Monday, December 23, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

I don't know about you, but Christmas came so fast this year that I've had a harder time getting into the "Christmas Spirit" compared to previous years. 

There are a couple factors that go into this:  1) We aren't going to Montana this year which makes me sad but with my work schedule and everything it was easier for my parents to come here.  2) Due to a very busy toddler that shall remain nameless we have limited decorations around the house.  I put the wreath on the door and the tree minus ornaments and that's it.

To top it all off, its just been flat out busy.  Between jewelry shows, work events, company Christmas parties and being crazy busy at work there has been little, if any, free time.

This weekend, however, I got a little more into the Christmas spirit.  Andrew and I went out for my birthday into Seattle where there were Christmas decorations everywhere.  I finally got the giant pile of boxes in my entry way turned into wrapped gifts, the Christmas menu is planned and I just feel jolly.

I wish all my blog friends (and real friends) a blessed and Merry Christmas.  I hope you all feel the love and joy of the true meaning of Christmas. 

Oh come let us adore Him!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Highlights from year 33....

Today marks the 4th anniversary of my 29th birthday.  That's 33 for those of you who haven't had your coffee yet today.

Every year, my birthday seems to arrive faster and faster.  This year was no exception.  Somehow the addition of an ankle biter (I know now where that term comes from as Sawyer literally tries to bite my feet) makes time fly just that much faster.

To mark this day, I've decided to reflect on 33 highlights of this year.

1. 2012 Birthday dinner at Fogo de Chao in DC with AJ and Lauren
2. Making new friends in Parent Baby class
3. Going back to work and remembering why I like it
4. Putting Sawyer in this shirt
5. Travelling to Virginia to celebrate Grandpa Hall's 70th birthday
6. Starting Stroller Strides - best decision ever!
7. Sawyer's first haircut
8. Putting Sawyer in this hat (one of my favorite pictures)
 9. Lots of fun times in the bathtub
 10. Nice summer days at the park

 11. My first Mother's Day - I got a potato ricer so I could make gnocchi
 12. Chopping my hair off.  I'm currently growing it out again but this picture makes me want to chop it off!

 13. Aunt Janet and Uncle Ken coming to visit
14. Sawyer's first Mariner's game!

 15. This romper
 16. Our trip to the Oregon Coast with Andrew's parents
17. Sawyer eating sand
 17. A walk on the beach with my love
 18. Sawyer learning to crawl in Oregon!
19. The Salty by the Sea Mocha from the Green Salmon in Yachats, Oregon.  Yes, it was that good that it gets its own highlight.
20. My cousins wedding in Cleveland
 20. Eating at Michael Symon's restaurant Lola in Cleveland....and Happy Dog!
21. Summer time walks to Starbucks

20. Hosting my first Stella & Dot show with my friend Caroline
 21. The first Hokie game of the season - Sawyer was very excited.

22. Snuggles with my boy
 23. Sawyer's birthday and family photos in the park
24. The whole family coming to celebrate Sawyer's first birthday
 25. Starting Body Back
26. Mom's night out at Canvas Sip and Paint - look what I made!
 27. Sawy'ers first trip to the pumpkin patch!

 28. Playdates with friends
 29. I got some guns!
 30. I bought skinny jeans!
31. Fun times in toddler class
 32. Joining Stella & Dot as a stylist!
33.  Thanksgiving with my East coast family. 
There's many more highlights that I didn't mention but all in all I am a blessed woman.  I have a great husband, a wonderful little boy, a loving family and a loving God.  Hoping the next year brings just as many blessings and adventures.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reality Check

You know when you know something about yourself that needs to change but you choose to ignore it or deny that you really need to do anything about it?

Well, I had a reality check last week.

I have genetically high cholesterol (thanks Mom and Dad).  I was first diagnosed when I was in high school when I played multiple sports and weight 140 pounds.  I was on cholesterol medication for several years through college and grad school but stopped taking it when Andrew and I got married because I was afraid of accidentally getting pregnant (and those medications are dangerous to a fetus).  I ended up seeing a specialist and ironically my numbers were better when I was off the medications.  So I've just kept an eye on things over the years and tried to control it with diet and exercise.

I had a physical with my doctor a couple weeks ago to get my cholesterol checked and to check my blood sugars since I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy.  I've worked very hard to get back to pre-baby weight but this weight is still 20 pounds heavier than I'd like to bed.

I met with my doctor last week to go over the numbers in my blood work.  I was a little disappointed.

First, my fasting glucose numbers were 3 points above normal - story of my life people.

My overall cholesterol was borderline high but my triglycerides were normal - yay!

But my most disturbing number was my high sensitivity CRP which measures inflammation and risk for heart disease.    It was ridiculously high.  Given my high cholesterol and family history of heart disease this number scares the crap out of me.

*sidenote, I was coming down with a cold when my blood was taken and since this number can reflect infection, its possible that it was elevated because of that.

Anyway, my doctor thinks all my numbers can go down to normal if I could lose 20 pounds. 

Yep.  Those 20 pounds I've been fighting since college.  Heck, those 20 pounds I've been fighting since I got married!  Those damn 20 pounds.

But, after such a reality check, I'm a bit more motivated to actually make it happen.

I've got the exercise down.  With Stroller Strides at least 3 times per week, and Body Back will resume in January, I'm stronger than I've probably ever been.

Now comes the diet.

My doctor recommended the Ideal Protein Diet.  I've heard (and known people) who have had success with it.  But I just can't get behind a diet plan with pre-packaged food or the cost that is associated with the meal replacements.

So, I am going to try the Dukan Diet instead.  Its very similar (French based diet) that is heavy on protein, less carbs with several phases that gradually introduce carbs and regular portion controlled eating back into your diet. My parents have had really good success with this over the last couple of years. 

We have my work Christmas party this weekend so will get all our groceries and everything after that.  And next week is my birthday and you better believe that I will eat what I want on my birthday which will include a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks and some cheesecake.  But otherwise, hoping to drop some weight and keep up my exercise and bring those numbers down.

I'll try and keep you all posted on my progress.  I'm feeling motivated to get my numbers back to normal. 

Who's with me?  Anyone tried the Ideal Protein Diet? 

PS  Sorry for lack of blogging.  Things are just busy.  I've got lots of things to catch you up on and some great ideas for some blogging in the new year.