Thursday, August 29, 2013

waterfall hike...

I used to write on my "family" blog long, long ago. I also had a little "homemaking" blog. I wish there was a way to port them over to this one. I've tried to keep them all separate so they would have a topic...but it's just a lot to keep up with.

Now, this is my primary blog. Those other blogs stopped when I started this blog. I realized a few weeks back I haven't been keeping track of our instead of keeping track of multiple blogs {which I'm obviously not good at} I'm just going to do more family stuff on here. Not the daily stuff...but the milestone events.

{Now on to the actual post}

A month ago Jason and I hiked Silver Falls down in Oregon which is a hike we'd been wanting to go on for a while. On the long route you can see 10 water falls. We ended up seeing 9 because the 10th wasn't running since it was summer. We did take the long route and it was so worth it!! Enjoy a few pictures from the outing!

Our view as we ate lunch

The tree stump was blocking our view but we could hear it!

getting the angle right!

It was so fun to walk behind waterfalls.

Last one of the day.

a nice picture of us {minus my goofy shirt}

barre3 power leg with the ball
Jason and I went to Crater Lake last year and I swear I had to stop every 100 yards or so on the hike back up because I was so out of shape and winded. While the hike this summer wasn't as steep it was much longer and I didn't once have to stop to catch my breath. It was such a great non-scale victory to be in good enough shape to hike 8 miles!!! I am taking Singular and a steroid inhaler for my asthma and it really seems to be doing the trick. I didn't take it regularly during recovery and we did a little 2 mile hike the weekend before this one and I could really tell, because it was hard to breathe.

Fingers crossed {there are many more gorgeous hikes in our future}...

Monday, August 19, 2013

over the rainbow...

As this blog title suggests, I love rainbows.

It all started with my Mom. She also loves rainbows.

Rainbows are defined as a phenomenon. They are special, unordinary, and often come when unexpected. Sometimes you just a piece of one, other times you get a full rainbow. If you're really lucky, you'll get a double rainbow!! Someday I hope to see a circular rainbow which are only able to be seen while skydiving {it's on my life list}!

To me, rainbows seems to come at very important days in my life. Here's a few from the last few years {in no particular order}...

Vancouver, WA. 2010
This rainbow I saw after Jason and I were at dinner up by the mall. We had gone out to dinner to discuss the future. We'll leave it at that ;-)


Oahu, Hawaii. 2007.
This was the first vacation Jason had gone on with my family, we were just dating at the time. We had just spent the day with my parents, snorkeling.
Vancouver, WA. January 2011.
I saw this rainbow after walking out of the ultrasound to confirm my PCOS. I was already terrified and anxious and sad but then I walked out and saw this tiny part of a rainbow and I felt better.
Washougal, WA. 2013
I saw this rainbow on the day I decided to switch schools within my school district.
Portland, OR. June 2013.
We saw this gorgeous full rainbow after a dinner where we were celebrating me losing 70 pounds, Jason's job moving to Vancouver, and another future family talk.
Portland, OR. June 2013.
I saw this beauty while driving home from a "secret" barre3 meeting. I've been mentoring a group of women for 8 weeks who are new to barre3 and who are following a plan {more to come soon}. I was asked to give them inspiration, tips, and support as they followed the plan. It was SO powerful and so much fun. I even had a few friends in the group so that made it all the better!!!
Rainbows are my peace. I see one and I get giddy, happy, and clam all at once. They make me smile, pull over to take pictures, and crave them even more. I always am on the look out when I see rain & sun...aren't you?!?!
Fingers crossed {that there are more rainbows in my future}...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

the price of my success...

I spend a LOT of money on myself...but not in the way you might be initially thinking.

As a teacher I don't make much money. After the house and the car payment are sent in, I have less than 50% of my check left. We've been in debt before and have no desire to go back there again. I need to be careful with my money which is a hard thing because I am so impulsive. But I am working on it...

One thing I have always spent a decent amount of money on is my health. In the past that consisted of processed foods, Costco trips, multiple doctors visits every month, medications, and buying bigger & bigger clothes. Now, I still spend quite a lot of money on my health but it's certainly more of a positive trend!

Here's what I know I spend each month on my health. For this most part these are rough estimates but I feel that it's important to keep it real! I'm referring back to before the surgery and what it will be now that I am on the path to healing. Surgery was an oddity, that's for sure.

Massage, Chiropractic & Acupuncture - $125 or so.
New Clothes - $100 or so
barre3 - $130 or so
Groceries {out of the joint account} - at least $400 a month

In my life massage, chiropractic adjustments, and acupuncture treatments have definitely been a huge part of my success. I have been with my massage therapist since 2010 when I first injured my back. My chiropractor really helps keep everything in line. Acupuncture it took me a little while to "believe in" but now I am a convert. But more than just receiving services from these people...they are my community, my supports, and I know they care for me. The energy I get from them is amazing. My goal now is to go to each of them once a month which will cut my cost by $50 a month.

Buying new clothes is fun but SPENDY!! One way I have buffered the cost is consigning a lot of my plus size clothes at a store called Spankys. It seems to be that I haven't been as lucky as others at finding clothes at Spanky's to buy but I have been able to get a few checks from them to go buy things elsewhere. Just last week I got a $62 check from just about 3 months of clothes. It seems to have helped that the clothes I bought were of good quality! This year I will spend way more on clothes than I will next year. I tend to wear my clothes for a long time, I've had the same undies, PJs, and socks for YEARS! I'm not about fashion - I'm about comfort!

barre3. It wouldn't be a post on this blog without barre3!! In all seriousness, I know barre3 is spendy but to me it is worth every penny. For the last year plus I was buying class packages which at the Vancouver studio is about $170 for 10 classes. Problem was, I was going more than 10 times per month. My plan going forward is to sign up for the 3 months at a time pre-paid plan which is $130 per month. I know...expensive to some!! Also, watch out for internet deals on places like Groupon & Living Social. There is also the barre3 online option which is only $15 a month...if you are able to make yourself workout at home!
I also have a gym membership that I rarely use but it is there. My parents got us the 24 hour Costco 2 year membership for Christmas last year and something tells me that might be our Christmas present again in 2 years. My hubby uses his almost daily so it's nice that I have it so I can go.

Groceries. I mean, we have to eat! I am trying to be better about planning meals with like ingredients, making some previously processed foods at home, and watching for sales. I admit, I'm not that much of a planner. Or at least, haven't started to enjoy planning on that level. One day!

Here is how I justify what I spend my money on...

* I don't dye my hair and I only cut it every few months.
* I don't get my nails or toes done - ever. Well, maybe once or twice a year when my Mom invites me!
* I have one purse that I use every single day of the year. And it was a $70.
* I have less than 15 pairs of shoes. No joke. And they all have a purpose and I wear at least once a month. Many of them are years old!

A few other tips...

* I use the library for quick read that I won't read again. Books that I want for my betterment (PCOS books, health books) that I will refer to again I buy.
* I don't get magazine subscriptions. Can you say Pinterest?!?!
* I use coupons. I'm shameless about them. But I'm not a crazy coupon lady, I promise.
* I use reward cards. Pita pit, best buy, you name it - I have a rewards card for it. A lot of rewards cards give you free things in your birthday month so watch out for those too!

my purse, key rewards, coupon organizer and rewards cards/gift cards.
I keep all of these in my purse at all times that way I am always ready!

All in all, there are ways you can make what you want, work! For me, I want (really, need) to workout at barre3 and so I make it work. I need new clothes so I watch for sales and use coupons. I ask for very specific things for birthdays and holidays like dutch ovens, food scales, purses, and store specific gift cards. I don't feel bad about sending people links (or to my Amazon Wish List) to what I truly want and will use because getting something that I won't use isn't fun either! I am also very fortunate that we have family who are willing and able to get us nice gifts. I also like to spend my money on experiences (games, trips) or crafts instead of stuff that will sit on a shelf or closet.

Going forward it is my goal to think about everything I buy. What purpose does it serve? How often will I use it? Can I get it at a different price elsewhere? Do I need it at this moment in time or can it wait until a holiday?

Fingers crossed {that I can change my spending habits & save some money towards my dream}...

Monday, August 5, 2013

GOALS {version 2.0}...

It's been just over a year since I posted my S.M.A.R.T. goals. I figured it was time to check in on them and write some new ones!!!

July 19, 2012 SMART GOALS

 My eventual weight goal is 160 ~ Well...I blew this one out of the water. As of today I weight 144.4 lbs.


Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk ~ This didn't go quite as planned. Jason and I got to the race about 20 minutes after it started. We ended up not walking or running it.

Spartan Race 3K Obstacle Course ~ This also didn't go as planned...thank you shoulder surgery :( The good thing is we were allowed to defer our entry one time so we are scheduled to participate on August 2nd, 2014!!

Size 12 ~ Well, passed this one too! Whoop! I'm about a size 8 to 10 depending on the clothes. I even have one size 6.

Less Doctors ~ Again, shoulder surgery kind of got in the way with this one too! Leading up to the surgery I was doing well ~ only getting a massage once a month, acupuncture two times a month, and chiropractic two times a month. So...that's $125 in copays alone. That's not counting prescriptions, other doctors, and anything else. I'm not sure I really met this goal or that I ever will. I hope to get off more of my prescriptions.

August 5th, 2013 SMART Goals

{weight & inches}
Lose inches & not worry about the scale ~ I feel like I'm not going to lose much more weight but I've been saying that for a long time! I'm 5'4" and according to weight watchers a healthy range for women who are my height is 117 lbs - 146 lbs. While I am not overly concerned about the number, I most certainly want to continue to tighten up & lose some inches.

Climb Mt. St. Helens ~ Phew! It's scary to write that down. Jason and I have been talking about it for a few months now and we have decided we are going to do this in 2014. We tried back in 2008 but were unsuccessful because of many reasons. Mainly, we were out of shape but it certainly didn't help that we ran out of water 1/3 of the way up. It was the hottest day of the year the day we climbed! You have to buy your passes in February so we picked a random weekend and it was a roaster. We are in way WAY better shape now and are planning it out about a year in advance and we WILL do this!!

Spartan Sprint 2014 ~ Since we weren't able to participate this year we are signed up for next year! Here's to hoping surgery isn't in either of our future's!!

Wear a 2 piece swimsuit in public ~ There. I said it. I want to wear a 2 piece. Not a little string bikini....probably something more along the lines of an Athleta suit. Regardless of I think by next year I'll have the confidence and body to pull this off. We shall see!!

Less doctors ~ Whatever that may mean ;-) I am most definitely someone who historically goes to doctors a lot. Though, I'm not sure if I should consider massage, chiro and acupuncture doctors in the traditional sense. Those three people have done more for me than almost any ever doctor, ever.

The future ~ I am not sure what path I want to go down. Do I stay? Do I change? Follow my heart? Follow my gut? Are they the same thing??

I am excited to see what my future holds.

Fingers crossed {it's good}...