Saturday, May 31, 2008

Losing a "Kate"

I couldn't decide which pic to use since they are both so dang cute. So you get two. :) It works since there were two "Kates" to lose.
Kate loves to climb up on my stationary bike (conveniently located between the dishwasher and cupboards). It was a little strange for me when I looked over and saw her sitting there because I realized I still have to lose an entire "Kate" from my body. She weighs about 25 lbs...I still have about 35 to go. When I started I had TWO entire "Kates" to lose. Weird, huh? Makes me feel REALLY big when I think of two Kates strapped to my body.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mint brownies were the culprit this week--oh yeah...and the cake.

Sorry to put a picture of yummy brownies on here two weeks in a row, but now you understand how hard it was for me! :)

I started out this week (last Fri and Sat) working out tons and eating well...then Memorial Day hit. There were two days of family gatherings, which meant eating too much and skipping workouts both days. I had some cake one night, and mint brownies (yum!) the next. I have this weird thing about mint chocolate. The mint always makes me feel like it's not as fattening because it doesn't taste as heavy. 'Sigh.'

I was planning a break out week (3+ pounds lost), but that didn't happen! I kicked it into gear towards the end of the week and so I still managed to lose 2 lbs. No more brownies for me, man. Next week is my week! I have to pull some big numbers or I don't have a chance of competing in this thing.

UPDATE: Well, I'm not sure how excited I should be by this week's results because I guess 10-12 people didn't weigh in or there might have been email issues. I don't know if they dropped or what. of right now I came in ranked at #4 for the week, and #7 overall. I'm happy about that unless there are 10-12 people that lost more weight than I did, and I just don't know it yet. But for now that's pretty good news!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hogle Zoo

Kate's loves to wedge herself in small places.

Yesterday, Kate and I made the trek up to Hogle Zoo in SLC. I've been wanting to take her there for a long time, but it hasn't worked out. And yesterday I was dropping off Andrew's film to be developed (in SLC), and had to wait there all day for it to get done, so I figured it was the perfect time to go to the zoo! I have to admit to being a zoo snob, though. I grew up in Omaha--with the world famous Henry Doorly Zoo. It has an entire indoor rain forest!

Kate wasn't as excited by all the animals as I thought she would be. She would point at them and occasionally make their sound, but otherwise she was more fascinated by the zoo playground and other children. I guess we could have just gone to the park!

Anyway, I thought the Hogle Zoo was OK, but all the buildings and animals were right next to each other. It did not take very long to go through the whole zoo! It was about 1:30pm when we finished up, and I'm thinking, "Oh no...what now?" I had to kill several more hours until five when I could pick up the film. I ended up driving around a lot, sleeping with Kate in an IKEA parking lot, and eventually went to my sister's in Riverton for a little while. On the way back to SLC we hit the big 200,000 mile marker! It wasn't very smart to try to take a picture of it on the highway, but I did it anyway. I knew Andrew wouldn't want to miss it. :)

Side note: It was totally worth it to spend all day in Salt Lake. The pictures Andrew got back were great! Some of his very best yet. Sadly, we will likely have to wait for him to graduate before we can afford to get more slides scanned. So it may be a long time before his blog is updated (with large format pics, anyway).

Monday, May 26, 2008

This is my first time playing along with "My Favorite Monday." Today's is about our favorite drink.

I am very boring here. I like WATER. That's really about it. About every five years I'll have a sip of pop (or soda for people who don't know what "pop" is), and when I feel my insides burning and fizzing, I commit to never drinking pop again. I don't think I've gotten through an entire can since I was a kid. I'm not a fan of milk, but will have it with certain desserts. I do like juice sometimes, but mostly I just love my agua. What about you?

Sunday Highlights

Well, who can get enough of old men swearing from the pulpit in sacrament meeting? The speaker yesterday was "colorful" to say the least. He used at least 3-4 profanities, one of which took the Lord's name in vain. I felt like I was cringing during the entire "talk." I kept thinking, "Red light! Red Light!!" I don't know if this particular pulpit is equipped with the red light function, though--the one that signals speakers to stop. At one point in his life he was paralyzed from the neck down (this led to an interesting near-death-seeing-the-light experience), and he said how he knew how John the Baptist felt when he was decapitated. He topped off the interesting talk by making fun of the ward's oldest member (96), by saying that she remembered swimming in Lake Bonneville (you know, the lake that covered Utah thousands/millions of years ago). All in all, though, very entertaining! :)

After church, we went up to Andrew's grandparents' cabin by Sundance for dinner. Andrew was able to take some pictures of the river (with his 5x7) next to the cabin. The above picture is just from our digital and isn't the composition he took. He doesn't really like this version, but I like it, and I got him to let me put it on here. We also read a review of this year's Springville Art Salon. The director of the SMA said that the "photography is by far and away the best it's ever been." We were excited to hear that!

Kate later slipped and SMASHED the side of her face against a table. That wasn't really a highlight--she's got a huge puffy bruise on her cheek. But overall, we all had a fun day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ahh...MUCH Better

Well, we went back to West Mountain (near Spanish Fork) for Andrew to try to get some pictures without wind. It was completely gorgeous this time! I'm so glad we went back. It was a little cold, but no wind--thank goodness. We all had a wonderful time, and I think Andrew may have gotten some great shots. He plans to go back a lot more--so many possibilities! We went up even higher this time--on a very rocky dirt road. I thought for sure our tire popped like five times, but we were OK! Who needs a truck when you got an '87 Chevy Nova?

Check out the slideshow above for the pictures I took while Andrew was shooting.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Weigh-In: Phew--It Could Have Been Worse

Well, I didn't quite reach my goal this week of losing 2.5 pounds, but I did lose 2! I am happy with that since I missed two workout days and had brownies and ice cream when my mom was in town... Next week I will be back to hardcoreness and get that last 1/2 pound. :) Ranking update later for those interested.

UPDATE: I came in ranked at 11 for the week, but have moved up to 12 overall (from 21 last week)!! And congratulations to my aunt LaRene for coming in at number 1 this week!! That's awesome! She's the only other one in the contest that I know.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Waiting for the a windstorm.

Trying to take her mind off the wind. She actually has tons of fun outside--even if it is in a windstorm. She did like it less, though, as the storm progressed.
Andrew was really excited to go do some photography today because the weather was forecasting cloudy skies (and that is the best time for great lighting situations). He invited me and Kate to come along, so we all piled in and drove up a mountain in Spanish Fork. We soon realized that the clouds were not all that Andrew had hoped for. There was so much wind, that the sky was too hazy to see much of anything. When we first got there, we could sort of see Utah Lake and the surrounding mountains. Within a couple of hours, we couldn't see anything.

One of Andrew's favorite photographers (Michael Fatali), has field notes for each of his photos that says how long he "waited for the light." Some of them say he waited for like 15 days. We think it's hilarious--because this guy is so dramatic. It gives this image of him huddled in one spot staring at the clouds for 15 days waiting for the right second to snap the picture, when he was probably watching the weather channel from home. Anyway, Andrew has learned, though, that it's important to not give up on a location/shot--and WAIT for it. Almost as soon as we arrived tonight, I was a bit pessimistic, saying, "Are we really going to wait for the light in this?" He was hoping that the clouds would break (and maybe they did--but we couldn't even see the clouds behind the dust). Finally, he could see the hopelessness of the situation and we packed it in. Poor Kate got blown over more than once!

I have dirt all over me, and am feeling pretty nasty--my hair looks like a bird's nest. Time to hop in the shower!

Sweatin' It Out

Kate had lots of fun playing with Grandma Marge and Cousin Cambria (3 years old), and of course, the cat. Unfortunately, the AC broke along with the water heater the day my sister and her husband left. So when we went to sleep it was about 87 degrees!! My mom and I had a rough time sleeping. I didn't fall asleep until 3am! I ended up going home earlier than I had planned because I was dead tired and stinky. My poor mom had to stay and sweat it out. A guy was supposed to fix it later today--I hope he did!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday Fun with Grandma Marge

Petting the cat with her cousin, Kimber. You know it's fun when you can see Kate's back molars!

My mom is in town! She's watching my sister's kids while my sister and her husband are out of town for a few days. My mom hasn't seen Kate since last summer--almost a year. It was great to get them together again. Kate took to her pretty quickly! She doesn't lay her head down on just anyone! Kate even gave her a little pat--you can't ask for more!

Andrew and I are going up tonight, and I'm going to stay the night and all day tomorrow. So fun!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Finally! Double Digits!!

See below for update.

Last week I was bummed because I was just 1/2 pound away from the big 10. This week I'm up to 12 (for overall weight loss--not in the BL contest), and that feels pretty good! Still got a LONG ways to go...but it's really been fun working at something so hard and seeing results. Even if I'm not dropping 12 pounds in a week like some of the guys on the Biggest Loser show, I'm feeling great about what I've been losing. There's something really comforting about losing weight--like now I know it's possible (and totally doable) for me. That's just a good feeling!

P.S. Last week I was ranked #34 among the 54 women competing in the Biggest Loser contest--yikes! This week I'm really hoping I moved up on that list! I'll let ya know--I find out later today.

UPDATE: I went from #34 last week to #21 overall (this is out of 54, remember). For the week, though, I came in at #9!! I'm movin' up, baby! I lost the exact same amount of weight both weeks. Weird. Hopefully it will be slow and steady wins the race!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Please DO NOT Eat!! (Even in a famine--it's really probably not a good idea.)

When I went crazy with buying for food storage a couple months ago, I made a very grave mistake. The mistake is called La Choy. I bought a TON of these things. I had never had them before, but thought, "Hey, that looks pretty good and it's cheap. Sure it's meat in a can, but it couldn't be that bad." And I figured if we were starving, it would be good to have meat and veggies all in one easy meal--right? Well, they expire next year, so I thought I should pop one open and give it a whirl. I can't remember the exact flavor I had that night--maybe beef terikyaki? It really just tasted like salt and slime. Anyway, I had about two bites and could not eat more. I really tried hard, but I mostly just ate the rice that I had made to go with it. Andrew was gone at school, so he never got to experience it. I was really proud of myself for not puking.

I mean, I've eaten A LOT of crap (in Hong Kong), but this seriously rivaled chicken feet and cow tongue. DO NOT BUY. And if anyone out there likes this product, let me know. I will be duly shocked.

I had about 7-8 cans left, though...(what was I thinking stockpiling a product I'd never tried?) but thank goodness for Walmart. They gave me store credit for food--so I was able to get some real food.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Best Husband Ever

Andrew got me The Office--Season Two on dvd for Mother's Day. He asked me what I wanted, and I couldn't think of anything. I just wanted something. Then when I opened his gift (on Saturday night, of course--he can never wait for the actual day), I realized that that is exactly what I had wanted! I was about half way through season two, thanks to TBS. So I didn't have too many more to watch. I've already watched them all! I love this show, and the season finale was so great! I'm dying to see season three now! Argh. I've already seen season four.
Anyway, good job, Gungy (that's Andrew).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bet you didn't know yesterday was David Archuleta Day...

I actually didn't either until my sister called in the morning and asked if I wanted to go with her and her family to the celebration at Murray High. I didn't have anything planned, so Kate and I went up. I had to wake Kate up after only 20 minutes of a nap which made for a cranky little girl. We got there pretty early, and so Kate and I spent most of the time wandering around on the football field waiting for the festivities to begin. There were TONS of people there, young and old--but with a definite majority of teen girls. David Archuleta finally arrived and drove around the football field (a mini parade--the governor and mayor were there). I was SO close--oh my gosh!! ;) Kate didn't get all the fuss and wasn't thrilled with having to stand still when we went back to the bleachers. The governor announced that May 9th was David Archuleta Day and he was given a bunch of other things. Finally, he got to sing! He only sang three short songs (that he's sung on the show), but people started leaving during his first song. I couldn't believe it--why wait there for HOURS to see Archuleta, only to bail as soon as David actually starts singing? Strange. I felt bad for the kid--to see swarms of people leaving as he was singing. Anyway, he sounded great. It was a long time to wait, especially cause I'm not a crazed obsessed teeny bopper anymore. I mean, there was a day when I would drive for hours to get to a faraway small town in Nebraska to try to reach Patrick (Swayze), but those days are behind me.

Honestly, I do hope Archuleta wins American Idol, but I like David Cook's music style better. I just think Cook will be successful no matter what. Archie probably will, too--but he seems like a sweet kid--hope he wins.

I took some pics and video of the event, but for some reason can't get images off my camera at the moment. Argh.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Here Goes Nothin'... (and hopefully a lot of somethin')

For those of you I haven't told yet, I am participating in a 12 week long Biggest Loser competition. It just started this week! I am very excited. There are 54 women competing for $1350 and the title of the Biggest Loser. Each entry has to pay $25 (that's where the $1350 comes from). It's all online--I've never met any of my competitors. We work out and diet or whatever on our own, then weigh in every Friday and email our results to the host. This is the biggest round yet, I guess. It is a lot of competition, but I am going to work my hardest! My cousin, Emily, was the Biggest Loser in the last go around. She dropped 35 pounds in 16 weeks. I am hoping it runs in the family! :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What a wonderful world!

Sorry, I know there are a lot of pics here, but I'm feeling too lazy to put them into a slide show. Yesterday, we drove to Bridal Veil Falls (just a couple miles up the canyon). I've really been realizing how beautiful Provo is lately. Majestic mountains, a lake, a river, and gorgeous trees (especially right now--wow!). What more could we ask for? I realized there are a lot of great places to take Kate now that she is old enough to enjoy and understand it. She loved playing in the water at the base of the waterfall. The water was freezing, but she loved it. We were there for a while and then went on a short walk through the trees. She screamed when we got back to the car. She's really getting a taste for the outdoors, I think. It's great!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lower Calf Creek Falls Hike

I love this picture!

This picture of Crystal is a good one to show how huge the falls were. Beautiful.

This is Andrew's new portrait picture for his blog. :)

Long day!

These pics are from the last hike we took. It was 5 miles round trip. When I initially thought about going 2.5 miles with Kate to get to the waterfall, it didn't sound too bad. She'd already done great on 1 mile hikes. I thought she'd probably go for a while on her own, then I could carry her. No sweat. Andrew's mom, Ellen, offered to watch her while we went on the hike, but I wanted us all to be able to go. Looking back, though, I probably should have taken her offer. She tried to warn us.

The hike was much steeper in places and harder than the other hikes we had previously gone on with Kate. She started out tired because she hadn't napped yet, and within the first mile she had a GIGANTIC poopy diaper (which we did change and pack around with us--yuck). Anyway, luckily there were four of us to take turns carrying her--but it was still hard. She's a heavy baby! The sun was beating down on us, and of course Kate refuses to wear hats. We slathered her with sun screen, but her face was bright red from the heat--it was awful. She was miserable. A French guy even stopped us and said, "I'm sorry. I am French, but I have to say that it is not good for her to be out here. The sun is very hot." I already felt bad for dragging Kate along. Thanks, Frenchman.

We finally got there, though--and it was GORGEOUS. Way better than I had expected. Kate and I were sitting on a blanket while Andrew took a picture. Then came along a HUGE black crow. It came right up to us, so I took Kate and ran. I hate crows--freaky. When I came back, a card game and Kate's diaper wipes were gone! I looked everywhere--and nothing! The crow made off with them! Scary, huh?! I can just see the crow laughing it up with his crow buddies while sitting back playing our card game. Jerks.

Anyway, Andrew got a great shot there and Kate fell asleep on the hike back (not that that made it easier on us--but it was better for her). Of course, it was just after this long hike ordeal that our car broke down! That was a long day, but the hike was definitely worth it. And for the record, Kate didn't get burned on that hike.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Family Hike

Andrew's sister, Crystal.
This was Kate's first small hike--she loved every minute. It was fun. We took her on another small hike, and one really long one. The long one was rough. Pics later.

Kate's First Smore...Mmmm.

Roughin' It With Kate

When we first got to the camp site, Kate was running in circles smacking her head. She was so excited! Once we got the tent set up, and were in the tent for a while, and it became clear that we were going to actually sleep there--she wasn't as thrilled. The weather was much colder than we expected temps in Southern Utah at the end of April to be. It never got above 25 degrees at night. Freezing!! We put Kate in thermals, two pairs of feet pajamas, and a BYU sweatshirt to try to keep her warm. Then we tucked her in a sleeping back piled with blankets. Both Andrew and I woke throughout the night because we were so worried about her staying warm. She refused to put her hands under the covers, so they were always ice cold. Poor thing! She woke a few times in the middle of the night because she was so cold. She would scream her head off for a long time before getting tired enough to get back under the covers to get warm. It was stressful sleeping. She did wake up in a really good mood every morning, though. Since we've been back, she's been sleeping 12+ hours at night and taking long 3+ hour naps. She's in recovery.

The first night we were there, Andrew and I both woke up at 2 AM to coyotes howling. They sounded really close--like they were just in the next camp site over. It freaked both of us out, and I didn't sleep very well after that. Andrew's mom heard them every night she was there. Scary.