Lexi and Jordan decided to dress up as Steam Powered Giraffe for Halloween. Lexi dressed up as a Walter Girl (like Aunt Paige) and Jordan was The Spine. Very few people in Houston know what steam punk is so explaining their costumes was difficult. Everyone (even teenage boys) thought they were awesome anyway. The costumes weren't that tough. I guess the toughest part was Lexi's dress, which my mom made.
A little over 60 days ago, a friend on Facebook mentioned an app called MyFitnessPal. It is basically a calorie counter. I have always heard that people who keep track of what they are eating tend to eat less. That is a decent idea, but had always seemed like a pain. Keeping track with an app sounded interesting, so I downloaded it. Almost every food item imaginable is on there, so you rarely have to calculate calories of what you are eating. It only requires a simple search. Also, you can log into your account using their website if you would rather not use an app.
Once the app was downloaded, I added my current information like weight and height. I also entered how much I want to weigh. I put about 10 pounds less (thanks to the 5 lbs weight gain over the summer), which is my ideal weight. If I had entered my dream weight that would be an additional 5 lbs. I didn't really have a plan, but decided to start with that.
It also gave me the option to link with other friends (I could search for them or use ones from Facebook). It is the community thing so we can encourage each other. That may seem intimidating, but it really isn't. It does not announce how much you weigh, what you are eating, or even if you gain weight in a week. It does let them know things like "frecklefacegirl burned 237 calories doing 60 minutes of walking" and "frecklefacegirl completed her food and exercise diary for 11/12/13" and "frecklefacegirl lost 0.2 lbs since her last weigh-in!" Yes, these are all recent posts. Notice how exciting that last one looks with the exclamation mark and everything!!! Yeah, 0.2 lbs!!! Pretty silly since a whole week had gone by, but it is something. I have about 5 friends on there and they all seem to be progressing at similar rates. I have read that the slower you lose it, the longer it stays off. I hope that is true.
Sixty days have passed and with very little effort, I am 9.6 lbs lighter. While I completely realize that losing almost 10 lbs in 60 days is no bragging matter, I'm glad that I am doing it. I have eaten things like Halloween candy, a donut, and even gone out to eat. I just make adjustments during the day to allow for it. It also tracks Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron.
If any one reading this wants to join, go ahead & add me. I am using the name "frecklefacegirl." We can celebrate staying the same weight or losing 0.2 lbs together.
My posting is going down the tubes. Mainly, I just don't think I have anything interesting to say. When I think of a topic, I see a post from another blogger about it. The topic is often covered better than I could have written. As far as my life is concerned, I don't have anything terribly interesting happening. That is both nice and depressing for someone who has always thrived on change. I guess I could update with news on a few of the good things that have happened.
1. Both of my kids are in school - This may seem like nothing, but after a horribly trying summer....it is best!!! I can't tell you how happy I am to get a break. I didn't have ANY this summer. They didn't even have play-dates from the end of June until right before school started. Most people escape the summer heat for that time period and our friends certainly did. I was working a LOT of hours, which made it worse. I thought I was feeling extremely frazzled. Once school started, my sanity started coming back. I realized frazzled wasn't nearly a strong enough word for it. I LOVE my kids, but I need some time to get things done and just breathe. I also need to know that their brains are being stimulated and they are happy.
2. Working Full Time - Near the end of the summer, my boss called to talk about going full time. I worked a lot of hours this summer, but was still getting my regular part-time salary. The part about being desperately poor and not having benefits wasn't a good thing either. He gave me benefits and a salary bump. The salary bump wasn't quite as much as I need, but he promised to revisit that topic in January when some of the money from the contracts we won over the summer starts flowing in.
This week, I heard that my step-brother and his wife are
getting divorced. To be honest, I felt
genuinely sad. I will not pretend to
know any of the details about who is to blame and all that is going on. In fact, I really don’t know anything. I have only seen him 3 different times over
the last 12 years. Two of the times, he
had his family with him and of course most of my attention went to his
kids. I think he has been married about
17 years and has 4 kids. The one thing I always think about when it comes to divorce is the unexpected people who suffer with them. I am guessing
that both he and his wife are a little surprised by how emotional people get
when they find out.
When I got divorced, I was certainly shocked by how many
people got dismayed by the news. It was
easy for me to tell close friends and family.
I had never really criticized my husband, but once I knew there was no
other choice, I started sharing some of my pain. The decision to get divorced wasn't that
alarming to those near me. The difficult
part was sharing the news with casual friends, neighbors, close friends that I haven't seen in a while, and acquaintances. It isn't
easy to introduce this topic in everyday chit chat or contact them specifically to share the bad news. After I filed the divorce papers and was
preparing to move, I realized I just had to start announcing it to others. Quite a few of them started crying huge
heartbreaking tears. In my tired and
numb state, I found myself consoling them.
Even though I was walking around in a daze, I truly felt grateful to be
surrounded by such caring people. I felt loved.
When I was in junior high, I remember crying almost all
night long when I heard that a guy in the grade above me committed
suicide. I knew who he was and who his
friends were, but probably nothing else. I wondered if he would have committed suicide
if he knew that his death would hurt so many people that he barely knew
existed. I was sure that if I was crying
others were too. I realized that night
that our lives affect more people than we can possibly imagine.
This evening, my aunt had a wonderful post on Facebook. She got engaged after being divorced possibly
30 years. I remember her divorce, but I
was a child. She is a beautiful,
intelligent and successful woman. My heart
filled with joy when I read the news and saw the picture.
Even when it is none of our business, as fellow human
beings, we naturally feel emotionally invested in others well-being. No matter how isolated we feel, we are never
truly alone. The world is full of people
who care about each and every one of us.
Do I only get on blogger to complain? Sadly, it appears so. It is not that this has been a horrible summer, but it certainly hasn't been a great one. Mostly, that is due to the fact that I just don't have any money to take a vacation. Last summer, my mom paid for us to come to California to visit for a whole month. It was great. My mom & step-dad are now retired. They are living in an RV while renovating a home in Montana. The summer before that we had just moved back to Texas, so we were happy to stick around here.
In addition to not taking a vacation, I have had more work that usual for summer. My busy time of year is January through May. This year, I was slammed with work during that time. In fact, I did more in that time than I have done in a year for the last few years. The summer even started off with one of the gigantic killer proposals that I do about once a year. It ends up being anywhere from 200 to 300 pages. We were mostly stuck at the house for two weeks while I worked on it. We were all thrilled when it was over. On the bright side, my company has had lots of success with these pursuits. Hopefully, that means that a little more $ will trickle down to this single mom.
Another thing sucking up my time and money are house issues. I remember hearing that houses start falling apart when they hit 20 years. Lots of things need to be replaced then. This summer has been about repairing things, which means that at 7 years little issues come up. First, my a/c needed more freon, just like it did last summer (guessing next year they'll discover a leak). My clothes dryer has to be reset 2 times to get clothes dry and 3 times for towels. I'm choosing to ignore this problem for now. The pilot light on my water heater would also not stay on. On the bright side, I am quite skilled at re-lighting it now. A repair man tried to say it was because it was in the attic and it is hot up there. Nice theory, but everyone in Houston has their water heater in the attic and not everyone has to re-light it every day. Finally, he returned a week later to replace a little wire and it is working now.
Our summer fun has included the kids being in a week long VBS at a local Baptist church, Tuesday morning movies at the brand new theater near our house, multiple trips to the library every week, and lots of time at our community pools (many are like water parks). These all have one thing in common - they are free. The pools would be really fun if I hasn't flying by the seat of my pants and could line it up enough to invite friends. It isn't easy scheduling life around work. When things seem to be easing up, I suddenly realize we can go do something RIGHT NOW. We basically jump in the car and go. Thankfully, my kids seem to be getting along with each other better than ever. They still argue and bug each other, but they are also playing and enjoying their time together more.
We only have 4 weeks until school starts. I guess I need to figure out a few activities that we can do to pump up this summer a bit. Hmmm.... this will take a lot of thinking since most outdoor activities aren't enjoyable in this heat.
Why is it always the big anniversaries that make us reflect on life and what we've learned since then? Ten years ago (Friday the 17th), I got married. Of course, "we got married" sounds better, but after being divorced for almost 4 years, it is definitely "I" in quite a few ways.
At church this month, I have been invited to attend a special marriage class during Sunday school. They are doing month long courses and filing us through alphabetically. By invited, I mean not only is it my turn alphabetically, but they printed out a special invitation specifically for me and got substitutes to teach the 9 year old class that I am in charge of. It seems a little awkward for me, as a divorced woman, to attend marriage class. Mormons believe that families, specifically marriages, are the highest priority in life. That is probably why they have a rather low divorce rate. Last time I saw a statistic is was 20%. There are 500 people in our ward (a.k.a. congregation). I believe that there are only 3 women that are divorced. One man is in the process of getting divorced. There is also one lady that is in her 30s that has never been married. We're definitely a minority.
I like to approach things with an open mind. A couple was asked to teach these classes. I know them and quite like them. Each week, they cover a different topic. The first one was communication. The second was forgiveness. Today, it was intimacy. Next week is financial security/budgeting. I have been attending the class and could easily feel like the odd man out. Most couples are sitting together holding hands. There are always one or two women whose husband isn't in class for one reason or another. I sit off to the side and they join me. I don't really contribute to the class. I just listen.
I have read a lot of self-help books on divorce as well as marriage. All they do is confirm what I know in my heart, that I was an amazing wife. Sure I annoyed him at times, but I did A LOT of things right and was more forgiving than I probably should have been. He'll tell you that too.
Life has really changed over the last 10 years, but I truly feel like I am where I need to be and doing what I need to do. Friends often ask me if I want to get remarried. Even though I am not dating, the answer is definitely YES. Who doesn't want to believe in that dream? I see lots of couples making it work and so I know it can. Cheers to a better future! Maybe I'll even go on a date this year. It would be nice to think a guy found me at least slightly attractive.
First of all, I am a girl with lots of freckles ~ I always have been and I always will be no matter what adventures I am experiencing. I am also a single mom to two fun kids. I LOVE to travel and experience new things. I have lived abroad and enjoy going almost anywhere. I plan ahead, but seem quite spontaneous to others.
This blog is a place I spill out my opinions, random thoughts, and share a few of my adventures.