Let’s Catch Up!

I’m going to go ahead and warn you…this post is going to seem a bit discombobulated. I didn’t blog at all last week, which has me a little behind on life events. Usually my Friday posts are about fitness. However, I haven’t been doing anything special from my norm in that department. (Although, in Wednesday WOD class, I deadlifted 115#.) Plus, I practiced “fitness this whole plate of food into mouth” more than actual fitness routines during the evacuation week. I did go running once, but after being chased, almost bitten by people’s unsocialized yard dogs, I gave that up. Let’s just say my pants fit a tiny bit tighter. Haha!

If you remember, last week Hurricane Irma had Florida and Coastal Georgia evacuating. We evacuated to my Grandmother’s in Alabama. Irma fricking followed us and went right over us. There wasn’t any damage or power outages where we were. Our Savannah house is fine too. We had quite a bit of tree debris within the pool…still do. Our neighbor, who sits just slightly below us on the sea level table, had slight flooding within their garage. The entire neighborhood had flooding issues, downed trees/snapped limbs, and 12-24 hours power outages. In the grand scheme of the damage Irma did to other parts, our area is fine. Tybee Island sustained a good bit of damage though.

During the evacuation, SP stayed with her NanaPop (what she has coined them). She had a blast! She visited Pop at work, saw where Nana worked, rode elevators, walked in an under-the-street tunnel, went to the zoo, rode the zoo train, made muffins, and practiced writing her letters. (That’s how how you know she’s my kid…practicing writing her letters for fun. HAHA!) Basically, SP thinks an evacuation is an Alabama vacation.

Hubby evacuated with us, but had to come back for work, since the hurricane missed Savannah. Then he drove right back to Alabama for our son’s first birthday party. He’s done a lot of driving. We both bought new cars and need to get the new tags. We were hoping to do that on this trip. However, Savannah’s mail actually goes through Jacksonville and Tampa, FL. Both of those mail facilities were shut down for the hurricane and messed up the entire mail delivery process. Our paperwork wasn’t received in time for us to do the tag process. (They received it this Monday, the day after we left.) Hubby used today to drive my car down there and back. He has to be back tonight because he has to work the weekend too. Just to make it better, he will be out of town all next week for work too. (So, when people fret about the kids and I moving back home without Hubby, because “how are we going take care of ourselves?”. Trust me when I say…I can handle it.)

The main reason the kids and I stayed the entire week in Alabama was because of HB’s first birthday party being the following weekend. SP’s school closed until Wednesday. I wasn’t driving 6 hours in heavy traffic for one day of school. I loaded my car down with HB’s party supplies and hit the road for the evacuation. I spent the week DIYing birthday projects and finalizing catering details. I will have a separate post about his birthday. It was great!

This week I have hit the ground running and scrambling to re-schedule things on top of a busy week of activities. HB had an 1 year wellness appointment, but that was cancelled. I only have Friday’s available for such appointments. With traffic, it is hard to drop SP off at school, drive to an appointment within an hour, have the appointment, and make it back in time to pick up SP from school. And guess what I’m going to attempt to do…just that! Unfortunately, the pediatrician doesn’t have any Friday appointments available for several weeks. We’ve been “squeezed in” for next Wednesday within the hour I drop SP off at school. I don’t know how I am going to make this appointment on time, much less pick her up on time too. I love our pediatrician, but his appointments are never on time and I end up there for hours. To add the cherry on top, Wednesday is our busiest day of the week with a super short nap. (Someone’s kids will be grumpy…)

Speaking of busy Wednesday, I also begin to lead my Ruth small group study.

I’m feeling all the nerves. I just hope God uses me to speak the right words to someone who needs it. This study has been such a healing experience for me too. I can’t wait to blog about this experience.

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Making Changes

Happy Wednesday!

I noticed my Fitness Friday post published on WordPress, but not to my Facebook. So, I will not blog on Friday; but share my last Fitness Friday post on Facebook. Technology kills me. A small victory, I did figure out how to schedule a post to publish.

So, last Wednesday I mentioned our family will be going through some changes. Our first change was trading in my precious Audi Q7. It was an amazing SUV! Unfortunately, every time I filled it up at the gas pump; it felt like a punch in the gut. Not only did it take premium gas, but it didn’t have the best gas mileage either. When you are $2.68/gall gas in your car every week; it begins to add up. We finally made the decision to trade it in on something more economical. I’ve been wanting to try the Subaru Outback for a few years now. That’s what we did! I test drove the new 2018 Outback and loved it. Even better, it takes unleaded gas and gets WAY better mileage. It has the same safety features as the Audi, rides/handles better (in my personal opinion), and has Apple CarPlay. Overall, I am extremely happy with our trade. Not to mention we are saving a few hundred dollars a month on gas, insurance, maintenance, and payments. (Yeah, you read that right….A MONTH!)

We’ve also decided to trade in Hubby’s gas guzzler truck too. We began talking about when we truly used the truck for hauling things. Hardly ever! We just do not have the need for the truck in this moment of our lives. So, we are trading it in on something more economical too. He is looking at a Honda Accord. (In high school/college, I had a little Honda Civic. It had amazing gas mileage and lasted us forever!) Plus, Honda has come a long way in their luxury department. We are confident these cars will last us to pass down to our kids to drive.

A major factor in us wanting to make these changes is throughout the year, we make several trips to Alabama. Each trip was costing us mostly in gas! We felt like that was crazy. In a year, we’ll be making these trips even more often.

Which brings me to another announcement. It’s a bit of a doozy…

I’m coming back home!

Well, to Auburn, home.

It will not be until after May, so we have some time yet. However, I am so excited to be coming back to the Plains. We still have a lot of details to work out. It will be a huge adjustment to our family. We’ve discussed and prayed about this for sometime now. Sadly, Hubby will not be making the move with us. He has to stay in Savannah for work. It isn’t ideal not to have him with us; but we do feel it is best for our family.

Of course, I have fears with this huge change. One thing I’ve noticed is when I give my fears over to God, He always helps me see them through. I know there will be challenges; but I think they will be worth it.

Fitness Friday: Fitness Blunders Pt. 3

Well, well, my Friday was so busy that I forgot to publish my post! I guess now you’ll have to call this “Fitness Friday: Published On Saturday”. I had a one track mind once we were back home last night. Feed the kids, bed for the kids, feed us, and bed for us. I’ll elaborate more about that on Wednesday though.

This Friday’s part 3 Fitness Blunder is about being too reliant on fitness trackers. I know. I know. I have a Fitbit too. However, it is so easy to get sucked into the mindset of “Whoop, whoop! I hit my 8,000 or 10,000 steps today! Now I can take it easy.” This type of thinking will ruin your fitness results. I enjoy going for morning runs. While I easily hit my 8,000 step goal during that time, I’m not a lazy bum the rest of the day. I keep moving around. I do this for many reasons. 1) If you do not keep moving after an intense workout, muscle soreness sets in. I even go as far as to do mini stretches through out the day. I also have two rambunctious kids that I chase around, pick up all day. 2) *This may come as a shocker!* Fitness trackers aren’t an exact science…just like those pesky food trackers. Sorry guys, its true! These devices are easily tricked. For instance, say you are a teacher. You may be standing on your feet most of the day; however, you aren’t necessarily walking all day. Your arms are moving most of the day. You can rack up steps by sitting at your desk grading papers or standing at the whiteboard writing. Those aren’t taking steps. Your fitness tracker just overshot your step goal. On the flip side, during my WOD and cycle workouts, Fitbit never tracks my steps or workout. I’m not in a constant motion long enough for it to recognize I am working out. Plus, I’m not necessarily walking either. I’m lifting weights. In this case, Fitbit is under estimating my workout and steps.

Being too dependent on the fitness tracker will inhibit your fitness results.

You have to be honest with yourself. Did you really walk around that much? Walking is a great starting point for working out. Yet, it shouldn’t be your only source of exercise. Lift weights, go run, do yoga. You need an intense workout, where you become breathless, 3-4 days of the week. (Even that depends on your fitness goals.)

Do not rely on your fitness tracker as a primary source to gauge your activity level. You are most likely not as active as you think. Your body is telling you this by hitting a plateau and not losing weight. Try a different workout, evaluate your meals, and listen to your body.

Can I Rest Yet?

Is this week over?

I am so ready for the weekend, although it’s not like I’m going to slow down any.

Tonight was busy with the kickoff of Wednesday night suppers and the announcement of small group Bible studies. I had to introduce myself and the study I will be doing. Thank goodness the church had an DIY ice cream sundae bar. My nerves needed that sundae too. I realized as I was walking up to the stage, that I had not spoken in front people in a while. *Kick in anxiety* Flashback to college presentations…I don’t remember being that nervous.

I decided to join the local Y near my daughter’s pre-school. After I drop her off, I rush over to join a fitness class. Mr. HappyPants (HP) plays in the baby watch program. The workers already love him so much. He is such a joy to be around! I branched out of my comfort zone and joined a “workout of the day” or WOD class. It is vey similar to CrossFit. My favorite thing about the class is that we do not compete against one another, we compete against ourselves. Each workout you strive to make a better time, or use heavier weights. You aren’t being compared to Jane Doe that regularly participates in CrossFit competitions, when you just began. The instructor is also very attentive to the group. I have so much to learn though. I interchange between the WOD class and a cycle/Spin class. As usual, Friday and Saturday, I go running. I noticed going on runs every day was keeping my knee slightly irritated. I’m hoping these changes will help my body burn more fat, but strengthen my knee too.

SassyPants (SP) has officially decided she no longer wants to participate in gymnastics. I have mixed emotions about it. I knew she wasn’t enjoying it as much lately. At the same time, it will be nice to have Tuesday evening free and not sit in hour long traffic.

Now that my Wednesday evenings are booked with church activities, I will be moving my blogging nights to Tuesdays.

SP has picked up another extracurricular activity for Monday and Thursday evenings, karate. Y’all she loves it! She watched a kid in her class earn his tiger belt by breaking a board. She was shocked.

Next week will be just as busy. Thankfully, it is the last week for gymnastics. I feel like I am always on the road for these kids.

Hubby picked up the kids from church so they could go to bed on time. The 25 minutes I had to myself in the car was absolutely amazing. I listened to a podcast, there was silence from the backseat. I could actually hear the radio. HAHA! The simple things us moms enjoy.

We have a few big decisions and changes barreling towards us as a family. This weekend may start he ball rolling on that. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post, because it could have a few big announcements in it. *wink wink*

Hopefully the suspense will keep you hanging on until my Fitness Friday Blunders Pt. 3 post.

Fitness Friday: Fitness Blunders Pt. 2

Welcome back!

This post kind of continues from last week’s topic. If you remember, I talked about weekend laziness and unhealthy eating habits destroying your hard work during the week. I’m expanding on that concept a little tonight. Another reason you may not be seeing the fitness results you desire is because you’re using a caloric tracker inappropriately. I love to use MyFitnessPal to track what I eat. However, I use it as a reference. It is flawed and should not be used as exact science.

This is where calorie/food trackers get you in trouble. Just because you have a deficit in your caloric total; does not mean you should eat a donut, bowl of ice cream, or any other junk food. The entire purpose of living a healthy lifestyle is to be healthy. Those foods are not healthy…at all. An occasional ice cream or similar treat is fine, especially in social situations. However, you have to be careful about the regularity these situations are popping up. For instance, just because someone brought donuts; doesn’t mean you have to eat them. Or just because there is cake for someone’s birthday; doesn’t mean you have to eat a piece. Just say no. Save that unhealthy treat for your birthday.

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. With that being said, you don’t need to starve yourself either. You have to fuel your body for the exercise part of being healthy. If you do not consume enough calories, your metabolism will slow down. Your body will store fat and breakdown muscle.

Losing weight and being healthy is about WHAT you eat. What are you putting inside your body. There is a huge difference in a 400 calorie meal consisting of a 4 ounce lean meat, a vegetable, and a complex starch and eating 400 calories worth of macaroni and cheese.

Calorie trackers are not 100% accurate. They can easily be off a couple hundred calories. They can be way off if you aren’t correctly measuring and counting everything you consume. If you ate 2 of your kid’s unwanted chicken nuggets; you need to count that. Those have calories!!

I use my calorie tracker loosely. It helps me judge the serving size or portion of a food. If I’m looking at a 200 calorie snack, I can determine the calories in 130 grams of red grapes is about 91. How many grapes equate to 130 grams? Well, depending on the size, about 15-20 grapes. I need about 109 more calories. Almonds are a great source of fat and protein. Measure out 29 grams of raw, unsalted almonds. That equates to about a 1/4 cup and 160 calories. 91 + 160 = 251. That’s over my calories goal. Scale back the grams of grapes, because the almonds are nutritionally better and will keep you satisfied longer between meals. Or I could choose to eat a package of Little Debbie Swiss Roll for 270 calories and be hungry within the hour. You see…your food choices matter. The size of your food choice, healthy or not matters.

Food trackers can help you attain your goal, as long as you are willing to be honest about what you are consuming and the portion you are consuming.

A Full Plate

Suddenly my planner is full of scribbles.

Today was SP’s first day back at pre-school. Actually, she’s in pre-kindergarten! How in the world did that happen?! She had a great first day, playing with old and new friends. I’ve added the many school related activities to my calendar. Last week, SP told Hubby that she wasn’t having fun in gymnastics anymore. He asked her if she wanted to go back, and she said no. Not having her in some sort of extracurricular activity is not an option. She has so much energy to burn. With her sensory disorder, she craves more physical stimulation, like playing on the playground and sports. I enrolled her in a two week trial for karate. Now, my week is filled with gymnastics on Tuesday evenings, karate on Monday and Thursday, and starting next week Wednesday night church activities. I’ve also joined a YMCA in a nearby town to workout. It is cheaper to pay the monthly fee and workout there, with childcare, than to drive back home to run or weight lift with HP. I’m on the road quite a bit.

On top of being the personal chauffeur, I am preparing to lead my small group Bible study coming up. I didn’t realize the powerful message within the book of Ruth. It is so perfect for my season in life too. I cannot wait to share it with others.

I’m also planning HP’s first birthday. Yet another event happening that I’m cannot believe is already here. I feel like I just gave birth to him. He is such a big boy too. Monday he had another appointment with his dietitian. It takes four and a half hours to drive to the appointments, and that depends on Atlanta traffic. (There are always accident delays.) The trip takes all day. The appointment fell on SP’s meet the teacher night. Hubby decided to take HP by himself, while SP and I had a girls’ day. We received amazing news too. HP has been considered to have classical PKU, which is the severe type. We’ve been able to keep his levels (relatively) within the 2-6 treatment range. (An assigned number system to keep his phe level within that shows the lowest occurrence of adverse reactions.) All the while continuing to challenge his phe level tolerance. His dietitian is confident that with his growth, phe tolerance, and steady levels; we may be able to classify him as having moderate PKU. This means he could have more food choices and bigger measured portions of higher phe content. For example, he could possibility eat a baked potato with a little margarine and vegan cheese. (Opposed to a quarter of a plain baked potato, without margarine or cheese.) When or if, we decide to allow him to take Kuvan (the only FDA approved drug to help increase phe tolerance in some PKUers), he could have a more relaxed diet consisting of low protein vegan or gluten free meals. He will still be on a medical formula, but possibility not as much. The news doesn’t seem like much, but to me, it gives me hope. I still struggle with him having PKU, the reasoning behind it, and post-partum depression. One of my favorite songs at the moment is Even If by MercyMe. If you are in a season of struggle, this song is a must listen to. I also find hope in Mandisa’s Unfinished.

With all of the above going on, I’ve been playing with my embroidery machine too. I made SP a cute school shirt. I stayed up late last night to work on it. After working on it for 2 hours, on the last step of stitching out the monogram, I noticed the monogrammed was rotated upside down on the shirt. I was so upset! Instead of the machine rotating the entire design, it just rotated the monogram. So, I prepped the my last shirt to try it again in the morning. I went to bed at 11pm. I woke up at 4am to embroider the shirt. Yeah, you read that right. Two needle breaks, ran out of bobbin thread, upper thread break, a whole area of stitches to jump, and ripping out said stitch jump later, the project was completed at the ninth hour of 7am. SP was so proud of her shirt and that made the entire hellish project worth it. I heard her tell Hubby to be careful with her shirt tonight, that “Mama made that shirt special for me!” She has so much love.

When I’m not being crafty, I enjoy reading. I read all sorts of genres; but my favorite is young adult fiction. A friend of a friend needed a third party to review her manuscript for publishing. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I received the manuscript today, and boy, is it a whopper. I will begin that in the morning with my cup of coffee. AHHH, it is so peaceful to read a book and drink coffee.

With all of these things going on, I’m all booked up. You you need me, please take a number and have a seat. In the mean time, here are two memes to fill you with laughter:

Fitness Friday: Fitness Blunders Pt. 1

I'm doing a little Fitness Friday series focusing on fitness blunders. This first one is something that I have struggled with in the past. Here are two hints:

Weekend Cheating. So, you've been working out hard and eating clean on the weekdays; but you fall wayward on the weekends.

I used to be terrible about this! I would lose a couple pounds during the week, eat horribly and nap all weekend. Weekend being Friday through Sunday. Then, gain back what I just lost. It was a vicious cycle that kept me from bettering my health and seeing fitness results. If you find yourself not seeing the results you're expecting; check your weekend habits. Are you still planning one or two workouts on the weekend? I enjoy mixing things up and getting my workout in a non-traditional way. I may go swimming in the pool, dedicating at least 30 minutes to vigorous swimming. I enjoy hiking a nature trail or doing yoga before anyone in the house wakes up. A final thing to remember is that you are having a cheat MEAL, not a cheat WEEKEND. You still need to watch what you are fueling your body with. If it is junk on the weekends, you will feel sluggish for that Monday workout. Remember how to became out of shape…unhealthy eating and little physical activity.
You have to stay strong on the weekends too!