Thursday, December 30, 2010

A NEW Year ... A NEW Me

Today, the inevitable happened. I've blogged about it many times before...but never in the state I'm in now. Never in my life have I felt the way I felt tonight, sitting alone in the Kohl's dressing room, silently sobbing. And then...not so silently sobbing.  It's just like all of the sudden, in the florescent lights of that dressing room, I really saw myself for what I ACTUALLY look like...and I could not believe what I was looking at. It was a devastating blow, realizing just how over-weight I've become. The funny thing about this moment...this "moment of reckoning" as my dear friend Mandy calls this moment I realized something else. The handful of times previous to this very moment that I've talked and talked about losing weight...I was never, not a single time, as committed, driven and determined to actually DO IT. And that made me cry even harder.

And as I sit here, still with my tear stained cheeks, I know that...
This Is IT.
For Real.
It's Time. 

It's time to remember what its like to LOVE shopping. To LOVE being in pictures. To LOVE ME.

So, as we welcome in the NEW Year, I am also welcoming in a NEW mindset, a NEW outlook, and hopefully definitely a NEW me.  


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Whatever Wednesday - The Christmas & Locks of Love Edition

What's this?! I'm posting a Whatever Wednesday post...ON WEDNESDAY?! Shocking, I know! I've really slacked's been totally unintentional, I assure you!

Down to business! Let's start with a Locks of Love update. My hair has officially gone from long to "Wow, you're hair is so long". And I am chomping at the bit to cut it all off!! Ryan is very particular about my hair and he really likes it long (though not quite this long, I don't think, haha) so he made me promise I wouldn't cut it above my shoulders. That's fine with me...except that it means the total length has to be that.much.longer. So, I measured from my collar bones, which is the length I plan to get it to, so I could see how many inches I had to grow. Just over ONE people!! ONE!! So, I set my next cut & color appointment for March and will do "The Big Chop" then. The end is in sight!!!! Can you tell  how happy that makes me?! Don't get me wrong, I love my hair long...sometimes I even love it this long, but it's so hard to take care of! I wear it curly sometimes, but the longer (and heavier) it gets, the less pretty the curl is. So, I usually straighten it...which is a task. So, if you've done the math you know, the longer the hair, the more time and effort I have to put into it. And I'm over it, haha.  Enough is an update pic of the progress!
Sorry it's a little pixely.

On to Christmas! (This one is going to be a picture-free post because I don't have my camera with me.) This year we decided to do things a little differently. Every year we feel so rushed to get everything and everyone squeezed in that we end up blinking and Christmas is over. So, we decided to really spread it out and spend some time on Christmas alone. Just the two of us.
Here's how it all went down:
Christmas really started on the 22nd for us, when my Mom, Frankie, Ryan & I drove into Dallas to have dinner with my cousin Mike, his wife Kim, his amazing kiddos Steel & Akina, my Aunt Suzie & Uncle Frank, cousin John and Gam. It was so nice spending some time with them, while Suzie, Frank, John and Gam were all in town from TN.
One the 23rd, we went to Ryan's parent's after work for Christmas with them. We had a lovely dinner, great conversation and opened gifts. It was so nice to not be rushed...we could just relax and enjoy their company instead of checking the clock.
On Christmas Eve day, Ryan & I woke up and drove down to Stein's bakery in Dallas to pick up the Christmas Tree coffee cake - a tradition for Frankie & I growing up. After, we ran a few last minute errands then went to my Mom's. She is an awesome cook and pulled out ALL the stops for dinner this year. It was so, so good. There is just something about eating the food you grew up on that makes you feel so...HAPPY! (And full!) After dinner we went to church, then came home and played domino's. (I case you wondered.) Then we packed up and Ryan & I went home for the night.
Christmas morning, we slept in (which is about 8am for us), got up, showered and headed back to my Mom's to open presents and stockings. (She only lives about 7 minutes away.) Oh, and eat our Christmas Tree coffee cake, of course. :) amazing thing happened...we spent the rest of Christmas at home, curled up on our couch, watching Christmas movies. It was wonderful. We realized that our days of mellow Christmases are numbered as we move closer and closer to the days of children, so we fully enjoyed our quite, low-key, "just the two of us" Christmas night. :)
The next day, the 26th, we celebrated with my Dad and his family. Frankie, my Dad, his wife Donna and her kids, Clancy and Ben, came over to our apartment mid-afternoon. We exchanged gifts with my Dad then went out to eat!
I felt so loved, so blessed, so lucky this Christmas. And now...we look ahead to 2011. We are so excited to see what it holds for us...

Merry Christmas & A Happy, Healthy New Year!


Friday, December 10, 2010

The Long Overdue Blog About Thanksgiving

Well, since we are on 16 days away from Christmas, I guess I should blog about Thanksgiving, huh?

This is going to be a long post. You’ve been warned.

This year, Ryan & I traveled with his parents and brother to have Thanksgiving with his paternal Grandparents in Illinois. This was my first holiday away from my Mom & brother, so it was really bittersweet for me, but what a fun trip we had!

We left early Wednesday morning (and I do mean early) to catch the first flight out of DFW into Milwaukee, WI. Since Ryan did a good chunk of his “growing up” in a cute town near Milwaukee (Lake Geneva) we decided to make a pit stop there on our way to his Grandparent’s house. Lake Geneva was such a pretty area, and it was so neat to see the house Ryan talked about so much, in person.

Ryan, Susan, Richard and Scott

We had lunch in Lake Geneva at a place called Scuttlebutt’s, (Yes, I ate a place called Scuttlebutt’s) then headed towards the tiny town of Victoria, IL. Richard was born and raised here and the house his Grandparent’s live in is the house he grew up in. Grandpa Herbie built it with his own two hand 60+ years ago. It’s not often you have a piece of history like that in the family!

Here is "The House That Herbie Built"

On Thanksgiving morning, Ryan & I headed out for a walk before watching the Macy’s parade.

It was COLD! Ryan’s red nose is proof. ;)

Shortly after, family started to arrive. Richard’s brother Brian, his wife Gloria and their daughter Molly (and dog Jiffy) as well as Richard’s sister Sarah, husband Mark and kids Josh and Hope came over. It was so great seeing everyone. We ate, talked, laughed, some napped, then after dark, a few of us (me, Ryan, Josh, Scott and Hope) ended up in the dining room for a Battleship duel. We alternated playing each other and I am proud to say, by the end of the “tournament” – I DOMINATED! ;)

Ryan & I at the Thanksgiving table

Friday we had a lazy morning, then headed out to get Ryan’s Grandparent’s a new Christmas tree. First we stopped at Coney Island to have some special hot dogs that Grandpa Herbie has been eating since he was a kid, and that every generation since has eaten. Apparently, the recipe hasn’t changed in all that time, and the decor hadn’t either. It was a fun treat. After picking up the tree, Ryan got it all set up for Grandma Maxine, then we had dinner with Brian, Gloria and Molly.

Ryan & Grandpa Herbie inside Coney Island

Saturday morning we packed up and headed toward South Barrington, IL (on our way back to the airport). Susan’s brother Bim, his wife Ezia and their 3 boys (so, so cute) EJ, Nicky and Jonathan live there. We had lunch with them, visited, got a tour of the house (Well, I did. Everyone else had been there before.) then hit the road back to the airport.

Ryan with Bim, Ezia and EJ. I am SO mad at myself for only getting one picture there :(

It was such a great trip and I know it was especially great for Ryan to be able to see all the places that impacted his childhood! Thank you to my wonderful in-laws for the trip!