Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The last few weekends have been really busy for David and me.  Two weekends ago I enjoyed a LOVELY "girls night out" with my small group- - where we sat in the hot tub and ate free pizza and talked until we had to "spring forward."  (I hate daylight savings time so much more with a child.)  Anyway, this weekend I went to a "Simplicity Party" on Saturday and shopped with my mom in Lincoln on Sunday and went to KC on Monday to visit my sweet friend Sarah and her adorable baby, Levi.  I have been really thinking about the Simplicity party and am trying to get the thoughts out of my head and somehow "out."  This is my best attempt.

If I had to sum up the party, I would say this: "Why do you have all this extra stuff in your home (and therefore your life and mind) when people in our community legitimately need it?"  I ask myself, "why do you have a closet and a half full of clothes that you no longer wear, when the women of the Lydia House could really use and wear it?"  (My work clothing would be great for the Journey To Work Program!)  Suddenly, keeping an entire wardrobe of clothes because I hope to someday be my highschool size seems a little selfish.  (And who am I kidding? 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quick WW Update

Did you think I had forgotten about WW, the original intent of this blog?  Well trust me, I certainly have not!  Upon returning home from Vegas (a Sunday) I moderately counted points that week and did weigh in.  I was up about 1, and wasn't too panicked.  I counted points the next week, which was last week, and on Friday I was back to my pre-Vegas weight, which is over 1.5 lbs LESS than my pre-Dekker weight.  Woot Woot!  It is hard, when you are talking about fluctuating 1-3 lbs, to know how much of that is water and how much is legitimate loss.  Never-the-less, I'll take it!

I have been moderately counting points.  Basically, this means that I count points until dinner, then eat a sensible dinner and call it a day!  It helps me not snack out all day, and it helps me pick a healthier lunch, but it's far from "all in."  I have kinda lost some steam, especially now that I am back in some work clothes and the scale doesn't have me in tears.  Never-the-less, I would like to lose another 5 lbs.  BUT, I'm not in such a gung-ho "must-do-it-right-now" mood.  My nails will likely be all natural in a few weeks at Dekker's birthday party, unless I get a nasty stomach virus, which I hope and pray against.

Finally, I have really been meditating on inner beauty.  I have a verse from 1 John on my bathroom wall that reminds me  to "cultivate inner beauty, the gentle gracious kind that God delights in."  I am really trying hard to love myself AND my body, and to speak kindly of my body, and to accept where I am today.  Just because I have goals for the future does not mean that I can't be happy today.  So this has become much more of a focus, as I try to think of my body as a whole and not just a number on a scale or a pant size.  Praise the Lord, this is a journey, for sure.  At the same time, this does not mean that I can't continue to work on losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  I very much intend to do both.

So this Friday I hope the scale maintains!  And I hope that as more seasonal fruit comes into season, as I get out with the stroller and dog and walk more, and as I continue to count "points" that I will eventually lose these last few pounds!  For now, an over 10 lb loss has made a tremendous difference-- and I'm going to celebrate that!

On the journey.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

From one Mae to another...

Today is the one year anniversary of my Grandma Soden's passing.  I loved her so much (and we share the same middle name, Mae).  She was so incredibly special to me, and I hope to write more as I process this day.  But for now I wanted to leave the eulogy I wrote and read at her funeral:

I am honored that Grandma and her kids have asked me to speak today, but let me confess… putting Grandma into words has been one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever been asked to do. I have asked many of you for input and I thank you greatly. I have prayed, tossed and turned, written, deleted and rewritten again. And still, I may not summarize it all. Simply put, there’s too much about Grandma to fit into this time, but I will try. And what I have forgotten, and the memories you have that you want to share, I hope will be the background music for the rest of this weekend, and years to come.

Let’s talk about the woman Grandma was:

Grandma was a fabulous cook, wasn’t she? In our home, we have all kinds of little tricks that she taught my mom and me. Together as a family, we have all kinds of recipes, smells, and traditions that started at her stove. Cinnamon Rolls, home-made dinner rolls, Chicken and Noodles, and true home cooked meals around her dinner table or out on the deck just to mention a few. Many of the grands and great-grands like Andrea and Ellie will also remind you of the vanilla and fudge swirl sundae cups she kept at her house. Grandma was never short on love, but she wasn’t short on great food, either!

Grandma was your biggest fan. If I had to guess, I would say that Grandma was present at at least one important event of every person here—and more likely, dozens of events that she may or may not have traveled hundreds of miles to attend. I love that Grandma loved watching us do ‘our thing’—maybe it was a ball game, a recital, a holiday or birthday or graduation, a wedding or shower—for you, your kids or your grandkids-- if there was any possible way Grandma could be there she was. Her love and pride for her family went beyond events though-- I think Becky said it best, “she made me feel special for who I am on the inside...and while she always was proud of her family's enormous personal and professional achievements, she seemed to know that they are really only minor considerations when it comes to the beauty that lies within…”

Grandma was selfless—in fact, probably one of the most selfless people you have ever known or will know. What truly made her happy was getting to experience the joy of the people she loved. When I first consulted my OB about traveling in late pregnancy, I cried. And she said “oh sweety, would this be your grandma’s first great-grandkid?” I laughed. “No, it would be her 29th, but if you know Grandma she would love the 29th just as much as the first!”

Sunday, March 14, 2010


First, we had a fantastic time in Vegas with Becky and Mitch and Tisha and Marty.

Above: Becky and Mitch.

Above: Tisha and Marty

Above: Dave and I, Thursday Night, Toby Keith's Bar and Grill.

There are vacations where you sit on the beach all week and rest and relax... then there are vacations to Vegas!  We were so busy!  And there is a two hour time difference, so after nearly 11 months of dreaming about sleeping in... we couldn't.  But it was still wonderful and refreshing, even if it wasn't totally relaxing.

I will give you a little rundown of what we did:
Thursday's Highlights: Worked half a day, then drove to Aurora over Dekker's afternoon nap (he still sleeps wonderfully in the car!).  We met up with Nana and Grandpa and they were so excited to keep Dekker.  It made it easier for us to leave.  We knew we'd miss him, but we weren't worried one tiny bit.  We went to Grand Island where we flew Allegiant Air.  It was an experience, and in the end all 150 of us got on the jet (as in walked right out to the plane) and made it to Vegas.  That night we went to dinner with the whole group, then walked around and saw some of the strip, including the inside of the Bellagio.  We learned very quickly that in Vegas, there is no bedtime.  We went to bed about 2AM, or 4AM Nebraska time.  I had been up for about 22 hours.

Friday: We couldn't sleep in!  Dave and I went to brunch at the Bellagio and had a great time.  We just sat and visited for over an hour.  It was one of the highlights for me.  We talked a lot about how much our baby is growing up and how much fun we have had over the last year.  We are surprised that we have enjoyed this so much.  We knew we would enjoy it-- but we had no idea how much!  We also walked around the Miracle Mile, then had a couples massage (20% off!) and then walked around the Venetian with the whole group.  That night we had a great Italian dinner and saw the "O" show.  It was fantastic.  We watched the fountains at the Bellagio that night and did the Eiffel Tower Experience.

Saturday: Breakfast from McDonalds, then lots of walking and sight seeing around the south end of the strip... MGM, New York New York, M&M World, Minus 5 Ice Bar, and a great new soap/lotion store named Lush.  Check it out!  That night we went to the club Studio 54 in MGM.  We thought the music was great and it was lots of fun-- although another late night!

Funny Story: We were leaving the club early Sunday morning and there were two older adults playing slots.  The old lady says to the old man, "What are all those wristbands?" Old man says, "The girls got in free to that club tonight."  Old lady points to Becky and I and says, "Well, those two are rather covered up!"  As we're walking by Becky hears all this and says back, "It's because we're moms!"  So funny!!  (Does it look like I am wearing the same top as I was on Thursday night?  Well, yes, I am.  I did not over-pack by any stretch of the imagination.)

Again, I really regretted my dress shoes/boots.  These black boots have needed to be replaced for a long time so... what happened in Vegas Stayed in Vegas...

Sunday: Slept in after the late night out, lunch, then off to the airport and home to see the baby boy.  We got home around 10:45 at night.  I feel like I spent all last week recovering!  I napped everytime Dekker napped when I was home on M, W, F.

A few thoughts from my trip:
1.  Both Friday and Saturday evening I split my evening meal, once with Dave and once with my cousin Tisha.  I was really aware of portion control.  That seemed to help a lot, and I don't remember myself getting so full I wanted to burst at any point.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vegas Countdown...

Well we are absolutely thrilled to be leaving for Vegas in the AM.  Actually, Dave is in Iowa right now helping a friend of a friend get his computer up and going.  It is taking way longer than he anticipated and I'm 100% sure he's not happy about it.  So in the mean time, I am doing laundry, packing Dekkers things, and clearing the camera... so while the camera unloads I thought I had a few quick moments to post.

Here are my Top 5 thoughts about Vegas, in no order, in regards to food:

1.  It is not the last supper.  I can eat well, but I don't have to eat until I unbutton my pants at EVERY meal.

2.  I want to taste a variety of foods.

3.  I will hold off on dessert.  I love food, but I love losing weight, too.  So I don't want to undo all the work I have done.  As I look at various websites about what to order at restaurants, it continues to strike me how dessert can be the same "points value" as an entire meal.

4.  I will order red sauce instead of white.  Killer.  I will order veggies whenever I can.

5.  I will lay off the donuts.  I do lloovvee donuts, but I don't need a half dozen everyday.

(6).  (I will walk everywhere I can, and pack sensible shoes to make this possible.)

What are we planning to do while in Vegas?  Well, we're going clubbing.  I can't even type the word clubbing without laughing.