Friday, July 20, 2012


Andy and I had gotten comfortable with our eating habits, our lifestyle, our weight. That was until we went to a surprise birthday party for one of Andy's best friends. His friend was always a bigger guy. I recall how hilarious his skin-tight astronaut Halloween costume was a few years back. It's an image burned in my brain :) But the guy that showed up to the party had lost 40 pounds and looked great! He was in shape, eating healthy, working out regularly. We decided we wanted that, too.

That very next day, we started the diet he and his wife were on. It's simple. A free app on our phone called Calorie Counter - My Fitness Pal. You can also use the website, free as well, You program in your age, height, weight, activity level, what you want to weigh, and how fast you want to get there. It then calculates how many calories you should have in a day in order to meet your goal, taking into account that one should not go under a certain level. Almost every meal is in the database. You simply type in what you're about to eat and it tells you the number of calories in that food. Easy! Andy has reached his target weight after losing about 22 lbs. Me, I've lost about 15 and have a little bit more to go. We have been able to lose the weight at a comfortable, healthy pace.

One of the foods that was already in the database that made a HUGE difference for me was Xocai, healthy chocolate. Yes, what helped me most with my diet was Chocolate! That craving in the afternoon as I sit at my computer at work used to massacre my diets in the past. Now, I pick up three chocolates throughout my day to get me my sweet fix. Not only are the calories reasonable, it's healthy! Guilt-free! Three of these very satisfying chocolates in a day is equivalent, nutrition-wise, to a plate full of spinach! This is not just another dark chocolate you can get anywhere. They've mastered cold processing so that the nutrition is not lost. Incredible stuff.

Needless to say, I am sold. I make sure to get my daily intake of Xocai chocolate every day and I'm spreading the word. According to many, many testimonials you can read on the website, I'm helping to put into the hands of others a product that could help them lose weight, lower cholesterol, relieve arthritis, improve cardiovascular health, decrease or eliminate the need for prescription meds, among many others. If you want to know more, let me know!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Growing up

This weekend was as short as any other, but a lot happened. My baby grew up. I'm excited. I'm amazed, impressed. I'm sad. She showed me how smart she is this weekend. She showed me how she is absolutely not a little baby anymore. She is absolutely incredible and I love her so much.

What did she accomplish? First, she mastered the cup. No more tipping it too fast, sending milk all over her face, dumping down her chest, getting her choked up. No more playing in it with her fork or finger or putting food in it and watching it float around. No, she now says, "thank you," picks it up with both hands, slowly brings it to her lips and tips it slowly until she is able to sip at a comfortable pace before placing it back gently onto the table. Amazing.

Second, she took to potty training way quicker and more consistent than I ever imagined. A long day and a half of intense training (mama was worn out!) But it seems to have paid off! 25 months old. Hasn't had an accident while up, even at daycare the last two days. Before yesterday, she hadn't even ever used the potty while at daycare. Did let some go during nap today. Hasn't mastered #2. But asks to go "peep" every time. Amazing.

Third, she had absolutely no problem switching to a toddler bed. We changed it in time for nap on potty training day! All that going on, no problem. Doesn't get out of it without our permission. Doesn't fall out. Loves to get in and out all by herself. Also learned that jumping up and down on it is quite fun, too. Amazing.

Fourth, she not only knows all of the letters in the alphabet, she also knows that M comes after L. While her computer game was on L, she said, "Now, the Ah-Ah." To most, that wouldn't mean much, but I know her word for Monkey is Ah-Ah. So for the screen to still have the Lion on it and she says Ah-Ah, she knew that when she hit the button, the next thing she would see was a monkey. Amazing.

Fifth, she drew a circle with lines coming off of it. As she did so, she said, "Look, mama. Sun." Amazing.

Sixth, she tried on my bra. Hilarious.

Now some may roll their eyes at some of these things and think, "whoopedy-doo." But it was a lot for this mama to take in over the course of one weekend. I find her to be truly amazing. Even after all of this, I know that I will always see her as my baby.

Today, I thank God for letting me be Gwen's mommy. It's a joy I could have never imagined.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Welcome Home

Finally. We closed on our house on June 29th. It was the last day we still could without going through all of the lending hoops again. The only surprise was our rate was actually lower than we had thought! This was the first time throughout the whole process that a change has been to our advantage. Praise the Lord. We didn't have to move again. I truly feel now that this was His plan. Perhaps I just needed the lesson in patience.

So now, we save up to do those custom things we had been putting off. Window treatments, paint, sprinkler system, patio, fence. Lots to save up for! But all things we plan to enjoy for many years to come.

Great things will happen here. Our neighbors are fantastic. And even better, we're still close with our former neighbors so nothing has been lost there! Gwen seems to like it here. It finally feels like home.

Our first celebration in this house came just the day after closing. Gwen's belated birthday party, celebrated alongside Andy's (Gwen's was 5/28 - Andy's was 6/27). It was the house-warming party we had hoped for as well.

Today, I pray for continued blessings in our new home.