Saturday, June 13, 2015

I'm still here...

I know it doesn't seem like it. Who knew three months could fly by and get lost? LOST I tell you. :/



Finishing up the tax thing and some new responsibilities at my other all-year job, coupled with already poor time management skills...well, obviously that results in a lack of blog updates. I sowwy.

Since I saw you last, spring has come and gone. Doesn't hang around long in GA, as we tend to get springsummer, with a quick summersummer follow up. After I wrapped up things at the tax office, we made our annual pilgrimage to Florida with the B's and the H's. It was an excellent time, as always, but there was a little something different about this trip. What was it?

I was 70 pounds lighter than a year ago and I ran my very first 5K with Tracy and Jen!!!!!!! I was so proud of myself, and all of us, for what we have accomplished to get to that point. My guys were there to send me off with hugs and support (they knew I would finish, even if I didn't know that), and they were there when I crossed the finish. The fact that we ran it in Fl, the place where this whole journey began for me a year ago, made it all the more sweeter.


Before the race. Tracy had these awesome shirts made for us! :)

During the race. Yes, I realize I look like I'm dying. But I didn't, so yaaaaay. ;)
After we all finished!!!!! :D

Speaking of the whole getting healthy journey...

Going against every part of my brain that wanted to so NOT post this picture, when we returned from vacay, I shared my before and after photo on the friendface. When I took the "before" photo, I honestly never expected that I would make the progress that I made. So, I honestly never expected to show it to anyone. On one hand, I hate looking at it. On the other hand, I love seeing how far I've come. And lemme say...my spirit animal is a sloth and I think doughnuts should be a food group at the top of the food pyramid...so if I can do this, anyone can. :D

I forgot to save my old shorts, but that is the same shirt. 

Hmmm. What else?

Just yesterday I picked the boys up from their first ever 4-H summer camp. Spent a week at Tybee, lucky little boogers. While Bailey has done a scout camp thing once before, Braeden has never been away for so long. But when I picked them up, they said they had an ah-MAY-zing time, and it was the best week of their life. Haha. It's been 24 hours and Braeden is still singing camp songs. He wants to make sure that I know every word to every song he learned.

Every. Song.

There really wasn't a way for them to take pictures, but their wonderful 4-H coordinator sent me these two:

Bailey "singing" to snails...if you hum, it somehow mimics waves/water and makes the snails come out of their shells.
Braeden and his "marsh mud facial". 

Those that have hung out here a while know that we homeschool year-round, and that is still working for us. Right now we are in our "school-lite" mode for summer. Even though we follow a much lighter summer learning schedule (much lighter), Braeden is working hard at finishing up his 5th grade homeschool program, while Bailey is just about done with his 10th grade courses.

Whoa. That was hard to type. Where in the heck has the time gone?! I remember when Bailey was a wee lad and Braeden was a smushy little dude. What? They were! See? ;)

The day we took Braeden home from the hospital. He was a day old, Bailey had turned 5 three days prior...

I guess that's it. We took the boys to see Jurassic World today (it was okay, yay Chris Pratt, lol) and we are unplugging for a little while to head outside, cook on the fire, and play some card games without the distraction of our gadgets. Shocking, yes?

Until next time...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Oh, Spring. Where are you?

It's March. That means I'm looking for spring. Really looking. Searching desperately. :/

I like the cold. At least for the most part. I don't mind snow (as long as it doesn't affect power and there is no ice!). I love bundling up with blankets and hoodies.

But I'm really missing the sunshine right about now. I don't see much sunshine (or anything else) from my desk at the tax office. The tax thing is slowing down, but it's not over. I  need it to be over. I'm also missing my outside walks/jogs. I am ridiculously grateful for my treadmill because it's helped me keep my momentum, but I am soooooo bored with it, lol. I want to see the trees. And the cows. And the donkeys. And the chickens. :)

So what's been up with us? School has been going along. I won't say swimmingly or anything, but well enough. Both of the boys have struggled with some of their courses. But I think that's a good thing honestly. They have basically sailed along all these years and it's good for them to come across lessons/activities that they have to retake, or really focus/concentrate on. They did have an opportunity to break up the online learning last month. February was #FreebieFebruary, so the interwebs were awash with free educational resources. I found some free printable science worksheets, some free United States printables and a crap-ton of other free worksheets/crosswords. Free is always good.  :D

As for what else we've been up to, I'll show you...

We replaced our kitchen island. Sorry about the background mess.



We had what could have been some beautiful snow, but instead was messy/nasty/power outage causing ice. Bleh.


I got new glasses! Not incredibly noteworthy, but I went with a style that is really out of my norm. Love them so far.


The boys I tried Korean BBQ for the first time. Not only was it a great time with friends, it was really good noms.


Braeden has his first 4-H Cloverleaf DPA competition at Rock Eagle. Bailey was there as a teen leader...they both had a really good time!

Our group, having some fun together.

The rock eagle. 

Working on his project. Healthy and fun fruit kabobs!

Displaying for the judges and tasters.
So how did he do? My baby won 2nd place! I was so proud of him, but more importantly, he was SO proud himself!

Well. That's about it for now. This month, Bailey has his Senior 4-H DPA, he's in a play with his drama class and hopefully, we'll see some of that spring I've been looking for. ;) 

Until next time...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February. What the what?!

I lost January. Lost it. Completely. My calendar is telling me it's February, so one can naturally assume that January happened. But I don't know when. Ugh.

Tax time is in full swing right now. Why am I still torturing myself with tax time? Cause I'm a sucker. Plain and simple. Every April, I'm all badass and "I'm not doing this again!" Then every November, "sure, I'll do it again." :/

Boys are doing well. Really staying on top of their school stuffs while I'm at work. The last couple of weeks, Bailey has really realized how different homeschooling high school is compared to years past. I know he's in 10th grade, and he was in high school last year, but the courses this year are just more involved, more thorough and more time consuming. He's spending more and more time working through it all. But he's handling it like a trooper.

Braeden is also struggling with the 5th grade curriculum stuff lately. Not of all it. Mostly with the science. Weird, right? You just knew I was going to say he's having a hard time with math, didn't you? Lol. He's handling it okay most of the time, but we have definitely had to have the whole "if you think it's easier in public school and you wanna try that, just let me know" speech. He never does tell me he wants to give that a whirl. Shocker.

Not really anything else to report. Like I said...tax time brain fog. Oh! Our Moose had his first heartworm treatment injection on Dec 31, and did just fine with that. He had second and third (and hopefully final) injections this past week. With the exception of him being more sleepy, and the constant drinking/urinating thing (prednisone side effect), I don't know that we would know he's been going through this whole thing. :)

In my lap, with one of our other doggies, Lola. 

Making himself comfy ON Braeden, lol.
While I wish I had a huge fitness update to share, I don't really. It's been a struggle to have extra exercise time before or after being at the tax office. I am getting in some treadmill time a few days a week and I am doing a really good job at keeping up with my calorie intake, so that's something. I did have a ridiculously happy moment when I had to buy some new pants for the office. This time last year, I was wearing 18s and 20s. Two weeks ago I bought 12s. TWELVES!!!!!!!!!! I haven't been in a 12 since before Bailey came to be. :D

I'm such a goober. Even though I was buying these pants, and I was taking them home, and I had every intention of wearing them in public, I *still* took a photo of the 12s on me in the dressing room as proof. Heh. Goober. :)
That's about it for now. I hope everyone's 2015 has started off splendidly! Until next time...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December!

Lawd. December just flew by. Like, if I didn't have pictures, I could have missed it. :/

We stayed busy, as usual. The boys had several 4H activities (a movie night for the wee one, an overnight lock-in for the eldest and some community service opportunities) and we had our normal holiday madness. Let's see if I can touch briefly on a few things...

At the beginning of the month, we went back to the Atlanta History Center to learn a little bit about the holidays and their history. A teeny little bit, lol. We were hoping for more in-depth information, but it wasn't quite as expected. Not bad, though, and a good time was had.

Some decorations outside the Swan House.

Bailey asked for this for Christmas. :D

My boys and Z. 

Gathering wood for the kitchen...

Really cool, old and giant sized, dutch/campire ovens.

A little woodworking class...
The boys also had a chance to make their own candles by dipping wicks in wax and water, repeatedly.




Nope. Not gonna remark on any of their shapes. :D

What else? Oh! We got new stairs for our back porch. Why is this remarkable? Because we have been barely avoiding traumatic injury for years. Between broken steps, and loose steps/rails, going up and down the stairs had become a strategic obstacle course, lol. Thanks to Tracy and her dad, and help from their family, we got some beautiful stairs put up in no time!







There was also a trip to Six Flag's new Holiday in the Park. It was fun to ride a couple of the rides in the winter, and to see the lights. I did take some pics, but to be honest, my internet connection SUCKS (looking at you, Windstream) and I still have other pictures to upload. Just imagine a theme park. With lights. ;)

Christmas festivities went well. We've had celebrations with my family, at home and with friends. Due to work schedules, we are having a celebration with my in-laws in a couple of weeks.

My sweet niece. 

Youngest nephew. Totes adorbs. ;)

Braeden is very happy about the Dancing Groot that Bailey got him, lol.

Braeden and the trench coat he asked for. Goofy kid. :D

Bailey and his new coat. 

The hubs and his new porkpie hat the boys and I found for him. 
This week we are getting ready to ring in the new year, get back into the school thing, and for me to start full time at the tax office. Can't believe it's that time already. Ugh. The boys aren't lamenting the school thing too much, thankfully. They've enjoyed their break and know they have to find their groove again. In their downtime, Braeden has been doing a little math from last year's fourth grade homeschool curriculum, because he's finding that he's struggling with the 5th grade stuff. I think it's cool that he can drop back down and practice. Usually tax time is when they have the most time to blow through their online lessons because our extra activities are cut back so much. I'm expecting this year to be no different.

What else?

Fitness update? Okey dokey. :D I will be ending 2014 55 pounds lighter than when I started it! I am so damn happy about that, and really proud of myself. I know, sounds pompous. But I am. And to know that I have done it without pills, chemicals, or dieting. Simply making better (and new life-long) food choices and getting off of my butt. I completed the entire Couch-to-5K program, and I'm looking forward to starting it over, challenging myself even more. It's been an awesome journey so far, and I'm looking forward to what 2015 brings me. I really haven't done a before and after thing yet, and this isn't an official one, but I am sharing a pic from last Christmas, with a couple from this Christmas, just for a visual aid.




I know these aren't the greatest, but you can see what I'm so happy about. It's one thing to say I've lost 55 pounds and 3 sizes, but to SEE it...pretty outstanding. :D

Gah. I'm so scattered. I do have one request from everyone. One of our furry babies, Moose has heart worms. We are treating him, and the injections and the recovery period can be pretty scary. He's having the first injection this Tuesday. We love all of our doggies, but Moose definitely holds a special place in all of our hearts. If you'll keep him in your thoughts/prayers, and send well wishes for a successful treatment, we would greatly appreciate it.

Okay. If you've made it this far, bless you. It was a long one, lol. I hope you all had an amazing holiday season, and that your 2015 starts off safely, happily and is full of promise.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Stuffs and Randoms

I have a bazillion things running around my brain right now. I want to get several things out, but I know I won't have the patience to try and put them in any sort of order. So....

Bits o' random, coming at you...

What's been going on since I spoke with you last? In my head, it feels like it's been months, lol. Last weekend, we visited our local Medieval Times for the first time. We went with friends, and our little group of 13 had an amazing time!


We were team yellow.

The arena.

Our yellow knight.

Joust!

The kind and his peeps. 

School is going well. Bailey is working on NaNoWriMo for the first time, and enjoying it. He won't hit 50,000 words, but he's sticking with it, so I'm happy. Braeden would have liked to do NaNoWriMo, but only if took the place of his other school work. Ha. He's enjoying school, but would rather be back in his third grade homeschool curriculum, rather than moving forward with 5th grade. 5th grade is a big year...learning a lot of new concepts, instead of rehashing what he's already learned. I am grateful that we haven't butted heads much though, so that's something.

We had another field trip to the history center to learn about WWI. Of course I didn't take many pics...but I did get two.

Learning about trench warfare.

A reenactment of sorts...who started the war, who were allies and who were enemies. Done on a "playground," lol.

I made my very first batch of kombucha! It's currently in its second ferment, so I haven't tasted it yet, but we are looking forward to trying it! I hope to post an instructional for those interested, after we taste the final product and I can make sure I did it right, lol.

Thanks to a lovely friend, this is my "mother" at the beginning of the first ferment. 

The start of the second ferment! Grape! 

Hmmm. What else? I don't think much more is going on. I am working a couple of days a week at the tax office, to get ready for the upcoming tax season. Lots of family visits coming up with the holidays. Tomorrow is my last day of week 6 of the C25K program. Week 6! I really cannot believe I have come that far. And I'm feeling GREAT about it! As of today, I am down 45 pounds. Yep, that's clap worthy.

Go ahead. Round of applause. I'll wait.

;)

Seriously, if anyone out there wants to get started on a healthier path, but you don't think you can, lemme tell ya - if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT. :)

Alrighty then. I'm out. I wish each and every one of you a fabulous November and a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! Until next time...