Thursday, July 29, 2010

The best motorcycle ride ever

When Andrew and I first met I was pleased to find out he had a motorcycle. My last boyfriend had one as well, and it was a lot of fun to go on rides. The town Andrew used to live in was pretty small, but cute, and right along Route 40 (you know, that highway everyone used to go across country before 70 was built) which could take you to all kinds of awesome places. In the summer when the weather was right we would go for rides and one day while we were out we noticed all these Ohio Scenic Byway signs.

The first Scenic Byway we took wasn't all that exciting but we did a little research and found maps for other ones and found what I think is one of the best of all, the Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway. Unfortunately at the time we went on this ride I didn't have a working camera and have no pictures but let me just tell you how amazing this was!

First off there were all of these beautiful prairies, one of which housed a cemetery where some of the founding families of the area were buried. Then there were six covered bridges along the route as well, all of them were beautiful and there were several that cars could still drive on (most of them were just for walking as they were too old to handle the weight of cars). We drove through a few small towns as well (one of which we've seen many times) but it was neat to learn the history of these places and see how pretty Ohio really can be. I think it was more fun going on the motorcycle because you could see so much more and about 90% of the people on this Byway were on motorcycles as well. For those of you who don't know, Ohio is second in the country in the number of Covered Bridges it still has standing; Pennsylvania is number one.

Sometimes when I think about that awesome ride I miss our motorcycle, but at the same time I know we didn't ride it much anymore and we were both scared of the other cars on the road. Maybe in 10 or 15 years we'll get another one, but for now I have that ride to remember for a long time :)

So that all happened on a motorcycle, what did you write about for Mama Kat's Writers Workshop this week?
Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another "weight loss" update/vent session

So I've been getting better about this whole working out thing. They put new equipment in our gym at my college, new ellipticals, treadmills and bikes which all have TV's, fans built in (there is no A/C in the building) and they are all state of the art. I did my first mile the other day on the elliptical and it felt amazing. Several people have said they can tell I've lost some weight, and some of my "fat jeans" are falling off of me. I'm getting rid of each pair and I'm determined to NEVER wear that size again.

The hardest part has been my crazy school schedule. I'm in class three nights a week right now and eat on the go more often then I'd like. Usually I just grab a frozen coke at the gas station and a bag of M&M's, real healthy.....not. I'm trying to take a granola bar and water with me to class instead and make a big healthy lunch at home before I go. I think what has been hard for me is seeing everyone else I know getting so thin and sexy and me being the fat one. I have friends with kids that are thinner than me and it makes me feel I have no excuse for gaining all this weight. I need to make myself stop looking at pictures of myself from recent events and focus instead on how good I can and will look instead of how bad I feel I look right now.

I know its not all about what other people think, I want to feel good about myself again. I want to fit back into my "skinny jeans" that I haven't been able to wear in about two years. I feel like Andrew isn't as attracted to me as he used to be, and he makes little comments about how he wants me to be healthy and blah blah blah but isn't always so supportive of how hard this is for me. Please don't get me wrong, I don't think he's going to leave me or something its just hard for him to know the right thing to say sometimes. I'm trying to find a workout buddy right now so that I have a little more encouragement. I am thankful for the support of all you wonderful ladies who've given me the strength to keep on going with this; it means more to me than you will ever know!

Five years ago I looked like this (I am the last one on the right), I mean I had a little mid-drift showing, I'd never do that now:
And most recently I look like this (I'm in the white button down):
Lets hope that by the end of fall I look like that top picture again!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

I've been MIA

Sorry about the lack of posting, but here is what is going on.....
  • I have been working on a really hardcore paper for my writing class that has required an insane amount of research.
  • We went out of town again this past weekend to Northern Indiana to do some fishing. But it rained the whole time we were there basically and we didn't get to do much. It was nice to get out of the house but not as fun as we would have hoped.
  • I started my second summer class last week which means I am in school 3 nights a week and on the nights I'm not there its time to work on homework, clean up the house and spend time with Andrew.
  • I was also super busy with my internship last week but things are slowing down a little bit!
I plan on posting some pictures this week and doing writers workshop if I can find something that inspires me. So my apologies for my lack of blogging - I'll try to be better this week!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

True Story Tuesday - or - Tuesday Truth

So I see this on a few blogs I read, or some variation of it, so this week I'm trying it out.

Deadliest Catch is one of my favorite shows of the moment. I've been watching it probably on and off for three years but now I never miss an episode. I cried last week when they said Phil died (although we already knew this since it was in the news). I don't know why I'm so addicted but its better than some of the trash TV out there.....true story.

I'm scared to death about this Spanish class I'm taking. The professor is hard (I've had her before) but she is fair at the same time. I'm hopeful that I'll just pass the class and graduate, I really don't think I'll remember stuff....true story.

I ran/glided/whatever on the elliptical for a full mile for the first time in my working out life and I was quite proud....true story.

I can finally taste the end of my "college life" and in about four months I'll have a BA in Public Relations....
now THAT'S a true story!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Things I've been doing this summer

This summer has been quite different than most. I guess its because I'm not really working and going to school/being a "housewife." I've been doing homework during the majority of my free time, but I've also done some gardening, baking, things around the house and working out.

  • I've tried out a lot of new recipes, dinner items and cookies too. I'd say the best so far was a new chocolate chip cookie recipe I found on a blog I love, Loveletter Typewriter and they have to be the most amazing cookies ever!!!!
  • My tomato plants (thanks to all my babying and proper soil mixture) are 5ft tall and more blooms and tomatoes come on each day!
  • I'm going to do canning for the first time this year - pasta sauce, salsa and probably some jam.
  • I went camping for the first time this summer, which for me was a big deal. But please know that my hair dryer and make up bag did come with me!
  • The upstairs hallway finally got a fresh coat of paint, now I just need the money for a light fixture and all will be well!
  • My internship is turning out to be a fantastic experience (not that I thought it would be bad or anything). We lost one of our survivors this week and although I knew this could happen it was hard to deal with. But these women, these fantastic, strong and beautiful women have become a part of me. I know this internship cannot last forever but I want to be involved with this organization for many years to come.
  • School is going fantastic! I've gotten A's on every assignment for my writing class and I start Spanish next week....which I'm horribly nervous about!
Here are some favorite photos from this summer
What fun things have you done this summer?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

He dresses like an old man

When I saw the prompts for Writers Workshop, I didn't immediately pick something to write on but after looking over them again number 4 was just for me!! A funny story involving socks - I could for sure write about this one!!!

I love Andrew, I really do but see his feet in this picture....yes he wears BLACK SOCKS, year round pulled up out of his sneakers. It makes me nuts!! I know that his fashion sense is lacking but black socks, in the summer with shorts is not cute. I've gone as far as buying him ankle socks but he won't wear them and some have "disappeared" over time. Thankfully he does not wear these socks with his flip flops but he won't wear flip flops in the summer if we are walking a lot (this pic was taken in Pittsburgh last summer on our mini-vacation).

The other thing about his socks that drives me nuts is that he turns them inside out when he takes them off at night and they can be found wadded up all over the house. Every time I do laundry I have to turn them right side out or they have to be washed again. He will also wear these black socks until they are falling apart and now I just throw them out and replace them with a stash of new socks I keep hidden in a closet (sneaky, sneaky).

I'm trying to break my dear out of his sock habit but I think it will take some more time....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our emotional attachment to pets

I'm not sure that everyone is like this or not, but me and a vast majority of the people I know all seem to have an emotional attachment to their pets. I've lost three amazing ones in the last four years.
Pete was actually my grandparents dog but when they went off to Florida each year in the winter we would take care of him. I know that most golden retrievers have an awesome disposition but Pete was nothing but a big baby. He loved to lay with you and have you pet him, he was playful and sweet and he loved everyone. He was about 13 when his hips quit working and he lost his bark and my grandparents decided it was time to put him to sleep.

Webster was my first pet and I got her when I was 4 years old. She was a from a litter of barn cats and my grandparents neighbors and followed me around. One day my grandma decided I needed a pet and gave her to me. She was an outdoor cat for about 10 years of her life and wasn't always the most affectionate cat but she was fun. When we moved she became and indoor cat and her personality changed a little, she wanted to sit with you and she begged like a dog - she loved cheese and would even eat potato chips! She was almost 22 when we had to have her put to sleep and no one believed it. She developed a horrible limp and wasn't using the litter box anymore.

Priscilla came about 5 years after Webster and she was a runt and the only kitten that survived her litter. We got her from a guy my dad worked with and she quickly took a liking to my brother and my mom. She was a really small cat and her markings were beautiful. She was playful and sweet and always wanted to be around you. She got sick very suddenly and we found out she was in kidney failure and had to be put to sleep - she was 15 years old.

Its amazing to me the bonds that we create with our pets. A good friend of mine from college just lost her cat to a sudden illness, I had gone with her to the shelter to pick her out and she was a cool cat. If something ever happened to Bessie or does happen I don't know what I'm going to do or how I will be able to handle everything. I guess when you don't have kids your pets are your children, your family and your life. I mean really, I talk about my dog like she is a person and baby her like no tomorrow. Anyone else like this with their pets? I know I can't be alone!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I've won an award

I've gained about 3 more followers in the last week, and one of these lovely ladies, Steph S. @ A Day in the Life of a Grad Students Wife gave me The Sugar Doll blog award!

I'd like to pass this award along to:
Caitlyn @ The Other Hairs. No, the other ones.
Jen @ Loveletter Typewriter
Rachel @ If its a hero

As part of winning this award I need to write 10 facts about myself....lets see if I can come up with some things I've never written about before.

  1. I always make pancakes and biscuits from scratch. I used to use Bisquick until I discovered the Fanny Farmer Cookbook that has awesome recipes for both!
  2. I love to sing really loud in the house when no one else is home.
  3. I will always be a blonde at heart.
  4. I intend to never see any of the Twilight movies or read the books.
  5. I hate wearing socks in the summer, the only time I wear sneakers in the summer is to go on bike rides or work out.
  6. I cried during Toy Story 2 (when Jessie talks about her old owner) and cried for the last 30 minutes of Toy Story 3.
  7. I'm not fully awake until I've had a shower or a cup of coffee.
  8. My favorite jeans are American Eagle or Express, but I can only buy them when they are on sale.
  9. I'm allergic to the fake sugar that is in diet pop and crystal light.
  10. I hate Walmart.
Hope that everyone has a great weekend, I'm watching the Today Show and relaxing until Andrew and I figure out what we are doing today!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My constant battle

I've been trying to loose weight for about a year now and its a battle I feel like I'm never going to win. Just when I start to get on track, I get frustrated and give up. I've been more consistent about working out (thank goodness I can use the nice gym at my college) but the diet thing has been difficult. Its so much easier to cook junk food and its a lot faster too. I love to make cookies and having them around is a horrible temptation. We've gone out of town several times in the last month, so we had to eat out a lot, which means junk!

I've honestly never felt this bad about my body before, I don't like people to take pictures of me because I feel so self conscious. There are days when I don't even want to get dressed because I hate seeing the size in my jeans and the way my clothes fit. I let my depression about all of this get the best of me and then I give up - again and again.

But this time, I'm not going to let the way I feel get to me. I have a wedding to go to this fall for one of my college roommates and I want to look good and buy a dress that makes me feel sexy. I want to be the same size I was the last time I was happy in my body. I'm not trying to force myself to be an unhealthy or unattainable weight, I just want to feel good like I did all those years ago.

I know that all of this got out of control after Andrew and I started dating, I grew comfortable in our relationship, we ate out a lot and I quit working out so we could spend time together. I hate letting the way I look control so many things about my life and I have to be my own biggest supporter. I've let the fact that I don't have a "workout buddy" get the best of me before but now I am my own workout buddy and my own biggest support!

Anyone else have some words of encouragement?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Bucket List

I have never taken the time to write a bucket list, although there has always been one in my head. Now, please know that this is in no particular order, just as things popped into my head. I knew when I saw the prompt for Writers Workshop that I wouldn't be able to come up with 100 things, so lets try 50 for now!

  1. Travel out of the country.
  2. Go to Hershey, PA and see how they make that yummy chocolate.
  3. Get married and have a family.
  4. Swim in the Pacific Ocean.
  5. See the Northern Lights.
  6. Go see a play on Broadway.
  7. Go to a Steelers game.
  8. See the bright lights of Las Vegas.
  9. Live near the ocean or at least be able to go more often.
  10. Go to Maine and have a fresh lobster.
  11. Attend mass at the Vatican.
  12. Swim with dolphins and manatees.
  13. Take swing dancing lessons.
  14. Go wine tasting in Napa Valley.
  15. Grow a huge garden and have a farm stand or go to farmers markets
  16. Live debt free for at least 10 years of my life or more.
  17. Pay off my student loans in less than 10 years.
  18. Learn how to knit.
  19. Protest for a cause that is close to my heart, like animal abuse or child abuse.
  20. Start a petition for a cause I believe in and present it to a local government official.
  21. Learn how to drive a manual transmission.
  22. Then own a manual transmission sports car!
  23. Learn how to Polka better than I can now.
  24. Teach a class on something I'm passionate about, like cooking.
  25. Learn how to be more cost effective by doing things like canning, making my own bread and growing a garden every year.
  26. Be totally happy with my body and grow to love my flaws.
  27. Go to Poland and find out where my mom's family was from.
  28. Build a kit-car with Andrew.
  29. Go on a vacation with my whole family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins)
  30. Live in a place where winter is not a season.
  31. Ride all of the rides in Disney Land at all of the parks.
  32. Learn how to make wine.
  33. Go to the Superbowl.
  34. Watch a meteor shower from the roof of my house.
  35. Have a poem published.
  36. Write an article for a newspaper or magazine.
  37. Drive a really fast race car on a track.
  38. Take a hot air balloon ride.
  39. Own a sailboat.
  40. Go deep sea fishing.
  41. Swim in the ocean somewhere that you can see all the way to the bottom.
  42. Get my real estate license.
  43. Journal the important events of my life and the lives of those in my family, when I have my own.
  44. Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
  45. Take graphic design classes.
  46. Take cosmetology classes (to be honest, I've always wanted to do hair).
  47. Go to Washington DC while the cherry trees are blooming.
  48. See Niagara Falls.
  49. Run in a 5k.
  50. Volunteer my time with an organization that is close to my heart.
What are some things I have that you would put on your bucket list? What did you write about this week for Mama Kat's Writers Workshop?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A calm moment

I think the busy summer season is over for us, we don't have any concrete plans after this weekend. Sure there is a lot we want to do, but there is nothing that we've committed to doing and it feels great!

This weekend we went to Pennsylvania for my mom's families annual picnic, I didn't get a lot of pictures because we were so busy chatting and going on quad rides that I sort of forgot. The farm where we had the picnic was beautiful, very hilly and a great place to watch the sunset. Even though I was scared to go on the quad it was a lot of fun!

Later in the night, the guys set off around $1,000 worth of fireworks and it was awesome! We camped out that night in the pop-up camper and got up early the next morning to head home and go to breakfast.

Sunday we went to the Pickerington Parade and "carnival" but skipped out on fireworks because we were tired and didn't want to fight traffic (does that make us old?). The parade wasn't as good as I remember in years past but it was still pretty fun. The carnival was good for people watching, teen girls wearing next to nothing and pregnant ones smoking (yeah, I'm not kidding). I was happy to get home, relax and have a good nights sleep.

Monday, Andrew had the day off work and it was our niece's first birthday. It was a nice party and as usual the little one was in her full glory being the center of attention!

This week I plan on getting this house looking spic and span, cleaning out my car and working out somewhere in between getting my homework done for class next week! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday - what did everyone else do?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

10 Things that will always make me smile

Look, I'm back doing a Writers Workshop post! I've been feeling a little down in the dumps lately and honestly yesterday I was on the verge of a meltdown. As I mentioned I feel like there isn't enough time in the day to get anything done but today I'm determined to make some time for myself! So anyways, this prompt came at a perfect time because it was asking what 10 things always make you smile when you are sad - here is my list!
  1. Andrew - He's my boyfriend so he better be able to make me smile! He always seems to know when I am feeling bummed and will snuggle up extra close to me or send me a sweet text while he is at work to cheer me up!
  2. Bessie - That dog can melt just about anyone's heart with those big droopy eyes and long ears. Whenever I feel down I can just look at her and giggle because she is so dag-on cute! I mean really, look at how stinking adorable she is!!!!
  3. Music - Every since I was a kid listening to music and singing have been a very important part of my life. I was even in high school choir as evidenced by the photo below. Sometimes the best therapy is being in the house when no one else is here and putting my iTunes on shuffle while I just think about the songs.
  4. Desserts/chocolate/ice cream - I love sweets, and I mean love them. Its a good thing that I am pretty talented at baking in order to support this habit. I think I get this from my mom and her dad who both have to have something sweet after every meal!
  5. Friends - I've got to say I have some of the best friends on the planet! They always know how to make me smile and they are there for me no matter what :) I know who to call when I need to laugh, who will always be a shoulder to lean on and so forth.
  6. Photography/Photo Editing - As you might be able to tell I love to take pictures of EVERYTHING! I love to then upload them all on my computer and fool around with Photoshop and make them look fancy. I edited the picture below, which I took on our camping trip. We found a neat historic cemetery and I took some cool pictures.
  7. Watching a Favorite Movie - This always seems to make me happy when I'm sick or feeling down. I remember the last time I had to call off work sick, Clueless was on TV and it cheered me up (as dumb as that might sound) but to this day I love that movie!
  8. Not having to cook dinner - Yeah, this rarely happens and no I don't mean that Andrew cooks instead, that will only happen when pigs fly! Sometimes though we do go out for dinner or go eat food with his family or mine and I gotta say its nice not to cook. I'm sure most of you would agree.
  9. Getting a good bargain - Yes, I'm a dork I know but I love sales and getting things for a good price! I got a couple tops at Macy's a few weeks back on super clearance that are adorable and some great clothes at the thrift store the week before this. Nothing is better than the delight I feel getting something great for cheap!
  10. A good nights sleep - When I'm bummed out or sick, its super hard for me to sleep but those nights when I don't wake up once....when no one comes in at 7:30am asking how much later I am going to sleep in....and when the dog doesn't want to go out at 4am are the best ever!!!!
So what did you write about this week?
Mama's Losin' It