Friday, October 15, 2010

725 Pounds

We are nuts, yes, I am aware of it. My neighbors told me they were glad we are normal, because the last owners of this house sure weren't. Well.... I kinda laughed a little and said we try to be normal. This week has proved otherwise. On my birthday - Wednesday - we bundled up nice and warm because it was 39 degrees and headed out to meet Kurt, Jennie and the girls at the orchard. We were there for a total of 3 hours.
The girls ran around eating apples and tossing them around and getting dirty while we picked 20 bushels for the church, which is roughly 900 pounds in less than an hour! They were nice and large. Then we picked windfalls for ourselves for an hour and a half and loaded up in the truck and came home. We weighed them to fill my curiosity. 725 pounds was the result. I told my grandma, who has canned all her life, and she rolled with laughter and wondered what we would do with them all. Yesterday and today we canned apples. Our kitchen is a great canning kitchen with the island. We had up to 5 people at once and it wasn't really crowded. It helped that we used a camp stove on the back porch to can 2 water baths at once - as you can kinda see in the picture of our final product.

We ended up splitting 161 quarts of sauce, 22 pints of apple butter and of juice left over from steaming the apples - probably about 8 gallons. I still have about 100 pounds of apples to dry, make pies and put in the freezer - if I keep at it, I will be done before I know it!

Monday, October 11, 2010

End In Sight?

I commented to a friend a week or so ago that I wanted to stay in this house until the day that I die. She said, "Oh that's so awesome that you love your house so much!" I replied with, "Oh, no, I never want to go through all the work of moving!" Don't interpret this as me not loving our new house because I do but I'm not sure if there is ever going to be an end in sight of both unpacking and the mile long To Do List. I am adding work faster than I am getting things crossed off. I am under the firm belief that the prior owners treated this place like they would a rental. I don't think a lone hammer was lifted in the name of this house since the the contractor sighed in relief that his job was finished. A small portion of repairs have included the following events - death defying vaulted ceiling fan removal, repair and re-installation; a hole in the wall named "Baby Beluga" by the lovely almost 2 year old; 600,000 nail holes filled, (patiently awaiting paint); jetted tub on/off switch repair; leaky sink and shower returned to fully operational status... and the list goes on. You'd be here until tomorrow reading both my "done" and "to do," so I will spare you that mess.

The good news is this: we love craigslist. We have been running around getting things that are posted on the "free" section and giving a little TLC and making them like new again. Items ranging from a lawnmower ($10 fix), to a garage door opener that was "too noisy," to a trampoline, and a few other pricey items that had nothing wrong with them! Thank you wasteful Boise citizens. Keep posting your discarded items and we will keep checking for things we need. I love your wasteful ways combined with my superhuman husband's mad skills to fix almost anything - all but our broken air conditioner I suppose, but hey, a guy can't fix everything.

Speaking of my Superman, last drill his unit was officially notified of deployment. Feb 2012. Do you think that 17 months is enough of a notice? A little overboard, but I guess its nice of them to tell us as soon as they find out so we can do all we can to prepare and do lots of family time stuff. We are not "sorry" so please don't be sorry for us, we are looking forward to the deployment as a great opportunity for Kevin to further his career and I'm doing my best to keep a positive attitude.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Our House"

I guess its September already. I can hardly believe it means summer is winding down to the end. It also means we have been back from Alabama for 5 months now. I can't believe its taken us this long to find "our home" but thankfully we have found it. We are currently scheduled to close in 2 weeks and 2 days, but who's counting? Our fingers are crossed that it will not change. It needs a bit of work, the owners left in a hurry, with about 1500 nail holes in the walls, hair in the tub, and just general grime everywhere that is probably from the house not being lived in for a while. Anyone who loves us and will be in our area in a few weeks is invited to help with the cleaning/move in party! Here is a little peak at the place. The yard looks way better, this picture was taken in the end of winter I'm guessing. Also imagine the place sans the last owner's clutter. We are on a corner lot, and we love that it means you don't see the garage doors when looking at the house front. We have 4 bedrooms, and 3.5 baths. We are definitely looking forward to a real master bed/bath. I'll even have a jetted tub. If you saw what Picerne calls a master bath in Alabama, you'll know why I'm excited. If you didn't have the pleasure of seeing that fabulous place, think Geo Metro in both size and quality. You know, I think there is actually more room in a Geo. We are also looking forward to the back yard and a designated craft room for me!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ode To Kevin

I wont write a poem or sing a song, but I wanted to draw attention to what an amazing man I'm married to. He wouldnt toot his own horn here, so i'll do it. He has already RL progressed, as of a few weeks ago,(no longer has to fly with an instructor as a copilot) so I decided this was a perfect time to focus ya'll into his hard work in all it took to accomplish this!
It all started in Dec 2007. I was at drill in Pocatello, and he was drilling in Boise that particular weekend. He sent a text that went something like this:
Him: Wouldn't it be cool to be a Blackhawk pilot?
Me: Yeah, that'd be sweet
Him: You'd let me?
Me: You'd have to have a degree, you know, be an officer?
Him: Nope, I could be a warrent officer [no degree needed] Would you let me do that?
Me: Of course, that'd be really neat. Why wouldn't I "let" you?

Two months later, we find ourselves with the townhouse rented, and relocating to the Boise area. We quit our jobs, quit school, and said goodbye to friends. We had no idea if it would even work out, but move we did. I wondered more often than once if we were crazy. Don't doubt my faith in Kevin's abilities, it was just pretty unsettling to have no idea if they would accept him or not! Like always, Kevin was quickly known for his super powers. People would see my name tape at drill and ask, "are you the one that scored so high on the aviation test?" Oh, nope, that would be my husband ;). In the mean time, he got his private airplane pilot license too.
Kevin's 1st airplane solo. may 2008

In June 2008, the phone rang with the good news. Be ready for December the man said. The chance we had taken payed out, and Kevin was clearly walking on air. Despite the high number of applicants who didn't make the cut, Kevin was placed high on the list that did. I would say he blew them away. He would dispute it, but he is just being modest. Well, we didn't make it to December. We got a call on a Friday late September informing us we would need to be leaving by the following Tuesday to make it in time for Kevin to start WOCS (warrent officer candidate school). Apparently, someone else who was going to go then, had to get some minor surgery, and Kevin was shoved into his place. We didn't mind.

Kevin Graduating WOC School Nov 2008

Schooling began 4 days after we drove through those Fort Rucker gates and lasted over a 20 month period. Enduring weeks away from home, starvation, mock pow camps, LOTS of dedication to studying, PT, a week long ferocious map- making project in our living room, a little bit of time to play, and of course, learning to be a quite above average pilot.
Kevin in the pilot seat as we watched from the tower on family day. June 2009

He officially graduated the Army Aviation School of Excellence UH-60 course (Blackhawk) April 29th, 2010. He is so smart that he was an honor grad, without spending as much time as most in the books, not a shock to anyone, but still I'm still proud, none-the-less. He worked so hard, and he deserves every ounce of reward. He is such a great husband, father, pilot, person. Chloe and I love him very much, and the sacrifices he makes for us. We are very blessed to have him in our lives.
Kevin's flight school graduation. (Look how much
Chloe has grown from his WOCS grad to here :))

He continues to impress the people in his unit. He always seems to know the answers to their questions, I believe its come to the point where some are doing their best to "stump" him. I think they'll have to keep trying - my hubby is such a smarty pants!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What does 13.1+6.2+ (40x0.5)+0.93+24.8+6.2 equal ???

It equals a lot of sore muscles, that's what.

Upon moving back to Idaho, I was promptly talked into a half marathon (13.1 miles). I was super nervous, and I KNEW mom would leave me in the dust. Luckily, about 1/4 mile into it, I happened upon my cousin Emily, and we ran the whole thing together. Honestly, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, just a mind over matter thing. The longest I'd run up to that point was 10 miles, so naturally, I was most concerned about the last 3. I had a blast, but found I have no desire to do a full marathon. Mom did end up leaving me in the dust. My goal was 1. to finish 2. Not walk 3. Have under 10 minute miles. I actually had just under 9 minute miles, taking me under 2 hours! I placed 15th out of 83 in my division. I was really surprised I did so well.

The next race I did was a 10k in Bonners for the Kootanie River Run. I was just shy of 3rd place in my division, but it was a fun run nonetheless.

And, the craziest thing I've done to date, was letting mom talk Emily and me into a 40 mile 2 person relay in Idaho Falls. It wouldn't have been so bad, if it was flat, but no, it was anything but flat. We each did 20 miles, alternating out every 5. Mom was on a different team. Here is Emily giving me water as I am on mile 19 while mom is headed back on mile 21. Joe was our driver, and he was awesome.

These last 3 races were just "training" for the competition I was in on Saturday. In January, my good friend Brenna talked me into doing a triathlon in Burly. Which was totally crazy because I wasn't a "trained" swimmer, I didn't even have a bike, or any knowledge of how a triathlon works. And, the week before, Brenna informed me she wouldn't be able to make it to Burly as planned.

I was really nervous, I barely slept on Friday night. Here I am about to go get into the water. I was also wondering if I was crazy because about 95% of the people had wet suits. The water was actually really warm, so I was glad I didn't have to peel a wet suit off to get on my bike. I was in wave 6, which means I started 50 minutes after the 1st wave, with one going each 10 minutes. It really boosted my self esteem to pass people with "5" on their swim caps! It took me 20 minutes to do the 1.5K (.93 miles) swim, thanks to the Snake River current :). I was not fond of the dirty water making seeing impossible, so I mostly did the breast stroke.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures on the bike, they just missed me after coming back from breakfast. The biking part was SO much fun. It was a blast to blow by people at 25 miles an hour! My average speed was 20.2, taking me 1 hour 13 minutes to finish the 24.8 miles. The running after wans't too bad for me to "get my running legs back" as everyone says, I just had stomach cramps/side ache for almost all of the 6.2 miles. Here's me running faster for the finish line, it was all down hill, so that was the easiest part of the whole run. My time was just under an hour, total triathlon time was 2 hours 39 minutes. I was thinking it would take me over 3.5 hours or something crazy! I had a blast, and it was really great to have Kevin, Chloe, Dad, Joe, and Alexis and Elise there to cheer mom and me on!

I ended up 9th in my division, and surprisingly, I can actually walk today. I have a few sore muscles, like in between my shoulder blades and my hamstrings. I'll be back to normal in a few days and I will begin training for swim team! I am so excited for that. The guy who runs the swim team in Caldwell was helping me train for the tri and thinks I can be competitive as a swimmer, so that is my next adventure. So, since starting training in January, I started out about 157 and a high body fat %. As of now, I weigh 141 and I am down to 16%! I have never been this lean, or worked so hard on something, might sound lame, but I'm kinda proud of my hard work.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

35 Things About Loosing 35+ Pounds

Here is my story:

I have always felt I was over weight. Even when I was in grade school, which is absurd, because I wasn't. The only times I felt I wasn't fat was my freshman year during cross country and also when I was pregnant. I wasn't "fat" in high school, really. I have always been active, but I did start to gain for various reasons in 11th grade and after (we wont get into that detail of why here). My heaviest was 176 at the end of 2006, based on this "before" picture, I quite possibly could have been heavier. I have taken hold of my eating habits with a determination to be healthier and to feel better about myself.
By early 2008, when I found out I was pregnant, I weighed in at 157. So, in a year and a half, I had lost 18 pounds, just so I could start again after 9 months. We wont talk about how much I gained during pregnancy, but, by Chloe's 1st birthday, I was down to 147! Already 10 pounds lighter than I was before I was pregnant! I had a few hiccups and plateaus after that, but, now, I can proudly say, I have lost more than 35 pounds in less than 4 years! And, I currently have 18% body fat. I'm most proud of this, as I know I will begin to put on muscle weight this summer, and hope to watch this number go down, even though the scale may go up.

Here are a few things I've learned:
  1. I like food.
  2. Losing weight slow is much easier and healthier than a quick drop. No one really wants to hear that. I know I wanted the weight off now. It took me almost 4 years. (cut me some slack, I had a baby in there too).
  3. I don't think there is a "weight-loss secret." Everyone asks "how'd ya do it?" Simple, eating right and exercise.
  4. I am my own worst critic. My husband is my biggest fan and his compliments make a HUGE difference in motivation.
  5. I don't know what to say when someone says I look good because they have noticed I've lost weight. I guess a simple "thanks" is enough?
  6. Running is increasingly manageable with 35 less pounds dragging me down, but I notice a difference with each 10.
  7. You don't have to exercise to lose weight but it helps one lose faster and makes you feel better.
  8. This is the 1st time I truly wanted to lose weight for myself. Think of all the reasons you ever wanted to lose weight... Put yourself 1st.
  9. One pound of pure human fat is 2.13 cups. To lose 35 pounds, I am roughly 60 cups of fat smaller, that's almost 4 gallons. (figure you are only losing 80% fat when you lose weight do to less blood volume, excess fluids, etc...)
  10. Seeing a replica of what human fat looks like is gross and strangely motivating. Google it.
  11. When I feel good about myself, I lose weight.
  12. Losing weight helps me to feel good about myself. It is a lovely cycle.
  13. Eating a spoon (or spoons) full of peanut butter with some chocolate chips every day is not going to kill my progress.
  14. I enjoy food so much more when I eat until I feel content rather than stuffed.
  15. Dessert isn't bad, but consistently over-indulging is, and the scale will reflect it.
  16. People have pretty odd ideas about how to lose weight and are shocked when my answer is simply: "portion control and exercise that I enjoy"
  17. I thought walking was for people who couldn't run ( i.e. too overweight or old or broken) and wouldn't help me to lose any wight or increase my fitness. To my delight, walking 5 days a week/4-6 miles while pushing a stroller for 6 months helped drop from 163 to 150 lbs.
  18. Having a walking/running buddy helps in too many ways to list. (this post is long enough already)
  19. I enjoy running so much more than I ever did, even than in cross country in high school. I get runner's envy. If I see someone out running, I act like a 4 year old wondering why I can't be out running. This happens on day's I've already run.
  20. Your husband may ask you from the other room what all the excitement is about when you're doing your "skinny jean victory dance" the 1st time you squeeze into the skinny jeans AND get them done up.
  21. Catching my husband staring at me from across the room because he thinks I look amazing = motivation.
  22. I don't feel great about myself everyday. And that's going to continue to be something I work on
  23. It is a fantastic feeling when you get your 1st non-husband compliment in a pair of skinny jeans because they actually look good now.
  24. Every woman I know bears at least one insecurity about her body. Even the ones with a body to envy.
  25. What I see in the mirror is not the same body I see in pictures. I have to work to condition my mind to accurately see whats in my reflection, rather than a woman larger than I am. I think many women have this mental body image distortion. Why is it that we can't see ourselves for how beautiful everyone else sees us as? Darn, we are hard on ourselves.
  26. There is nothing comparable to when you realize your skinny jeans have now become your "fat" jeans and thus you need to go shopping to buy a size you can't ever remember fitting into.
  27. Signing up and paying for a triathlon has helped me to stay motivated. No longer am I working on a "lb goal." I am working towards a fitness level and I am so excited to cross that finish line in Burly in July after swimming 1.5k, biking 25 miles, followed with a run of 6.2 miles. I don't care how long it takes me, I am just going to do whatever it takes to finish.
  28. I enjoy motivating other women to work on their health and fitness.
  29. It hurts to hear women talk negatively about their bodies, and I realize I used to be bad about it too.
  30. When I'm feeling down about a "trouble spot" or the size of my thighs or whatever it may be I remind myself of what my body does for me. I can run, swim, ride a bike, carry Chloe around, do every day things, etc. And that is wonderful and helps me to overcome my self-consciousness.
  31. Being on a 100% strict diet doesn't work. I will binge at the thought. In fact, typing this it just sent me to the pantry to eat. While a 100% diet doesn't work, a 90% strict diet, however, does. Eating naughty 10% of the time? I can handle that.
  32. Seeing people for the 1st time since I was heavier feels great - they give out lots of compliments. I looked at this "before" picture and can see why I've gotten so many lately, I was heavier than I ever realized.
  33. Calories in the food your 1 year old feeds you don't count.
  34. I wish I could help others feel the way I do, but if the only difference I make is on my self and my own daughter, I would do it 100 times over. (hopefully I never have to though, I'm keepin' it off!)
  35. New workout clothes make me excited to get out. If you are lacking in the motivation department, go shopping for workout stuff that is flattering, and you'll find yourself itching to use them!
Wow, long post. If you've made it this far, wow. I'll have better after picture soon. I have a 1/2 marathon on sat, and i'll share some post run sweaty ones.
Alabama running group: me, brenna, emilee, challis, kaite, christina, and baby girls. Missing is Kristen and kids, Heather, and Megan and baby.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

We did our own egg hunt this year, because we went to the one in Ozark and it was worse than adults at walmart the day after Thanksgiving, that, and they let the kids loose before the actual start time. Here is the documentation of all the fun we had.