Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 13 - Day 1

Hello everyone!! I am so excited I can barely type this blog post!  This time Wednesday I will be eating lunch with my husband!  In less than 48 hours I will be on a plane bound for the army fort.  I feel proud that I've made it this long without my hubby, not that I doubted that I would, but I took this time for myself.  And I feel that I've thrived.  I loved writing and receiving letters too, I will treasure those for the rest of my life.

Now, let's see how I did with my goals....

1) Work out, 2.0

I wish I could spell out a tongue raspberry, haha!  Although, again, another health issue sort of put a damper on this goal.  As it is, I need to talk to my doc, I'm probably getting close to when I can exercise again.  I'm kind of thinking it would be a lot more fun for my husband to train me when he gets home... 

2) Lose 8 lbs

As of this morning, I am 6 lbs down from where I was, so I'm giving myself a pat on the back for this.  As long I keep up my routine, I should reach this goal in a week!!!  Time to go shopping for some cute summer clothes!

3) Audition for local community theater

CHECK!  And actually, it was a professional theater and even though I didn't get anything it was a great audition in my opinion.  My definition of a great audition is coming out feeling confident, which rarely happens.

4) Get re-certified for CPR

CHECK! Done!  I'm good for two more years...

5) Do something new every week
I am pretty confident I have done this, from outings, to diet stuff, recipes, my bulb project, I haven't kept track that well, but the goal of this was to keep life interesting.  Success.
6) Finish book about Grandmother

This is the second raspberry... I did not keep my promise on this.  I need to get on this.

Tonight is a free night for me and I think it will include a manicure, packing, and catching up on some TV!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Week 12 - Day 5

Happy Friday everyone!  This has been an amazing week, I have been so busy.  So busy that I haven't had time to set-up my new phone.  So busy that my DVR is completely full of shows from the week.  Now that's busy.

Yesterday I went to see the new production of Phantom of the Opera at the Academy of Music.  Those of you who know me, know that this is my favorite show, to the point of obsession.  I first saw the show in Philadelphia at the Forest Theater when I was eleven years old, and this viewing was my 7th (I think).  I was anxious to see what the new production would bring to the table promising new sets, costumes, choreography, and other surprises.

All in all it was fun to see something new and different, especially the remarkable sets they added to the production.  Ultimately, I prefer the original staging production.  I'd like to be in the show...

Day 3 of the Dukan Diet and I am done with the Attack Phase and on to Cruise.  I can eat veggies now, yayyy!!  Actually, after two days of just proteins, a salad feels like a welcome change.  Eating out last night was tricky but I made it work, diet coke with lemon, a burger, pickles, and some bacon, which is technically not allowed, but it was only a little.  I'm going out again tonight with some friends and I'm looking forward to some roasted veggies and a steak  Yummm!

As the days go by I get less and less cravings for no-no foods.  My appetite seems to have plateaued which is great, although the evening is still my time of greatest difficulty.  It's when I crave all of the bad things.

I'm going to see Divergent tonight, I've been looking forward to this movie for awhile so we will see!  I have another fun and full weekend ahead of me!  So grateful for my friends and family who have helped to keep my life so full and happy during these long months.  I'm a lucky girl.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Week 12 - Day 4

Interesting, I labeled my last blog post as "Boobs, Diets, and Family Day" and significantly more people decided to take a look.  I see how it is Internet, all I need is to talk about boobs to get your attention.  Well you can stop reading now, because the topic is closed... for now.

Day 2 of the Dukan Diet.  For those of you who don't know what this diet is, it is a modified version of Atkins, but stricter and eventually allows you the freedom to eat (mostly) whatever you want.  It starts off with the "Attack" phase which is (depending on your current weight and the weight you want to lose) 1-5 days of eating only protein, no-fat dairy, and a small amount of oat bran.  The good news is, from this list, you can eat as much protein as you like.  You then proceed to "Cruise" phase where you add vegetables, from a list and alternate protein and veggie days.  This time period gets you to your goal weight.  Finally, your reach "Consolidation" phase which you start introducing fruits, cheese, and starches in limited amounts.  You do this in order to reach stabilization where you are able to maintain your weight permanently.

I've never done this as far past Cruise phase, so I'm anxious to see if I can get there this time.  It's a lot easier to do this diet when I'm alone, so I probably should have started it earlier, but we will see.  I'm halfway through my last attack day so I'm excited to have a salad tomorrow!  This website has some great recipes to help you keep it interesting.  What's tricky about this diet, is it's really hard to eat out so you have to take the time to put the good foods in your house and take time to prepare your meals.

I've been getting up a lot earlier to prepare my meals and last night at 10:30pm I even put a meal in the crockpot.  Go me!   I'm already noticing a difference in my body and a pound worth of weight loss!

In other news the weather for graduation week is looking amazing, I'm looking forward to sundress and sandals... might need to get a pedicure before next week.  Can't wait to see my husband!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Week 12 - Day 3

I would like to thank the snow yesterday for tipping me over the edge to not going to my acting class.  I'd also like to thank my sore left side which after yesterday was sore enough to give me pause.  Grrr, I hate feeling like I'm not at 100%.  I'm not the kind of person who is good at taking things slowly and being patient.  I'm the girl who clips her hip on the side of the doorway when walking through because I was probably in a rush.  That's me.  This whole healing thing isn't working for me.  I still forget in the morning and try to do my normal cat stretch in bed and my left side screams in protest.  I need to give it time...

In other news, I did go to my post-op check up on Monday and the scar looks SO GREAT!  Gotta love plastics guys, they don't leave much evidence that they were there (no I didn't get a boob job).  In the interest of education, I had a benign lipoma removed from my left breast.  Public service announcement, do self breast exams, even if you find something benign it's good to know yourself.  I've had this for a few years and since it got bigger it was time to take it out.  My biggest concern was scarring and so far everything is looking good.  So that's that with the "boob job" jokes for now.

I also went to the doctor on Tuesday, different doctor, I am really starting to sound like a hypochondriac.  This doc is for my guts n glory.  Everything seems to be doing better except I have to get this test that almost no one does and I'm having trouble finding a place to do it.  Another life irritation.

I'm also starting the Dukan Diet today.  This has really worked for me in the past to shed some pesky pounds and since my guts have healed I've gained an extra 5 lbs that I really don't want to see.  The first two days of this diet I can only eat protein pretty much so it's a tough start.  I'm determined though.

But the biggest news is that in ONE WEEK I WILL BE WITH MY HUSBAND!!  I will be walking around my husband's "campus" seeing his world and I can't wait!!!  I can't wait to hug him, and hold his hand, and see his (according to him) "fit body," and his army uniform!  I can't wait to hear his voice and tell him in person how proud I am.  We've both been so strong (army strong) during this separation and I think we've earned it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 12 - Day 1

9 days, I can't believe it!  You know what that means right?  This week is going to go sooo sllllloowwww... it's a law of physics.  I don't know which law, but I'm sure it's in there somewhere, something about watched pots, or whatever.  Not really my area.

This weekend was a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but when all was said and done I think it balanced more to the positive side of things.  Friday was our six month wedding anniversary, which I guess isn't a huge deal, although in this day and age it means you've been married longer than most of the celebrity marriages that started and ended.  Yippee.  If my soldier was home we probably would have celebrated somehow.  Friday was just a crap day, there was something negative in the air and it just didn't go away.

Saturday, on the other hand, was a wonderful day, a birthday party for my grandmother that we celebrated at my Mom's house with my uncles, aunt, cousins, and grandparents, just a wonderful day filled with comfort food and laughter.  Also, my sherry cake made its family debut and was very well received by all,  including several encores.

Sunday I went to my Mom's band concert, she plays the flute and piccolo in a community concert band, and they played some very cool marches, a Glenn Miller medley, it was a lot of fun.  Well, despite the perfectly timed surprise phone call from my husband who always seems to call me when I'm attempting to have a life, haha.  Never when I'm sitting at home doing nothing!  What am I going to do though?  He called right towards the end of the intermission and I leaped up to take the call and I got to talk to him for 45 minutes!!

They finished their 10 mile march home, which is sort of the final hurrah of the intense basic training, and are now doing a lot of "house-keeping" duties, inventories, cleaning weapons, etc.  He said at one point he was so tired that he was falling asleep while cleaning his weapon, dropping pieces on the floor and everything, haha.  I'd like the thank the army in advance for preparing my husband for taking care of a newborn.  He will be so used to sleep deprivation!  Their unit also got their berets which is a big badge of honor and means that they are that much closer to becoming graduated soldiers.  I cannot WAIT to see him.

In other news, I had to turn down THREE auditions because they conflict with our summer vacation in July/August.  I'm a little upset, but since this vacation is sort of my reason for living these days, haha, I'm not that bummed.  I can't wait for the sea and the sand and a rum swizzle!  I really do live to travel.  Tomorrow will be my first acting class and I'm still cramming my monologue to get it semi-memorized.

Also, these started growing... Spring is trying to get here, despite the icky snow predicted for tomorrow...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 11 - Day 1

What a weekend!  I think three day weekends should be mandatory, it just evens out the week.  Even when you're having minor surgery on your Friday off.  Everything went really, really well with the surgery.  I am still a little sore but each day I get better and better.  I am so lucky to have an amazing family to help take care of me in my husband's absences.  I am also super lucky that I had a chance to speak to him both before AND after the surgery.

I spoke with him Wednesday night in the middle of my CPR re-certification class, a surprise call!  As irony would have it, the reason he got to call me was because he aced his Lifesaver exam, how funny is that?  We got to speak for almost 15 minutes and catch up a bit.  I miss him so much, but it's wonderful to hear how well he's doing.

I also got to speak to him Saturday and let him know that everything when well and hear all about how he got a PT badge for excelling in the Physical Training exam.  Also about how he's completely ripped and I'm apparently really going to enjoy his muscled physique, haha.  Hearing that makes me feel like I need to work out more!

Being tender from surgery it was wonderful to have someone around to help take care of me, change my bandage, lift heavy things, keep me fed, and help remind me when to take pain meds.  The first day I was a little groggy from the anesthesia, so there was a lot of napping involved.

Saturday I felt even better, less sore, so I could go out and run some errands and even go out to dinner.  And we watched Frozen OnDemand on Saturday night and they loved it!  Love that movie...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week 10 - Day 2

My true colors of commitment are showing, I have been remiss in my blog keeping.  But really, it's for your benefit, I wouldn't want you to have to read anything boring.  Although life has actually been mildly entertaining recently...

This weekend was a lot of fun, I got to spent time with my Mom and help babysit my adorable niece.  Every time I babysit her it makes me more and more excited to start a family with my husband.  Of course, she is a VERY well behaved little baby so she makes it seem not so bad.  I love making her laugh and smile and reading to her.  It's so fulfilling.  My Mom and I always have a good time looking after her.  I can't believe she's almost 5 months old... crazy...

I received a bunch of letters from my husband last week, he's amazing and has actually found the time to write me almost daily.  Granted the letters are short and sweet but I'm so proud of the progress he's making.  He sang the National Anthem for his whole Platoon and will probably be the one singing it at his graduation.  No surprise there.  He also told me that in terms of PT or Physical Training, he ranks 5th in his whole platoon.  The guys still don't believe he's as old as he his, well, believe it boys!  I couldn't be more proud of him.  I can't wait to visit him and be let into his world and life there.

In terms of my own PT, I actually motivated myself to go to the gym, and kind of enjoyed it.  A little elliptical, a little arm strength training, it felt good, plus it validated spending the rest of the day doing nothing. Okay, well not nothing, I spent a good part of the day preparing for an audition I had yesterday.  I know, I actually kept my word and auditioned for something finally!

The audition went really well, I felt confident, comfortable, and in rewinding my performance I can't criticize a note.  Those behind the table seemed impressed, but those in the casting world have very good poker faces, so who knows.  Rehearsals for this particular show start April 15th so I may not hear anything for awhile.  Not that that has stopped me from obsessively checking my e-mail every 5 seconds.  Oh wait, I already do that.  Getting a role in this show would mean a major life change, as this is a professional theater and they rehearse 6 days a week all day.  Life change? Sign me up, I'm ready for an adventure!

In other news, I also had a doctor's appointment yesterday and I will be having minor outpatient surgery on Friday.  I don't want to get in to the details, suffice to say, this isn't a life threatening thing, it's fine.  This is something I've been putting off and now is the right time to get it done.  No biggie.

Also, I made Sherry Cake this weekend, a trial run for my grandmother's birthday in a few weeks.  It's a little more cooked than I wanted but it tastes delicious.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Week 9 - Day 2

Happy Fasnacht!  In Pennsylvania Dutch that means Mardis Gras and Fat Tuesday.  So I began my day by abandoning my health breakfast of Greek yogurt or egg whites and indulging in a little FAT:

One doughnut is acceptable, Two doughnuts are FAT
I know. You totally want one right now.  The one on the left is Boston Creme and the other one is your run of the mill chocolate glazed with sprinkles doughnut.  I'm considering giving up chocolate for Lent so today is the day to get in the good stuff before the fast.  The fast on Ash Wednesday makes a lot more sense if you really do pig out the day before.  Although all of my healthy impulses are screaming for me to eat a salad.

I didn't realize that "Fasnacht" was actually a Pennsylvania Dutch thing.  Although, we just called it Fat Tuesday in my house.  In Italian I guess it's Martedí Grasso?  We never called it that growing up.  Apparently the history of why people used to indulge in fattening food was because in olden days people needed to use up their milk, eggs, and butter since they couldn't eat that stuff during Lent.  No eggs during Lent?  That would be hard for me...

I read an article today about things to give up for Lent that aren't necessarily obvious vices but things to give up in the spirits of self improvement and penance.  Examples of things to give up are: stress, impatience, swearing, gossip, etc... to work towards being more Christ-like.  While I get a little uncomfortable citing Jesus as a role model... sorry it just feel disingenuous... some of my favorite parts of Catholicism do focus on being kind and merciful.  I could use a little more kindness in my ever-so-cynical life.

So while I'm still in favor of giving up an obvious vice, like sugar or alcohol (yes I gave that up one year, until I broke it, I was on vacation it was a dumb idea to begin with), I like the idea of giving up some of my personality vices, certainly stress makes sense, and swearing, and dishonesty.  I think those are honorable things to strive for all year, but like anything difficult, sometimes you need a kick start, something like Lent to help you get going.

Like Valentine's Day, do we need one day only to remind the people in our lives that we live them? No, but in our busy, crazy lives, sometimes we need a little push towards better life habits.

Now... on to eating my next doughnut...

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 9 - Day 1

One month from today my husband will be graduating from Basic Training!  I can't wait.  I got through February, and I was on my own for almost the whole month.  February actually went pretty quickly, which usually isn't the case.  I also bought my tickets for Family Day and Graduation, thank God for airline points otherwise I'd have been paying a pretty penny and had to deal with transfer flights.  Now I just need to find a hotel.

This weekend was a lot of fun.  Saturday was a family day to celebrate my Dad's birthday.  I got to see my brother and my adorable niece who is 4 months old.  It was so much fun to see her, she's at such a fun age.  My Dad cooked delicious chicken and we did the traditional birthday cake thing.  I got him Gravity on DVD which amazingly enough he hadn't already bought for himself.  We even got a chance to watch it on the big screen.

Sunday was meant to be a relaxing day, but unfortunately my evening was interrupted by yet another fire alarm for no reason... at 4am.  Ew.  I was so annoyed, the alarm is so loud, and obnoxious.  So far management hasn't told us what happened.  This is like the fourth or fifth time this has happened.  Nothing better than bonding with your neighbors at 4am in the freezing cold.  Needless to say, my sleep cycle was completely messed up and I slept in until noon.  Not what I wanted.

But, I managed to salvage part of the day and run my pre-storm errands.  Not that there was even any big storm.  But, I was well prepared with mini quiches and spanakopita.  You know, the essentials.  Of course mine were frozen not homemade.  I missed having my Mom in town for the Oscars, but thanks to social media I didn't feel like I was watching them completely alone.

Oscar food and drink
All in all, I thought they were really well done.  I don't remember them being as long as they were this year.  I actually watched them live, and they finished just a little bit after midnight.  Ellen did really well, although I agree with some of the reviewers that she played it a little safe.  Still, she was funny and charming.

I wish I had enough crazy movie friends to through an Oscar bash.  It would be exceedingly epic.  Complete with movie-themed cocktails and trendy finger-foods.

A little March madness theme for my office to leave you with, let's get rid of those snowmen already!