Sunday, January 22, 2012

Buckets of Love

My Grandmother Mimi died late last night. Hardly any of you knew her. But she was one of the single greatest influences on my life.
Whenever you hear someone says "my grandmother/grandfather just died" my tendency is to react to them as if they just said "my bunny just died." In a that's sweet but we all knew that was going to happen-way. Until it happens to you.
Then, it feels as if a light has gone out of your life.
Mimi was the kind of person who believed I could do anything I ever wanted to do. I think this is because Mimi did nearly everything she wanted to do. She was a became pilot at the age of 16. She flew planes during WWII WITH my grandfather who was Navy Pilot. Her curiosity knew no bounds and she explored it with fervor.
This made their home a place of vast imagination and exploration for me as a child. It always felt like Narnia when we would drive down their long spanish moss and oak covered driveway.
We would play a game where would try to navigate through their kitchen without letting our feet touch the floor. Which Mimi encouraged. Children sitting on top of her refrigerator was common.

We would stay at their home whenever we moved or were home for a season and I know that Mimi got more done before 8am than I will ever get done in a single day of my life. I can still hear her whistling "Onward Christian Soldiers" as she washed the pounds of blueberries she had picked all morning while I slept.

When I was in the fifth grade, Mimi and Bob flew to Korea, where we lived. They stayed for an extended visit since it was such a long trip. When they left, I returned to school and I was sitting in my classroom and I swear, I heard her voice. Mimi had a very distinctive voice due to a loss of part of her vocal cord. I heard her voice calling to me. I ran out of my classroom to go find her. I didn't ask my teacher or anything. I just ran. But she wasn't there. I just wanted her to be there so badly.

We didn't live near grandparents any part of my life and when we had Mimi and Bob nearby, I felt like a million dollars. I think because they made me think I could be a sky writer if I wanted to.
I know I'm not unusual in this feeling. Mimi made everyone in our family feel as though they were her favorites. But is am sure of this. I was her favorite. :) She told me I was just like her. I had a widows peak just like her. I had the same sense of adventure. And I always wanted to laugh and enjoy life like her.

Now, I simply want to love like she did. I want to make people feel as though they are "my favorite". It is really hard to lose someone who thinks that you are obviously the president of whatever it is that you are involved in. Or that you can do no wrong-ever. That is the role of a grandparent. No one else in your life ever feels that way about you. Certainly not your spouse, siblings or parent. Only your grandmother reserves the right to see past all your flaws and thinks "Owner and principle in chief" is not too lofty of a goal.

I will never be that same for the influence of my grandmother Muriel Pace Newcomb. She always signed her letters "Buckets of Love" which is exactly what she poured into my life.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Almost One Week In

We are almost one week into the "Chubbiest Loser" and I am not going to lie, it's been tough.

It is always hard to take a look at your "food addictions" or let's just call them "habits" that have turned into a "lifestyle" that had creeped all over us. Without a major change, you never notice that every night you just sit down and watch TV for HOURS.

Or how often you reach for mindless snacks when you get stressed, hurt or frustrated. Instead of reaching for food, we now have to reach resolution. This is better in the long run, but sometimes a bit exhausting. :)

But the payoff?
Matt is down nearly 10 pounds.
I have lost 5.


In one week?
That seems crazy.

We have changed a lot around here.
But none of it has been terrible. Well, there was one terribly cranky day (Thanks Diet Coke for that addiction) but other than that. We are full, happy and have lots more energy. And are sleeping better at night. Matt isn't snoring anymore! YAY!

What have we been eating?
It has been a hybrid: Biggest Loser/Weight Watchers/Mediterranean Diet that I call: The Pinterest Diet.

If a recipe looks appetizing on Pinterest and is low in calories, carbs and high in fiber, I make it.
It has worked out fabulously.

Here are some of the recipes I have made:

Dijon Mustard Chicken Packs with Zucchini and Tomatoes

Grilled Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers. These were amazing. 

Biggest Loser Oatmeal Pancakes. The kids and Matt loved these. 

Biggest Loser Turkey Chili. Winner All Around. 

Lemon Water. All Day. Love it. 

It hasn't been killer to make these changes.
Here has been the biggest change. Our mindset. If I am going to buy all this produce, then we are going to eat that food that is sitting on the counter or in the fridge OR ELSE. It is too expensive and time consuming to cut up fruit and have it rot out in the fridge. So, we have to eat it or it goes bad.

This is honestly, a big deal for us.
We are on the go a lot and we eat out more than most people.
This is taking serious discipline to plan and eat around being at home and going to the gym or the park.

The payoff is already rolling in. So that is more incentive to keep going! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Around Here

Matt and around 60/70 Young Life associate men began today what is being called "Chubbiest Loser". These boys are all vying for the rights of chubbiest loser in the next three and half months.

I am not permitted to post the before picture nor the before weight.
But let's just say it looked something like this:

I kid. I kid.

He is not nearly that big.
But like most people who "meet" with people for a living, nearly every meeting is over a meal or has food somehow involved in it.
So he has a little extra "padding" these days. Who doesn't?

So he, and by he, I mean WE are doing this chubbiest loser project.
It should be something worth reporting on. If nothing else, to share the highs and lows of detoxing from the extra 3500 calories a day that we have been consuming over Christmas.

Already, its only Day 1 and we are STARVING and we have been eating all day long.
Just none of the food involves butter, peanut butter, chocolate chips, powdered sugar or icing. It has been a sad day. Except that we have worked out, eaten a healthy breakfast, vegetables, almonds, hummus, cottage cheese and WATER.

So this is the plan:
Drop soda.
Add exercise. Daily.
Walk Ranger. Daily.
Drink lots of water. Daily.
No more chips. Maybe pretzels if we are desperate. (potatoes make you  more hungry after you eat them and leave you feeling less full. Drop the chips!)
If hungry, grab a handful of nuts or baggie of veggies.
Eat at home. No more eating out for dinner.

First weigh in is in two weeks.
The best part about doing this? You don't really want to sit around if you have nothing to eat.
We are getting stuff done!
Cleaned out the garage.
Laundry is done.
Met some people for work.
Dog is walked.
We have lots of more energy! Who knows how long this is going to last? PRAY FOR US! Join us.

I have started a pin board on pinterest with lots of recipes and inspiration to get you started:
Biggest Loser on Pinterest

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I told Asher and Lucy about the concept of New Year's Resolutions yesterday and unprompted, this is what they came up with:

Eat healthier. "like more apples, bananas, and lemon glazed pound cake."
Ride my bike more.
I want to write better//more clearly. (this is always on his report card!)
Play with my friends more.
Shoot my BB gun more. (for the record, he does not have a bb gun. Clearly he is working the system.)

Do more crafts.
Recycle more. (completely hilarious)
Help mommy and daddy more. (yes please)
Hug and kiss mom and dad more.

I don't know that I could do ANY better crafting my own resolutions than they did.
In fact, if we all worked at these...our family might be a smooth running machine!

They really made me laugh at how "adult like" these resolutions are for a 6 and 5 year old. But I'll take it! And I'll help them achieve them.

This is going to be a good year.