Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giving Thanks

Okay, I know Thanksgiving was last week, but hey, better late than never, right?  This year I have so much to be thankful for.  Honestly, I'm not sure where to begin.  So here goes:

I'm thankful for:
  • A home to call my own - its a lot of work and money but its great to have a place all our own (plus an amazing kitchen to play in!)
  • Food in our fridge and on our table

  • Clothes to cover us and shoes for our feet
  • A fantastic job - its stressful at times, exhausting often and the schedule can be a bear, but it's gratifying and fulfilling and challenging
  • The cutest pup anyone could ask for:
  • Great family and friends, near and far

  • The means and ability to travel across this beautiful country and across the world

  • My good health - over the last few years I've learned that it is not something to be taken for granted, it truly is a blessing
  • An amazing, goofy, supportive, loving husband who indulges my whims to travel, cook, and even shop

  • And last, but definitely, not least - TCU football (and baseball...and, well, everything about TCU)

I hope each and every one of you take time to be think about everything you've been blessed with! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flab to Fit - Week 4

I must admit, last week was no bueno.  Okay, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't good.  I only worked out 3 days of the week, but each of those workouts was really good.  I left the gym exhausted - which is my goal!  Thanksgiving day ended up being to crazy (because I decided to take on too much in the kitchen) so I didn't have time to workout before dinner with family or work.  Saturday was another "free" day for working out but I had a party to go to in the afternoon and spent over an hour picking out Christmas decor and other goodies at Hobby Lobby before heading home for dinner and a lazy night on the couch. 

Food wise I think I did pretty well, especially considering Thanksgiving is such a huge eating holiday.  Yes, I indulged in sweets but I tried to limit the amount of gravy, mashed potatoes, other fatty foods to make up for it.  Luckily we did not host Thanksgiving, didn't take leftovers home and all the goodies I made for work were inhaled before I left my shift that night, meaning no bad foods hanging out in our kitchen! 

This week is going to be much better for working out!  Although, I'm working 3 in a row (just finished #2 of 3, I have multiple days off the rest of the week including a morning shift, meaning time to workout after I get off!)  Excited to get back in the groove.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gone Sailing

Our second half of vacation was spent on a cruise with close friends from college.  Thursday we picked up two friends from the airport and made the drive to Port Canaveral.  It took a while, but we eventually made it on board the ship.  After lunch, we met up with the rest of our group and sat down to a game of Phase 10.  It is one of our favorite card games from our TCU days.

It was a short 3-day cruise but we had a great time.  We ate too much food, drank too many tropical drinks and had too much fun.  We quickly learned to avoid the buffets (lines way too long!) and sit down for breakfast or lunch.  You could find us lounging on the cushioned chaises in the "adults-only section" most mornings or afternoons soaking up the sun.  

The ship at night

Breakfast by the sea
The 2nd day of the cruise we docked in Nassau, Bahamas.  After doing some online research I had decided we would head to a beach for the afternoon.  After a ride on a "jitney" (local bus) we dodged traffic to finally arrive on white sand beaches.  Unfortunately, we were starving and there wasn't a restaurant or food stand in sight.  After a long, hot walk, we came upon a resort with nice facilities which we took advantage of for the rest of the afternoon.  After lunch and a dip in the ocean we laid out on beach chairs enjoying the last of the sun.  We headed back to the downtown area (this time by cab) and did a little shopping before making it back to the ship for dinner.

Over the 3 days we made use of the mini-golf course, caught a Vaudeville style show and watched a comedy act.  We laughed until we cried and made great memories.  

Good times

And more good times

The group!
Best of all?  We made plans for a group trip next year.  I can't wait!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Harry Potter, Mickey Mouse and Palm Trees

Like I said in my previous post, our first part of vacation included Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World and just some poolside relaxation.  Our first day we scoped out the resort grounds, caught a motion picture show and relaxed.


The next day I got up bright and early, headed for the gym and after breakfast, Corey and I headed off for Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando.  I'm going to be honest, the only reason we paid admission for the park was to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Yep, I'm a Harry Potter fan and proud of it.  So, that was our first destination in the park.  We LOVED it!  We may have ridden those rides a couple times.  We also hit up Jurassic Park, a water ride and strolled through Suess-land.  It was a great day.
Hogwarts! (Great ride!)

Hog's Breath Saloon

Post water ride - we got SOAKED!
 The next day we set off for Walt Disney World.  We made the last minute decision to get a park-hopper ticket allowing us to travel between their 4 theme parks.  Our day started in the Magic Kingdom.  I had no idea how similar it was to Disneyland.  Growing up, we had annual passes to D-land so we went pretty often.  I sorta felt like I was back home.  We did the major rides like Space Mountain (rode it 3 times in fact), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, Teacups, Peter Pan, and many more.  We also strolled down Main Street, caught the end of a parade and did a little shopping.

The view down mainstreet

Since we got lucky and had virtually no lines for any rides (longest we waited was 10 minutes for anything) we did and saw everything we wanted late afternoon.  We then headed over to Epcot to checkout it's multicultural offerings.  We enjoyed Margaritas in Mexico, strolled through China and Norway, grabbed a pretzel in Germany and watched traditional drummers in Japan and more.  It was so much fun and I really wish we had more time to spend there.  We ran out of time for any rides or shows.

Margaritas in Mexico

Japanese drummers

Tired but still smiling
Our last day in Orlando was spent at the resort.  After working out, we had some pool time then played tennis.  Mind you, I've never been good at tennis.  Actually I've always been pretty awful at it.  But I thought it would be a fun afternoon activity.  It was pretty fun despite the fact that both of us were pretty terrible.  I even managed to hit the ball completely out of the gated court and into muddy marshlands, twice.  Oops!

The next morning we packed up and headed to the airport to pick up a couple of our cruisemates then drove to Port Canaveral to board the ship!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flab to Fit - Week 3

The last two weeks were very successful from a working out standpoint.  Week 2 included me waking up early before work to get a swim in and going in after work on another day for a workout.  Then we went on vacation last week and I am pretty proud of myself for actually making working out important.

The first half of vacation was spent at an Orlando resort.  They had an AMAZING workout room with several treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, free weights and a few weight machines.  The cardio machines were all pretty new looking, well-maintained and best perk of all?  Each had an individual TV you could watch.  I worked out twice there during our 4 day stay.  I learned my lesson after working out hard before heading to Universal Orlando for the day (can you say aching calves anyone?) so I took the day off when we went to Disneyworld.  However, with all the walking we did there I'm pretty sure I burned a ton of calories.  The 2nd half of vacation was onboard a cruise.  A friend of mine and I woke up early two of the three days on the ship and worked out at the gym overlooking the ocean.  We also had an accidental long walk along the beach that I'll count as a mini workout.  So 4 days of workouts while on vacation?  I'm pretty proud of myself!

Despite my great workout choices, my food choices definitely were not the best all the time.  While I tried to continue to eat healthy most of the time including lots of fruits and veggies, I definitely splurged on too many sweets.  Take this for example:

Funnel cake sundae (I didn't eat the whole thing - don't worry)
 Or this afternoon treat at Epcot:
Margarita + pretzel (the beer was Corey's)
I also indulged in dessert every night of the cruise and probably too many fruity alcohol containing drinks.  However, I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  I enjoyed myself, and splurged a little.  Life is about balance, not depriving yourself, right?

This week is going to be challenging thanks to Turkey Day looming.  However, I'll definitely be able to get lots of working out in and I have a plan of attack for avoiding holiday food overload.  (Eat lots of veggies and white meat turkey with only a couple bites of the not-so-good-for-you foods)  I'll let you know how I do!