Monday, June 30, 2014

It's A Good Day When

=It's A Good Day Linkup

I missed linking up to this last week, so I am a little late to the game, but when I saw that Brittany and Lisa had put together this link-up, I knew I wanted to eventually join in on the fun. So here goes!

It is a good day when...

* I wake up before my alarm and realize that I have don't have to get up for another hour.

* I look at my planner and see that a chiropractor appointment this week means I get a massage.

* my work week is only 4 days long and the day off is Friday.

* there is a holiday coming up.

* my sweet puppy falls asleep on me.

* I get in a good workout, like such a good workout that I am exhausted and so pumped at the same time.

* my countdown app tells me that we only have 109 days until we leave to start our 10 day vacation, which includes a week long cruise. (almost double digits! I can't wait)

* my husband hugs me a few extra times in the morning just because he knows I love hugs.

* breakfast is homemade waffles.

* I have to make sure I wear a belt because my jeans are getting too big.

* our evening plans are laying in the hammocks, star gazing and talking about life, and our future.

* I get to spend time in downtown Chattanooga.

* date nights actually happen.

* I read not 1 but 2 devotionals, though it is a good day when I read just 1 as well.

* I have done laundry, which means my closet is full and there are clean sheets on the bed. (Thank you Laundry Day Sunday!)

* I see that I have blog posts planned for every day this week, and most of them are already written.

* the deck is finished.

Wait what? Yep! This weekend meant that we worked our butts off and the deck is finally built! Sure there is still a ton of landscaping and such to do, but the deck itself is finally done, and that means that we are able to enjoy it now! I see a ton of parties in our future. I hope y'all had a great weekend!


Friday, June 27, 2014

I Like To Plan Ahead

Planning is just in my nature. In fact, I makes lists of the lists I need to make. I have everything written in my planner, and then on my phone, as well as random calendars. Planning is just a part of life. I plan months in advance for things. I'm already trying to plan when/if we are going to be able to have a Christmas party this year, and that is like 5 months away. And if I am being completely honest, I have even started my Christmas shopping already. So like I said planning is just in my nature.

In saying all that, I am planning ahead for this little blog. I will be going on vacation in October. I could plan my own posts for those days, but I like how I did things last year. I had fellow bloggers guest post for me. So, I am looking for 5-7 other bloggers who would like to guest post while I am gone. I'd like one post on marriage/relationships and one on fitness/health, but the others can be about anything. If you are interested, please let me know! Tweets, etc will be scheduled to promote those posts, and I'll put your button on my side bar for the month of October.

If you are interested, let me know! I had some great posts last year, and I feel like this year will be the same!

It is Friday!! Hello weekend!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dogs Are Family.

Last night my world came crashing down. Last night has been propably the worst night of my adult life. Let me explain.

Almost 2 years ago, on our way home from a weekend in Gatlinburg, C and I stopped and picked up the cutest little dog I had ever set my eyes on. She was getting ready to be taken to the pound, and was skin and bones. She was sad, and you could tell her spirits had been broken. But it didn't take long for that to change. I let C name her because I wanted a dog and he didn't, and naming her was my way of convincing him to like her. After much consideration, he picked Chaco. She quickly won her way into C's heart, and we officially became dog people. She is an outside dog, which trust me, I hate. When we moved into my dad's house after he got married and left, she was inside for a few months, then he told us she couldn't be inside, so we make the best of a bad situation. From time to time she gets to come inside. She knows she is loved. We goes on walks, and hikes. She gets lots of belly rubs and tennis balls to chase. She is know to destroy a toy in 3.7 seconds, and sneak her way onto the couch when we aren't looking. Though she doesn't steal our food which is nice.

She is part of the family. I love her more than words can say and as a fur mom, I will do anything to protect her. We spoil her with lots of love and treats. She gets doggy ice cream on hot days and fuzzy blankets on the cold days. She has more toys than I have shoes, which is a lot. She has stolen our hearts and will forever be a part of the family. In fact, she is family. Some people may not agree, but I feel like being a dog mom is preparing me for motherhood, which makes what happened so much worse.

She has taught me what it is like to care for someone/thing that can't speak to tell me what they need. She has taught me responsibility for someone other than myself. She relies on me to make sure she is fed, cleaned, and healthy. Baking treats for her and cleaning up after her have also helped with basic household duties.

She loves most all of the holidays because she always gets festive treats and toys. She hates Halloween though because she knows it means we will dress her up in her black cat costume, and well, she hates that.

She brings so much joy into our lives. She greets us every day with a wagging tail and a tongue ready to lick our faces. She loves us. She loves to cuddle and sit on my lap, even though she is far too big for that. She will sit right next to me and can tell when I don't feel good, or when something is wrong. 

She loves to meet new people, which always means she is ready to jump and give "kisses" to strangers. She is a quick learner, and loves when we teach her new things. PetSmart is her favorite place. She is even super well behaved at the vet.

She loves taking selfies and is super sneaky about it. But that isn't all she is sneaky with. Last night, we fed Chaco around 6 pm. When we went to give her the flea/tick and heart worm prevention medicine at about 8 pm after we had eaten dinner, we noticed that she wasn't barking or whining like she usually does. Then the horror set in. She was gone. But not like "gone," she was long gone. We walked all through the area behind our house. We drove through our subdivision. We squeaked her favorite toy over a billion times, and called her name even more. We drove to the road that is behind our subdivision, and we called her name a several thousand more times. Nothing. 

How could I be so careless? The anger I felt with myself was overwhelming. I cried an ugly cry, but none of that helped. She was still gone. We spent hours looking for her. Finally, we knew we weren't getting anywhere, so we went to bed. This morning, I was up before my alarm clock at 5:30 am ready to go look for her again. Still no luck. We aren't going to stop looking for her though. She is part of the family, and my heart hurts not having her home. C is going home on lunch to look for her, and I am praying my heart out that she will be there. 

So for anyone who knows anyone in the Soddy Daisy, TN area, please ask them to keep an eye out for her. Her collar can be seen above. Her name tag has her name and my phone number on it. She is missed dearly, and we are praying for her safe and speedy return home to us. Our home is not complete without her. Our family is missing a member, and it breaks our heart. We love you Chaco. Come home soon! 

**UPDATE : I recieved a call around 2 pm letting me know someone found Chaco. I can't wait to hug the sneakiness right out of her!**

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Date Ideas

Will all my talk about hating summer, I figure I should actually find some way to enjoy the next few months of crazy heat that we are going to have. Enter the "date night." In our house, date nights are few and far between. We both know that dating your spouse after your married is really important, but we get so busy sometimes. I told C that starting in July, we were going to go on at least 2 dates a month, and we were going to schedule them ahead of time. We will do one at-home date, and one date where we actually put on real clothes, and we will get out of the house. Trying to decide on dates was a lot harder than I thought. Somehow I managed to get a decent list for us to pick from.

*Hiking - Get out and check out any trails your city has to offer. You can make it extra special if you pack a light lunch to enjoy.

*Lake Day - If you are lucky enough to live near a lake, pack some towels and the sun screen and spend the day at the lake. If you are like us, we have a "beach" that we go to when we want to enjoy a lake day.

*Check Out Your City - Take a walk around your city and just explore. Find a new restaurant, or a new favorite place to just sit people watch.

*Go To A Baseball Game - We have a minor league team here in Chatty and the tickets are super cheap. If your town, or a nearby town has a baseball team, grab tickets and snack on some peanuts.

*Farmers Market - Summer is such a great time to get fresh produce. Hit up your local farmers market for some fresh fruit and veggies. Take it one step further by fixing dinner together with the produce you get.

*Beach Weekend - If you are in a position where you aren't very far from the beach (and your finances will allow it), pack up and take a weekend vaca to the beach. Enjoy the sun, sand, and relaxing sound of the ocean waves.

*Ice Cream Date - You can make it yourself, or go out for ice cream. Nothing beats the summer heat quite like an ice cream cone with the one you love.

*Wine Tasting - Visit a local winery and taste some wine. Sit back and sip on a glass of wine while you talk about life. Take a little time to learn more about each other.

*Back Yard Camping - Or just camping in general. I don't know about you guys, but as much as I love camping, I love back yard camping even more. What can I say, I love indoor pluming, and well, ice cold water. It is always fun to grab a mason jar and catch lightening bugs like you did when you were a kid.

*Amusement Park - Channel your inner child. Visit an amusement park, or water park and just have fun.

*Star Gazing - This is one of my favorite things to do any time of the year. We love laying in a hammock trying to find shapes in the stars.

*Fishing - I'm not all for this, but C loves to fish, and so sometimes it is about compromise. So grab a fishin' pole and go fishin'.

*Throw A Back Yard BBQ - This is always a great idea. Make it a double or triple date. Invite other couples over to just hang out. Break out the yard games and just have a good time.

I think our first date this summer is going to be star gazing and an ice cream date combined! Happy summer y'all!

Do you have any other summer date ideas? I'd love to hear them!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 Resolutions : 6 Month Check In

Can anyone else believe that 2014 is half way over? I swear it feels like it was snowing yesterday. No, that is not true because I can feel the sunburn on my shoulders. It feels like it was snowing about a month ago. That is more like it. 2014 is in fact basically half way over, and much to my dismay, it is flying by. I feel like we should just be entering spring. I've shared how I am doing with my resolutions, and now it is time for the 6 month update. 

1. Go to church more and grow closer to God. : C and I slacked on our church going. Most of that was my fault because I had some serious frustrations I had to get over. It is really important for C and I to get back into church and to grow in our own individual relationships with God as well as our marriage relationship with God. 

Now : We have been pretty successful in going to church for the past few months. And by going to church, I mean going online. The church we are attending online is North Point. They have a campus here in Chattanooga that we are planning on attending very soon. We love to listen to Andy Stanley, and so we are hoping that when we visit the Chattanooga campus that it will feel right for us. 

2. Make my marriage a priority : C and I struggled quite a bit in our relationship this past year. We has some really really really big storms come through our life and we are still working on getting back on track. So it is important to me to make my marriage more of a priority. 

Now : This is still going well. This year has been the best as far as our marriage goes. We haven't had any fights, and hardly any arguments. We have learned so much about each other and we are growing together which I believe allows us to have so few arguments. 

3. Take more pride in myself. : I am lumping all it in one here. I want to get back to eating healthy, exercising more, actually taking the 30 minutes it takes me to get ready instead of sleeping those extra few minutes. 

Now : I had a back injury which stopped me from working out, but I am back at it again, though I am still known for sleeping until the last second. I really need to get better about that. 

4. Read 100 books. : They can be books I have already read, or new ones, but I want to read more instead of being on social media or in front of the TV.

Now : Unless I crack down, I doubt I will get this done. Blogs should count as books. 

5. Simplify my life. : We have so much crap that C and I have just gathered over the past 4 years, and we started the process of getting rid of it all in December, but it has carried over to 2014. We are going to get rid of the crap and stop buying things we don't need. 

6. This resolution included talking about a little bit of our financials, and I have decided to remove this from my blog for now. 

Now : I've decided not to share this on my blog anymore. 

7. Learn a new skill. : Last year, C and I bought a bow and some arrows and we used it once. I've been talking about learning a new skill for a while, and I really want to do that this year. It can be learning how to use a bow and arrow, or it can be a new language. I simply want to learn something that no one can take away from me. 

Now : Well, I picked up a bow and arrow again, but that didn't last long. I started to learn French, but I have slacked. I can say that I know how to build a deck now. Does that count as a new skill?

8. Get more organized. : After such a hectic past 6 months, I am in some serious need of getting organized. I had such a hard time finding what I needed the last few months, and I don't want that to happen again! 

Now : I'm somewhat organized. I still have a long way to go. We have a lot of things we are needing to go through to get rid of, so hopefully by the end of the year, I will be pretty well organized. I did make a blog binder to help organize my thoughts, future posts, and ideas. Would you believe me if I said I had every post written down in my binder that I plan on posting between now and August? Well you should because I do.  

9. Become more self sufficient. : C and I talked quite a bit about this, we both agree we want to become more self sufficient. We plan on starting a garden, and actually growing something, along with making our own mixes (cake, seasonings, etc), breads, sauces, etc.

Now : We have a garden and I must say that I love fresh veggies so much more than ones from the store. We have also made our own taco seasoning, fajita seasoning, chocolate syrup, brownie mix, and a few other things here and there.

10. No buying clothes/shoes/jewelry for an entire year. : I saw another blogger do this last year, and I am vowing to do it thins year. I spent so much on clothes, and i go so many clothes for Christmas, and I don't wear half of them. So I am challenging myself to no buy any of it all year. Obviously with working on getting healthy, some weight will be lost, and I might HAVE to buy some clothes because I will need stuff that will fit, but I have saved some gift cards to use, and so I plan on using those for that. I am really going to try and not spend anything other than gift cards on clothes, and that is only when I have no other choice.

Now : Other than a few things for work that I needed, I have only used gift cards or store credits to buy clothes, and then they are only things I actually need. I haven't bought anything that was just a want. I am really proud of myself for that. Though I might try and convince C that a new dress for our anniversary is a need instead of a want. I'm not sure if it will work though. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

5 Things I Learned About Blogging This Week

I am not a DIY-er when it comes to computer stuff, or HTML, or anything like that really. I would much rather pay someone else so that it is done right, and done on the first try. This week however, I have learned quite a bit about blogging. I took the time to read a few tutorials, and well, I learned some new things! Here are 5 things I learned about blogging this week.

1. I learned how to install the Hello Bar you now see at the top of my blog. I'm not sure I will keep it up, but for now it is staying. When I decide to have sponsors, I'll use it for ad sales

2. Speaking of sponsors, I learned that you need to wait until your blog is ready for sponsors. I had a "advertise" page, but in the end, I realized that I'm just not ready for that yet. Plus, I have sponsored a few blogs and not gotten what I paid for, and well, I really want to make sure that I can commit to giving sponsors what they pay for.

3. HootSuite might actually be my favorite blogging tool. I used it some last week, but I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but now I love it! Scheduling tweets and posts is so much easier than trying to remember to do them throughout they day. If I am being honest, I would never remember if I didn't schedule them after I write a post.

4. Thanks to Sarah's post, I am currently working on an "about me" gadget. It is a lot easier than I thought, and doing it myself means that I can make as many as I want until I feel comfortable with it.

5. It is important to have a "best of" page. It is a great way to showcase what posts people love for new readers. I finally added mine. It isn't pretty, but I am still working on it.

Bonus - The big thing I learned is that it is important to pick a name that is "you." Sure my last name is Long, so "My Life As A Long" works, but I decided on it at the last minute, and well, I haven't ever been happy with it. So I am in the process of coming up with a new name. I have narrowed it down to 3 that I like, "The 423 Blog" "Life in the 423" and "Chatty Girl." Both showcase Chattanooga. (423 being the area code for Chattanooga, and Chatty is a nickname for Chattanooga) I am personally leaning towards "The 423 Blog" but I am afraid it is a little misleading. So, I would love your opinions. And if you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear those as well.

Happy weekend!!


Linking up for 5 on Friday

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Grab -n- Go Workout Bag

Since I am finally getting back into working out, I have learned that sometimes there are those last minute, unplanned workouts that I find myself in need of. 99% of the time though, I don't have any work out clothes or the right shoes. Working out in flip flops isn't the easiest. So I finally decided it was about time I made a workout bag to keep in my car at all times just in case the urge or option to work out arises.   

I keep a variety of things in my workout bag. From clothes, to tape, to headphones, and a water bottle. Here is what I keep in my workout bag.

The great thing about this bag is that it zips closed and there are a bunch of pockets so everything is organized. Often times I throw a resistance band, jump rope, or a small set of light hand weights to help add variety to my on the go workouts.

I hang this on the door so that it is ready to grab each morning. I has really helped out as far as keeping me motivated.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summertime Favorites

By now it should come as no surprise that I don't like summer. Call me crazy, but I just can't stand the heat, or the bugs.I'm just a colder weather kinda girl, but that doesn't stop Mother Nature from bring summer back every year. So unfortunately, I have to deal with the 5 months of summer that we seem to get every year. How do I survive summer? Easy, I keep some of my favorite things around me.

We are currently rebuilding our back deck so that we can spend a lot of time outside. That means summer heat, and the bright sun. But it also means evenings spent by the fire pit. We have made wine bottle tiki torches to help fight off the bugs, and we have fans to help some with the summer heat, but I have a few favorite things to help make the summer easier to handle. 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Water bottles that stay cold and classic sunnies are with me all summer. Summer also calls for a cute bright summer nail polish color. I love this bright pink/orange color. The summer heat always gets to me, so I hardly wear make up unless I have to. I have these face wipes stashed all over. I have them in different places at home, in the car, at work, in my purse, and in my workout bag. Throughout the day, if I feel like my face is getting icky, I just grab one of these and I am good to go. My hair is almost always up as well, and to keep my hair in place, I use the VSX headbands. They comes in some seriously cute colors and prints. Plus when I wear them to work out, they stay in place. 

Have you guys seen these marshmallows? One thing I love to do is make s'mores. I'll make them any time of year, and since we have been working so hard on the back deck, we know that we will spend so much time out there in the evenings, so I always have these in the pantry along with graham crackers and chocolate bars. I'd love to have a s'mores bar sometime this year. 

I'm hoping this summer flies by so we can get into fall. I am already dreaming of falling leaves, sweaters, pumpkins and boots. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Father's Day Weekend

Father's Day weekend is always a big blur to me. Now that I am married, I have 3 men to go visit, and it can get a little tricky. It becomes a juggling act to make sure I spend time with all of them. Thankfully, they are all understanding of the juggling act I have to do. I'm so blessed to have such Godly men as role models in my life. I have learned so much from each one and I can't imagine my life without any of them. Satruday, we had breakfast with my step-dad. Then it was off to the firestation to visit my father-in-law. I got his work day mixed up with his off day. I was expecting him to be off on Saturday. Then we went back to see my step-dad open his big gift from all of us. Sunday, we went to church with my dad, and just spent the day with him. 

To my dad : You have been a huge inspiration to me. I didn't just get my brown eyes, and love of numbers from you. Along with many other things, you passed your work ethic down to me. You have taught me how important it is to provide for my family, along with my husband. I know that I can come to you with any problem and you will help me fix it. I'm so blessed that I get to work with you every work day. You have given me so much knowledge about things I never thought I could understand. You have given me so much in my short life, and I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. God blessed me beyond measure when he made me your daughter. You love me unconditionally and that means so much to me. I don't say it nearly enough, but I am so thankful to have you in my life. Love you always. 

To my step-dad : Pop, you have been in my life for the past 14 years. You were there and watched me grow up. You were there for the tough teenage years where I though I knew everything. You helped me to learn to laugh and not take life so seriously. You have always been there for me, and you continue to be there for me. I'm so thankful that you love my mom as much as you do. I am so happy that when my mom married you, I gained a great step-dad. You are someone who will always tell me like it is. I love that you find the joy and the fun in life. It is a rare quality. I am so thankful that you care about my and my sisters like we are your own. God blessed me so much when you joined the family. Love you Pops.

To my father-in-law : I don't even know where to begin. You have only been in my life for 5 years, but in that short amount of time, I have gained so much respect for you. Not just because you are such a Godly man, but because you are a fire fighter and you risk your life to save others. You raised your son to be the man of my dreams. He is the prefect gentleman and I know that it comes from seeing you as he grew up. I am so honored to say that we are family. In today's world, finding a couple that has not divorced is so rare, and I am so thankful that my children will get to see that. Thank you for raising your son the way you did. He is exactly who I needed, and God knew that. Love you. 

To my husband : While we don't have kids yet, we have Chaco, and you are a pet dad. I know you never imagined that you would have a dog, but we do, and you love her and she loves you. Seeing how you take care of her, and how you interact with other children makes me smile. I just know that you will be a great father to our children. Your love of life, your silly personality, and your huge heart are sure to allow our kids to have a fun, happy, love filled life. I can't wait until you get to hold your brand new baby in your arms for the first time. I know that you are going to be such an amazing dad. You love kids, and they love you. Our kids will always know that you love them. Chaco wanted to bake you a cake, but we decided against it. We love you.

Happy Father's Day to all the men that are fathers or a father figure in any way, to the single moms that have to be the dad too, and to all the pet dads.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Weeks with date nights are my favorite.

I am so glad it is finally Friday. Yesterday felt like Monday, and that was not fun at all. This week has been about 7 kinds of crazy. Thankfully today is in fact Friday and not Tuesday. On to Five on Friday!

1. C and I hardly go on dates. We both know we need to, but we just have so much going on at home, so many things that need to be done before we have guests over for 4th of July. Our year has basically been working on the house to prepare for a party, and this month is no exception. However, this past week has been Riverbend, and well, we can't miss Riverbend. We took Wednesday off from working around the house. We went out to grab a quick bite it eat, then off to downtown. Boston was playing Wednesday, and it was crowded. We got a pretty good spot to stand and watch, but as the night went on, more and more people started to crowd around us, and I am not good in crowds. At one point, I had beer spilt on me, and a guy kept coughing on me. Needless to say, I didn't want our date to end with C bailing me out of jail, so we called it a night a little early.

2. Speaking of summer, summer is officially here, and I don't like it. Summer brings summer storms, and we have had storms for the past week, and I am not talking about small storms, these are huge storms with dark skies, lots of lightening, and loud thunder that last for what feels like forever. When driving the visibility is really low and no one can drive. I would just assume live at work if it meant that I didn't have to drive through these summer storms.

3. It is Father's Day weekend. I hope my gift guide helped anyone who needed a hand in picking something to get dad. We have a full weekend planned. We have 3 amazing men to go visit this weekend, and I am sure it will be nothing short of fun!

4. I feel like I am the last person to jump on the Orange is the New Black train. I started watching it this week, and I ended up binge watching it. I'm still on season 1, but I'll be moving to season 2 soon. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it is pretty good. I'm really surprised at Netflix. OITNB and House of Cards are both pretty good. Well done Netflix, well done. 

5. I get to workout again! I've been seeing a chiropractor for about 2.5 months now for a back injury I ended up with. He has moved me to seeing a physical therapist 2 times a week, and it is more like a training session. I always leave covered in sweat and my muscles always feel amazing. I haven't been doing any lifting, but I am slowly getting back into working out at home now. I did the 30 day shred last night, and I plan to again tonight before I head to GA for the weekend. I am so grateful to be working out again! I'm hoping that our deck gets finished soon so we can clean out the garage and I can get back to lifting. My goal is to get to a 115 lb back squat again by the time I go on the cruise, and I would love to hit about 80 lbs or more for several other lifts. But I have to start out slow. I don't want another injury! 

Happy weekend guys!

Linking up for 5 on Friday

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why I'm doing this

I wasn't always overweight. In fact, it is something that has really happend over the last 5 years. I've shared my story before, but I feel like I need to again, only in a different way. So here goes.

2005 : I was just starting band. I was tiny in my opinion. I was in a 3/4 or smaller, and I felt like I looked odd. I had a large chest, so I felt top heavy. I wanted to gain a little weight, but in a healthy way.

2006 : I had slowly put on healthy weight. I was only in a size 3/4, but I was gaining muscle. 

2007 : I was in a size 5/6 and I was happy. I felt good in my skin, and I was content. And thankfully I didn't gain any weight at the start of college. 

2008 : I added a few pounds, but I was still happy. The number on the scale didn't bother me because I still felt comfortable. I felt pretty. 

2009 : I started the year dating a guy, and the habits I fell into then were not that great. I gained quite a bit of weight, and went to a size 7/8 and sometimes a 9/10. I wasn't too upset. I still felt comfortable. Looking back, this is what turned everything around for me in a bad way. 

2010 : The habits I learned with the boyfriend before C stuck more than I liked. I was a consistent 9/10 even inching into 11/12. I knew things were off, but I didn't realize how off. I just knew I wasn't comfortable with myself anymore.

2010 : I got married in a dress that had to be taken out so it could fit. I really felt uncomfortable, and I felt bad for C having to look at me. But things didn't change. 

2011 : I was officially wearing 13/14 and I was miserable. I had done some walking that year and dropped a little weight, but I would always fall right back into the same old habits. 

2012 : I officially hit a size 15/16. At the end of the year, I officially hit a dark place, and decided to make a change. It took me long enough right?

2013 : (January-July progress) I started out working out on my own, eventually joined a gym, got a personal trainer, and lost inches. The number on the scale didn't move much, but I had lots of inches being lost, and muscle being gained. I worked out constantly though July at the gym, then I switched to working out at home again in August. In September, there was a massive storm that hit my life, and I didn't feel worth anything. I gave up. I stopped trying. But I never really gained inches back. I had shrunk to a 11/12.

2013 : On our anniversary trip I wore a dress that I wore in my sisters wedding that was a size 12. I wore a bikini for the first time since 2009. Sure I may not have looked like a super model in it, but I felt confident enough to wear it, and no one got sick from seeing me in it, so I enjoyed that moment. When we got back, the holiday season came and food was eaten. I jumped back up to a consistent 13/14. 

2014 : I started the year off with a bang so to speak. I was working out again, and eating better. I was again losing a few inches over all, but then in March, I hurt my back which stopped everything. I was told no working out or I could do more damage. I slowly went back up to a 15/16. So I had to make tough decisions. We ended up going Paleo, which we are still doing on the 80/20%. I eventually was told to see a physical therapist, and was told I could work out a little, but my PT sessions turned into more training sessions, and now I am able to work out again. I have to start out slow, but at least I am going to get back into it! I sit right now at a 15/16 still. 

I know that once I pick everything back up, once I start doing more cardio and weight lifting that the inches will fall off. I knew that food was going to be a constant struggle for me, and that was my downfall. Now I have my eating habits under control, and they are just second nature. Knowing that makes me feel 100 times better. Now instead of trying to get into a habit of working out and getting my eating on track, I only have to get back into working out. Making 1 change at a time is much easier than making 2 or 3. 

I am not doing this for C. I'm not doing it for our future kids. I am not doing this for family or friends. I am not doing this for the people who call me fat. I am doing this for me. I think that is what is making this time different. I am actually focused on me, and not someone else. I am doing this because I deserve this, and I haven't felt that way in a long time. For once, it is all about me, and that is okay. 

Have you struggled with your weight? 
How do you stay motivated? 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Year 3 (2012 - 2013)

I feel like our years keep getting better and better, though they all seem to run together. Thankfully I started recapping our years early instead of 10 years from now. Check out how our Year 1 and Year 2 went. 

November 2012 : I started this little ole' blog. I moved from a different address, and I wasn't very good at blogging. I still am not very good at it, but I feel like I have really improved. 

November 2012 : We officially started a new tradition. Christmas Saturday is my favorite day. It is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and Black Friday. We make festive waffles and watch Christmas Vacation for the first time of the season. We finish off our Christmas decorations by putting up the tree in the living room. And we just enjoy the day together. Occasionally we will have company over, but we don't generally go anywhere.

December 2012 :  C got to go to Rock City for the first time since we moved to Chattanooga. It is a wonderful Christmas time tradition. Hot chocolate and Christmas lights, what isn't to love?

December 2012 :  We opened our Christmas presents early and C got the best gift I have ever given him, a weekend cruise for the first weekend in January! 

January 2013 : We enjoyed our first "grown up vacation" as I like to call it. It was the first vacation where we were more than 4 hours from home. We had a fantastic time and knew then that our anniversary would be spent on a cruise.  

February 2013 : We celebrated Valentine's Day a day early at our favorite little Italian restaurant downtown. It was the first year we actually went out to celebrate. 

March 2013 : We went on a long backpacking trip and I didn't die

April 2013 : I got to run my first mud run with my step-sister. 

May 2013 : We watched as my littlest and last brother graduated from high school. It was such a bittersweet moment. I only have 1 sister left in high school! 

June 2013 : We spent countless nights talking about life out on the back deck. We learned a lot about each other. That and we drank a lot of wine. 

June 2013 : We went on family vacation, and my sister photo bombed every picture she could. 

July 2013 :  We showed our red, white, and blue pride as we celebrate America's birthday! Obviously it included a festive breakfast. 

July 2013 : We made the bad decision to make a day trip to Gatlinburg where we sat in traffic way too long. 

July 2013 : We found a great place not far from the house to go rock climbing, and we spent several afternoons there. 

August 2013 : C turned 24 and we celebrated with donuts, jet skis, and a steak dinner. 

August 2013 : I finally got the picture I have been dying to get since we moved to Chattanooga!

August 2013 : I spent a weekend away from C so I could spend the weekend with my mom and sisters in the Caribbean

September 2013 :  My sister got married!! 

September 2013 : With the beautiful start to fall we had, we spent countless nights in downtown Chattanooga. And we ran a lot on the Walnut Street Bridge. 

September 2013 : C said yes to the tattoo I have wanted since we got married. It is my most meaningful tattoo! 

September 2013 : We went to a wedding at a zoo which meant that we finally got to see the Chattanooga zoo. 

October 2013 : After almost 3 years, we finally got to do a mini photo shoot so we could finally get some pictures of us that weren't candid shots.

October 2013 : We somehow managed not to die when we went white water rafting.

OCtober 2013 : We spend our 3rd anniversary hundreds of miles away on a cruise! You can check out that recap here.

We are half way to our 4th anniversary, and this year is shaping up to be another awesome year of marriage! I can't wait to see what the rest of this year holds for us!


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