Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I don't like you, February.

Oh, this month has worn me out and it's not even quite over yet.

I had a looooong, whiny post about what an awful month February has been, but I'm not going to go there.  It's been rough, but I'd rather look forward to March.  Because it's going to be a GREAT month.  It has to be.

I will say that I'm having some serious problems with my blood sugar right now.  High enough that my boss was concerned that my doc would hospitalize me, which he did not, but it's high enough to make me pretty miserable.  I can't sleep well, I'm nauseated, and I'm exhausted.  Not just a "oh, I'd like a nap" kind of tired, but the kind where you start to cry when you realize while grocery shopping that you have to move these groceries to the check out, to the car, inside the house, and then put them away, because you're already so tired you'd love to just lay down in the aisle.  And the stress of the kind of damage this could be doing to my body.  Vision damage, nerve damage, kidney damage... it's no joke.  It's safe to say I've been freaked out.  I'm only on day 2 of some new meds, so... fingers crossed... I'll be creeping back to normal and feeling better soon.  If not, I'm probably looking at being put on insulin.  I don't want that.  I was on insulin while pregnant with Zoe and I just never was able to get past being freaked out by the needles.  My doctor has a few oral medications that we're going to play around with before resorting to that, so I'm trying to be hopeful.

We're expecting some snow today.  The kids are out of school.  AGAIN.  They were out 3 days last week, and this is the third day this week.  This is Arkansas, we don't do snow and ice very well.  We don't do snow plows and only major roads get salted.  It's a mess.  We get just enough of a break for the roads to dry so that we can restock the pantry to prepare for the next round.  It's not even been fun.  Last week was all ice, which isn't fun to play in, and by the time the snow actually hit this week, everyone has been too fed up with it to care.

So that's that.  Hopefully I'll have a more upbeat post soon!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yarn, yarn, yarn

I need to do some catching up.  I posted my pictures from my Olivia day, but haven't put up my Isabelle and Zoe days.  Our internet at home SUCKS.  We went from having unlimited data to restricted and last month we hit our allotment within a week.  They slow us down after that, and when I say slow, I mean slow, like turtles through quicksand slow.  So I couldn't upload my Isabelle pictures.  Zoe's pictures were on my phone, but I tend to be a little OCD about needing to do things in order, so I haven't done hers either.

My week off of work was fantastic.  Didn't get much accomplished, but that's how it normally goes. 

My DietBet was a huge bust.  I don't know if my scale was acting wonky or what happened, but I did so well the first week,  was about halfway there within a week and a half, and then my period came and it was like I gained 8 lbs overnight and it didn't want to leave.  I was only down about 1 lb at the end.  Whether my scale was off at some point or if I just got cocky with the awesome numbers in the beginning...  no matter.  I will probably try again later in the year.  I'd like to win one, you know? 

Aside from work and trying to get my head in the weight loss game, I've been crocheting quite a bit.  I had a friend message me to see if I'd like some yarn a family member had and didn't want.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I got was beyond expectation.

74 skeins of yarn.  33 were shades of green.  Some of it might make its way to a thrift store, because some of it's Red Heart and I just can't stand how scratchy it is, and I'm thinking most of it was bought in the 90s when rose and country blue were a hot color combo, but it's not all bad.  I have plans for some of the green, for sure.

I made these little cuties for a friend's daughter. 

And some boot cuffs, which apparently are impossible to find around here. 

A few cowls because it's been pretty cold around here (and I look really odd in this picture for some reason...)

And Zoe's birthday doll, Myrtle.  If you've ever seen American Horror Story (Season 3, Coven, specifically), you might recognize my inspiration.  If you haven't, you should.  LOL  I know it seems weird that I'd make my 7 year old a doll inspired from a horror show, but I have to take my inspiration and roll with it sometimes and Zoe loves Myrtle, even if she has no idea who Myrtle is.

I am making a stash-busting afghan right now because my stash overfloweth.  I have a few projects I am holding myself to to try to use up yarn I already have before I dive into another project I'm itching to start, but will need to buy yarn for. 

2015 has started off on a good note so far, so hopefully that will continue throughout the year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

#8 and #17 - Olivia's day with pictures

For Christmas, I wanted to give the girls some "experience" type gifts.  One of those gifts was a day just for them while we're all off for Christmas break this week.  Today was Olivia's day, and she got to spend a few hours alone with me, and then have dinner with Daddy.

We went to the Old Mill to take some pictures.  It's much more enjoyable to take pictures of them there now that they are older.  I remember when they were little that I would get so nervous being there with them, because there are so many places that they could just tumble over a railing into the water.  So, aside from the fact that it was cold and dreary, it was nice to wander around with her and take pictures of her.  She's 10, and not entirely fond of taking pictures, so I was thrilled to get some nice pictures of her actually smiling. 

Afterwards, I wanted to take her to the Arkansas Arts Center, but it was closed.  So we ended up at the mall, wandering aimlessly.  Then a trip to the orthodontist.  I wish the weather had been nicer.  It would have been fun to take a walk, but I know her well enough to know she wouldn't have had much fun in the cold.

She picked Golden Corral for dinner with Bill.  They rarely get to go there because I can't stand buffets.  Bill said she ate like a horse, which is unusual for her, but I'm glad.  She's so tiny.

We definitely need to try to do things like this again.  It's rare to have an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with any of the girls, and Olivia isn't as attention-seeking as her sisters in general, so it was a special time. 

#31 - Volunteer at a marathon - CHECK!

I checked the first thing off of my 40x40 list today!   I volunteered at the 3 Bridges Marathon. It's a fairly small marathon, I think only 300-400 runners.  But I adore the bridge system around here, so I've had a fascination with the marathon since it started last year. 

The plan was to bring the girls to cheer while I worked. I had been told I was working at the mile 19 station, so that would have worked perfectly. But I was actually assigned to the finish line, which was far more exciting, but I wasn't sure how well I could keep an eye on the girls.  I recruited my sister to come cheer with them so I didn't worry about them rubbing off or getting snatched. 

Now, the temp was in the 50s, so I thought it would be great. But it was windy and rainy, especially by the river, so it was COLD.  By the time I went home, I was soaked and freezing. It took HOURS to thaw my toes. 

My volunteer shift didn't begin until 11am, but we got there about 9am to cheer. Mile 19 passed by the Finish, so it was the perfect spot. But the girls were so cold by 11 that I sent them to the van and asked my sister to just come pick them up and take them home. 

I had three 1 hour shifts, passing out medals, then blankets, then clipping timing chips. I LOVED putting the medals around the runners necks! I enjoyed passing out blankets, too, and patting them on the back. I didn't clip many chips, because it was at the tail end of the race and only a handful of runners were left. 

My favorite moment was while I was passing out medals. A man came across the Finish and looked at me and said, "I need your shoulders. "  I was confused,  but stepped forward. He placed his hands on my shoulders and then just collapsed onto me. I held him up, telling him how awesome he was and helped get him to a table once he could walk. I'm not one to like to be touched, especially by strangers, but it was awesome to be there for him like that. 

It was just so inspiring.  All the different emotions in the runners' faces crossing the line. I loved every minute. And I stayed until the last runner finished, because I know how important it is to have support when you're at the back of the pack. I'll definitely volunteer again. Hopefully on a warmer day....

 The signs lasted about 15 minutes in the rain.  Bummer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ho ho ho!

Oh my gosh, you guys, this Christmas has been so much fun so far!

Tonight will be my second time getting to play Santa's helper.  A friend of mine had a friend who had a friend who needed help getting presents for her kids this year, so I hooked them up with another friend of mine (is that enough "friends" for ya?) who is in the Salvation Army.  She was able to get them help, but couldn't get the gifts to them, so the girls and I are delivering them. 

The first time was Friday.  Thursday I had noticed the little angel tree at the grocery store still had 7 needy kids on it.  It made my heart a little sad and I wished I could just take them all off of the tree and taken care of them myself.  But I couldn't.  It wasn't a Salvation Army tree, it was set up by the school counselor at the school my kids go to and it was just kids from their school.  I know that the Salvation Army makes sure that all the kids are taken care of in their program, whether or not someone takes their angel off the tree, but since this wasn't an actual Salvation Army tree, I worried that these kids just weren't going to get anything at all.

So, when my boss got to work on Friday, she told us about this person who went into a local Walmart in a low-income area, and paid off ALL the lay-aways.  (If you're not familiar with lay-away, it's where a store holds items for you while you're making payments on it.)  $31,000.  It reminded me of wanting to take care of the remaining kids on the angel tree and I mentioned that.  My boss looked at me and said we should go get them off the tree then.  Take up a collection among our employees and get these kids a good Christmas.

When I got to the store, there were only 5 left.  I asked when the deadline was to get the gifts turned in, and found out it had actually already passed the day before.  She said if I could get the gifts there by lunchtime they could get them to the school on time.  So we went to work, collecting money from my coworkers and the few doctors that were here that day, then my boss and I ran out to go shopping.  We had about $280 and my boss had pledged to make up however much more was needed.  We spent about $60 at the book store, which she paid for, then we went to Walmart.  We didn't really pay much attention to how much we were spending.  My boss figured she'd have to cover quite a bit, but she was fine with that.  But when we got to the register, it was $200.  Amazing.  We got the kids a $10 gift card each with the rest of the money.  My boss only had to cover about $30.  We were just blown away at how easily it all went.

We took the gifts back to the grocery store and the employee in charge of the tree was just so excited to see us, because she had been really worried about what they were going to do with those last 5 kids.  She said they were going to try to collect money among the employees, and ask if the store itself could make a donation, but she was so relieved when she came in to work to find that someone had taken all of them off of the tree. 

My wish I made the night before came true, in a way.  I couldn't do it alone, but that's even better.  People coming together to help out other people... you just can't beat it. 

I can't wait to take the girls to make the delivery tonight.  I'm glad I can share this with them... I want them to know how important it is to help out people, to learn early that we are just so blessed to have the opportunity to do so.  I do wonder how they will process this with the concept of Santa, if they'll ask me why we need to take gifts to these kids, why Santa won't.  I'm not entirely convinced this year they really believe in Santa, I know they've heard otherwise from friends at school.  If I am asked, I will tell them the truth.  That Santa isn't some fat guy at the North Pole.  Santa is a part of our soul, the part that loves to make people, especially kids, smile and feel loved.  And that the best part of Christmas isn't actually getting presents from Santa, but being Santa ourselves. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Isn't he cute?

Tonight I get a night off! I used to play a game with some friends of mine called Pokeno, but once the girls came along and Bill started working nights, I couldn't play anymore.  But at Christmas time, my brother-in-law offers to watch the girls so I can go play.  We do a Dirty Santa gift exchange, which is always a lot of fun. I have gotten a lot of really cute Christmas decorations from my Pokeno group.

This year, I decided to make something instead of buying something.  I had seen a Pin for a similar little elf and figured I could whip one up without a pattern (because the pattern for the Pin was not in English and crochet patterns rarely translate well).  I think he turned out really cute.


I got a little crafty with my presents for Bill's side of the family.  I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I was having Chocolate Gravy for breakfast and not a single one of them had ever heard of it.  It's a Southern thing, and they're all Yankees.... but it's soooo good.  (Not really good FOR you... you're basically eating warm chocolate pudding for breakfast)  So I decided to give them a taste.  I mixed up all the dry ingredients and put it in a mason jar.  Then I slapped a label on with directions and sent them off on Tuesday.  I can't wait to find out how they like it.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Inspired by Natalie, I put doing a Dietbet on my 40 before 40 list. I tend to buckle under the pressure of giving myself a goal like this, but I'm going to give it a shot. 

And I'm probably insane for this, but I'm starting one on Monday. Yep, over Christmas.  I'm always incredibly tempted by all the goodies and I REALLY don't need to indulge. So hopefully putting money on the line will help me focus on making better choices. 

Of course 4% isn't chump change in my case. It's almost 10 lbs, which is a tall order for 4 weeks. I'm not going to stress myself over it, just do my best. I considered doing the 6 month 10% route, but went with a smaller commitment time and money-wise.  Maybe afterwards? We'll see how I  do with 4 weeks before committing myself to 6 months.

I really am looking forward to it, though. I've not been feeling that spiffy lately.  My blood sugars are higher than they should be and that always makes me feel like poo. I seem to do this to myself this time of year.  I had hoped having half-marathons lined up to force me into walking would help, but that all kind of fell apart. So I really want and need to get off my bottom and clean up my act. 

After a lot of thinking, I've decided to take a break from half marathons right now. I hate giving up on my goal of having 13 races before I turn 40, but physically and financially it was going to be too stressful. Hopefully I can do a few a year, but 6 in one year...  it's just not realistic for me right now. I want to focus on a consistent routine, instead of this nonsense of crash training for a race.  Once that's in place, I'll get back to my races.


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