Archives for the month of: November, 2013

Better late than never. With a sick house last week, and preparing to go away this week, life has been crazy. We are looking forward to a busy weekend with Hubby’s family and also celebrating Miss E’s 1st birthday! 


The Holidays and More: Part 2


1.  What state/country do you live in?  Beautiful Michigan. As much as I dream about living in some exotic place, I will most likely always live in Michigan.

2.  Where were you born?  Were you raised there?  I was born ½ hour from where I live now, closer to majestic Lake Michigan. I have lived in Boston, and a brief stint in the Dominican Republic. But, I have been fortunate enough to travel to many different countries and states.

3.  How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales?  Will you participate?  I am opposed to the stores being open on Thanksgiving Day, so I will not be participating in it. It makes me sad that people are so wrapped up in things instead of each other.

4.  Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot?  Will you do one this year?  Two years ago, I had a very crazy Thanksgiving, my friend and I did a Turkey Trot, I then went to work, where we served 2,000 people a Thanksgiving feast and then, my family and I jumped in the car and drove 4.5 hours to my husband’s parents in Cleveland. I am hoping that next year I will be able to participate again. I have to get back into running before I get out there for a race!

5.  What was your favorite toy as a child?  I loved playing with legos when I was younger, but otherwise you would find me with my nose in a book.

6.  Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day?  I don’t think I will count every calorie, but I will be well aware of what I am eating. I am also preparing most of the meal so I know what will be going into every dish. I will continue to limit my portions and try to at least get out for a walk this weekend.

7.  Will you watch football Thursday?  No, we will watch the Macy’s parade, but other than that, there probably won’t be much tv watching with 2 active kids who will want to get out and do stuff!

8.  Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?  I decorate the inside. We are in a condo, so it is a little harder to decorate the outside. I have found that since having kids, I am inclined to decorate more for the holidays than I did when we didn’t have kids.

9.  Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals? Nope…I wish had had more so I would stay away from certain things, but I will employ self-control.

10.  Is it snowing where you live?  Yes, we just got our first measurable snowfall yesterday. I am not a fan of the cold. I appreciate snow for December and January, but then I am ready for it to go away. Unfortunately, our son LOVES the snow, so we are out in it a lot during the winter. 


The countdown is on for our Thanksgiving weekend and we are all excited to be going over the river and through the woods. I am taking part in Friend Making Monday from Here is a little about my upcoming holiday, what about you?Image


1.  What are you plans for Thanksgiving this year?  We are going to Cleveland to have Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. It has been a little bit since we have been down there. We will be helping them pack as they prepare to move next month.

2.  At what point do you being celebrating the Christmas season?  I’m starting to listen to more Christmas music and have started my Christmas shopping, but I really start after Thanksgiving.

3.  Do you celebrate Christmas, or do you celebrate another holiday? Christmas all the way!

4.  If you could have one present (you know, a material good, not love or world peace) what would you want?   I am really hoping for a FitBit this year. Other than that, I am not really sure what I want, in the material sense. In all honestly, I just want to spend more time with my family.Image

5.  Share an idea or two that you can plan to do for someone who may need to feel loved throughout the holiday season.  There is nothing better than a plate of Christmas cookies and a handwritten note letting the person know how special they are. This is something that I want to demonstrate for my children.

6.  Would you rather spend the holiday season on the beach or in the snow?  While I love the beach and would be there all time, there is nothing better than snow on Christmas. Last year we didn’t get snow until after the first of the year so that was a little strange. I hope we have snow this year. We can have snow from about December 15 – February 1, after that, I want my 60 degree weather back.

7. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?  It would have to be stuffing. My dad makes the best stuffing. I allow myself a little bit, but I could eat it all day, with gravy all over it.

8.  Will you participate in Black Friday shopping?  No longer! I value my sleep too much. Plus, all the deals that I would go for will be on sale again!

9.  Will you travel for the holidays or stay at home?  If you’re traveling, are you flying or driving or making alternate plans?  We are traveling for Thanksgiving. We will be driving, it is about 4.5 hours, so not too bad. We have a 6 year old and a 12 month old, so it would be interesting.

10.  List at least 5 things for which you are currently thankful.

  1. That God doesn’t give up on me and loves me more than I deserve.
  2. My amazing husband who is really stepping it up while I am working and going to school.
  3. My 2 beautiful children who always know how to make me smile when I need it the most. My son, who keeps me on my toes and my daughter who is learning more and more each day.
  4. My amazing parents who help us with the kids and are the most awesome grandparents.
  5. My friends who stand in the gap for me and continue to encourage me.


Hubby and I took a much needed weekend vacation to New York City for our birthday. Fun little fact, hubby and I share a birthday, he is a year older. He had a conference on Saturday, so we left on Thursday to spend some time wandering around New York.

ImageI always say that there is no better way to explore a city then by walking it. I think we only rode the subway about 3 times. We got into the city early afternoon on Thursday and started our adventure. We were both ready for lunch and the great thing about NYC, there is no shortage of places to eat. We have this rule; you can’t eat a place that you would find at home. Since we were both really hungry, we grabbed a sandwich from the deli next to our hotel and mapped out our plan. Hubby really wanted to see the UN so we made our way to the east in search of the UN. From there, somehow we meandered to Time Square. There was so much bustle and commotion, it was great. We check out a couple of stores, like the Hershey and M&M store and found dinner and our way back to the hotel.


It was so nice to wake up when we wanted to, without someone needed to be changed, or want to play. Friday, we took the subway down to the financial district to see the World Trade Center Memorial. What a beautiful tribute. There really aren’t words to describe it. We made our way down to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty. Neither of us had the desire to wait in the line to go through security to get on a boat to take us to the island, so we just admired her from a distance! Plus, it was so windy and the waves were pretty big, seasickness would not have been good. We found this great little Asian café for lunch. I have decided that I want to learn how to cook international food so that our kids are exposed to it early on.

I had some friends who had talked about the High Line, so we went to check it out for ourselves. What a fun “park.” It is an abandoned above ground rail road that was turned into a walking park. There were trees, flowers and sculptures. I love how people have gotten creative with green space. If I worked near there, that would be a great place to take my lunch on a warm sunny day. They are actually adding another section to the High Line, I guess I better go back when it is done!   Of course we had to stop at our favorite yogurt place, Pink Berry. I guess it is a good thing that there isn’t once closer to home, or I might be there way too much.

Hubby’s conference started on Friday night so we grabbed some dinner from Bare Burger. What a great restaurant. I had a Californian with a quinoa veggie burger. I have to admit, it was really good. Neither of us was adventurous enough to try the wild boar! He went off to his conference and I wandered around the city a little more.  Unfortunately, I had to finish a paper for my Dev. Psych class so I made my way back to the hotel to work on the paper.


Saturday, our actual birthday, hubby was in his conference so I decided I was going to check out some other parts of the city. I ventured into the garment district to drool over all the beautiful fabric. I actually found 2 cotton pieces to add to my collection, but I mainly wanted to just see all the pretty fabric. I went back to a different part of Time Square to see more of it and then jumped on the subway and headed to the top of Central Park at 110th. I made my way through Central Park and it was beautiful. The park was filled with runners, bikers, and walkers. They were having a Jazz in the park day, so every little bit there were different jazz bands playing. Grand Rapids needs cool stuff like that! I made my way to Grand Central Station where I was going to meet up with Hubby for dinner. He still had more conference to attend so I left him and meandered back to our hotel on 35th. I ended up walking just about 70 blocks that day. I figured that in the 3.5 days we were there, I walked an average of about 10 miles each day. There is no better way to see a city then on foot! I actually lost weight whileon vacation, which never happens. Now that I lost weight on vacation, I am going to lose weight during the holidays!

I love NYC, I don’t know if I could live there with kids, but if there were no kids, I think I could. This weekend was exactly what we had needed to reconnect and recharge. Now, it is time to get back to reality of kids, work and school. I have my final coming up at the beginning of December. Thankfully, I have the month of December off before I start my next class. Even though I don’t enjoy online classes, my next class will also be online. It is just a little easier with Ms. E being needy and Buster wanting to be involved with so many things. I keep reminding myself, this is only a season and it will be over soon!

I cannot believe that it is November already, where did October go? Somehow life got in the way of my plans for October. I am happy to say that I achieved my goal of getting to 300lbs at my doctor’s visit, but I am not going to make it to 295 by the time we go to NYC this weekend. I have gotten less diligent on my grazing and meal choices. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are easy because I pack those. Breakfast is a protein shake and lunch usually consists of a half of flatout with a wedge of laughing cow cheese, 2 oz. of turkey, a serving of fruit, ½ cup of cottage cheese and a serving of vegetables and 2 oz. of hummus. I also have a protein bar and Greek yogurt for my two snacks. Pretty good, right?! That is until I get home. I find myself grazing more and snacking just because, not because I am hungry.

This past month I have been struggling at work and with school. At work, I am trying to figure out my purpose. It has been an adjustment going from a small non-profit to a large corporation and I just trying to find my place there. With school, I am trying to decide what type of degree I want to get, my associates or my bachelors. I am really leaning toward starting out with my associates and then going back to work on my bachelors. There are so many different factors that are playing into that decision. I continually pray that God will open the doors that he wants me to go through and close the doors that I need to stay out of.

I am finding that I am so busy with things that need to be done, taking care of my family, working, school, helping Buster with his homework, and daily household chores that I am not able to do things I enjoy. I don’t get the gym as often as I would like and I haven’t been able to enjoy any of my favorite activities such as reading, sewing or hanging out with friends, which has played into both my physical health and emotional health. I do have to say, this weekend I finally was able to work on a sewing project with a dear friend. I made Christmas stockings for the kids and they turned out really cute! But it felt even better to just chat and catch up with my friend, it had been way to long.Image

November is a new month and a fresh start. At work we can compete in a pool to either maintain our current weight or lose at least 5 pounds through the end of the year. I plan to lose at least 15 pounds by the end of the year. No more excuses, I need to start walking at lunch again and finding other times to get in the exercise. I also plan on staying more connected with all of you, or those of you who are still reading.