Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NEVER QUIT

My favorite veteran is my grandfather. Every time I see him I am privileged to hear a new story from his days in the service. Most of the stories are from the Korean War. My grandfather is a master storyteller, each glimpse into the past is told with precise details. Think about that! My 88-year-old grandfather can recall details from over 60 years ago. This is exceptional not only because his mind is sharp at the tender age of 88, but because the events that took place in war had such a stark impact on him they are recalled vividly in his memory. I'm fortunate my grandfather is able to talk to me about the war. Some of the details of war are so gruesome and painful the men and women who so bravely fought on the front lines or cared for the wounded can't bring themselves to speak of what transpired, what they felt or what they saw. I don't blame them. I am thankful to all those who have served this country and who are currently serving. It is a call of duty I'm not sure I could answer without tremendous fear slithering through every platelet of my blood. Let's not forget about the families who endure the worrying, the deployments, the loss and everything else I can't begin to comprehend. I read a book that changed my life, Marcus Luttrell's “The Lone Survivor”. Marcus Luttrell was the lone survivor of a mission in Afghanistan. His mantra: Never Quit. It's a powerful story about never giving up, and I do mean powerful. His fallen teammates kept firing away at the enemy while their own bodies were drilled with gunshot wounds. Luttrell fell off a mountain and forced his injured body to crawl, alone in enemy territory to save his life. This book moved me to become a greater supporter of our troops. For more about Marcus Luttrell visit the Lone Survivor Foundation. Do you like heroes? I've recently discovered Todd Love. Todd is a war hero who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan. By the way, he completes Spartan Races and Stadium Climbs. Yes, you read that correctly, he has one limb and completes physical challenges that are challenging for people who have all their appendages. The next time you think you can't do something, remember this extraordinary veteran. Our veterans can teach us so many lessons. They can give us inner strength we didn’t know we had. You can honor a veteran every day by taking advantage of the things you take for granted. I often use the stories of our veterans to motivate myself when I’m struggling with working out. Remember the physical and mental sacrifices of our veterans … ...next time your alarm goes off so you can get up to work out and you think you're too tired ...next time you're a half mile into your run and want to throw in the towel ...next time you don't think you have ten more reps left ...next time you think you think you'll never be fast enough or strong enough Remember what our soldiers have endured, what they thought was not possible and then ask yourself again: Do you have the energy to get up? - Yes! Can you make it one more mile? - Yes! Do you have ten more reps? - Yes! Will you be fast enough and strong enough? - Yes! How can you be sure? It's easy - NEVER QUIT!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Slooooow Cooked Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork:

Oh yessss, baby, Git in ma bellaaay.

Pefectly sweet and tangy. Mostly "clean" eating approved (darn you Worcestershire sauce!!!) and best of all? You basically toss it all into the crock pot in the morning and you are as good as done! Think of all the things you could do while you're not standing there cooking?!? Read a book! Paint your nails! Take a bubble bath! Watch a movie- uninterrupted! 

Awww snap, wait. I'm a mom. None of that is happening. Mine is more like this: Stop the toddler from chewing on her book. Scrub the nail polish off of my toddler's face and legs (I swear this kid has a stash of my nail polish hidden somewhere). UGH Scrub the bath tub while dreeeaming of taking a nice, hot, candle lit bubble bath... dreaming cuz I still don't comfortably fit into our tiny ass tub. Maaaaybe I can turn on a movie after all the kids go to bed, tho. And just maaaaaybe I'll make it more than halfway through before I crash out asleep. lol

Back to dinner!

You will need:
1 (2-3 pound) shoulder pork roast
salt and pepper
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup low sodium beef broth
  1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Mrs Dash extra spicy seasoning

  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Season all sides of the roast and plop it into the slow cooker. Now I'm sure you already know this, but I don't want anyone telling me that I didn't tell them this. hehehe So, go wash your hands. Seriously. We don't want you getting raw pork juices all over everything, right? 
  • Drizzle the honey all over the top of the roast. Coat that baby well. Toss the minced garlic right on top.
  •  In a separate bowl, mix together beef broth, Balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and Mrs Dash. Pour over the top of the roast. 
  • Cover and cook on low for at least 8 hours. You could cook it on high for 5-6 hours but in my experience, the meat just doesn't get as "fall apart tender" after cooking it on high.
  • Pull the meat apart a bit with 2 forks or a pair of tongs, toss it around in the juices a bit, and then serve that bad boy UP!
That is it, my friends. Minimal work and ohhh so damn yummy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Monday!!!

Yup, you read that right, I said HAPPY Monday.

Why do we dread Mondays so much? I mean, I get that it means our weekend is over and it's time to get back to the grind, but we tend to give Mondays too much power. Do I like having to wake up early and get back into the swing of weekday chaos? Uhhhh, no. I'm crazy but not that crazy.

But, to me, Monday is a day to get my shit together. It's the first day of the new week and it's ripe with opportunity to start over and hit the week like a rock star! Let's stop the Monday dread and learn to embrace it! Who's ready to ROCK the hell out of today??


Sunday, October 26, 2014

We Interrupt Your Yard Work...

...For a moment of FUN.

Seriously, after raking up the leaves at my Mother In Law's House today, and seeing this HUGE pile of leaves just sitting there staring at us, how could we not stop to have a little fun?

I've got a Confession for ya... and I can't believe I'm admitting this, but, this was BOTH of my daughters' first times leaf jumping. Right? At 10 and 2 they had never ever jumped in piles of leaves before. How awful is that? We just never had any trees around our house so the opportunity never arose. 

But I think it's safe to say that after all the fun they had, we're going to have to rake up the leaves for my Mother in Law more often. :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some People Just Suck.

If you follow me at all, you'll know I'm usually really positive. But my bitch button was pressed a little bit ago. I dedicate this picture to man I'm about to tell you about.


I was at the gas station putting gas in my truck. A car pulled in next to me and I notice the driver, a male probably in his early 30's, glaring at me as he pulls in. I figure I'm just imagining things. He doesn't know me so surely he has no problem with me. He's probably just having a bad day.

 Until he gets out of his car, shakes his head, and says "FAT ASS" as he walks by. Oh haaaaail no. For real? I said "excuse me? I'm not sure I heard you correctly." To which he repeats "fat ass" with venom in his voice and daggers for eyes.

 ****bitch switch alert!! Bitch switch alert!!!*** shit! My kids are in the truck. Abort mission! Abort mission! *insert forced smile here* I replied "That's what I thought you said, darlin'. I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that I'm working on my fat ass issue. The bad news? Nothing short of Divine intervention and a miracle is gonna cure your awful case of ugly on the inside. God bless you."
I got in the truck and took some deep calming breaths so I wouldn't cry in front of my kiddies. I asked my daughter if she heard anything. She didn't. Thank God.
 
But it's really got me thinking and it enraged me to my core. Who the HELL are YOU to judge others? What gives people the idea that they have the right to open their mouths and criticize how others look? Yes, we have freedom of speech but that is not to be confused with the right to be an ASSHOLE. You do NOT have the right to express HATE to other people. You don't like the way someone looks? Whether you think they are too fat, too skinny, not pretty enough, you don't line their tattoos, piercings, WHATEVER. That's fine. You have the right to THINK whatever you want. But if you have nothing nice to say, you should KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. That man is LUCKY my kids were in the truck. Otherwise he might be on his way to the hospital right now and I'd be on my way to jail. Smdh

Ok, I'm done. Negative out. Back to positive.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fooooood!!!

I was SO hungry (more like hangry) after skating tonight that by the time I got home, there was no pause to look for a fork. I dove into my dinner of chicken with mashed potatoes with my hands. Lmao Gotta refuel, right?

Oh yessss. That just happened.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mama

     Sometimes, more often than not actually, I feel like a total failure. A failure as a mom, a failure as a wife, a failure on my weight loss journey. The list goes on and on. 

     I feel like since I'm home all day that my house should be much cleaner. And I try. Lord knows I try. But it seems that at this stage in life, with a teenager, a Pre teen, and a toddler in my house, it just can't happen workout me losing every shred of sanity that I have left. And many people are quick to point out that I have 2 children that are more than old enough to help out. And you have a point there. But between their crazy school workload, and sports, sometimes it's just not worth the fight. The only time I get to clean without my little tornados coming behind me and tearing apart my progress, is after they have all gone to bed. I feel like I've failed in providing my family adequate space to come together as a family. Tonight, my youngest kiddies ate dinner on the kitchen floor while I stood at the counter eating, because my mom was at the table in the dining room doing her school work and didn't want to be disturbed. And I didn't feel like it was my place to ask her to move. What kind of mom lets her children eat on the kitchen floor? Me, I guess. 

     Normally I wake up extra early to make breakfast for the hubby before he goes off to work for the day. But lately, between my insomnia acting up and staying up too late, 5:00 am has come and gone with me still in bed, pulling the covers over my head. Our bedroom is also trashed, which really sucks because the bedroom is supposed to be a couples sanctuary. Ours is most definitely not. 

     And don't even get me started on my weight loss journey. Some days come and go and I realize while cooking dinner that I haven't eaten yet. Or haven't eaten enough. Which, as I'm well aware of, is awful for my metabolism. Most weeks as of late, paychecks have been pretty low, meaning that I can't afford the clean foods that I should be buying. I rarely have the energy to get in my workouts. (Thank God for quick circuit workouts, cuz that's about all I have in me to do.) 

     I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm doing the best that I can do under the circumstances that I'm in. That no matter how much I do, or don't do, I love my family. And that is what is most important, right? 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Adventures In Roller Derby

Psssst... Can I tell you a secret?

Come closer...

A little closer...

For as long as I can remember, I've loved roller derby. In fact, like many others, I loved it so much that I wanted to be a roller derby girl myself. *insert sad violin music here* Sadly, I never knew there were local teams. And by the time I found some that were fairly local, I had already had kiddies, was quite a bit older, and was overweight. *ok, you can stop the music now*

Last year, I found a very local team and was SO excited. I was determined that I was going to join. But there was a little voice inside my head. You know that voice, the one that tells you that you can't do something. That you won't be good enough. The one that plays out all the what if's in your head trying to discourage you? Yup, That's the one. It kept telling me that now was not the time. I needed to lose weight first. So I didn't do it.

But recently, I was in contact with one of the awesome broads from the team and she asked if I was still interested in joining.. HELL YES, I AM!! But once again, that stupid little voice started in on me again. But this time, I ignored it. I just knew if I kept waiting til I lost the weight, it would never happen. And hell, this could be an amazing form of exercise to help with losing the weight, too. So, I checked out a practice and just knew that this was for me.

 Tonight was my very first practice. Mind you, I have not been on skates in a good 17 years, and never as a... ummm... big girl. I was terrified. Not of falling, but of failing. Of not being able to do this. But I laced up and got out there anyways. I was super slow (seriously, so slow that in the entire practice I only completed 2 whole laps, while hugging the wall.) I stumbled A LOT, but only fell once. It was a pretty awesome fall, tho. My feet flew out from under me and up up up they went, and down down down I went. I basically belly flopped but on my back. And that was the one fall I was most terrified of taking. But as soon as I fell, I was so relieved to get it out of the way that I burst into laughter before exclaiming "Now how the hell do I get back up?!?"  I got back up and went again.

getting started in roller derby

And with that, Syd Vicious, #10, of the Vindicated Vixens was born.

This is definitely going to take a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of determination, but I will do this! And I'll be writing about my progress along the way. Here goes nothing!