Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Last Three Days

I'd like to say the last three days were a blur, but unfortunately I remember them in vivid detail. I love the smell of chlorine in the morning. Or, at least, I'm very used to it. I spent most of the time here:
I left the house at 7:30am on Friday and Saturday. I didn't get home until 9pm on Friday and 7pm on Saturday. You know I wouldn't do this if I didn't enjoy it. I complain, because it does get tiring (especially after three days), but I love the people I associate with. There are so many great people involved in swimming. One of the parents wrapped my foot with kinesiology tape so it wouldn't hurt to stand on the deck for so many hours, one of the girl high school swimmers gave me a hug and thanked me for all that I did that weekend and another girl gave me a rose from her bouquet to thank me. I think the cream of the crop are the officials I work with. It makes sense, I guess, that people who are willing to volunteer years of their lives for others have more elevated natures. Whatever the reason, these are people of high calibre and it is an honor to work with them.

Friday morning it snowed! I love it when it does that. I know it's not so nice for those who have it everyday for months, but for us it's I only got to take a couple of pictures before I had to leave.

I was so very tired when I got home Saturday. I immediately got into my pajamas and ate my JC supper. Fortunately, I opened Facebook to show Mike something and noticed that we were missing the wedding reception of some dear friends of ours. So, Bill and I hurriedly dressed and wrapped a present (I keep all kinds of presents on hand so we aren't caught without a present to a wedding or baby shower or birthday.)and drove to the Stake Center. It was a lovely reception and I was glad we hadn't missed it. But, afterwards we had to go grocery shopping and by the time we left the store I could barely walk. I got a text that I was supposed to be teaching the next morning. I thought someone else was doing it this Sunday. Luckily, it wasn't a tough lesson, so I got it prepared before I went to bed.

When I awoke this morning, though, I wasn't very cheerful about getting up. I groaned a lot and when Bill tried to kiss me good morning, I grouchily said, "Don't touch me, I don't want to talk." Poor guy. After my shower I was much nicer. But, because I didn't get up early, neither did the kids. We got to church late and sat in the foyer. I hate doing that, but Bill and I enjoyed watching our kids across from us.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rainy Day!

This is a wonderful day. It's about 44 degrees F and it's raining and thundering. I love it. Maybe where you live that's a common occurence, but not here. So, I thoroughly enjoy every minute. It's even better when you can stay home and listen to the rain on the roof of a warm, dry house. I'm in the coziest bathrobe I've ever owned and doing just that. This is what it looks like outside.

Unfortunately, I can't stay burrowed up at home.
I have to referee a swim meet this afternoon. It's District time for the High School Swim Teams, so I will be at the Tigua Pool for three days. Friday and Saturday there are meets in the morning and in the afternoon. At the end of one meet your feet hurt, at the end of five sessions, everything hurts-knees, back, brain. Sometimes I leave meets with my ears ringing, from the enthusiastic cheering and yelling of kids and spectators and also from the music over the loudspeakers that keeps the swimmers pumped up. I am so not looking forward to this, but consoled by the fact that these are the last meets of the season. Now I just have to invoice all the school districts to pay the swimming officials, cut them all checks and then, hallaleujah, it's over.

I'll be looking at water, but, it's just not the same. This is the Tigua:

Wish me luck-and good judgement.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Meet Victor

I've mentioned my trainer, Victor, several times. He has changed my life and I will be forever grateful to him and to my landscaper who recommended him (because his wife had begun working out there and loved it). I'm not sure just how old he is, but he seems about the age of my oldest son who is 33. He's very fit and active, of course, but he is also very knowledgeable about physical training. I have a couple of problems-my left shoulder and my knees, and he is always able to change the position of my feet or hands so that I can do the exercises without pain and added injury.

He's a lot of fun and very sweet, but he can be very tough, too. When I go in there dragging because I'm tired, he has no mercy. "Wake up Elaine! You gotta get going." And he encourages my desire to train harder and challenge myself, but sometimes he gets carried away. I've learned to dread the words, "You're going to hate me for this." I gave a gift of two weeks training to H and M, daughters 1&2, for Christmas and in the card I showed them what to expect.

Really, he's a great guy and I owe him a lot-my health, increased strength, happiness and confidence. The only pills I take now are vitamins. From my top weight of...wait, you didn't really think I was going to say it, did you? Anyway, since I began training with Victor two and a half months ago and later joining Jenny Craig(three weeks ago), I've lost 17 pounds; but, from my top weight I've lost 20. So, I'm celebrating, believe me. I need/want to lose 27 more pounds. So, here's another thought for the day, this one from someone unknown to me:

"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." ~Edward Stanley

And I can add an "Amen" to that.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Catching up

How do you like the new look of my blog? It took a lot of trial and error (and my son's help) to figure this out, but I get bored easily and I was really tired of the old look. I hope you like it.

I weigh-in tomorrow and that's always exciting. It's a good thing I'm making good progress. My married children and their children came over to day to eat and my sweet daughter-in-laws worked together to make a delicious meal. I had to take that on what everyone else was saying, as, still, I can only eat the salad, minus the feta cheese :(, along with my pre-packaged food. I consoled myself with knowing that today I wore a dress to church that I hadn't been able to wear in a long time.

On Friday my trainer was taking pictures with my camera and he caught me at the end of my third set of this exercise. It's funny, or at least he thought so, but it does show my determination to get back into shape.

Youngest daughter finished her science fair project over the weekend. She did her project on how heart rate (resting, walking, running and post-exercise) is affected by how fit the person is, or how much exercise they engage in. So, for several days all sorts of people were traipsing through my bedroom into the exercise room. That was okay until yesterday when I was sick with a sinus infection. Here is her self-portrait and a picture for the project showing her taking her big brother's pulse.

Two weeks ago 3rd daughter was working on her science fair project (which required no help from Mom and Dad) and here is a picture of her.

Sorry I haven't written much lately. I'll try to do better.
Quote for the day: "Perseverance, n. A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success." Ambrose Pierce

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It hasn't been the best of weeks

Sorry I haven't blogged this week, Mom, but it wasn't the greatest week of my life. I won't go into everything. One of the annoying things this week, just annoying, were all the repairs that had to be made. Here's what our water looked like on Monday.

I wish that had been the worst of it. That only took two plumbers and $650 to fix. It seems like our house had a 7 year life span, because I have now replaced both hot water heaters, the second one last week; the double oven, both dishwashers, the ice maker and the microwave. Also, I had an electrician here for two days, upgrading the electrical wiring to handle the new stove. Next week I get to have a carpenter and painters to repair the holes made by the electrician. And I also need to get a roofer to fix the roof where it has already been fixed twice. Then the painters will come back to make the inside repairs. That kind of stuff never ends. I'm looking forward to downsizing in a couple of years when we only have two girls at home.

Anyway, that's not why I've been down. Like I said, those are minor annoyances.
The good news is that I'm still doing well on my diet and exercize program. I've lost 13 pounds and added a lot of muscle. As I posted previously I feel so much better and have so much more energy. Mom, I can even get up without groaning and moaning!

Earlier today Bill and I took Emma and two of her neigborhood friends on a bike ride.

Biking is so fun. I think I enjoy it now as much as I did when I was a kid. We ride down to the river (the Rio Grande) and go alongside it on a wide sidewalk for as long as we want. Bill and I have tried to reach the end of this trail before, but have never found it even though we went ten miles down it and of course ten back-the longest bike ride I've ever been on.

Today, because we had the kids, we stopped a lot to look at things. We even went out on the river, because in the winter, there's hardly any water in the Rio Grande. New Mexico has it dammed off up-river and only lets it out in the summer for the farmers to irrigate their fields. Here's what the river looks like from river-level.

Here are some fun sights from our ride:cotton from a cotton field, a long horn bull, and horseback riders.

Riding has also helped me conquer some fears. When I first started riding I was afraid of/exhilarated by this hill. Now it's not scary at all, but it's still fun.

Then there was this little bridge with no railing across a ditch. Bill always rode right across with no problem, but I would get off and walk my bike across. This week, for the first time, I rode across. A small victory, but a fear conquered nonetheless.

Finally, an important, for the kids, stop on the way home.

So, a one hour, nine mile bike ride for Saturday. Even as I sit here icing my knees, it was worth it. I'm glad that Jen and Mir both have bike trailers and want to make Tuesdays our day for riding to the park by the river. They stop and play with the kids and I keep riding and rejoin them for the trip home. Now, if I could just find someone who wanted to go out on Thursdays I'd be set!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A note to my mother

When older adults participate in strength training programs, their self-confidence and self-esteem improve, which has a strong impact on their overall quality of life.

Health Tip of the Day
Jen at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven, 365 Days of TV-Free Toddler Time, and Mega-Family Blogs is giving away a flippin' waffle maker...

To enter, go HERE!!

I love flipping waffle makers. If I win this one, maybe I'll give it to one of my darling daughter-in-laws who borrows mine. :) I won't actually be able to make waffles for awhile as per previous post about the diet. Tomorrow I'll weigh in and let you know how the first week went.

My exercising is going great. I work out with a personal trainer three times a week. I know. It sounds so la-de-da, but it's the best investment I've ever made. Not only am I gaining a lot of muscle, which, sadly, we lose "as we age" (a phrase I've come to know and hate), but I now have bigger "guns" (upper arm muscle) than my husband and some of my sons.

(OK, this officially proves I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself, and that my husband is a really good sport!)

Seriously, I feel so great. I can do things that I haven't been able to do in a long time (open jars, bend over, lift and carry things, walk upstairs, to name a few). The greatest part is that I am almost totally, if not so, off the medicine I took for fibromyalgia. At one point I was taking 450mg of lyrica (in three doses), as well as another drug and a sleeping pill. Now, I take nothing except multivitamins. Hurray! (Okay, sometimes I still take a sleeping pill, but that's because the c-pap breathing mask I wear at night sometimes makes me feel claustrophobic and thus I can't get to sleep.) I only started the training in November and I'm already reaping all these benefits. By the summer I plan to have lost all the weight and still work out.

So, here's to Victor, my trainer. Thanks!

My quote for the day comes from the wall of the gym:

"The only place in the world where success comes before work is in the dictionary."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saying goodbye, again, and working a swim meet, again

Drew and Courtney left today to go back home. They've been with us almost a month and it was wonderful! It's just that we got so used to their being here, that it's almost like having them move away all over again. :(

Last night was also the last night for Matt and Mir to stay with us as their apartment is now ready and so this house is going to feel pretty empty.

So, last night everyone got together to play games and eat a nice meal. Everyone, except me.

This is where I was:

...doing this:

Courtney, I wish I had asked you how you put pictures on your blog. They never come out exactly where I would like them. I miss you already. Anywhere, here is a picture for you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Does anyone know how hard this is?

It's not that I want a "pity party". I just need a little understanding right now.

I started a diet on Monday. It's one I've never done before since I'd already tried all that and it hasn't worked. It's Jenny Craig and, if you don't know anything about that diet, one way to do it is to eat only their packaged food. I chose that option and I also chose to have them choose all my meals. I was just to the point where I wanted to be told, "Here! Eat this! And, eat it at this time."

I don't have to measure, think, or even plan.

Anyway, the food is surprisingly tasty! But, there's just so little of it. And, it is hard not to eat any of the food already in the house. It also seems like EVERY billboard or sign or commercial is about food.

I asked my family to help me out for awhile by cooking all their meals themselves and everyone is taking turns doing that. I appreciate it so much. Thanks. Tonight Matt cooked Thai food (whimper) with peanut sauce (gasp).

And here is what I had:

I survived and I keep dreaming of being thinner. But, with my workouts and this diet I'm hopeful it won't just be a dream. :}

Quote for the day:
"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen."
Frank Lloyd Wright

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My mom likes my blog!

Thanks, Mom, for letting me know you had read and liked my blog. It made me feel great. As you said, it lets you know some of our day to day activities. I wish you could be here to experience them with us.

All of my kids (and grandkids) are in El Paso right now. It's so great. Matt and Mir arrived Tuesday late at night with their moving truck. Last night with all the brothers, Dad, and 7 men from their new ward helping, they got everything moved into the new apartment. But, since there's still a little work to do on the apartment, we get to have them stay with us a few days. This is when I really appreciate having a big enough house to keep everyone with us.

We spend each night playing games and talking and staying up to all hours. Our sleep schedule is suffering, but it's worth it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nerf Wars & Persistence

Instead of having a Family Home Evening where we set personal and family goals, we had Nerf Wars. When we can find Nerf guns at a cheap enough price, we buy them in bulk. They always, eventually, break or lose enough bullets that we have to buy more. And, we have bought a lot of Nerf guns over the years. Starting out with five boys made "wars" inevitable. We've had shave cream wars, canned whip cream wars, rubber band/spit wad wars, and lots of Nerf wars. Now that we have mostly girls at home there are fewer wars, but the ones we have are deadly.

That's a new thing I've discovered about the difference between boys and girls. The boys understood that there are rules to war: each side has a fort, or area of their own, and although you may "risk your life" to retrieve bullets from the other side, you stay and shoot from your own area. Girls don't seem to get that. Also, the girls will get right in your face to shoot. (I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of myself with a bullet stuck to my glasses' lens.) Maybe that's because, since boys will play guns with a stick if that's all they have, they are taught from an early age about gun etiquette. Anyway, last night's game was fun and everyone had a good time. Even one of our older boys joined us with his two sons. We'll have to try it again soon once Matt and his family arrive. They are moving here and will be here tomorrow. We'll give them a couple of days to rest up before the battle.

So, as I mentioned, we didn't set our New Year's goals as I had planned. I also didn't get the office clean and all bills paid, but I got a start. And, I did sign up with a weight loss program and I'm committed to losing 40 pounds instead of 30. All in all, I'm moving in the right direction. Oh, and I have been reading the scriptures more. I would like to say I've been kinder, but the other participants in the Nerf War would disagree.

Here's my quote for the day: "Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

Friday, January 1, 2010

Things I want to do today; things I want to do this year.

Aren't New Year's Resolutions fun? There's the possibility that, with a fresh start, one can become a whole new person. Well, here are my short term and long term goals to become a new person:

I want to clean this office today and pay any bills that are still lurking about.

I want to sit down with my family and make resolutions for our family and for individuals.

My long-term personal goals are: Study the scriptures daily

Exercize daily

Eat better, eat no sugar

Lose 30 pounds

Treat Everyone more kindly and with more patience (a recurring goal)

Get to know everyone in my ward better, and,

Become friends with someone.

Oh yeah, and post more than 8 times a year.