Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Have I Done?

This is my 100th blog post.  Over the past few weeks, as I watched that number grow closer and close to 100, I've been thinking about something important that I could write about for number 100.

Because we all know this blog isn't really important.  It's just a way for me to document the happenings of my boring, uneventful life.

But, don't pitty me!  Because life around here got a lot more exciting today.

It started after church today when I asked Ashley if she wanted to go to the Humane Society with me.  I check their website every day, and I have gone for several visits.  Every time, I get my heart broken.  Either the one that I want has already been adopted or there are none that I fall in love with when I get there.

This was true again today.  We went, and they had barely anything.  They had some pitbulls, but I am not a fan of the bully breeds.

I left a little disappointed, but Ashley suggested that we go to Pet Doctor.  I honestly had no intention of buying a dog from a pet store, because I've had my heart set on adoption.

But I fell in love.  With this little lady:

Her name is Harper, after both the name of the dorm I lived in during my freshman year or college and one of my favorite authors (Harper Lee).  I think the name suits her.

She's a cockapoo, which is a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle.  Selling points were that she has a good temperament and that she doesn't shed.

She's pretty adorable, and she's speedy quick, which makes it hard to get a good picture.

She still seems a little unsure about all of this, but I am certain that I am more unsure than she is.

We've already had a great day together.  She and I went to PetSmart to get some essentials, and she met lots of friendly dogs, owners, and PetSmart staff members.  She gets along really well with other people and dogs.

I've had dogs all my life, but I feel like I know nothing about how to raise this puppy.  I kind of want my mom to come live with me for a few weeks to teach me how to parent, just like moms sometimes do when they become grandparents.

But that won't happen.  So, I'll be relying on encouragement from friends, the friendly staff people at PetSmart, and God's abundant grace.

This is going to be a fun new adventure (I hope).  Please pray for me us!

Golden Boy

This week was my friend Jeremy's golden birthday... he turned 26 on the 26th.  This was him on his day:


It was a school night, so he decided to celebrate on Saturday night.  We ate dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings...

Where we were able to pass the time by trying to win junk out of the machines...

Nobody from our camp won anything, but these two little girls kept coming over to try their luck:

And they were good.  Really good.

They were starting to accumulate quite the pile of winnings:

And when their dads sent them back with five more dollars, we started to place bets to determine how many they would win out of their ten possible tries.

Their pile grew bigger

And bigger...

Until they finally stopped after winning sixteen rubber balls.

I think it would've been cheaper for their dads to just hire a babysitter, but they did provide for some pretty good entertainment for us.

After dinner, we moved to Old Chicago to hang out.  While waiting for our little big cookie to be delivered, we figured out that Keith had invited nearly everyone at our table to the Lady Huskers basketball game on Wednesday.

Kelli decided to try to find out the order in which we were invited:

This is what she came up with:

And, she was pretty close to accurate... Keith went through his phone to confirm the order:

Oh, the things we choose to do with our time.

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weigh-In: Week 2

It's now been two weeks since I began Slim-Fasting, and I'm still sticking with it!

Except for Friday night when I had dinner at Old Chicago with my co-workers.  And Saturday, when I ate a Sbarro lunch at the mall.  And Saturday evening when I ate some popcorn and ice cream with some friends.  And Sunday when I ate pizza and breadsticks while watching the Bears/Packers game.

Regardless of all these Slim-Fasting failures, I still managed to lose some weight, bringing my grand total to...

5.5 pounds lost! 

Like last week, that number seems terribly small, but it is certainly better than nothing.  Also, when I began this whole process, I did so with the expectation of losing 1-2 pounds per week, so I am doing better than I had anticipated doing by this point.

I probably could have done better had I not "cheated" by eating all those non-Slim-Fast meals, but I just don't think it's realistic for me to stop altogether eating the things I love.  Furthermore, at my age, eating out is the number one socialization activity, and I certainly don't want to miss out on opportunities to be with friends.  Also, eating out once or twice a week gives me something to look forward to, and I think it's a good reward for being really good for the other meals during the week.

Here's what makes me nervous:  I've been told that people tend to lose more weight during the first two weeks than they lose during any of the subsequent weeks.  In order to prevent disappointment, I'm setting my goal low.  By this time next week, I hope to lose one pound.  If it's more than that, great, but if not, I can still feel good about the accomplishment!

We'll see what Week 3 brings...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Day Without Laughter is a Day Wasted.

Today was a good day filled with random things that made me laugh and/or smile.

I started my grad class for the semester, and it seems like it is going to be a good one.  My teacher started out by showing us this video, which carried a message that I needed to hear:

The assignments for this class actually seem like they might be fun.  I'll post some of them when I finish.


I took a meal off from my diet and splurged for a Sbarro lunch:

It was totally worth the 750 calories.



One of my friends posted a picture of her fortune cookie fortune, and it made me literally laugh out loud:

Usually, poor grammar saddens my heart, but this is just plain funny.


Our class got out at 2:00, which allowed me some time to work out take a nap.  In one of my nap dreams, the Chicago Bears beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Super Bowl.  I must be really excited for tomorrow's Bears game.  Truth be told, though, I'm a little nervous about having to play the Packers.  They are on a bit of a hot streak at the moment.


I invited Ashley and Jeremy to go to a late movie.  Except this is what is happening in our region right now:

When they came over to pick me up, we eventually decided that we didn't particularly want to attempt downtown parking and then walk several blocks through snow in the middle of a pseudo-blizzard.  So we settled for watching a movie at my place.

Except I didn't have popcorn.

So, we set out to Hy-Vee to get some.

On the way, we slid through an intersection and narrowly escaped hitting a light pole.  It was mildly scary for a few seconds.

On our way into Hy-Vee, Ashley tripped over the curb, and, well...

she face-planted into the snow.

When we got inside, she realized she didn't have her phone, so we sent Jeremy back out to try to find it in the snow.  He did, and all was well.

**Note:  the above picture is not of Ashley.  Unfortunately, my camera was at home being charged.  Luckily, Google images had a suitable stand-in.**

I still feel a little bit lot guilty that my instant reaction when it happened was to say, "Don't move," as I reached for my camera.  I now know that I definitely should have first asked if she was OK or tried to help her up.

My bad, Ashley.

All that for a stupid bag of delicious, buttery popcorn.

When we got home, we didn't even watch a movie.  We watched an episode of House and some Food Network shows.

Meanwhile, Jeremy figured out how to start a fire in my fireplace!

I have lived here for two-and-a-half years, and have never taken the time to figure out how to do that.

We sat back for all of about two minutes to enjoy the fire:

Until I decided that I didn't want to pay for the pilot light to stay lit.

I am not confident that I could single-handedly get that thing going again, but I am glad to know that I know someone who can help me should I decide that I want to enjoy a fire.

Thanks anyway, Jeremy!  I appreciate all that you do for me.


And that, my friends, was my random but happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why I Hate Wal-Mart Reason #76

I just needed some paper towels, bananas, and some Slim-Fast snack bars.

That's all.

But I had to wait in line 10 minutes because somebody couldn't read this sign:

When I got in line, I couldn't see all that was in the basket.  But you can bet that I counted exactly how many items that lady took out of the basket and put on to the counter.

I always do.

I am a strong advocate for not cheating in the game of life.

But this lady was a big Cheaty McCheaterson.

Baskets are deceiving, my friends.  They make it appear as though you are just making a quick trip to pick up a few things.

As it turns out, though, baskets can hold upwards of 37 ITEMS.

Very uncool, lady.  Very uncool.

After Wal-Mart, I headed over to Hy-Vee, where I purchased some Slim-Fast snack bars and some Clementines (on sale this week!).

At Hy-Vee, people follow the rules.  I only had to wait in line a few seconds.  Also, the signs at Hy-Vee are grammatically correct:

Click here if you aren't sure of the difference between less and fewer.

I applaud you, Hy-Vee, for enforcing the rules of express check-out and for being grammatically correct.  If your prices were just a teeny bit lower, I would ditch Wal-Mart for good.  Until then, I guess I'll just have to suck it up when waiting behind the 37-items-in-a-20-items-or-fewer-line lady.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weigh-In: Week 1

Well, it's been exactly one week since our team took the initiative to get healthy, which led me to start my Slim-Fast diet.

And I am proud to report that even after indulging at Saturday night's pizza party, and even after last night when I allowed myself a cookie...

I have lost three pounds!

Sure, it seems like a small loss, but I feel like it is a healthy number to have lost during a week.  I worked out for an average of 45 minutes each day - sometimes more, sometimes less - and I have been making a much more conscious effort to pay attention to food labels, ensuring that the one 500-calorie meal I am allowed per day is made up of smart calories.

Plus, I feel great, which means more to me than any decrease in numbers on the scale.

Here's hoping for a successful week 2!

Pizza and Partini

My friends are simply the best.  On Saturday night, the Cownies invited us over for a make-your-own pizza dinner and an evening of playing games.  That combination is my ideal weekend night.  Also, the rule was that you had to wear sweatpants.  I am a big fan of not getting all done up.

So, we started with setting up the make-your-own pizza bar.

Steph prepared the crusts.  And by prepared, I mean took the Trader Joe's pre-made dough out of the package and rolled it out.

Tricia cut up a pepper:

We put all the ingredients on the table and got to work!

Amber had the brilliant idea to add cream cheese to the pizza.

She wasn't so amused by how much hamburger Adam put on his pizza.

I'm not sure what this face means, but I think he was enjoying the pizza.

After dinner, Amber took a bite out of a jumbo-sized Reeces Peanut Butter Cup.

After dinner, the ladies drove to Trader Joe's because Steph had never been there.  When we got back, this was happening:

X-Box kinect is this crazy new invention that allows you to play video games with no remote control.  Here, Steph and Adam are boxing:

Guess who won!  Hint:  It wasn't Adam.

Next, Amber and Chuck entered the ring:

Any guesses as to who won this one?  Hint:  It wasn't Chuck.

Finally, Shawn and Laci arrived.  I don't think they have appeared on the blog before.  Readers, meet Shawn and Laci:

We met Laci in one of our graduate classes and have been friends ever since.  A fun fact about Laci is that she is currently growing a baby inside of her!

Once they arrived, we decided to play this game:

I bought it for Amber for her bachelorette party, which was a game night.  It is way fun!

 Here, the boys' team (plus Steph) is trying to guess the songs that Shawn is humming:

There is also a ball and cup challenge as part of the game:

Steph struggled to keep a straight face while she tried to hum a song:

It was quite amusing to watch:

Laci made this amazing "gooey mix."  It was not a good night for my diet.

Tricia did a great job sculpting things out of clay:

Adam doing charades:

Steph about died with Adam's response to the "I am..." prompt (written about me):

This was his answer:

Another ball and cup challenge:

At the end of the night, this is what defeat looked like:
This was such a fun night!  My only regret is eating too much of that gooey mix.  It was most definitely not Slim-Fast approved.