Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: Going on a Break

If you're a regular around here - you know that I usually post my workouts, weight loss or gain and some other things on Wednesdays.  You may have noticed that I've been a lazy bum the last few weeks and haven't posted anything.

Well, that's going to continue.  Not the lazy part, just the lack of posts.  This week, I've revamped my workouts and I'm going to work with a friend on re-working my diet.  So, while I'm still working out regularly, eating right and getting on the scale weekly, I will not be posting about it for a while.

You'll see the Wednesday Weigh-In's back soon enough.  Hopefully I'll start back toward the end of March or early April...

Cross your fingers for me.  And if you see my chowing down at McDonald's, you have my permission to slap me.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

10 Things to Smile About: February

Holy smokes - February came and went way too fast.  But I'm ready for March and spring to come!

Here's a look at 10 things that made me smile this month...

1.  Another thyroid test with great results.  I'm now going on over 9 years with half of a thyroid without any complications.  Praise God!

2.  A great tax return (thanks Uncle Sam & thanks for the tax-free combat zone pay)!  And now we're that much closer to becoming debt-free.

3.  Special Mommy/Grace time... and pampering only a girl could appreciate.

4.  God's continued leading in our lives... and peace that can only come from Him!

5.  Breaking Dawn came out on DVD... I've only watched it twice, if you can believe it.

6.  Making homemade (an amazingly delicious) pizza with your dear friend.

7.  Train rides with "Pops" at the mall so Grandma and Mommy could shop.

8.  Getting the best text possible from your sister... telling you that your sweet niece accepted Christ as her Savior.  Nothing seems more special than stories about pure child-like faith!

9.  Spending Valentine's Day in a very special way with Grace's schoolmates.

10.  Getting your camera just in time for a moment like this... and being able to capture it for ammunition 15 years from now.

I'd love to know what made you smile this month!  And please, link up with EmmyMom!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Little Bit Weary

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance... Psalm 32:7

I am tired.  Right now every part of me is exhausted... my body, my mind, my heart, my soul.  I am spent.

I once heard, that as Christians, you are in one of three places: going into a storm, in a storm, or on your way out of a storm.  It's true.  Rarely are we in a comfortable out of a storm place, though.  But sometimes it feels like you are in the midst of a storm with another one on its way.

I cannot speak for Joel, but for me right now, I feel a bit beat-up by life.  We have a lot on our plate and a lot of unknowns in the future.  And for someone who is a planner, the unknowns are the most troubling.  But even through we are in this place of uncertainty, I can see a lot of hope with what God has ahead for us as a couple and for our family.  First of all, we have a great God who is opening up doors for us.  As stressful as life feels right now, God is relieving that by giving us glimpses of hope for the future.  He has surrounded us with love that is literally pouring out from those closest to us.  And even though things are a bit rocky, we know who our Rock is.

It may sound strange, but I'm thankful for the storms in my life....and I'm coming to terms with this current one.  Storms have always been the starting point for growth in my walk of faith.  They are supposed to be.  So, in the midst of this current storm, I know that I will be coming out of it stronger and more like Christ.  That is reassuring.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our Fiancial Freedom Journey: 6-Month Check-Up

In September, I first blogged about our goal to become debt-free.  Well, that was 6 months ago, so I thought it was time to fill you all in on what's been going on in our household.

Our ultimate goal is to be completely out of debt, except for our mortgage.  We are absolutely done with consumer debt and since I graduated nearly 9 years ago from college, I'm ready to be done with my student loans.  For 6 months, we have gone to a cash system:  I take out $100 each month for my own fun-money, and I also taken out $250 every other week for groceries and household items.  The only charges we make are on our Debit card (the $ comes directly from our Checking account), and those are for things like prescriptions and gas.  If either Joel or I want to do anything "extra" like buy clothes for the kids or go out to eat, we always talk about those decision together.

Let me also say that our marriage has grown stronger because of this.  We are finally on the same page financially.  But we are also focused on the same goal and we are both 100% committed to that goal.  We are not hiding any purchases from the other person.  We both feel extremely free now!

So, do you want to know how much our little military family has paid-off since September?  $9,200.  Over $9,000 is off our backs.  Our load is lighter and it feels so good!

I have a lot of friends who are struggling to manage finances with debt  hanging over them constantly.  Let me just encourage you... if we can do it, so can you!  It's not fun.  There is a whole lot of self-denial.  But we can finally see the day when we can say we're debt-free... and it's not too far away!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Love Packed Away in a Care Package

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God."  I John 4:7

Happy Valentine's Day, all!  I hope you've all had a chance to give and get some love today.  I've read a zillion times today, that there should be no need for V-Day because we should all be showing those around us how much we love them daily.  But today is a good excuse anyway, to make sure that your loved ones hear how they feel!

I spent part of my afternoon in Grace's classroom - helping with the Kindergarten Valentine's Day party.  Today had special meaning for me.  Grace's teacher has a son who is currently serving overseas.  Over the past few months, I've had an opportunity to empathize with and pray for Grace's teacher and her family.  I've been honored and humbled to do so... I'm just thankful that God has given me an opportunity to love on someone who is going through a deployment.

This week, kids and parents in Grace's classroom donated items to be sent overseas to the teacher's son.  During the party today, the kids all made cards for him and I was going to help pack the box to go overseas.  Before I went to school to help, I stopped by the store to pick up things to go in the care package.  While I was in the store, and picking out things to buy, I suddenly had the fear the perhaps the other families didn't donate or didn't donate enough to fill a box.  So, I ended up buying more than I had anticipated because I didn't want the box to be half-full.

Now, I know that is linked directly to my own personal problems - the feeling that there isn't enough support for military families - and at times, feeling unsupported.  But I was completely wrong.  When I went to start packing and I was going through all the donated items, I was amazed by how much the families donated.  There were tons of wipes, candy, games, toiletries... I was really floored and extremely touched.

Honestly, that moment made my entire day.  Even though I've often felt misunderstood or my family's sacrifices under appreciated, I know that isn't really the case.  People want to help.  They really do want to support the troops.  Often times, though, I think that civilians just don't know how to help.  But when they are asked for something specific - hey, can you bring some stuff to school to go overseas to a soldier?  Yes!  They would love to.  And they'll do it in abundance.

I was so happy to not be able to fit everything in that box today.  I'm glad there was too much - not just a lot of stuff... a lot of love.

I hope that you feel loved today!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 13

Happy Sunshiny Wednesday!  We have lots to discuss...

First of all, the bad news - I did not lose weight... But I have some good news..

I went in yesterday to see my doctor - and Praise the Lord, my thyroid levels are 100% A-OK.  I always get nervous going in, but I've now lived for over 9 years with only half a thyroid that is kicking-booty and doing it's job well.  During my appointment, I talked with the doctor about my struggles to lose weight over the past 13 weeks.  We discussed my workouts and my eating routine.  She told me, first off, that I'm perfectly healthy and that I didn't need to lose weight.  But she also said that she doesn't quite understand why with my workouts and limiting my calories to about 1,590/day why I'm still not losing weight.

She suggested that one reason could be that I'm not taking in enough calories for the amount that I'm working out.  She is weaning me off a medication this month - a prescription that can prevent weight-loss.  So, we are going to re-visit this in 6 weeks and go from there.  At that point, she may refer me to a dietitian.  Have any of you seen a dietitian while on Tricare?

A friend of mine offered to sit down with me and go over my diet and see if there are tweaks that can be made.  I'm going to take her up on that.  Another friend contacted me this week and gave me some great suggestions about boosting my metabolism by adding in more strength training and limiting my carbohydrates.  I've changed both of those things this week.  I'm still struggling with saying adios to my beloved carbs, but I've started eating lots more fresh fruits and vegetables and eating a lot more lean-protein and good fats.  So, many thanks to my great friends!
Here are my workouts this week
Friday -
60 minutes of cardio including the Arc Trainer and walking
30 minutes of strength training

Monday -
30 minutes of cardio on the Elliptical Machine
35 minutes of strength training

Tuesday -
30 minutes of walking (non-gym day)

Wednesday -
60 minutes of walking (non-gym day)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

10 Things to Smile About: January

1.  A start to a new year. Fresh starts always feel great.

2.  Continuing our Journey Toward Financial Freedom by paying off over $1,000 of debt in January!

3.  A little more down time than usual with Daddy... and helping him nap.

4.  Finally joining Twitter!  Follow me @ATroopsGirl.

5.  Celebrating Grace's 100th day of Kindergarten by counting (& eating) 100 Skittles.

6.  Discovering and falling in love with Army Wives... oh, the tears I've shed in January!

7.  Finding skinny jeans.

8.  Lots and lots of pj days.  I love pj days!

9.  Finally getting some peace about big decisions for our family.

10.  Shopping with the girls.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 12

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Hope you guys are all having a good week.

This week was a tough week... we had a lot going on and some extra unwanted drama.  So that with some icy roads made it a difficult week for me to get to the gym.  I did make it twice, and I can honestly say that those two workouts were some of my best.  I was focused and pushed myself 100% both days.

I went in yesterday and got some blood work done.  One of the labs was for my thyroid, which I get tested every 6 months.  I'm now going on 9 years with only half of my thyroid... so I'm anxious to see next week when I see my doctor, what my thyroid levels are like.  That could be a link to why I haven't seen much weight-loss in 12 weeks.  I'll keep you posted.

No weight gain or loss this week. 

Here are my workouts:

Monday -
75 minutes of cardio including the Elliptical machine and stationary bike

Tuesday -
60 minutes of cardio including the Elliptical machine and stationary bike

My goals this week are to get to the gym at least 4 times and start eating more fruits and vegetables during the day.