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Thursday, December 25, 2008

We Wish You...

A Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays to you all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Introducing...!

Well, I've set down to write 2 blogs since my last post and haven't posted either because I haven't had time to finish them. It's been really busy around here lately! Christmas parties, Christmas plays, finishing the shopping and trying to get some presents wrapped... pretty much go-go-go non-stop! But all in good fun, so no worries!

Training wise, I'm not yet at 100% just yet. I'm still feeling tired and kind of sluggish when I workout and that's probably because my consistency has been around 80-90% at best! But again, it's December. It's that time of year where for 2/12 months, I put everything else first! My kids, my house, family, friends, the holiday, and of course myself. So for the other 10 months of the year when I am doing everything I can to fit everything in, these 2 months, I don't scramble! If I miss one of my swims for the week, well... I just keep saying, it's December, and it will be ok. :)

But... what does a person like me do when things are already crazy?? I tend to find ways to add to it! :)

One week ago, last Saturday, I was out shopping and decided to run into PetSmart and pick up Rocky's presents. Yes... Santa visits him too! Well the adoption people that set up outside were packing up. As they were getting ready to leave, I saw the sweetest puppy! She was so pretty, and I couldn't believe that someone would give her up! She was found just the day before tied up at a vet's office. She's perfectly healthy and what we believe is a mix between a boxer and an American bulldog. Although she's white with black polk-a-dot smudges all over her. We don't think she has any Dalmatian in her!
*I think she is beautiful!

I have ALWAYS wanted a white dog. The plan was to get a white French or English Bulldog to be Rocky's friend. Well the fact that those animals are around $2500, that's delayed that happening! But as soon as I saw this sweet little puppy, she just had a bulldogish look about her and I fell in LOVE!

The lady explained to me that someone else had already filled out an application on her. But she would go to the best home, so I immediately came home and pleaded my case to my not-so-convinced husband. We agreed I'd at least fill out the application and see what happens. Well.... I'm so excited to say that we were chosen, and we were able to pick her up today!

They called her Charmin because she is super soft, but I've had the name Lucy Lu picked out for sometime now, and so that will be her name!

She's roughly 5 months old, and yet she's already kind of big! I think she's going to be a pretty decent size dog, but she will hopefully be great! She's really skinny right now, or at least us Pug owners who are used to our chubby Pug think so! So we plan on fattening her up a bit, and giving her all the love she deserves!
The 3 pretty ladies in the house now! And yes... she has a pink harness and collar!

We've tried once before to take in my brother's black lab mix, and Rocky didn't take to the situation. Bear was as sweet as he could be, but came into our house at a rather large 70lbs and yet still a puppy at 1 1/2 years old. He wanted to play, Rocky didn't... Rocky was miserable, so we let Bear go live with my sister who had a REALLY big yard! Worked out for everyone in the end.
*She's a puppy and likes to Chew! Will have to keep lots of chew things in the house for awhile!

But I'm convinced Rocky can learn to be friends! My hopes are that because she's younger and starting out in our house a little smaller than bear, and maybe even because she's a girl, that it will work out!
*"Um... excuse me, but this is my spot!"
*"Really... Must you be here?" :)


I love her so much already, so I'm going to give it everything I have!

Wish me luck... We've got a busy, crazy Christmas ahead of us. Thank you Santa for my early Christmas present!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oprah-ology

Let me begin this post by saying that I'm honestly not an Oprah follower. I can not tell you the last time I saw her show, and I've not once purchased one of her magazines... until today. Not to say that I am anti-Oprah. I think she does a lot of good for this world. I do think that people get WAY too involved in her though. As if she is preaching some sort of gospel, and so I guess I just kind of tuned out of it all.

Backing up...I'll give you a little background info about me. I've always been considered a smart person, but people are smart in different ways. Adam is this logical sort of person. He's one of those people that can figure out all of those crazy word problems by reasoning his way through them. Me... I'm book smart. I read it, study it, and absorb information as it's given to me. I'm not entirely a follower. I can do my share of thinking outside of the box. But, if there is a situation where there is a formula, or a step-by-step process to solving things... THAT is my kind of problem! Tell me HOW to do something, and man, I'll do it 100%. If it's something I'm really interested in and passionate about, then yes... I can employ my own reasoning and get creative with it, but for the most part, I'm a list kind of gal!

So that is how I for the most part approach life. Give me a problem or situation, I'll figure out what the steps are to fixing it/completing my desired task, and I'll get it done. Typical type-A, semi OCD type of person! :) Aren't most of us triathletes??

But nobody is perfect, and everyone has their issues. Everyone has their problems that keep popping up throughout our lives. Because though I believe life isn't always fair, I think it's that way for everyone. We're all going to have our good moments and bad, and though our problems may be different, I think it all evens out in the end.

For me... One of my major problems...Food. Oh, and even writing it is frustrating. I had even gotten to the point that I told myself I would no longer write about food/nutrition on my blog because I was so sick and tired of dealing with it, I figured the people who are kind enough to read my blog must be as well! :)

It has honestly been a struggle for me for half of my life. I turned 30 this year, and I know from at least the age of 15 that I've had food choices, good or bad, on my mind almost daily. Oh how I wish I was one of those people that naturally loved my fruits and veggies. Someone who could eat a little cake every once in awhile and have my fill. But for whatever reason, I'm just not. Just as some people don't choose to become alcoholics or addictive gamblers, I never chose to use food as my drug of choice. It's just the thing I turn to for comfort. But I can't NOT eat. And gosh, "bad" food is absolutely everywhere. It is so easy to fall right back into all of those temptations.

You'd think as a triathlete, that would be reason enough for me. I guess it's my saving grace honestly because I workout enough to hide the fact that I have my moments in life where one donut just doesn't cut it. But, those moments don't make me happy. They pacify me for the time being, but overall add up to what ultimately makes me feel worse about it.

So being that I'm a person that likes my formulas, it wasn't that hard for me to make the decision to lose 5lbs before Clearwater and get it done. It certainly wasn't easy. Losing weight never is. But in the grand scheme of things, I figured out my plan, followed it at about 90% and achieved my goal!

But then things changed. I tapered for Clearwater and then moved from working out all of the time and being focused on my goal to nothing and trying to chill. Change isn't really an issue for me, but not having a plan is. My "plan" was to try and relax with the whole food thing. To take some time off from denying myself and splurge. Well, when the doors opened, the floods came in! Not everyday has been bad since. But, it has been a REAL struggle for the past month to get back on the wagon.

I smoked in college, and I feel like I'm trying to quit all over again! Oh... what's just one. And then, no... no more, ever! Those are my back and forth moments! And honestly, it is exhausting me and stressing me out to no end lately.

Ok... so I know what you are thinking... Make your plan and start following it today. And I've done it now maybe 3-4 times in the past month. For whatever reason, maybe because I'm getting older, or it's Christmas, or I don't know, it hasn't stuck yet.

So finally this week it really caught up with me. I've been really busy trying to keep up with school functions for the kids, christmas shopping, visiting Santa, working, you name it. And it's just made it that much harder for me to get back into that routine that I trust and know so well. Throw on top of that all of the emotional drain from stressing about me and my nutrition, and it's just all been a little too much! :)

So as I was running yesterday, I thought about the fact that maybe I was being too hard on myself, which is something that is typical of me. :) Maybe I needed to accept the fact that what I was experiencing emotionally was all part of the process, and by accepting that, things would sort of all fall into place.

Well today I woke up so tired. I didn't want to work out. I didn't really feel like doing anything. I knew and could feel that I just needed some sort of spark. Something that would bring the light back into me to make me realize what was truly important to me. I was playing around on the computer and came across an article about Oprah and her new magazine cover.

On it, Oprah is proclaiming that she is back up to 200lbs. And we all know and have witnessed Oprah yo-yo back and forth with her weight for many, many years. The article I read actually almost mocked her. How can someone with the resources to have personal chefs, personal trainers, Dr's, etc not be able to maintain weight loss. I mean she is obviously not your typical, lazy american. The woman has built herself into a mega-empire for goodness sake! She must have some sort of drive in her! But for whatever reason, she just can't nail the food thing.

I felt the need to read her article. To get her perspective on what her thoughts were in going through what appeared to be a similar process that I myself was going through. I thought even if I didn't agree with her, maybe I'd at least protest it enough to the point that it would give me the ignition I was looking for!

So while out tonight with the family, I picked up my first copy of O magazine and read just the article written about her weight gain tonight after I got into bed. Immediately, I felt somewhat overwhelmed. Though a lot in the article didn't relate to me, i.e. she suffers from a thyroid problem, her discussion of the constant battle with food and her not-so-healthy relationship with it was as if I could have written some of it myself.

I had a friend email me about food actually just this week, and I was feeling so crappy about it that I haven't even emailed her back yet because I wasn't quite sure what to say. In her email, she appealed to me as to having similar eating issues and wanted to know how I'd overcome them. Well the answer to that is that I haven't obviously. And like Oprah, I'm not sure I ever will. But rather than trying to see it as a battle that needs to be won and then I can move on with my life, I guess I'm realizing that it is just apart of who I am. We don't exercise to loose weight and then quit. When you start exercising, you have to keep it up to stay healthy and fit. Well at least for me, eating right is that way too. It's a daily decision to make the right choices.

Some people can have an off-season. Where they step away from that decision making process and give it a rest for awhile. But for me, there will be no more off-season. It just needs to be a lifestyle decision for me. That is the only thing that has ever worked, and I need to just accept that. Now, I'm not saying that I've given up junk forever. I mean, that would be silly. But, giving myself the opportunity to enjoy a treat is one thing. Giving myself the opportunity to eat "whatever I want" for several weeks is a whole other ball game, and one I've realized, I can't win!

In saying all of this, I want to be clear on a few things. First of all, I don't believe I have any sort of an eating disorder. I think what I suffer with a lot of other women, perfectly normal women, go through as well. I'm not anorexic. I'm not bulimic, and I have what I believe is a relatively good understanding of food. I know WHAT to do. I know HOW to eat well. Because I honestly believe that it is all very common sense. I don't buy into anything that is all crazy sounding! You've got some people that are anti-dairy. Some that are anti-grain. I don't know everything there is to know with the science of all of that, but I do know that there are very healthy, fit individuals that live life extremely well by using the basic common sense knowledge of eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and limiting as much processed foods from their diets as possible. No secret formula. No secrets in when or even necessarily how much of that food should be taken in, just clean eating!

So it's time again for me to start practicing what I preach! Just like Oprah... I must not only talk- the- talk, but walk-the-walk! I've had my spark, and I can just feel that I know deep down, what not just I NEED to do, but WANT to do. I'm sure I'll have my moments where one of those donuts REALLY sounds good. But having a deeper understanding of your true hopes and dreams, ,makes those temptations a lot easier to deal with. And though I've never really lost site of them, I let them get buried just a little too deep in this down process, and I'm now back to my old self again! :)

So if you've made it this far in reading this, I hope it may have somehow helped you. Adam was skeptical about my writing this for fear that people may see it as a negative. How will people respect me as an athlete and coach especially if they see that I struggle with nutrition. Well... I hope that it is actually a positive thing. Because it proves that everyone has their "stuff." I'm sure all athletes and coaches of all levels struggle with certain things, but that doesn't take away from what they are capable of doing when they really work through all of that stuff and get done what they need to get done. I'd rather people know that I'm a real human being, and yeah, I might be this little person, but it comes from a lot of hard work, and not something that I just magically have and they don't, and therefore, with hard work and dedication and a TRUE desire too, they could have it as well.

Good luck to you with your struggles! May we all be true to our true-selves! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Elvis on the Shelf!

It is definitely that time of year! Baking Christmas goodies, parties, shopping, seeing Santa... we're BUSY!

Well yesterday I was listening to the radio as I took Gracie to school and heard about "Elf on the Shelf." I honestly had never heard of it before. We have your typical Christmas holiday, but this was a new one for me!

Apparently what it is is a Magical Elf is sent to your house from Santa himself. He comes with a cute book that explains all about his purpose at your house, that being that he is there to watch over you each day leading up to Christmas and report back to Santa each night as you sleep on whether or not you were good or bad that day!

Considering that Gracie was placed in time-out twice yesterday at school for various acts of indiscretion, I thought this might work out perfectly at our household!

So last night as we were getting ready for bed, our Elf on the Shelf, Elvis appeared! We read all about him and promised him that we would be very good for Santa! Right as we were saying good night to Elvis, who was sitting on the Shelf in our hallway, Gracie began some of her usual tactics and was not listening to her Mom and Dad. We immediately reminded her that Elvis was listening and would be heading back to the North Pole as soon as she fell asleep to report to Santa on her behavior. Well... things changed rather quickly! She even nonchalantly told me that I could have one of her favorite baby dolls, Princess Beautiful, if I wanted. This pleasant exchanged just so happened to take place right in front of our Elf Elvis!

So apparently Elvis did depart to the North Pole last night as we discovered him in a new location in our home this morning! He is now sitting on our mantel. Ready and waiting to see all the goings on in the household! He even brought a little present back with him since they were so "good" yesterday. Elvis with Gracie's doll to keep him company!

You know... it's probably a very good thing that he isn't exactly real too! Because if he DID report to a man that decided on our Christmas outcome based on how nice we were, I'm not sure some of us would always get what they wanted! :)

So we look forward to our new Christmas friend. Discovering him in new places each morning all the way up until Christmas Eve! And the kids are so cute about him! They talk to him and "sell" themselves to him! Cooper told him he'd been on Blue at school 2 days last week for having "Excellent" behavior! Gracie is loaning him some of her dollies to hang out with him and keep him company! Hopefully, this will be just what we need to keep our behavior under control during this exciting time, and gives us something to look forward to each day as the Christmas build begins!

This is a big year at our house for Christmas. The Christmas legend has finally sunk in around here and we all understand that in just 14 days a magical man is coming to visit and bring us a bunch of toys that we asked for! Come to think of it... too bad Santa isn't really magical! I'm convinced I've been good this year! :)

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Little Man!

I'm a mother of fairness! So I couldn't do a post just about Gracie without doing one about the special guy in my life!

Once upon a time, there was a mother who so desperately wanted a baby to call her own. She tried, and she tried, and she tried, but nothing seemed to work. After several years of failed attempts and fertility treatments, she decided it was time for a break. Well during that break, a miracle happened, and she was blessed to find out a baby would be on it's way!

Well that baby wasn't due to come until May 10, 2003. But he was a determined little baby, and he decided to come 4 whole weeks early. Surprise, Surprise for everyone! He had a bit of a hard time during his arrival and had to stay for an extra week in the hospital. But that determined little baby boy, Cooper Glen, got strong very quickly and was able to come home much sooner than they had expected!

He was a tiny little baby boy. Born at just 5lb, 2oz, nothing quite fit him just yet.


He was welcomed by the couple's first baby graciously when the love for pacifiers became a common bond!


Well that baby quickly grew!


He Grew!

And he Grew!!

And he grew!!


And then he grew some more!


Until one day... just 11 months later, he became a very proud Big Brother! And a wonderful big brother he is!



He loves to go on very fast rides, but protect that little sister along the way!



He's turned into quite the jokester! Constantly finding ways to amuse others, but mostly himself!




He has this amazingly contagious laugh!

video


He's quite the ladies man! Always a gentleman! :)

He Love, Love, Loves the water!
And likes baseball too!
He's the silly one in the bunch!

But a great student too!

And he's one of his mommy's biggest cheerleaders!


He's the best miracle a mother could have ever asked for! I love you Cooper Bear!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Enjoy your family, food, and life!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Who's REALLY in charge in my house!

Adam and I do our very best to be good parents, and it is honestly very hard! Two kids both with very different personalities. Two parents both with different personalities and backgrounds and ideas on proper parenting. Obviously it helps that we're pretty similar on most things, but I don't think anyone is ever really prepared for how difficult being a parent can be. And then of course, you have the cliche answer that it is all worth it... And it definitely is! :)

Meet Sarah Grace Mills (aka Trouble Maker, aka Gracie, aka Sarah Gracie Mills as she would tell you!)



Born March 12, 2004 so tiny that her ankle bracelet in the hospital wouldn't stay on and the entire hospital went into lock-down, elevators and all, each time!

Such a good baby that Adam's dad worried if she was ok because she never cried!

Then... Gracie came into her personality and life has never been quite the same!
She has always looked up to her big brother!

However, when Cooper was asked at school who was in charge at his house, his answer was his SISTER!



She's very stylish!
She loves sunglasses like her Mommy!

And she likes to wear pretend glasses like her mommy's new ones!

She wants to be a ballerina princess when she grows up!


She will cheer Mommy on at races, but it is NOT her favorite thing to do! She would much rather have her mommy with her right then! Why does she keep running away??? :)

Gracie in her panties at IM Florida! She even got on NBC that way! :)


She loves taking photos of herself!


She LOVES Rocky! He is her favorite "toy/person!" It is a good thing that she can't pick him up!

She loves her room, her clothes, and her things. And loves taking pictures of them!

She has recently begun "punishing" me and Adam for "hurting her feelings." Anytime those feelings get hurt because she doesn't quite get her way, she marches upstairs and confiscates the mommy and/or daddy figurine representing our status in our bedroom. If our small replicate is not properly displayed on the bookcase... well, we know we're in for it! :)

She can play pitiful with the best of them!

And is very sweet as well!


She is definitely a force to be reckoned with! A spirit in which I never intend to break. If she keeps this up, no one will ever cross her and if they do, there will certainly be hell to pay! :) However, she is the best little lady ever, and if you can tolerate her stubbornness, she's the best little girl you could ever have!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm Thankful For...

Being the proud parent of what I thought was the most talented Indian boy and Pilgrim girl ever!


video

Cooper is the first Indian boy next to the Preacher!




video

The Turkey Pokey!!




video

Gracie is the little pilgrim girl in the center!

Ok, so obviously, videography is not my forte! Adam is going to think I am a complete idiot when he realizes that I video taped the first part of this crooked! I figured you could take pictures that way, I didn't realize it wouldn't video tape correctly that way. Looked ok on the little screen while I was doing it. Oh well... At least I for some reason decided to turn it around! :)

And because we had a big week of productions... this was the end result in the playroom last night!

They are using their sleeping bags that their Grandma Ellen made for them. Aren't they cool?! Gracie's is a princess sleeping bag that has little cutout holes for the arms so it is as if you are really wearing the dress on top, and Cooper's is obviously an alligator. I think they are so neat! If my children turn out to be super creative, I will know they got it from their daddy's side of the family! :) Adam's mother and father are the most creative people I know. She even agreed to make me fleece arm warmers for the winter in any color or pattern I want! Don't think I'm not going to take you to the fabric store and get you loaded up on different styles over Christmas while you are here Ellen!!