Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolution time!

Last year's resolution was a success! Instead of choosing something that was out of reach or impossible to actually do for a year, I tried to think of something I could succeed at. I decided to make my resolution keeping a running journal. It would allow me to see how far I have come and set future goals. I have really enjoyed it and plan to keep it up as long as I am running. That leads me to this year's resolutions: running more miles and keeping a food journal.
After tomorrow I will have run approx. 382 miles for the year. Not bad, but I can do more. I took off 9 solid weeks over the summer due to laziness. It gives me an average of 7.3 miles per week. Lame. Last week I put in 19 miles. That average stinks. My goal for next year is at least 520 miles. It shouldn't be a problem if I keep up the running through the heat of summer but I'm thinking realistically here. I may adjust my goal as 2010 progresses because I'll hopefully be training for the 2011 Houston Marathon!
Keeping a food journal is less about weight management and more about running. At this point I know what foods help me feel good and therefore run better but temptation is too great. I don't plan on being a freak but if I had to write down that I ate 4 sugar cookies, 2 pieces of fudge, and sat down with a jar of Nutella tonight (yes, I ate all of that :) ) I might think twice about it. When I've kept a food journal in the past it helps me to monitor my sweets (mmm) and keeps me in check. I feel so much better when I eat well and am able to avoid looking bloated to the point where I look pregnant. Not fun.
Anyway, share your resolutions and/or goals if you would like! I'm interested!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was filled with food, presents, and lots of family time. I had to get back on track with the eating today. :) My Dad got my Mom a Wii Fit Plus for Christmas. At first she had no idea what a Wii was (hilarious) but now she likes playing all of the fitness games (as does the rest of the family). Mom and Dad also got each other a Kindle! Now I'm the only one in my family without one. I'm still holding on to my paperbacks! Anyway, here are a few pictures!


My tree with a few presents. This was before the real buying began. :)

Mom and Dad's tree.

Mom getting her Wii Bowl on!

Dad enjoyed trying to increase his jumps.

Boards games, Snuggie, Debbie Meyer Green Containers, P-Touch label maker (it connects to my PC and you can type in what you want using tons of fonts and add icons and borders), Cuisinart Immersion blender (LOVE!), kitchen scale and spice blender, gift cards, Le Creuset saucier, new watch, science experiment book, and new beret and scarf set. That's a ton of stuff. My family always overdoes it. :)

Dinner!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Um, I love it!?

Teachers get some interesting gifts for Christmas. I usually put them into one of three categories. Here are a few from each this year. . .

Awesome! I love it!:
$25 Visa debit card
$50 gift card to Pappas chain restaurants
$25 gift card to Target
Super cute gift bags that I can reuse :)
Nice, but not something I needed/wanted:
$20 to Bath and Body Works (I'm not a smelly bath person. It irritates my skin.)
Cute, plaid scarf
Ornament one of the kids painted
Good smelling (thank goodness) Yankee Candle
Brownies in a Jar
Fleece throw with cats on it (it must be a present for Blanca)
You should have saved your money:
Puzzle
Stinky lotion
Assorted candies
Ugly soup bowl
'Love' necklace from Claire's
Perfume
Stinky candles
Note to parents: When in doubt, get your child's teacher a gift card. They will most likely love it and be very excited to use it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

School Funny!

So we are listing holidays to do an activity for social studies...
J: I know why we celebrate President's Day.
Me: Really? Why?
J: My mom said it's to pick a new President because the one we had this year is doing a bad job.
Me: Oh, that's nice.
OMG! I love it! Made me laugh for sure!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Must Try! :)

One of the ladies at school sent this out today! She said she makes them every year during the last week before Christmas break.
Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila
Sample the Cuervo to check quality.
Take a large bowl, and check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality,Pour one level cup and drink.
Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter In a large fluffy bowl.
Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again.
At this pointit's best to make sure the Cuervo is still ok, try anotherCup just in case.
Turn off the mixerer thingy.
Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cupOf dried fruit.
Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.
Mix on the turner.
If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pryIt loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who geevesA sheet.
Check the Jose Cuervo.
Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table.
Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.
Whatever you canFind.
Greash the oven.
Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fallOver.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish theCose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.
Cherry Mistmas !

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Running in a Winter Wonderland

My run this morning was AWESOME! I had a ton of fun running 6 miles through the snow covered neighborhood. I was so peaceful and serene. No one was out really, just a few families playing in the snow before it began to melt. It was only 34 F when I headed out at a little before 9 am.
I just had to share a picture of myself in my superman pants and shirt before I headed out! I don't get to wear them very often but I was glad I had them!

This is the front area of our school. It snowed constantly from 9:30 - 4:15! We had over 300 kiddos get picked up from school early. I was only left with 9 students by the end of the day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Strength

I'm watching a show on Discovery Health called Truth Be Told: I Have a Special Needs Child. I am amazed. Not only are these parents (they are focusing on the moms though) strong enough to share their stories they speak with honesty. I was tearing up when they were showing the different children and I realized it's because I feel guilt and a certain level of fear. I have nothing wrong with me (hey, hey, you know what I mean) and I don't know how I would handle having a child with special needs. One mother spends 42 hours week changing her child's bandages. Their situations are beyond my comprehension. It's a great episode if you ever have the chance to catch it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DRAMA!

Warning: Calm venting to follow. I feel that if I say it here I can let it go and move on.

I'm pretty sure that everyone has work drama. I have avoided it for the past two years. Apparently my luck has run out. I feel that things started as soon as I was made Grade Level Chair for second grade. Hearing that members of your team are 'talking about you' is not only annoying but hurtful. Many problems can be taken care of if people would communicate with each other. If something isn't working or I have offended you, YOU HAVE TO LET ME KNOW! As for personality conflicts, I can't help you. I am not bothered if you think I have a comment for everything (um, like you don't) and it annoys you. I also cannot help you when you lie to myself and others and continually spread the drama by not keeping your mouth shut. You don't need to repeat every word someone says to you and take it out of context. So when you starting thinking that I have an attitude again because I'm not talking all the time work anymore it's because anything I say can be used against me and I refuse to give you ammo. I also do not want to be associated with any coworkers who belittle seven and eight year olds. Yes, the students are scared of you and you know it. Who cares if you are a great teacher of the curriculum and you have good scores. If you make children feel like crap what good are you doing? I cannot change that I was picked from GLC over you and your buddy. You are just like the last GLC and they wanted something different.

It's time for me to continue doing my job and living in my little bubble of a classroom. Dwell on the positive and not the negative. :) Better thoughts: I signed up for the Rodeo Run 10k today! It gives me something to look forward to and focus on after the half marathon in January. That day will be an attempt to set a PR. Yay for me!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Still Here

I fell off of the face of the planet for a whole but now I'm back. That's probably only for the week though, the three weeks before Christmas break are always nuts! Moving on. I'll fill you all in as quickly as I can.

Jamie and Chad bought me a cooking class at Central Market for my birthday. It's not that I can't cook but they have wonderful classes that teach you all kinds of new/different styles of cooking (and baking) than the ones you may use on a regular basis. I'd been to a Mother's Day class with my mom last May and was super excited to go back. Jamie and I picked out "Easy Thai Cooking". We both love Thai and the only thing I've ever made was a generic/semi-bland Pad Thai. Lame. We had tons of fun at the class and made some awesome food. If you like to try it just let me know! Here are a few pictures.


Beef Salad. Amazing!

Coconut milk soup. I could bathe in it.


Banana frying time! I like the focus on Jamie's face.


Us with our teacher. Our faces are red from the free wine. Yum!


Oh and did I also mention that I made a homemade Chocolate Chip Tiramisu Cheesecake for my friend Krissy's birthday? You know you want one. (If you plan on making it I made some alterations that made it a little easier. Shoot me a comment if you want to know them.)


Before the crazy eating week continues (I've already had Olive Garden and cake for Jamie's birthday, and sushi and Melting Pot today) and I go out to eat with Klecka tomorrow and to my parents house for dinner BEFORE Thanksgiving food craziness I wanted to say that I've lost about 7 lbs. :) I think more of it has come through upping my mileage getting ready for the half in January and not through my diet but with the exception of this week I do eat as healthy as I can. Yay me. I wore my skinny jeans and riding boots to the Galleria today and felt pretty dang good about myself. I celebrated my awesomeness by buying more clothes in smaller sizes. And no, I don't have an eating disorder or think that I am fat. I just enjoy being healthy and not having 50% body fat like the people on The Biggest Loser. :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Red Ribbon Week

This week was Red Ribbon week. Yee-haw? Wednesday was 'To Smart to Start' and everyone was dressed like nerds! So much fun. I got told all day that I looked 'smart' and not 'nerdy'. I thought about just wearing my regular clothes and telling everyone that I look like a nerd everyday but decided to play along. :) I cropped a couple of the kids photos so you could see the outfits.


I am way too tall for my school buddies.

Nerd face!

The most awesome part is that I called for anyone dressed like a nerd to come up and i would take their picture. I didn't think he was dressed like a nerd since he's worn that sweater at least three other times. HA!

I love this kid! His pants were even higher, but they fell. He had on a belt with elastic waited pants, Harry Potter glasses with tape in the middle and his shirt pocket was full of pens, pencils and a calculator! Too cute! I wish you could see the look on his face!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Faculty Follies and Lotsa Pasta Dinner

Our PTO put on a 'dinner and a show' fundraiser this evening. Each grade level/area group was supposed to come up with an act of some sort to perform after/during the dinner. I missed get a picture of first grade, sorry girls! They sang 'Sweet Home Alabama' and changed the words to 'Sweet Home Wilder Elementary'. Here are the rest of the acts!


Are you ready for this?! Yes, that's my principal. The AP was on the other side of the stage.


Special Ed. and paras doing the chicken dance and telling chicken jokes.


Go Greased Lightning! - Kinder


The Do-Re-Mi's - Third Grade doing the skit/song from The Sound of Music


Leader of the Pack - Fifth Grade (Yes, Mr. K was on a motorcycle)


The Cupid Shuffle - PE/Music/Art

video

R-E-S-P-E-C-T - Fourth Grade (They even got a standing ovation!)


Jeopardy - Second Grade (The gals playing our AP, Principal, and Edward, of course!)


Alexis Trebek


Wilder Jeopardy cast


Holly and I were the stage crew. (We set everything up and I ran the slide show.)

video

Thriller! - Office Staff

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

So last Saturday was the big 2-5. YAY?! I'm fine with turning 25, I just am not fine with thinking about being 30. Scary.
My birthday weekend consisted of the following: amazing weather for my long run, Law Abiding Citizen (movie), Froberg's, dinner at Patrenalla's, semi-intoxicated trip to HEB to get more wine, dinner and presents at Mom and Dad's. It may seem like a lame weekend to most, but it was just what I needed. I love a relaxing weekend and a wine induced buzz along with fantastic food. A few pictures since I obviously enjoy posting pictures with almost every post. :)


My parents sent me flowers and had them delivered to school on Friday! Blanca is nosey.


Nathan did well this year.

Off for delicious dinner and wine! We ate outside by ourselves and it was fantastic! If you ever want to go there let me know and I'll give you suggestions based on what we got.

We picked up a pumpkin at the store when we went to get wine. He fell off the bar so we carved him, screwed him back together again, and named him Franken-Dumpy.

Books! I can't wait to read them. I have to finish Bright Lights, Big Ass first.

I've been wanting to play for a long time. Nerdy, yes. Does it make me smarter than you, yes. Well, maybe.

Only a runner would want something that helps identify them if they get hit by a car.

Get one here.

I also got gift cards to Academy (running gear), DSW, Target, and Ann Taylor Loft! Chad and Jamie got me a cooking class at Central Market. I took my mom to one in May and it was lots of fun. Jamie and I are going to have a great time cooking Thai! (By the way Jamie, the class is full now. Good thing we singed up when we did!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

He won WHAT?!

I hope Mr. Nobel is rolling over in his grave. I will try not to yell from my soap box too much. I think it is a huge load of BS that he won. Although they won't reveal the names of the others nominated for another 50 years, rumor has it that Greg Mortenson was nominated. If you haven't read his book Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace. . . One School at a Time, you should. It made me feel lazy, but he seems like a great guy doing an amazing thing.
An article posted on Yahoo from Time.com said it like this: Compare this to Greg Mortenson, nominated for the prize by some members of Congress, whom the bookies gave 20-to-1 odds of winning. Son of a missionary, a former Army medic and mountaineer, he has made it his mission to build schools for girls in places where opium dealers and tribal warlords kill people for trying. His Central Asia Institute has built more than 130 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan - a mission which has, along the way, inspired millions of people to view the protection and education of girls as a key to peace and prosperity and progress.
I wasn't an Obama fan before and I'm sure not now. The Nobel prize is crap now. Boo.

By the way, I had a great 6 mile run this morning. Running in 60 degree weather is SO much better/easier than running in 80 or 90 degree weather. I was less tired today after 6 miles than I was after 4 miles in 85 degree weather on Thursday. Bring on fall and winter weather! (Rain, you can stay away though.)

Today: 6.1
YTD: 224.5

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Can't read my Poker Face

Krissy and I participated in the Pearland Area Runner's Club Poker Run this morning. It was a lot of fun. I got a newletter from them after I signed up for a Halloween 10k they are doing. You didn't have to be a part of the club to run so we decided to give it a try. We met at a local track at 6 a.m. (Boo) and the run began at 6:15. You put in $5 and every two laps you were able to pick a card. After 20 laps, Krissy and I both had trips and a pair. I'll admit, we did trade a card because we each had what the other needed. Krissy's hand was higher than mine but we'd already decided to split the money if either of us won. The hour went by quickly and we had a great time. Some really fast guy named Carlos won with four 9's. He didn't even take the money and let the club keep it. Lame. I wanted to go buy new running attire but it wasn't to be. Oh well. It was a fun run none the less.

Today: 5
YTD: 210

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I caved!

I have two reason why I caved today and totally lost my mind. 1- my mom is an enabler 2- cookie cake. I'v doen very well with not eating much sugar lately. I haven't gone totally sweet-free like I've done in the past because people look at me like a freak when I tell them I'm not eating any sweets. "Why? You're already skinny!" Healthy is not on their radar. It still makes me feel awkward though. Anyway, I'd BARELY eat any sweets since school started five weeks ago and I've lost about 3.5 pounds. WHOOP! I'm weighing in around 129.5 in the mornings now. Yay for me! I went off the deep end today though. My caring mother thought she should share some of the candy she buys for the teachers at her school with me. I ended up with a gallon-sized bag full of mini chocolates. Bad idea. I ignored them until today. I figured, "One can't hurt." HA! That's how people end up weighing 400 pounds! (I'm also watching the Biggest Loser right now- LOVE that show!) I ate somewhere in the range of 8 chocolates today. That was before I went to a baby shower and ate cookie cake. I couldn't resist. It was well worth it. . . until I went on my run and almost yaked from all of the sugar. Tomorrow I'm back to my very low sugar norm. One day isn't going to kill me or make me fat, but it does remind me not to go overboard and that eating healthy makes me feel great. It's time to go cook my lunch and dinner for tomorrow since I didn't make it home in time to cook it tonight. It'll be Stir-fried tofu and shrimp (Runners World- Oct. 2009) for lunch and dinner tomorrow. There's no way I'll have time to cook before/after Kickboxing tomorrow. I hope I can walk on Thursday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I almost cried

Sorry. This won't be a sad story. It's a "laugh until you almost cry" story. So I try to train my kids at school to line up at recess by looking for me with my hand raised and that way I don't have to carry a whistle outside. It worked last year and it's going pretty well this year. We were outside for our 10 minutes after lunch (exciting) today and I see one of my kiddos getting into a huge pile of sand behind the playground. Why the pile is there, I have no clue. I go back there to pretend to be mad about it (I could care less but I know they shouldn't be there) and after I fake get mad at them I turn around and see most of my class bolting for the doors. Huh?! What in the heck are they doing? Then it hits me. They think I've left them outside! HA HA! They are freaking out and climbing all over each other to get in the doors and I'm standing there laughing at them. It was awesome. I love freaking them out like that. Mean, maybe. Funny, yes. They procede to run indoors and start running down the hallway to try and catch me. They slammed the door in one girls face and she got left outside beating on the doors yelling for someone to let her in. Poor thing. She got sacrificed. Anyway, another second grade teacher asked them what the heck they were doing and sent them back outside. They came back looking bewildered but no worse for the wear. I told them they did the right thing since they thought I went inside but to check with one of other teachers first. So funny. It still makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bully-free zone

J:"Ms. Bowen. You want to know another reason why I like this school better than my old school?"
Me: "Why?"
J: "Because there aren't any bullies in here. There was a bully in my class at my other school and they were mean all the time and said curse words to the teacher."

It's nice to know I've created a bully free zone and that none of the kids are gutsy enough to sat curse words to me.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I feel old

My kiddos this year are making me feel very old. Not my morning class so much, but my afternoon cluster class. I love them because they laugh at my jokes, understand me when I use 'big' words and actually love learning. A blessing! Although I love them dearly, they make me feel old. The first week of school one of them spoke to me in text. Yes. Thank goodness it was something I could understand. (I still write out complete words in texts.) I was telling them about myself and a little girls busts out with, "O-M-G!" I didn't know I was that exciting. Yesterday, in the middle of their math quiz, another little girls looks at me and asks, "Do you have a Facebook?" Me: "Yes I do. Why do you ask?" Her: "I have a Facebook." Me: "How do you have a Facebook?! You're 7!" Her: "I lied about my age." Me: "How old do you have to be?" Her: "I dunno. 18 I think." A boy chimes in, "I have a Facebook too!" Oh good Lord. Really? I am more than three times their age and what kind of parent lets their 7 year old set up a Facebook account?! Is Facebook going to become the new breeding ground for pedophiles? MySpace will no longer be enough. Anyway, I was amused and freaked out at the same time. I told them to not even waste their time looking for me because I would deny their friend request since I am their teacher and not their friend. :) I did look them both up when I got home and they weren't lying about having accounts. Kids these days!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

He's back! (Almost)

Nathan is flying back as I type. Although he has a late flight and I'm going to look sleepy tomorrow, I am ecstatic to have him back! Five weeks is much better than the seven he spent in Australia but long none the less. Any of you who cry about having their significant other go out of town for the week or weekend have no clue. (I love you, but I have no sympathy. The only group of people who have it worse are the military spouses who have their husbands or wives shipped of for who even knows how long.) Anyway, NATHAN'S COMING BACK! I leave in an hour to pick him up at IAH. I about to jump up and down out of excitement!

No, I did not ask him to sit like that. He was just staring out at the ocean. He's cute. :)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting Back in the Saddle

School is back in full swing. I think I completely lucked out with getting two good/great groups of kiddos this year. The other teams might have one good class and I got two! Sweet! (We'll see if this holds true for the entire year or if the little buggers start to drive me nuts. HA!) My feet and legs have been killing me from standing all day so running was not an option. I need to nail down a regular running routine now that school has started and get back into shape so I can train for the half. I went out tonight with the best hopes for my run. It's been a week so hope was all I had. Since I was tired, my realistic goal was running a mile and walking a little bit and then repeating it. I haven't been running without stopping lately in order to get my body used to running again. Too much, too soon is a BAD thing. Once I got a few minutes in I knew I felt good and could up my goal. I ended up running 2.5 miles without stopping. Yay for me! Is it the farthest I've ever run, no. Was is the fastest I've ever run, no. Did I do better than I thought, yes. I am I proud of myself, yes.

Today: 2.5
YTD: 167.4

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcome to 301

Today was the first day of my third year. Crazy. Our doors opened at 7:15 for the kiddos. I had to wake up SUPER early to get there in enough time to check over everything to make sure I was ready. My mom has always told me that they goal the first day is get them home alive. Feeding them is a bonus. I use this as my mantra. I don't know if I'll ever feel completely prepared on the first day but I'm now past the "Am I going to live through the day?" and "Are they going to eat me alive?" freakout moments. I've yet to have a bad first day of school. Knock on wood. The past three years have given me quiet kids who are scared of me when they enter my doors. Perfect! Ok, the run-down of my kiddos...
One spacey talker-girl who already loses things
One boy who says, "So, let's just say..."
A couple of goof-ball boys (aren't goof-ball and boy synonyms?)
Several super quiet kids
A good mix of sweet kids, lets see how the year goes!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Best Man I've Ever Known

It's too late to go for another run to clear my head so I guess I'll type even though my thoughts are scattered and I'm sure my sentences will be too...
My grandfather, my Poppy Jack, passed away. No matter what, you are never ready for that phone call. I knew his cancer was causing his kidneys to deteriorate quickly. I had always assumed he'd be around for at least another year. Not that I would get a call that he wasn't doing well on Monday and then the news today. I've heard before that many of the feelings you have when you lose someone are selfish. I couldn't agree more. I wanted to see him again. I wanted him to dance with me at my wedding. I was his only granddaughter out of eight grandchildren. He would have doted on me (getting married) more than he usually does. I just wanted him to be around for me. I can't even breath. I wanted him to see me get married almost more than anything. I had talked with Nathan about how important it was to me. About sharing those moments that parents and grandparents live for. It would have made Poppy Jack's world.
He became ill a few months after my grandmother passed away in February. I knew something like this would happen. Nathan had told me about his paternal grandparents. His grandmother passed away and six months later, his grandfather passed away. His heart gave out and the doctors said that he died of a broken heart. The stress placed on him after losing her became too much. Now, my Mammaw had Alzheimers and had to move to a nursing home. She was not able to care for herself and my Poppy Jack couldn't lift her to take care of her. He never wanted her to go into a home and it took much convincing that he just wasn't physically able to care for her. He was there to visit her as soon as the doors opened in the morning and left after he'd tucked her into bed every night. I can only dream of love so great. Every single day. He only went home to sleep. They were married 63 years. I have never seen a greater love. Never an unkind word, short temper, or many of the other things I display in my own relationship. At Mammaw's funeral, everyone commented on the strength of their marriage. They didn't always 'have', but they made the best out of every single day.
The funeral was the last time I saw Poppy Jack. He told me then that he would get in the casket with Mammaw if he could. He also told me that the next time I came to Tennessee would probably be for his funeral. I knew then that if he got sick he wasn't going to put in the same fight that he would have if he needed to live for his wife.
I still can't believe it. Those wonderful memories I made at their house as a child cannot be added to. I can't crawl into the attic and look through his keepsakes. I can't get him to make his cornbread for me. (He knew it was done when the smoke alarm went off! Ha!) As I re-read my last thoughts I am correct in my statement about selfishness. I'm only worried about how this is affecting myself. I am also grieving for my Dad. He lost both of his parents in six months. (Six months and two days to be exact.) I can't imagine the pain.
I'm out of thoughts. Call your grandparents and tell them how much you love them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Making it known

Sugar addiction is a term for the situation where individuals crave sugar-laden sweet foods and find it extremely difficult if not impossible to control their intake.

I will not be eating sweets until October. Yes, I said it. Although I do not enjoy putting my self through torture, I have to do this.

I'm an addict. Admitting it is the first step, right? I either go without and avoid it as much as I can or I am completely out of control. This is the case since my vacation to NYC in June. I'd given up sweets for Lent and been successful. I kept my cravings under control and lost a couple of pounds in the process. I may as well be honest even if it produces grunts, groans, and dirty comments. Before I gave up sweets I weighed 130. (Yes, I know I'm not fat!) Without doing anything else out of the ordinary I was down to 128 after Lent. This meant a calorie deficit from sweets of 7,000 calories. Gross! I told you I ate a lot of sweets. Anyway, I stayed at 128 until NYC. I let loose. It's vacation, right. Well, my sweet tooth kicked back it and it was downhill from there. When I got back after six days of late night meals and desserts I was back to 130. Not a problem, so I signed up for the boot camp class at the gym for July. Working out at 6:30 am and killing myself in the gym was not match for my addiction. I ate everything made of sugar that I could find, most of these items being at my parents house. They apparently have something called 'self-control.' I do not and spent my time there eating cookies, cakes, and ice cream. Mmm. I was still hanging around 130 when Nathan and I went to Puerto Rico. More food. Fried food. And yummy goodies like alcoholic beverages. I was 132 after that week of eating whatever I felt like. Let's just say that by the time I got back from the river I was 133. It's not like I'm fat or overweight. I do not, however, enjoy gaining 5 pounds in two months. No bueno. My major downfall is my need for sugar. A habit that can be broken. Thus, no sweets until October. This gives me enough time to break the habit of wanting something sweet after dinner and saying "Sure!" when my lovely mother offers me more cookies. It should also give me enough time to loos a couple of pounds and have it not be water weight. I eat much healthier when I eliminate sweets and this will help with my running. I'm getting back into it and do not need to run around with 5 extra pounds.
I've NEVER lost more than 1 pound in 2 weeks not matter how hard I've tried so I'll give an update in a few weeks so I can actually document some progress.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 6

This day began with grand plans. Drive all over the area and see as much as we can see.

We were already up and out the doors eating breakfast by 7am. Our first destination was a beach called Mas Chiquitas. I'd seen a picture while looking up places to go but didn't put much effort into finding out about it. The guy Nathan sat next to on the plane, a native, gave us great ideas on places to go and told Nathan that this was a 'must' if we were going to be in the area. We found where it was in our lovely "Places to See" book in the hotel room. The problem with it was that all we had to go on was a dot on a very large map. Let the fun begin! We headed off toward the general area with the trusty Garmin in hand. Nathan's job was to keep his eyes on the road and I would navigate. After MANY wrong turns and turn-arounds we finally made it! We didn't have time/take the time to change into our suits and swim but it was a great place to see and we'd make time for it if we ever go back. Oh, and I also found some sea glass. Score!


We had to wait FOREVER to get down this road . . .



Only to find a locked gate that would have taken us down to the wrong beach anyway.


Yes, you too can climb rocks in a dress and a pair of Reefs!

The view from the top! Worth the climb.

Mas Chiquitas Beach.



It was time to re-fuel. Good thing the road-side stands are plentiful. We decided it was time for roasted chicken. Mmm. Good choice. Eating in the car is always a challenge but thanks to a 'borrowed' beach towel from the hotel we made it work.

SO GOOD!


I'd promised my mom and Krissy that I would find Puerto Rican coffee for them. According to the hotel website there was a coffee plantation nearby. Nearby is a relative term in that country. Everything is very close mileage-wise (it's only 100x35) but the roads are so insane that it will take you forever to get anywhere. The coffee plantation, Hacienda Patricia, took a couple of hours to get to but was a unique experience. The owner spoke NO English but thankfully an English-speaking neighbor was there hanging out. She got him to show us around and we got to see the inner workings of the place. He didn't usually give tours and only worked when he felt like so we got very lucky. It's an amazing process and is so simple at the same time. When we inquired about buying some coffee he took us into a room where he packages it all by hand. We only spent about 30 minutes there but it was worth the story and coffee. Too bad I hate coffee. My mom told me it was delicious.



I may hate the taste but the smell is fan-stinkin'-tastic!


The owner and Nathan actually trusted the structure. No thank you. They dry the beans in the sun after rolling the large trays outside on this contraption.

Whole bean or ground? Whole bean of course! We got 3 lbs. at a good price I might add.


Ok, moving on. We'd seen that there was a observatory in the area. Great. Let's go there. Only one day earlier my Dad asked me if we had plans on visiting Arecibo, the largest radio telescope in the world. Nowhere in my brain did I connect seeing ads for the Arecibo OBSERVATORY and the type of observatory Nathan and I thought we were going to. I was tired, ok? It closed the gates at 4 in order to make the last tour so we had to book it. After an insane drive we made it at 3:50. Ha! Suckers! (Thanks to Nathan's super skills.) If you are in any way interested in science then it's pretty cool to see. Moody teenagers would hate it for sure. A science teacher and an engineer thought it was cool at least.

Pictures do nothing to show the incredibly large size of it.


One more stop before the sun headed below the horizon: Jacinto's Well. After watching an episode of No Reservations I decided that i wanted to visit a blowhole known as Jacinto's Well. Legend has it that his cow fell down in the hole and if you yell at the hole (something in Spanish that I can't remember) then the water will fly up and out of the hole as it tries to give Jacinto back his cow. Well, I'm a smarty pants and thought I found it on the GPS. We get out of the car and see a huge wall of water splashing in the distance. Assuming this was it, we begin to find sea glass and get distracted. The sun is falling fast and we realize that if we're going to see this thing and yell at the water to give Jacinto back his cow we need to get over there. Let's just say that I was wrong and by the time we drove around and located what might be the right beach it was pitch black and we were starving. No blowhole for me. Oh, well.

You can see Nathan over my shoulder hunting for sea glass. He told me I was a "sea glass crack-head" but he was the one that couldn't stop picking up pieces.

Oh, look! The blowhole! And there are even tourists up there! YAY!

Except the tourists were locals fishing and THAT is NOT a blowhole!!!

After this we ate at some random place and fell asleep from exhaustion. I was almost too tired to eat. We had to wake up at 5am for what the next day had in store for us. Stay tuned.