Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's that time of year again....

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

With the holidays quickly approaching, the pace of life quickens with it! As with every year at this time, I enjoy the holidays and the activities that go along with them, but am not so fond of the weather. We have been enjoying unseasonably warm weather in Kansas City for the most part. We've had a few chilly days, and even some snow flurries, but alas....the cold will return soon!

As I prepare for the holidays, I'll share with you a little of what is going on around here lately.

Aside from the weather, I have found myself as busy as usual. Midterms have finally been graded and recorded, just in time for the students to turn in another paper. I'm scurrying to get those done before I leave for Thanksgiving, because they have a final paper due when I get back. Who wrote that syllabus anyway?????!!! haha

Football for the 4th graders is finally over - their season was longer than a high school season! We started in July and finished up last weekend. I served as the team "mom" - meaning I got to do all the administrative stuff like manage the money, sign up for tournaments, communicate all the practice and game schedules, team photos, drink sign up, and end of season party! After a rough start to the season, and a couple of rough games, or guys pulled out a great season. They won the tournament championship, and we celebrated with burgers and candy at Johnny's Tavern! I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the party was successfully over; even thought I miss seeing the kids and some of the parents a few times a week.

With my new found free time, I have been working long hours. It seems like no matter how much work I do, there is always a ton more to get done. That being said, there are many days I do not get very many tasks completed because I experience frequent interruptions. I don't mind them though; they are part of my job. I love meeting with and talking to students, so I try to devote time to every student who comes in our office, especially the ones that need help or are lost. This week has been a small blessing, though, because the students are on Fall Break. That means I'm getting tons of work done!

I am also enjoying cooking more than I have been in a long while. Since my surgery, my appetite is all over the place; some days I am extremely hungry so I snack a lot, and other days food does not interest me in any way. I really haven't been into cooking meals, or the nights I wanted to I was busy with football, so lately I'm enjoying having time to cook. This weekend I made some incredible Cranberry Crumb Bars from the goodLife eats blog - here. Oh....they are yummy! Then I made a quasi-traditional Thanksgiving meal for the roommate and myself. The roommate was traumatize by some poorly made Thanksgiving dishes last year (not made by me I should point out), and since I don't really get to cook for my family due to my travel arrangements, I thought it would be kind of fun. I made a Jenny-O turkey breast (there weren't turkeys small enough for two people!), stuffing, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, and wheat rolls. Then, I made an apple pie. smelled so 'fallish' in my house this weekend!

Like I said, this week has been filled with checking tasks off my never ending to-do list. I've still got a lot to do, but tonight I'm headed to see my family!

Nothing says holidays like spending time with family. I'll fly in late tonight then drive west tomorrow to spend the day with my Gran-Gran, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my great-cousins. What's a great-cousin you might ask? Well, I have made that definition to describe my cousins children. It sounds a lot nicer and more familiar than 2nd cousin. I digress. We'll cook, eat, clean, watch football, and play games. I'm looking forward to it. Then I'll 'celebrate' Black Friday with my other cousin, and spend the day with my immediate family. Saturday my mom and I plan to participate in a 5K in the morning, then more family fun later in the day. I'll update you when I get back!

What Thanksgiving post would be complete without a list of things I am thankful for this year? I could go on for hours, but I'm supposed to be checking things off my to-do list, so here is everything I can think of in 3 minutes:
- My unmatchable family
- The relationships I have with some of my cousins (and their families and babies!)
- My job (sometimes I might not feel 100% that way, but I am very thankful to have a job when so many do not)
- The time I was able to spend with my Grandmother, Granddaddy, and Paw-Paw, and the time I am still able to spend with my Gran-Gran
- The marvels of modern medicine, and the amazing surgical procedure I was able to undergo
- My two best friends - one who lives close who has shown me what it means to be me, and the other who lives too far way in Indiana, but has taught me that friendship doesn't have to mean seeing each other every day, and it means loving each other for who you are
- Food, and the fact that I don't worry from day to day or meal to meal where I am going to get nourishment
- Freedom. To live, to decide, to move about, to worship, to be.
- My coworkers who make coming to work so much easier
- Education - not just because it is my job, but because it is so important to me. And liberating.
- Target and Kohls (just had to throw those out there to see if you were paying attention - but they are two of my favorite stores!!!)
- Technology - including: computers (w/spell check!), the internet, cell phones, pdas, iPods (which reminds me I need to charge mine for the flight), airplanes, cars, dvrs, tvs, email, etc.
- Sports - especially college basketball, football, and nfl, and golf, and whatever else. Yes, I am thankful for sports. It's a whole other post, but go with me on this one.

Ok, my three minutes are up. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!!

6 month update

Thursday was my 6 month appointment with my surgeon. I hadn't been feeling too positive in the weeks leading up to the appointment because to be honest, my workouts have been lacking. Excuses are for another time, but I really feel like I wasn't doing as well as I should. Also, by this point, there is no more swelling in my stomach from the surgery and recovery, and my actually stomach is starting to adjust to its new 'normal' size. I had been noticing lately that I can eat a bit more than I had been eating in previous weeks. I used to track everything I eat, but I have gotten lazy busy in the past month and a half and haven't been tracking, so it seemed like I was eating a lot more.
Ok, all of that to tell you - I am doing great! I have lost a total of 71.5 pounds! Everyone was pleased with my progress. I don't have to go back for 6 more months. They did blood work this time, and because I'm not the worlds best at remembering to take my vitamins, I figured I'd get a terrible report on that, too, but come to find out, the only thing that didn't look good was my Vitamin D. I blame it on the lack of sunshine lately. I lost quite a few inches over my pre-surgery measurements and my August measurements. If you're interested, the total loss compared to my May measurements are (in inches): Neck - 1.25, Waist - 10.5, Chest - 8.0, Hips - 9.25, Arms - 2.75 each, Thighs - 5.5 each. I am going through clothes like crazy - as you can see from the changes in the measurements! In fact, my mom and I bought a lot of shirts for me at Target the weekend of my birthday in August, and a few of them were too tight. I didn't take them back because I knew they would fit sooner or later - and now, they all fit or are too big. Go figure! The hardest part about that is that I LOVE to shop. It is hard for me not to go crazy and buy some of the cute things I find, so I try to limit myself to one or two things a month. According to the doctor, I have at least 40 more pounds to 'easily' lose, than anything after that he said will come with hard work on my part. Gives me something to look forward to, and make a goal for.
So, I'll try to keep updating the tracker, so you can follow the progress. I wanted to post a picture with this one, but don't have one, but don't worry - I'll have one to post after the holiday!