Pep In My Step

It was a beautiful day in our neighborhood.

The good news is, it was a wonderful, beautiful, perfect for January 70 degrees.

The bad news is, this…

As much as I love have the JEEP in the garage on cold January mornings, I miss having the SKY here at the house for rare 70 degree days in January.

Aside from the beautiful weather, I spent much of the day trying to burn calories. I had plans to eat at Chilis with some girlfriends and knew I’d more than likely be ordering the chicken crispers / mashed potatoes / corn on the cob combo which has about a bazillion calories.

3,210 calories to be exact.

Let’s just say I didn’t exercise nearly enough, and I finished the day in the caloric hole.

But enough about calories, because tomorrow is a new day, right?

And I plan to do better.

The weather guy warned that we could have 60 mile-high winds tomorrow, along with thunder showers. The temperature is supposed to be in the 60’s. The rest of the week calls for snow, snow and more snow.

I can’t tell you how sad that makes me.

I long for the day that I can put on my flip-flops, drop the top, and drive around all afternoon blaring my SKY tunes playlist. But for now, I use that playlist when I exercise. Here’s a sampling of whats on there:

  • Rag Doll – Aerosmith
  • Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon Heath
  • Rolling In The Deep – Adele
  • City On Our Knees – TobyMac (did you know I recently got to meet TobyMac?)
  • There Is A Way – NewWorldSon
  • Have Fun, Go Mad – Blair (love this one!)
  • Play That Funky Music – Adam Lambert
  • Feelin’ So Fly – TobyMac
  • The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
  • These Thousand Hills – Third Day
  • Lose My Soul – TobyMac (My favorite of his songs!)
  • You Learn – Alanis Morissette
  • Poison – Bell Biv Devoe
  • Motownphilly – Boyz II Men
  • Fantastic Voyage – Coolio
  • Hold On – EnVogue (Can you tell I loved 90’s music?)
  • Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) – Us3
  • If I Had No Loot – Tony! Toni! Tone’!

If these songs don’t get you moving, I don’t know what will. They sure work for me when I’m trying to put some pep in my step.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for some fresh, new workout material. You know, down there in the comments.

What are you waiting on?

What I Learned This Week

Well, lookie there. It’s Tuesday already.

And time for another award-winning edition of What I Learned this week.

Only, I’ve never really won any awards. Not for this post or any of posts for that matter.

1. High Efficiency appliances make laundry bearable. I can now do a whole week’s worth of laundry for four in three loads. We shoulda bought those puppies years ago.

2. You need nowhere near the amount of detergent the front-load laundry dispenser says you need. In fact, a tablespoon or two is all that is needed to leave your clothes smelling fresh and wonderful.

3. Smiling is now prohibited in passport photos. (Darn facial recognition software.)

4. Being on a weight-loss journey is an interesting endeavor.

5. As bad as I hate to exercise, I feel so good and accomplished afterward.

6. Month, orange, silver and purple are the only English words that don’t rhyme with another English word.

I’ll have useless facts for $500. Alex.

7. For all the years I’ve ever heard Bin Laden’s name, I thought it was spelled Osama Bin Laden. I was surprised to find out while watching Zero Dark Thirty that Government agencies actually spelled his name with a “U” – Usama bin Laden.

8. After typing on a laptop for lots of years, it’s hard to get used to a real keyboard.

9. A gallon of milk is $1.38 cheaper at Wal-Mart than it is at the grocery store less than a mile from my house.

10. I find myself hungriest late at night. It is 10:52 PM, and I WANT CHOCOLATE!

11. I am the most unorganized organized person I know.

12. I’d rather be on my big, blue, bloggy couch than this hard, legs hanging down bar-stool at the kitchen counter.

13. The simple post template widget is the bomb. Thanks for the heads up, Heather!

14. I could really benefit from an hour-long (or two, even!) WordPress Tutor session. Heather?

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!

Mission SLIMpossible Update

Two weeks ago, I posted about the biggest loser competition I am competing in. It’s called Mission SLIMpossible and Monday morning marks the start of week 4 – which means we are at the half-way point of the competition. I also promised to provide weekly updates here on the blog in hopes that y’all would help keep me accountable.

I want to thank each one of you who took time away from your busy schedule to leave me some encouragement. I downloaded the My Fitness APP as a result of those comments and I have to say it has made a huge difference in my daily weight-loss effort.

Here’s the good news:

Every couple of days, our leader, Tracy, posts a Virtual Challenge. The virtual challenges aren’t required but are an extra way to earn extra points throughout the competition. Our challenge for the weekend was to walk, crawl, jog, tip-toe, or run three miles.

Which wouldn’t necessarily be a big deal if it wasn’t 24 friggin’ degrees outside.

I just completed a 45-minute exercise video Tracy posted on our group page which is the equivalent of walking three miles. It’s actually a You-Tube video which might make some of you roll your eyes, but how ’bout you go do it, then come back here and tell me if your heart’s a bangin’.

(And yes, that is exactly how I talk. The spell check has a time with me.)

I completed all four virtual challenges this week.

(They included 25 squats, 40 lunges, 40 leg-lifts, and the three-mile challenge.)

In addition to that, for the first time since I started the My Fitness Pal APP on January 22, 2013, I FINALLY finished the day with calories LEFT OVER.

Oh yes ma’am, I did.

And now, for the bad news.

You knew there’d be some, right?

On to the ridiculous water consumption challenge.

Just to remind you, every twenty-four hours, I am supposed to be drinking half of my body weight in ounces of water.

I completed that task zero days last week.

To be clear, I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m just saying I didn’t do it.

I plan to attack that task with a vengeance starting tomorrow.

All in all, I did well, losing another pound.

How I lost big this week:

  • I didn’t.
  • I did, however, exercise 45 minutes for the required five days.
  • Oh, and it is worth mentioning I do not drink more than eight ounces of soda per day which is HUGE for this ol girl.

Goals for next week:

  • Drink the ridiculous amount required amount of water everyday. (Holy smokes folks, that is a lot of water, but I am committed.)
  • Stay within my calorie limit at least three days next week. (You’ve got to start somewhere, right?)
  • Exercise for 45 minutes at least five days next week.

Ok, I think that’s a wrap.

Any suggestions to help me along the way would be greatly appreciated.

Tune in tomorrow for another award-winning edition of What I Learned This Week. (Only, I’ve never really received any awards!)

It’s The Weekend

I’ve attempted to post here for the past three days.

Obviously, those attempts have been unsuccessful.

It is Saturday afternoon. I am sitting at our kitchen island (only it’s not really an island because it’s attached to another counter) but island sounds better than “bar” because that seems like a silly name for a kitchen counter and by now you’ve probably already forgotten how you even got on this train, because HOLY COW, FOCUS.

Anyway, what I was trying to say is that my laptop screen decided to go all Harry Houdini and even though we can hear the laptop fan running and the screen lights up when it first comes on, the screen just goes black, and well, when you can’t see what you’re writing, that makes blogging tough. McDaddy rigged up a solution, which translates to he hooked a keyboard and a monitor up to the laptop which works perfectly, but which is also driving me absolutely insane because OH MY HECK THE CORDS….

So, here I sit at my kitchen island-that’s-not-an-island chomping on two slices of pepperidge farm raisin cinnamon swirl bread because it is sweet and has fewer calories than the Mississippi mud brownies that I made last night.

There is approximately 0.2 inches of snow on the ground (give or take a .1 or so because I stink at estimating) but we got enough snow yesterday for mass choas at the grocery store and our school district to dismiss three hours early. We used that time to have our passports renewed for a cruise we’ll be taking over spring break. I was aggravated to learn that you are no longer permitted to smile in a passport picture, and learned it had something to do with facial recognition, which is ridiculous to me because I AM NOT A TERRORIST, but yeah, whatever. One look at my new passport and you’ll think I’m a goofy, disturbed woman. I was opposed to driving into town yesterday to take care of that business because HELLO THREE HOUR EARLY DISMISSAL DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, but McDaddy never passes up an opportunity to drive in the snow because he is a crazy person who enjoys unnecessary risk.

And speaking of passports, this is Stevie’s latest 4th grade project assignment. A six-page Martin Luther King, Jr. passport.

Notice, he is not smiling either.

Dang, enough with the projects already!

I can’t wait for spring and flip-flops and baseball. Mostly because I hate the cold weather (it is currently 30 degrees according to my beloved iPhone), but also because Alex is coughing again and in this house Alex coughing almost always equates to a trip to the pediatricians office for a steroid, an antibiotic and if we wait too long, a chest x-ray. I’m giving meds ’round-the-clock in hopes of fending the cough and snot off, but I’ve been at this mother-of-compromsied-respiratory-system-kid thing long enough to know that is unlikely. *big sigh*

This picture was taken on Monday when we went with some friends to The Pottery Place which just opened last week. Both boys chose race cars and I painted a plate which I intend to display above my kitchen cabinets. It’s hard to tell when enough is enough at that place because all of the pottery pieces have to be fired after they are painted, and they look quite different after being fired, but here’s what mine looked like when I was done.

It is 2:51 PM, and the boys are still in their pajamas, which is just fine with me because that’s less laundry I’ll have to do next week. They are totally engrossed in their iDevices (Alex’s term, not mine) playing Mine Craft (or is it minecraft?) which seems like a big ol waste of time to me, but then again, I totally “get it” because I’ve been known to spend 20 minutes “on the pot” catching up on my “Gems with Friends” business, barely able to walk afterward because I’ve sat there so long my feet are numb.

True Story.

McDaddy and I are going on a date this evening and I suppose I should log off of the computer and slap some paint on this old barn, though he prefers me without any. (I love that man!) I haven’t mentioned the deployment recently, but rest assured that with every passing day, we are one day closer, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not reminded of it.

Thanks for praying for us in the meantime, we sure appreciate it!

This post is linked to JanMary’s iPhone Friday even though it is Saturday.

My New Pal

I cleaned like a crazy person today. Actually, I cleaned and danced like a crazy person today. I had some clutter to put away, three week’s worth of mail to sort through, and some decor to change out. I linked up my iPhone with the bluetooth wireless speaker that McDaddy got for Christmas, blasted some Third Day, Toby Mac, and Selah and I went to town swarping papers, cleaning countertops, putting dishes away and sweeping the floors. I danced and cleaned for 45 minutes. My heart was banging and I had sweat. So, that’s good, right?

It felt good knowing that I was cleaning my house while also getting in some exercise.

A few days ago, I asked for your help with finding a good calorie tracking APP. Several of you suggested My Fitness Pal, which I downloaded today.


I was thrilled that it was so easy to use.

When I ate two pieces of Pepperidge Farm toast for lunch, I was able to scan the bar code on the bread-bag and the APP spit out the nutrition information.

Boom, just like that.

And after I cleaned and danced like a crazy person, I input that information into the cardio tab on the APP and was surprised that the APP adjusted and allowed for more caloric intake.

Later in the evening I did 15 minutes of Wii Fit. The advanced step and free run was listed alongside of their calories burned info. It was quick and easy to put the info in.

There was just one slight problem.

My new Fitness Pal wasn’t so friendly on our first day as pals.

It appears that I shot my caloric wad by more than 400.

Looks like I shoulda’ cleaned and danced like a crazy person for about seventy more minutes.

Or skipped breakfast.


I was even more depressed when I put McDonald’s big breakfast with hotcake into the APP just to see how many calories it would cost me if I decided to go that route the next time I meet the girls at McDonalds for breakfast. As it turns out, they don’t call it BIG BREAKFAST with hotcakes for nothing. That little bit of greasy Heaven will cost you 1100 calories. Or in my case, just a little less if you forgo the greasy hashbrown.

Eleven friggin’ hundred.

OUT OF 1500.

Which means I’d have to eat two cheese slices for lunch and a two bananas for dinner.


The BIG BREAKFAST with the hotcakes is history.

If you’re on My Fitness Pal, look me up. I suppose it would be fun to add friends, so long as My Fitness Pal doesn’t offer up my three numbers or rat me out when I fall off the biggest la-ooser wagon and eat a sleeve of thin mints.

I suppose My Fitness Pal worked for me!

What I Learned This Week

As always, I’ve acquired quite a bit of knowledge this week. Now, before you go and get all excited thinking I’m gonna share some profound, intellectual information, let me assure that will probably not be the case.

I’m actually water-logged from drinking more than 100 ounces of water today (I didn’t meet my goal by the way!) and having a hard time sitting here long enough to write a blog post without running to the bathroom, so I thought it might be fun to share all the fun facts I learned about the health benefits of drinking water.

And, if you feel so inclined, you can join me in this water consumption madness. We are charged with drinking half of our body weight in ounces. I didn’t meet the goal today. But I sure gave it a good shot. Tomorrow, I WILL do it. That is, if I can survive the ONE digit temperatures tomorrow.

ONE digit temperature.


With a high of 21.

Lucky us.

It makes me depressed just thinking about it.

Anyway, back to the water nonsense.

Here are the top 10 benefits of drinking [LOTS OF] water.

  • Lose weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water reduces hunger, it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less. Plus, water has zero calories.
  • Natural Remedy for Headache: Helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration.  Although many reasons contribute to headache, dehydration is the common one. (Except I’ve had a mild headache for days because I’m coming off of a coca-cola addiction.)
  • Look Younger with Healthier Skin: You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissue, moisturizes skin and increases your skin’s elasticity.
  • Better Productivity at Work: Your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated. (I’m still waiting on this one!)
  • Better Exercise: Drinking water regulates your body temperature. That means you’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water also helps to fuel your muscle. (YEE TO THE HAW!)
  • Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement. ( I can totally attest to this one!)
  • Less Cramps and Sprains: Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you’re less likely to get cramps and/or sprains.
  • Less Likely to Get Sick and Feel Healthy: Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack. In other words, drinking water can improve your immune system.
  • Relieves Fatigue:  Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.  If your body lacks water, your heart, for instance, needs to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, so are the rest of the vital organs, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.
  • Reduces the Risk of Cancer: Related to the digestive system, some studies show that drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with the bladder lining.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!

The Shoes That Bind

Do you have shoes in your closet that you haven’t worn for years, but refuse to get rid of?

If so, you will absolutely love this story.

McDaddy participated in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at our church this weekend. The teams were formed by drawing names from a hat. McDaddy was on a team with our friend Shawn, and one of our pastors, Jimmy. I am good friends with Shawn’s wife, Christina. When we first sat down at the tournament, Christina shared a story about Shawn’s basketball shoes. She was unsure of how old they were, but said she had tried several times over the past few years to throw them out because they were old and because he hadn’t worn them in a long time. Each time, she said he would assure her that he would need them someday and insist on keeping them.

Christina, our friend Kelley, and I had a great time trading kid stories and fighting off the urge to purchase every single O’Friggin’Henry Bar from the snack bar because OH MY HEAVENLY DAY they were divine. (I totally added the whole friggin’ part to the name of the recipe, because I friggin’ forgot for about three minutes that I was competing in the biggest loser competition and the only thing I lost that evening was $0.50 each time I bought one of the darn things.)

But shoot, they were good.

About half-way through the dream team’s third game, Shawn walked off of the court with a frown on his face.

This is what we saw…

You see, that, is Shawn holding his beloved basketball shoes (circa 2000 or before) in one hand, and a huge piece out of the sole in the other hand.

Here’s a closer look.

[Note: Even though the O’Henry bars taunted me from the snack bar, as you can see from this picture, I was making a conscious effort to suck down the SIXTY FOUR OUNCES OF WATER required for the competition each day. After all, I had to wash them down with something, right?]

Anyway, back to the shoes. As you can see BOTH shoes were junk.

Since the basketball tournament was only half-over, Shawn still had at least three more games to play.

Without shoes.

I couldn’t hardly talk for laughing . I looked down and asked what size his shoes were. He said he wears a size eight. I offered up my size nines, because it makes sense (in my head, at least) that a mans’ size eight, is probably equivalent to a woman’s size nine. I slipped my shoes off of my feet.

To my surprise, Shawn picked my shoes up and tried them on. Before I could blink, Shawn was standing in our church gym wearing my shoes.

This is what we saw next.

I’m not quite sure you can see this picture well enough to appreciate what is going on here.

 That, my friends, is my friend Shawn wearing my Gray and PINK Skechers.

And this, was Shawn, just before he made the FIRST TWO POINTS while wearing my shoes.

[NOTE: See that window in the background? That’s where the O’Henry bars were hanging out.]

Sadly, the shoes didn’t give Shawn, McDaddy and Jimmy enough force to pull out a place in the championship game, but as you might imagine, the whole dry-rotted FORCE shoe situation gave us a good laugh.

Three days later, I am still laughing about the whole thing.

Shawn took one for the team that day when he laid his pride aside and wore my pink tennis shoes.

May the FORCE rest in peace.

And I took one for my team when I declined a third (yes, I said A THIRD) O’Henry bar.

Heaven help me through the next six weeks. Especially now that Tracy has upped the stakes in our Biggest Loser competition and changed the required 64 ounces of water daily to half of our body weight in ounces.

Just to be clear, I said HALF OF MY BODY WEIGHT.



I stink at math, but best I have it figured, that is A LOT of water.

But, I am committed to my shrinking sunshines and I will give this new challenge a whirl. And since I drank 36 ounces in the last hour and it’s my bedtime, looks like I’ll be losing some sleep tonight as I’ll be up half the night a peein’.

May my bladder rest in peace.

I’ll be back later this week with my Biggest Loser update. That is, if I don’t float away.

Wish me luck!

Because I Like To Ramble

Let the record reflect that as of 4:19 PM, I am totally CAUGHT UP on the laundry. And yes, that announcement is blog worthy. It is blog worthy because that is something that rarely ever happens around here.

And, as luck would have it, as of 7:24 PM, it was no longer true.

You know its been a boring day when I start out talking about the laundry.

But, MY WORD, did I mention that I got new front-loaders on black Friday?  I love them because they are beautiful and quiet and oh HAPPY DAY I can do a week’s worth of laundry in three loads.

You should totally picture me doing the cabbage patch right now.

In other news, I spent the day running around town in this.

Isn’t she lovely?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t anywhere near warm enough to drop the top. As a general rule, it must be at least 70 degrees before I’ll do that. I missed that mark by a long shot today.

I’m telling you, folks.

We brought the SKY home in June. Seven months later, it is still so hard for me to believe that this sucker is mine. Everytime I walk out to get into it, I think to myself, holy cow, this is my SKY. In just a few days McDaddy will wash it, maybe wax it, and tuck it away in his parent’s garage for the winter. I will miss having it around but I’ll be glad to have my Jeep in the garage for those below freezing mornings that require me to scrape the stinkin’ windshield, and trod up the driveway to start the car so it will be warmed up before I take the kids to school.

I went with my granny to the Doctor today. I was amused by the Doctor’s shoes. So much so that I snapped an incognito picture.

I know, I’m a dork. But I think you’ll agree that those boats shoes are straight-up strange.

And speaking of shoes, is it time for these yet?

Because I am totally ready to slide my feet into these and go.

We are eighteen days into January. We have had ONE big snow this winter (well, actually it was in October) and I am already tired of the West Virginia cold weather.

I hate to be cold, and right now I’m sitting on my big, blue, bloggy couch wrapped up in a fleece blanket, and wishing I was on a beach somewhere warm.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Some Odds and Some Ends

I am sitting on the big, blue, bloggy couch watching Dance Moms.

McDaddy is over in my fancy chair on the iPad. This is his first experience with Dance Moms and I’m pretty sure he is appalled. He has no patience for any type of reality show nonsense.

Me on the other hand?

I thrive on the reality television nonsense.

What can I say? I’m nine kinds of crazy and easily entertained.


I just finished my 70th ounce of water in a 16 hour period.

Plus, I just ran to the bathroom for the 439th time today. Only this time, I wasn’t sure I would make it to the bathroom before the pee started running down my leg.  That is a horrible feeling. The worst part is I no longer sat back down and covered up with the blanket that I felt like I needed to go. AGAIN.

I know my body is welcoming all this water with open arms, but honestly, I wish it enjoyed hanging around in my bladder a bit longer.


My ” _______ with friends” games have been down all evening. No WORDS With Friends. No GEMS with friends. Hey With Friends folk, what the heck is up? I need to catch up on my games before going to bed.

Do you play GEMS with friends? Or WORDS with friends? If so, look me up – I’m JulieWV. I enjoy playing with people I know.


Stevie had to do a triarama last month. It was due last week. On Monday, he brought another darn project home. This time, he has to make a passport for Martin Luther King, Jr. If it isn’t the math homework making me crazier, it’s the stinkin’ projects. Stevie’s fourth grade year will go down as THE YEAR OF THE PROJECT. Lord, help me.


I decided today that if I were a bird, the first people I’d poop on are the people who stand just outside of business doors and smoke. Holy sweet mother of Moses, I can’t stand to walk through a cloud of smoke. Every single day I watched people smoking just outside the main door of the hospital. People dressed in a friggin’ hospital gown shoving a stupid oxygen pole and SMOKING need their heads examined.

Just my two cents.


And now, I have to pee again.



It is the sixteenth day of January. I got my first fever blister of the new year yesterday. Do you know how much I despise fever blisters? I ran into a friend at the hospital who told me she uses Vick’s Vapo Rub on hers. That sounds pretty nasty to me, but I’d be willing to give it a shot if I thought it would work. Any of you have any experience with the Vicks and the fever blisters?

Oh, and just in case I forgot to mention it, I hate fever blisters.


Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, I’m wondering if any of you have any good calorie counting APPS on your phones? I probably should get one. You know, to track all this water I’m drinking these days.


And speaking of tracking, I’m off to pee AGAIN!

Have a great Wednesday, y’all!



What I Learned This Week

Well, the first thing I learned this week is that the WordPress picture uploader has a mind of its own. I tried five times (unsuccessfully, mind you) to upload the cute little pink box with the lightbulbs but actually fell asleep watching the circle go round and round like it was actually going to load.

It was an interesting week of learning totally random things.

1. According to the Wii Fit, I am a much better right hula-hooper than I am left.

2. The WordPress picture uploader is a pain in the neck.

3. I have very little patience for things that do not work properly.

4. I get my impatience from my dad.

5. If the picture uploader on your blog doesn’t work, you may try clearing your cache. Why didn’t I think of that?

6. It’s helpful to have a friend who knows a thing or four million about WordPress.

7. Baked barbecue Lays are better than baked Doritos.

8. Baked Doritos are straight-up nasty.

Now, what did you learn this week?

If you want to participate in What I Learned This Week, you can go here for more details.