I didn't sleep at all last night. I ended up finishing "Fallen Skies" by Phillipa Gregory and two crossword puzzles and was wide awake when Matt came home at 4am. He worked on some of the crossword with me and then managed to pass out at 5am. I finally drifted off around 6am and tossed and turned until about 2pm then got up and showered and made myself some lunch:

Chicken caprese quesadilla, carrots with spinach and artichoke dip, grapes and water. It was pretty yummy. I finally managed to clean the living room today so now the apartment is as clean as it can get for now. We watched the Winter Classic tonight-this year it was held in Pittsburgh, in Heinz Field. It looked pretty awesome and I can't wait to see Sarah's pictures.

I'm still not feeling tired, but I'm going to head to
I had planned to post this at midnight, but phone calls with great friends delayed me, which is totally worth it. First, the annual New Year's survey:
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
got married, sat on the committee for a conference, paid down a lot of debt, advised a Women's Center, booked a speaker by connecting on Twitter, ran a large-scale donation program, tried new vegetables, worked a full time job and a part time job at the same time, ran two(!) 5Ks, started p90x

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for this year?
I started out with 100 Days of Fitness last year, but I'll get into this year's resolutions down below.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Oh so many! Marie had Owen, Corrie had John-John, Marci had Eliot, Kelly had Noah and a bunch of acquaintances had bundles of joy as well! 2010 was the Year of the Baby!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Along with birth comes death....this year we lost Lloyd in July and my wonderful Aunt Diane in November.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just the USA

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Haha...less weight would be nice....but there is nothing else that is standing out to me.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched on your memory and why?
May 17-23-Spring Give 'n Go Program
July 10-Bridal Shower in NEPA
September 12-Bridal Shower in Altoona
October 4-Dr. Lissa Rankin came to speak at Conn
October 23-Wedding!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I have a couple-performing in the amazing Vag Mons performances here, Spring Give 'n Go, and our beautiful wedding

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing 100 Days of Fitness and steadily gaining weight

10. What was the best thing you bought?
The bridal party gifts for the wedding-we picked each of them specifically for that person and I think they really liked them.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Matt, Amy, our family and friends who supported us in October, my mother

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
some of my students

13. Where did most of your money go?
Wedding and traveling

14. What did you get really, really excited about?
V-Week and Vag Mons, both of my showers, Ask the Girlfriend Gyno, the 5Ks and of course, the wedding

15. What song will always remind you of 2010?
"Better Together" by Jack Johnson-our wedding song

16. Compared to this time last year are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter
iii. richer or poorer? richer

17. What do you wish you'd done more of?
dieting and picture taking

18. What do you wish you'd done less of?
worrying about the little things

19. How will you be spending Christmas?
With the family

20. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Already was and remained the same-unless you count the babies in my life, then yes, more love right there!

21. How many one night stands?

22. What was your favorite tv program?
Grey's and GLEE!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate at this time last year?
Not really

24. What was the best book you read?
This question is always so hard because I read so much-The Birth House is sticking out in my head right now because I just finished it. I loved The Red Queen and The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Didn't really have one.

26. What did you want and get?
A beautiful wedding surrounded by our friends and family

27. What did you want and not get?
Matt getting a job that did not involve over nights.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I haven't even seen Harry Potter yet, so I don't think I can answer this question.

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 28. Matt and I went to the farmer's market in Old Saybrook in the morning, had lunch and amazing ice cream, then came home and Matt went to sleep and I moped, then went shopping with Hez the next day.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Losing weight like I had promised myself I would.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Business casual with athletic

32. What kept you sane?
Matt, Amy, Marie, Sarah, Chris, Sarah, Meg and Kate

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
None really

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Health care reform, the war

35. Who do you miss?
A lot of people

36. Who was the best new person you met?
My new HFs and FGs and the people I met through NEACUHO

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
You create your own change. Own it and make it.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Love is the answer at least for most of the questions in my heart, like
Why are we here? And where do we go? And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing, it's so much better when we're together

Now for resolutions:
1. Get my body baby-ready:
  • That means improving my nutrition (more fruit and vegetables, less processed crap going into my system).
  • Working with my chiropractor to work out my hip problems. I'd like to be able to work through my pregnancy, which means I still need to be able to walk. With my hips and back the way they are now, I would be having trouble walking near the end.
  • Continuing to exercise. I'd like to get back to running eventually, but I'll settle for walking until my hips are more healed.
  • Taking care of health problems when they come up instead of pushing through them. *knocks on wood* I haven't had a cold or flu yet this winter and I'm hoping I can make it through the rest of the season without one.
2. Continue my professional development:
  • I love the work I'm doing with NEACUHO and want to continue it for as long as I'm in the region. That means attending things like the Women's Retreat next Friday and the Annual Conference in June.
  • Continue to work on projects like V-Week and Spring Give 'n Go to give depth to my resume.
  • Begin to look into mid-level positions and what experiences I need to move into them. 
3. Sustain and improve relationships with friends and family. This one's easy-call more, travel more.

4. Save more money. Matt and I put a big dent in our debt after the wedding and we'd like to get it down to just my car loan and student loan debt by the end of this year as well as put money into our emergency fund and family fund.

Now for the fun stuff (w/ pictures!). I wanted to make something special for Matt for dinner tonight since it was New Year's Eve and decided to do a meal of appetizers. Here's the spread:

Spinach and Artichoke Dip (WW recipe), Mama Bunn's Cheese Ball, Bruschetta, Crab Dip and Champagne. There's about 2 1/2 packages of cream cheese on that table. We definitely ate until we were stuffed, but it was super good. Here's a picture of my hubby toasting to the New Year:
We then ate some brownies with cookie batter on top and collapsed onto the couch. Matt napped while I watched 30 Rock and read the Kindle in it's awesome new case. Check it out:

Looks like a normal journal or book, right?
Opens to reveal our Kindle and a Bunn bookplate!
So Matt went off to work and I called Meg to catch up. We exchanged stories and at about 11:58, Matt called! So I was able to at least be on the phone with him for the New Year. I think I'm finally finished writing, so I'm signing off to get some sleep. Matt and I are planning on taking a hike tomorrow as our New Year's Day tradition continues. Hopefully this time I won't fall on the ice and bruise my butt!
Matt got me Wii Active 2 for Christmas and I decided to try it out yesterday. I had been wanting Wii Active for awhile but was super excited to see their second version come out because it involves a heart rate monitor. I strapped on the right leg motion monitor and the left arm heart rate monitor and set up my fitness profile. There's a bunch of different programs you can choose from and I chose to do the 20 day Cardio Kick Start. I put in medium intensity and it gave me a 20 minute work out that was fairly easy for me. I definitely broke a sweat, but it was no p90x. Tonight I did one of the trainer generated workouts and that one has me feeling pretty sore and I was pretty sweaty at the end. I'll definitely keep it up and see how far it takes me.

Today I cleaned the hell out of our bedroom. There were scary dustballs in that room, but they are now gone! I also went through my closet and filled two black garbage bags with jeans, shirts, sweaters, suits and dresses. There will be some very happy people at the Salvation Army. I also went through Matt's closet and took out shirts that I haven't seen him wear in the 4 years that we've been dating. He had very few protests, surprisingly. Because his bucket boss tool holder thing arrived today, I made him go through the hall closet to consolidate all his tools and get rid of the crap in there. I'm pretty sure it was the catch-all closet when we moved in. Tomorrow I'm tackling the office and finishing up the living room. Hopefully we can keep it this clean for awhile.

The chiro appointment today went well. No new eating rules, but she wants me to start walking one mile/three times a week. This should not be a problem for me. The loop is more than a mile, so I'll just walk the loop three times a week....or head to the treadmill if it's too cold.

I struggled with my eating today. I didn't take 20 minutes to eat breakfast (although I did eat, just too fast) and didn't eat again until almost 6pm. I measured out my pasta and shrimp and edamame, but I was starving 2 hours later so Matt and I made air popped popcorn and I just binged on cookies. I know I should have control and be able to say no to food like that, especially since I just made homemade hummus and cut up carrots. I can't let this be a set back; I just have to remember that tomorrow is a new day and I need to work off the extra calories.



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Do you have a city? Even if you grew up in backwoods nowhere, a city that you feel comfortable in no matter what? Growing up in Wayne County, I was 2 hours away from both NYC and Philadelphia. We didn't go to either city very often (Dad hates Philadelphia with a burning passion) and I only went to NYC for school trips while in high school. I love both cities...my best friend lives in NYC and I have tons of friends in Philly. But Pittsburgh....Pittsburgh is my home.

I only lived in WashPA for two years, but being 30 minutes from a major city was life changing. I loved going to the Strip District on Saturday's, exploring the Carnegie museums, having easy access to three major universities (Pitt, CMU and Duquesne) and going out on Carson Street. Primanti Brothers, the original Quaker State wings, and good beer. And of course, the best part, my beautiful niece and nephew live just outside the city. One day we'll get back there.

Today was wonderful and lazy. Woke up late, made pancakes for breakfast, cleaned up a bit (aka actually unpacked the suitcase), sat around for an hour trying to decide what to make for dinner and headed to the chiro.

Speaking of chiro, we talked about the nutritional plan. I apparently eat a ridiculous amount of carbs. Like 300 grams when I should be eating less than 100 to get back to a healthy weight. What can I say, I love bread! So here's the plan:

1800-2220 Calories/day
Less than 58 grams of fat/day
Less than 19 grams of saturated fat/day
Less than 100 grams of carbs/day
45-65 grams of protein/day
Less than 300mg of Cholesterol per day

We're starting slow....I have this plan and I know the numbers I need, so we're going to implement change a little bit at a time. Today's change: Eat a piece of fruit before each meal, at least one serving of vegetables a day, and take 20 minutes to eat. Did you know it takes 20 minutes for your body to figure out that you've eaten and to send signals to your brain that you're full? I don't think I know what full feels like unless I'm overly stuffed. I imagine I'll figure it out soon enough.

For dinner we made a roast beef, Chipolte Smashed Sweet Potatoes, a baked potato for me and green beans with garlic and almonds. I also popped a bottle of Clyde's Spiced Apple Wine, which was incredibly delicious. Definitely a reason to go back when they re-open in May. (As if the cider donuts were not enough!)

The plan for tomorrow is laundry, taking down Christmas decorations and deep cleaning my kitchen. As in pulling everything out of the cupboards and cleaning. It will be gross, but so worth it.

I think that's all for the night. I'm off to read more on the Kindle (the thing is addictive!) and head to bed.

Matt and I are finally back home in CT after two days in NEPA.

We headed out on Friday morning and arrived in time to help mom prepare the toppings for our Christmas Eve tradition of pizza, then get dressed and be off to 4pm Mass. The priest was highly enthusiastic and the church was packed. We really need to work on getting to Mass up here more often. It's such a calming experience...more the tradition and ritual then anything else. Anyway, then we ran to Walmart to pick up some meds for me and went home again to take ridiculous amounts of pictures in front of the fireplace (pictures to follow eventually) and then opened pajamas. Big tradition in our family that will probably continue when we have kids too. Mom has bought matching Christmas pajamas for us every year for as long as I remember. In the past years she has gone with less matching and more similar which has been good for not making Megan and I fight over what we're wearing. Lots of pizza and alcohol was consumed and then we played an epic game of Apples to Apples that Sean's fiance won.

Christmas Day was pretty awesome. Our favorite gift:

Yay for the Kindle! I've already finished one book and 3 crossword puzzles. I also got an awesome Keen tote that I can't wait to use for work/hauling workout clothes. There was also some cookbooks, new workout clothes, a new coat, a dremel tool set and Matt got me Wii Active 2!  Santa was very good to us this year. Aunt Eileen, Uncle Bryan and Mike came for dinner and Mom made the biggest prime rib I have ever seen....it was delicious even though I could only eat half of it. I'm very sad we forgot leftovers.

This morning we got up early so we could go to breakfast with Corrie and Tyler and Baby John. It was soooo good to see them. We saw them at the wedding, but didn't really get a chance to talk, so it was nice to spend some quality time with them and meet Baby John who was a complete doll. Smiling and happy and awake the whole time. Ugh....cute babies are not good for my baby fever!

The drive back to CT was interesting in that the more we got into CT, the worse the roads got. We didn't actually see a plow until we got back to campus and luckily, the Physical Plant folks were plowing our hill, which is good, since they definitely hadn't hit campus yet. I'm on call for the next few days, which seems to be a pattern for large snow storms on campus. Lucikly, very few students to worry about. The blizzard like winds on the other hand, not so cool. The large trees surrounding our house are way too close to my car if they fall down.

So the next week will consist of some deep cleaning of the apartment, making lots of food to put in the freezer (pizza dough, bread dough, pasta, wedding soup), and bringing boxes of stuff to the Salvation Army. Also lots of reading, napping and working out. I'm sure I'll be bored by Wednesday, but I still love having this week off!
I'm so glad you're here! Closing went incredibly smoothly yesterday and we were all out and on our way home by 5:15pm. My staff was on top of everything they needed to do and communicated really well. It was pretty fabulous. I ended up coming home, eating a bag of popcorn and then passing out by about 10pm. Even through everything went smoothly, it was still exhausting.

Today was pretty relaxing. I did some Wii Fit this morning, gave Matt one of his Christmas presents (a new GPS), because he scored a part-time job doing tutoring work in New London, and then headed to the chiropractor. The new chiro is the best I've been to since I left WashPa and Webb and Associates. Right now she's working on getting the muscles in back to actually loosen and is giving me strengthening exercises to work on my core and lower back. If I want to get pregnant eventually, I need to get my hip problems under control or I'll be in a  lot of pain. Anyway, she's been great and she is also a nutritionist. I dropped off my food diary from the past 2 and a half days with her today, which she'll run through her program and then give me a nutritional analysis from. Then she'll help me a design a diet that works for me. Hopefully it will help!

We finished up some Christmas shopping today, then went to Copperwood Grill, a new restaurant in New London to have a late lunch. I had the fish chips which was delicious, but humongous. I only ended up eating a quarter of it and still took half of it home after Matt nibbled on it. We've only been there twice, but I love the ambience of the restaurant and would love to go for happy hour a couple of times. I made two batches of fudge when we got home and now I'm exhausted and debating whether I should go to bed or try to power through so I'm not wide awake at 4am.

We're heading to NEPA tomorrow to spend Christmas with my parents, then we're back on the 26th to just enjoy the quiet time and relax. Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Day 1



"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"

"No day but today"

"One day at a time"

My RSS feed has been inspiring lately. People like Skinny Emmie and Ben Does Life have been talking about their amazing weight loss journeys. Bibliofeminista is a former Conn student that I wish I had gotten to know while she was still here. And A Practical Wedding is still blowing my mind and bringing me to tears two months (!) after my wedding.

So here I am, ready to start on a blog journey. I haven't set out to write about one thing in particular. I'm sure I'll talk about my journey back to health, my work as a student affairs professional, and feminism, but I don't want to put a label on this. At the beginning of the new year, I always say I'm going to do something. Last year it was 100 Days of Fitness and I only made it to day 20. I'm always starting a new diet or a new workout routine and never following through. So this year, I'm blogging. I am going into my calendar today and blocking off 15 minutes each day to write a blog entry. So that next December 22, I will have 365 (give or take a few for vacation and lack of computer) entries of my life.

I was a big diary writer when I was younger. I started in 5th grade and wrote almost daily until I was a junior in high school. I still journal occasionally and will probably continue to keep my paper and pencil journal as a place for my private thoughts, but in the meantime, this blog will be an opportunity to explore some of those interests.

Right now, I'm eternally grateful to my co-worker for ordering an extra coffee and bringing it back to the office because the heat in here is intense and it's making me sleepier than usual.