I know it’s really a bit too early to be calling this week a success – I mean it’s only Tuesday, but it’s working!  Yesterday I was all upset about that 199 number.  Like, I knew it was going to be temporary and water and salt and everything, but I also just hated that it was coexisting with me.  I fight so hard to get those pounds gone that any emergence of their existence again drives me up a wall!  Obviously.  I mean, 3-4 pounds up and I’m throwing my hands in the air with worry, tracking my food and making sure I’m working out…  But I suppose it works.  Today I weighed in at 195 again.  That felt pretty darn good.  I always say that if it goes on fast that it can come off fast, too.  This time, I won.   Mwa ha ha!
Day two of tracking went much better than yesterday.  I had a Zumba workout at the end of the day to look forward to so it wasn’t as big of a deal when those pretzels were calling my name at snack time.  I wasn’t hungry and looking for food all day, either.  It’s funny how a change in environment, from home to work, can shift so much in such a short period of time.  The food wasn’t a struggle today!  Zumba was great, tonight, but by 5:10 I was wiped out with 20 more minutes to go.  We had just finished a set of really fast, more intense routines and I was done.  If Jessica and Janice hadn’t been there I may have left.  It is a rare day when I will leave a workout early, but today…  I just felt worn out!   Emily lead us in a few easier songs after that, though, and by the time I left I was bouncing, again, thank you inborn hyperactivity.  

I’d chalk day two of my ‘Get Back on Track and Weigh 190 Already‘ plan as a success!  Woot woot!  If I keep it up, I’ll definitely make my 190 goal my 2016!  

Thanksgiving, You Done Us Wrong!

Oh, Thanksgiving.  You dirty, dirty, dog.  Not the thankfulness/empathy/kindness/family/sharing/historical part.  No.  I’m talking about the part where we all made way too much food and settled into eating it all weekend long to the exclusion of things less roasted, puréed and refined.  And we ate like we were champions competing (well, maybe not, but funny!)!  Then, today, when we all went back to work, we looked in the mirror and noticed a little extra puffiness.  My eyes were super crinkly this morning and my neck extra crepe-y in that attractive, turkey-wattle kind of way.  Weightloss, Thanksgiving bloat and aging are not my friends today!  Sheesh.  

It was nice to know I wasn’t alone with my gain, though. So many people came up to me today confessing that they gained between 3-8 pounds over the weekend.  Time and again they would marvel that it takes a week of really focused hard work to maybe lose a pound or two, but those suckers pile on the moment you let your guard down and eat some gravy or pie.  I’ve read about this before and I seem to remember it explained like a latex balloon.  When the fat balloon (for lack of a better term) is created, it’s all lovely, small and perfect for storing a reasonable amount of fat.  But like a real balloon, it can expand and grow and get all kinds of overfilled, bloated and gigantic.  Imagine, then, emptying said ballon.  It’s distended and huge, misshapen, now, and perfectly ready to refill with fat just as soon as you provide it with the right fodder.  That’s right.  It’s just sitting there.  Waiting.  For you to gorge.  That’s why the fat comes back so easy: Built-in storage!  It’s why so many people have such a hard time keeping fat off long-term As well.  

My friends and I decided to counter the Thanksgiving Beast with the good, ole one-two of food journaling and Zumba attendance.  If I get my game face back on, I should be able to get things rolling again.  We are headed to Zumba on Tuesday and we will see what happens after that, but baby steps.  I journaled my food today, managed to eat beyond my calorie allowance and was still hungry alllll day long.  But I’m glad for the journal.  If I had skipped it, I’m sure things would have been even uglier.  As it is, I feel pretty solid about today.  No major disappointments or successes and I met my goal of journaling.  Now I can step into December with at least one semi-solid day under my belt.  😉

    Here’s my student’s winter themed art work that I’m all gaga over.  They turned out just AMAZING!  

Giddy Up

I was looking through Instagram and was chuckling over all of these memes going, “Oh my gosh!  Bradley!  It’s sooo truuue!”  And laughing like a maniac.  LOL!  Because they ARE true!  I was just saying, the other day, how I have no upper body, and it’s TRUE that my arms get their best workout when I’m working the hair!  Also, I do feel like that squirrel, right now, all chubby and fluffy after the Thanksgiving brouhaha, but I am glad I didn’t gain The full ten pounds for that role.  I’m proud to say that I braved the scale today and saw 199.2.  I have to believe part of that is water weight from salty and different kinds of foods, but I fully own that some of that is all that gravy, stuffing, cheese and pumpkin pie with whipped cream that I ate, without a shred of guilt, this weekend.  I’m ready to get back to my better habits, though.  I felt a bit stuck in a pattern of shopping in the fridge for delicious morsels followed with something sweet that needs to get broken with the workweek habit, again.

A couple of monkeys and I finished decorating the house for the holidays.  Trees and lights all decorated and the tubs are back in storage.  Why is it that we do this all for one month out of the year?!?!  LOL!  Our elves, Snowflake and Snowman, made their return, too.  Jude let me know, with glee, that they will be here for 26 sleeps!  Oh boy. 

We woke up to an icy fog this morning, reminiscent of that movie The Others, where the fog just never leaves…  We decided to see what St. Edward park looked like in the fog and got dressed for a chilly hike.  And oh my goodness, it was SO COLD.  I know a few people who ran a half marathon today, and all I could about was that icy fog, the chilly condensation and my freezing body and how doing that for 13 miles would be brutal.  I just couldn’t get warm on that whole hike, even though I ran a lot of it.  The hike, however, was definitely worth it.  The branches were dripping, the lichen was lively, fungus copious, the moss was rich and damp and it was the epitome of the Pacific Northwest temperate rainforest.  Both of our kids came alive when we took them out, making me realize we need to force them out of their winter cocoons more often!  I warmed up with a shower followed by an extensive blow drying of my hair and was in my head-to-toe, fleece footie jammers, and I was STILL COLD.  So when Bradley headed to the hot tub, I had to try that, too, and at last I warmed up enough to think about something else for a little while.  It’s funny how sometimes the cold seems to leech into your very bones.  Today was definitely like that!

This week I want to track my food every day.  That is my best way to get things going in the right direction, again.  I’m also planning to run a few times and I think I’ll try to Zumba a time or two this week, depending on how Bradley is feeling about running.  :)

Black Friday

I ate a lot yesterday.  Like, take that whole notion of what a feast is supposed to be, and just know that I took it to heart.  My promise to myself is that if I stay on track the rest of the time, I can feast on the celebration days.  And boy, did I.  I remember being a kid on Thanksgiving, after the meal and the grown-ups were gathered around the dining table, the cousins were getting all sweaty and wrestle-y somewhere else, and I was watching The Love Boat while eating something whenever there happened to be the slightest bit of space in my tummy.  Space announced itself like hunger, and I just went with it.  Yesterday was like that.  I worked out at Zumba in the morning, cooked and, pretty much, fasted in the early afternoon, then gorged and laid around for the rest of the day.  I woke up this morning and I still wasn’t hungry.  I know it’s not as bad as I think it was, because I also let myself drink diet soda, but still.  I was stuffed last night.  Phew!  This morning I was determined to get back to a normal eating pattern, and for the most part I did.  Except that we went to the Macy’s Holiday Parade as part of our yearly Lj tradition and mini donuts were purchased and consumed.  Not to mention that almost allllllll of the food I ate today still had some gravy on top.  And did I mention it was stuffing that was coated with gravy?  Yeah.  So anyways. While I’m not eating the quantity, apparently I’m still in feast mode as far as quality goes.    

 After my lunch of gravy-laden stuffing with a side of rolls and jello salad, I was feeling roly poly and like I needed to move.  But not that much.  I just wanted to feel less guilty and a little more proactive about my plan!  Bradley mentioned needing to go to the store for a movie, so I decided to run to the store to meet him.  I was running with a belly full of stuffing and gravy, so I ended up with a stitch in my side for the middle third.  That wasn’t very fun, but while it was frigid-cold, the sun was shining, my tunes were in my ears and I was having the best time!  Five minutes before I crested the hill and made it to the QFC parking lot, I texted Bradley, and by the time I was lapping the store for the first time,  he was there!  It was a great way to trick myself into a brief workout.  And 1.9 miles is way better than 0.0, so I’m pretty satisfied.  I also felt like a smartie pants because I didn’t stop moving during the whole parade this morning.  I probably looked like a weirdo marching in place the whole time, but I stayed warm in the 35 degree weather and got in 4000 steps.  Tomorrow I’m taking Bradley on a run.  I’m looking forward to catching some crisp, Saturday miles with my heart!

Operation Gratitude

I have some friends who are pretty sick.  Like, cancer and fighting-for-their-lives-at-a-ridiculously-young-age kind of sick.  When it first started happening among my peers I totally panicked.  I looked at these healthy, good, relatively young people and started falling victim to bad trains of thought- ‘if it happened to them, it could happen to anyone’ kind of thinking.  No amount of healthy eating or exercise can chase away every demon.  I got pretty freaked out and started feeling guilty and helpless.  Offers to help or expressions of love are nice, but that’s not giving anyone back their old normal.  Their illness takes over, becomes a central focus in their lives.  A trap, of sorts.  I didn’t know what to do.  

But the one thing I keep hearing is to be grateful for what I have.  Be grateful that I can use my body, still.  Be grateful that I’m not exhausted to the point that I can’t get off the sofa.  Be grateful that I can breathe and eat and sleep without problem.  Be grateful that I have the luxury of time.  Be grateful that I don’t have to fight for it, right now.  Be grateful that I get to look forward to watching life unfold before me.  Be grateful to be pain-free.  What I really take from all of it is that I need to live this life.  I need to take advantage of the opportunity of living.  I need to not take my endless days for granted; I need to embrace them for the treasure that they are and make sure they count.

I watched this movie one time called About Time.  In it, this young man finds out he can time travel.  The story meanders emotionally from here to there, and oh my goodness, I love the movie and consider it one of my favorites, but the greater learning I took from it was about being intentional with time.  He realized that it’s not the ability to do things over that matters, it’s the ability notice things and live so well, so whole, so purely and so in the moment that you don’t need to do it more or longer than what you’re already given.  Time flies when I choose to put my head down and wade through it like a job.  But when I intentionally take time to notice my world, observe the sky and smile at my second graders, cuddle my kids, all of the meaning I insert in my life seems to slow it down a little.  Instead of bursts that skip by in a blur, I get many markers along the way that help me to categorize and remember my day.  I forget, sometimes, to live intentionally, but today I’m reminded of my friends who don’t have the choice, right now, to use their bodies or treat their lives like they want to and I’m grateful to them for pointing out the obvious: today is a gift.  Every day is a gift.  This life is a gift and everything we get to do in it is something to be grateful for.  I’m thankful for the privilege of my life and everything that comes along with it.  I’m thankful to my two, living parents for giving me this life, for my husband for encouraging me to believe in myself so I can live it to the fullest, and my two children who provided the motivation for me to do everything I can to make it as long as possible.  

Today I lived a bit of life at Zumba for 75 minutes with Emily.  It was a fun class and I learned that I definitely need to work on my upper body strength.  I get so tired when we have to do things with our arms and it accelerates my moments of exhaustion when we wave them over our heads and stuff.  Clearly I need to build up some endurance and strength.  She ended the class with Santa Baby, which was a big, funny surprise for me, and lastly, Runnin’- the song that I got all emotional over last time.  Today I held it together better, but it’s funny that in context of the gym I get really goose-bumpy and girl-power over it.  I managed to get all 10,000 steps in by noon, and then we took a walk out in the crisp air before I even got all of my Thanksgiving cooking steps in!  It’s been a lovely day of celebrating with Lj four.  It was perfect- a wonderful day of gratitude and Thanksgiving.  I sincerely hope you can say the same and that you are able to find something to be grateful for as well.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Blues for a Jean Skirt

Yesterday I wore this jean skirt to work that I’ve had for several years.  In all honesty, it’s one of the oldest things I have in my closet because I have refused to pay the $70 it takes to repurchase two tubes of denim in stonewash and dark rinse…  I mean, really.  And I thought it wouldn’t matter.  I thought that a tube of denim was a tube of denim and should function like a the tube of denim that it’s supposed to.  I put it on with a belt and that was supposed to keep everything in place.  

I hadn’t worn the skirt in a while…  I figured out why, yesterday, while I wandered around work.  Because the denim skirt that was too big, with each step I took it jacked the skirt up, left, right, left, right with each step and all of the sudden the waist of my skirt was resting exactly below my bust line.  I’d adjust, pull it down, and within thirty minutes I was ratcheting my micro-miniskirt back into a reasonable, teacherly, knee-length skirt.  I know, tough, right?  These are the problems I get to have.  In that one picture, you can literally see the floor and my feet in the space between my tummy and skirt!  Kinda funny!  It is a minor inconvenience, but it’s also a pretty awesome non-scale victory!  I finally shrunk out of my size 16’s!  I’ve been wanting to try on a size 12 lately.  Things are starting to feel loose again and it might just be time for a new wardrobe.  😈  That certainly kicks that challenge to hit 190 pounds by the New Year into high gear!  A few more pounds and my clothes will be falling off of me and I will simply NEED to purchase new clothes, right?  For the children.  Right?  And world peace.  Of course.

Air tight logic right there.


I’m totally stoked about being on Thanksgiving Break.  My family begged off from the 5k (wah- it’s going to be cold, wet and along the freeway), so that’s off the books.  Instead, I’m going to Zumba with Emily (!!!)  for 75 minutes on Thanksgiving morning.  But then I found myself pouring over the schedule all excited to integrate some more body pump, cycling classes and …  More running!?!?!?  I’m so excited about running during this break.  Maybe I can get some solid distance under my sneaks!  Tomorrow I get to chop a lot of food up and get ready for our Tofurkey Day.  It’s just the four of us vegetarians at Lj House, this year, so we plan on being super slothful and full of Thanskgiving festivities like watching the Thanksgiving parade, watching Pocahontas, viewing the Friends Thanksgiving episodes, going for a walk, decorating our tree and other historical and traditional activities.  But mostly fitting more stuffing and gravy into the cracks around the pieces of pie with whipped cream.

Yep.  I said pieces.  It’s a holiday.


This week was met with the first frost of the season and all the fun of real, authentic, freezing, fall weather.  I made that promise to myself to get out and run, regard less of the weather, but Monday was chilly and my planned rest day.  Tuesday was also cold and it just seemed like a good idea to give my body just one more day of recovery…  On Wednesday I started to recognize that I was being lazy and by Thursday I fully owned it by adjusting my calories which I blew through on Friday by feeling like eating my way through everything in my path that day.  It was definitely a high-low week for feeling chilly, feeling good, feeling bad and feeling worn out!  I battled the food demons, the Blerch and depression.  It was a challenging week, so I am not going to be too upset about it.

One of my favorite moments was definitely Glasses Day at work.  Two of my colleagues picked up new specks within a day of each other so we had a glasses day to celebrate their new glasses!  I briefly wore my grandfather’s old army glasses.  At 8:10 that morning, we met in the frosty air with all of our respective glasses on for a picture.  I’ve loved every staff I’ve had the opportunity to work with, but I definitely think change is good.  It’s not so much that my gifts were lost at my last school as much as they were already utilized and understood.  It’s wonderful to go to a new work environment where I get to learn so much from my newer colleagues, but I also get to see myself anew through their eyes.  It’s incredibly reaffirming and I definitely feel the love from and for my people.  ❤️

This morning Bradley and I were drinking coffee, considering the day when I realized that he had a big project going (He’s pouring and making our concrete countertops!  Our kitchen is getting finished, at last!).  I realized I was going to be on my own in the house so I quickly hopped online and looked at the gym schedule for the gym close to my house and saw that there was a Zumba class starting in 15 minutes! Right after that a body pump weightlifting class was scheduled.  I decided to get dressed and dash to the gym, and made it there ten minutes into the first class.  It felt good to move, but I didn’t feel like I got an absolutely amazing workout, for some reason.  I decided to definitely stay for the body pump class, and but the end of it my quads were burning, my shoulders tight and my triceps tingling!  It was a great way to start my Thanksgiving week off right!

I snapped the mirror selfie on my way out the door because I keep being surprised by my appearance again lately.  I don’t know what the shift is, but every once in a while I just catch a glimpse of myself and -I think it must be in an instant when I’m thinking I’m still 340 pounds or so – and I’ll get startled by what I see: this little person in the mirror.*  This was one of those moments, so I took it.

The picture and the fierce feeling after my classes got me thinking, too.  Maybe I need a goal in front of me.  Maybe I need something to dangle in front of myself to stay focused over the course of the next six weeks, and just maybe that is making the goal of 150 pounds officially lost by 2016!  I always say I’ve lost ‘about’ 150 pounds, but the absolute truth is that I’ve ‘only’ lost 148 pounds.  It would be a pretty cool thing to be officially in the 150 club…  So I think I’m going to try for it!  That definitely means I need to be serious about working out and eating lots of clean foods!  Here’s hoping I can do it!  And if I don’t make it, putting every effort towards the success of this goal so I don’t feel disappointed in myself.  

While in the class today, I got the big idea to make pumpkin soup from our remaining pumpkinMon our porch.  I chopped it up when I got home and processed most of it for Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, and some of it for today’s pumpkin soup.  I’ve had several run-ins with pumpkin soup this autumn, at high hunger times like after the half marathon or really delayed waiter services, and I have been a bit obsessed with getting my hands on a bowlful or seven more.  So today, at last, I made a huge pot of it.  It is so stinking good.  So today, I will eat it to my heart’s content.  Today.  But that’s it.  Pumpkin soup is kind of like a one meal kind of deal- done after that. A little bit and I’m set.  It’s delicious, but it turns out I can only take it so far.  I know that, now.  😉 Those beloved colleagues I mentioned will have something to warm their tummies waiting in the staff room tomorrow.  

*At least littler than I expect- do you see Amazon Tamara in the glasses picture towering above her colleagues??  Like I’ve said, I have no problem being an Amazon and I only point it out so I can get used to the idea that I’m naturally bigger structured than most women and that’s okay!  Perhaps my tag name should be Tamazon.  Oooohhhh.  I like that…  Lol!

Back to High School

Have you ever been to the mall, before hours, to see all of the seniors swiftly gliding around, waving enthusiastically at one another?  It’s this whole subculture that takes place between the hours of 6:00 until the store’s opening.  As a former mall employee, I can attest to seeing the same faces, day after day.  Back in the day we certainly walked the mall as well.  It was warm, dry and not too fast for my slow self.  It was the perfect place to get started on winter fitness before I had built up mileage or endurance.  These days it can be tricky to get out and get the workout in during the winter.  When the rain falls and the sky is dark, it’s ridiculously easy to hunker down under a blanket instead of running around freezing my booty off.  

To make ourselves a little more comfortable, we’ve adopted the mid-lifers version of the mall: the high school, between the hours of 5:00 PM and 10:00PM!  High schools usually have covered, yet outdoor, hallways.  Nobody is there.  We can RUN because we are alone.  For whatever reason, in the 1960’s when they built so many of our Western Washington schools, they built them using a California model with outdoor hallways.  Freezing, wet, outdoor hallways.  They are not fun when 16 and in a skirt between classes, but they are perfect for people who like to run.  Because high schools have events that run late at night, the walkways are usually well-lit and safe, even at night.  They protect schools with security systems and guards, there’s a million different routes to take, the kids love playing there….  I’m feeling pretty clever at having discovered our new hang!  We’ve gone several times this season and I think we will definitely continue.  I managed over four miles on campus today, and never once had to share the track with the bajillion kids at soccer camp.  😉

Add to that, that our kids love to run around and play.  We let them play parkour in the courtyard, they run play tag, ride their scooters respectfully and are feeling quite at home at their future high school.  They ask questions about the different clubs, observe the different sporting events and beg to attend the plays.  

It’s a suggestion, I’m making.  A movement, if you will.  A place to set aside our excuses Of dark-wet-cold.  These are public, safe places meant for families.  We should be using them like the public parks they are supposed to be after hours!

Shaking the Blues

Today we decided to put our money where our mouths are and hit the road in an attempt to shake off the blues.  The bad weather hit, and with it came a bit of seasonal affective disorder.  It doesn’t totally dominate my/our lives, but it definitely makes itself known and I constantly have to remind myself that it’s just a trick of my mind, that my blues are just a construct and not my reality.  I forged through Thursday just keeping a stiff upper lip and all, you know, but yesterday was tough.  After the news of Paris and all the rest of the trauma that our world is experiencing came through yesterday evening, I realized that we were all hit with a bit of the sads yesterday.  It was just a sad day for most of humanity.  Last night when I was laying in bed, I made a plan, of sorts, to use what I know to be more mentally successful, thus, happier today.

  • I made sure we ate this morning and all day.  I haven’t been doing a good enough job of feeding myself, lately.  When I get on a weightloss jag I can get pretty restrictive on calories and then I get moody.  Today when I woke up I had coffee, my granola bar and a cheese stick.  All day long I made sure my ‘diet’ mode was switched to ‘off’ and I pretty much ate whatever I wanted.  While I try to never make a habit of eating my feelings, sometimes it just has to be done.  I eat my feelings just a couple of times a year, but when I do it is very intentional anymore and I make a plan to do it- it doesn’t just happen in a binge.  And I don’t go crazy, I just pretend like I’m going to eat a pile of whatever and then drink a buuuuunch of water with a moderate sized serving of whatever it is that I’m porking out on.  It’s a trick but it works.  Mind games.  
  • We ran.  Neither of us wanted to, but I made it happen.  I pried us from our bed, forced us into running clothes and down the street.   We could have run longer, but my partner isn’t sure if this is the blues, a lingering hangover from the whiskey flight on Wednesday or a stomach bug that is making him feel cruddy.  Regardless, we did about three miles and I was happy with that.  
  • Retail therapy seriously works so we headed to Target to do some pre-Christmas shopping.  There has been a deal at Target on video games for a while, but today there was the game released that we had been waiting for, and it happens to be the last day of the sale.  I also cruised the clearance racks for surprises for kiddos…  It was a healthy way to shake the mood, for sure.  Fun, too.  
  • I took care of business and solidified some big plans.  I really wanted to do a make-it/take-it centers day in December with my students where kids can make holiday gifts for people if they need them.  I just remember, as a kid, really wanting to share in the season of giving but being really dissatisfied that I had to use toilet paper rolls and toilet paper to make my crafts.  They just didn’t look pro to me!  So today I figured out all of my crafts and bought most of the materials at the dollar store and Michael’s to get ready!  I’m so excited, and this definitely made me feel like the blues were shaking off!
  • Snuggles were pretty important.  We coiled around one another and the kids all evening.  The power went out, but we didn’t care.  It turned into a read-in/write-in and all we want is one another anyhow.  Our entire focus during this weekend is to reconnect and start out the holiday season feeling like a solid unit.  
  • Lastly, the power of positive thinking…  I decided to make a before, during and present tryptich of my backside.  The first is of me when I was about 32 years old(ten years ago), the second was about three years ago (right after I began this project in earnest- like, just before this website came to be), and the last one was from today.  Lots has changed and it’s such a pleasure to be able to observe what I’ve done!  Blues shaken!  


26 Things About Me (plus some)

First off, I’m solid.  Appointment yesterday meant a missed workout day, but Bradley and I got up early and ran a little over three miles before 9:00 this morning.  It felt kind of weird and unsettling to get that out of the way so early in the day.  I almost missed ‘dreading’ my run…  Which really just made me realize how much I love running.  When I’m not in a consistent running cycle I really feel it in my attitude and willingness to run.  When I’m running almost daily, I look forward to the endorphin rush.  And there’s some serious head clearing that happens as well, a rendering.  Thoughts rise to the surface and it’s like a unique clarity happens.  Some of my best blog writing happens when I’m out on the streets, and by the time I return home I’ve got it rehearsed and ready to write!  

{Took my mom to tea at the Queen Mary Tea Room to celebrate her birthday, while my dad and Bradley ended up at the new McMenaminns celebrating our marine’s Veteran’s Day with a whiskey flight! }

{Much love and respect to those who serve, but I have a special place for my own marine, my dad. ❤️}
 Every once in a while I like to do one of those things you see floating around on Facebook where you tell all about yourself in some little cutest way.  I saw one today and went for it.  I like them here because it’s a simple way to catch up on a little about who I am.  

Twenty-six things about me…

A- Accomplishments: I lost about 150 pounds, give or take depending on the moment, I have two marvelous kids, I ran a half marathon without walking or stopping, I finished and paid for my college education almost entirely on my own.  Married a stone-cold fox. 😈

B- Biggest fear: if we’re talking phobias, it’s heights, snakes and caterpillars.  If it’s the stuff that keeps me up at night, it’s dying prematurely from a preventable illness.

C- Colors you love: I love soft, sage greens and turquoise blues.  I guess my bests are sea glass colors.  I will also add pink, purple and glitter as backups for when I’m feeling sassy, and I’m alarmed by how much orange and brown I wear.

D- Drink you last had: Water

E- Every day starts with: coffee and snuggles in bed with my true love, followed by snuggles with my little loves.  Because I leave the house first on workdays, they follow me out to the porch and wave me off every day, then I get a text of a photo of them as they leave as well.  I love our morning rituals.  They keep me connected with my family all day.

F- Favorite song: Currently it’s Runnin‘ by Naughty Boy

G- Ghosts, are they real?: Yes.  I don’t ever want to meet one or see one or be touched by one or anything.  You won’t find this girl on a ghost walk, at a seance or with a Ouija board.  I have watched enough scary movies and seen plenty of convincing ghost investigator shows to know better than to mess with that!

H- Hometown: Marysville, Wa, but I really just consider the Pacific Northwest to be the best place in the world and loooove being a Seattlite!

I- In love?: To a ridiculous degree.  I met him 19 years ago and have avoided leaving his side whenever possible from the moment I confessed I had a crush on him and he returned the sentiment.  I still have a crush on him.  ❤️

J- Jealous of: people who manage to be super zen all the time.  They don’t worry, smile at the children, don’t get angry in traffic, drink their tea and smile serenely all the time…  I want to be that.

K- Killed someone?: My inner fat girl.  Well, I didn’t so much kill her as much as I put her on serious notice that if she doesn’t sit down and shush that she’s going to kill me, and then she really will be dead with the rest of us.

L- Last time you cried?:  I was reading Thank You Mr. Falker to my students.  Patricia Polacco, the author, just has a way of explaining things beautifully and poetically.  In the story, the grandmother explains that the stars in the sky are the light of heaven peeking through the holes, and that if you don’t hang onto the grass tight enough you will tumble into the sky, to the other side, to heaven.  In the story, the next thing that happens is that the grandmother must have let go of the grass, because she went to heaven, on the other side, and the little girl was left alone.  It always gets me and this year was no different.  It’s a curious thing, to cry in front of 25 second graders, but I never mind it.

M- Musician who you love: it’s no secret that I love the New Kids on the Block.  And Death Cab for Cutie.  And Ben Folds.  And naughty hip-hop music.  I have a problem mixing pop and hip-hop with indie rock- I love them all soooooo much!

N- Number of siblings: 2 brothers- I’m the baby and the only girl.  

O- One wish: Peace.  Is there ever anything else to wish for?

P- Person you last called:  I can’t even remember.  I hate using the phone for phone calls.  I kind of have a phobia and prefer texting above all else.  Most likely it was my mom or dad since I try to call them at least once a week.

Q- Question you’re always asked: “Can I stay in for recess?”  “No, baby.  No, you can’t.  Mrs. Littlejohn needs a moment.  Go play and get some fresh air.  Really.  Go.”
Also, “Can I go to the bathroom?”
And, “Can I get a drink?”
I hate being in charge of the basic human rights of these people. I understand it, but wouldn’t that stink to be thirsty and feel like you can’t get a drink?

R- Reason to smile: My life is wonderful, I married the best person for me, I have healthy, smart and gorgeous children, the world is amazing, my parents are alive, I’m not colorblind, I can hear, sunsets, hiking, mountains…  Do I need to go on?  Being alive is my reason to smile.  Having the privilege of living this life makes me smile.

S- Song last sang: Lily of the Valley has been sung and sung in my house lately.  
White, silver bells,
Upon a slender stalk.
Lily of the Valley on my garden walk.
Oh don’t you wish,
That you could hear them ring?
That will only happen when the Fairies sing!

T- Time you woke up: 7:50.  Thanks to our Veterans I had a day of rememberance.  

U- Underwear preference: I wear really boring underwear.  Cotton.  Boy shorts.  Whoop.  

V- Vacation destination: I would like to ‘summer’ somewhere that is warm and on the beach for a long time.  Like, my ultimate vacation is the Twilight honeymoon scenario: private house on a private island with a private beach in the Caribbean, Medeteranian or the like and I want to go long enough to get bored there.  I want it unrushed and unworried; I want life to unfold in an organic way; I want that peace.

W- Worst habit: Interrupting.  We talk over he top of one another in our house and sometimes it’s hard to be patient for a turn when we engage with the general public.  I also think I worry overly much about being good and doing the right thing.

X- X-Rays you’ve had: teeth, ankles, hips…  I’ve never broken anything.

Y- Your favorite food: The kind I don’t have to cook or clean up.  Also: cheese.  I love cheese passionately.  I like it all, but if I gravitate one place it’s to the hard cheeses.  I love parmesean, Asiago, manchego- you name it.  Yum.  But really, anything -except a few of the super stinkies and rank moldies- I love it.  Yes.  Including Limberger, if you were wondering.  That one’s a good stinky one though.  Some others just taste as bad as they smell.  

Z- Zodiac sign: Scorpio, I don’t know if I’m a classic Scorpio or not, but I like being one.  :) 

Bonus: Current Weight:

195!!!  Only 25 pounds away from 170!  I once had a friend ask me why I post a picture every time I lose a pound.  She wondered why just a pound was a big deal- why not wait for a milestone?  The thing is, every single pound is a milestone for me.  I went years feeling like I couldn’t lose a pound.  All my weight would do is rise or plateau, and losing anything was nearly impossible.  The first pounds I lost were a victory, and every single one after that continues to be so.  My pictures are a celebration.  Each pound lost has been a huuuuge deal to me- all 145 of them.  :)