May 27, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Hello. It has been a while since I've been here. I've had a lot going on and just haven't felt the urge to write anything. But, today one of my most favorite bloggers, Mix and Match Mama, is hosting a great link up with a couple of her friends. It's What's Up Wednesday and each month they ask a list of questions (same questions) with a bonus question, the questions that get asked every month are below. I love these types of link ups!

What we're eating... My memorial day weekend diet consisted of pasta salad, rum and cheese. So that went well. We're TRYING to eat per the Whole30 guidelines during the week. I don't incorporate bread or cheese into our meals, but we also don't exclude them as possible toppings. We're doing okay though. Last night we had brats (though I'm sure they weren't compliant) and peppers with sauce over spaghetti squash. Thursday will be Egg Roll in a Bowl with pork. Weekends have been full of plans and not so great for us food. I'm not going to get all bent out of shape about it.
What I'm reminiscing about... around this time of year, I think about my dad a lot. The memories that I have of him, but lately its been the memories we should have had the chance to make. Mostly of him with Tucker. It is heartbreaking knowing he isn't here to spoil him rotten, beam with pride the first time he hits a baseball or teach him how to say the word "shit" despite me begging him not too. That's the kind of Papaw he would have been. Him not being here for that stuff hurts more than him not being able to walk me down the aisle or dance with me at my wedding. Okay, enough sad stuff.
What I'm loving... per Mix and Match Mama's recommendation, I purchased some Skechers GOWalks for our trip to Alaska. They are similar to these except mine are navy blue. They are the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever put on my feet. I'm going to wear these every chance I get. I'm a Tom's and Sperry's girl, but these will be ideal for traveling. And the zoo. And walking around my house. And even sitting in my house. I love them, can't you tell?
What we've been up too... what haven't we been up too? Our mudroom is in full swing.

The foundation is being worked on right now, then according to the contractor, it should go pretty quickly from there. With each passing day I get more and more excited about the extra space. We went camping this past weekend and had so much fun. Tucker was kind of a butthead for part of it, but most 1 year olds are at some point. Diesel went with us the first night, but stayed with Danny's mom the second night. He wasn't loving all the "humping" another dog was doing to him. Poor guy. We're also getting ready for our trip to Alaska. There is a lot to do to get ready to leave at work and at home.
What I'm dreading...A 4 hour flight with Tucker and the fact that I'm going to be spending some time in a court room in the next few months for 2 separate issues. I'm going to leave it at that.
What I'm working on... mentally and physically preparing for our trip and for the craziness at work that starts my first day back. June will be nuts. July will also be nuts. Danny and I tend to thrive under this type of chaos so we'll be fine.
What I'm excited about... being away for 12 days. I'm not looking forward to leaving Diesel for that long, but it'll still be fun. Then when we get back I've got a bachelorette weekend, 2 weddings, my best friend's baby, fair week, a camping trip, another baby, and our anniversary. See what I mean by chaos?
What I'm watching/reading... honestly, nothing. I need to figure out what books to put on my Kindle before our trip. I haven't turned the tv on to watch something, aside from Sesame Street and Bob the Builder, since I watched the Scandal finale last week, which was a week after it aired.
What I'm listening to... I still haven't uploaded my iTunes to my new phone (that I got in February) so I'm listening to the few that were actually on the Cloud over and over again. Its fine.
What I'm wearing... my GOWalks and despite my poor eating, size 8 jeans still. Whoop whoop!
What I'm doing this weekend... spending lots of time with family. For Mother's Day gifts to our moms, we are taking them with us for Tucker's first trip to the zoo! Then Saturday night we are staying at my moms with my brother and his girlfriend hopefully cookout and swim. Then going to an Indianapolis Indians game on Sunday. It should be fun weekend!
What I'm looking forward to next month... after 5 years of talking about it and planning, the big Alaskan Cruise is finally here!
What else is new... I think Tucker is trying to weasel his way into sleeping in our bed. We lay in there every night right before his bedtime. He LOVES laying in our bed. He's only taken one nap in there so I'm not sure where the love came from. After the cruise we are probably going to convert his crib to the bed. He sleeps well in the camper bed and if he set his mind too it, he could climb out of his crib. So its about time.
And the bonus question... what is your favorite thing to grill next month? We don't do a lot of grilling, but we always say we want to grill more. I'm thinking shishkabobs and maybe pizza are up for the summer.
Whew, that was a lot of info! But I feel like I've caught up on what has been going on.

May 14, 2015

Currently I am...

I did this post last year around this time, and in an attempt to not go on some rampage about what is grinding my gears right now, I'm going to do this fun little thing instead.

Wearing... some size 8 jeans from American Eagle that finally fit and I am so freaking happy about, a top from Loft that has some embellishments on the neckline (making it fancy), and a black cardigan. Also, my Sperry's flip flops. Basically one of the only pairs of shoes I will be wearing this summer. The other pair is another color of Sperry's flip flops. Love them!

Watching... I'm at work so I'm watching nothing. But, what I have been listening to are what I like to call my "fight songs." I have them on my running playlist to get me through when I feel like quitting. But, since my stress fracture, I've been listening to them when I'm feeling discouraged, mostly at work and with other things (they aren't my "job" but they are part of my professional life and extremely frustrating). The two I listen too when I need a pep talk: Don't Put Dirt On My Grave from Nashville (I love show tunes) and the other is Fighter by Christina Aguilera. Yeah, a blast from the past I know. The align perfectly with things going on in my life right now. What I've been through with my dad's business resembles a break up, probably more like a really nasty divorce though. So, these songs remind me not to give up.

Wanting... large sums of money. Who doesn't though? And to go for a run. Obviously, I have a lot on my mind. All I've wanted to do for the last couple of weeks since things have started hitting the fan is to go on a run. I had wine last night and while it was delicious, it wasn't as satisfying as sweat running down my face.

Loving... May. It's been so much fun so far. We've had dinner with friends, we've gone camping, the mudroom is starting to become a reality, and despite the shitheads in my professional life, work has been going pretty well. We've been extremely busy and will be until August with something going on nearly every weekend and then throw in the cruise and us being gone for nearly 2 weeks. We thrive under chaos though.

Testing... life without a boot or brace on my ankle. I really need to be wearing the brace still, but its just so annoying and things have been feeling pretty good. Plus, I don't walk that much. I take like 4,000 steps a day. I think its fine.

Laughing... at the fact that I have not one fight song, but two fight songs.

May 13, 2015

Weigh-In Wednesday: 5/13/15

I would consider today the first real weigh-in after Whole30.  I've been "on my own" with eating for 2 weeks now and this week's weigh-in proves whether or not I learned anything from my experience and made changes that I can live with.

Pretty Strong Medicine

Last Week: 153.8 lbs
This Week: 153.4 lbs
Change: -.4 lbs

I think its freaking awesome. Considering the amount of alcohol that was consumed and how much "good food" wasn't consumed, its a win.

Like I said yesterday, I'm still using the Whole30 as a guide for planning and building my meals. For example, this was dinner last night.

Ground beef, with peppers, tomatoes (Rotel) and a compliant salsa, then I added black beans and corn and we had it over cauliflower rice. We were both full when it was said and done. While black beans and corn are against Whole30 rules, we don't eat enough of either to really cause any problems. At least we think so anyways.

Tucker loved dinner. He ate with us an hour after he had beef stew, cornbread and ice cream at my mother-in-law's.

As for exercising, I said before I started Whole30 that I wanted to do a love handles challenge. Yeah, that didn't happen. I should probably start that soon. I go back to the doctor next Thursday and I am hoping and praying that I get released to at least start walking. I need to move my bod more than I do on a daily basis. We are toying with the idea of taking our bikes camping next weekend so I could probably do that if I am unable to walk.

I really can't wait to see what happens to my body and weigh loss progress when I can start mixing these healthy eating habits with exercise. I think it will still be a slow process, but more rewarding.

May 12, 2015

Whole30 Thoughts

This post should really be titled "Whole25 Thoughts" since we're quitters.

Even though Danny and I ended our Whole30 at 25 days, I feel like that is long enough to know what you got out of the experience. Here are some of the positives:

- I have found healthy alternatives that I can see me using long-term. Spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles are perfect substitutes for actual pasta. Using these in place of pasta gets rid of the guilt, especially when I want a piece of garlic bread with it.
- Cauliflower. Why didn't I realize how great this veggie is until now? It's the perfect filler for virtually any meal. Whether it's mashed to be used as mashed potatoes, or just chopped up to used as a rice substitute, it's delicious! Again, this will help me get rid of the guilt when I want something like Chinese. I can just order sesame chicken without the rice and make my own "rice" when I get home.
Basically Whole30 taught me how to cheat.
- I've retrained my brain in terms of dessert. If you read any of my posts on what our meals and snacks consisted of, you noticed I ate a ton of Larabars. Well, a week and a half later, I'm still eating one every day. While I know I still like cookies and ice cream, I find myself looking forward to my nightly Larabar. Either by itself, or crumbled over some strawberries.
- I've broken my peanut butter addiction. Before Whole30, I expected peanut butter to be a must have on my next grocery trip. Nope. I bought another thing of almond butter instead. This is a far cry from where I was a few weeks ago....

- My drink victory is coffee.  I'm fine drinking it almost black now. I've been putting a teeny bit of sugar in it. Before I was using 1/2 packet per cup (that was because I'm a tight ass and those boxes of stevia packets are pricey), now I'm using 1 packet for 4 cups! I put some creamer in the other day, just because I could, and I didn't love it enough to justify the empty calories.
- All of my pants fit! It's been 2 years since I've been able to say that. That is a good feeling.
 I'm still using the Whole30 meal guidelines to build my meals in terms of how much protein, how much veggies, don't snack on just fruit, etc. My snacking is still at bay. I have a bedtime snack still, but I don't have a morning snack and rarely have an afternoon snack.
- Finally, Whole30 taught me what eating right alone can do for me. Because of my stress fracture, I wasn't able to work out. The 5 lb weight loss and the confidence I gained in my body over those 25 days came from what I was fueling my body with.

While Whole30 taught me some positive things, there is one negative: Ain't no self-employed, firefighter wife, toddler mama got time for that. This one doesn't anyway.

I'm not going to say the experience wasn't worth it, especially since before that I had like $75 worth of jeans sitting in my closet not being used. But it was hard. It was exhausting. My dishwasher is tired. It had no idea why it was being used once, if not twice, a day when its used to getting a break. My house got so messy and dirty from me not having time to clean because it seemed like every spare moment I had went to cooking, doing dishes and meal planning. There were times I would wash a skillet or bowl, just to use it again. This might be lazy of me, but this alone would keep me from doing this again, at least in the near future. If Danny had a different job, or Tucker and other kids were older and could entertain themselves instead of crawling up my legs and pulling my pants down while I did what I needed to do, I might have a different attitude.

I definitely don't regret doing Whole30. It was very eye opening and I think I got what I was going to get out of it.

May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Camping Weekend

I am very sad to see this weekend go. It was such a good one!

Friday I left work around 3:30 to get a couple of things done and get the car loaded up to head out for the "Inaugural Camping Trip" that afternoon. You would have thought by the amount of crap in the Acadia that we were moving for good. Nope, just 2 nights. But, that's just because it was the first trip I think. We got down there and got everything unloaded then just relaxed, made dinner, enjoyed some drinks and spent time with friends. Our good friend that is moving to Ohio this week came down with us and his girlfriend joined us when she got off work. We went to bed shortly after she got there though since it was 12:00 by the time she could get there.

Saturday morning we got up and went to breakfast, where Tucker showed off his impressive eating skills. After breakfast and a nap for Tuck, we headed to the playground where another friend's 7 and 4 year old chased Tucker around while I watched. Lovely! My mom came to visit too! Rain was moving in so she left pretty quickly and we got trapped in the camper while we waited it out. Tucker was not happy!

Saturday night was pretty laid back. We had dinner with everyone then I took Tuck back to our camper so he could go to sleep. After he did I just sat outside with Diesel and a  beverage and enjoyed the quiet. Danny and I went to bed pretty early since we were up so late Friday.

Highlights of the weekend:
- Diesel impressed us. I was very nervous about how he would handle the trip and pretty certain we would have to take him to one of ours mom's houses. He did so stinkin well. He's a camping dog for sure!
- Tucker slept in a big boy bed. We didn't bring the pack n play and since there is a bed in "his room" in the camper that is on the floor, we thought we'd try it out. I was also nervous about this. He slept from 9:30-5:30 the first night, then 9-5:50 the second. Both mornings I laid down next to him when he got up and we both got 2 more hours of sleep. I'm sure I'm starting something, but we had guests Saturday morning and Sunday was Mother's Day and I was not getting up at 5:50 if I didn't have too.

I think it is safe to say that the Summers family loves camping!

We didn't do much for Mother's Day. I told Danny last week that I didn't think we should get each other gifts this year for our respective holidays. The mudroom got started last week and is going to cost us more that we anticipated. Between that and the cruise to Alaska, I'd rather not get gifts. He was totally okay with that, unsurprisingly. We did go visit with his mom and then went to dinner with my mom and brother. We've went to Hooter's the last 2 years because mom's eat free ($10 value), but apparently word has gotten out and it was too crowded. Off to Buffalo Wild Wings for better wings we went. Worth it. Although, it wasn't worth the $20 Danny and I spent on beers. No more restaurant beer for us. 


When we got home, Danny and Tucker changed the lock on the front door, Tucker insisted on having an apple, and then we all pretty much went to bed. We were wiped out!

May 6, 2015

Weigh-In Wednesday: 5/6/15

I have just enough spare time this morning before I get started on work to join in Weigh-In Wednesday and share the rest of Danny and I's meals with you. Since we ended early, I'm giving you the last 10 days all at once. I'm hoping tomorrow or Friday I can recap the Whole30(more like Whole25) experience for you all and give you my thoughts.

Let's start with the weigh-in though. I'm going with the number I saw on the scale Friday morning since that was the first day off of the Whole30. Plus, today's number would have been rough. We had friends over last night and I'm feeling the effects a 16" pizza(obviously I didn't eat this all by myself) and 2 bottles of wine (we each drank the equivalent of one). It was such a good Tuesday though. Anyways...
Last time: 158.8
Post Whole30 weigh in: 153.8

I lost 5 pounds. I am more than happy with these results. Now Danny? He lost 20 pounds. 20 freaking pounds. Men..

Onto the food.

Day 15:

Breakfast - 3 eggs with spinach and hot sauce, pork and cantaloupe
Lunch - salad with chicken, tomatoes, egg and salsa (I went out with friends)
Dinner - some extremely lemony chicken, cauli rice and broccoli
Snacks - larabar and watermelon

Day 16:

Breakfast - sausage and sweet potato casserole (hands down, the best thing I ate the entire time) with watermelon
Lunch - more non compliant honey Dijon pork, cauli rice, broccoli
Dinner - hamburger patty on salad with a potato
Snack - larabar over strawberries

Day 17:

Breakfast - 2 sausage links, 3 eggs with spinach, watermelon
Lunch - salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and pork with Southwest Ranch Tessamae's dressing, carrots and blackberries
Dinner - 2 chicken drumsticks, broccoli and butternut squash
Snack - strawberries with almond butter

Day 18:

Breakfast - sausage and sweet potato casserole with watermelon
Lunch - spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs and sauce, banana
Dinner - shrimp taco salad (another Mexican restaurant failed me again and didn't mention beans being in the salad on the menu). I ate 2 chicken drumsticks before we went since I knew I wouldn't get full
Snacks - I had 2 larabars this day. whoops.

Day 19:

Breakfast - 3 sausage links, 3/4 apple, strawberries and almond butter
Lunch - salad with chicken from 2 drumsticks, cucumbers, tomatoes and green peppers with SW Ranch Tessamae's, 3/4 sweet potato and a banana
Dinner - ribeye with brussel sprouts
Snack - Larabar

Day 20:

Breakfast - banana and bacon
Lunch - chicken sausage (wasn't compliant but didn't know until after I opened the package) with peppers over lettuce with maro
Dinner - chicken dinner fundraiser. I ate mashed potatoes. This was my first intentional cheat.
Snack - cashews, larabar for dessert after the dinner

Day 21:

Breakfast - eggs & larabar
Lunch - zucchini noodles, turkey, blackberries at home. then I went to a bridal shower where I had pulled beef (no bbq sauce), raw veggies and fruit. I also had champagne punch. The writing was on the wall at this point.
Dinner - lettuce wrapped burger with broccoli and cauliflower

Day 22:

Breakfast - bacon and apple with almond butter
Lunch - turkey lettuce boats with tomato and mustard, cucumbers and celery dipped with SW Ranch and a Larabar
Dinner - grilled chicken salad with tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber with Zesty Ranch Tessamae's I think.
Snacks - another larabar and bacon. the salad wasn't filling.

Day 23:

Breakfast - 3 eggs with mushrooms, spinach and ham, strawberries
Lunch - spaghetti squash with chicken sausage peppers and sauce, blackberries
Dinner - egg roll in a bowl with cauli rice and shrimp (another favorite that we will have frequently!)
Snack - larabar

Day 24:

Breakfast - same but kiwi instead of strawberries
Lunch - same but an apple with almond butter instead of blackberries
Dinner - subway salad with chicken, peppers, tomato, cucumber with SW Ranch
Snack - larabar

Day 25: The last day

Breakfast - 3 sausage links (the cut up sausage is Tucks) and apple with almond butter
Lunch - stew. People took me out and this was as compliant as I could get
Dinner - meatloaf muffins and mashed cauli
Snack - carrots and cucumbers. And then I had a cocktail after Tuck went to bed to celebrate the awesome day I had.

And that's a wrap on our Whole25. And that's it for today. I'll be back sometime with my thoughts on the whole thing.

May 5, 2015

Show & Tell Tuesday: Favorite Party Hosted

This week's Show & Tell Tuesday with Andrea @ Momfessionals has my name all over it. I love hosting parties. I love watching an event that I'm hosting come together and everyone having a great time. It's worth me running around frazzled. Totally worth it.

I've got 2 favorite parties. Let's start with the first one. Our wedding reception.

Obviously, we had a good time. I don't know who captured this lovely picture, but I just think it is so funny. Every once in a while Danny really gets into the music and gets his groove on.

I talked about our wedding and all the details HERE a couple of years ago. This ecard basically sums up the event...

The next party that I love love love hosting and look forward too every year is our Egg Nog Extravaganza! Right after we got married, we were "given" this party. A guy that Danny works with and his wife used to host the party, but when they started having kids they just kind of stopped. We happily took the reigns. My brother wants to change the name to "Keg Nog Extravaganza" but we don't feel right doing that since this is an inherited party. We try to have it the first or second weekend in December before family Christmas events start. We provide food that is easy. Chili, a couple appetizers, and I usually make something sweet. We also get a keg that is usually gone before the night is over, or the party ends when the keg is gone is more like it, and egg nog, duh. I get the bottles in the liquor section that all of you have to do is open and pour. I don't make it. People usually end up bringing food or drinks to share. We had a cooler of jello shots and rum punch last year.

One year we got stuff to do Minute To Win It games, but I quickly learned that people would much rather drink and chat than play games other than beer pong (I swear we're adults), cards or corn hole.

The attire is probably my favorite part. Most everyone goes all out for this. Well, the people our age anyways. Our parents just show up to watch the chaos. Danny's dad might throw a Santa hat on, but that's about it. My brother and my prom date usually get the most laughs. We award a prize to the Best Dressed Guy and Best Dressed Girl. Something small like a gift card.  Each Egg Nog Extravaganza my senior year prom date and I recreate our prom pose, so these photos will best showcase my outfits. His are pretty noteworthy too.
2011, 2012 and 2014

I'm pretty sure when we looked at our house we both said "this garage is perfect for egg nog!" and it truly is. I don't really decorate for it. I might throw a few decorations out, but that's it. One year I printed out Christmas Vacation and Elf quotes and stuck them on the cabinets, but that's about as far as I go with it. People don't come for the decorations. They come to eat and drink. This party has even been the cause of a surprise pregnancy! Not even kidding.

It's a really fun time and I hope we can host this for many, many years!

May 4, 2015

Weekend Recap

Last week was an absolute blur. I had every intention of being posting as usual, but I was going to be out Thursday and Friday, so the first part of the week was busy getting ready for that. I had a GREAT week though! Actually, Danny, my brother and me all had a great week. Big, big things happening over the next couple of months that was handed to us on a silver platter. Its about damn time something GOOD fell into our laps. We've all 3 been dealt some pretty shitty stuff the last 5 years. Good things come to those who wait, huh?

Anywho. Danny and I quit the Whole30. We did a Whole25 and feel pretty good about it. Our crazy lives got in the way starting Friday and I just needed some freedom back.  Like I said, I was out of the office Thursday and Friday. I went down to the main office where I write other insurance out of for some training. They took me out to lunch Thursday, where I survived and ate compliantly. As I was leaving Friday, the girl training me said I was a good excuse to bring in donuts and to go to her favorite hole in the wall lunch spot. Hole in the walls don't provide compliant food and I didn't want to burst her bubble. Continuing the Whole30 would have required another trip to the grocery store and I did not have time for that crap.

Saturday started the cleaning marathon. After a Target run and a bridal shower with my mom, I shipped Tucker off with her and took advantage of Diesel being the only living thing home and cleaned. Saturday I got the kitchen and bedrooms done. I visited Danny while I ate my Subway and dropped my mom's car off to him so he could wash it. Then I came home and cleaned Dan Overman style: with a drink in hand.

PSA: La Croix(store brand La Croix is perfectly fine too) is an excellent mixer with white rum. I'm sure its good with vodka too. Here are my top 3 in order: 1. La Croix Curate Cherry Lime (shown above). 2. Kroger brand cranberry lime. La Croix Curate Strawberry Pineapple. I'm relieved that I've found a mixer that wasn't pop or juice.

I managed to get the 2 bedrooms that are currently in use cleaned as well. I swept up a small dogs worth of hair in each though. I quit cleaning when the sun went down and folded laundry and meal planned for the next week while catching up on some tv.

I was able to sleep until Danny got home at 7:15 Sunday morning. I slowly made breakfast and my grocery list then began the last leg of my cleaning marathon: the living room and playroom.  After cleaning and a shower, we went to lunch with my mom and Tuck, Tuck and I ran to and through the grocery, and made it back home in time for me to change clothes and go to another bridal shower. After I got home from that, I did everything I could to not move from a seated position. I. Was. Tired! And still am. Its going to take at least 2 more days to recover I think. The weekend got to Tucker too. He crashed at my moms playing a game at 6pm Saturday night.

Now, things are getting even busier. Our "Inaugural Camping Trip" is this weekend and surprise, our mudroom is being started THIS WEEK!!!!!!!! Literally, surprise. The contractor said he wouldn't be able to get to us until July, then told us the week before last he MIGHT be able to do it in May and as of last Thursday he's starting this Wednesday. Danny has a whole deck to tear out in the next 2 days. We seem to thrive under chaos so this is just par for the course.