Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dharma and Greg? How 'bout Doug and Emily!

Do you know the sitcom from the late 1990's "Dharma and Greg'?
The premise is that opposites fall in love on the first date and get married.
Then the series deals with how they view the world and how they relate to each other in it and through their differences.
From the picture below you can guess who is the business and who is the emotional one.

Now, meet Doug and Emily.

She knew after the first date that she was going to marry him. (it took him a little longer.)
3 weeks later they were engaged and married 6 months after that!

He is business, common sense and finance.
She is not.

This week as I have been making emotional decisions based on want and feelings, Doug has asked me to stop and consider and think. I don't like those requests. Some cause he's right (ugh! he usually is) and some cause it makes me stop and question what I can physically and emotionally do. I'd rather just get to work and not worry about the ifs and whats! That's Doug's job!

Interestingly to me, I don't consider myself to be that emotional! But I do have to agree that I make decisions based on feelings...

We laugh that we are Dharma and Greg. But we balance each other soo well!

So, this week I was really, really wanted to finish training for a marathon that is just 5 weeks away and Doug was really, really wanting me to stop and consider and take it slow, I had to take a step back and think rationally for a few minutes. POOH! and say that he is right. I need to start the training plan from week 1 and take it to the goal of the marathon. Not start at week 21 of 26 knowing that I could do it. (even though I'd be dead at the end..)

I have to remember that not everything has to happen NOW and that I have to do what's best for me and my family.

So be warned, emotional Dharma has been reined in by common sense Greg... BUT I'm looking for a couple of half-marathons to play with while I prepare for a full Marathon in the fall!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Girl Scout Mural

Lexi's Girl Scout troop has been working on their painting badge. This meant, I was involved. One of the options for the culminating project was to paint a mural.

So.. why not?

Here is what they did.  Isn't it so cute :)
 Really, it wasn't hard to do this. But is seems daunting to a lot of people, so here is a tutorial.

1. Take a picture of the group.

2. Using photoshop or another photo-editing software take out the background, and compress the photo into one layer.Then add the layers that you want to include. Notice that I have a number of typos in it.. I did fix the file prior to using it, but I guess I didn't save the corrected one.

3. Make a transparency. This might have been the hardest step as NOBODY makes transparencies anymore and I don't have the right kind of printer to do it at home.

4. Now, find one of those old fashioned overhead projectors and get a large piece of paper. I used a special heavy duty art paper called RendR from Crescent. It's a no show heavy paper on a roll. It's expensive, but worth it for a long-term project.

5. Trace the image.  Have your child proof your work. Thankfully Lexi noticed that the I had the troop number wrong! (That's why you use pencil!!)

6. Take it to the kids and have them paint themselves. Use solid colors. Can you imagine how chaotic the mural would be if I had let them try to give themselves faces and details. I had the girls use a special solid poster paint that doesn't make a mess!! It's called Playcolor. It's paint that dries in about 10 seconds... unless you use it really, really heavy.. then it takes 30 seconds.  I love how each girl is represented in a different color and that the colors blended when overlapped. We talked about how this was like making new friends :) !

I was sorry that two of the girls weren't there for the painting portion, but that's the way it works when you are dealing with kids. I decided that it was better to just get the mural finished without them.

After the meeting, I finished up the mural by adding a layer of black paint to the green text and outlining the girls and the logo.

Now all I have to do is go hang it in the hut!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Cowtown Challenge.. oh yes it was!

It's done. 2 days and 2 races.
They don't call it a challenge for nothing.


Here is the Cowtown play by play!

Saturday morning dawned COLD!! But beautiful.

Doug's race started at 7am, so by 6:30 we were standing in the freezing dawn. Doug raced in the 10k and did FANTASTIC!! He had been dealing with a nagging injury, so he didn't get to train like he wanted, and he still did better than he had hoped to do originally! Go Doug!!

Here he is getting started. He's the blur in orange.

Then, at 8:30am I did the 5k with Crystal, my challenge partner. Our third member got hurt and couldn't come. Super bummer :( .  So yes, I stood in the cold for 2 hours before my race. I'm learning that that's just what nutso runners do!  When the race started, Cyrstal and I didn't even realize it and so we ended up behind what felt like every walker on the course! There were over 4000 participants in this 5k and it was CRAZY!!  We didn't even start jogging until probably a mile into the race. And even then we were jumping curbs, running on sidewalks and through people's yards dodging walkers and other runners. We didn't break a sweat until 2.5 miles into the race. It's funny my run tracker on my phone even shows our weaving and curb running.

In the end, we had an awesome time, felt comfortable and jogged into the finish. I placed 38th in my age group out of 387. I couldn't believe it! If we had known, we could have RUN!  But really it was probably best, as we had the 1/2 marathon slated for the next day.

Here are Doug and me after our races.

Sunday morning dawned cold again, but not as cold as Saturday. By 6:30am I was jumping out of the car and walking to the start as the traffic was insane. It was unbelievable. There were more people here today than the day before.  The potty line was 50 people deep easy for every porta-potty and they had a lot!
Here is our team (Stephenville Women's Running Club) before the race.
The blur of our start. 6870 doing the half, 1500 doing the full and 420 doing the ultra. All of us started at the same time. 

When we got started, we were once again jumping curbs, running on sidewalks and running through people's yards! There were runners of all sizes, shapes and ages.
One of the coolest things about the race is that there were spectators everywhere and they were cheering us all on!  Truly, the only place along the 13 miles where there weren't many spectators was on a long, horrendous bridge that climbed and climbed and climbed. When we finished that, the crowds were large and soo incredibly supportive. That was mile 9.5.
Overall, I had a great run. I didn't keep to my training plan as I had hoped, but the volume of runners, the crowd and the adrenaline just kept me moving. My running app gave my time at 2 hours and 13 minutes. I paused it when I waited in line to go potty at mile 5!  My chip time was 2 hours 16 minutes and 54 seconds. I was the 270th out of 593 runners in my age group and 3664 out of 6870 half marathon runners. Given that I had never done this before, I am really proud of myself.
Here I am at the end with my medals!

With Crystal, my challenge partner!
And with the group that I train with each week.  

This has been one of those defining life moments and I'm already looking forward to doing the Cowtown Challenge next year!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A flock of Birds

My art 1 classes are making a flock of birds. Here is what we are doing..

Each student has to make a small, a medium and a large bird.
Soo... we will have about 350 give or take birds!!


Over the next week or so as the birds dry we will fire and glaze.

I think they will be an interesting addition to the artshow!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cowtown Half Marathon.. Here I Come!!

I got my bib and tshirt for the Cowtown Half Marathon today!!
I am sooo excited!

Yes, I am aware that being so excited for a half marathon makes me nuts, but that's okay. It's a good nuts!

So they have my hometown wrong, but that's okay, my name is on my bib! That is uber cool!

And, if you want to track my progress, you can do that too! Just click on the link below and put my name in and you can track my start to finish.

Doug and I are making a weekend of it and hallelujah my parents are keeping my girls for the weekend, so lots of racing this weekend and fun too!

But yes, I realize it's just Tuesday.


Do Hard Things.. A great read for every teenager... and parent!

A friend of mine posted a book review about Start Here by Alex and Brett Harris.
It made me want to read the book.
So I read some of it and then asked Maddie to read it.
She read some of it and said since it wasn't an AR book, she didn't have time.
But since she's only in 7th grade and is required to do AR, I didn't fight it.

I'll get her to read Do Hard Things next year.
I'm not ready for her to challenge me yet with what her "hard thing" is going to be.
But for all of you parents out there of teenagers. I really, really think that you should read Do Hard Things. Then, after you have processed it, give it to your son or daughter and have him/her read it.

It is an incredible account of twin brothers who challenged the status quo and decided that they didn't have to wait until they were grown to make a difference. I mean really, these guys at 16 worked as law clerks for a couple of months for a supreme court justice of a state.. (Alabama?). (sorry, I've already turned the book back into the library, so I can't double check!)

Maybe I read this book differently than some would out there becasuse I work with teenagers everyday, but I read this book and was excited. I come in contact with more than 150 students each day and I know that seriously 95% of these kids are waiting for a challenge. What I liked about the book was the idea that these teenagers were telling other teenagers to STOP waiting and GO for it! But that they had to do it in a way that respected parents, teachers, the government and God.

One downside to the book... now I'm thinking about what Hard Things I should be doing. But I don't have time.. I'm training for a marathon! oh.. can that be my hard thing? :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Weeks Silent Auction Goodies

Hey, Guess What? We went to a silent auction tonight.  Yep. Shocker.

But.. we got a couple of new things and I found out about the cutest bows/hair accessories!!

Lexi had the high bid on a basket full of hair accessories and when we got it home, they really were cute. Not just the top one was cute and the rest were worthless. (yes, we've gotten those too..) But all of the items were adorable.

Here is one of items we won/bought.

I'm wearing this for the Ranger's opening day game!

The basket I think had 6 or 8 items. I can't remember and Lexi has already hid the items.. so I'll just show you some of the items that were like the ones we got!

I think we got a yellow flower...
And a headband

But here are a few of the things I am going to buy... the shop is at etsy. it's called Turnip Creations and you can find her on facebook too. No, this isn't a paid advertisement (I wish!). And no, I have no clue who owns this business, I'm just in a lot of like over her stuff!!

and doesn't this just SCREAM Lexi's name!!
And last but not least, isn't this a cute set!! Now, if we could just get a bow that would coordinate with all of the felties it would be perfect.
So there you have it.

Another installment of what do you buy at a silent auction!

Lent 2013

Lent begins today.

A time of remembering my faith and refining my daily choices.

I think it was last year I did the 40 bags in 40 days.

This year, I am giving up chocolate.

Ouch. It's a little more personal this time.

As Maddie and I discussed, giving up desserts/sweets all together would be too difficult for me and I would make everyone miserable. But chocolate, while a sacrifice, wouldn't require me to live as a martyr for the next 40+ days.

And truly, that's not what I want Lent to be for me. A time of sacrifice and an opportunity for me to remember my faith, but not a time where I get a free pass to make others miserable because I am being so pious.

I don't think the purpose of Lent is to make Christians feel guilty. To be honest, I don't do guilty religion at all. I don't believe God keeps score, nor do I believe that God is looking for me to fail. That's why at Lent, I don't want to choose something to give up that is so difficult that I am bound to fail immediately and repeatedly.  Sure, I could, and I would then live the next few weeks in misery reminding myself daily that I am not good enough.

Instead, I am going to remember my faith journey and refine my choices...starting with giving up chocolate from now till Easter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Big Breakfast for just 4 points!

I wish I had taken a picture... but I didn't and I already ate it. :) After running this morning I was STARVING!!

I had a bagel with cinnamon cream cheese, eggs and bacon!! All for just 4 points!

How... well here you go:

1. Sara Lee mini bagel. Perfect size in my book. 2 points!!

2. 1 wedge Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream cheese spread. YUM!! Just know that it's not sweet, it's cinamonny. 1 point.
3. Egg Beaters 1/2 a cup. 1 point.

4. 1 slice of fully cooked bacon. FREE!!

I make my eggs in the microwave with the one slice of bacon torn up and cooked with the egg. Doing this makes the bacon taste all through the egg and it feels like a lot more bacon!!

So, if you are like me and need some low point yet hearty meals, here is a great one for you!!

Have a great day!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Self Portrait Girl Scout Style

Today at Girl Scouts the girls were working on their painting badge. I've been helping with this badge. Last time, I had the girls do printmaking, today it was self portraits.
Over the years a lot of people have asked me about portraits and are always looking for a simple way to do them. Below is how I had the girls do their portraits today in under an hour.
1. A little prep work. Print out a picture of each child on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. Just a simple black and white picture from the printer will do.
 2. Flip the paper over and use charcoal/graphite and completely coat the paper. The kids did their own. Yes, it's a little messy, but easy to do.

3. Turn the page back over and using a simple pencil or color and trace the features onto a piece of watercolor paper. We just used 9x12 bulk watercolor paper. I don't worry about the extra charcoal that is left in smudges around the paper as it provides a nice realistic touch later..

4. Using watercolor pencils, I had the girls color in their portraits. You could use traditional pan or tube watercolors, but I like the easy and convenience of watercolor pencils. After they colored their portraits, I gave them water and brushes and put them to work.
5. Here is the finished product. The girls really loved them. I think they felt successful and enjoyed the process.

Truly, this is such a fun project for kids, that I'd say it would be a great project even for a vbs or a camp setting. And its cheap too :) !

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I hit the wall today!

I've heard of runners hitting the wall or running out of gas during a run, but I had never truly experienced it until today. Before, on some of my longer runs, I was merely tired. Today taught me what it means to hit a wall!!

I have a litany of reasons for why my run was not up to par.. from getting up at 3:30am to not getting the proper nutrition this week. But for me, the lesson here was that I could physically hit the wall and keep going. That I could mentally push beyond it and finish my run.

In fact, when I hit the wall at mile 10, I had 7 left. And I did it!! I am really proud of that accomplishment! Even more, my mile pace wasn't too much slower than the week before. So while I was struggling, I was at least moving.

I have to say, I'm a little more leary of the big 26 than I was before, but I will just have to be more aware of my eating habits and make sure that I drink more water!

But here we are 24 hours later and I'm not sore and in fact, since I slept great last night for the first time in a couple of weeks, I'm ready to go out for a run!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Top Ten Tips for Weight Watchers Success

Wow, this ended up being a super long post. SORRY!!

As most of you know by now, I am a whole-hearted Weight Watchers supporter. After having a number of conversations about how to do WW well with a number of friends and family members, my mom suggested that I do my top tips.. so here they are!!

(first let me recap... started ww on May 28th and hit goal weight on October 16th having lost 35 pounds. I am still working on losing a few more, but I am well within my target range!!)


1. Understand how your points work. For most of my journey I had 26 daily points. Plus you get the weekly allotment of 49 points and then you can earn activity points. What I learned early and had to remind myself is that I needed to eat within my daily points for my meals and to use my allotment for my snacks and extras. I did my absolute best to not use activity points at all!! If I did, I was sure to not lose any weight that week. I didn't gain, but I didn't lose.

2.  Decide on what you are going to eat for dinner before you put that first bite of food in your mouth in the morning. When you have as few points as I had, eating a 10+ point breakfast was nuts. So I had to plan. If we were eating pasta for dinner, I new that a 5 point breakfast was going to be pushing my daily allotment, so I had better be super good for lunch. But on the flip side, if I knew that we were eating a low point dinner, I'd scatter my points throughout the day and provide some variety to my day!!

3. Eat breakfast. I never ate breakfast before Weight Watchers. I'd drink a cup of coffee and be on my way.. unless I stopped for a donut. But with WW, I decided to go with their recommendation (and every medical professionals) and eat breakfast.  Hungry Girl had a very timely post about egg mugs and so I tried it and ended up eating eggs for breakfast almost every morning! (egg mug recipes)
What worked best about the egg mugs was that it was a 2 point, yet filling breakfast. Add some coffee and creamer and I was still in the 5 point range. This allowed me to eat a smaller lunch because I wasn't starving!!

4. Exercise. The more you exercise the better. Any kind of exercise works. Walking, running, biking, swimming, sweeping, cleaning... if it gets you moving, it's earning you points!!

So, here is what I learned.. I'm competitive about everything, even earning activity points each week. During the summer, I would run and do water aerobics. Every week I would try to earn at least ONE more activity point than the week prior. And I really, really tried to not use any of them. I think the best thing about activity points is that it makes a relationship between food and activities. Now if I want a donut, I know that I am going to have to run for 40 minutes to earn the 6 points that I need to get the cost of that donut back. Many times I can ask myself if the donut is worth 40 minutes of running and this allows me to move on without the donut. Sometimes however, I say, yep it's worth it and I enjoy the treat. That's the great thing about Weight Watchers, I have the choice!!

5. Learn what the point range is for your favorite foods. For example... just because one Hawaiian roll is 2 points, 2 rolls are not 4 points. they are 5! Learn it and remember it. 5 points is a lot for bread. Personally, I lOVE Hawaiian rolls for sandwiches, but I found that the Hawaiian hot dog buns mentally felt like 2 rolls, but only cost me 3 points! A way better deal.

So, find a food that you like and play with the portion. You might find, like I did, that while you enjoyed eating potato straws, you enjoyed playing with the system just as much. For the record..
  • 38 potato straws is 4 points.
  •  28 (3/4 serving) is 3 points.
  • 25 (2/3 serving) is 2 points.
  • 19 (1/2 serving) is 2 points.
  • 11 (1/3) is 1 point.
  • 9 (1/4) is 1 point.
If you follow my logic and math.. you might, like me choose to eat either 25 straws at 2 points or 11 at 1 point. That's maximizing those points!!

6. Understand that some weeks you are not going to lose weight. The goal here is that you don't gain. If you have lost 3-4 weeks in a row, expect that the 4th or 5th week isn't going to be so hot. One of the cool things about Weight Watchers online are the reports. (I love charts and graphs.. you know that visual part of me again!  I may not remember the number, but put it in a color and I've got it!!) anyway.. the reports on Weight Watchers help you to see that you are losing and that you are going in the right direction!! So use those reports on the bummer weeks.

7. Figure out the restaurants that are easy to eat at! I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if you are on weight watchers you are probably like me and eat out a lot and don't necessarily eat grilled tilapia and broiled kale regularly.  If you do, you probably don't need my tips!

Okay, back to restaurants.  I have two favorite WW friendly restaurants in our small town. McDonalds and Quiznos. Yes, I know Subway is good too,  but you already know about Subway. 

Many people balk at McDonalds, but man, it is soo easy to eat healthy there! Shocking isn't it!!  My favorite meal is the Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad. It's 8 points and you get tortilla strips, cheese, black beans and corn!! They put a sauce on the chicken so you can eat it without the dressing and the salad tastes great, or you can put a LITTLE dressing on it and bump up the value a point.

Another option is the Filet O Fish sandwich WITHOUT the tarter sauce. But you get a little fried fish, a slice of cheese and a bun! I add ketchup so it's not too dry. Add apple slices and you are ready to eat for just 8 points.

That tarter sauce on there makes me go YUCK.. but really without the sauce the sandwich is pretty good!

For Quiznos..

My hands down favorite is the Harvest Chicken salad. Eaten WITHOUT the dressing, you don't need it! A small salad is 3 points!!

Another fav of mine is the Basil Pesto Chicken Flatbread. It's not as friendly on points, but worth the splurge sometimes. A small flatbread WITH cheese and dressing is 10 points. 

The biggest tip on restaurants is to ASK for the nutritional information!! I was absolutely horrified when one day we were eating at Cotten Patch and found out how many points their entrees have. There is a reason they make finding the nutritional information so hard to find!!

8. Use the weekly allotment for eating out and guilty pleasures! I like a glass of wine and a package of chocolate dream clusters at night. That is 8 points. That's what I used my weekly allotment on. This way I know that if I go over during the day, my guilty pleasure is cut.

9. Stick with it. Don't expect overnight success. If you have a bad week, start over and look past it. Just stick with it!!

10. Buy new clothes as you need them. Even if you need to purchase them at Goodwill or the consignment store! As I lost weight, I had to buy new clothes, but I still kept a lot of my tshirts and clothes that I keep on as I didn't want to buy "in-between" sizes. WHY DID I DO THAT? I should have CELEBRATED the "in-between"!! If you need more information on this, see my previous post about re-framing my mind!

And there you have it. My very long top tips for a successful weight loss journey! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Silent Auction Deals

Doug and I go to a lot of silent auctions.
A lot.
Tonight we went to one.
Here we are in our "informal" silent auction attire!

If you have never been to a silent auction, well, it's an interesting thing. Some silent auctions are built around a dinner/dance and a live auction. Some silent auctions are put with benefit performances or athletic games. And some silent auctions, like tonight's was just a silent auction for an organization with appetizers served.

In case you wondered, we go to a ton of these events because we are important people involved in a lot of organizations around town and Doug is a business owner. In fact, we had been at tonight's event maybe 10 minutes and I was putting a bite of chip in my mouth when my name came up and the presenter asked why I wasn't putting my name down for things!! I announced that I was just waiting to drive up bids!  eek.

So, that's what I did. Or actually, I just bought tonight.

Silent auctions are really a strange thing. At some auctions everything goes for a premium and you are expected to pay more than retail for an item. But some, like tonight's, deals can be found!

Here are a couple of tonight's purchases.

1. An antique quilt. It's around the size of a full or double. I'm hoping that it will wash up nicely and be perfect to decorate around in Lexi's room! It's really a great quilt. It's pink and green and the white isn't really white, it's a navy pin stripe that works great with it. I purchased it for less than 1/2 the price that I would get it at an antique mall.

2. The rooster candlestick. Yep, it's a little strange, but I love it!

Isn't it a great piece!! Don't look at the other things on the mantle, I just left them up there so that you could see the scale of the rooster to the wall!

And that's a couple of tonight's items! I can't show you the rest as a couple of the items have been purchased for my sister and her baby shower isn't until Saturday morning but in addition to the above items and the items for my sister, we bought a couple of gift certificates, a necklace and earring set, a wall decoration and a basket full of kitchen items!! No wonder they love us at silent auctions!