Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Things I Love Most About Fall

 Ok, ok, it's actually Saturday, but with one of my co-workers on vacation for the past two weeks plus month end plus still working reception in the AM - work has been crazy busy.  When I get home I just want to crash. 

 Fall/Autumn is definitely my favourite time of year.  Even though my wedding was only on September 4, I still had a fall theme.  This summer was great, but now I am going to write about everything I am looking forward to now that the weather is starting to change.

 Things I Love Most About Fall

5.  The Changing Weather

I love the cool crisp mornings and that feeling of the changing weather in the air.  The frost on the grass.  The leaves changing colours (and pictures of the foliage from other parts of Canada and the US where  there are more reds and oranges).  Then the leaves fall off the trees and cover the ground, so much prettier than snow.

4.  Fuzzy/Warm/Cuddly Things

The change in the weather means that I can comfort myself with warm sweaters.  I can turn on the fireplace in the basement while I watch tv.  I can cuddle under blankets on the couch.  Snuggle under my comforter in my bed.

3.   Returning/New Episodes of Television Shows

My love of television is well known.  Fall means not only that all my favourite shows return with brand new episodes, but there are brand new shows for me to fall in love with as well.  My parents and I have been watching a lot of the new shows together.  I use the following calendar to program my PVR.  Of course many of these will end up cancelled, but hopefully a few of my favourites will stick around.

2.  Fall Flavours - Pumpkin and Apple

I went over to one of the specialty coffee shops that sells the pods for my Keurig last week and stocked up on Pumpkin Spice and Spicy Eggnog flavours.  I also bought canned pumpkin today so that I can make pumpkin waffles tomorrow and pumpkin oatmeal later this week.  I have enjoyed Pumpkin spice lattes ever since Starbucks and Second Cup brought them back for the season.  

Then there are the delicious fresh apples that we have in the fridge (and hopefully we can get some more at the Farmer's Market tomorrow).  My mom made an awesome apple crisp last weekend.  I plan on making cornmeal apple muffins in the near future.

It's all very yummy !

1.  Holidays

Fall contains most of my favourite holidays.  Halloween is great because you get to dress up in costumes and you get candy.  I used to love organizing my trick & treating haul.  Thanksgiving involves pumpkin pie and turkey and dressing, as well as spending time with family.  Of course before both of these dates you have the best holiday of them all . . . .  MY BIRTHDAY !! 

Yes, even at 35 (almost 36) I still love celebrating the date of my birth.  I get cake and everyone makes me feel special all day long.

Check out more Fall Favourites at A Piece of Apple, A Warm Cup of Jo, and Divulge with Dani

Monday, September 23, 2013

10% Goal - Accomplished !!

I did it ! 

This Saturday at my Weight Watchers meeting I lost another 2.9 pounds (over the past two weeks), for a total of 32.8 pounds lost since November 17.  This meant that I had finally reached my 10% goal (as in 10% of my original weight has been lost). 

It took me longer this time around. There is nothing wrong with that.  This is the biggest difference between my WW 1.0 and WW 2.0 journeys.  I am allowing myself a few more treats, and to be a little less rigid, so the weight is coming off a bit slower.  It keeps me saner to do it this way. 

Admittedly I would like to lose 52 pounds by November 16 - so that would be an average of 1 pound per week over the past year.  More likely I will lose another 6 to 10 pounds, since that date is only 8 weeks away. 

My next goal is to get to 272 pounds.  Perhaps around November 17, but I don't really have a date set.  This will mean that I will weigh less than I did in all of 2010, and less than what I weighed at my wedding. 

In order to accomplish this goal, I am going to go for a walk everyday.  The temperature has dropped into averages for Fall, but it is still nice in the evenings.  I should really take advantage of this.  Yesterday I walked to the grocery store and back instead of driving to pick up something my mom forgot.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Things I Did This Summer

I can’t believe that summer is almost over.  It’s been mostly great, with me settling back into Edmonton and getting to spend more time with my friends and family.  Six months after moving back I can say that I am happier and healthier. 

So here are the top five things I did this summer: 

5.  Spent many hours with my fictional, 2-D friends   

Television has been like a warm, comfortable blanket this summer.  To start off with I re-watched the whole series of The West Wing.  I had forgotten how much I loved this show, especially the first 4 seasons where Aaron Sorkin was the writer and executive producer, and the last season with the election as well as Josh & Donna finally getting together. 

My youngest brother actually watched many of the episodes with me.  Then we watched season 1 of The Newsroom (and have now also watched season 2).  I also updated my Netflix account; which lead to me watching Orange Is the New Black, Homeland, Dexter and now Breaking Bad. 
As well, I had my usual diet of summer shows, including So You Think You Can Dance and Big Brother 

I love escaping into a television series.  This also reminds me that I still need to borrow Downton Abby from Dani.   

4.  Improved myself/continued to move forward 

Since the beginning of May I have lost almost 12 pounds (and I am pretty sure as of tomorrow it will be more).  I bought a pedometer and have been trying to reach at least 6,000 steps each day.  I started there and am working towards reaching 10,000 steps a day.   

With moving back to Edmonton, I started a new position at my company.  I have been learning new tasks all summer long.  My boss let me know that the controller thinks I am doing a good job with the mid-month and end of month accounting.  I also was given positive feedback at my 3 month review in July. 

I spoke to the instructor for my online course – and I am doing well and ahead of schedule.  I really need to plan out time to work on my lessons a little bit each night.
3. Spent time with my awesome 3-D, real life friends

 Kristine and I have gone on a couple of shopping trips.  I had a lot of fun the day we tried on a million clothes and I ended up buying 3 new dresses for less than $60.00.  

Dani hosted a girl’s night at her home.  I went to Sherwood Park to pick up Bonnie and then travelled across the city of Edmonton.  We only got a little lost, and only because we were talking too much that I missed the turn off plus I didn’t set my GPS on my phone.  The other women scrapbooked while I ate fruit and chatted.  It was super fun. 

2.  Enjoyed my favourite summer combination - fire, food and fine company

Jo and her husband hosted an awesome BBQ/Pot Luck at their home June 29.  I got to spend time with most of the old high school gang plus their husbands and children.  At the end of the night we built a fire and stayed up way too late. 

There were also a couple of Saturday nights where I drove the whole 5 min over to Jo's house and spent time around the fire pit.  Dani & her husband were there too once, the other time it was just me (a bit of a reward after a walk up a hill and down a million steps).   

At the end of July my company had their annual summer BBQ.  It was out at the Ponoka Fish and Wildlife Association's camp facility.  I was one of the few that spent the night in my new little tent on my wonderful new cot.  That night there was a huge thunderstorm (but I was warm and dry).

1.  Travelled to my parent’s fantastic dwelling in Victoria.

I love that house.  I spent many hours reading on the upper deck.  Went for long walks down to the beach (the hill in front of the house is a BITCH).  Watched cruise ships, naval vessels, float
planes, cargo ships and the ferries coming in and out of the port.  Went to Ogden Point and saw jellyfish.  I ate the most the delicious pizza.  We all helped my grandma finish a puzzle.  I relaxed and just drank in the view and the ocean air.  I wish I could live there.



Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Songs of Summer 2013

When Jo first sent the email with the idea for this Friday’s top five, certain songs popped into my mind.  These are the songs that I have been listening to on the radio the most often this summer.  These are the songs that when they come on I turn up the volume and start to sing along.  We weren’t restricted to just songs that came out this year, but this is where my head went. 

5.  Daft Punk – Get Lucky

This is my fun, bouncy song of the summer.  It’s catchy and gets stuck in my head.

My favourite line is the start of the song:

Like the legend of the phoenix
All ends with beginnings”

4.  Katy Perry – Roar

This is my strong, woman song of the summer.  For me it is all about how my ex can’t keep me down.

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust”

3.  Serena Ryder – Stompa

This is my “feel good and enjoy the world” song of the summer.  It’s got a good beat.

“Gotta get up, listen to me
Clappa your hands, stompa your feet”

2.  Classified – Inner Ninja

This is my quirky, silly song of the summer.  I also like that it has a message that I can accomplish my goals, that I can find my inner strength and move forward.

“We all got problems, but we deal though
I'm tryin' to do better now, find my inner peace
Learn my art form, and find my inner Chi”

1.   Tegan & Sara – I Was A Fool

This is my emotional, hit me hard song of the summer.  I love the tune and the lyrics, and for me it combines how I am feeling this summer with beautiful music.  

“Still I stuck around
I did behave
I saved you every time
I was a fool for love”

Other honorable mentions include Ellie Goulding's "Anything Could Happen", Sara Bareilles's "Brave", and "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons.  I am also into other bands right now, such as Mumford and Sons, Fun, and The Lumineers.  Giving country music a bit of a break right now.  It was my ex that helped develop my love of such artists as Lady Antebellum and Luke Bryan, so need to create some distance.  The song "Done", by The Band Perry is something I gave listen to once or twice this summer.

Check out A Warm Cup of Jo and Divulge with Dani for more musical memories.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Un-Anniversary

There is just no getting around it, today sucks.  It should be my third wedding anniversary.  Instead I am separated and will eventually be divorced.  Last year was also horrible.  The long weekend was when my ex admitted to cheating on me in May, and on my actual anniversary I had lunch with one of our gang of friends that knew about the infidelity before me. 

I know in the long run it is better that we ended our marriage.  He obviously had no respect for me and our relationship.  I still do not understand why he cheated on me with the neighbour?  Why he would start sending naked pictures of himself to his new co-worker only a couple of weeks after telling me he had sex with someone else?  I look back at early 2012 and I thought were were happy.  I know he was not satisfied with his job, but that was normal for him.  We also had three close friends that were pregnant while we were struggling to conceive.  Still, why would he not talk to me about how he was feeling?  Running away from your problems is not a solution.

I am thankful that we did not have a house and kids to make the separation more complicated.  It is still a difficult and bad situation.  I just do not recognize him as the man I fell in love with five years ago.  He hurt me deeply and I am trying not to be jaded.  I want to be able to trust people.  If I can’t move forward, then he wins.  I will not let him keep me down.

I still have him as a friend on Facebook, but I did turn off his updates in my newsfeed.  I admit that I check on his page once in a while, but not that often.  We have not talked since July 31 and it doesn't bother me.  Why would I want to hear from him anyway?

I am a little sad today.  It's more about feeling like a failure.  I do wonder if there is anything I could have done to end up with a different result.  A part of me knows this is not my fault.  I was committed to our marriage.  You can't force someone to make the right decisions.  I can't go back and change my actions and reactions. 

Some good things came out of the whole situation.  I moved back home to my family and friends - spending more time with them is awesome.  I am loving my new position at work (the actual job itself and the fact I am making more money).  I am truly back on track with my weight loss and not being derailed by cheap wing nights and drunken weekend parties.  I don't have to deal with his drinking, his inability to hold down a job and his financial ineptitude. 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Updates and Random Thoughts and Stuff

-          It's September, and the beginning of my favourite time of year.  I loved the first days of school -getting to wear new clothes, and my shiny new school supplies, and seeing all my school friends.  I love the colours of the leaves.  I enjoy the cool mornings that slowly grow into warm evenings.  For me, autumn was the start of a new year.  It still brings up all those feelings of renewal. 

-          My dad retired from his practice as a GP on Friday.  He will still be covering nursing homes, but it is one step closer to the permanent move to Victoria (specifically it is Colwood, to the SW of Victoria).  He seems to be in a bit of denial right now, and not really all that excited.   I am sure he will be grumpy at first, but hopefully he will be able to get more sleep and relax a bit too.  He really cares about his patients, and worries about the care they will receive after he is gone. 

-          Speaking of Victoria – we are heading to Colwood for a week on Sept 7 (only 4 days away!).  I am super excited.  I have only been there once, and it was just for four days last Easter.  We will probably be sticking close to home, as the vehicle out there only holds 4 and 5 of us are going out. (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Youngest Brother, and myself)  One of these times I want to take the long ferry ride all the way to Seattle.  Maybe in the spring I could go out there with Kristine.  Also just throwing it out there, that if anyone want to fly or drive out there, we have an awesome place to stay for free.  My other brother, TJ, has brought his friends out there a couple of times. 

-          Right now I am wearing two hats at work.  The receptionist/executive assistant left at the end of July.  So for the past month I have been spending my mornings upstairs covering the desk and phones.  I can’t wait until we hire someone.  I miss spending my whole day with my office, desk, and officemates downstairs in Circulation.

-          In sad news, my uncle in Winnipeg is dying from Lung Cancer.  It’s spread and is filling his pleural cavity.  He most likely will be gone before Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately it’s going to be messy (financially and emotionally) for his wife and my cousins.  It’s complicated by the fact that no one really likes his second wife, that his son lives there with his girlfriend and three kids, and his daughter is about 1,400 km away in Cochrane.  My mom really wishes she could just go out there and take care of him, to make things easier.  It is just sad and complicated.

-          We had an awesome girl’s night the other week.  I got a little lost on my way from Sherwood Park to NW Edmonton, but figured it out.   Four of the Six women were scrapbooking – something I would have been interested in participating in a year or two ago.  I think a wedding or honeymoon scrapbook would have been awesome.   Would a divorce/”my ex is an ass” scrapbook be inappropriate?  One of the girls had made this inspirational book, and I think I want to make one to record my weight loss journey.  Either that or finally organize my pictures from Pi Phi, or High School, or just old pictures of me as a child.  Next time.

-          Still plugging along slowly with the weight loss.  I know that I need to exercise, but mentally I am just not motivated.  I am now down 30 pounds with WW (Part II) and 40 pounds from May of 2012.  Almost at my 10% goal of 31 pounds lost, just need to lose one more pound.  One of my goals for the fall is to go for walk every day.  I want to enjoy the outdoors before the snow starts to make it too cold and slippery.