...but so many emotions are still there, just buried and faded.

A year later, here I am, active, healthy, living my life with my family as full as I can with our busy schedules. I've lost about 43 pounds since last year, I've gotten heavily involved in Crossfit and am taking new challenges by the horns every day.

And I think...where would I be had Gregory not died? What if he were here with us? He would be about 7 months old, most likely starting some table foods, probably trying to crawl to keep up with Vincent. Financially, our family would be in a very different place as we would be juggling daycare for two small children (again) plus providing formula and diapers. Since Vincent is just now potty-training, we'd have two kids in diapers for quite a span of time which would also impact the financial situation. Emotionally, we'd be in a different place, too. We might not have the grasp on this Gift of Life that we do as a result of our suffering.

God has always provided the Grace to get through whatever came our way, whether it was another child, or a financial struggle, or emotional turmoil. I feel blessed that growing through suffering the loss of my child is possible. Of course, Gregory is not with us. And so, Vincent acts like "the baby" as he is. My other children do not think of Gregory often, or at least I don't know it if they do. And somehow, I find that I feel content with my status as a mother of five + 1 (in Heaven).

I remember the days and weeks following February 28 last year and sometimes the tears well up in my eyes as I remember how long I cried. For some reason, the other day, I thought of our first night at home after delivering Gregory and the loud sobs and the punches in the gut I felt all night and the ache in my heart that didn't go away. Even now, I can still remember quite vividly the feeling in my chest -- it was like a "silent scream" you might do when you are dreaming a bad dream that makes you scream/cry.

These days, I don't cry all the time. However, I think of Gregory every single day -- many times every single day -- but I don't cry every day for him. I have one of the plants we received from family in my office and one, received from Gregory's godparents, at home. Both plants, when I see them, remind me of my baby. It's a small miracle both plants are still alive since Craig and I have never been able to keep anything but our babies alive once they come home with us. I have Gregory's birth stone (March) on my Mother's Ring, so many times a day, I see it and I always think of him. I have the items the hospital sent home with us along with my letter to Gregory from the day after printed out. I have the pictures they took. I don't always pull them out, but every so often I will...just so that I can look at him.

As Friday draws closer, it seems I lack focus, but I suppose that is to be expected. I would imagine in the years to come, it will get a little better. Will I always want to take that day off work? Or will I be okay, over time, with keeping a normal schedule? I don't know. I plan to head up to the cemetery on Friday to see the Memorial that has been placed for Gregory there. Our visit is long overdue, but I'm grateful we'll actually know where he is now that the Memorial has been placed. Craig and I will spend the day together. The girls have school and I've arranged for the boys to go to daycare that day. We'll get a Crossfit workout in, go to the cemetery and maybe go to a movie or just hang out and do nothing.

I do miss Gregory, but at the same time, I find that I am grateful for the short time I did have with him. I remember those sweet, short months of thinking about whether he would be a boy or a girl. I still chuckle at the fact that I figured it had to be a boy because God knows how much symmetry mean to me and having three girls and then three boys would just be perfect for me. I had fun coming up with potential names (Victoria for a girl; I thought of Victor for a boy along with Gregory). I wondered what we'd do about our vehicle situation (Get a huge 12-passenger van? Or stick it out with the two vehicles we had?) and I thought about how we'd fit all three boys in one bedroom. 

Yes, we really did have some good times there, thinking of the future and planning for a new baby. I don't want to lose sight of the joy Gregory's pregnancy brought me. I may have been tired, but I was happy. We may have been (a little) surprised, but we spent 4 months in joyful expectation. God blessed us a sixth time. And like every other time, it was so much more than we could have ever have anticipated or felt that we deserved.

February 24, 2014

Son of God -- GiveAway!!

I'm hosting a "Son of God" GiveAway for Grace Hill Media. I know, not quite what you're expecting here on the ol' Endless Strength Blog.

The movie, "Son of God," hits theaters Friday and to accompany it and to support it, I am having a giveaway. Some of you may have watched the award-winning miniseries, "The Bible." The producers of that miniseries, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, have produced this film to be released February 28.

I'm a "Jesus Movie Junkie" (my own term...at least I don't know of anyone else who might have used it). When I was a kid, after the first time I saw the movie, "Jesus of Nazereth" I watched it over and over every chance I could get. I did the same with "The Ten Commandments." I just love the movies. When "the Passion of The Christ" came out in 2003, Craig and I got a babysitter to go see it. I was pregnant with Dani at the time and we didn't get a sitter all that often. As a matter of fact, that is the only movie I saw in the theater for the span of most of that decade! I also got it on DVD and I usually watch it during Lent each year. I think last year I did not watch it, but was going through my own turmoil while grieving our baby, Gregory.

So, being a "Jesus Movie Junkie," when I first saw the trailer this past holiday season when I took my oldest two to see "Saving Mr. Banks" I knew I'd have to try and see the movie in the theater when it came out. Then, when Grace Hill Media approached me about doing a Giveaway, I knew I'd do it because...right that whole Junkie bit. :) The trailer makes the movie look well done and the miniseries received rave reviews. I look forward to seeing the movie!

On to the details of the Giveaway...

In honor of the film's release, Grace Hill Media will provide a winner from my blog a Giveaway package that will include: 
  • A copy of the Son of God soundtrack
  • The "Son of God" companion novel
  • A 1000 piece puzzle -- fun for the whole family!
I am attaching a trailer for the movie for your viewing pleasure.


 To enter for your chance to win:
  • Comment below
  • Tweet out this post (comment that you've tweeted)
  • Share my blog on your Facebook page (comment that you've posted to Facebook)
  • Pin my blog on Pinterest (comment that you've pinned this post)
I will close entries Thursday at midnight and will post the winner on Friday, the day the movie is released in theaters.


February 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes - 76 -- A Very Special Birthday Girl Edition

Thank you to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting! 

--- 1 ---

Sunday is my sweet baby girl, Helen's birthday! She will be 8  years old. Oh my. Let me say type that again: She will be 8 years old.

Do you see this precious 4-year-old here? The bottom pic was Helen's pre-K pic. She has such a sweet smile.

--- 2 ---

I've written before about the fact that I claimed Helen as "my baby" from the earliest onset of pregnancy. I prayed for her to be a "momma's girl." I loved the independence of my oldest and cherished the relationship my second-born had with her dad, but I wanted a child who had eyes only for me.

And...well, God answered that prayer 100 times over I think. :)

First day of pre-K four years ago

Playing with her little brother...

Sitting by a fountain

Such a good big sister -- reading to her brother
--- 3 ---
She has grown so much since then. Here is her Kindergarten pic:

--- 4 ---

Helen is in 2nd grade and therefore is in the midst of preparing for First Communion after having participated in First Reconciliation a month ago. Helen takes her preparation very seriously: she studies her questions and she successfully badgers her over-committed mom to work with her once a week. I couldn't be more proud of the fact that her teacher told us at Parent-Teacher conferences this year that she is a "hard worker." 

It made me proud because I was always described as a "hard worker" too and I love it that Helen has taken that trait and made it her own.
--- 5 ---
 Here are some recent pics from basketball season:

--- 6 ---
Being in 2nd grade also means the first year of eligibility to play basketball for St. Andrew's. Helen had so much fun playing with her friends and I think she grew to like the game of basketball. Like many kids her age, she could probably do without the running, but I also think she realized how critical that particular movement is to playing basketball well.
2nd grade basketball pic
--- 7 ---

So, Happy birthday baby girl! You are a sweet, sensitive, smart girl. Your face lights up my world. You are Amazing! And...I love you.

Be sure to go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Posts!


February 19, 2014

Weight Watchers Wednesday (14)

I know I'm late -- its not up first thing in the morning. My schedule has gotten so full. I hardly have time to blog anymore. :( Much of that is due to my workout schedule. But some is due to kid activities and just plain old writer's block, too. But, here is my Wednesday check-in post.

I went to my at-work meeting last Thursday and I was down 1.2 pounds. That made me happy. I had been focused, I had tracked the week, I had worked out. I was feeling so awesome about it that I officially set my goal weight with my leader and she signed and everything!

I had been avoiding that because I guess I was just afraid of committing to an impossible number. but all in all, I don't think it's impossible. It might take me a while to get there, but I think i can live at that weight long-term.

As of Thursday, I would have 13 more pounds to lose.

Then this weekend happened. Oh man, I was focused thursday and Friday. But then Saturday came along with the munchie-munchie feelings and I stopped tracking. I didn't track starting Saturday. So...at least I know what that means: most likely an increase on the scale. We'll see. The good news is that I worked out all week. I took Saturday as a rest day because we were running crazy all day, but did Crossfit Thurs-Fri-Sun-Mon-Tue, and will do it again tonight. I am even planning to run there and back tonight for some extra cardio. (It is 3.2 miles between my house and the Crossfit box.)

Something I haven't talked much about is the Simple Start plan that Weight Watchers came out with this year. It's based on the Power Foods and you don't have to track anything unless it's not a Power Food. Our leader raves about it and some other members of our group are doing it and seem to like it. I've been reluctant because I have the mindset of the PointsPlus "budget" and values for everything I eat. But, having had a week where tracking wasn't my strong suit, I wonder if I could just stick to the Power Foods and see if it won't matter if I track or not (unless it's an "indulgence," i.e., non-Power Food).

I don't know...since I need to be super-focused next week, I'll probably stick with the PointsPlus system, but it is kind of wearing on me that I should try the Power Foods thing. We'll see.

So, there is it. I was down last week and happy about it, but don't expect to be down this week. However, I will be re-focused and look forward to a good result next week.

A search for some Crossfit Motivational Images brought me here...

Photo Here

Then, I found this. Sarah has asked me why I crossfit. Funny thing, I signed her up for Foundations and then I saw she was trying to convince one of her friends to do it with her...so I think she's figuring out her own "why." But this sums it up beautifully:

Photo Here
The "I CAN'T" is much more fleeting now than it used to be and the "I CAN" comes on much stronger than it used to.

Okay, have a good week!

February 14, 2014

What Am I To Do With My Hair?!?

I was going to do a 7QT posts on this, but then I got tired and busy so I didn't get it written. But I still want to hash out my love-hate relationship with my hair.

First of all, growing up, I had the best hair! My dad went (mostly) bald at an early age and would always ask me if I would give him a hair transplant. It was our little joke. And it was fun.

I didn't always like my hair, but I was always told I had the best hair. It was thick and wavy, I could wear it curly or straight. As a small child, my mother braided it every day. Then, at some point she chopped it off and it was short for a good part of my childhood. When I got to high school, I decided to grow it. It was a dark brown and it got really long. *sigh* Remember when you were young and it was "cool" and "chic" to wear your hair as long as you dare?

About 3 months into my freshman year of college, I cut it to about shoulder-length and honestly, I've done every sort of thing to my hair since then. I've grown it out, I've cut it short, I've layered it, I've had it all one length, I've had bangs, I've had no bangs, I've colored it and highlighted it and curled it and straightened it.

I've been growing it long for a couple of years now and I think I'm having to face the fact that it's just too long. As much as I would like to think I can pull off sexy long tresses, I just don't think it's in the cards. It looks funky because I do need bangs (I just look too old without them) so bangs with really long hair otherwise, just doesn't look good on me. Then the fact that I have to layer it anyway, I just have not got the patience for it, I guess.

I don't like my hair to be super-short, either. I don't pull off the pixie cut and I don't care what everyone says, really short hair is NOT easier! I have to wash it every day and style it and at least with hair long enough for a pony tail, I can always do that.

Add in the fact that I work out in the evenings so I typically shower then and let my hair air-dry, if I had short hair that would inevitably look horrible the morning after I slept on it all night, that just causes extra shower/clean up time that I don't really have.

So, medium length hair style is really what I need, I think. I had my hair done at a really cool salon in Vegas back in 2004 and he told me I should not let my hair go past my chin, that I need it to frame my face. I agree with him, but I like some hair longer than my chin, which is why I end up layering, I think...I can have layers that frame my face, even if I have a little longer past that.

This blog post is all about YOU sharing your ideas for what you think might be a good style on me. Please? Can you help a girl out?

Here's what I want to know:
How short/long should I go?
What color should I go with? (I've been itching to go more red for some reason...)

Here are some pictures from the last year that give you an idea of my face structure...


With these two, you can see how my bangs work...when I keep them trimmed and in shape...


So, help me out? What do you think?

February 12, 2014

Weight Watchers Wednesday (13)

What's this? I'm busy and I didn't forget? Kudos to me!

So, I mentioned Friday about how I didn't weigh in last week because...well, it was kind of a bad week and I didn't need THAT nail in the coffin. 2 snow days, feeling a bit under-the-weather, and just general blah-ness did me in last week, so I used my "no weigh-in" pass but still went to my meeting.

And, I am glad I was at the meeting because it helped me regain my resolve to re-focus! (How ya like thos re- words?) I can't remember too much what the meeting was about other than highlighting some routines we could be working on. I really like the activity routine -- I like getting on streaks. I was on a 22-day streak of working out when the stupid illness and snow-day combination came along! oh well, I will just start a new one, eh?

The meeting before last, I DID weigh in and was down 0.8 pounds, officially moving me under 170 pounds.

I look forward to this week's meeting because I think I'm going to have a good weigh-in...maybe even a great one! Those smaller clothes I told you I found in the back of my closet? I finally got guts enough to put the pants on and -- BOO-YEAH!! I am in my size 10's comfortably now. :) I even wore a couple of size medium shirts this week. so, I'm having a bunch of non-scale victories all around.

also...get this! I did a couple of WOD's at crossfit ..... *without scale* -- this means AS PRESCRIBED. I was so excited! Usually I have to lower the weight or do a different exercise because I don't know how or am not strong enough to do what's on the board. But Sunday, I did the prescribed workout and, well, I'm not gonna lie, I kicked ass. It was fun! It hurt, but it was fun.

There's this one exercise called "double unders" where you jump rope but make the rope go around twice for each jump. I am FINALLY figuring these out, which is cool. I can't string more than 2 or 3 together, but I'll get there.

So, things are coming together physically and mentally. I am getting closer to what I'll call my "goal weight" for the purposes of making lifetime. (I'll explain that statement more another time, but basically...my main goal is to get to the "healthy" range for my height, maintain it to get Lifetime so I can stop paying for meetings. I may lose more after that...but I gotta get to where I don't have to pay for this anymore :) )

One more thing: I took myself off the diet coke. Again. Oh, the headaches!! I mean it, this time I'm staying off that stuff! (somewhere I hear laughter...) What has helped me is that I bought the new WW tumbler. It's handy, has a grip-type bottom and has either a spot for a straw (and a straw comes with) or a spot to sip. I fill that sucker up with water before I leave and it's with me in the car so I don't feel like stopping for a diet coke at Quiktrip. I refill it all day whenever I get up to visit the ladies room and I fill it up on my way out the door from work to home. I really like it. Probably just because it's new...but hey, whatever works, right?

New WW Tumbler
the sippy side (you can close it up with that tab if you slide it down)

The spot for the straw (you can also close it up and not use the straw)
 So, my tip for this week: Drink more water!! 

Have a great week!

February 10, 2014

A Year Ago

I was taken by surprise the other day when I mentioned perhaps taking February 28 off work this year. The tears came quickly and I had to swallow and push them down. My boss has been completely supportive and never even a little bit awkward about our loss of Gregory last year. I didn't expect to fight back tears when I mentioned perhaps wanting the day off. 

I was reading through some of my posts from last year before we found out about Gregory's passing and I was really struggling with Lent. I had messed up on a Friday and eaten meat for breakfast. I hadn't figured out just what kind of sacrifice I should make for Lent. To be honest, I was kind of a mess...and that was BEFORE I knew about Gregory's death.

In hindsight, it seems so perfect, you know? There I was, feeling sorry for myself, not doing very good at being Catholic during Lent. I was really struggling. I was feeling alone, spiritually. I didn't really know what to make of it. I think I was just floundering -- flapping and flailing (as my father would say) -- not knowing what to do, how to pray, and feeling like a really bad person because of it.

Then, February 28 happened. February 28 was the date I went in for my mid-pregnancy ultrasound. Craig was going to go with me, but hadn't felt well and I just figured it was routine -- I've done many of these on my own. But they didn't find Gregory's heartbeat and determined he must have died about 9-10 days earlier.

My world completely stood still for a day or two. And it moved so slowly for awhile after that. 

It's funny when I think about it because when I have given birth to each of my children -- that is the way it was. The moment each of them came into this world -- I remember that moment and it seemed to last forever, and I love that. 

And, so it was the same when I gave birth to my baby boy, Gregory, who was still. I remember that moment, always, and the pain in my heart and the tears that ran down my face. I remember shaking with sobs and looking at my husband who was doing the same. I remember feeling my doctor's hand on my shoulder and that he didn't have anything to say...and that he was crying with us. And the nurses and all the other medical staff in the room were sad with us.

Before I sat down to write this, I hadn't decided whether to take February 28 off work. But I think I have now. I think I will. Just because I will think about Gregory all day on that day and on March 1. I know I will. It makes sense -- often on the birthdays of my children, I think about them all day long -- but it's happy and I don't feel the need to take a day away from work (since they are usually in school anyway). But with the happy memories, it doesn't distract me or make working more difficult. But I fear it will be more difficult to work on February 28 this year.

It will be a year since his passing February 28/March 1. A milestone. I'm happy to say that the grave marker has been placed and I look forward to seeing it in person (the weather/snow has been awful and prevented a trip, even if we would have had time). I'll go there for sure on March 1, maybe on February 28, too. 

We got the letter letting us know Gregory's Memorial had been placed.
It's been almost a year, and though the pain doesn't rise to the surface as often, it's still there. I miss him. I miss what he would have been for us. I miss what my family would have been with him here. I do miss all that.

But, I also see what we are with Gregory in Heaven, too. I see my children, who have watched me grieve this year, draw closer to me. I see my son, Dominic, who lights up at the name of Gregory when he hears it. I see my husband and me, feeling comfortable and stable with our family as it is right now. 

When all this happened, I struggled to see how this fit with what God had planned for us. I think sometimes what a leg up I've gotten to have a child in the presence of God interceding for me and I wonder how badly I must have needed it. 

A year ago, I was confused, trying to figure out an adequate sacrifice for Lent. But it was okay. Lent was oh, so hard last year. Easter was not particularly joyful for me last year. But through this past year, I see that sometimes, you just don't have to come up with it on your own. Sometimes, dealing with whatever is in front of you...is enough.


February 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes - 75

Thank you to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting! 

--- 1 ---

Maybe you noticed (or maybe you didn't!) that I missed my Weight Watchers Wednesday post this week. Arrggh. You see, Kansas City got hit with Snowpocalypse 2014 this week. About a foot of snow fell between mid-morning Tuesday and early morning Wednesday. Holy Moly, it was a lot of snow! I went in to work Tuesday because my remote token wasn't working, got that fixed and then went home to work the rest of the day. The children were out of school, of course. Even Craig stayed home Tuesday night because it was still coming down and it just didn't seem smart to drive into work. I'm starting to really hate February in Kansas City. This is something like 3 of the past 4 years in February that we've gotten hit with a big snow event. I'm over it.

--- 2 ---

In case you needed photographic evidence of my mini-rant above...
view outside entrance of my building

--- 3 ---

Based on the forecasted temps for the next week, none of that snow is going anywhere either. Which also means I am forced to remain inside for runs, should I decide to run (hello, treadmill!)

Winter, be gone!! Seriously.

--- 4 ---

So, since I missed weight watchers wednesday post, I can let you know that on January 30, I did weigh in and was down 0.8 pounds. This made me happy because it meant I was officially under 170 and I haven't been under that in about 5 years!

The sad news is that my week since that weigh-in was not very good. I lost my focus with regard to my eating and then, I ended up getting sick.

No, I wasn't so sick that I needed to stay in bed or anything. But I felt yucky. My head has been hurting for about 4 days now, and until yesterday, nothing tasted good except diet coke and chips. Seriously.

The good news is that I have been drinking only water yesterday and today and am back on track eating and tracking-wise. I missed workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I am getting those back on track, too. *sigh* I guess a big part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to get back at it even when things go a bit awry.


--- 5 ---
A friend shared this article about Crossfit on my Facebook wall yesterday. I loved it! It explains well why someone like me loves Crossfit. I have been able to tap back into my inner athlete doing Crossfit and I love that.
Speaking of which -- I think I'm going to sign up for the Open this year. Basically, you do the workouts  at your box with a coach to verify and then you submit your scores online and see where you stack up. I've only just started, but it should be a great way to see where I stand, fitness-wise.
--- 6 ---
The Biggest Loser. Yeah. You know, I was pulling for Rachel to win all season. And I am still glad she won. Yeah, I was a bit shocked to see her when she came out for her reveal in the Finale. I'm not gonna hate on her...I would imagine she was being ultra-competitive and ensuring she was gonna win that $250,000. But, I do hope she will put some weight back on. Most likely she will because it seems that most of the winners do put a little bit back on.

I haven't been a long-time watcher of the show. Last year was my first time and I really enjoyed watching Danni grow and win, ultimately. She came out at 137 pounds and was so muscular and fit! I am sad that I didn't feel that way about Rachel, I thought she looked weak. But like I said, I'm sure she was just ensuring she lost the weight she needed to to win (although, I do believe she over-shot by like 20 or 30 pounds...like she needed to have lost a total of 135 or something and she lost 155?)

Anyway, I think it's interesting the uproar over it because how many people were saying negative things about Rachel being overweight...then she loses weight and people say negative things. I agree, there should be some safeguards against both sides of the eating disorder. If you think about it, obese people have an eating disorder, too. And the mindset that got someone obese, could very well be the mindset that makes them anorexic. Many times a lack of control in their lives is what those who struggle with obesity cite AND those who struggle with anorexia nervosa. So, they control their food (intake or starvation) so they feel in control of something.

Anywho...I just don't know if it's smart that we have this tv show putting all these people under the microscope. It's definitely turned many lives around and that's an awesome thing, but then this season happened and I just don't know that encouraging that sort of outcome is healthy.

Do any of you  have any thoughts on this?

--- 7 ---
Craig and I did most of the shoveling at our house...but we saved some for the girls. :)

Be sure to go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Posts!





February 4, 2014

A Lack of Focus

When I hit my 10% goal a couple of weeks ago, I zoned in focus-wise, for that week. Every other time I have lost 10% of my body weight with weight watchers, I have struggled at that point and often stop focusing and gained the weight back. I am determined this time. But that doesn't mean I don't have to work to keep focused.

This week, I have lost my focus. I hate it. I'm still focused on my workouts, which will probably save me and it won't be as bad on the scale as it could be. But, food-wise, I have allowed the "munchies" to overtake my brain! 

I try to get re-focused every day and some days have been better than others. On Saturday, I swam in the morning and it did not help my focus for me to bring donuts home for the kids! I don't know why I do that...it's like a sick form of self-sabotage. Sunday, I went to the crossfit box and had a killer workout. I was SO HUNGRY when I got home, though, that I overdid it again! Then Monday hit and Snowpocalypse 2014 is all anyone can talk about and it gave me an itch to snack. So, again...my focus was gone. I made it the crossfit workout, but arrived home to see it had been "pizza night" and I have a really hard time turning pizza down...unless it's already put away (which it was not).

The thing is, I'll have to have a "bad" day on the scale Thursday to get my focus back, I fear. Oh sure, I'm going to try Tuesday. But...working from home and having the kids here since school is closed sure isn't going to help me out any. It's frustrating that I know myself well enough to know my focus probably won't re-register until Thursday. You'd think knowing that, that I could head it off. And...maybe I will...Tuesday is fresh and Wednesday hasn't arrived yet either. But, I don't have a lot of faith in myself with things like lack of focus during a week.

My last week that I lost focus was the week between Christmas and New Year's. The scale went up 1.2 pounds that week. No...not the end of the world, in the least. But...still the wrong direction, don't ya know?

What do you do when you lose your focus? How do you get it going again without having to wait on negative feedback?

February 3, 2014

Monday Mumbles - 68

What a weekend...cold, snowy, cold. I'm just a little sick of the cold. But it's Monday, so I will mumble.

1. While watching the Super Bowl last night I made note that my children -- while being quite loud and unruly -- were all playing a game...together. Yup, my children -- all of them!! -- ages 12, 10, just-about-8, 5 and two-and-a-half were playing a game. Together. They were having fun together, too. THAT is one of the most cool things about having 5 children.

2. Vincent is just about as all-boy as you can get I think. I'm not really sure why people say stuff like that, but he acts pretty much like any other kid I have seen that said about. Last night, he came up to the couch and one after another, pulled hot-wheels cars out of his pockets. I can't remember if he got to 5, 6 or 7 cars that came out of his pockets! but it was very cute.
This was taken before he pulled out one or two more cars from his pockets
This was taken after he had his bath...came right back out to keep playing
3. That Super Bowl Halftime Show was one of the best in many years I think. I love Bruno Mars' music. I sing that song "Just The Way You Are" to my kids all the time...especially my girls. It was great to watch him perform the halftime show, though.

4. After the boys had baths, they wanted to take silly pictures. Okay, the first one of Dominic wasn't silly...it's a straight pic, but after that...

Sweet Smile

Silly Boys

Silly boys, some more

5. January was crazy busy. I manage a team of 11...so January and February are packed full of performance review and goal-setting exercises. So...I'm half-way through the craziness since 2014 goals were due Friday. Now I have two weeks to get everyone's 2013 performance reviews completed and communicated. Good thing I pretty much give them all a review each quarter so it's just adding overall comments at this point.

6. My Jayhawks suffered their first conference loss of the season. It's all fine...they deserved to lose the way they played. Not to take anything away from how good Texas played...cuz they did play well...but seriously...not sure where KU's actual team was on Saturday, but they didn't show up.

7. Ah, and Denver didn't win a Super Bowl. So...I'm relieved at that. I wish the Chiefs would have played well to be in the Super Bowl so I could cheer FOR someone and not just cheer for a team to lose. Oh well, maybe next year!

8. On Sunday, it marked 21 days straight that I have done a workout of some sort. That's kind of crazy. I realized that I have gotten to that point where if I don't do SOMEthing....I just don't feel right. Last Thursday I was stuck at home and not at the Y with Dani while she swam for practice...and I did 100 Burpees. Just because I had to do something. I also did my push-up app and my planks. But I think it would have to be something kind of drastic for me not to workout on a day...doing SOMEthing anyway. That's kind of crazy, since I used to be one of those that swore by a "rest day."

9. Oh and as for crazy ideas...I have kind of committed to doing a Triathlon this summer. Here in Kansas City. Maybe I'll talk more about it when I actually get registered.

10. Before ^^ that crazy idea, I already committed to running a half-marathon in Philadelphia in September. So...guess I'm just crazy all around these days!

Bonus: Sarah is starting Crossfit tonight! I enrolled her in the Foundations class at our Box. I hope she has fun with it!!