Friday, December 15, 2017

Focus Word: Resilience

I know you've been hearing about my focus words a lot this week but, this is the final one. I swear.

And, I may just have saved the best for last.

If you haven't been around lately, let me fill you in but, if you've been around all week, skip this next part. 

At the beginning of 2017, I made a list of 7 Focus Words for 2017. I have been trying to recap each focus word from this year by sharing how focusing on these words helped me grow in 2017. Today, I am sharing my last focus word: resilience.


Resilience is something we all need in order to succeed in anything we do. I could talk about my resiliency as a mother, a business owner, or a women in general but, since it's most relevant to my blog, I will be talking about my resilience specifically as it pertains to my weight-loss journey.

I have been on a weight-loss journey for many years and, I'm not sure that I see an end-date in sight. Now, when I say weight-loss journey, I hear many different things. I hear myself talking about my journey through losing weight; my journey through making healthier food choices; my journey of becoming more active, and generally; my journey of living life as healthy as I can while enjoying my life with those I care about.

It is because of my resilience that I am still here, blogging about my weight-loss journey. It is because of my resilience that I have lost 20 pounds this year and, it is because of my resilience that I will lose even more weight next year in 2018. It is because of my resilience that I will never give up.


I will continue to be resilient.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Focus Word: Grace

Grace is probably one of my favorite words in the English language. After all, it is my daughter's middle name.

Grace is something that I need to call upon daily. Without it, I am anxious and over-burdened. Don't get me wrong, I am most likely anxious either way because that's just who I am but, grace helps. Grace saves the day.


At the beginning of 2017, I came up with 7 Focus Words for the year. Grace was one of those words. 

At the beginning of the year I said, "I am going to seek grace when it doesn't all go as planned; for when my systems fail; for when I am feel less than enough; for the days when I just can't juggle it all, and finally; to remind me to seek God's grace, every day."


When I forget to seek grace, my husband graciously reminds me. It was not often this year that my head would hit the pillow at the end of my days without feeling the power of grace.


Out of all of my focus words, grace was probably the one that was used most often.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Focus Word: Equanimity

With the year coming to an end, I'm trying to wrap up my overview of each of the 7 focus words I picked for 2017. Today, I am talking about equanimity.

Equanimity. This was a new word for me in 2017. I hadn't really ever heard it used before but, it's definitely something I struggle with at times.

A definition of equanimity is: mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.

Now, I'm a mom... of a toddler. I think we can all agree that mothers with kids at any age struggle with this word at times. Right?!

Sometimes I wonder, how in the world am I suppose to practice equanimity/mental calmness when I'm thinking of 10 different things, while doing 3 different things, while listening to 2 different people, all while my toddler is asking for a million different things?

Okay, that may be an exaggeration but, you get it.

I choose this focus word for 2017 not because it's an easy one but, because it's something I crave. I want that mental calmness, I want that composure and evenness of temper, especially when the water is boiling over onto the stove and my life.

If I were to be honest, this may be something I need to work on even harder now than at the beginning of 2017 but, I feel change coming. 

While I might not practice it as often as I should, I have been able to reach a state of equanimity faster than before; through prayer.


Praying brings me equanimity; mental calmness; composure, and; evenness of temper. 

Prayer is the answer for me to grow in equanimity and, even if I haven't mastered equanimity in 2017, I am so glad that I found my answer in how to reach it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Lot of Crazy Ramblings

This week is a little crazy already and, it's only Tuesday.

Between jury duty selection yesterday {I didn't get picked!}, a doctor appointment for Piper's ear this morning, my sister coming home from Texas this afternoon and, her leaving again for Guam on Thursday morning; this whole week is a little wacky. {edited to say, the doctor's appointment has been rescheduled due to a little snow storm we're getting this morning}

On top of that, we have Piper's final tumbling and music classes and, God-willing, a long-overdue dinner date with some new friends on Friday. 

Let's just say, I'm going to be flying by the seat of my pants for the remainder of the week.

On Saturday, we have no plans, and it's a good thing because I plan to do all, literally all, of my Christmas shopping on Saturday. I have only bought 4 gifts so far and they've all been for Piper and Nick so, I need to be super productive on Saturday to finish the rest of our list. {edited to say, dinner with friends is rescheduled to this night, after all!}

On Sunday, I have a Christmas exchange with my girlfriends from high school, which reminds me that I need to find time to make some cookies and find a bottle of wine for that exchange, too.

After all this, it's Christmas week and so, I think that will mean a little bit of a slow-down for our family before the big rush next weekend. Fingers crossed.

As for my wellness goals amidst the chaos, I think I will focus mostly on getting my water in everyday and try to stay within calories as many days as possible. Getting to the gym is getting put on the back burner this week and, that's okay. 

I don't want to overwhelm myself with unrealistic goals and, for me, trying to get to the gym this week would definitely be unrealistic. Instead, I'll be enjoying the last of my time with my sister's family tonight through tomorrow and, everything else coming at me this week, too.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Busy Weekend + Jury Duty

Hey guys! If you were here on Friday then you already know we had a busy and fun weekend planned. I am definitely up on the scale after this weekend but, this is part of the journey. Losing weight is not always a straight line. You go up, and you go down. This weekend, I went up and there's a lot of fun reasons why.

On Friday, we had pizza at my mom's house when we got together for Bible Study/Lifegroup.

On Saturday, we went shopping in the morning and ran into Santa. There were cookies and cider! Piper was so happy!

Then I got together with my mom in the afternoon for a little paint date. It was a lot of fun!

Later on Saturday night, Nick and I went to a Christmas party put on by his employer. This is one of our favorite parties of the year because it's always so well done!

On Sunday, we went to church, got some grocery shopping done and then had dinner with our CORE class at our pastor's house for the final class of the session.

Today, I am going to be out of the door early this morning as I'm going through the jury selection process. I use to work in the courthouse a lot before I quit my career as a paralegal {to stay home with my daughter} and so, it's likely going to be a bitter-sweet day for me to be back at my old stomping grounds for the day. 

I am torn on whether or not I want to be selected for jury duty {not like I get a choice}. It's something I think I would really enjoy doing, being back in the court room but, I also don't miss that long {45 min - 1 hr} commute to the court house in these winter-months.

Readers, have you ever been selected for jury duty?

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Big Loss This Week

Wow! This week was the best week I've had in a while when it comes to eating well, working out and losing weight. I went to the gym twice already and plan to go tomorrow morning with Nick, too. I ate within calories most of the days this week and, I lost most of the weight I gained while my sister was in town for two weeks.

Here's my most recent weigh-in's:

11/17/17: 234.3 
11/24/17: 238.5 - sister's in town
12/1/17: 242.2 - sister's in town
12/8/17: 236.2

While I am not down to the weight I was at before my sister was in town, I am down 6 pounds this week! My goal for December is to maintain a weight of 230 - 235 to get me into the new year and I think this is a very realistic goal for me right now!

While this week was an awesome week on the scale, I will admit, I think this weekend is going to be hard to maintain my weight. We've got Lifegroup tonight {pizza}, a Christmas party tomorrow {free drinks + dining}, and we are getting together for our final CORE class at our pastor's house on Sunday {lasagna}. 

There's a lot of yummy food headed my way this weekend and, I'm not going to spend all of my time at these events trying to stay on track. My main goal for my weight-loss journey is to "lose weight while living life" and this weekend, I'm going to be living it up {and drinking lots of water to help balance it all out}.

I don't believe in putting your life on hold to lose weight. I tried doing that many many years ago {avoiding social events, etc.} and, it's just not worth it to me. I'd rather lose the weight slower if it means that I get to spend quality time with my family and friends. Especially this time of year!

Next week, it's back to business!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thankful Thursday #9

It's been a couple months since I shared a Thankful Thursday post and so, I figured today would be a good time to bring it back. I have so much to be thankful for on a daily basis and below is a short list of a few extra fun things I've been thankful for lately.

Emily Ley's new book: "A Simplified Life"

I have a feeling that you're going to be hearing a lot about this book, the more that I read it. I shed a tear during the first paragraph of the introduction just because it is so relatable to where I'm at right now. 

Emily Ley's first book, "Grace Not Perfection" was a game changer for me and I think this second book of hers is going to be no different!

All The Peppermint Scents & My New Oil Burner

With Christmas coming up, I've been burning peppermint scented oils and wax in my house day and night. I don't know about you but, peppermint is a scent that makes me think "it's Christmas time!"

Essential Oil Infused Winterberry Spice Candle

Okay, the only exception to peppermint in my house this time of year is this new Winterberry Spice candle I found this week. 

I also like the scent of pine this time of year too but, I haven't found a good scent of pine. I have one scent in mind when I think of pine and everywhere I've checked hasn't matched it. Peppermint and Winterberry will have to be it this year!

My Time with my Sister's Family

My sister, her husband and my baby nephew were in town for two weeks! They are down in Texas this week visiting Jarrod's side of the family but, they will be back for one day next week for us to say goodbye before they travel back to Guam for another year. 

It's been so hard to live without my sister in the same time zone but, I have been so thankful for all of the time I had to spend with her family while they were in town.

My Ever-Growing Toddler

Being thankful for Piper kind of goes without saying every single day of my life but, I have to share a picture of her from this week. She is starting to look more and more like a little girl and less like a my baby every day. 

I came downstairs the other day and she was standing on the couch {hah} and said, "Mama, I turning 3 soon". I pretty much cried and laughed at the same time. It was one of those moments that make you think "where does the time go?"

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

TMI with the Toots

It's mid-week and I'm feeling good about my week so far!

On Monday, I went over calories by a couple hundred but, I did track everything I ate. I drank 120 oz. of water and I went to the gym! Despite not reaching 10,000 steps, I did reach 9,000+ for the day.

On Tuesday, I tracked my calories, went to the gym and drank 120 oz. of water! I stayed within calories {by 1 point, haha} and I hit 10,000 steps for the day!

Today is Wednesday and, I'm on a roll. I am going to try to keep the momentum up for the remainder of the week!

Fun fact: {This is definitely TMI but,} since I've been going to the gym these past couple days, I've been expelling a lot of trapped gas; like an insane amount. I'm convinced it's from being so inactive these past few weeks. I feel lighter already just from all of the toots. 

Did that make you giggle? It sure makes me giggle. My husband, however, hasn't been thinking it's so funny.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sometimes Reality Defeats Me

If you're familiar with the condition: PCOS, then you know that gaining weight is easy and losing weight is hard. I actually had a doctor tell me that since I have PCOS it would be "nearly impossible" for me to lose weight. 

My doctor said, and I quote, "for a normal person it's hard but, for a person with PCOS it's nearly impossible." Wow! I had a choice to make in that moment. I could either let that fact defeat me but dwelling on the word "impossible" or I could let the word "nearly" inspire me to beat the odds. One word makes all the difference, right?

I'm not going to lie. Usually I feel inspired to beat the odds but, sometimes the reality of PCOS defeats me. For instance, I gained 8 lbs. in two weeks while my sister was in town because I stopped keeping track of what I was eating; I started drinking more alcohol/beer, and; I was over-indulging in food. 

In that situation, anyone would gain some weight, right? But, 8 lbs. in two weeks? Really? That's a little extreme.

I feel a little defeated but, I'm pushing through the defeat. 

My sister left to visit her husband's family in Texas yesterday and I took that as an opportunity to get back on track. I am tracking everything that I eat, I am working on drinking 120 oz. of water each day and, I am going to try and hit 10,000 steps as many times as I can this week. I also made a dinner menu for the week to help us stay on track with eating at home opposed to going out or ordering in.

On Saturday, I do plan to overindulge a bit because it's my husband's holiday party through his work. We always have such a good time each year during this event and this year will be no different. I can feel good about overindulging on Saturday too, because I know that every day leading up to it, I will be staying on track and giving it my all. 

Balance, moderation, and all that good stuff.

I can do this.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Focus Word: Purpose

My husband and I have been taking a CORE class through our church. The topics they cover in CORE class have been great and really made me think about my life experiences and how they led me to this very moment; to where I belong.

My favorite part of CORE was finding our spiritual gifts through a SHAPE assessment. At our church, "shape" stands for spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personalities and experiences. 

Throughout the course, we were reminded that God gave us our passions and the choice we have is to either honor God or to honor ourselves with them. The reason I mention all of this is because it really ties in to one of my focus words for 2017: "Purpose".


My passions may not be the same as yours but, they do help lead me to my purpose. I am passionate about encouraging others, keeping things and people organized, as well as executing plans. Figuring out my spiritual gifts through my shape assessment has really helped me when it comes to thinking about my purpose in life. God gave me these spiritual gifts and passions for a reason. 

I feel my purpose being fulfilled the most when I am actively using my spiritual gifts. Furthermore, I feel my purpose being fulfilled the most when I am actively using my spiritual gifts for the glory of God.

My husband and I are both going to be actively volunteering in our church. I feel like it's the best way to fulfill my purpose right now. He already has begun volunteering by playing electric guitar for the church's worship crew. I am still finding exactly where I belong but, now that I am more aware of my spiritual gifts, my purpose is more easily fulfilled.

I feel like I made some great progress in finding my purpose this year and it's something I will continue to focus on next year, as well.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Goal + Plan for December 2017

Happy Friday and happy first day of December!

As we enter the first day of the last month of 2017, I am feeling motivated to make the best of out of the days we have left this year.

If I were honest with myself, losing weight in December is probably not doable. It's no joke that there will be holiday party after holiday party for us this month. We are actually going to a Christmas party tomorrow night! 

We are celebrating Christmas early with my sister, brother-in-law and baby nephew tomorrow while they are still in town. {They leave on Monday and my heart is already breaking a bit but, I am keeping it together for the most part and enjoying the moments we have left.}

Then, next weekend, we have my husband's holiday party through his work, which is something we look forward to each year! They put on such a nice party. The food, the drinks, the entertainment; it's one of our favorite parties of the year.

The weekend after that, I am celebrating Christmas with my girlfriends from high school. That's another get-together that I look forward to each year, as well. We drink wine, we laugh and laugh and laugh. It's so much fun!

Then, the weekend after, it's Christmas! Try losing weight with that schedule of events. Hah.

My goal for December is to maintain around a weight range of 230 - 235 lbs. Also, I am going to look at the scale as little as possible this month because with all of these events, the scale is going to be all over the place. There's no need to stress myself out about it. The holidays aren't here for very long so, we might as well enjoy them.

To maintain my weight this month, my goal is to eat healthy on the days when there are no events going on and, to really enjoy myself when we are at an event. That means, eat the food, drink the drinks, have all the fun. I am also going to try to make it to the gym at least twice a week in December, too. Hopefully that will help balance it all out.

Readers, what's your schedule like this month and what is your plan to stay on track?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 Recap

Thanksgiving started out slow and wonderful, just like we like it. We all slept in a bit and took it easy that morning. 

My favorite part of Thanksgiving was the first thing we did that day. I loved snuggling up with Piper on the couch, with my coffee, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Watching the parade in our pajamas together is my favorite Thanksgiving tradition.

While Piper and I were snuggling, Nick was in the kitchen making us a souffle casserole for breakfast. If you haven't noticed from all the years of reading my blog, Nick is definitely the baker and I'm the cook.

Compared to years prior, we only had one stop to make this Thanksgiving. With my sister being home from Guam, it was no question, we'd be spending the day with her and my mom's side of the family. 

To share at Thanksgiving dinner, I made one of our favorite desserts for holiday functions: a caramel and heath apple dip!

It's super easy to make. You just spread cream cheese at the bottom. Top it with caramel and then some heath crumbles. It's done in like 5 minutes and it's a fan favorite!

I didn't take many pictures at Thanksgiving this year. But, as you can imagine, there was a lot of yummy food.

Since Beckah was home, we did manage to get some pictures with all of our cousins!

After dinner, we played some games and enjoyed our time together. 

At the end of the day, we went home with our bellies and hearts full.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Go-To Ham and White Bean Soup Recipe

With the weather colder now, I have been making a lot of soup. Some of our new favorites have been Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi and this Ham and White Bean Soup!

I had been craving a soup with this kind of broth for a while and, it really hit the spot. Ham and bean soup is an easy classic and this recipe treated us very well.

The original recipe can be found here:

My alterations to the ingredient list are below.

2 cans great northern beans
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 handful shredded carrots
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 lb ham, cubed
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
sprinkle of dried tyme
sprinkle of italian seasoning

The soup made our house smell so good and it tasted just as good, too. The best part is that it is really low in calories, around 200 calories per serving and the soup serves 8. This is a recipe we'll be coming back to many more times this winter!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Focus Word: Intention

As we are nearing the end of 2017, I have been taking a little time to think back on my focus words for 2017. Today, I am going to reflect on the word: Intention.

I am not going to lie. Doing life with intention seems to be my biggest struggle right now. Especially these past few weeks. I feel like I am constantly going with the wind and thus, I'm not doing much with intention at all.

Sometimes it's good to just go with the flow though and, enjoy the moment or, more specifically in my case, enjoy my family time while they are still in town.

My nephew is visiting all the way from Guam.

At the beginning of the year, I was doing much better about being more intentional with my time. I was planning out my day each morning and things just seemed to flow much easier because of that intentional planning. 

I find that when I make a to-do list for myself each day, things go smoother. I usually start with a "top 3" to-do list and then scribble down a wish list of others things that would be great to get done that day, too.

My goal this year was to be intentional enough so there would be specific times for working on my business, a time for blogging, etc. but, that hasn't really been the case lately. For instance, it's after midnight now as I'm writing this post and, if I were honest, this post on "intention" wasn't even written out with much intention behind it at all. I just decided to start writing because I was still awake and wanted to do something productive.

The reason I made "intention" one of my focus words for 2017 is because it's a challenging one for me to focus on. At times, I am very intentional in all I do and during other times, like recently, I just bounce around from one thing to the next. It's not very productive to work that way but, sometimes it is necessary for good reason. We all need a break from routine occasionally to avoid burnout, right?

Most importantly, or maybe most relevant to this blog, I wanted to be more intentional with my time as it relates to my weight-loss goals this year. I wanted to be intentional in my planning when it came to meals and exercise each week. I think I did a really great job at making meal plans in 2017 but, sticking to them was another story at times. More so, later in the year.

In 2017, my intention fizzled out in some areas this year. My weight-loss stopped once Fall came around; I lightened up my own work load with my business to enjoy more family time, and; I stopped following through on a lot of my own planning.

Some of this lack of planning with intention was due in part to another focus word I made a priority for 2017: "balance", and some of this is due to my lack of planning with intention in general. Either way, it's been a good challenge for me to focus on this word in 2017 and I think I'll be keeping it around for 2018, too.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Home For The Holidays - A Crazy Fun Week

How was your Thanksgiving? We had a great one over here. Actually the entire week was amazing!

My sister, brother-in-law and my baby nephew are in town all the way from Guam so we got to spend Thanksgiving with all of them! Not to mention just about every other day since they came home last Monday. 

The past week was crazy, amazing, and so much fun. The days are starting to blend together now but, let me see if I can write out a quick recap from last week.

Last Monday, I met my baby nephew for the first time. It felt like a piece of my heart was finally put in place when I got to hold that sweet boy.

Last Tuesday, Piper and I hung out with Beckah, Jarrod and Baby Declan (DJ) all morning. Piper got to play with Declan and I got some serious snuggles in that morning. It was pretty great!

Later on Tuesday, while Nick was still at work, my mom watched the kids while Beckah, Jarrod and I went on a fun Walmart trip. (They don't have Walmart in Guam, so it was kind of a big deal.)

On Wednesday, I got to babysit my nephew. That was such a sweet time for Nick, Piper and I to get baby DJ all to ourselves.

Later on Wednesday night, I went out to a bar with my sister for the first time! I've been thinking about this occasion since I turned 21 many years ago. We have talked about the day when I could finally take her out for many years now and I can't believe this day has finally come!

I always knew going out with Beckah would be so much fun. Beckah turned 21 while she was over in Guam so, Wednesday night was the first night we got to celebrate that milestone birthday with me buying her a drink!

On Thursday, we celebrated Thanksgiving with our family. It felt so good to have Beckah, Jarrod and baby DJ with us during this holiday!

On Friday, my sweet Piper got sick with a stomach bug. Nick stayed at home with her while I volunteered at Santa's workshop with our church and then hurried back home to be with my sweet girl. Thankfully, Piper's stomach bug only lasted about 24 hours. I spent most of Friday - Saturday snuggling up my baby.

On Sunday, we had an Open House for Beckah and Jarrod so everyone who wanted to see them while they were in town could. There were cheese trays, and cookies galore. I think I ate cookies for dinner that night. Yep, I sure did.

Later on Sunday night, Beckah, Jarrod, Nick and I met our cousin Dustin and his fiance Katie out at the casino. We had some drinks and lost only a little bit of money. It was such a fun night! I wish they didn't have to go back to Guam.

Now, it's Monday and I'm ready to get some sort of a routine back in place over here. This is the last full-week with my sister at home and I anticipate it being a little more low key than last week but, then again, I'm not sure exactly what's in store for us. 

Hopefully there will be a little less drinking this week since alcohol makes me gain weight like nothing else but, with my sister and brother-in-law both being 21 and, with them only here for a few more days, I'm not going to pass up an any opportunity to have fun with them! 

So, here's to doing the best I can this week, drinking a lot of water, and enjoying my family time while I have it!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Assembling the Christmas Tree 2017

Putting the tree up with a toddler is fun...

We're ready for the holidays to begin! How about you?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More Social Media Talk

I unfollowed everyone & everything on Facebook for a couple weeks and here's what I've found out about myself.

I use to waste a lot of time scrolling my endless newsfeed.
I still was able to find other ways to waste time.
I was no longer being inundated with bad news, attitudes and nasty rhetoric.
I wasn't being blessed with the good news of others, either.
I started focusing more on myself, my own views and goals.
I missed cheering other people on.

I do miss the good stuff that use to pop up on my feed. I miss seeing pictures of my friend's kids pop up and bring a smile to my face. I miss seeing people build each other up when they are having a tough time. I miss some of it, for sure. 

The newsfeed on Facebook can be both precious and destructive, though.

You've heard me talk a lot about Instagram lately and, it's because I like it much more than Facebook. I am not sure when or if  I am going to bring back my newsfeed but, I do know that I still love the ability to stay in touch with my friends and all of you there, too.

I know this time we're in with social media is a strange and wonderful time and, that's why I am sharing all of this with you. I'm sure I am not the only one who struggles with the balance of it all. 

Self-care is super important in any weight-loss journey and self-care is a broad topic that includes a lot of different tactics. Unsubscribing from my newsfeed is just one self-care tactic I am using right now.

Monday, November 20, 2017

My Sister Comes Home Today

The moment that I've waited for over a year now is coming today. My sister is coming home from Guam!

My sister, her husband and my baby nephew will be here for a couple weeks and so, my posting may be a little sporadic. 

September, 2016 - The last time we were together!

I will be keeping my new IG account up-to-date though, for sure. {GoalOfLosing100}

So, over the weekend, somebody asked me: what's the big deal with your new Instagram account and, it made me think. I think it's a big deal to me because sharing my journey on social media gives me more motivation to stay healthy. It gives me accountability to know that I have people who are watching my journey and also, by following others on their wellness journey, that inspires me, too.

My hope for everyone is that we can all find something that inspires us and motivates us. That's what this new IG account is doing for me now and so, I'm running with it.

Speaking of trying to stay motivated, there is a big binge-trigger coming up for me this week: Thanksgiving.

Knowing that I am going to likely be overindulging on Thanksgiving has, in the past, made me go on a free-for-all each day basically leading up to the main event. It's happened before and it's not going to happen this time because, I'm self-aware and staying on top of it.

Self-awareness: ah, another good tool to use on the daily. Be true to yourself, who you are and, what you want for yourself. Know your triggers and know what inspires you and go with it.

Wow, this was a lot of rambling for a Monday.

I guess I will leave you all with this...

Thanksgiving is coming up quick! So, do your best today, tomorrow and Wednesday and then, have a happy Thanksgiving {hopefully surrounded by family and good food}.