Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Old Chicago Binge and the Consequences.

Sometimes, the best workouts are the ones that you almost skip.

Last week, I was offered my first "big girl" job. After graduation at the beginning of May, I will be working for the State as a social worker for Child & Family Services. It's honestly not the type of social work that I ever imagined myself doing, but this job is a HUGE blessing for us. The benefits are wonderful and the pay is good, and the fact that I was hired for the very first  job I interviewed for, and I get to start immediately after graduation means that we can move into our own place faster... and that I can hopefully get a new car faster than expected. Also, this means that I can have anentire new wardrobe of business-y clothes. I see this as a blessing as well, but I don't know that my husband and our bank account will see it that way :)

Anyway, we celebrated the job offer last week by getting takeout. We have been eating SO well for the past several weeks that we figured we could afford to splurge a little bit. Well, as it turns out, we splurged A LOT. We got pizza and nachos from Old Chicago. I don't know if OC lists the calories of their menu items on their website, but I sure hope not because I don't wanna know!!

I don't know about you guys, but I always feel like complete crap the day after eating a bunch of crap. I feel lathargic and totally unmotivated. I had worked out all of the other days of the week so far, and decided to skip my Thursday night Zumba class.

The class starts at 6:00, and at 5:58 I looked at the clock and started to feel kind of guilty. Then I started thinking about the relaxed, awesome feeling I have after class each time, and I jumped off the couch, ran into the bedroom and changed into my gym clothes. Luckily, our gym is located just across the street from our neighborhood.  I got there about 15 minutes after it started and had to be in the very. front. row. Actually, it was more like I was in my own row, because no one likes to be right in front of the mirror, and RIGHT next to the stage that the teacher is on.

I was slightly embarrased, but left feeling SO. GOOD. It would have been incredibly easy to stay on the couch all evening, but I'm so glad that I forced myself to get up and go.

The old betsy would have just made excuses and skipped the class.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Joy in the Shadows

Francesca posted this beautiful image for her Bluebird Tuesday series over at Small Bird Studios. {If you haven't checked out Francesca's blog before, you definitely should. She is a Baby Loss Mama, and so beyond inspiring}. I wanted to share it here because if I had to pick a favorite Angie Smith quote from I Will Carry You, this would be it.

This quote epitomizes exactly how Kurt and I have been striving to live for the past 16 months - trying to find the joy in the shadows.

Project Life Tuesday!


It's Tuesday again! It really feels like the weeks are flying by this winter/spring. Only 38 days until graduation, and 40 days until I start my new job! 23 Days until we leave for our honeymoon :). It seems like we JUST took down our Christmas decorations!

It's supposed to be spring. But it snowed here. AGAIN.

It's baseball season!! Which is a big deal around our house. College games are on our TV non-stop on til the College World Series in June when we can actually go to the games. We have tickets to the ENTIRE series this year and I can't WAIT! I won't be able to go to the day games, but the evening games are rhe best ones anyway. Oh - and about Kurt's hair... He was cleaning our his side of the closet and found his wig from Halloween last year. I still don't know why he put it on to go outside and throw the ball with the dogs... but I think he looks like Kenny Powers from Eastbound & Down...


Okay, so I know I probably take WAY too many pictures of my dogs! But they are honestly the best subjects for practicing photography because they move around so much just like little kids.  This is Buddy, Kurt's parents' 11 year old lab. Kurt was holding the ball about to throw it for him, and I just love the look of determination on his face. He is SERIOUS about that ball.

Showing off my super low squatting ability at the lake. I'm wearing a maternity sweatshirt.... that makes it appear as if I'm pregnant. Maybe it's time to retire that guy...

Kurt and I kidnapped my parents' dog! We stopped by their house to drop off something, but they were at a movie. So we brough Lucy back to our house and left them a note saying that we were holding her ransom. I felt bad that she was so excited to see us and then we were going to have to turn around and leave right away. It was so nice having her at our house, she is such a sweet little girl! I always new she was small, but now that we have BIG dogs, she seems especially tiny.

We don't have any spring decorations out yet, and with this snow, I felt like we really needed some. I picked up this Orchid at the grocery store. I love having fresh flowers in the house.

Best socks ever!! Saturday night, we hung out with my parents and sister at their house. I ran up to my parents' room to grab a book that my mom wanted me to look at, and saw them sitting on their entertainment center. My mom said they were supposed to be something funny for my Easter basket... but she let me have them early :) haha!

This is just a focusing/aperture assignment from the photography class I've been taking. That's Jack and Molly out there swimming in the lake.

Head on over to The Mom Creative by clicking on the image at the top of this post to link up and check out other Project Life Tuesday posts. I am always so inspired by how other bloggers are taking their pictures and setting up their albums!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Getting To Know You Sunday

It's "Getting To Know YOU Sunday" Over on Keely's blog, Mannland5. I've never participated in it before, but I figured... why not? I'm actually going to answer the last two weeks worth of questions because ... I feel like it :). It reminds me of the old surveys that people used to post on Myspace a few years ago! I used to fill those out constantly when Kurt was in Iraq and I would be sitting on the computer waiting for him to respond when we would message back and forth.
Last week's questions:
1. if you won the title of miss america, what would your platform be?
International child welfare. But wait... if it's Miss America... is your platform allowed to be international? I haven't watched the Miss America Pagent since I was probably in elementary school! Ha!

2. outdoorsy or indoorsy?
Oh Lord, anyone who knows me knows very well that I am an indoorsy girl. I like to be outside - taking walks, going to the beach, maybe a ONE night camping trip, but that's about it.

3. pajama's out in public..classy or tres tacky?
I've done it before... but I do think it's tacky. Unless your pajamas are black sweats and a USMC hoodie... because then no one can tell they're jammies :)

4. what's your favorite room in your house?
Living room I suppose. It's where we spend 99% of our time.
5. nook, kindle, or book?
I will be honest that I have been pretty skeptical about e-readers, but now I REALLY want one. Actually, I'd like an ipad with a Kindle app... but that won't be happening anytime soon. I love books and I don't think I'll ever be able to switch completely over from paper to digital, but I love the idea of having an entire library at your finger tips. I also see people using their kindle/nook/ipad on the elliptical at the gym and I am very jealous of that!

6. would you rather wear the same outfit for a week or not brush your teeth for a week?
Oh wow... I don't know if I can really choose one of these, haha! Both are gross. BUT... you could chew gum or find some other sneaky way to make your teeth feel like they're not disgusting. If your outfit is dirty then there's no hiding it!

7. what's your favorite blog at the moment?
There's absolutely no way I can answer this question! I follow way too many. The buttons of several of my favorite blogs are over in the sidebar. I think my favorite definitely depends on my mood, because there's lots of different categories.
8. lately i've been daydreaming about.........?

And this week's questions:
1. what inspires you?
My husband inspires me to follow my dreams (YIKES, how corny and cliche does that sound!?), and I am always inspired by my beautiful friends and the blogs that I follow, especially the crafting and photography related ones.

2. what was the last thing you bought yourself?
A soy candle from the grocery store that smells like "crisp cotton". I was cleaning yesterday and realized that all of the candles we had out were still fall/Christmas scents!

3. would you rather watch a movie in a theater or from the comfort of your own home?
Honestly, from home. We haven't been to the movies in months! I think it's partly because it's expensive.. but we like to talk about what's going on in the movies we're watching {or at least I do}. Too bad you can't pause the movies in the theater! If a movie comes out though that we're really looking forward to and don't want to wait for it to come out on Netflix or Redbox, we usually go.

4. household chore you don't mind doing?
I love making the bed because it's so much more relaxing to get into a perfectly made bed at the en of the day.

5. coffee or tea?
Coffee is always my first choice, but I do like tea a lot.

6. what could you eat every day and not get sick of??
Pasta with butter and parmesean cheese. OR  chicken tacos from Chipotle. With guacamole. These are all things that we hardly ever EVER let ourselves have. And they both sound amazing right now, by the way.

7. what's the last book you read?
My Family: A Symphony,by Aaron Eske. A beautiful book about international adoption

8. do you think you look you "look" your age?
I think so? When I was younger everyone always told me that I looked older... but I haven't heard that in a long time, so I spose I probably finally caught up to myself!

You can click on the image above to head over to Keely's blog, get to know some other bloggers, and link up with your own answers :).

Saturday, March 26, 2011


First of all... I just noticed that I've posted 150 times on this little blog.
That's a lot for me... because I honestly thought I was only starting this blog to fill friends and family in on Livie's NICU progress. I updated after her funeral and thought that would be the end of it. But this blogging thing kind of sucks you in... and I am so glad it did.

The other night, Kurt and I had just turned off the TV and were about to go to sleep when he said, "Do you realize that November has always been a really significant month for us?"
Sigh. "Yes, love. Do you remember how I told you that I re-named my blog?" {He doesn't really read it}.

I read in a wedding magazine today (fyi: don't sign up for a free subscription of Brides right before your wedding. It just started coming last month...) that husbands are great at hearing but their listening skills are awful. I agree.

However, he actually pointed out some other reasons that November is significant that I hadn't even thought about. First he said the two obvious ones - baby and wedding. But it's ALSO the month that we re-connected in 2007, and the month that I finally got to go visit him in San Diego and help him move home after his deployment. I think it's pretty sweet that he actually thought of that!

So that's 4 years of sweet Novembers. 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Looking back on all of that really makes me realize that those are the 4 most significant "events" of my life. Or at least, of my adult life.

And definitely makes me wonder what November of 2011 is going to bring...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a little fitness update

I've lost about 10 pounds!! Or so.

I really suck at weighing myself... but I also think that weighing daily, or even every couple of days, is pretty discouraging. The scale just doesn't change that much from day to day, and it can make you feel pretty bad (I know this from experience). So I try to weigh myself weekly, or sometimes every other week. I can honestly say that I pretty much stopped weighing myself after our wedding, and the number I saw on the scale towards the end of January was atrocious. I weighed yesterday and I've lost about 10 pounds since that point. I've only been taking this weight loss thing seriously for about 6 or 7 weeks now, so I think that's pretty good! I'm not trying to lose weight quickly. I did the HCG diet during the summer and lost about 15 pounds... a pound a day. That was AWESOME, but as soon as you go back to your regular eating habits, the weight comes right back on. Right now, we're trying to get used to having better habits that are realistic and easy to maintain.
Zumba has been amazing. I've still been trying to make it to all 5 classes each week. It is such an amazing cardio work out. Our gym does it a little bit differently than others that I've heard of. Our instructors are trained by Zumba, but also take the group fitness training that's specific to our gym, so they incorporate a lot more hip hop and toning than the "traditional" classes do. My favorite part of class each day is at the end when we do an entire song of squats. Every morning my thighs are sore, but I know that's a REALLY good thing. Last night I downloaded the two songs that we have been using for that so that I can do it at home on my own. I think that synchronizing moves to music is so much more motivating than just being silent and counting in your head. It feels really encouraging to finally have found a workout that actually works for me.

On the other hand though, Zumba is really great for cardio and basic toning, but I know I need to step it up a little bit... my arms and abs need attention that Zumba doesn't really provide.

So last Wednesday, I went to a Core class. It's taught by an instructor who does the Monday night Zumba class, and believe me when I say she is INTENSE. She's seriously crazy - I sweat more on Mondays than I do during any of the other classes and I'm usually about ready to curl up into a little ball on the floor by the end of class. And let me tell ya.... her Core class was no different. I'm sure I was the most pathetic person in the class. Most of the class is done by using one of those huge plastic balls, and it incorporates a LOT of balance - which I suck at. We also did a freaking TON of push-ups. It was only 45 minutes, but I went to a Zumba class right afterwards, and could barely lift my arms above my head when I needed to. I was SO sore on Thursday morning. As soon as I woke up, even before I moved I could tell that my arms and abs were sore. I had planned on going to another core class that was being offered that day, and just couldn't force myself to go. It REALLY made me realize that my abs haven't gotten any real attention since before my c-section!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Project Life Tuesday!


My pictures for this week are out of order. But whatever! I'm proud of myself for just deciding which ones to use before Tuesday is over :).

On St. Patrick's day, Holt held a reception for families who recently traveled to bring their children home from China. I made these cookie pops, and they were a BIG hit with the kids.

Saturday night was Holt's annual silent auction and gala dinner. We had a GREAT time... it was fun to have something to get super dressed up for! Kurt got a new suit for free from Men's Warehouse because of all the tuxes the guys rented for our wedding, so he was pretty excited about getting to wear it.

Friday (See, I told you these are WAY out of order... I'm too tired to organize them right now!), we had a quarterly meeting with all of the social workers for Holt, and we spent the afternoon at a pottery studio downtown "bonding". It was so much fun. I have loved my practicum so much, and everyone there has really made me feel like part of the team. This picture shows how messy I got, and the amazing bowl I created. I'm sure it would sell for thousands on Etsy.

We also took the dogs to swim at a lake near our old apartment. Because our neighborhood lake has been drained, Kurt was on a mission to find a new place for them to get their exercise - because they need it BAD. They have just been going crazy because of all of their puppy energy and being couped up all winter. They crashed hard when we got home... and the second picture was supposed to be of them all snuggling together which hardly ever happens. Buddy clearly saw me coming with my camera and tried to run out of the way!

I was pretty proud of myself for filling the grocery cart ALL with fresh fruits and veggies, so I snapped a picture with my AWFUL phone camera.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I'm about to get really religious-y. I know that some of you don't share my beliefs so I'm telling you now. This is my blog where I write about my personal thoughts and beliefs, and if you don't like it... lo siento.

Throughout this journey of loss, I have always believed that God has a plan. I believe that He is good, and that He never gives us more than we can handle, but I also believe that He places obstacles in our path to teach us lessons - to show us that we are stronger than we think we are. This is something that I believed long before Olivia died, and losing her reaffirmed it for me. I know that this isn't what everyone believes... I have even gotten in arguments with family members about this issue. They argued that God would never take a child from his/her parents, and that this must have been the work of the devil. I do not think that the devil took my baby. To me, that's ridiculous and that is what makes that argument seem completely ridiculous to me. I've been told all my life that no one knows what God's plan is or why He does the things He does. We are just to believe that all things in life happen to glorify Him in one way or another, and we will find out the answers to all of our unanswered questions eventually, when it's our turn to leave this place.

On my way home the other day from a frantic search at three different stores for a freaking shamrock cookie cutter (only to get home and find out that we already have 3 of them in different sizes), this song came on the radio. By the end of it I was crying - it was exactly what I needed.

Blessings, by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long as we have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us

When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Monday, March 14, 2011

stupid bedspread and butter yellow

If I have learned one lesson from the first 4 months of marriage {It's 4 months today!}, it is to NOT spend money on expensive bedding.

I am so annoyed right now! When we first moved into our apartment last year, we had a comforter set that I think I got on clearance from JCPenny, so it was pretty darn cheap. I mean like $30 cheap. The fabric covering the cotton batting stuff on the inside of the comforter was so thin that it ripped on the under side on the bottom of the comforter where our feet touched it every night. SUPER crappy, but I only spent $30 on it so I wasn't surprised that it was a POS. So naturally, this led me to the conclusion that in order to have a comforter that would last, I would need to spend a boat load of cash on it.
When it came time to register for wedding gifts, I decided that the only way for us to "upgrade" would be to register for a new set. We got a BEAUTIFUL bedding set at my bridal shower from Kurt's mom...
{Super bizarre picture of me, I think I look like I'm drunk, but whatev}

I have so many problems with this set. First of all, see those buttons? NONE of them are currently on the comforter. Actually, I think there might be one lonely little guy still hangin' out. When we FIRST put it on the bed, we realized that the puppies would probably chew on those. Also, we realized that since the entire thing is basically embroidered, their little claws and rough pads on the bottoms of their feet would shred it up. So I went to Target and bought a green quilt that matches. Every single time the dogs are going to sleep with us, we pull the quilt up so that it covers the area they are going to lay on. And still, the buttons all fell off. Then, there are the pills OHHhhh so many pills. I wish you could see it. I tried to take a picture but it just didn't do it justice. It looks awful.  This would be acceptable if we had been using this comforter for 10 years, or even 5 years. But 4 months? and with a quilt pulled up over it most of the time? That's just ridiculous. Especially because it cost upwards of $240.  I remember registering for it and telling Kurt that getting it as a gift was the only way we would be able to have such a nice set... and since it was so nice it would last for years and years! We won't have to spend money on a comforter for YEARS!

I couldn't have been more wrong. When we move, that piece of crap is going straight into the dumpster. Okay I probably will donate it, but I am so mad at it that I want to throw it away. Or maybe we'll keep it as a spare. I don't know - what I do know is that it will never grace the top of our bed ever again.

So I've been researching some options for when it's time to replace it. We'll hopefully be moving in August? July? September? Somewhere at the end of the summer or the beginning of the fall. I might be looking a little bit too early... my greatest fear is that the things I want won't be available anymore by the time we are ready to move. I want to wait until we move because our current bedroom walls are painted green (to match the stupid comforter) and I am currently obsessed with.... YELLOW AND GREY!  I struggle with finding colors and prints that are feminine enough but also have just enough masculine to make Kurt feel like it's OUR room and not just mine. How my mom has gotten my dad to go along with all of the Rose/Floral bedspreads she's bought over the years is beyond me. Another reason for the yellow - Right now, our room is in the basement. And we have no windows. We have an overhead light and accent lamps, and keep both doors (we have two) open during the day, but it is so dark in there! Perfect for days when we want to sleep in, but awful for the days when morning comes to early and it still looks like it's midnight in our room. I didn't realize how much that would drive me nuts while I was choosing the colors for our room, and I feel like the green shades we chose make it seem even more dim. In our next home, I am going to be all about bright, sunny colors. I don't think Kurt will go for that completely, so the gray will tone it down a bit. That's my compromise.

I have been saving pieces of inspiration for weeks now. It's become my newest obsession. I always start way too early. Actually, it's not really a new obsession. Growing up, I wanted to be an interior designer, and even sent away for information about the interior design programs RMCAD and the Art Institute in San Diego but obviously, didn't go. So, since I don't have clients to design for, I'll just design for myself and annoy the readers of my blog with it? Sounds good to me. Except for the part about not getting paid for it...

I put this inspiration board together myself using digital papers from Molly Mac & Me
Dwell Studio for Target

DSLR Camera Strap from Etsy Seller MelVDesigns...
I know that this doesn't have anything to do with a bedroom... but THIS is EXACTLY the color combination I want. PERFECT gray, PERFECT yellow. Maybe I can talk her into making a me a bedspread? for the same price as a camera strap? no? dang it.

I am realizing that I can't find exactly what I want. That tends to happen often. I am kind of thinking that the best way to go might be to purchase a plain jane grey comforter, a butter yellow throw, and add pillows like THESE.

These are both from Etsy seller Bedbuggs
This one is from Jilly Bean Things

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Project life.... Thursday?


Actually, it's been back for a couple of weeks, but it's taken me a while to get caught up on the last 6 weeks or so of Project Life.

Nothing too exciting! The only thing extra that I added was a 8/5x11 page protector to put our Valentine's Day cards in. It's way too big for them, so I'm planning on stitching around them ASAP.{More about that in a later post}. I have plans to get a lot more creative with my layouts, but because I was so far behind because I couldn't upload or edit OR print photos, I decided to just print the pictures and write on the journaling cards and be done with it. I'm glad to have everything back the way it needs to be now so that I can start making this album the way I actually want it to look.

Starbucks & Kate

This morning, I had a coffee date with my old friend Katie {Katie has a super cute Etsy shop which you should totally check out. And a cute blog, check that out too}. She is a newlywed also, and lives in Iowa with her husband. This week, she's in town to visit her mama who just happens to live up the street from us. She picked me up in her little red bug and we spent two hours at Starbucks. It was so nice to catch up. We've been friends since the early days of high school, but have lived in different states ever since.

Katies Dad passed away very recently, and at one point I asked her how her mom was doing with that. We talked about it for a few minutes, and then she said, "how are you doing?" Without thinking twice, I responded by saying something about how I'd been good, just feeling so ready to graduate and start working.

Tonight as I was folding laundry and listening to the new Adele album, I was thinking about our conversation and it occured to me that she was asking me about how I was doing with losing Olivia. That should have been obvious to me because of the context of the conversation... but for whatever reason, it wasn't. {Kate, if you're reading this and that's not even what you meant at all... let me know :) }

This is the first time - or at least the first time that I've noticed - that my first instinct wasn't to answer the question with something grief/loss related. Once I realized this, It was a very, VERY good feeling. I think it's definitely another milestone that tells me I'm healing. I have used this comparison before, but I used to say that even if good things were going on, I still felt like no matter what, I was being followed around everywhere by a big gray cloud that seemed to be saying to me, "You can try to be as happy as you want, but you won't ever actually be happy because your daughter is dead". I'm sure my fellow baby loss mamas can identify with that. Don't get me wrong - I am still sad, a lot, and I think about Olivia or something related to her in some capacity every day, and I probably always will. Sometimes every hour of the day. But I'm definitely healing, and that's a good thing.

On another note, one of the starbucks employees brought in cupcakes for everyone to try while we were there. Supposedly, she made them by using a white cake mix and adding in Starbucks VIA Mocha mix. They were okay... they looked much cuter then they tasted. I found a recipe for VIA cupcakes here... and I might just be trying it out this weekend. I'll let you know if it's a giant fail or not...

Monday, March 7, 2011

healthy eating

For me, the most difficult thing about weight loss is staying on track with eating well.

I love to eat out. I have always been of the school of thought that "if we're going to eat out, I'm going to get something DELICIOUS and AMAZING". For me, that usually means pasta with some kind of cream sauce... the calories of which add up to be more than an average person's daily required amount. Pasta is my favorite thing in the entire world - if you know me personally, you're probably laughing because you know that I could eat noodles with a little butter and a ton of parmesean cheese for every single meal. I pretty much did this during my freshman year of college when I lived away from my parents for the first time ever. I was so active though that I never really noticed a change in my waistline. Now, it's a different story. :)

I also love to cook! I have an addiction to cook books and trying new recipes. Until recently, the types of recipes I would make were not very nutritious. Delicious, but not nutritious.

I have scoured the internet for blogs and websites that promote healthy eating.  I wanted to share a couple of my absolute favorites that have been helping me stay on track over the past month. Not that I've stayed completely on track... but you know what I mean.

Cheap, Healthy, Good. "Cheap Healthy Good is a blog dedicated to the advancement of frugal, nutritious, ethically-minded food in everyday life." This blog is Ah-MAZING. Seriously amazing. I have made a handful of their recipes over the past month and can't wait to try more. I have been bookmarking healthy eating websites and blogs for the better part of a year, and have found some great ones but very rarely find exactly what I'm looking for. This one has everything I look for. Their recipes are EASY - easy enough for fast week night dinners, and they don't require fancy ingredients that are only carried at Whole Foods (which i love, but can't afford to shop at all the time). They also post great articles about healthy eating, like things to keep in mind while dining out, and they explain the reasoning behind the recipes they post. This one is one of my favorites ... 10 Cheap Shortcuts to Making Cooking Oh-So-Much Easier.

Hungry Girl. This has been one of my favorites for a couple of years. Read this section of the "Who is HG" area of the website... "Lisa is a typical woman battling the same food issues most females struggle with every day. Lisa considers herself a “foodologist,” not because she has some kind of fancy degree, but because she is obsessed with food –– how wonderful it is, and how much of it she can eat and still fit into her pants." Story of my life! Except I haven't been nearly as successful as she has at finding things that I can eat a lot of and still fit into my pants.  I fell off the HG band wagon for a while. And when I say a while, I mean 373 days. How do I know this? Because HG sends free daily e-mails with new recipes. I have a special Hugnry Girl folder in my Yahoo Mail, and there are 373 unread e-mails in it. I thought about it, and realized that number is a pretty accurate indicator of how long I haven't been giving a crap about fitness and healhy eating.

Anyway, one of my favorite things about Hungry girl is that they don't even really give you new recipes. Most of their recipes are "swaps", which means they teach you how to make something that you LOVE into something that you still love... it's just healthy this time. Like potato salad made with cauliflower, called "I Can't Believe It's Not Potato Salad" (You seriously can NOT tell!), Rockin' Restaurant Spinach Dip (one of my favorite things on the planet and only 72 calories per serving!!), and Cheeseburger Quesadillas.

There are several Hungry Girl cook books AND... (you have no idea how excited I am about this), a new Hungry Girl TV show on The Cooking Channel. I just found that out less than 2 minutes ago when I went to the website.  I am SUPER pumped about this people.

Please share with me... Do you have a favorite resource for healthy recipes? I am always looking for new inspiration! How do you stay motivated?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Love Never Fails

I just wanted to share something sweet with you guys tonight.

At our wedding, my Aunt Lisa played the guitar and sang Brandon Heath's "Love Never Fails". I think it was while we were lighting the Unity Candle. She did such a beautiful job. Out of all of the songs we chose for our special day, this one was my favorite. I loved it from the moment I first heard it, and knew all along that I wanted this to be played during the ceremony. My Aunt Lisa is the most amazing singer in the world and she also plays a mean accoustic guitar... so when I ran across the guitar tabs online while looking for the lyrics to the song, I knew it was going to be perfect. I hardly even remember listening to her play it during the wedding because I was so overwhelmed with everything going on, especially not lighting the church on fire with the unity candle tapers.. but when we watched the video a few weeks later I cried the whole time.

Tonight, Brandon {we're obviously on a first name basis} was playing a show at a local church here in town. I think that one of the best things about Christian artists is that even when they become super popular, they play smaller shows and don't charge an arm and a leg for tickets! My sister-in-law went to the concert with a friend and got to meet him! She brought this home for us:

It says, "Kurt and Betsy, Love never fails". How cool! I think it was sweet of Jordynn to mention us to him when she met him, and also super sweet of him to take the time to care. I am so excited to add this to our wedding scrapbook as soon as I show it to Kurt when he gets home tonight {we went bowling and then he dropped me off to go have a MUCH needed guys night out, which he hasn't had in months and months... we even had joint bachelor/bachelorette parties!}. How many people can say that they have something like this in their wedding album? :)

If you've never heard the song, here it is!

ps: PLEASE don't make the mistake of searching for the song on YouTube and clicking on the one that says "Kathy Lee Gifford - Love Never Fails". I panicked for a second and thought maybe she sang it first. I did a little research and confirmed my belief that Brandon Heath wrote it... but still felt like I needed to watch the KLG video. YUUUUCK.  oh my god. bad.bad.bad. Seriously the worst song and video ever.

Friday, March 4, 2011

soooore legs! UGH!

I am feeling a little bit discouraged, for a few reasons.

First, I ate three cookies for breakfast. Why? Oh, good question.
I have no idea.  I made a batch last night to take to my practicum today, but ended up not having to go. So I'll be taking them tomorrow. So while I was waiting for my coffee this morning, I ate a few. I started feeling guilty while I was chewing the first bite of the first cookie... but I didn't stop myself.

Why do I have no will power! Ugh, I frustrate myself so much. We are also going out to dinner and bowling with some friends tonight. Usually, we do things like this once a week, and allow it to be our "cheat day" where were eat whatever and don't go to the gym. But I'm feeling icky about eating like crap, so I'm not skipping the gym. In fact, Kurt's already there, and I'm sitting at my coffee table watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High while I wait for my ipod to charge.

Have you ever forgotten to check your iPod, and gotten to the gym only to find that it's dead? That's torture. Working out with nothing to listen to is seriously awful.

In this post from the other day where I wrote about running on the treadmill for 7 minutes, I forgot to mention that it was "legs day" for Kurt... and he talked me into doing it with him. Oh. My. God. That was on saturday... and on Monday I was still so sore that I could barely walk. I mean, I didn't do exactly the same thing as him, I reduced the weight by a LOT, but still. awful. My practicum supervisor even showed me how to massage my leg muscles by sitting on a tennis ball and rolling back and forth. It was horrible. On one hand, I felt good about it because it meant that whatever I did must be something that works, and Kurt said that everyone always feels that bad after they do legs for the first time. But on the other hand, I didn't work out on Sunday, and I skipped Zumba when it resumed on Monday. On Tuesday, I felt like I was totally half-assing it in Zumba because My legs still hurt, so anything that required jumping or high-knee moves, I barely did. After a month straight of not skipping a class or a scheduled work out unless I had a meeting or something during it, I missed three days!  It felt like crap - I could definitely tell the difference. I know that it wasn't like I was skipping because I was laying around on the couch eating cake or something, but it still made me feel like crap.

I'm having a hard time feeling like i'm back in the swing of things. I need to remind myself that I am not, nor will I ever be a former Marine, and I probably shouldn't try to work out like one. Yikes!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011 Academy Awards

Oscar night is one of my favorite nights of the year. It was always a big deal in my house when we were growing up. My sister and I would watch it with our mom and grandma every year. Even when I was too young to see any of the movies, I loved watching the red carpet to see the gorgeous dresses.

I thought the show this year was amazing. I actually have only seen one movie (Toy Story 3, ha!) that was nominated for anything, but Anne Hathaway is one of my *very* favorite actresses. I think she is so beautiful and her style is so timeless. I knew it was going to be a great show. I really think she did a fabulous job. I love James Franco also, but I don't think hosting is his forte. They went with a very "Old Hollywood" theme for this year, which I love. I am a sucker for anything vintage.

Anne wore EIGHT dresses last night. Or I guess, 7 dresses and 1 tuxedo with the most amazing shoes E-V-E-R. Also, her hair was different for every outfit that she came out in. I will never understand how they change and redo their hair and makeup that fast. And manage to look amazing every single time!

My favorite dress is the one she wore on the red carpet.

Out of everyone, I think my absolute TOP favorite was Hailee Steinfeld, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for True Grit. She is only 14 and she looked so adorable. Her dress was classic and sweet and just so perfect for her age, unlike so many of the other "famous" teenagers right now. I can't even count how many times I've seen Miley on a red carpet and wanted to throw up!

And, um... did anyone see Jennifer Hudson? Are you kidding me!? She looks so amazing. I seriously can't believe that she looks this good. After having a baby. I love knowing that she worked EXTREMELY hard to get to this point. I actually don't care for this dress at all... but she looks damn good in it!

One of my other favorites was Natalie Portman. I know a lot of grieving ladies read my blog, so I'm not going to shove a picture of her pregnant self in everyone's face. I just thought it was nice that she looked so classy - a lot of pregnant celebrities get a little bit too carried away with dresses that are WAY too tight. In the words of Joan Rivers, "I'm not interested in seeing whether a pregnant woman has an innie or an outtie".

I spent the evening at my parents house. As I mentioned above, the ladies of the family watch the awards together every year.  My mom is adorable and actually decorated for our little party this year!

V.I.P Entrance

Stars, plastic Oscars and candles on the mantel

And more little awards on the coffee table!

Even little Lucy was all decked out for the red carpet! She looked hysterical in her little dress. She greeted me at the door when I walked in, and I was so glad I brought my camera. My family makes me laugh.

This was my attempt at getting a picture of all of us... ha! My grandma somehow didn't even make it into the picture, but my sister looks cute!

Have a happy week!!