Monday, June 26, 2006

Man, How Time Flies...

So, my baby brother graduated from high school on the 8th of June. We had his graduation party yesterday. Brandon is the last of the 4 of us siblings to graduate from high school...and he has grown to be quite the young man. He will attend Capital University, joining their Music Conservatory, in the fall with scholarships for music. He is an amazing singer and songwriter and I have no doubts that he will be doing something with his music in the future.

Yesterday at the party, the 4 of us took a picture in front of my parents' house. "Man, how time flies..." I have a picture that we took in 1992 and I compared them. Of course, we ar not standing in the same places, but we are perfectly reversed. Instead of Tanina and I being on the left side (in 2006 as we are in 1992) we are on the right. I could have sworn I had some software that would reverse them for me, but I can't find it right I did the split before and after shot.

So Brandon (17) is entering his Freshman year of college, Tanina (19) will be a junior at the University of Kentucky, Candace (30) is married with 2 kids and living in Alaska, and I (29) divorced, yet happily partnered with a dog and no kids.

Time really has flown by...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Georgia July 2005 vs. May 2006

So, as mentioned once before, one of my goals for this year was to loose some weight. Well, I'm happy to report that I have been fairly successful at it! In July of 2005 I was pushing 185 lbs, easily. I was not watching what I ate...which meant eating out for lunch nearly every day, and for dinner about twice a week. Not to mention that I only made it to the gym about once a week...if that. While Leonard was going to school, he was too tired/busy to workout, so I used that as my excuse as well. It was somewhat logical as I don't have a car and so we both use his... At that point, it was unbelievably inconvenient to do things without him. In September of 2005, my dear friend, Annette, asked me to audition for a play in which she had the lead. I did, and got the part... We did publicity shots in that point I was about 181. After seeing the shots I knew I absolutely had to do something to avoid looking even bigger on stage come February. (Not to mention a period of reflection on photos from our annual trip to GA in July of 2005... I was also motivated by the possibility of not to having "fat Georgia pictures" this time.) At that time, I started working out more...doing Taebo and other home fitness DVD's, as we still were barely going to the gym. Shortly there after was the cast Christmas Party...I took a picture with Annette then and I could tell I was starting to loose, but still not quite where I wanted to be.

Cast Christmas Party 12/2005 vs. @ Dave & Buster's 5/2006

By February I was "good enough" to be on stage at 171 lbs. I had lost about 10 lbs...and was content, but not even close to thinking I was done.... So I continued doing Taebo and other stuff at home and we were back into the gym because Leonard graduated in which time I started doing about 10-15 min. of cardio 3 times a week. Another, very important, change we made was we started bringing our lunch to work, instead of buying out...also had more grocery food at home. By April 2006 we got on a Lean Cuisine kick and eat those for lunch every day...rarely eat one over 300 calories. In May I started eating something in the morning as "breakfast" every day, eating snacks, and taking vitamins and supplements in addition to increasing my cardio workouts to 20-25 minutes from about 12-15 minutes. Now I am 158 lbs. :D We leave for Georgia on Friday and I will NOT have any "fat" pictures!

My next goal... To get into a bikini before the summer is over.

Leonard and I were discussing the key to weight loss on the way back from the gym yesterday. And we decided we could write a book. It would be 2 pages. One page would read, "Don't eat like a pig." The second, "Move." THE END. It's that simple. Watching how many calories you put in versus how many you expend... If you are active and exercise regularly, you can eat fairly moderately. If you lead a sedentary shouldn't be eating too much. Period.

Georgia July 2005 vs. May 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Happy Hour Crew...

From Left to Right (top row) Leonard, Eric, Judy, Kim, Brian (bottom row) Sarah, Me, Julie.

So this is the happy hour crew. Some how, the lot of us from work started going out drinking for "Happy Hour" over 2 years ago,(often times at Brothers in the Arena district.) We've been inseparable since! Any social gathering outside of office hours normally consists of the people shown above (less one or two at times.) This night, Friday the 9th, we all were in attendance for the first time in a long time. (These are the folks I mentioned in my post from the beginning of March.)

Unlikely group of folks, one might think... A little over 20 years of an age difference between the youngest and the oldest of us...and all from different backgrounds. But, the honesty, sincerety and humor shared between this group is unmatched and much needed in the days in which we live. So, let me introduce you to those I can truly call my friends...

Leonard: The youngest member of our crew... Italian, ex-Marine, Indians fan, bookworm/walking encyclopedia, debator, big competitor (especially when playing pool,) somewhat vain...gym rat, thoughtful, and a comedian of sorts. Shortly after our happy hour outings began we started dating. So to that I can add, sexy, more romantic than most would think...and the best thing that has ever happened to me. :) Favorite Drink: Jack & Coke (Dr. Pepper)

(Orignially, we both were/are members of the "Fantastic Four, (FF)" who frequented Applebee's happy hour on Friday nights and later various clubs...before we stumbled across our other companions. The FF also includes Brian and Sarah.)

Eric: The oldest male in our group... Patriots fan, intelligent, considerate, can put more beers away than any of us (despite his slim physique,) subtle flirt, involved in his children's sporting activities, a fisherman (still have yet to go with him,) and all-around good guy. Favorite Drink: (I've only ever seen him drink beer...) Miller Lite/Bud Light

Judy: I believe to be the eldest of us all but does not look it... Michigan Football Fan, Ex-Soldier (Army,) kind-hearted, animal activist/rescuer...DOG LOVER, Watches the Dog Whisperer, motherly, loves good mexican food, vegetarian, helpful & caring, rarely drinks, Favorite Drink: Frozen Strawbery Margarita

Kim: Mother of 23 year-old but one would think they were sisters, Starbucks Addict, can be seen frequenting E-bay and Blogger (ArtDogsLife), QVC & Dog Whisper watcher, Dog lover, sweet, creative (makes really cool art), free-sprited, generous, generaly happy, often says shocking and hilarious things, and probably the most "tell it like it is" people you will ever meet. Real. Favorite Drink: A good, (well-spiced) Bloody Mary

Brian: Father of a 6 year old who shares my birth date, one of the founding members of the FF, the rest would say he is a "tight ass" but he really isn't as cheap as people think...just frugal, self-conscious at times, great sense of humor, into reality TV (especially the Bachelor and Average Joe), and also my landlord :) Favorite Drink: Beer Drinker... Miller Lite.

Sarah: I've worked with Sarah for nearly 10 years now. We were the youngest folks working here...and I needed a friend, also one of the founding members of the FF, single...but presently not loving it, can be a bitch when she wants to be, good confidant, ol' school partier, Survivor Fan, loves to dance...and good hip-hop music, great smile... Favorite Drink: Long Island Ice Tea

Me: I talk about myself enough... Favorite Drink: Jack & Coke (Dr. Pepper), but I'm also a fan of Margaritas

Julie: One of the few "long timers" at the office, nice, athletic [great softball player,] mountain biker, football fan, just like Leonard w/ knowing useless/useful facts, very generous, her laugh, probably the most "sober" drunk of all us drinkers, responsible, dependable, successful, and joins the others as a Dog Lover Favorite Drink: I usually see her drinking Bud Light...but she's good at mixing up some fruity things I'm sure she drinks!

So, with all these great characteristics in one room... How can there ever be a dull moment??? Most of the best times of my adult life is spent hanging out with this crew.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

4 Days Post-Op

So... I got my wisdom teeth out on 7:15 am to be exact. The dentist and his assistant prepped me and then the lady told me, "The next thing you will remember is me waking you up..." How true that was... I woke up not having any control over my mouth and feeling little pain. I kept trying to fall back to sleep and she kept shaking me telling me that I needed to get up. I remember walking out to the car, but don't remember the ride home, nor getting into the house. I do remember Leo trying to give me some apple juice to take some vicodin with...that was not fun. I (we) poured most of it down my shirt and then I slept all day Thursday. Candace and the kids came into town Tuesday while Leo went to work on Friday, they sat with me...but it was pretty much the same story...out like a light. Little swelling as they didn't do much pulling, but cut my teeth along with some bone... And pain is minimal when on vicodin...when I wake up in the morning it's another story. Today was the first day I was out. I went to church and took nothing before I went because I get so damn nauseated taking all that crap on an empty stomach. (I have to take 600mg of Motrin every 6 hours whether I am in pain or not...and by choice have been taking 2 viocdin pills for the pain.) Needless to say, I was hurting SO bad. Unbelieveable dull, throbbing pain. I didn't realize it was that bad because I have been taking everything so religiously... Anyone who says this stuff is nothing, had to have rarely been off the pain meds... But, I got home, ate something and took my pills...then I was out (that was at 11am...I just woke up.) I have to finish a quiz online before Midnight tonight so am choosing to do it now, while I'm still conscious and in not much pain.

Leonard has been WONDERFUL! He totally took control over a lot of things. He has been finishing moving his stuff over, when to the grocery store, mowed the lawn on Thursday while I was sleeping (for the first time,) and literally has been taking care of my every need. He even went and picked up Candace on Thursday night through some horrible Arts Festival traffic... I am truly blessed. I am so glad I get to spend the rest of my life with such a wonderful, helpful, considerate person.

My house has gone through such a comforting transformation over the past week. And while I have been "dead to the world" it has become a lovely home for me, my love and my dog. I have never felt so comfortable in my own pad... :) At this point, it's really nice to look around and see the house filled with "our" stuff. Midnight, my dog, is so happy we are home, for good. He actually has been sitting/sleeping with me during the long days and has been a great comfort to be me. (How many times have I used that word?) All I know is that it feels like a fresh start and it feels so right. I have some work to do on my office, but other than's home sweet home. It's been a great place to go through recovery.