A Challenge Commences

As you know, I have made my goals for the summer to:

  • Fill a wall with family pictures
  • Lose 30 lbs with  20 lbs gone by the end of summer
  • Read through the Bible looking for those fruits of the spirit to apply to my life.

Have I started on the wall yet?  Well I decided on 2 pictures.  Does that count?  This week I’m going to have my grand children here, so I’d like to get some candid pictures to frame and put up along with the old ones I already have.  I’m looking for quality as well as quantity as they say.  🙂

My new challenge is from my daughter.  She says if I lose 20 lbs by the time school starts she’ll buy me 5 new outfits!  Now that’s some incentive, because I’ve been looking at my clothes lately and they’re rather outdated and raggedy.  I’ve already lost 2.5 lbs this week!  Hey, I’m 1/10 of the way there.  It counts.  🙂

As for reading through the Bible, I’m following along with the Bible study at church, but I don’t think that really counts.  It wasn’t my intent when I made the goal to let church be my guide, so it wouldn’t be honest to say that counts.  Let’s just say I need to work on this goal.

But…let me show you what I have done.  I made this really snazzy bag for the Fourth of July!

One Snazzy Bag!

  Pretty neat right? One Snazzy Bag!

Now I’m 1/10 of the way through with my goal for last summer.  Ha! Ha!


In the beginning, beginning, beginning

I titled this blog this way because I feel like I’m always beginning some self-improvement that never quite gets resolved.  This will be a short beginning post because my daughter and I have decided to work together this summer to lose 20 lbs each.  Now, believe me, she has no where near the pounds to lose that I do, but, like me, she also is on a self-improvement kick.

Tomorrow morning I go to sign papers for my new job.  I’m so excited because now instead of a 90 minute drive, I have a 6 minute drive.  But I digress.  Before I leave for that, I’m going to take a picture of myself in my underwear.  Don’t worry, I won’t gross you out with that picture.  ;).  I’m also going to weigh myself and record both of these things in a journal.  I already have the one set up from my last beginning, so I’ll just continue with that one.  I plan to glue the picture of myself in the journal along with my beginning weight and then take a picture with my weight every week until the summer is over.  I think I need to document and see progress for accountability and encouragement.

That ends my post for this week.  No picture–like I promised, but maybe next week I’ll take a picture of my notebook so you can see what it looks like.  And, I’ll post my progress on this blog weekly too.  If I get to the end and actually lose the 20 lbs, I’ll post a before and after picture then.  That is if I’m not too embarrassed.  🙂

Smiles and Sorrows

So much has happened since I last posted.  We left our house in Flower Mound and relocated to Cleburne where my husband’s coffee shop is located.  I love the old house we live in.  It has large rooms and a kitchen where you could set up a dance floor.  The guest room is all set up and is so comfy I think Bob wants to make it into a man cave–Not happening.  It has a nice sized pantry and laundry room.  My bedroom is long with built in shelves and dressers and closets at the end.  One of them is a shoe closet.  Not that I need one.  My 4 pairs of shoes are very lonely in there since it has shoe shelves floor to ceiling.  There is a sewing room at the back of the house that is all windows so that it is bright and sunny with a huge backyard for Bruno.  There is even a very large workshop in the back that is big enough to fit the boat if we wanted that.  All in all I think the house fits our needs very well and we are comfortable there.  Of course, there are some drawbacks.  One bathroom.  One bathroom?  Really?  It’s a big bathroom, but really?  One bathroom?  Enough said.  Everyone knows that this is a drawback–a drawback to the 50’s.  🙂  Drawback number 2:  Window units and Dearborn heaters.  I actually kind of enjoy the Dearborn heaters.  They are really warm and Bruno will actually whine if they are off for too long.  But, window units are a pain.  We haven’t lived through a 106 degree summer yet, but I’m not looking forward to it.  The biggest drawback of all is that I work in McKinney–a town 76 miles away.  I leave the house every day at 5:45 and I don’t get home most nights until 7:30 or later.  It just makes me feel tired all the time.  I’m looking in this area, but haven’t found anything yet.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Our Dearborn heater which heats our living room.

Our Dearborn heater which heats our living room.

shoe closet

Lonely, lonely, shoes…

Moving has made me go through that old closet and believe me I am down to nubbins.  I need some new clothes!  Most of my t-shirts had holes in them.  I secretly still want to keep them, but am planning to buy a couple and then get rid of a couple a little at a time until they are all replaced.  No, really.  I’ve joined a fabric co-op so that I can get busy on those bags, and I’m holding down the weight I lost during my first challenge.

Now for a few sorrows.  My husband had a heart attack in February and had a quadruple bi-pass on Valentine’s Day.  I never knew this was such a long recovery.  The doctor said 6 months to a year!  He’s doing very well and every day is a little better, but I can’t stand to see him suffering.  The difficult thing about heart surgery is that it creates a change in your body, your emotions and your spirit.  It’s like a metamorphosis  where you’re hoping for a butterfly, but you could get a beetle.  Let me just say, it’s mostly butterfly, but the occasional beetle does crawl out from time to time.  🙂  All in all we are walking this walk together and once school is out, I’m going to make new goals.  I believe that the one thing I learned too late was that everything–and I mean everything–needs a plan.  My current plan is to walk through all of these changes in  hope and faith that the path I’m on is the right one.  More specifics to come.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Ok, so I’ve been kind of a tortoise about this whole closet goal.  But, today, I have begun a slow and steady pace toward, well, beginning it.  🙂  Here’s what I did:

  • Washed everything
  • Dried everything (hey, this takes time and is important.)
  • Sorted things into categories
  • Dealt with each category

Here’s how the sorting went:

  1. Clothes that I like and still wear–These included some things I should probably move to another category, but will have to wait until I’m stronger.  I actually shifted back and forth over an old t-shirt that was faded and oh so comfy cozy.  Needless to say, it’s in my drawer now.  🙂
  2. Goodwill–This pile is a pile only a rummage sale junkie could love.  These included anything that doesn’t fit (large or small) and is still in enough good shape that someone might want to wear it (as long as they’re 80 lbs overweight of course.) Looking around, I don’t think I’m alone on that count.  I also included some things my husband and son will never miss but are still hanging onto.  (Don’t tell them)
  3. Trash galore–For this, I actually dragged the big trash can next to my laundry room door and tossed as I went.  It’s trash day today.  There were clothes with holes, shirts with buttons missing or anything with stains that have been there for longer than I can remember.  For some reason, this was the hardest category.  I labored over those holey shirts as if they were really holy.  I told myself, “I can use these when I’m gardening”–yeah right.  And, “I need some old shirts for when I’m cleaning the house.”  Right, like I’m going to search and find an old holey t-shirt to clean the house.  Isn’t that what plain old t-shirts are for?

Anyway, through it all–tortoise or no tortoise–I feel better about the whole thing.  I actually think I can do this again and finish the job by December.  I’ve got 2 months right?  It was kind of freeing actually.  Some of those things I threw away were truly junk–well, all of them were truly junk, I finally have to admit.

So, now that I’m free of all my trash, or treasure for someone else, I can think about losing weight again.  I have hit a wall in that area, but getting rid of all these clothes has renewed my interest in becoming slimmer by Christmas.  It means a whole new wardrobe!  Now that’s incentive!  Besides, slow and steady wins the race, right?

Go ahead, tackle that closet.  You can do it!  You need some new things anyway.  🙂


And Then the Bottom Fell Out!

I didn’t want to even blog today because I’m so disappointed in myself!  I guess disappointments come, but when you feel like the whole bottom fell out it’s hard to get back on your feet.  Actually, I think this blog is helping me to do just that.  I feel an obligation and commitment to blogging every week about my struggles and triumps so what choice do I have until December 25?

Ok, so here goes–I GAINED 2 LBS THIS WEEK!!!!  That’s right.  I gained 2 lbs.  Arghhhh!  I’m sure my summertime addiction to ice cream isn’t helping.  “But I’ve been walking.”  She whines. “I even went swimming with Bruno and then went walking afterward!”  So, here’s my frustrated face:

Oh, she’s really frustrated!

Well, I can be proud of a few things.  I’m still keeping my counter top in my bathroom clean and organized.  AND…I’ve cleaned out my car.  I mean I REALLY cleaned it.  I washed all the surfaces including the carpet, dashboard, steering wheel and seats.  I tried to hit every crevice.  I’ve added this to my keep it clean goal.  I drove to a training the other day and even my friends commented on how clean my car looked.  That ought to give you an idea of what it used to look like.  No picture.  It would be too embarrassing.  lol

I’ve also continued with my Bible reading.  This week I read Matthew Chapter 2.  It struck me that God came to people so many times in their dreams–5 times just in chapter 2.  I think God does this with us too, often to help us solve a problem or to help us feel secure in a situation.  I’ve seen every house I’ve ever lived in 3 or 4 years before we lived there in my dreams.  It’s interesting to me that it comes as such a surprise to me every time it happens.  I’ve recently had another dream about a new house (I guess it will be 3 or 4 years down the road) so I’m keeping it in my heart until the time comes.  Now, I’m not a person who writes down every dream I have or reads things into dreams, but maybe I need to be more aware when my dreams seem very prominent or real to me.  Something to think about anyway.

I had to work 2 days this week and I put on make up and did my hair both days.  Ok, so the next day when I went out with friends, I didn’t wear make up, but I DID wear it to work.  😀

And now for a few downers.  I still haven’t started painting.  I want to.  I really do.  I just can’t seem to get inspired.

I didn’t sew any bags for my husband’s business.  I did, in fact, look for the pattern, but couldn’t find it.  I think I’ve figured out where it is and will go and buy it this week.

As for my closet–it’s a MESS!  I don’t even want to go in there much less sort anything out.  I know I need to make myself, but the task just seems too arduous.  This is my #1 goal to begin this week.  Does moving clothes around on top of the dryer count as sorting them out?  If that counts, I’m way ahead of the game.  Ok, I know it doesn’t count, but that’s where I’m at right now with this chore.

I guess there’s a moral in all of this, but I’m too exhausted (and frustrated) to care.  Let me know if you come up with a good one.

Green for Go!

I’ve got busy and am keeping up with my goals–well, most of them.  🙂  I really do plan to finish them before Christmas.  Anyway, Green for Go!  You know the rest.

Goal 1: Lose 26 lbs by Christmas.

I lost another pound this week.  I think my binge horned in on my progress, but as I said baby steps.  That’s 4 lbs gone that were hanging around on my hips and belly.  Do I look skinny yet?  Absolutely not, but I feel better.

Goal 2: Give the “Couch to 5K” program a shot. This will also help with goal 1. (Also inspired by Kristin by the way)

Feel good about my mile a day progress.  Yesterday I took my dog, Bruno, geocaching at the local lake park.  Oh my goodness!  I think we must’ve covered 4 miles.  We were both exhausted and thirsty.  He took a dive in the lake to cool off.  I took a bath when I got home. 

My favorite dog in the whole world.


Goal 3: Wear make-up to work everyday for a month. (I understand that this is not a problem for most, but for me, believe me, it’s a challenge.)

I went and prepared to teach a class this week and guess what?  I did my hair and make-up.  Oh yeah, I even wore lipstick.  I think my principal was even impressed.  She didn’t say anything, but her face told the story.  🙂

Goal 4: Put a system in place in 1 room of the house that keeps it clean all the time. (I can add more rooms later. I want to be able to accomplish this.)

My countertops are still clear and free of debris!

Goal 5:  Clean out the closet and get rid of all the clothes I no longer wear or are the wrong size.

Haven’t begun this yet.  I’m so disappointed in myself.  *she shakes her head and sighs

Goal 6: Do something nice for someone every month. After Thanksgiving do something nice for someone once a week.

I’ve decided to send my friend some Oatmeal White Chocolate Cherry Cookies with a package of Hot Chocolate from R & R BEAN.  MMMMM

Goal 7: Sew 10 bags for Mill Street Coffee (my husband owns a coffee shop and he’s asked me to do this, but I’ve been putting it off.)

*Again she hangs her head in shame and sighs.  Actually, I need a new pattern.  Mine’s all crumpled and torn.

Goal 8: Read the Bible’s New Testament and keep a journal about what I’ve read.

I’ve got my journal and I’ve read Matthew Chapter 1.  What I noticed most is that what Joseph had planned, was not what God had planned, but because Joseph was obedient, God saved the entire world.

Cute right?

Goal 9: Begin painting again.

Another walk of shame…

Goal 10: Take the ESL test and pass it.

I’ve taken the 2 day course, but haven’t signed up for the test yet.

This week I’m challenging myself to eliminate most of the red from my goals and, I’m challenging you to set your own goals.  When I’ve had a difficult day, I look at my goals and say to myself, “This is what you’re fighting for.  DON’T GIVE UP!!!”

Pilgrim’s Progress

Since today is Saturday, I figured it’s time to update you on my progress. Here are the goals for you again with an explanation of progress.

Goal 1: Lose 26 lbs by Christmas.

I lost 3 lbs this week!  Only 23 more to go.  That being said, I also binged on candy, potato chips and icecream all day after that.  Yeah, I know, self-destructive.  Plus, I felt horrible the next morning all achey and sore all over.  But, I’m getting right back to it!

Goal 2: Give the “Couch to 5K” program a shot. This will also help with goal 1. (Also inspired by Kristin by the way)

I haven’t started this program yet, but I have started walking my dog 1 mile in the morning, and one mile at night.  Baby steps for me when it comes to running, but I feel glad about the 2 miles a day.

Goal 3: Wear make-up to work everyday for a month. (I understand that this is not a problem for most, but for me, believe me, it’s a challenge.)

I haven’t really started back to work yet, so no make-up yet.  Officially I go back the third week in August.

Goal 4: Put a system in place in 1 room of the house that keeps it clean all the time. (I can add more rooms later. I want to be able to accomplish this.)

Ok, here’s where you’re going to see some pictures.  I decided to start with my bathroom.  I got out my Martha Stewart “How to Clean Your House” book–Yes I really have that thick volume–and read all about how to take care of the bathroom.  Here are the before and after pictures of my counter top. 

Counter-top Before

Countertop Now Counter-top Now

Goal 5:  Sort through my closet and get rid of clothes that don’t fit or I don’t wear anymore.

I haven’t begun this daunting task yet, but I plan to begin this week.  Ugggh!

Goal 6: Do something nice for someone every month. After Thanksgiving do something nice for someone once a week.

My friend recently lost her mother, so for my July niceity, I’d like to do something for her.  She lives several states away from me.  Any suggestions?

Goal 7: Sew 10 bags for Mill Street Coffee (my husband owns a coffee shop and he’s asked me to do this, but I’ve been putting it off.)

No progress yet.  No excuses either.  🙂

Goal 8: Read the Bible’s New Testament and keep a journal about what I’ve read.

I’ve been looking for just the right journal and haven’t found one, but soon, very soon. 

Goal 9: Begin painting again.

Not Yet

Goal 10: Take the ESL test and pass it.

I’ve taken the 2 day course, but haven’t signed up for the test yet.

All in all, I’ve felt very good about the beginnings of these goals.  Sort of like a pilgrim I guess.  I just think it’s too bad it took me 50 years to get here.  I want to reach the destination before it becomes just a dream.  After all, a dream is a wish your heart makes.  And my heart is pushing me forward.