Sunday, November 6, 2011

The hubs and I are soon leaving for a trip of a lifetime.  We're heading to Kenya for what they call a 'safari express' tour then off to Istanbul for 3-4 days of exploring.  We're going with a group from Friendly Planet so there are pre-set tours and others that we can pay for while we are there.  Upon researching our trip, I began looking into the places where we are going once we are in Nairobi.  When I googled the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust since it's a stop on our journey, I fell in love.  This place is doing amazing work in Kenya rescuing orphaned elephants and rhinos whose parents fell victim to poaching.  The following is from their facebook page:

'We exist to protect wildlife in Kenya. We are best known for the hand-rearing of orphaned elephants, so that they can return to the wild when grown. Together we can give these orphans new life'
And you should see and read the stories of their orphans.  We wanted to do something here and now.  The Hubs asked me to select a rhino (there are two) and elephant and he would give money to help 'foster' them.  While we both knew hundreds of people were helping to foster them, we felt that every little penny counts.  Introducing our foster babies, Rombo, the elephnat and Maxwell the rhino.
Rombo - you will have to scroll down and find his name amongst the others.

Maxwell - you will have to scroll down and select Rhino Orphans.

We are thrilled to learn that when we visit the orphanage we will be able to see and even maybe meet our foster kids.  I have a feeling it's going to be quite difficult to leave once we are there.  Most of the orphans have quite tragic and dramatic stories.  Elephants are very emotional creatures, so when the calves witness their parents being killed for ivory, they become quite distraught.  It's all very sad to be truthful.  All in the name of ivory.  I could go on and on but I won't because I want you to read the stories for yourself.  And if you're moved, remember,
every dollar counts so make a gift!

I've been a bad blogger.  Bad Blogger!  Bad! 

I take months off at a time and let life take it's course.  And while this is happening I always envision myself blogging away with the best of them.  It never happens though.  I sit in front of a computer for work, all day, 5 days a week, so the last thing I yearn to do when I have down time in the evening is sit in front of my laptop blogging away.  You understand, right? 

So here I am, back with a new blogging attitude.  Hope you like it.  Hope you read it.  Hope you follow it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Drum Roll Please!

I was sick last week for 5 days.  Not fun.  And because of this, I was not able to make it to my WW meeting and was not able to be weighed-in.  This made me very nervous.  Did I lose?  Did I gain?  Or, did I stay the same?  I was dying to know.

Finally, the week had passed and my Thursday was upon me.  This only meant one thing to me...WEIGH-IN!

I stood nervously in line, almost slightly dreading to step on the scale because I didn't want to fail myself.  I stepped on and to my astonishment and joy, I found out that within the past two weeks I lost 3.2 lbs!  A grand total since beginning this program and way of life of 5.2 lbs lost!

You know what that means, right? 

The Weight Watchers 5lb Star!

I was thrilled.

Now that today is Friday, you want to know what feels sooooo good?  I'm wearing the pants that 4-5 weeks ago were the reason I decided to join Weight Watchers.  They fit again.  Just as they should.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lavina - A Dress by Any Other Name...just wouldn't have been the same!

My dress hung in the big window of my parent's hotel suite with the sunshine illuminating it from behind.  Unfortunately, the photos that I envisioned of that very moment just did not turn out so well but I will post them. 

My dad left to go downstairs to the lobby while I got dressed.  My mom and bridesmaids assisted me into my dress and then it was time to lace the inner corset, zip her up, and button the myriad of buttons down the back.  Lisa and Cheryl worked hard but it was worth it.  Everything felt good.  Nice and secure and within moments I went from a girl wearing a veil and a robe to a bride.  My earrings and 'something borrowed' bracelet were on. The final touch?  My favorite thing of all of my purchases for the wedding.  MY orange shoes!  Yes, that's right.  I said orange shoes. 

Cheryl helped me into those and once I finally stood up, I realized to myself that I've never felt more beautiful.

   We got a few more photos with my girls, then they had to go downstairs to catch the shuttle bus.  It was this moment where the photographer took some photos while I waited with my mom. We got some great photos.

The anticipation was building and it was finally time to go down to the lobby to wait for my brother to pull the car around and for the shuttle bus (with my groom in it) to pull away. 

We waved goodbye to our photographer and loaded ourselves into my Dad's van.  Once we were in and started to drive to Valley Forge National Park for our pre-ceremony photos, we all realized that it was just the four of us (and my darling 1 yr old niece).  My brother, my Mom, my Dad and me.  Just as it had been for the first 15-16 years of my life, it was at that very moment in my life.  The moment stuck a chord within all of us.  It's a memory that I'll never forget.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Results Are In...

While I didn't stay for the full Weight Watchers meeting last night as I wasn't feeling 100%, I still went just to get weighed in.  It was soooo important to me to at least do that.  I'm working hard for this and darn it, I want to see my results on the scale.  So I went, gathered my papers and...

I lost another pound!

Can I get WHOOT WHOOT?!!!!!

This weekend I will be hitting the gym after almost a two week lull.  I just haven't been feeling it.  Working out is in my blood though and I will never stop, ever.  But, lulls are a part of life.  We'll see if I lost more than just one pound next week.  Only hard work and time will tell!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Skinny on the Weigh-In

Last Thursday was my first weight in at Weight Watchers.  I don't know how it's done at other meetings but where I attend meetings, there's a long line.  You go up, find your card, pay for the meeting and proceed down the line where there is a myriad of Weight Watchers tools (to help you along your journey), snacks, cookbooks, etc.  Finally, waiting at the end of the line is the make or break of my mood for the rest of that evening.  The scale!  Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

I stepped on the scale as I handed my card to my leader.  I had lost 1 lb!  Now for me, this was outstanding and all I wanted to do was jump up and down, make a speech and possibly kiss a few babies.  This was a great moment and I hope to have plenty more of them.  

Tonight is my second weigh in and I'm nervous.  The hubs and I went away for 3-4 days over the weekend and while I stuck to the plan, I'm just not sure how well I did. All I can do is hope for the best and just try to remember that tomorrow is a new day!

Posts From...Dare I Say...A Different Blog

Yes, yes, yes...I was using a different site to blog when I discovered I much prefer  Here is the link to view and hopefully read journal entries from last February and beyond!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wedding Day Morning

The morning went by rather smoothly.  I had an adjoining room to my parents as all of the girls were going to get ready together.  My awesome hair stylist, Zach, came to the hotel by 9am to begin on my hair.  One and 1/2 hours later, the hair was ready to go.  Veil and all.  Then I scootched over to the next seat for my makeup.  Lisa, from M.A.C. was incredible and the outcome was just as I had wanted.  Two important tasks were done and it was nearing 11am. 
I held up pretty good while the hair and makeup was getting done.  I'm a very emotional girl and I was kind of surprised I wasn't crying more but that did come a little later when I saw my dad.  What I was experiencing was nerves...good nerves.  Anticipation.  I remember I kept on doing deep breaths and exhales and just having that pang of excitement in my chest. I also remember pulling myself back into the moment because I wanted to remember it.  It was all so surreal and I just couldn't believe it was my wedding day.
Deep breaths and exhales require some champagne!
People kept knocking and coming in to see us which was nice and not so nice as I just wanted to make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be at that moment.  You could say I was a little too focused on that but, lol, what can you do?  I was the bride.

My husband to be's wedding day cards arrived via bridesmaid.  I started to slightly freak as I, Miss Never Forget Anything, forgot to sign my love's cards to send up to him in his room.  I quickly did and off they went.

Around 11:30am our awesome and incredible photographers arrived.  Tere and her son, Leo and another photographer who is a part of their team (I apologize as I cannot remember his name) from Tere Schubert Photography. The fun really began as they were quite playful with us whilte attempting to capture moments in time that I will only get to relive by looking at their photos.  I was doing really good, and looked up to see my Dad stepping out from his bedroom dressed in his tux, looking ever so handsome...and I almost lost it. 

 Kristin, my oldest friend from childhood, kept telling me to squeeze my toes.  So there I was squeezing, squeezing, squeezing and while not too many tears escaped down my cheek my eyes definitely welled with tears.

Tere was snapping away to capture moments while Leo was taking video clips. Then it was time.  It was time to put her on.  She caught my eye in July 2009. It was love at first sight and I couldn't wait to put her on...officially. 

2010 - summed up in a Q&A

I took these questions I found off Mrs. JYW's Blog and this is my attempt to answer them:

What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I got married!
Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
It was to give my garden more TLC.  I tried, I really did.  No major resolutions for this year.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes!  A close friend and bridesmaid gave birth to her first son, Adler.
Did anyone close to you die?

No one close.
What countries did you visit?
What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Less stress.
What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
10.29.10  Our Wedding Day!
What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Finding a new job.
What was your biggest failure? 
I have to think about this one.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major besides some hard core bronchitis.
What was the best thing you bought?
Lol...honestly?  My orange shoes for the wedding!
Where did most of your money go?
What did you get really excited about?
Seeing friends and family from out of town a few days prior to our wedding. Especially my brother and his family who live in Germany.
What song will always remind you of 2010?
Da'Ville - 'Always On My Mind'
Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? thinner or fatter? richer or poorer?
Happier, a lil fatter (I'm workin' on it) and a little richer!
What do you wish you’d done more of?

Cherished more of the moments that FLEW BY!
What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about everything
How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve mass with my husband, then off to his parents.  Back home to pick up the furbabies, then straight to my parent's house as I refuse to wake up anywhere but at their place on Christmas morning...yes, I can be a brat.
Did you fall in love in 2010?
In love with married life! :P
What was your favorite TV program?
Parenthood, RH of BH!!!!!!
What was the best book you read?

I really liked The Other Boleyn Girl by Philipa Gregory
What was your greatest musical discovery?

Mumford and Sons
What did you want and get?

To marry the love of my life.
What did you want and not get?

$1 million dollars
What was your favorite film of this year?
No favorites from 2010
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 38 on October 11th.  We didn't do much since our wedding was 2 weeks after.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

To actually love what I do.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Dress for the situation.
What kept you sane?

Working out, a glass of wine, talking to my dogs (who listen SO well) and of course talking with my husband.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Javier Bardem! 
What political issue stirred you the most?

Anything related to the banning, re-banning of gay-marriage. I think it is appalling for the government to have control on who a person can love and marry.
Who did you miss?

Those who passed away (canine's included) who weren’t able to make it in for the wedding.
Who was the best new person you met?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Enjoy and savor each moment because it goes by quick!
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I'll get back to you on this one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let the Celebrations Begin!

The day before our wedding, I was filled with excitement as this was the day most of our out of town family and friends would be arriving.  My vehicle was packed to brim with everything we would need for rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, and all things wedding for the big day.  Our wedding was 30 minutes from our house and since we were all staying at the hotel for two nights, we decided to hold our rehearsal dinner at the hotel, Courtyard by Marriott which was a stellar idea!  They were very accomodating as well which made things so much easier.

My team consisted of my Dad, Todd's parents, eventually one of my very close friends, Lisa and me to set up the room to perfection.  It looked beautiful.  At this point all we needed to do was get ready and go to rehearsal come back to the hotel to greet our guests and mangia, mangia, mangia!

Rehearsal at Robert Ryan's Columbia Station ran pretty smooth thanks to our awesome Coordinator, Alia. She ran a tight ship which made me feel as if I was to be left in the hands of perfection!  The tables and chairs were out and set up in the ballroom and it just made it that much for real.  Just being there, the night before my wedding day with all of our family and close friends was surreal.

We drove back to the hotel for dinner and to my dismay, I learned that my husband to be had said a thank you and toast to our guests while I ran up to my room to bring down all of the gifts we had for our wedding party.  But, we ate, drank, laughed and cried.  Here are a few photos.

Father Michael
Okay, not brother-in-law

Aunt Darlene, Mira and Mom

Todd's Dad with Jaya

The Grings!

Mira, Me and Fred

Me and my girl!

Kelsey, Me and Mira

Todd and Nick

Mom and Dad with my Aunt and Uncle

Uncle Jim and Me

Teresa and John

Todd and his brothers, Ernie and Michael

Kelsey, Liz and Brianne

Todd and his Dad

Dad and Teresa

I've Got A Secret!

I interrupt this scheduled wedding recap with a news announcement.  I joined Weight Watchers.  Yep, me...I did it.  I've been struggling with trying to lose these 10lbs that I've been wanting to take off now for a while.  I do workout, infact, I teach a body pump class, but I don't want to have to workout every day.  Hence, the need and want for a little extra help.

My first WW meeting was on Thursday, January 6th where I got weighed in (weighed less than I had originally thought) and handed several different forms of reading literature.  I've been allotted 29 points each day and at first was a tad overwhelmed because:

  • I don't enjoy cooking
  • I was going to have to cook
  • Did I mention cooking?

I hit the grocery store Friday night with a week of dinner meal's planned and a shopping list.  And I did it! I cooked dinner each night so far and it was gooooooooooooood! Todd even enjoyed each meal.  All of my dinner recipes came straight off of WW eTools.  Quick and easy.  That's how I like my recipes.

Friday night: Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Edamame
Saturday night: Turkey Burgers (Jenny O) with Dijon Roasted Potatoes
Sunday night: Beef and Broccoli Stirfry with Brown Rice
I took advantage of the weekend and also cooked a meal in the slow cooker which we will be having tonight: Italian Lentil and Sausage stew! 

And while I just came off a week of insomnia, I fully plan on working out while doing this.  I'm headed to the gym tonight for a run and am so looking forward to it!

I'm on day 4 of my first week and all I can think about is that I won't have lost any weight at my next meeting a mere 3 1/2 days away.  I'll feel terrible if that's the case.  This new way of eating and thinking about the food I'm about to ingest is intriguing.  I've learned that what I thought was an okay portion size of anything from honey in my tea to a side of brown rice was waaaaay too much.  I've been alloted 29 points a day.  When I use of all 29 points, that's it.  No mas.  No more.  Done.  The new PointsPlus program also allots for 49 extra weekly points.  I'm trying very hard to not ust those but I down to 47 because I just had to have one glass of wine.  Hey, I'm only human.