Oh Boy! It's time to Shred!

I got my hands on a copy of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred a couple of months ago. You all should know by now, that I am a student of Jillian. If I had a million dollars, I would give it to her to yell at me for one hour. Okay, that's not true, but I would love her to yell at me while I'm working out!

So, when I decided to give the work out a try, I decided to try it out on level 3 (like a dummy), and you can read my thoughts on that here. It is true, a lot of these exercises I have done in other videos, but what I failed to mention in that post was how much I bitched during those 20 minutes. And I loved every minute of it!

So, now we've decided to have a 30 Day Shred over at the Sisterhood!! (I solemnly swear that I will be good and start at level 1. Like I'm suppose to.) And guess what?? YOU can join us!! Between now and 3 p.m. CDT, you can enter to win one of seven copies of the Shred, and then you can join us, too! If you win, you'll receive your prize just in time to start to Shred with us on Monday!

So, are you going to join us?? Of course you are! Head on over to the Sisterhood and enter!

A Day At The Race

**First, let me just say...I'm not a photographer. I don't even own a good digital camera, but I always have my phone on me. So, I know they're not great, but well you'll get the picture. (ha!)

Yesterday I went to the Nascar race in Martinsville. This is what the track looks like from the outside. It’s literally in the middle of a field. A big field.

And this is what it looks like from the inside.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wow, she must be a redneck, right? Not all racing fans are rednecks. Ok, fine, my neck is a LITTLE red from the sun, but it will be brown tomorrow. I swear! I admit, too, that I haven’t been quite as into racing this season, but I still like to go to races. I can listen to the drivers talk to their crews (some of them cuss. A lot. It’s great.), you can take your own beer inside with you, and I love watching people. It’s probably my favorite thing. And you see all kinds of people.

Like this guy. He was sitting behind me. When my friends and I figured out he was snoozing, I slipped my phone under my arm and got this shot. Too much beer, maybe? The race hadn't even started yet!And then there was this woman. In all of the races I have been to, I have never laughed at anything so hard in my life. And she did this almost the whole race. (She disappeared for the last 100 laps. I’m thinking she went to pass out.) I looked over once and she was dancing to some groovy tune in her head. It had to be in her head because without scanner headphones the only thing you can hear is the cars roaring. (Also note: it's possible the sound may be LOUD for this. If so, I'm sorry. I think I turned the sound off, but I'm not certain.)

PS. The shaking on the video is from me dying laughing. I just couldn’t help myself.

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True Confessions: March 30th

My weekly confessions. Do you want to play? Go here!

1. I had beer every day this past weekend.

2. But I didn’t go crazy.

3. I also had one of these.

But I just ate one. See that small one on the top row on the left?? That’s the one I ate. I used to would pick the biggest one. Or two. Okay, sometimes three. (Which is nuts because I don't have a big sweet tooth!)

4. I also ate 5 big marshmallows. Did you know that 4 marshmallows = 100 calories? That may seem like a lot, but the 5 were enough for me.

5. I ate lots of veggies, only a spoonful of potato salad, and only 5 Guiltless Gourmet chips. (I had a hamburger, too.)

6. So, I thought I had done well, considering I was tailgating.

7. The scales disagreed this morning.

8. Then I found out that evil monthly visitor decided to show up today. I hate her.

9. I let my German Shepherd sleep with me every day last week. This does not happen often, but I needed it.

10. I went on two dates this past weekend. This is a record for me. The third is Friday. What the hell has gotten into me?

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The Worst Kiss. Ever.

Tonight, friends, I am going on a date. At least I think it's a date. The boy keeps calling it "hanging out". Is that what they call it now? Translations for this phrase are welcome. I've been out of the dating loop for some time now, so I feel like I'm new to this all over again. Yes, I'm nervous. Like a lot.

So, what did I do all day at work? Not much work, that's for sure. But I was reminded for a second of this guy I dated once, and it was so awful that I want to share it with you. (Because now it's funny.)

Poor guy, I don't even remember his name...but he was a friend of a girl I worked with. I must say, I've grown to really hate it when I hear, "hey, I know this guy..." because it has never worked out for me. But I was pretty clueless then and agreed to go out with him.

The first date was okay. It wasn't great and it wasn't good. We went for coffee and a movie. Bless his little geeky heart, I could tell he was nervous. Not being a very experienced dater, I thought that maybe I should at least give it a chance. And agreed to the second date. This is where I went wrong.

He wanted to fix dinner. Okay, fine. I don't mind chilling at home, so I wore jeans and a nice sweater. I knocked on his door and he's in his best dress pants and shirt. The next thing I noticed is that his whole apartment is dark and CANDLELIT. I still can't stomach the smell of berry scented candles. Dinner was ok. We watched another movie, and all I could think was that I was missing Law & Order. I knew then, this wasn't going to work.

So, I told him that I had better be getting home. I could tell he was disappointed, but he didn't argue with me. He leaned in for a hug, and then plants the worst kiss I have ever experienced in my life on me. I don't know how else to explain it but that he left a slobber ring around my mouth. What the hell? I remember my eyes being open in shock as his were squeezed tightly shut.

I had to walk all the way to my car with that slobber ring around my mouth. And then I had to suffer through another hug. Once I was in my car and driving away, I wiped it off, then cried. Needless to say, I didn't see him anymore.

Now, I must go get ready for "hanging out". :o)

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Weigh-In Wednesday: Shrink into Summer!

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

It’s time for a new challenge over at the Sisterhood! This one is going to be just awesome! Why? Well head on over to the site and see for yourself! Ok, so my goal for this challenge is to lose 10 lbs. This sort of feels like a big number, but it’s a long challenge, and well why not reach for the stars, right??

Honestly, I’ve struggled here lately, and it all has to do with my mindset. Especially with food. I admit that I do tend to be less strict with my diet on the weekends, but during the week, I am on the ball. So, where I think I’m going wrong is that as far as my diet goes, I’m still in a “I need to lose 50 lbs” mode. And when you’re a calorie counter, setting the right amount of calories is crucial. And as weird as this sounds, I don’t think I’m eating enough during the week. Especially on work out days. SO, I’ve been experimenting with adding 100-150 calories of healthy food each work out day. I’m either going to be a genius for actually listening to Jillian Michaels’ advice to a caller on her show OR I’m going to be kicking myself in the ass. So, I guess we’ll see.

Regardless, I am stoked for this challenge! I’m ready to get that much closer to my goal weight and to well just have fun!! Good luck, Sisters! May we have an excellent challenge!

Last week’s weight: 147.0
Starting weight for challenge: 146.6

(Note: Just .4 lb away from 60 lbs lost! Next week, that milestone is MINE!)

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The Sisterhood

One Tuesday evening, not so long ago,
I was sitting on my couch watching my favorite show.
My laptop was handy and Twitter was open.
Some funny tweets are for what I was hoping.

Then I saw a tweet that really caught my eye.
Someone was giving my favorite show a try.
I looked at the profile, decided to check the site out.
Then the next day I was shown what that site was about.

I guess you could say the rest was history
Because I’m a part of that site; it’s really no big mystery.
So if you’re new here, and you’re looking to get lean,
Then welcome to The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans!

The site began with four women (and one man),
And if you’ve spent any time here you can see why I’m a fan.
There are challenges and recipes and ideas galore!
And each and every day, they just give you more!

I also love the insight and support that they give,
And I know that I’ve made friends for as long as I live.
Since I have joined, the Sisterhood has grown much.
I love to see all of the lives that we touch.

We all have struggles each and every day,
And for those times too, we’re there in every way.
I know on days when I’m being a sorry lass,
There will be someone to give me a swift kick in the ass.

So are you sold; have you joined us yet?
I promise it’s not too late, don’t you fret!
A new challenge starts tomorrow in the Sisterhood,
Join us! Now! Love to have you we would!

True Confessions: March 23rd

It’s confession day over at the Sisterhood, what do you have to confess today?

I’m going to be honest I didn’t eat so well and I didn’t exercise that much this weekend. And I’m okay with it now (thanks, Christy!). I had a rough weekend, and sometimes eating healthy and exercising just has to take a backseat. Temporarily. Hopefully, I’m back on track this week and my food confessions will be back next week. For now, I’ll leave you with these:

1. Most weekends I fall asleep on the couch and just stay there all night. My couch is that comfortable to me.

2. Okay, I confess: I totally left the vacuum cleaner out in the hallway just so I could watch my spaniel and my shepherd barrel in, run around, then flip out because they were face to face with the evil vacuum. I’m sorry, but it’s just funny.

3. I’m headed to a NASCAR race this coming weekend (is that by itself a confession? Hmm) and have an extra ticket. Yet I told my brother I didn’t have one. I don’t want to hang out with my brother this weekend.

4. The fart machine will be going with me to the NASCAR race.

5. I would LOVE to go on the Amazing Race. Who’s in??

6. I find that by having multiple HBO's I will watch the same movie over and over. Sometimes twice in one day even. I blame the cable company for offering me this many HBO's. My current movie is August Rush. It's just a cute movie.

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Full Circle

I've posted previously about my dog Charlotte. She was my high school graduation present, and at age 6, she blew two disks in her back. My goal in telling Charlotte's story is to educate people about special needs dogs, and how they can have happy lives too. I'm far from finished telling you Charlotte's story, but today, Charlotte's story came to an end. She was one month away from turning 13.

I love all animals. (Except spiders.) Sometimes I think that I understand animals more than I understand people. For me, Charlotte was my heart and soul of the animal world. I love my other animals, but Charlotte was my first dog. There have been many dark times that when I felt I had no one else, I could lie in the floor with Charlotte, and she would lick my nose as if to say, "It'll be okay, April. Promise."

I'll never forget the day we brought her home. After choosing me as her pet, we drove home with me at the wheel and Charlotte in my mom's lap. We were both so excited. It took eighteen years and quite a few little pets to convince my dad to let us have a dog, and now here she was. And we loved her. When she hurt her back, she attached herself more to my mom than me and when I left home, Charlotte stayed. But she never stopped being my dog.

Today, when I got to my parents' house, Charlotte was in her bed. I knew the moment I saw her that this was good-bye. We've known for a while that this day has been coming, but to see and understand that this was the day was tough to swallow. I got as close as I could to her and I whispered, "It'll be okay, Charlotte. Promise."

I'm not sure that Charlotte was aware of much this morning, but my hope is that she took some comfort in the fact that the two people that loved her the most were with her today. My mom and I brought her into our family with me driving and Charlotte in my mom's lap. Today, we drove to the vet with me driving and Charlotte in my mom's lap. All I could think about on that drive was we had come full circle, and it felt right.

Charlotte, thank you so much for choosing us as your family. For almost 13 years you brought us so much joy. I hope you enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed you. Know that you will be greatly missed and today our hearts are heavy, but we are happy that you are at peace. Rest well, my friend. I love you.

(Two things she loved: raw hides and cheese. She had the raw hide here and was making sure my mom wasn't getting cheese out of the fridge. )

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Sunday afternoon, I was in the kitchen at my parents' house. All of a sudden I hear my nephew laughing the biggest laughs I've ever heard from him. So, I quietly sneak into the living room where he, my dad and brother were. I eased myself onto the couch, picked up my Blackberry, captured this moment. It makes me smile so much that I just had to share. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

**Note: I've been having technical difficulties with this. Let me know if it doesn't work.**

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Weigh-In Wednesday: Me On Success

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Today is the final week of the “Kiss Me, I’m Shrinking” Challenge over at the Sisterhood. How did you guys do??

Well, I didn’t reach my goal. In fact, I only lost 1 lb this challenge. I didn’t reach the 60 lb mark like I was hoping to do. I want to reach 60lbs lost SO bad. I can taste it. And one of these weeks, I gained. This is something I haven’t done in over a year! So. Does this mean I didn’t have success for this challenge? I’m not going to lie. My first thought was yes, that's exactly what it means. But then I thought. You know, I may not have lost 60 lbs (yet), but I have lost 59 lbs. Before I ever stepped on the scales for the first time, I would never have even thought I had 50 lbs to lose(that‘s called denial folks), and here I sit 59 lbs lighter. Plus, I did lose this challenge. It may not have been the 3 lbs I was looking for, but it was still a loss. And I've lost a total of 6 lbs since joining the Sisterhood. (Hey! Does this mean I can have a button?) My point is that setting goals is great. They help keep us on track. But if we don’t succeed by reaching our goals, then we have to measure our success in a slightly different way. So, I challenge all of you who didn’t reach your goals this challenge. Find one way that you succeeded. Just one. It kinda does make you feel better about it!

Now, I just have one more thing to say. One of the secrets to success in this crazy journey called weight loss is believing in yourself. It took a while for me to really get this. I found myself asking questions like, “why me” and ‘why do I deserve this”. Well, why NOT me? I deserve is just as much as the next person, don’t I? Yes. I do. And now I’ve lost 59 lbs! So, if you’re asking the “why me” type questions. Stop. Why not you? And if you struggle, it’s OKAY! I promise! Just keep working at it, and you’ll get there! And if you need support or motivation and you don’t know where to get it. Go here. We’re here! Join us! And if you’re already here and you’re having a bad week, find a sister! She’ll pick you up! Promise!

Last week’s weight: 148.4
Final weight for challenge: 147.0

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What have I done?

Approximately two and a half years ago, I gave up dating. I did this for a couple of reasons. Part of me was in a very dark place, and you can read about that here if you like. But, I was also sick of the games. I was sick being stood up. I’ve been stood up A LOT. I was sick of dating guys who lived with their mamas. Also, a lot of those types out there. Most over 30. I’m not kidding. And I was just sick of finding a guy that I actually did like, and then have my feelings trampled on. (Seriously, just tell me if you don’t want to see me anymore. I’m not the kind to flip out about it. Much.)

To be honest, I would rather have had my eye poked out than to go on a date. So, I quit.

Flash forward to this week. I’ve agreed to go on a date. I’ve known the guy for a long time, but we haven’t seen each other in years. He’s a nice guy, and he makes me laugh. I don’t know if this date will go anywhere, but I think (?) it has the potential to. I think. The only thing so far that I don’t like about him is that he’s a damn UVA fan (sorry Wahoos!). Maybe I can bring him over to the Hokie Nation. Hmmm.

So, why am I not jumping for joy right now?

I know why. I’m scared. Just going on this date means opening myself up in a way that I promised myself that I wasn’t going to. It means opening up in a way that I don’t trust that I’m ready to do. This has nothing to do with him, and all to do with me. Can I do this? Really, can I? I never thought I would again.

Yet, here I am. Willing to go out with a boy and yes, I admit that I kinda want things to go well. But don’t tell anybody!

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True Confessions: March 16th

My confessions:

1. My dad requested homemade mac and cheese yesterday, my mom made homemade mac and cheese yesterday, I ate homemade mac and cheese yesterday.

2. However, I only ate a very small portion and ate tons of green beans instead.

3. I was proud of myself for that one.

4. I didn't drink the water like I should have over the weekend. In fact, I let myself get dehydrated.

5. Now I'm paying for that.

6. I think I'm back on track now though. I've hydrated-up all day.

7. I've been in the bathroom all day because of #6.

8. I only have to work two days this week! I think all work weeks should be this short!

9. One of my favorite holidays is St. Patty’s Day. Guess what tomorrow is, guess what the next day is…I swear I’m going to TRY not to blow weigh-in.

10. I own two copies of "In the Life of Chris Gaines". You know that CD that Garth Brooks made as an alter ego? Yeah, never mind. Forget I just confessed that.

Seriously, forget #10.

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"Love You Forever"

My minor in college was K-8 Education. I had every intention of becoming a teacher when I entered college. Then why am I not teaching? My senior year, in my third internship (out of 4) I had to break up a fight between two 7 year old boys that left me with scratches across my face. Reports were filed, parents were called, and I left the school that day knowing that teaching was not for me.

Still, I liked most of the Education classes. My favorite was Children’s Literature. Once a week in this class, the professor would read to us. I’ll never forget the first book she pulled to read to us. It was one of her favorites, she said. And by the end of that class, it became one of mine. This was the book:

I loved it so much that I went immediately and found myself a copy of it. Have you read it? No? You must read this book. There wasn’t a dry eye in the class by the time she was finished.

Today was my usual “Family Day.” Every Sunday I head over to my parents’ house. We get my nephew and then eventually, when he can drag himself out of bed, my brother shows up. My intention is not to bash my family here. I love my family. But we’re just different. So, some Sundays I leave my parents’ house shaking my head.

I tell people that I tell my friends, “I love you.” Sure, there are the “I love you” times with my family, but that’s just not how we are normally. And unfortunately for me, I need that type of affection more than most of my family can give it. Yes, it sucks, but I’m okay with it now.

I’m lucky to have friends that I also call family. Very lucky. They are people that have truly touched my heart more than they can ever know. They make me laugh, they let me cry, they let me be me (100% me), and they know that I’m there for them always. So, to those friends I would like to say:

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
My family you’ll be.”

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Random Things About Me

I'm lying here on my couch with an upset stomach. It needs to go away. I have plans tonight to hang out with friends. There's nothing on TV, so I thought I'd give you some random facts about me. Enjoy!

- When I was a kid, I taught myself how to juggle.

- I also taught myself how to play the mandolin a few years ago. I want to learn guitar next.

- I can't read music. I play instruments (not well) by ear.

- I hate pinto beans, but I LOVE refried beans.

- Yogurt makes me gag. Literally.

- I have allergies, so I sneeze a lot. I always sneeze twice, never just once. On a good day I can sneeze 4 or 5 times in a row.

- From the age of 13 to 20, 8 cousins were born. I was the go-to babysitter for 5 of these cousins. I also babysat neighborhood kids A LOT for extra money.

- My favorite book series when I was a pre-teen was The BabySitters' Club. Go figure.

- My nickname as a tot was Linus. I always had my blanket thrown over my head and my thumb in my mouth.

- My eyes change colors depending on what I wear.

- I don't care for bananas, but I like banana flavored things.

- I'm the only one in my immediate family with olive skin. Well, I guess you could say that my mom has olive skin, but it's a much paler version of olive skin. If that makes any sense.

- Lilies are my favorite flower.

- For my birthday last year, I bought an orange Escape. I love my Escape.

That's all I got for now. :o)

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Weigh-in Wednesday: This week: Fail

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

We’re weighing in over at the Sisterhood today! It’s week #2 of this sprint of a challenge. I’m excited to see how everyone has done!!

For me, I had a few challenges over the weekend. I ate poorly and I didn’t exercise. So, I know where I went wrong. I am so close to a very big milestone that I can taste it, but if I have a feeling I'm not going to reach that milestone this week. That said, I did have a most excellent thing happen this week. A little over a month ago, my friend Jessie was visiting me and brought me some jeans that were now too big for her. These are size 10s. Of course I tried them on when she was here and couldn’t get them buttoned. Judging by how much I couldn’t get them buttoned, I felt like it would be a couple of months before these jeans would fit. So, Jessie asked me this week if those jeans fit yet. I responded immediately, “nope”. But then I thought, why not try them on. And guess what? THEY FIT!! I was so excited that I wore them to work today even though I haven’t “doctored” the length yet. (read: cut them off) Size 10! You know when the last time I wore a size 10? Never! Even at my smallest before I was always a 11 or 12!

Now to the weigh-in:

Last week’s weight: 147.4
This week’s weight: 148.4

Damn. I know I had cake and ice cream and Mexican food and not light beer. I know I didn't exercise at all last weekend. So if I know all of this, then why do I feel like I just have been slapped in the face? Maybe it's because I'm so close to that milestone. I want to reach it so badly. Maybe it's because that I've made reaching my goal this challenge next to impossible. Okay, I need to quit before I put myself in a bad mood. I need to focus on the positives. I've lost so much so far. I just fit my butt into a size 10 jeans! That's down from an 18/19 jeans! Yeah, I didn't reach that milestone, but I'll reach it soon! I've got this!

Okay, I feel better. I still could use a hug though.

**Update** Today is a non-work out day. Today, I worked out. :o)

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An Election Day funny

I should have posted this when it happened, but I didn't blog much then (yeah, I know) and well, something I just posted on twitter set of a stream of random thoughts (this ever happen to you?) that led to this.

There was just something about this election that I knew was going to be special. And as tired as I was getting of listening to debates and rally speeches, I was still excited for Election Day. Little did I know, that no other Election Day will ever be this good for me ever again. And no folks, I'm not talking about who won or lost here.

I got up early that morning so I could go vote. Getting up early is hard for me anyway, but add me being out of coffee and it was raining to the mix, and you have one grouchy person. So I get to Fire Station #13 (this is where I vote) and the line was-well it was long. And not only that, I got in front of two fellas that would not shut up.

Then the line starts to move. And it's moving fairly quickly. This is great! I may get coffee before I die from my brain turning to mush yet. I'm literally feet from the door-well quite a few feet, but I was close, and the line stops. Dangit. And then...

I look up to the house that's next door. It has the most fabulous front yard, oh and look, there's a nice kitty-wait. Is that? It is. It's a skunk and he's scurrying his way on down towards us.

Me to the talkers: "Fellas, we're about to have company." I point to Pepe'.
One of the talkers: "Oh, shit."

We watched that skunk scurry all the way right to us. He is was literally 10 feet away from me before he ever realized that something wasn't right about his morning walk. He jumps. Two hundred people gasp. One of the talkers whispers, "No body move." I hear a woman somewhere in front of me take off running screaming something about holding her place in line. (What part of "no body move" did she not get?) He decides we are not going to hurt him, so he starts walking back up the yard a bit, then turns right (all he wanted to do was get to the field across the street), fifty people bolt, he freezes. A minute later, he's headed back up the yard. He decides to try again. Fifty people bolt. He freezes. He comes back down to where I was. Just looks at us as if to say, "Make my day." Finally, he scurries on back up the yard and into the woods.

I'll always wonder who he voted for.

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True Confessions: March 9th

Okay, here we go:

1. Yeah, okay, I had Mexican food too. I told myself I wasn’t going to eat all of it, but I did. I stayed away from the margaritas, though.

2. I had beer instead. Dos Equis, if you’re wondering.

3. I had cake AND ice cream yesterday. It was a big piece of cake, too. I don’t feel too bad about it because it was my nephew’s first birthday!

4. While it is true that I’m not a huge sweets eater, sometimes I will go a little nuts. I wrote “Happy Birthday Clay!” on my nephew’s cake, then I made sure no one was watching, took what icing was left in the tube, turned my head back, and squeezed. It was SO good.

5. I didn’t exercise at all this weekend. I hope it doesn’t hurt my weigh-in too much.

6. I dropped my BlackBerry. On the street. I’m a tiny bit pissed about this.

7. I’ve watched parts of all 5 Harry Potter movies, again, this weekend. This is what happens when ABC family does a Harry Potter weekend.

8. Now that I’ve watched so much Harry Potter this weekend, I want my own wand.

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Dear Hollywood

You have disappointed me more than you know. I know, you’re just dying to know how. Well, have no fear, I’m going to tell you. I understand that you find humor and great joy in remaking classic movies and TV shows. Some of these remakes have turned out cute, I will admit. I will also admit that I’m curious to see how one of your newest remakes “Race to Witch Mountain” has turned out. The original “Witch Mountain” movies were kind of lame, but I know that’s because technology then wasn’t where it is today. But more so than not, these remakes have turned out just completely horrible.

You don’t believe me? What if I were to say, “Bionic Woman”, a show that I was excited about, but sorely disappointed. I don’t want to even talk about it.

No? How about “Dukes of Hazzard“? Jessica Simpson? Really? (Men-not one WORD from you.)

Okay, how about “Lost in Space”? UGH. That’s all I can say on this one.

I could go on and on, but you’re still not convinced? Well let’s try this:

Let’s talk Knight Rider. I should have good memories about this show. I should be able to remember that it was a really cool show that I watched as a kid, and it had a talking car, and it was exciting and fun. But now, all I can think of is that piece of shit show that you have let NBC air. They are calling it Knight Rider, but there is no way that this show can be Knight Rider. The least you could have done was to get a decent actor to try to salvage this garbage. And to make matters worse, you have decided to let the these cars “transform”. Gag me. If I want to watch cars transform, I’ll pop the movie “Transformers” (which was good, by the way, try watching it) into my DVD player. So, please, please, please, do us all a favor and trash this awful excuse for a television show.

And as if it couldn’t get any worse, I was checking a “fact” on IMDB the other day and I see that you are getting ready to remake “Footloose”. Please God NO!!!! Tell me it isn’t so!! And if that’s not bad enough, I see that you have cast Zac Efron as Ren. Trust me people, that kid is no Ren. And oh my dear lord, there are reports that it’s going to be a MUSICAL. I can’t take this anymore. There was nothing wrong with the original. It needs no remake. It had an awesome soundtrack, and it was-no is a great movie. And you’re going to ruin it. I just know it. I beg of you to drop this project now and cast Efron in “High School Musical: 50” or whatever number they’re on now.

Seriously, what have we, the fans, done to offend you this much? Are we so bad that we deserve such crap as entertainment? Are you having writers’ block, maybe? Trying getting advice from the writers of LOST, The Big Bang Theory, Big Love, or Grey’s Anatomy. Those folks have awesome, original shows. Successful shows. That are good. So, please, for the love of God, take note and get your act together (pun intended).

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Turning 1!

To my darling Lil' Man,

You don’t remember what happened a year ago today, but I do. You won’t remember the first kiss I ever gave you, but I do. You won’t remember what you were wearing the day we brought you home from the hospital, but I do. You won’t remember the first time you ever smiled at me, but I do. You won’t remember the little things you did to make me smile and laugh this past year, but I do. And I’m pretty sure that you won’t remember the cake we will let you dig your hands into for your birthday, but I will. It has been such a joy and pleasure to watch you grow this past year. You were so little that I was certain that you were going to break when I first held you. You had such a hard time learning to drink your milk that it broke my heart to force feed you. Then you started to have stomach problems that seem to be typical of most preemies. I was so afraid this was going to be a rough year for you.

And then, you decided that your milk wasn’t so bad, but now you like food better. Your reflux issues seem to be under control. If we could just get your pooper issues straightened out, we’d be golden. (Yes, I hope that embarrasses you some day.) Now, you want to walk by yourself so bad you can’t stand it. You have decided that crawling isn’t worth your time, and you’re just going to learn to run instead. You get so very mad if we decide we’re tired of walking with you. I have a feeling your temper is going to be a good one. I’m sure at times it will amuse me and other times it will annoy me to no end. You make changing your diaper impossible at times because you just can’t sit still. I love I taught you to scream at the top of your lungs and for a week, that's all you did. I hope you drove your parents insane with that. You make this funny little scrunched up face as if you’re mad at something, but I know it just cracks you up because you laugh at yourself after doing it. You love to sit at Grandma’s keyboard and give us your best impression of Mozart. I’m convinced that you are going to be a very famous musician and take care of your Aunt April in her old age.
My favorite day of the week is now Sunday, because that’s when I get a few precious hours of you and me time. The minute that you come through the door and grin and squeal with delight when you see me just melts my heart. And I love the fact that you’ll only let me put you down for your Sunday afternoon nap. The 20 minutes or so we spend rocking and humming to each other makes me so happy that it sometimes brings tears to my eyes. And every time I think that I couldn’t possibly love you more, I do.

The last thing I want to say, my dear boy, is that you’ll never remember the 10 months of your life that your parents were together, and for that I’m very sorry. But know that for a short while you were a happy family of three. And know that if ever life gets frustrating or you need someone to be there for you. I am here. I will always be here. YOU are MY #1, and I love you very, very much!! Happy Birthday, Clay!

Aunt April

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Recipe Carnival

I can’t say this is ultra exciting as a dish, but I like it. I say that I like it because I tend to eat it A LOT. I don’t know if that just makes me boring or smart. Being single, the only person I have to cook for is, well, me. Sometimes, this sucks. Other times, it makes things incredibly easy. So, today, I bring to you, my own version of a grilled chicken salad.


1 grilled chicken breast (seasoned with black and red pepper)
Baby Romaine Lettuce
Snow peas or sugar snap peas
Bell peppers (can be either green, yellow, or red)
¼ cup 2% Kraft Cheddar Cheese (= 80 calories)
2 tablespoons Reese whole grain Italian Herb Croutons (= 30 calories)
Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 tablespoons = 5 calories


While I’m cooking the chicken on the grill, I load my plate up with the lettuce, peas, and peppers. The reason I load up on these things is because as far as calories go, these are “free” foods, which means it takes more calories to burn these foods than it does to eat them. Next, I add my croutons. By this time, my chicken is close to being done. After the chicken is done, I slice it into strips and add it to my salad. Then I add the cheese (so it will melt), and I usually use 3 or 4 servings of dressing.

And that’s it. I know it’s boring, but I like it and well, I think it works. It fills me up and the total calorie count is no more than 500 calories. This all depends on how big the chicken breast is and how much cheese, croutons and salad dressing you use.

Sorry I can't give you more of the nutrition facts, but for over a year now, I've been worried only about calories in versus calories out. It's good though, I promise. And if you decide to add other types of green veggies, great! Remember, green veggies are free foods!!

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Weigh-In Wednesday: I'm starting to FEEL skinny

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

It's the first weigh-in for the "Kiss me, I'm Shrinking" Challenge over at the Sisterhood. I hope everyone had a great week!

I’m going to be honest. I’m not expecting big numbers this week. That little visitor is here, and she has gotten on my last nerve this time. I feel bloated and gross, I feel hungry all the time, and I can’t get rid of this freaking headache. (Ah, the joys of being a woman, right?) I’m sure I have either gained weight or lost very little. So, how does this relate to the title of my post? Well before my visitor decided to show up and barge through the door, I can honestly say I was really starting to feel skinny. Oh, I know I’ll never be a beanpole, nor would I want to be, but I am definitely starting to feel thin. I can see my collarbone a little. For the first time ever, I can feel my hip bone. And I am rocking these cute little biceps. I get as excited as a kid at Christmas when I discover something new about how my body is forming, and that makes me want to work harder! So, how about you? What is one change that you see in your body by being healthier that motivates you to keep going?

Now to the weigh-in:

Starting weight: 148.0
Weight today: 147.4

Just as I thought. At least it's not a gain, which was a real possibility with how I feel right now. I'm actually surprised that I didn't gain, but I didn't, so I'll take it. Maybe next week the numbers will show how I was feeling before the day before yesterday. Fingers crossed!

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Table Topic Tuesday: 3/3

The question asked in today's Table Topic is: Who do you sorely miss?

Last week was the 6th year anniversary of my uncle's death. I've thought a lot about him lately, so my initial thoughts were that this would be my answer, then it occurred to me that there's someone else. (So, Uncle Larry, even though you pissed me off most of the time, I love you. But you're gonna have to take a backseat to this one.) While I miss my uncle very much, there is one other that I miss above all others. But to answer this question, I first have to pose a question.

Can you miss someone you never got the chance to know? My answer to this is, yes. You can. So, I sorely miss the little girl that I briefly shared space with inside of our mother's womb. I mean, I knew her for a short while, right? So, I can say that I miss her. I don't want you to think that life was completely terrible growing up, because it wasn't. But I've always felt that there was something or someone missing in our family. So, now that I know, she was the one missing, I can't help but wonder. A lot. I wonder what life would be like if she were here. How would my life had been different growing up? How would my life be different now? I admit to not being the most confident of people. I also sometimes feel out of place in my family. So, if she were here, would I have had more confidence growing up? Would I feel more at "home" in my family? These are all questions that can never be answered, of course, but I can't help to step back at family functions and think, where would she fit in this picture? Would she be arguing with our brother like I do? Or more importantly would we be bitching about our brother together? Or would she be busy chasing after her own children?

I've never really felt like a whole person. I've always felt off, if that makes any sense. Like a huge chunk of me is missing. She is missing. That was really hard for me to accept for a long time. I often felt like what did I do to deserve this? Why did I have to be deprived of her? Now I know, I didn't do anything...it just happened. Does it stink? Yes. Does that mean I shouldn't miss her, or the thought of her? No. Because I do. So much that it hurts. But now, I'm lucky to have found people that won't take her place, but they do fill a bit of the void. And that I can accept. I have to admit, though, I'd give my right arm (I need my left), to wrap my arms around her just once. Maybe one day.

So, do you want to participate in Table Topic Tuesdays? If so, answer the question on your blog, then head on over to Christy's blog and link your answer!


When I started this thing called healthy living, I gave myself the goal to lose 76 lbs. Now that I’m over ¾ of the way to my goal, I’m starting to think about how I want to celebrate this most awesome milestone in my life. I’ve thought about getting one of those industrial bars through my ear, you know, to show just how much of a bad ass I am. (Ha!) Or I thought about drawing up a new design and getting a new tattoo. Maybe I’ll save up and take a trip. Maybe I’ll do a couple of these things. My point here is that I knew that I was beginning a new life, I knew that I was going to lose weight, I knew that I was going to have to buy new clothes, I knew that I was going to do something to celebrate once I reached my goal. What I didn’t know or anticipate was that I would actually see the damage I did to my body by being so unhealthy.

Yep. I’m talking about scars. I heard Jillian Michaels talking about scars on her radio show once, and I thought I wonder how I will feel about them the closer I get to my goal. I mean, I have tons of scars. For whatever reason I scar easily. I guess I’m just lucky that way. Some of them I couldn’t tell you how they happened, and others, I remember the accidents quite vividly. (One may or may not involve running into a tree. Yeah, I know.) So, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about scars that come with gaining and losing weight. Now, I have those scars.

I have stretch mark scars where my skins is shrinking. I have them on my upper legs, my upper arms, my chest, and my stomach. Also, I’ve noticed that I have this little-I don’t even know what to call it, so let’s say, um, pouch? It’s located under my belly button.

Now, I know you moms are thinking what is she complaining for? Have a couple of kids, right? Well I promise you that complaining isn’t where I’m going with this. Just stick with me for a few more minutes. I know I can do things to reduce the looks for the scars (they’re honestly not THAT bad, but I can see them). And the little pouch? Well I know I can have it removed by some sort of modern day science if I choose. The fact is, I’m not sure I want to.

For now, I see these scars as a reminder of where I was, and where I don’t want to be any more. This has been a long and hard fought battle. And it’s a battle I’m sure I’ll sort of fight for the rest of my life, so I think I deserve to have a few scars. I have changed so much as a person. Not only on the outside, but the on the inside as well. I see the whole world differently, and I’m looking forward to exploring the world through these eyes. We all experience life differently. We’re all going to have scars of some sort, and we can choose to rid ourselves of these scars which is fine, or we can look at our scars as trophies. One day I may decided to get rid of my “trophies”, but for now, I’m keeping ‘em. Because you know, I never thought I would be strong enough to do something this difficult. I always saw myself as weak. Now I know that I’m not weak. I’m quite strong, in fact. And I have the scars to prove it.

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True Confessions: 3/2 edition

1. Saturday is a work out day. I didn’t do it.

2. I had four fun size candy bars yesterday. I don’t eat a lot of candy.

3. The only reason I worked out yesterday is because I ate those candy bars.

4. I made a very healthy sweet potato dish yesterday. Too bad I had two helpings.

5. I called out to work today. Hey, there’s at least THREE inches of snow on the ground.

6. I probably could have made it to work.

7. My boss isn't very happy. Is it bad that I don't care?

8. I once listened to 6 Harry Potter and all 7 Chronicles of Narnia audiobooks one right after the other during my work day. By the time I had finished, the British accent no longer sounded foreign to me, and I was walking around saying things like, “bloody hell” and “he’s a right foul git”. I still will sometimes use British sayings in my day to day talk.

9. One of the best days of my life was the day I got to visit the set of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. How is this a confession? I was 22. Just in case you’re wondering, Mr. McFeely is a Steelers fan.

10. I still have a security blanket. Yes, I know how old I am. I even rub the ribbon on it too.

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The Parrot and The Shepherd

To be a German Shepherd, Kelci can sometimes be incredibly stupid. I love her, but I swear she never learns. Cagney, on the other hand, is the most intelligent animal I have ever come across. It’s spooky sometimes.

Cagney isn’t your everyday friendly bird. In fact there are very few people that she does like. I’m convinced that the only reason she likes me is because she’s figured out that I control her food. (For all of you that are afraid of birds, don’t be. She won’t bite…unless you stick your finger in the cage!) Cagney also has quite the vocabulary. Yes, this includes a few cuss words, but I swear she only learned one of them from me!

So, one of the things that Cagney has learned from me is “Kelci, come here.” And she has figured out that Kelci will obey this command every time. So, what happens almost daily at my house is this: Cagney gets down on one of the lower sections of her cage. She puts her head down all sweet and innocent-like and says, “Kelci, come here.” Sometimes she has to say it twice, but every time, Kelci walks up to the cage, expecting I have no clue what. As soon as Kelci puts her nose to the cage, Cagney pecks the hell out of it. Then heads back up to one of the top perches(sometimes laughing), and Kelci is left there dazed and confused.

I have to admit, this is hilarious to watch. I’ll even say, “Don’t do it, Kel.” But the dog never listens once the command has been given. This is a dog that can open the storm door, turn on the water faucet, and once figured her way out of her crate, but she can’t learn to stay away from that bird. She even is so dumb to walk up and challenge Cagney every now and then. Cagney wins every time. If Cagney ever gets out of her cage while Kelci is in the house, I’m putting my money on Cagney.

My cocker spaniel? Cagney has tried to give her “kisses”. Go figure.

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About Me

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I'm a walking contradiction. While I love to draw, paint and read, I also love all things gadgets, science and even science fiction (I know). My animals (two dogs and two birds) are my heart, and if I could figure out how to legally own a giraffe, I would. That all said, I have my BS in Mathematics. :o)


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