Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Weigh In - Last one this year

Quick report:

Since last Wednesday (Dec 24) I have LOST 1.2 pounds. That, of course is excellent news, given the feastivities of the last 7 days.

The not so great news is that this is also my TOTAL loss for December, due to a gain in the middle of the month (the week of the infamous 'border guard bully'.)

A fresh look at my habits and goals is in order, considering I am just past a year on this journey. Look for them this next week.

Must go feed my baby his breakfast (and change his diaper)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post Christmas

So, what did the holiday bring you?

I hope it brought you JOY, knowing that our Creator God humbled Himself to become a human in order to be the sacrifice needed to save us from sin

I hope it brought you LOVE as you gathered with your family to exchange tokens of your appreciation for each other

I hope it brought you PEACE as you chose wisely which goodies to indulge in and which healthy foods to fill yourself with.

I was blessed with all these things……and more….some things very pleasant, some not so much. ........

Here are a couple of the most wonderful blessings in my life......

But, to get the food/eating/weight thing out of the way first.... weigh in is tomorrow but so far, I am DOWN just under a pound since Christmas Eve.

I am happy with this since (like most of y'all) I allowed myself treats.

However, in keeping with our healthier eating habits, I did something a little different this year – I discouraged people from bringing goodies and I offered substantially fewer treats myself. Therefore, there was less for anyone to overindulge with.

My personal indulgences included, a nanimo bar or two (each day), a few small pieces of Christmas cake (each day), and several pieces of our ethnic treat – Lefse. (Lefse is made of potatoes and rolled into something that looks like a crepe. You spread butter on it then sprinkle it with sugar and roll it up. Heavenly. I controlled the damage of the lefse by using low fat margarine instead of butter. (At least, that's what I told myself)

I noticed that I was not as inclined this year to ‘graze’ on the goodies that were sitting around and that my portions at mealtimes were smaller than previous years. Also, I noticed that I made the healthier choices without hardly thinking about them.

I really expected to gain a couple pounds, at least, and will be OK with it, if that is what the scale says tomorrow morning…..I chose my treats carefully and deliberately (most of the time).

I can honestly say that the holiday brought me PEACE about my food choices.

The Holiday also brought me LOVE....

My home was filled with people and love for 3 days.

The living room was filled with brightly wrapped gifts and my noisy, wonderful family the morning of the 25th until late that night.

I love gift – giving.

I love watching gift-giving.

It is such a joy to me to see how each of my kids goes out of their way to find/make a thoughtful gift for each of their family members.

I love thinking of and finding just the ‘right’ gift for the ones I love.

Some of the highlights this year:

- Robert and Lana made a special 1 hour trip to the city to go to the one store that guarantees its products are all “Fair Trade” in order to buy a gift for Vinj and Kath that would support this social issue that they feel strongly about

- After much hunting, I found a Crokinole Board for Emma – and she was VERY excited!

- I found a site on the internet where we could purchase Seasons 1 – 7 of Star Trek 'The Next Generation' for our one-time-Trekkie son… about ¼ of the usual price! (Which is the only way we could ever get it for him.)

- My niece went and had her photo taken in an “old-time” dress and parasol and gave a framed copy to each of us….

- My niece also bought novelty knitted hats for each of the little girls from the tourist trap (I mean Souvenier Shop) where she works in Banff

- Daniel sacrificed a large amount of money on a gold chain for his dad….because (in his words) “Dad always gets the crappy gifts from me because I never know what to get him”

- Rob and Lana gave us a photo album full of PRINTED photos of their family

- Vinj and Kath found the ‘perfect’ Tshirt for Danny….

- I surprised Jim with an 85 year old map of Alberta that we had found in an old building on our property (15 years ago) . I took it to a framer and had it preserved and framed. We now have the coolest looking 6 ft tall map hanging by our kitchen door! (It is always a plus when I actually surprise my man.

- My SIL cried (and cried) when she and her hubby opened the photo book I made for them with photos from their 25th Anniversary celebration this past summer.

- I cried when I opened a gift certificate from my SIL for ONE YEAR of free ‘fills’ on my nails. (she is the nail tech). Her comment when I remarked on the generosity...."I enjoy our visits while I'm working on your nails".

- Andrew (almost) cried when he opened a gift from Emma - a frame with 3 photos of he and Emma enjoying a Ferris Wheel ride at the fair this past spring.

These are just a few of the thoughtful, loving gifts that were exchanged to fill our home with love.

Unfortunately, the season also brought us some not so nice ‘gifts’……..

A) Sickness…..Robert was very sick Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Lana was very sick Boxing Day (they stayed home that day) and Elizabeth was sick yesterday. As well, my SIL got the same cold/flu Rob had…then both Jim and I also got sick. Kaden seems to have picked up the bug, as well.

B) Accident, Injury and Wreckage……Christmas Day, Daniel and his cousin Scott went out (after dark) for a ride on the snowmachine. Since they could only get one sled to start (too cold?) Scott rode behind Dan. Unfortunately, on his way back to the house, Daniel misjudged the placement of the volleyball net (2” steel posts) and caught the right ski on the post, causing the machine and the boys to part company. The boys flew across the volleyball ‘court’….Dan hit the other post with his leg, which caused it to fling back and kick Scott in the back. Scott got tangled up a bit in the net. (This is what we surmise happened, based on marks in the snow and the injuries received) Dan thought he had killed his cousin when he looked over and saw him laying so still in the snow. Scott thought his ribs and wrist were broken. Scott and his mom missed supper to go into town to emergency….turns out he sprained his wrist and had a bruised kidney (blood in the urine – temporarily). Both boys are well on their way to recovery……Dan’s wallet is not doing so well, though – he has to pay for the repairs to the sled. He was sure kicking himself the next day when the temperature warmed up considerably and he realized if he hadn’t been so impatient to go riding, they could have been out all day in the sunshine instead of having one quick, cold ride in the dark. Tsk, Tsk. The lessons of the young.

C) The Christmas season has nothing to do with this next ‘not so nice gift’…. Kathryn is in the hospital as I write. She was taken in last night – dehydrated and feeling terrible. She had been throwing up all evening – every 15 – 20 minutes and could not stop. This, after having diarrhea for 5 days. She is about 11 weeks pregnant and if the last pregnancy is any indication, has another 6 or so months of being sick to look forward to. I’m not sure if this bout is because of the ‘morning sickness’ (which lasts 24 hours) or if it is a flu bug, but either way, she lost too much fluid (coupled with the fact that she is still breastfeeding Seth) and needs to be on IV for a couple days. Jim and I (in spite of being sick with ‘Robert’s Cold’) went in and picked Seth up – he will stay with us at least until tomorrow so Vinjelu can stay with Kathryn. (Having our grandson with us for a couple days is a NICE thing, BTW)

Of course, the best thing the holiday brought us was Titus…..our newest Grandson.

Other blessings this year…..My mom joined us for Christmas – this is the first Christmas in 12 years we have had with her - and THAT'S a story I will probably never go into......but we were thankful to finally share our family celebration with her again.

Jim’s parents came out on the 26th…..both of them are in better health than they have been in about 4 years. We are very thankful to have these precious people in our lives.

All in all, …..3 "not so nice" things compared to all the wonderful things the season brought to us means that it was/is a BLESSED Christmas season!

Hope you can say the same!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Just wanted to post a couple more photos of my little man...... and his big sisters....

7 year old Elizabeth is so excited to have a baby of their own.... (not just a cousin)

8 year old Emma says "he's cute and precious".....

5 year old Sophia is pretty pleased with her brother....she is just no sure about not being the baby anymore.

all 4 kids....

an active little boy....

I love the look on Rob's face....and the good shot of Titus' hair

The little girls are at our house yesterday and today....we'll take them home before bedtime tonight since Lana and Titus are now home

In other news.....I've had terrible cravings for sweets this week. I haven't had to deal with this kind of craving all. I've not given in too many times, but enough that my weight loss has slowed. WI is Wednesday and as of today I am at 212.0 ....down from last Wednesday, but still not as low as the Wednesday before. It is also hard to find time to go on the treadmill since it is the last crunch before Christmas.

I babysat for Kathryn's day home for 2 days last week, then Saturday evening we went to the girls' Christmas Play and 'had a baby'. Since then, the girls have been here. Because of these things, I am a little behind on gifts that I am making and I still have 3 or 4 to buy.

On the positive side, in the midst of all that extra activity, I managed to reorganize and clean 2 "pantries", a large cupboard, and a small myself just a little more counter space on which to serve dinner for 20. In my kitchen, even a little more counter space is priceless.

It feels good to have more order in my home. Because of the other rooms that I have "decluttered" and reorgaized over the last 7 months, it will be a breeze to go through the house on the 24th and make it "company ready"......

I hope you are finding joy in the holiday rush and not stressing about things that do not matter!

Be good to yourself - do not totally deprive yourself, but do not over indulge, either. Find the balance and have a wonderful Christmas!

Likely won't post again until after the 27th (my last 'company' day) to you then!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It's A Boy!

James Titus was born tonight, December 20, 2008 at 9:22 pm.
He weighed in at a hefty 9 lbs 4 oz and measured 22 inches long. A big boy!
Consider this.....his mommy gained only 12 pounds during the pregnancy. The baby alone weighed over 9 pounds. Do ya think she lost weight? This is the girl that began to have gall bladder attacks after she was pregnant and has been eating virtually 0 fat since July. Yeah, she has lost she will be 5'8" and weigh about 115 lbs.
Anyway, the labor went very quickly - both mommy and baby are doing well. Titus is very alert and active and doesn't look as big as his numbers sound.
The three big sisters were 'bouncing off the walls' when they heard they had a brother!!! We will be going back to town tomorrow morning to take them in to meet him then bring the girls out to our place for the day and night. I doubt they will want to stay much longer than that, with a baby brother at home! (I expect he will be home Monday) I'm sure you'll understand if I am away from my computer again for the next few days.....
Titus is our third grandson of 6 (so far) grandchildren. His other grandparents have 7 grandchildren - this is their FIRST grandson!
So, God is good and all is right with my world......except that it is WAY too cold!!!! -34C!!! (That is -29 F for you Americans) Bring back Global Warming!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weigh In

My second official weigh in and I have to report a gain. That sucks.

I did gain a couple pounds after my sweet indulgences last Friday night, but I was back down to my weight from the week before by yesterday. Today.....I'm up 1.6 lbs again. Good chance it is water weight (too much sodium yesterday) but.....I guess if it is, I'll just show that much more of a loss next week - right?

I am babysitting tomorrow and Friday - looking after my daughter's dayhome child....a sweet little 3 year old boy. Kathryn and Vinjelu have gone on a mini holiday to Banff, AB.

Update on the job situation:

Our employer (in Houston) hired an immigration lawyer to deal with the border guards.

After some correspondance and telephone calls, and moving 'up the ladder' in Homeland Security, the lawyer is still convinced that they have 'broken their own laws' and cancelled the visa wrongly.

Homeland Security is not convinced, however. They maintain that what was done was right AND they refuse to let the lawyer see the statements that they had Jim write out while he was detained.

The next step is to send another letter, more 'strongly worded' to the next level of supervisors.

Our hope is that our lawyer can clear Jim's name, since as it stands, the record shows that he has been working illegally in the States. (Even though he applied for and was granted an official visa by the border guards at the same station that has now cancelled it) .

The day all this happened (last Thursday) Jim decided to come home through Calgary so he could stop in at the head office of the company he used to work for here in Alberta. He has been in regular communication with these people since we left last fall. He has worked with many of these men for several years - one of the head guys (call him MB) worked for the same company as Jim way back in the 80' there is history there. The men in this office consider Jim to be a friend and vise versa. He wanted to stop in mostly for the comradeship, I think.

He was very surprised, given the current condition of the oil and gas industry in AB, to find that MB needs to hire 2 men for the winter season. He was quick to offer one of those positions to Jim. Jim asked for a few days to see if things could be worked out at the border since he did not just want to jump ship, so to speak.....but after a few days, and much prayer, he took the job.

So, we are again employed - beginning January 2.

The up side is:

- we are employed
- Jim will be working within 2 hours of home (which will feel good, if you know what I mean)
- he is again working with men that respect him and know him and will keep him working if at all possible
- he is no longer living and working beside a plant that has constant upsets of extremely sour gas (I hated that).

The down side is:
- he will be working every day that he is able, all winter (Must be done so that we can save enough to keep us going in the spring)
- No more 2 weeks at work then 2 weeks at home.
- The oil/gas industry in Alberta shuts down for 1 - 3 months over the spring then the summer months are usually pretty slow - depending on how wet it is. We have no idea whether he will be able to work after March 21 when Spring break up begins.
- If we want to have a few evenings together, I will have to find someone to take care of our dogs and then travel to where ever he is staying and hang out in his motel room all day until he is finished work and returns for the evening. This is nothing new....been doing it for years....but it is not as nice as we have had it since April.
- BUT he is working....for people he likes and respects....for a company he likes...close to home

Anyway, that is the news on that front.....hopefully, the lawyer will be able to clear Jim's name in case he needs to go south again for work.

In other news.....

Hubby had a gall bladder attack on Dec 5 and spent the night in the hospital. He spent the next week eating NO fat at all (not an easy task) but when he was in Calgary, he just 'had' to have a Peter's buger and shake. (If you are from AB, you know what I'm talkin about). No adverse effects from that so he is back to his usual diet (fairly low in fat and calories). Today we saw the doctor who gave him the results from the Ultra Sound he had done a few days after the attack. He does, indeed, have (several) gallstones but the doc told him that if it isn't bothering him, leave it be - which is what he wants to do anyway. Nevertheless, he will have to be a bit more diligent about what he is eating so as not to bring on an attack.

DIL Lana, who feels like she is about 12 months pregnant, has been extremely tired, losing weight (even though it is the last few weeks of the pregnancy) and has no energy since obviously Baby is taking most of the calories and nutrition....I mean, Lana is on the thin side to begin with and here she is, losing weight when she should be gaining. Rob and Lana planned ahead and had all their Christmas preparations DONE by Dec 1 so at least she isn't having to stress about that. Her mom has been staying with them for the last 2 weeks so that Lana can get lots of extra rest. She will stay until after Baby is born. The due date is Dec 21 but really, we've been expecting it any day since the first week of Dec - she's been having regular, painful contractions for 2 weeks. Hopefully, I'll be announcing the safe arrival of my newest grandbaby VERY soon.

So, mostly good news.....except for the gain.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I was going to post about this a few days ago, but ….well, you know what happened to derail my good intentions. But, I still want to document these NSV’s …… as well as the scale’s verdict.

So….(from my journal Dec 5)

An exciting thing (to me) that happened……two things, actually…..

First, when I got myself ready to go, I looked in the mirror and thought “Dang! Girl, you look good today!”

I don’t know when I ‘ve ever really had that thought when looking at myself.

Sure, I’ve thought “My hair looks nice today” or “My makeup looks good” or “this outfit looks pretty good”…..all the while subconsciously comparing myself and thinking that I look good ‘in spite of’ or ‘relatively speaking’.

Yesterday, I just thought I looked good.


What a novel feeling!

I liked it.

Then, during conversation, Trisha asked me if I’d been going to the gym because I looked like I’ve ‘lost even more weight’.

That was a nice compliment – one that I was not expecting.

However, as nice as that was, and as good as it made me feel, my own compliment meant more.

Back to today…..

A couple years ago, Jim bought me a beautiful bracelet for Christmas. It barely fit around my wrist, but I wore it, because I really liked it and what’s the use of having a lovely piece of jewelry that you don’t wear?

Last spring, it broke… probably because of its tight fit. I finally got around to taking it in for repair. I was able to pick it up a couple days ago and to my excitement, IT DANGLES!! Not a whole lot, but it deffinately dangles!

I could not make my camera focus...and it is not easy taking a photo with only one hand.... but you can see that there is space between the bracelet and my wrist. When I was wearing it before, there was NO space. It barely moved.

As far as the scale is concerned, I’ve decided that I will give myself an official weigh in day in order to keep closer tabs on my weight. I’ve chosen Wednesdays as my WI day. I will still weigh daily, but having a milestone every seven days should keep me more in tune with whether the numbers are going up or down or staying the same. Time goes by too quickly for me not to have a stop and look at the numbers day.

My first official weigh in was last week – I was down two pounds since the Wednesday before.

I’m not doing so well this week…..Friday my kids hosted and performed in a benefit concert. (You can read about it here, if you are interested.) I wanted to help them out so I volunteered to provide goodies for the “after concert” get together at their house.

I baked some ‘low fat’ brownies with cream cheese and raspberry topping (low fat cream cheese and sugar free jam). I had several ‘tastes’ of the topping while the brownies were baking.

I also pulled out my “Christmas Baking” for this year (Nanimo bars and Ginger snaps from Costco) As I arranged the cookies on the plate, I remembered the Christmas cake I had left from last year and pulled it out. I cut the end off the fruit cake and since it did not have a nice clean cut, I ATE IT! Without really thinking, I ate it.
I cut the rest of the cake, then when I got to the other end, I ate it too!
Then came the Nanimo bars……the first one out of the box is always a mess – can’t serve that! So into the mouth it went! These are big pieces, too! (I normally cut the precut pieces into about 4 small ones) By the time the evening was over, I had had 1 brownie, about 4 pieces of fruit cake (not large pieces), the large hunk of Nanimo bar, and 1 or 2 of the small pieces.

I am currently UP about 2 pounds since Wednesday, but I am hoping that my good eating over the days since then will pay off by this week’s weigh in.

I was most upset about how many times I caught myself AFTER I put something in my mouth! I thought I was pretty much over the mindless eating.
I guess this just proves that I cannot afford to let my guard down – especially at this time of year!

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Anniversary....One Year

It is one year since I started to lose weight by changing the way I think about food and the way I choose to eat.

I am a long way from the weight loss goal I set for myself…I had hoped to be at goal by the time a year was up.

In fact, I was sure that I would be. (That is, once I quit thinking that I would “give this a try” and began to think “I am going to do this”. )

Well, I’m not even half way to goal in the year.

My goal was to lose 113 lbs to be at 140 by now. I have lost 41.6 pounds, bringing me to 211.4.

I'm OK with that.

I have learned that there is more to losing weight than losing weight.

In fact, losing weight is the easy part – it’s the changing of a lifetime of bad habits and destructive thinking that is hard.

Even harder than that (for me at least) is taking a lifetime of living a sedentary lifestyle and trying to incorporate activity.

That will be my challenge for the next year, I guess.

Aside from the very real facts of having to change deeply ingrained thinking and behavior, there have also been some extenuating circumstances.

This past year has been one full of change and travel - probably not the ‘ideal’ time to embark on a change of eating habits. (As if there would ever be the ‘ideal’ time)

Let me bore you with the details:

After a summer of watching his opportunity for work in Alberta slowly dwindle, my husband decided to take a job that was offered to him in Louisiana. (You cannot get much farther from Alberta than Louisiana and still be in English- speaking North America.) Naturally, I went with him.

This meant leaving my family, my home, and my familiar life to go live in a place where I knew no one, had no transportation when my husband was at work, in a new climate and culture – where I was told to check my bed at night for poisonous spiders. Don’t get me wrong….I loved Louisiana! I’d go back in a minute – to visit. In the fall/winter. These things, while a great adventure, are stressors.

From the day we decided to take the job until the day we pulled away was 10 days. 13 Days since the job offer had been made. And Jim was away at work for 4 of those 10 days. We did not even have passports when we decided to go, so you can imagine what a whirlwind of activity preceded our departure. We didn’t so much ‘pack’ the trailer as throw things into it. What do you take when you are moving for an undetermined amount of time? We had no idea how long we would be gone – in fact, when we left, we did not even know we were going to Louisiana….we were hired by a consulting firm in Oklahoma – they would “place” us when we got there.

Although we felt quite ‘right’ about our decision, it was extremely difficult to leave our kids and grandkids. We are quite close, as a family – our kids would miss us and we would miss them. A lot. Talk about conflicting emotions…excitement at the “adventure” we were about to experience…..pain at leaving our family behind….

the greatest conflicts were:

My daughter and her husband had just returned from Zambia where they had been on “field assignment” for Youth With a Mission after being in school in Montana since March. For the first time since they had been married, they would be living near us. I had been so looking forward to having them nearby. (Kathryn had been living in Calgary, Thailand, and South Africa for two years before their marriage, so I had only had my girl living near me in short ‘spurts’ for 4 years) To make it even harder to leave, Kathryn was pregnant and she had had quite a difficult pregnancy up to that point. They were planning to be in Canada for no more than 2 years…..and now, just when I would have my daughter at home for an extended time, we were moving out of the country!!! Talk about stress….She and I were both heartbroken. At least we had had lots of practice living a long way apart. We had learned to maintain and even grow a relationship long distance.

Also, Our youngest was barely 18 at the time. He was finished high school but did not yet have a job. Vinjelu and Kathryn would be living with him for about a month but were then moving into town. Danny would be living alone (except for our 5 dogs)…..he was never one to have a whole lot of friends and the ones he did have were still in school. I worried about leaving him….I was not sure how he would handle the loneliness – Jim and I had taken a month long road trip earlier in the year….Dan had been very lonesome then. I also worried about the state of our home with just him to care for it. Jim had confidence in him, though, and in the end….Jim was right. Dan did fine.

Interjection: We had a wonderful time in Louisiana….for the first time in many years, we had a “normal” work schedule….Jim went to work at 5 am and returned ‘home’ every night for supper by 8 pm. Almost every night, anyway.

Up until a couple weeks before Christmas break, Jim did not have any weeks “off”, but since he was learning the area and the job, he had more short days than normal and most weekends were no more than driving out to his locations to check well pressures. I went with him at those times and then we’d have the whole afternoon together to explore our new home. It was during this time that I reached the end of my rope in regard to my weight. I was desperate. I had gained five pounds since arriving in LA. I’ve already documented coming to this point here so will go on to my next point….

I had been “on program” for barely 10 days before we flew home for Christmas on Dec. 21. Much of my shopping had been done on line, and delivered to our home (unwrapped), but I still had plenty left to do….not to mention:

groceries for three days of Family celebrations with not only our kids, but extended family as well.

Add to this, my house had been “cared for” exclusively by an 18 year old boy for the past 4 weeks. It wasn’t too bad… but really, can you expect a teenage boy to notice the details?

Also, there were no decorations out, and no Christmas tree in the living room. I told everyone that there was a good chance the tree would have nothing but lights on it since I did not think I’d have time to decorate. (Usually, we have a family night and whoever can make it, helps to decorate. There was no time for this, obviously.) Andrew (number 3 son) ended up doing it for me when he and his wife arrived for the holiday.

I spent 2 days in the city doing my shopping, necessitating eating out. This whole time, Jim was also rushing around doing his shopping – it was normal for him to be shopping on the 23rd and 24th. I NEVER go near a shopping center on those days, normally. Does that sound like just a little extra holiday stress? It was….but I was so glad to be home and around my family that it was easier than it sounds….thanks in large part to my sister (in law) who drove me to both cities so I could do my shopping (Jim was using my truck – his was in LA) It was a treat to spend so much time with her. Of course, both days involved eating in restaurants.

Beginning a “diet” just before Christmas seems to be a little self defeating, but I had been given good advise from the counselors at LA Weight Loss Center and I did OK – I mostly resisted the treats but allowed myself certain indulgences so I did not feel deprived.

My daughter AND my DIL were both due to give birth the first week of January. Kathryn started to have contractions on Christmas Eve. Jim was booked to fly back to work Jan 8. (I had planned to stay home for a month – to help the new mommies get settled) We spent those 10 days or so before Jim left staying close to home ‘just in case’ – Kath really wanted her dad to be in the waiting room at the hospital when her baby was born.

However, the babies were both born AFTER Jim left….I was to be with Kath and Vinj during labor/delivery so every time she thought “this was it”, I was awake for most of the night – either waiting to see if the labor was real or driving in to town to meet them at the hospital. This happened two nights in a row before it was the real thing.

I arrived at the hospital at 1 am on Jan 10. I will not go into the experience of watching my baby have a baby – that would take WAY too much time. Seth was born at 11:28 a.m.

Much later, I went home for a shower and to email photos to Vinj’s family in Zambia/Europe then was back to the hospital shortly before Mike (son number 2) and a very pregnant Victoria arrived to meet Seth. While Tor was holding Seth, he began to cry and…..her water broke.

I was afraid I was looking at another night without sleep, but they sent me home and said they’d keep in touch – Victoria’s mom was going to be with them.

I was relieved to be able to sleep for a few hours between calls keeping me updated on what was happening with Tor. At about 8:30 a.m. I got the call that the birth would be within an hour.

That estimate turned out to be incorrect. I was a little slow getting going, (24 hour shifts do not come as easily as they once did) but I made it to the city before Kaden was born at 11:24 a.m. Jan 11. 4 minutes less than 24 hours after Seth was born.

Did I mention that Mike and Tor live an hour away?

Kath had some recovery complications so required a little extra help, plus I also spent time with Victoria. The two girls lived an hour apart – AFTER I drove the half hour to Kathryn’s. Thank God the weather was quite warm for most of that time (above freezing, actually).

As well, since Vinj’s car was not up to longer trips, I took them to Calgary for an overnight trip that involved a ‘baby meet and greet’ with all their friends there, a 4 hour 'once per month course' which they had been taking, and picking up Vinjelu’s mom from the airport. She was to stay with them for 10 days.

All this travel, visiting, and mothering was hard on the eating plan! In spite of all this, by the time I returned to Louisiana, I had lost 12 pounds in total.

Back in LA, Jim was now on a two week on, one week off rotation. We could not afford to fly home every month (especially since 1 week off meant only 4 actual days at home) so we did some sightseeing. We took one major road trip. I gained SEVEN pounds!!! Oops…I should have taken my scale with me.

We were in LA for another 7 weeks before we drove home….Jim had been offered a job in Wyoming with a 2 on, 2 off rotation by a company he dearly wanted to work for. Most importantly, to him….Wyoming is within a day’s travel of home.

We left our trailer park ‘home’ on March 21, headed for Iowa so we could visit Jim’s Uncle and Aunt for a day or two before driving west to check in with Jim’s new boss in Wyoming on our way home. Seven days of eating out three times a day (even in Iowa, since we cannot be in Uncle/Aunt’s home because of Jim’s severe allergies to their cats). The seventh day found us at Son Andrew’s home in southern Alberta….finally, a relief from restaurant food! We stayed with him and Keltie for 2 days before finally driving home. I had learned from my mistakes on the previous road trip….by the time we got home, I was down 2.6 pounds since we left.

I was home for 3 days then Kathryn, Seth, and I flew to England to spend 10 days with Kathryn’s SIL who had just had a baby. While at her home, I did most of the cooking and shopping so was able to stay pretty close to plan. We also spent 2 days in London – being tourists. (I LOVE London!) I lost 1.6 pounds while in England.

I was home for 3 days…trying to get my body clock back on North American time before Daniel and I left in my little car (which we had bought in LA) to meet Jim for his first 2 weeks “off”. We had tickets for the NASCAR truck race and IRL race in Kansas City and decided to take Dan along….he’d been alone for pretty much the entire winter, looking after our home and our dogs….we wanted to give him a holiday and (most importantly) time with us.

Dan and I left at midnight after Robert’s (oldest son) 30th birthday party, trying to get in front of a major spring snow storm that was moving in….and remember, I was suffering major sleep deprivation at the time…..We were not able to completely avoid the snow storm and by the time we were in the worst of it, I was delirious with exhaustion so Dan drove – on tires that were meant for Louisiana weather, not wet, icy snow.

We were gone for 1 day less than 3 weeks. Again, all that time, we were eating out. To complicate things, I got sick. Real sick. You can’t eat salads when your throat is so swollen that the lettuce scratches and makes you choke. I reached for comfort foods….lots of nice, soft, cheesy pastas…ice cream….thick, creamy soups….. It could have been a lot worse…..the “damage” by the time I was at home….a gain of 2.8 lbs in 3 weeks of eating out.

Another change… more travels planned. My husband’s job would be bringing him home to me for 2 weeks at a time every 2 weeks. For the previous 8 years, I had been traveling to where ever he was working in the province every two weeks. Staying home all the time has been a big change for me – it took some getting used to.

Then Danny moved to town. Another change. Now, I am alone when Jim is at work. No big deal, I have wheels and people to visit if I’m ever lonely….but another change which I have documented here.

Now, we have another change coming…..don’t know yet what it will look like, (see yesterday’s post) but it will be a change, most likely.

I could have lost more weight over the past year and I certainly have not conquered the E word, which would make a huge difference, I am sure. But, all in all, I am actually quite proud of myself….in spite of 3 major road trips, an overseas trip (first time), a month of running around (literally), and 4 major ‘shifts’ in my life, I have managed to make some pretty big changes in my way of thinking about food, the foods I reach for, the way I prepare my food, how I deal with cravings, and most importantly….the way I think of myself.

There is an ad for a weight loss center here in Alberta …. The ‘catch phrase’ is this:

“It’s not what you lose, it’s what you gain”.

How true.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Breaking News

I've missed y'all .....alot.

I haven't been able to read, much less post.

I was going to write a newsy update post, letting you all in on happenings in my life as well as (of course) how the 'weight loss journey' is going.

This morning, however, I was wakened by a phone call from my husband.....his visa that enables him to work in the US was taken away from him as he was on his way back to work.

The Visa he's been on for the last year is completely subject to the whim of whatever boarder guard is on duty at the time he crosses into the States. Today he got someone who (for whatever reason) decided that Jim's description of his duties at work did not fall within the legal description of a "Management Consultant" and, after interrogating him, and fingerprinting him, had Jim escorted back to Canada.

This means that he is unable to return to work, which obviously means he is out of a job in an industry that is in the last stages of death in our province/country.

I am a little overwhelmed this morning, as a result.

If you are interested in a more 'in-depth' report on this subject, you can go to my 'other' blog here .

I do want to catch up with y'all.....I've missed you so much this last week or so......I'm just not quite up to it this morning.