Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beautiful weekend

It has been a beautiful summer weekend. Friday night we had dinner on the patio at our new neighborhood Mongolian Stir fry with Bryan's sister Deanna. It's always nice to spend time with family catching up. Deanna moved to Lebanon a few months ago when her husband was deployed to Iraq. Bryan's parents live in Lebanon, so they are close by to help with the grand kids.
It is fabulous that technology has come so far. She and the kids can text and skype Dan to stay in touch while he is away. That has to be comforting to see his face and let him see theirs. It makes me think of my grandfather who was in WWI. I"m sure his family just had to wait on letters or telegrams to know where he was and if he was safe.


Bryan and I went for a walk on Saturday morning at a local park, there was a steady breeze and the sun was shining. I wore my heart rate monitor to make sure I was in the right range. I can tell my endurance is increasing and I am actually getting used to exercising every day. That's something I wasn't sure would happen.

Saturday night, we tried our new neighborhood Blue Coast Burrito. I'm sure this will become one of our new favorite places. Great food, outdoor dining option and great prices, plus it is owned by some of our Whitver friends - The Osborns.

Grocery Shopping 101

My friend Amy and I went to a grocery shopping seminar on Thursday night. It was very interesting. There is lots of money to be saved by pre-planning meals, making grocery lists, tracking sale cycles, stocking up on staples and using coupons. Some of the ladies that are really committed to this lifestyle save 75% on their groceries by using these techniques.

When my kids were little I read a book called Miserly Moms and it had some of these same ideas. I guess I need to re-read that book, plus check out all the online blogs and sites that offer advice and tips. The main thing it reinforces is to plan ahead and avoid impulse buys. I know I need to heed that advice.

Here's some pretty helpful sites for those living in this area:
www.faithfulprovisions.com
http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com
www.moneysavingmom.com

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Movie quote of the day...

"My darling girl, when are you going to understand that "normal" is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage."
- Practical Magic

Monday, August 24, 2009

Week 3 of exercise/nutrition pilot

I made it through week one and two of "Thrive" and I am doing pretty well so far. I have stayed within my calorie goal 11 out of the 14 days, one of those days being my birthday. The other two times I went over were Saturdays. Weekends are less structured and I seem to have more cravings for sweets. Journaling my food does seem to help. It definitely makes me more aware of what I am eating and forces me to plan ahead.
As for exercise, we are required to do cardio three days a week on our own. I do some of my cardio on my rebounder, and some with brisk walking, always wearing my heart rate monitor to make sure I'm in target range.
Strength training we do at work with our Coach. I have progressed to doing girl push ups on the floor. The first week I had to do my push ups against a bench, because my muscles were too weak. I guess I am proud to have progressed to the floor with the rest of the group. My chest is still fairly numb, but today I could really tell a difference when I did my workout. I think all this strength training is waking up some of those nerve endings near my pectorals, and ouch does that hurt!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Komen Race for the Cure October 10th

“Fight like a girl” is open for registration! The Komen Race for the Cure is October 10th in Maryland Farms, and I would love for you to join the team.
Last year I walked this 5K one week after my last chemo treatment. I would have never made it through, except for the fact I was surrounded by my wonderful friends and family members. It was exhausting and exhilarating to finish the race. I plan to have much more spring in my step this year!

If you'd like to join:
Follow This Link to my personal page (personal page is for donations from people who cannot join us for the walk)
If you will be walking with us on October 10th - Click “My Team Page”, and then
“Join the Team”

Komen will send you a t-shirt, but if you want a supercute “Fight like a girl” shirt – you can order them here:
http://www.twochicksdesigns.com/Breast_Cancer_Awareness_Apparel_s/13.htm

Thank you for all your continued prayers and support!
Laura

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just another manic Monday

I used to play this Bangles song to get Jenni out of bed when she was little, it's been running through my head all day:

Six o'clock already I was just in the middle of a dream
I was kissin' Valentino By a crystal blue Italian stream
But I can't be late 'Cause then I guess I just won't get paid
These are the days When you wish your bed was already made

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday 'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday

Have to catch an early train Got to be to work by nine
And if I had an air-o-plane I still couldn't make it on time
'Cause it takes me so long Just to figure out what I'm gonna wear
Blame it on the train But the boss is already there

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday 'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday

Sunday night at the Spears

The weekend ended with a cookout at the Spears house. Mike grilled some fish and Lori made some delicous vegetables and fruit. Sandy brought a delicious cake for Angie and I to celebrate our birthdays. It was a great end to a great weekend with friends and family!


Wedding shower

Saturday we had a wedding shower for my cousin Megan. I had planned to get all the shopping done and clean my house on Friday night, but with the surprise party - that idea went out the window.
Thank goodness, Bryan, Josh, Chassi and Jenni all chipped in and helped me get everything ready. Linda and Lisa arrived bearing food and lent a hand as well. There was plenty of food for everyone, and Megan got some beautiful and useful gifts to get her and Carson started in their happy home.

Megan's mom, Brenda, is my first cousin and when Bryan and I married and moved to Memphis she helped us more than she will ever know. Bryan and I were young and needed lots of guidance getting set up, in addition to learning our way around Memphis. I don't know what I would have done without her. I hope we can be here for Megan the way Brenda was there for me.

I tried to invite all the first cousins that were within driving range of the shower, and it was a fabulous day! It was so great to spend the day with my aunts, uncles and cousins. I am blessed with an awesome family - we just don't get to see each other often enough.


Birthday

Friday the 14th, was my 44th birthday. I think next year I may start counting backwards, but after last year I am very glad to be here to celebrate.

I took the day off from work and slept late. Then Jenni and I went shopping and bought some new Nikes and workout pants to go with the new workout tops that my friend Katherine gave me.

Since I am committed to do this wellness pilot; I did go into work at 4pm for my Thrive workout. I can actually tell I am making progress already with the program. Tracking my calories was not my favorite thing to do on my birthday - so I just tried to take it easy and still enjoy. I thought I was meeting a couple of friends at J. Alexanders for a quick appetizer and some cheer, but when I arrived there was a surprise party waiting for me! If I had known I would have at least applied a bit of make up and showered, instead of just sponging off after my workout. Oh well, guess it wouldn't have been a surprise if I had been tipped off.

Thank you fabulous friends!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Burnt Toast and Bees

I usually have a book I'm reading and an audio book for my commute. This week's audio book is The secret life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Sue does a great job describing her characters and the settings. I can almost taste the honey and feel the heat of South Carolina. 
The book I'm currently reading is Burnt Toast by Teri Hatcher. Yes, it is the Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives. I know, I know several of you are reading Wuthering Heights or Jayne Eyre and I am sure you are growing as a person for doing so, but I need something light to read before bed. This book helps me unwind and laugh. Teri talks about watching her mother eat the burnt toast and giving everyone else the good slices, and as a result she grew up and did the same. I can totally relate to that. I grew up with one of the most self-sacrificing mothers and grandmothers of all time. Teri reminds us in the book through humorous and often sad stories, that we have to remember to take care of ourselves, in order to take care of everyone else. She has been through quite a bit in her life and career that I had no idea about until reading this book.

So, I have decided to take her advice this week. I am taking Friday (my birthday) off from work. I plan to spend the day doing whatever I feel like doing!

Day 1 and 2 of wellness pilot


I've made it through day 1 and 2 of the fitness and nutrition pilot at work. Yesterday we did some core exercises with Mitch our trainer. My chest muscles are very sore from the push-ups we did, but I know it will get better. Today I wore my heart rate monitor and did my cardio. The heart rate monitor helps me to know that I am working out in my target range. My BMR (basal metabolic rate) was calculated at 1128, so I am on a 1200 calorie diet. I've started food journaling and realizing that I eat a lot of empty calories. I am trying to pay attention to what and when I eat. So far I've been able to avoid the snickers candy bars, but I am sure at some point I'll have to write that in my journal. I know it is important to eat healthy, but life is too short to completely cut out my very favorite candy.

Great neighbors

Saturday night we attended a fabulous party in our neighborhood hosted by Candy and David. They had a huge food spread and I'm sure I exceeded my daily recommended calorie intake, but everything was so delicious. I also connected with a neighbor I had not met. Her name is Kim and she lives a few houses down from me. She is a 7 year (triple negative) breast cancer survivor, and we even have the same Oncologist. It's always comforting to meet fellow cancer survivors, and to have her right down the street will be great. I am positive we will become great friends.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wellness Pilot

Today I had my body composition analysis and fitness test, and well let's just say - I have a lot of work to do. My trainer, Mitch had me do push ups and sit ups for 1 minute and a step test for 3 minutes while wearing a heart rate monitor. It's no surprise that I don't have much upper body strength after my surgery last year, so this program should definitely help me get some of that back. After the test I set fitness goals and then met with Nikki, my dietitian. She will calculate my calorie needs and send me some sample meal plans. They also asked today if they could video my journey with the program - talk about pressure to succeed! Oh well, it's probably the motivation I need.

Jenni's move to Chattanooga

Jenni has decided to move to Chattanooga to live with one of her best friends Molly. They have a cute little bungalow on Signal Mountain. Molly is at UTC and Jenni is still weighing her options for returning to college. Jenni moved home and took the year off when I was diagnosed with cancer, and she is still trying to decide exactly what her next move will be. Chattanooga has a very good Arts scene and hopefully it will give her some good opportunities. It definitely has some awesome views for her to shoot photos.

Josh and I drove down with her on Sunday and delivered the rest of her belongings. He reassembled her bed and hooked up their washer and dryer, I cleaned a little and we left them unpacking. She started her new job today and loves the people there.

Some of the family has been asking to see Europe photos from Jenni. Her laptop died last week, so it may be a while before I can post any of her Europe pictures. If you run across great deals for Macbooks - let me know! I'm sure she is going through computer withdrawal right now.

Wedding Saturday


My cousin Amy Hendon got married on Saturday at the chapel at Scarrit Bennett. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful wedding. The reception followed at Union Station with food and music galore. It was a great day with my fabulous immediate and extended family and friends.

Family dinner




Anna Belle and Morgan are a little distressed that Jenni will be 1 1/2 hours away, so we decided to have a family dinner on Friday night, so they could spend some time with her. We went to "Golden Eagle" our new Mongolian stir-fry in Lennox Village. Anna Belle spent most of the meal trying to convince Bryan and Josh that they should join the X-games (it was on the TV at the restaurant). She said they just needed to practice more and they could probably do the tricks those guys were doing. The meal was delicious and I'm sure it will become one of our favorite places to visit. Maybe we will get adventurous and even walk there one evening.
I didn't get very flattering pictures of anyone but the little girls that night, so just enjoy these precious little faces - even if they are covered in food.

Never Say Cheese

http://www.neversaycheese.com/ - Mark Caferio's newest adventure. Check it out - especially if you live in California or Colorado. Hopefully it will make it to Tennessee's Costco very very soon. (I work with Mark's sister Katherine and I feel like her brother and sister are my friends too.)

Carrabbas for MDA

Thursday night Bryan and I went to Carrabbas in Green Hills for a Muscular Dystrophy benefit. For a $15 donation you got all the new Mr. C's appetizers and a signature drink. As usual, it was delicious and they brought us way more food than we could ever eat. We met Lisa, Chadd and Katherine there and had a great time with friends, and the money went to a good cause.