1. Weight loss
I've written several times before about my weight loss experiences, and here I am again, ready to once again tackle that mountain. I gained about 40 lbs this pregnancy and ended up weighing about 180 again afterwards, an increase of 25 lbs from last fall. So I'm working on getting back on track, using MyFitnessPal to track my calories and trying to stay motivated and not blow my diet on three or four pieces of amazing chocolate cake like I did two days ago (in my defense, it was awfully good cake!).
I joined this Dietbet, where I pay a small amount of money and get it back if I lose 4% of my weight in 4 weeks. It's a good motivator for me because I hate wasting money, so I am determined to make the most of these four weeks. I'm down about 2.5 lbs, with just 4.5 to go.
|I had Allison take a "before" picture for me last Sunday.|
I'm slowly getting back my running fitness. It's been harder than I remembered building back up a base, but I finally got up to 4.5 miles again in length and 15 miles a week in volume last week. I'm still lots slower than I used to be, but I'm sure that speed will come back with time. And I no longer hate every step of the run. I tell people who claim they hate running that they just need to do it for six to eight weeks. It takes that long for the body to adapt so that you're not constantly out of breath.
3. Beautiful Fall
The colors are spilling down the mountains right now and I'm looking longingly at them, hoping to get some pictures this year. But I probably won't be able to fit in much landscape photography for the time being, as life is a bit busier than usual right now. But there will be other falls and I can still enjoy the view from my home.
And I'm still getting my fix of fall colors. My husband and I went walking on the Provo Canyon trail for our date last week.
We enjoyed some lovely sights.
|Don't know what these flowers are, but I love the poofs and they were everywhere!|
Of course, my favorite sight was this one:
|Benji grinning at us from his stroller.|
He's so much fun right now.
4. More Smiles
We can't get enough of him.
I was talking to a fellow large family mom who lamented that it's ironic just when it gets easier to have a baby, everyone quits having them. Having teenagers and babies is such a great combination. I love seeing how tender each of my children are with the babies and how genuinely helpful the older five are. It's not getting old at all for them. Joey teases me that, "He's my Benjamin and I just let you take care of him for me." There's nothing so sweet as watching the love our new baby gets.
I'm not a huge football fan, but I guess it's time to become one, since Joey loves it so much and is playing on the freshman team this year. I went to my first game last week and I really enjoyed watching it. I took a few pictures, then held Benji and let Allison take over the use of my camera. It's fun to have a long lens!
We never lack for fun things to do around here.
Sarah and Allison got to work their school carnival. I took the little girls and Benji to it and despite my trying to bribe them -- "I'll buy you all ice cream if we can leave right now!" -- we stayed for ninety minutes and they all had fun, even if I felt frazzled by trying to keep track of everyone in the crowds.
I also took six girls and Benji swimming last week. I love having older kids, as I got sit by the pool and read while Benji slept. Allison took Cami around and had so much fun being her partner.
And the other four, who are all good swimmers, had a great time too.
And speaking of carnivals, our neighborhood put on a block party last week that was so much fun. I took my camera and got photos of everyone there, plus a few of my own kids. Allison and Sarah both had a blast in the dunk tank. I love those spunky twins!
I've been reading some interesting books lately, thanks to all those hours of nursing. One I just finished with is called Deep Down Dark. It's about the 33 Chilean miners trapped 2300 feet underground for several months. The story was fascinating to me, particularly as it revealed so much of human nature. With the mine collapsed behind them and no way of knowing if or when they would ever be rescued, the thirty-three men -- hard, rough souls, most of them -- pulled together. They had one small meal of about a hundred calories each day, stretching the small amount of food as far as possible. An Evangelical led the mostly Catholic men in prayer daily and they talked beforehand about God, confessing their weaknesses and pledging to change their lives if they ever got out of the mine. After seventeen days underground, with food supplies nearly nonexistent and the men emaciated and starving, the joy and miracle of a drill breaking through was moving, to the men and to their entire country. But then it gets interesting. With food, letters, newspapers, and even television being delivered daily to the mine, the men started to squabble and argue. The evengelical offended some of the Catholics when he preached against worshiping idols and the prayer circle shrank daily until it was just five or six men. Family members wrote to share about offers of money and these men, who had always scrabbled for a meager subsistence, began to pore over car catalogs and plan on how to spend their imagined wealth. It was just so fascinating to me to see how when the going gets tough, humanity has great capacity for humility and charity. But then when things get a bit easier, we also tend to forget our best selves.