Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Sleeping Well.....

I slept about an hour last night. ONE HOUR. I've tried over the counter stuff, changing habits, etc...nothing is helping much. I go see my PCP for a shot of B-12 on Wednesday, and I'm going to ask about getting on some sleep meds. Something has to give!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

8 New Reasons....


I finished hemming up eight pairs of pants. I don't want to have to do that soon in any form or fashion!!!

The flight home was uneventful. My suitcase came in 1.5 pounds below the maximum weight.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I learned how to hem this evening. I brought down EIGHT pairs of pants that needed to be hemmed. I have always used wearing taller shoes as a way to hem my pants naturally, or had my mom hem them. I knew I had to learn. The first pair took FOREVER, but the second and third pairs moved more quickly. I stopped after three tonight. Tomorrow I will tackle them in the morning and the afternoon. I rationalized that it wouldn't be "that" bad, if I didn't have eight pairs to do. If I hemmed pants as I buy them one at a time, I can certainly manage. I did tell HH that in the future if he ever comes home from work to a bologna sandwich and asks what I did all day, to which I reply, "I hemmed pants." He better reply, "Great work honey." :)

I can't believe our holiday is almost over!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Food Post....As If This Should Surprise You Guys

Favorite Foods to Crunch:
I love chips, but I'd have to say tortilla chips and queso (not spicy queso though).

Favorite Comfort Foods:
All things CHEESECAKE!!!

Favorite Picnic Lunches:
I've not had many picnic lunches in my lifetime. I usually just stop by a deli and pick things up to take. I do love a good potato salad and juicy coleslaw.

Best Food Smell Memory:
Fresh Krispy Kreme Donuts

Best Summer Snack:
The many different varieties of GRAETER'S Ice Cream! I have had a love affair with their ice cream since starting college! I'm not worried about where we move too.....they ship anywhere in the US!!!

Favorite Winter Snack:

Most Likely to Eat for Lunch:
Leftovers from last night's dinner, beanie weenies, or California Pizza Kitchen individual pizza.

Food that makes me gag:
I don't have a particular food, but many food smells if they are too strong make me ill. McDonalds and Taco Bell especially (my husband can attest to this).

Soup or Salad:
Soup anyday over salad! I am really getting into making different types of soups.

Favorite Breakfast Foods:
Fried Eggs (Fried hard, brownish color)

Favorite Type of Chocolate:
Sugar Free Mint Dark Chocolates by Dove

Favorite Beverages:
Diet Sunkist, Diet Mountain Dew, Starbucks

Smooth or Crunchy Peanut Butter:
Mainly smooth

Foods I Hated as a child, but love now:
yogurt, granola, various types of cheeses, and many others....I wasn't really exposed to a wide variety of foods growing up, so a lot of things have been new experiences for me the past few years.

Weirdest Food Habits:
I don't drink when I eat my food, it upsets my stomach.

Here are a few pictures from The Grove Park Inn's National Gingerbread House Competition. I made a special request that we go view them, and my MIL happily said yes! I overheard a judge talking about how everything must be edible that is used, and they actually will "spot drill" into random places on the gingerbread houses to make sure the rules are being followed.

An entire tree made out of gingerbread ornaments....adorable. (The couple in the picture isn't bad either!!! HAHA!) We had a delicious lunch at Grove Park Inn, where I had a crabcake sandwich. I love authentic crabcakes.

Ben and I hamming it up for the camera!

"There's a little bit of fruitcake left in every one of us." - Jimmy Buffett

This is the outfit that I bought to wear to Ben's graduation. I was too lazy to put it on to take a picture, but you will see me rocking this outfit on December 11th. :) I am thinking of getting a pair of boots to go with it.

I made Baked Manicotti with Prosciutto for dinner tonight. I loved Amanda's recipe, but I had to substitute the prosciutto for pancetta. We couldn't find any prosciutto. It was a great substitution. The only change I would add to this recipe is that it took longer than 30 seconds to get the noodles pliable enough to roll up like manicotti. I will however be using this shortcut in the future as stuffing manicotti takes a long time.

This is a self-portrait with the apron string tied around my waist, then tied back again in the front. This is a huge deal to me, because in high school working at a pizza place, I could barely get my apron tied around me. I worked with several other thin people who were able to double wrap their apron strings, and I really wanted to be able to do this. NOW I CAN! What a great victory!



Really enjoying my Thanksgiving break. It has been awesome! :) I will be posting pictures this evening of....The Gingerbread House National Competition, Ben and I being silly, the awesome dinner I am making, and the new outfit I bought to wear to Ben's graduation.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crab Lo Mein: Tiffany Makes Chinese...

I love all things Vera getting this cute apron was just up my alley.

My first crack at making Chinese food wasn't bad. I don't know how often I will cook it because the salt in the food really makes me feel bloated, and I don't like that.
I've postponed writing the email for an entire day. It must be done tonight. The e-mail is to my principal about switching from full blown National Boards to the Take One! Entry. I hate when I have to do something big like this. It needs to be done though.

What's Cooking?

I'm either making Baked Manicotti with Prosciutto or Crab Lo Mein today.

We are going to look at upholstery fabrics to cover a sofa and chair that Ben's family is giving to us. If we don't like anything there, we will look tomorrow in Asheville at The Biltmore Villiage. Tomorrow we are going to see the Gingerbread House Competition. I will have photos from that. It was one of my favorite parts of last year.

Ben is making a phone call in a little bit about meeting up with the pastor search committee of a church that is located close to the coast in North Carolina. I would love living near the coast!!! I am VERY interested in meeting these people, and seeing what they have to say. :)

My sleep was off and on last night, so I'm going to lay back down for a nap.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Relaxing in NC...

I am relaxing now in NC. I am starting off my nine days off by getting a whole lot of sleep that I have been missing. Tomorrow I am going to look for some recipes that I am going to make on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Keep your eyes out for some fun in the kitchen.

Friday, November 20, 2009

North Carolina Bound

I bought several magazines to assist in my entertainment at the airport, and while in North Carolina. I couldn't find "Shop Smart" (I believe is the name), by Consumer Reports. I will pick that one up at the airport.
My weight is up a bit (5 pounds), and it is really getting on my last nerve. I'm not going to worry about today, because I find that it is hard to eat really well while traveling, but starting tomorrow, some changes have to be made. I like my pants fitting well.
I also have to make a decision by Sunday. I am thinking of changing my National Boards to the Take One. This means I would not be doing my entire National Boards this year, but rather one entry. I know that I can do one entry, and it would be fabulous. I don't think I can do all four entries this year. We have several weekends upcoming for my husband with perspective churches. This doesn't leave a lot of time for working on NB stuff. I decided to wait and write my principal an email with the final decision, as I know he will try to convince me to complete the full boards this year. There is also the whole balance thing of my work and personal life. I actually like having a personal life and pursuing other interests too. The decision has to be soon, because the funds are due pretty quickly. I would also get almost an extra month to complete the Take One portion, which would be awesome.
I've got to run back to the school because HH forgot one of the crockpots that I borrowed from a staff member. We are Charlotte bound in just a few hours.

Getting CREATIVE....

These are a few pictures of the calendar that I made in my calendar class I took with mom last night. I finished a lot earlier than others. Since I am newer to scrapbooking, I don't know that my work isn't that great, and my tolerance for perfectionism is non-existent. I was just happy with what I produced. I've decided though that scrapbooking is NOT a bonding activity for my mom and I, because I cannot talk to her while doing it. It requires too much of my brainpower. Mom did say that she found as a whole that the majority of scrapbookers are teachers and nurses. I thought about that for a little bit, and figured out the OBVIOUS answer....teachers and nurses NEVER sit down. They want a hobby that allows them some time off their feet. Makes sense to me......

Thanksgiving in Room 120

Jerry was doing some Turkey dance. He is always making me laugh!

The Thanksgiving Celebration went off so well. The kids were really surprised by it, and we all had a good time. We watched the movie about Dr. Ben Carson's life called "Gifted Hands." We have been reading a book about him, so the kids were really into his life story.

Celebrating Dad's 61st Birthday

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's 12:50 AM...

do you know where the fire department is? AT OUR CONDO! HH was cooking bacon to put in with the green beans, and the fire alarm went off. Before we could contact ADT, they had already dispatched the fire department. HH stayed up most of the night prepping for the class Thanksgiving feast we will have today. They don't know anything about it. Today is going to be a tiring but awesome day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cooking Classes

Today I signed up for:

Basic Training 101 (six classes)
Advanced Training (four classes)

Mastering the Art of Soups
Biscuits, Rolls, and Cornbread
Date Night Class with HH
Basic Knife Skills
Homemade Pizza Pies
An Evening with Friends Cooking Class
Yummy Soups and Sandwiches

17 classes in January through March (there are a few more I would like to squeeze in if time permits)

Maybe I should be a cook for a living....just sayin!

HH Was Singing This.....

As he is putting away the groceries for our class Thanksgiving meal that we'll have on Thursday....

"I've got my mind set on Thanksgiving,
Set on Thanksgiving,
But it's gonna take butter,
a whole lot of precious butter,
to do it right child....."

There were more verses, but that is all I can remember right now! :) I love HH!

I had the most lively faculty meeting EVER yesterday in my nine years of teaching. WOW! Claws were coming out everywhere, and I didn't have to voice my opinion because it was being shared by several others and I couldn't get a word in edgewise even if I wanted. People who are normally cool as can be were hotter than hot.

Our counselor is leading the meeting because the principal has to be somewhere else. She basically tells us we have about twenty hours of secretarial work to do because the district is using a new form. She says snarky little things like, "Don't shoot the messenger," and "At least you have thirty minutes now to get started," Several people left the room to call the union, a grievance is being filed, and wow....craziness is all I can say. I can't wait to find out what happens today. The meeting ended with the counselor telling us to give back our records, and she was crying.

Two more days, and I'm off for NINE! :) My kids get to hear the "puberty" talk today. I'll be in with the boys of fifth grade. FUN TIMES!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So ME right now......

Mrs. Greedy right now. I am getting all these coupons for amazing online sells to some of my favorite stores. I. WANT. EVERYTHING. IN. SIGHT. I know that I am getting three clothing items from my parents for Christmas, and probably five or six items from my mother-in-law. The temptation is everywhere though!
In other news, I am really proud of myself. I've gotten a mountain full of paperwork done at work. The casual observer wouldn't know it because almost all of it is online, but it is getting DONE. It wasn't that I was behind, but there was such a quantity to do, and I'm completely done. Man, it feels WONDERFUL! I want that off my shoulders so I can fully enjoy my nine days off in a row (putting my three personal days with Thanksgiving again this year). I just have to make lesson plans for this time, and I'm in the home stretch!
I think I am committing to nine classes for sure in January and February cooking wise. They are the beginners and advanced basic skills class.
Last night HH stuffed all our Christmas cards, licked the envelopes, and put our return address on them. My goal is to have them packed up and mailed out the day after Thanksgiving while we are down with his mom.
Our grill is completely put together and for the first time since AUGUST we have a real living room back. All the parts are GONE. It is so awesome.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Walking a Mile....In Someone Else's Shoes....

I have a cousin on my mom's side who has always been compassionate towards me, regardless of my weight. She would even go out of her way to make me feel welcomed and loved. I saw a picture of her on Facebook from a long time ago, and she used to be really heavy. Over the past twelve years that she has been a part of our family she has had weight gains/losses within twenty pounds, but I never knew she was heavy.
I know I've made comments on here about people's weight that may come across wrong, and some may view me as being a "fat hater" or something very harsh. Please understand that when I write here, I am really expressing deep fears within myself. I was so huge I was at the point where I would be on permanent disability within five years if not dead. I am so afraid that I'll wake up one day and be right back to where I started. In real life I feel I go out of my way to make heavier people feel comfortable, if for no other reason than I still feel that I fit in best with them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hands DOWN....

The absolute BEST theater production I have ever seen. I've seen between 75-100 theater performances, and Tyler Perry's performance was incredible!!!
I'll report more tomorrow!

What I'm Reading Now on my Kindle....and LOVING

This book is certainly addressing a void I've found in other books. The whole battlefield of the mind thing. I'll write more soon.

Restful Day

HH and I went to the New Members breakfast at a church members house. There were lots of people there. I really don't like situations like this. Luckily, we found a couple close to our age, and talked to them almost the entire time. I can handle smaller groups, but larger ones are really just not my thing.

We came back, and I started to help HH make the deviled eggs, but let him finish them up. I then took a very nice nap. :) I love naps. I wish I could take one every single day. The world would be a much happier place.

Last night we got together with my surgery weight loss friends. I've not been able to see them since the wedding. I really like these people, and many of them have fascinating stories I want to soak in. I am quickly reminded (in my head, not by them), that I don't know all the answers, but I can gain quite a bit of wisdom the more I keep my mouth shut and just listen.

I am off to get ready for church. Enjoy your day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cat Personalities

Ben's friend from college produced this....pretty funny.

Sorry Alabama, I Disagree....

Here is a picture with Nyelah. She drew me, so I told her I absolutely must have my photo taken with the artist.

Jo'Tessa and I at Bone Fish Grill, eating CREME BRULEE! I love this stuff! It is always my hands down dessert of choice if available.

We were the only people in all of Rupp Arena that didn't have on white or blue.

If you keep searching, we were THREE ROWS from the very top. I love the music group Alabama, but I disagree with their song, "Ain't Nothing Like the View from the Cheap Seats." I am getting old because my back is KILLING me. They were bleacher seats, and the view itself didn't bother me, but no back on the seat was brutal. I am going to the chiropractor in the morning.

And Their Ain't Nothing Wrong with the Rodeo....

Jack your truck right on up there to meet Jesus....that is what I say. I had to bring my foot almost even with my hip to come close to getting in this guys truck. In keeping with true cowboy fashion, no siderails.....those are for those sissy metrosexual pretend cowboys!
I tried Coke Zero at the rodeo last night, and it tasted so nasty. I actually took one sip and returned it to the counter to get a bottle of water in exchange. I guess I was expecting some magical drink back in like back in the days of my Coca-Cola consumption. I am really so over Coca-Cola. I do however love my Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Sunkist, with the random Sprite Zero.

I Came Home to This Note...

Dear Tiffany,

I know this place looks like the city dump exploded in here, but there really has been a lot of progress. Please don't do anything to clean any of this up. As soon as I come home, I'll go right to bed with you, and as soon as I wake up tomorrow, I'll get right to work on making the place look right. For now, there is trash (chocolate, peanut butter, rice chex, and powdered sugar) on the counter, and a few episodes of "24" are already in the DVD player. Please relax and enjoy yourself, and I'll see you soon. Until then, I remain

Your Loving Husband,

This is only a limited view of the mess in our living room. Grill stuff is EVERYWHERE. After only three months of arguing with Sears, we finally have it. Ben is also pleased to report that he has gotten further with this one than the first one. (Some major component broke on the first one.) Maybe sometime soon there will be pictures of food on the grill like the food I salivate over at The Biggest Diabetic Loser!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It Still is Brutal Out There....

Ok, so last night I post about people not being out to watch me gain all my weight back. Facebook has a funny way of making me compare myself to others. OVER. AND. OVER. AGAIN.

I was comparing myself to my two cousins. One of my cousins has put on a decent bit of weight, but she really needed too, as we thought for some time that she had an eating disorder. The other has always been stick thin. I was seeing where I "ranked" between the two of them.

Tonight HH and I are going to the rodeo. Then, I am going straight to bed. I was so tired today, I felt like a zombie.

I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Good Song

I love the lyrics and the vocals on this song are amazing. Some of my favorite songs of artists are always the ones that never make it to the radio.

Crossing a Threshold

I feel like I am finally crossing a threshold with my whole WLS journey. After I lost the weight, I really felt like several people were kinda snickering in the background waiting for me to gain back all the weight I'd lost.

I am beginning to accept that others just see the me that is in the mirror now. Perhaps they don't evaluate every morsel of food I put into my mouth as "shes going to gain all that weight back."

I'll have more thoughts on this subject later.

What's Cooking?

Today we are having Creamy Italian Sausage Chili.

I am making Holy Cow Cake for my dad's birthday on Sunday. It is a recipe from The Cake Doctor.

All my appointments are done, chili is simmering, now it is time to start writing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Granny's Thanksgiving Table cooking class did not disappoint. I sometimes wonder how I didn't end up weighing four zillion pounds before I had surgery, because there are so many yummy things I didn't try until after I had surgery.

Tonight those things to add to that list are:

* Cornbread Stuffing

* Corn pudding

Previous items include things like: ribs and cream cheese frosting (although not together)!

I'm really enjoying this class I have. My personality and sense of humor is able to come out more and more, and I really like the relationship we are forming.

Tomorrow is bloodwork followup, dentist (crown), and the chiropractor. Tomorrow is the only night I can cook for HH, so I am making chili per his request. I need to find a new recipe to try. I also need to write for national boards.....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's Love.....

First it was simply Google search.....

Next it was Google reader......

Now, head over heels in love with Google calendar......

I can sync it to my blackberry and in seconds have my nerdy detailed calendar at my fingertips.

All Numbers Meme

How old are you?

How old was your mom when she had you?

How many siblings do you have?

How many people live in your household?

What year were you born?

What was the year of your first car?

How many tattoos do you have?

How many piercings do you have?

What time did you wake up this morning?

How old were you when Challenger blew up?
6 years old

How old were you when the twin towers were hit?

What is your average electric bill?

How many tvs are in your house?

What time do you get out of work?
Officially 3:50, yet there is always a meeting.

End of the Four Day Weekend.....

HH and I outside the hall for The Screwtape Letters. I tried taking a picture inside, but got in trouble because of copyright issues (I did it before the play started, but the set was in view.) The Brown Theater is very pretty, and I wanted to show it off to you folks. This is my new outfit from JJill, and I love it! The skirt is a medium, and I could have gotten a small. I love it when that happens.
This picture was taken at the reception for James and Jerusa's wedding. The bride dedicated Michael Jackson's song "Ben" to my husband Ben, and we had a special dance on the floor. Ben did all the preaching, and James grandfather did the actual vows portion of the service.

They had this Elvis cut out at their wedding and I couldn't resist.
Ben got a call back from the church we visited last month. She was asking for us to come back down next week. This time would be as a more official visit/preaching engagement. Ben had been thinking about a view on a particular issue that they asked him about, and had told me he wasn't sure they were clear on his position. He took the time to clarify this with the lady on the phone, and she was very respectful, but wanted to talk with the committee tonight about it to see if they wanted to proceed. She is going to get back to us tomorrow evening about this.
************INSERT FULL BLOWN PANIC ATTACK************************************
I knew we would be crossing this bridge before too long, but having this church call us back made it all the more real. It is hard to get a teaching job in the middle of the year, and I was thinking that there might be a real possibility that I would have to stay here and only see Ben on the weekend. The ride home from the wedding was full with lots of emotions for me. When we got home, I researched jobs, and found about eight positions in neighboring counties. It would not be ideal, but it would allow us to still be together if this position comes through, and we choose to accept it. I am feeling much better now. Things will not move quickly, churches really do take their time on these things. Breathe in, breathe out.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I went shopping with my mom this morning, took a nice long nap, then made some sausage and cheese tortellini soup. Now Ben and I are off to see The Screwtape Letters. This play has sold out so many places, and has had rave reviews. I hope it is awesome!

I Have Never Had Too Much Fun.....

HH in front of the big reflective thing at the Science Center.

Since we couldn't take pictures inside the exhibit, I had the lady take our picture right before we went inside. I was not impressed with the quality of the exhibit. I was expecting a much larger exhibit. :(

HH playing a game at the Science Center.

Yet another exhibit of why I always have my digital camera with me. Look at these fine vehicles people...after I was sure there were not people inside them, we stopped the car, and took the photo opportunity.

What are you jealous that your store mannequin has not come in for your new 2010 car?

HH cooking up a storm for our "Date Night" cooking class. He was such a sport! Not only did he entertain me, but others around us as they cooked. I am going back to cooking class this Tuesday! :)

We really had fun!

Picture together....

I really want this apron....who doesn't want an apron with pearls? Nothing says high maintenance like that ......

We topped off the evening by going to see "The Perfect Gift." I hope I can like a trailer of this movie soon to the blog. It was done by a local couple, and it is wonderful. These people really produce some quality stuff, and you really feel like your spirit is renewed when you leave the theater....what a rarity.