Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy New Year

This is my new favorite quote. It really fits during the New Year and I have adopted it as my quote for 2008. This is my year to hit my bulls-eye.

"Aim at a high mark and you will hit it.
No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third.
But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect.
Finally, you'll hit the bulls-eye of success."

-Annie Oakley

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish you a very merry CHRISTmas!!

I hope you all have a blessed day with your loved ones tomorrow.

Remember Christmas is about Christ's birth. He came to earth as a baby, grew up and died on the cross for you, so that you may have eternal life with him someday in heaven.

This is the greatest gift of all. You just can't believe he did this for you, you must accept this gift.

Please remember to keep Christ at the focus of your holiday.

If you ever have any questions you know you can email me at


Friday, December 07, 2007

Merry Tossmas!!

Check out this link!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'd like to buy a vowel, please!

Keith and I are on our way out of town tomorrow morning at 4:45am. We are catching a plane to Southern California. We are going to a taping of Wheel of Fortune. 25 years ago in December of 1981 my husband was on Wheel of Fortune for Teen Week. He won a pair of scissors and pie filling as his prizes for being on the show. What makes this an exciting show is that it was Pat Sajak's first show ever. Vanna White was not even on the show yet.

Keith will not be on the show as a contestant this time, but he will be part of a clip show that is celebrating Pat's 25th year on the show. I will tell you all when it will be on the air, so you can TIVO it.

Enjoy the picture below and try and figure out which one is Keith.

For a recap of the show that Keith was on you can visit

While we are there we will get to see family and friends as we both grew up in Southern California. Keith's sister, Heather and her husband, Kevin will be coming to the taping and we will be staying with my Aunt Linda and Uncle Wilson and I'll get to see childhood friends. We are only going until Saturday.

I'll try and take pictures of the experience and of Pat and Vanna. I'll blog when I can and let you know all about it. We are very excited and look forward to our time together. We are going without the kids, so please pray for safe travels and that they will have a good time with their babysitters. They will be at different sitters due to the fact that they attend different schools about a half hour away from each other. Tricia is fine with us going. She always has been. You know how kids cry at pre-school when their parents leave. Tricia never did in fact she would say, "MOM, leave. You can go now. Stop crying." Parker rarely cried, but he was a little more clingy and he still is. He is having a harder time with us going. At least it's not a long trip. Please pray for us all as we are apart.

I'm off to LaLa Land. Be back in blogland soon.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Haiku Mondays

Today is Monday
Here is my haiku for you
I hope you like it!

Shopping has begun
A crowded mall is no fun
I am almost done!

I love Christmas Time
A snowman is in my yard
My kids laugh at him!

Comment please today
5,7,5, is the way
Have a happy day!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner Fun!!

This year Keith was out of the country, so I took the kids to a water park in Wisconsin and then last night we ate dinner at Old Country Buffet. The only requirement I made the kids do was they had to have Turkey.

Parker's Thanksgiving Dinner:
1st plate was Turkey and French Fries
2nd plate was Turkey, Mac n Cheese, and about a tablespoon of mashed potatoes.
Dessert: Ice Cream with a TON of syrup.

Tricia and I did a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner. However, her second plate consisted only of mashed potatoes, gravy, and a plain baked potato.

We got to talking and I asked them what their dream Thanksgiving dinners would be.

Here is Parker's dream Thanksgiving Dinner:

Main Courses

More Cheese
Super Cheese
Turkey Cheese
Mashed Potatoes and Cheese
French Fries dipped in Cheese


Cheese Ice Cream


Cheese Milk or Cheese Nog

Tricia's Dream Thanksgiving Dinner

Main Courses

Baked Potatoes that you can eat with your fingers (Last night at OCB I kept telling her to use a fork for her potato, so I think this is how this entree was inspired)

Mashed potatoes and gravy
Special Sandwiches served in a potato skin filled with Turkey, Cheese, ham, and bacon
Tacos filled with ground turkey, cheese, and lettuce


Egg Nog
Chocolate Milk


Cherry or pumpkin pie

My dream Thanksgiving Dinner

Main Courses

Chocolate Turkey
Chocolate Potatoes with Chocolate Gravy
Chocolate Casserole
Chocolate Stuffing
Chocolate Covered Cranberries


Chocolate Pie

XXL Diet Coke
or Chocolate Milk

We then figured out what our NIGHTMARE Thanksgiving would be.

Main Courses

Tofu Turkey
Brussel Sprouts
Liver and Onions
Cow Brains and Gravy
Boiled Sneaker Soup
Road Kill Ravioli
Alligator Eyes
Buffalo Chips


Chocolate Covered Rat Poop
Oppossum Pie
Cow Pies


Bloody Sodas
Batwing Expressos

I then asked us to say 3 things we were thankful for.

1. Wii
2. Nintendo DS
3. TV


1. Friends
2. Family
3. Food


1. Family
2. Friends
3. The USA

We saw someone that was in the Navy and we thanked her for serving our country. We then wrote her a poem on a napkin and Tricia wrote her a Haiku (that's my girl). By the time we finished she was gone. Here is the Haiku and Poem. If you have served in the military or are serving our family thanks you and appreciate all you do for us.

Here is the poem:

We are thankful for the US of A
We appreciate you serving in the NAVY in every way (if you didn't serve in the NAVY insert branch you served in)
So we want to wish you a special Thanksgiving Day!!

Tricia's Haiku:

Happy Thanksgiving
You serve us the US of A
Thanks! Hip, Hip, Hooray!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Thirteen Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Here are thirteen things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

1. My Lord Jesus Christ and His unconditional love for me.
2. My wonderful husband, Keith. I have been married to him for 13 years and look forward to many more. He is in Spain this Thanksgiving. I miss you honey. Have a great Thanksgiving.
3. My kids, Tricia and Parker, who make me smile everyday. I love being a Mom. Thanks.
4. My family. I love you all. Thanks for everything.
5. My best friend, Darlene. This fall we celebrated 22 years of being friends. Thanks for all the fun memories and always being there for me.
6. My friends at church. You guys have welcomed us so much in the last year.
7. My online blogger buddies. You are all so encouraging and fun.
8. I am thankful for this wonderful country I live in and all the men and women who serve our country.
9. I am thankful that I am almost done getting my teaching degree.
10. My nieces and nephews. Jim, Ron, Maddy, Andy, Ben, Laney, and Lukie. I love being your Aunt. Always remember what happens with Auntie stays with Auntie. :-) Especially when I give you M&M's when your Mom's aren't looking. :-)
11. I am thankful that Christmas is right around the corner. Christmas is so much fun!!
12. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to better my life by getting healthy both spiritually and physically. Thank you everyone for your support during this journey.
13. I am thankful for a holiday where we can reflect on what we have and are thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving. Please take time to focus on the positive things in your life and make sure to thank someone today for what they have done in your life.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Haiku (Bless You!!)

Here it is Monday and here is another installment of Haiku Monday.

It has been a week
SInce I started Haiku day
Won't you write me one?
(remember 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the last line. Have Fun!!)

I still have no voice
Teaching tonight is a must
The show must go on.

Today is Gym Day
I will walk on the treadmill
No voice required

Happy Monday Everyone!! Happy Haikuing!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Haiku Mondays

Haiku Mondays-on Mondays I will be writing Haikus for your enjoyment and hope you will leave a Haiku in the comment section for my enjoyment as well. The first line of a Haiku is 5 syllables, 2nd line is 7 syllables, and the last one is 5 syllables.

I have lost my voice.
Where are you voice? I need you.
Come back to me now.

Losing your voice sucks
need my voice to teach tonight
This is such a plight

I am sick today
The gym is where I should be
not seeing the doc

I have a friend Greg
He is an inspiration
His wife would be proud!
(Check out his blog Bolder in Boulder at right)

Triathlons are cool
I will run my 5K soon
I am proud of me

I need to go now
The doc is waiting for me
Doc please help me now


Here are two haikus to update you on my doctor appointment

The doctor said you
have Laringitis and you
have Sinusitis

Pharingitis too
Chicken Soup is good for more
than a person's soul

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weight Watchers Update

I went to weight watchers today. It has been three weeks since I've been there. My schedule is normal now, so I will be able to get every week now. Here is my update:

Starting Weight: 306.2
Last Weighin: 301
Today's Weight: 299.6
Today's Weightloss: 1.4 pounds
Total weightloss: 6.6

I am very happy that I made it to the under 300 mark. I will never go back there EVER again. I'm trying to lose 20 pounds by New Year's Day. I'm well on my way. Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Reindeer Run, What should I wear?

I just signed up for a 5K on December 2, 2007. I will be doing the Lifetime Fitness Reindeer Run in Algonquin, Illinois.

I'm always excited after I sign up for something. My time in October was 55 minutes. My goal is to do it in under an hour and beat my last time.

Any suggestions on what to wear when it is cold out? I'm also going to do a New Year's Day 5K in Chicago. Help me know what to wear. Thanks.

Here is my thirteen Thursday a day late.

13 reasons I am going to lose weight (OK, Maybe it's a little more than 13)

1. To live longer.
2. To finally look good in a biking jersey and bike shorts (is that possible?)
3. To fit on all the rides at Great America and Walt Disney World.
4. To be able to run with my kids and not have to stop.
5. To be able to shop in a 'regular' store.
6. To not be an Athena at triathlons.
7. Because I deserve it.
8. So I can walk by a mirror and actually want to look in.
9. So I can be a better teacher.
10.Because it gets harder as I get older.
11.To feel sexy for my hubby.
12.Because I take care of everyone else and now it is time to take care of myself.
13.I don't want to die young like my Mom.
14. My kids deserve to have their Mom around a lonnng time. I don't want my kids going through what I went through not having a Mom.
15.I want to meet my grandkids.
16.My husband has loved me uncondtionally no matter my size, but I want to be able to do things with him that I can't. So, I want to lose weight to be able to enjoy life to the fullest with my husband.
17.So I can go on Amazing Race and not be the fat girl eliminated in the first leg of the race.
18.So, I can take dancing lessons.
19. To get rid of my back problems.
20. To encourage others like me that they can do it.

I could go on, but my daughter needs to go and buy a birthday present for her friend. This was good to do to get me refocused. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My brother Jordan is going to run a marathon

For those of you who don't know I have a younger brother named Jordan. We are 9 years a part, so sometimes I feel like his Mom. I am always bragging about him and oh so proud of him. He is 25, but he'll always be my little bro.

Jordan has really been getting back in shape. We talk and he and his wife Kelly have always been such a great encouragement to me.

He has decided to run the Chicago Marathon October 2008.

He has started a blog at Just thought those of you who have run a marathon might want to say hi to him as he starts his journey.

Jordan you have always been my hero. Keep up the good work and I'm here for you.

Love ya little bro.

On another topic. Remember, I listed everything I was going to be doing this fall as far as fitness was concerned. Well, this Sunday was going to be my bike ride. When I went to register it had filled, so I couldn't sign up for that. I decided to do a 5K instead, but realized yesterday I'm needing to concentrate on school and get some online classes done before I can student teach. I have decided that I will not be doing any races this month. I will still be doing my Dec. 2 run and my New Year's Day 5k and possible polar bear swim.

Also, I will not be able to blog as much due to the pressures of school. I will still be doing my thirteen thursdays and blog here and there, but if I want to graduate in May with my teaching degree I need to stay focused.

I'm still making the gym and weight loss a priority, so I will keep you posted here and there on how that is going.

Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thriteen Thursday is Back

I used to blog every Thursday 13 positive things. It covered a range of topics. I'm going to be doing that again and start today.

Thirteen reasons I love my kids and am proud of them.

1. The make me laugh all the time.
2. Parker has always said singing is his gift from God. I love listening to him sing when he thinks no one is listening. It is so sweet.
3. Tricia playing her violin.
4. When they tell me a joke and crack themselves up. You can't help but laugh.
5. When I get my snuggle time early in the morning.
6. When Parker kisses me in public. He's 8. How much longer is this going to last?
7. When my kids tell me they are proud of me.
8. When they draw me pictures.
9. When they set a goal and accomplish it.
10. When they tell me that they want to do kid tris or run cross country.
11. Tricia's love of science and animals.
12. Long car rides, jamming Toby Mac or Highschool Musical, singing and laughing together. (I'm sick of HS musical, but it sure beats Barney or the Wiggles.)
13. I love my kids because they are the reason I am a Mom and that is the most incredible journey I have ever been on.


I found a bunch of pictures of the kids on my MAC photo booth one day. I didn't know they had played with it. This is my favorite that they took. Very artsy. I do not have two sets of twins (thank goodness). Just think it's a cool picture. Have a great day and think of some positive things in your life and your day will go better.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quote from Slow Fat Triathlete

If you're a large woman in America, your whole life is an opportunity to feel self-conscious, embarrassed, resentful and way too big. You can hide in the corner or on the couch, you can go to therapy, or you can put on your lycra bike shorts and get out there and move.
—Jayne Williams

This is a great book and one of the reasons I am active today before losing all my weight. Remember, just make a small goal and get out there and do it.

Confucious say, "A journey of a million miles begins with one step."

Whatever it is you want to do, get out there and do it and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Have a happy tuesday!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

5K Done!!

Well, this morning was my Halloween Hustle 5K. It was a beautiful morning weather wise. It looked like a good turn out. I'm not sure how many came last year. This is only the 2nd year for this event. My goal for this race was to do it in under 1 hour.

Well, I finished and I finished in under 1 hour. My unofficial time was 55:13.

I was a little disappointed with how the race was run. They considered this a 5K run/walk. The police that were blocking intersections so we could cross left before I got to them. There was only 1 cop blocking an intersection that I crossed and I thanked her. I did not feel very safe on this course and it will make me rethink if I do this event again next year or not. I will be emailing or calling the race director. I probably would have had a better time if I didn't have to wait for traffic to cross the street twice. One time I almost had to wait a full minute because of traffic. I was very frustrated.

On the flip side of that it was the most beautiful day we have had in a long time. I enjoyed being outside, excercising, and enjoying God's beauty. I had to keep changing my inner dialogue.

Here are the things I was telling myself after crossing the first busy intersection:
-Why did I want to do this?
-I could be back in bed.
-Why do I do these events when I know I'll be in last place?
-Am I ever going to lose this weight?

Here is what I changed my inner dialogue to:
_I'm doing this race because I deserve to be happy.
-I'm so happy I didn't stay in bed this morning.
-Thank you God for a beautiful day.
- Because of me friends have signed up for 5K's and triathlons. I encourage others to make change, so I can't stop now.
-I am going to lose this weight becasue I hate being last at 5K's
-I'll never be able to run a 5K if I never do them, so YEAH ME!!
-I will run my 5K's by this summer.
-My family and myself are so important to me I will make a change.

Here are some things that I am very proud about today (in random order)
-I finished my 5K even though I was very discouraged on the course. The thought of quitting never even crossed my mind.
-I didn't litter on the race course. I am very picky about race litter and don't want these little communities wishing we'd never been there.
-I changed my negative talk into positive, which can be very hard.
-I won an honorable mention medal for my halloween costume. It was a t-shirt that said THIS IS MY COSTUME and a GOOFY hat.
-I met up with my family after the race to spend some time with them even though I really wanted to go back to bed and sleep.
-I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with tomato only at McDonald's after the race. They made it wrong 2 times and I stuck to my guns until they got it right. In the past I would have just kept the one with Mayo on it instead of standing up for myself.
-I already have a plan in place for my next 5K, next month.
-I am proud of being an example to my kids. Next year my 10 year old will be running cross country. Even though I may not be thin they see me being active and I love when they do the same.

I need to run. We are going to the country's biggest corn maze tonight with a group from church. YEAH, more walking. :-) I hope that we do not get lost in there.

Have a great day and stay active.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fall/Winter Fitness Plans

Here is what I am planning to do this fall and winter.

Here are the events I am planning to do:

October 20-5K

November 11-Bike the tollway 20 mile loop (they have added on to one of our tollways and they are letting people bike it before they open it to cars. The funny thing when you register is there is an asterisk and it says, "Snow removal will be available if necessary." That scares me a little.

Thanksgiving Day- Turkey Trot 5K-still deciding which one to do

Dec. 2- Algonquin Reindeer Run-5K

Jan. 1-New Years Day 5K-downtown Chicago
also Polar Bear Swim in Lake Michigan-Downtown-still deciding on this one-see my poll and vote on whether or not you think I should do this.

My weight loss goal by January 1, 2008 is: lose 20 pounds

There you have it. Once I am done with all these little races I will start focusing on my triathlon training for 2008. I plan on doing three sprint tris. One in June, July, and August. I'm excited.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Please pray for Luz

My Aunt Linda in California has been an elementary school teacher for some time now. She had a student named Luz a couple of years ago. Luz has been diagnosed with Lukemia and has been battling it for quite some time now. My Aunt has been her at home teacher because she was too sick to attend school. My Aunt would go and teach in her classroom and then make time to teach Luz. My Aunt is an amazing woman. She and my Mom are the reason that I work with kids and the reason that I am going into teaching. Anyway, back to Luz. My kids and I write her from time to time. My Aunt is continually amazed at this little girls strength and courage. When she loses her hair she won't wear a wig. She always has a smile on her face. Luz is about to face her most strenuous treatment yet. Here is the email that my Aunt send tonight. Please pray for Luz and her family. If you want to send her a note of encouragement email me at and I will give you her address. I know that she loves getting mail.

Here is the email from my Aunt:

Hello Everybody

I am writing asking for prayer for Luz, my little student. Luz just completed her most difficult round of chemo and steroids. Then she got an infection and ran a low grade fever so she was hospitalized this past week and put on three antibiotics. She came home on Thursday and is in good spirits. She lost all of her hair again this past week.

Starting tomorrow Luz will have one and a half weeks of radiation on her brain so please pray for her for God's protection, peace for her and her family, and that they will be encouraged by many people surrounding them. The hospital is providing an apartment for Luz and her Mom that will be near the hospital so that they can rest. Pray also for her Dad and two sisters, Victoria and Vanessa, who will keep the home fires burning! They are doing the radiation as a preventive measure for the future because with her type of leukemia it often comes back in 12 - 15 years (in 5% of the cases) and effects the brain. So I am asking all of you to please uphold this precious little girl in prayer for the next couple of weeks. Soon she will be in maintenance and be able to return to school and be around people more. Then she will still have two years of chemo ahead of her but only once a month until she goes into remission.

Thank you so much for praying!
Love, Linda xoxo

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Weight Watchers Update

Today marked 4 weeks since I was last at Weight Watchers. The last time I was there and gave a report was on September 15th. I did not want to go and since it was my birthday that was going to be my reason not to go, but I figure there are always going to be holidays and reasons not to work on my weight, so I decided that I am not going to accept my excuses anymore, so I went to Weight Watchers and not wanting to know I told the lady just to write down my weight in my book without telling me and she said, "Are you sure you don't want me to tell you?" I thought, hmmmm, that sounds positive. So I let her tell me and I have lost 3.6 pounds since September 15th. I'm so proud of myself. I have been making better eating choices, but have not been able to get to the gym for 2 weeks,so I thought I had gained. So here are my stats:

Starting Weight: 306.2
Todays Weight: 301.0
This Weeks Weight Loss: 3.6
Total Weight Loss: 5.2

GO ME!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Crazy Stressful Week is Done!!

Here is my week in a nutshell. . .

1. Sun. Apple Cider Century went well. Didn't make it the whole 25 miles, but didn't want to hurt my ankle before my week long teaching assignment. See previous post.
2. Mon-Fri. My teaching experience was incredible. I observed on Monday and the teacher had me teaching on Tuesday. I taught Wednesday, Thursday, and helped on Friday. Friday was cool because it was a field trip. I also got an A+ on an art project that I did. The kids were great. They didn't want me to leave. One girl gave me a sweet note and I got lots of hugs as I left. The principal said I could give him my resume when I was done with school. What a compliment.
3. Mon. and Thurs. I went to and finished most of my homework for my two college classes.
4. I was able to make babysitting arrangements for Mon-Thurs. for my daughter who decided that this stressful week was a good week to get sick. She is doing well and was able to go back to school on Friday. HUGE THANKS TO CINDY, AUNTIE DARDAR, KEITH, SARA, and TERRIE (who it ends up I didn't need, but she was willing!!) I couldn't have done it without you guys. YOU ROCK!!
5. Sat.(today)- I took my 2nd state certification test. I'm not that confident on how I did, but we'll see. I can take it again in November if I need too. If I don't pass this I cannot move on to student teaching. Please pray for that for me.
6. Sat. 8:30pm (tonight) I'm getting ready for bed. Good night.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement this week. Thank you all for your support and encouragement on this crazy journey of mine. You all are the best!! My birthday is one week from today. GO ME!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Apple Cider Century

Today I did the Apple Cider Century in Three Oaks Michigan. I did it with my buddy, Darlene. We did the 50 mile loop last year and this year we decided to do the 25 mile loop. I don't have a long time to write right now, but wanted to let you know that I made it about 20 of the 25 miles. I have been having trouble with my left ankle and it really started hurting everytime I would peddle. The last 5 miles was very hilly and I didn't want to chance hurting it worse, so I opted out of the last 5 miles. I was bummed, but had a great day. It was great being with a friend, enjoying the beautiful weather and the beautiful scenary. We are already going to sign up for next year. Our goal next year is to do 50 again. I'll write more and include pictures when I can.

Oh Yeah, on the drive home we saw a bike on the expressway. We are wondering if someone even knows that they lost their bike of their rack. I cannot even imagine getting home and finding your bike missing. It's almost as bad as when I read someone's blog who forgot that their bike was on their roof top rack and went through the starbucks drive thru, i think, and runied their bike.

Next up, my Halloween 5k on October 20th. My goal is to finish in under an hour!! GO ME!!

I need to get to bed. I'm pretty tired. I'll write more later.

Friday, September 28, 2007


This next week is going to be crazy. I'm not sure how I am supposed to get everything done, but I will.

Saturday-Sept. 29th- I am going to a wedding of a couple that I have known since they were little. I think that I have known the groom, Isaac, since he was in 1st or 2nd grade and the bride since she was in about 4th grade. They have grown up together at church and are now getting married. I'm so excited to go, but it also makes me feel so old.

After the wedding I get picked up by my friend Darlene and head to Michigan to do the Apple Cider Century bike ride. It is a beautiful ride. The trees here are already starting to turn colors, so we look forward to the ride. The have 25, 50,75, and 100 mile bike rides. Last year we did the 50 mile loop. This year we are going to do the 25 mile ride. It was a lot of fun and I cannot wait to do it. The ride is on Sunday.

Sunday after the ride I head home and do homework and then get ready for a week long teaching experience for school. I will be in the classroom all week of a 5th grade teacher. I will be teaching between 1-3 lessons and maybe doing a bulletin board or two. This is on top of other classes. I'm excited to finally get in a classroom though. I was hoping for a younger grade, but 5th grade is fine. My daughter is in 4th and her bestfriend is in 5th. I know most of the songs to High School musical 1 and 2 and I watch Hanna Montana, so I'll be fine with the girls and I love sports, and know enough about Japanese Animation to get me by. I should be ok. :-) We'll see what happens.

I still have to go to my classes that meet on Monday and Thursday night and I have a HUGE state certification test on October 6th. The pressure is insane, but I'll do it.

I'm bummed though cause the means less time at the gym. I will have to make it up at home and in the eating department. All the spare time I will have next week will be used for studying and taking care of the family. Phew. I'm tired just thinking of it all.

Please pray for me as I try to balence all of this. I should probably skip the bike ride, but I can study in the car and I need the time away. It will be good for me. Have a blessed week as blogging will not be a priority from here on out. I'll probably blog on October 7th to let you know how everything went unless I am dead.

UPDATE (9/29/07)-please check out and leave comments for my friend AUNT RITA. I have her blog listed to the right. She will be a first time triathlete tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon. GO RITA!!! YOU WILL KICK SOME BOOTAY!!

Also, I have listed some more great blogs. Check out Jessi Thompson, Iron Trish, Im Able, Live Each Day, Iron WIll and Waddling. These blogs give me great inspiration when I read them. Iron Wil is going to have a contest in the off season to help keep all of us athletes going during the hard winter months. She even has prizes. Check out her blog for details.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I had a major victory today.

There were about 8-10 dozen doughnuts in the choir room today at church to celebrate two birthdays. There was every imaginable doughnut on that table. I had to walk by the table about 5-6 times today and I didn't have 1 doughnut. It was hard the first time, but then it was easy. I was very proud of myself.


I had a very victorious day with my eating. Thank you Lord for a great day.

No Weight Watchers Update

There is no weight watchers update this weekend because I didn't go. I had a lot going on this week with school, getting sick, and life and my body was starting to shut down.

Keith and Parker went on an overnight camping trip from Friday to Saturday, so it was just Tricia and Me. She slept with me and I told her under no circumstances was she to wake me up. Obviously if her limb was falling off or the house was burning down then she could, but besides that she was instructed not too. My body had been telling me for a few days that I needed rest. Tricia obeyed by watching TV after she woke up and I got to sleep in. At one point I woke up and told her to turn down the TV and she said "Mom, you were snoring so loudly that I couldn't hear my show." I told her to turn it down and if I started snoring again she had my permission to turn it up again. I slept until almost 10am. It was great and I felt great. Even though I missed my weigh-in it was worth it to me. I am not good to anyone or myself sick.

Off to church today to sing in choir and worship my Lord.

The song we are singing is BE STILL. It is based on the bible verse Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know I am God." The song we are going to sing talks about how in life's storms we can be still and know that he is God even in those hard times. It has really helped me and the song is beautiful. My friend Darlene shared with me this verse recently and told me to just use 46:10 as a reminder it has helped. I can be going through a hard time and she'll just say 46:10 and it helps me to get a new perspective.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I overcame

I must confess I did not want to work out today. I was sick yesterday, which pretty much kept me in bed all day. I feel like I have liquid in my ear which has caused me to be a little off balence (no comments from the peanut gallery) and my back was hurting.

My friend, Cindy, didn't feel up to it either, but we persevered and did it. It wasn't my best workout because of the back, but I sill did cardio and weights. If I worked out by myself I would have never gone. Cindy and I have so much fun working out that we even got shushed today. We asked another lady if we were being too loud and she said no. Next time if the lady wants to read a book she should go to a library or listen to music. We were across the room and mainly talking about working out. Sheeesh.

It was a hard workout, but I am so happy that I went and in the past I wouldn't have gone or I wouldn't have stayed as long. In fact my back is feeling a little bit better. I'm so proud of myself. YAY ME!!!!!

Also, just wanted to say that I know some of you are having a hard time seeing my before pics, so I will work on that. I'm new to my Mac and not sure if I did something wrong on this end. I'll try later or tomorrow to post them from my PC. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Love this quote

My weight watchers leader shared this quote with us.

"Something is better than nothing. The problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you're finished!"

- Ben Franklin

Have a great week everyone. I have a ton to do this week, so I'm not sure how much I'll be blogging. This week both my brothers celebrate their birthdays. Happy birthday lil bro and big bro. I love you both soooo much.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Weight Watchers Update

Last week's weight as posted was 306.2
This week's weight is 304.6
Weightloss for this week is 1.6 pounds.
306.2 is my starting weight, so I will start posting total weight lost next week.
Tune in next week for another update.

Weight and Excercise Goals for this week:

-Lose 5 pounds, I know that is a hefty goal, but I would love to see my weight in the 200's next week. We'll see. My realistic goal is 2 pounds. :-)
-Workout 5 days this week. Three with Cindy and 2 by myself. GO ME!!!!
-Journal everything I eat and keep track of my weight watchers points better.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm For You

I had a awesome workout today and did so by rockin' to my boy Toby Mac. I was working out to his album Momentum because I feel like I have a lot of that going for me right now. He is a Christian Hip Hop artist. His music really had me going. I included song lyrics that I hope will encourage you no matter what you are going through in life. Hang in there with whatever is going on and you will get through it. This song is called I'm For You and is off his Portable Sounds CD. Just remember I'm For You!!

I'm for You Lyrics

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm excited!

Tonight was meet the teachers night at Tricia's new school. For those of you who do not know Tricia is in 4th grade and is going to a new private school for gifted kids. This is the second week of school and a big transition for her. She was very excited last week to try cross country. She talked to the cross country coach, who is also one of her gym teachers, and they both decided that this year was not the year for her to do it because of the activities that she was in and the adjustment to a more rigerous academic schedule.

I was talking to the gym teachers after the session to see what I could do to help Trish be ready for CC next year. As we were talking triathlons came up and it ends up that one of her gym teachers does triathlons. We are going to email and he is going to help me with training for next season. I was then talking to the CC coach and he is going to help me with a running program, so I can reach my goal of running a 5K by next summer. I'm so excited.

The tri community is so awesome. They are so accepting no matter what level you are at or how you look in spandex. I cannot believe what incredible resources I found right in the gym of my daughters school. I cannot wait to talk to them both more.

I got to thinking that I need to set my eyes on some tris for next year.

Here is my plan for Summer of 2008

June-Subaru Women's Triathlon in Naperville Illinois. This was my first ever, repeated it this summer, and will do it every summer. They run a great race and I love participating in a tri that is for all women.
July-Danskin Women's Triathlon in Wisconsin-This one really scares me because it is an open swim in a lake and I haven't done that. The Tri mentioned above is in an old reseivor, so it is like you are swimming in a pool. Scared to death about the open swim, but I am comitting to doing it.
Aug.-Naperville Tri-Same location as the first one except this is a CO-ED one. I didn't really like this one summer 2006 because I had the only jerky Tri guys on my bike rack.

My plan of Summer of 2009

I plan on doing an Olympic Distance Triathlon. I have told people that I would never do that, but I have decided I will. That gives me awhile to work up it.

Thanks to my friend Duane, I'm going to work on getting my health in order. I'm going to get my feet in shape since they are always a mess when I work out and do my events. I'm going to go to a foot doctor and work on getting the right shoes. I'm going to keep losing the weight and see what happens with my lower back. Duane has always kept working on his health no matter how many copays he had to pay or hurdles he had to jump over. I'm going to start taking better care of myself in that way. He is truly an inspiration. Check out his blog. There is a link to the right called COUCH POTATO TO IRONMAN. He is the reason I started posting my weight on here. If Duane can get real about it then so can I. Thanks Duane. When you check out his blog watch the video of his first triathlon. It is truly inspirational.

I'm off to bed. Part of this whole getting healthier thing is also getting to bed at a decent hour. My eating could have been better today, but I will pull it back together tomorrow. I'm going to bed a very happy person. Good night.

Things I am grateful for today:
-WIth it being 9/11 and all I want to say that I am thankful for our military for all they do for our country. I'm grateful for all the firefighters the fought to save lives on 9/11 not even thinking about whether or not they would lose their own life and my thoughts go out to the families of every man, woman, or child that lost their life in 9/11. I am grateful for the courage they have shown and taught me.
-Thinking about 9/11 and all the lives lost makes me very grateful for my family and that God keeps giving me more days to live. I will live them to the fullest and not take them for granted.
-I'm grateful for my health. Even though I have a long way to go I am very thankful for my health and how far I've come and that I am able to workout, and participate in Triathlons.
-I'm thankful that I have a sweet, caring, loving, hubby that supports me in all my dreams and adventures. I love you Keith.
-My kids-today I got to watch them sword fight in the front yard afterschool with big foam swords laughing and having fun.
-My siblings-I love you all.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What I accomplished today and what I am grateful for

Today was Monday and was a good day.

I worked out with my friend Cindy. We are working out 3 days a week on mon, tues, and wed. We started last week Wed and haven't missed a day yet. I was sore and tired today and did't want to go and after getting there had a great workout. Thanks Cindy for being my workout buddy.

I finished writing a lesson plan to teach to my college class and had a blast writing it and teaching. My teacher said that it was very good.

I kept on track with my eating.

I didn't eat a 3 mustketeer bar when I really wanted to

I get home from school late and usually eat and didn't even feel that temptation tonight. Go Me!!

I am grateful for:

Friends-today I was especially thankful for Cindy. She makes me laugh while I workout. :-) It so hard to laugh when your abs hurt so bad that you feel like someone is ripping them out through your belly button.
Grateful that I live in America.
Grateful that my kids are healthy and do not have any special needs.
Grateful that I have the most supportive and loving husband.
Grateful for my bed, which I need to get in now. :-)

Take time each day to think about what you are thankful for and what you have accomplished instead of focusing on the negative. It does wonders.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A great Sunday!!

I had a great day today and here's why:

-I sang in choir at church for the first time. I felt so close to God. Closer than I have ever felt before.
_ I didn't have any doughnuts in Sunday school and you know what I wasn't even tempted.
-I ate lunch with a great couple from church and their kids.
-I got to go out on the boat with Keith and the kids and watch the kids for the first time in a double tube. I picked it up at a garage sale for 15 bucks. They were singing, talking, and laughing while tubing. It was so fun.
-I loved watching Keith with the kids. He is an awesome Dad and I am so blessed to have him as my hubby.
_ Our pastor talked about loving others today at church and how that isn't always easy because we are called to love even those hard people. Today was a great day because I revisited just how much God loved me. He loved me so much he sent His only son to die on the cross for me and forgive me my sins. My sins are forgiven. If He loves me that much, who am I not to love others as much as He loved me. It's such a great feeling to think about how much he loves me and how it is unconditional.

Goals this week: Lose 3 pounds, read my bible 5 times this week, show someone I love them, get to the gym 5 times, go to spinning once (give my old spinning teacher a heart attack), have a fun week, and realize how blessed I am EVERYDAY!!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Just when I was thinking. . .

I have really messed up with my weightloss and cannot believe how I let myself go, I get an email from a friend I met online about a year ago that said, "Hi Melissa. I just wanted to say Hi. I'm doing my first triathlon on September 30th because of you. I like the new look of your blog. Email me with any last minute Tri advice. I miss you." Thanks so much for the email, Rita. It really helped me to see that I have still come a long way even though I've hit some bumps in the road of my weightloss journey. My weight watcher leader just said today that it's all about the compass and not the clock. It's not about how long it takes you to lose the weight, but what direction you are heading. He is going to give us little compasses next week. I thought that was cool and gave me new perspective.

Also, this week I was reading my Bible and reading a book called Prayer Walking. The author kept referring to God as her personal trainer. I thought, WOW, that is really a cool concept. I have been trying to do this for so long on my own and it hasn't been working, so I dedicated my healthy lifestyle makeover then and there to God. I have had an excellent week. I am excited to see where this is going to go. I am mentally renewed, motivated, and can feel the momentum towards an awesome outcome.

I had weight watchers today. I gained 2.2 pounds since I was there three weeks ago. That would have bugged me last week, but with my new outlook on my whole lifestyle change, I'm ok with that. I will let you know how my weigh in goes next week. I have also decided to take a HUGE step today. This will not be easy, but I need to do this. I'm going to be posting my weight on here. It's not really for those of you who read this, but as an accountability to myself. I have always hid how much I weigh and if I see it on my blog every week it will hold me accountable each week to eat less and move more. :-)

Rita, look at a lot of the blogs that I have links to on the right hand side of the blog. There is a lot of great motivation, inspiration, and advice about Triathlons. Once you click on those links look at the links they have listed. There is a whole great Tri Community there. Put some comments on their blogs and they will email you in a heartbeat. Also, Go to for last minute Tri advice.

My weight as of today is 306. You'll see a lighter number next week gauranteed.

Events coming up:
Sept. 30th- Apple Cider Century where Darlene and I will be riding 25 miles.
October 20th- Halloween 5K
November- Turkey Trot, Bike Ride on the Tollway, and Stair Climb up the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Goals (short term)
-By my October 5k lose 10 pounds
-Do my October 5k in 50-55 minutes

Goals (long term)
-Lose 40-50 pounds by the time I student teach in January
- Do three sprint triathlons Summer of 2008
-be able to run the 5k's at the end of my triathlons
-read through the Bible by May of 2008 when I graduate


Friday, September 07, 2007

Mall of America, Back to School, and The gym

Labor Day weekend was a blast. We headed out to Minnesota to the Mall of America after meeting Tricia and Parker's teachers. Tricia is attending a private school this year and Parker is starting in a new school built in our district. It is an exciting time for both of them. We hit the road around 3:00pm. We stopped for dinner at a place called Buffalo Phils in Wisconsin Dells and then kept going to our hotel by Mall of America. We were tucked in bed by 12:30am. Saturday we took in a Minnesota Twins game and headed to the mall after that. Sunday we spent all day at the mall. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed watching Tricia spend her $350 in giftcards that we won in a sweepstakes. She was very generous with her little brother, which was very nice to see. The highlight for me at the Mall was going to the underground aquarium. There you get to see sharks up close and personal and I got to touch a stingray and a bamboo shark. I also got to read 7 chapters in the book Little Women that I am reading for a class. I read that while the kids were going on all kinds of rides at the indoor amusement park. Keith and I are not HUGE mall people, so the Mall part to us wasn't that spectacular, but we enjoyed having a three day weekend together as a family. The car ride was not that bad either. The kids did great.

Back to school was the day after we got back from Minnesota. Parker started 3rd grade at the Fremont Intermediate School. His teacher is Mrs. Wittenkeller. She seems like she will be a great match for Parker. They school isn't quite done yet. They will get lockers in November and other rooms that are not done will be done by then too. Parker is in what is called a 3/4 MAP (multi age program) class. He will have the same teacher for two years. Tricia did in first and second grade and we loved it, so we look forward to this program for Parker. He already loves his teacher because they did a unit on bubblegum already. He thought it was cool that it was OK to chew gum in school. Parker is also taking voice lessons on Thursdays. He will be having his first recital on December 8th. You are all welcome to come.

Tricia started school on Tuesday at a private school called Quest Academy This is a school that is geared towards kids who are gifted. They teach a grade above where the kids are and really challenge them. She is in the Owl class with 12 other 4th graders. Next week they will begin their voyage on the Mayflower that will last until Thanksgiving. They combine with the other 4th grade class and actually measure out how long the Mayflower was and they have to sit in the Mayflower in costume during social studies. Today in Science she disected an Owl Pellet and found a Mouse skull. She was very excited about this lesson. She also found ribs and her partner found another little skull. In case your wondering an owl pellet is not poop it is puke, to quote Tricia. :-) They eat their food whole and later throw up the bones and fur and other stuff that hardens and then is this pellet. Tricia is also on a Lego Robotics team and in a string ensemble.

Back to school means that I finally can get back to the gym. My friend, Cindy, and I are going to be working out together Mon, Wed, and Thurs. We will be doing Cardio and Weights. We went Wednesday and today and I am very sore. I am also eating a lot better and cannot wait to see the results of my hard work. I am also going to be taking a spinning class on Saturdays before I go to weight watchers. I was going to go tomorrow to spinning, but can't because of scheduling conflicts with Keith's and my schedule. I am excited and very motivated to do well. I will keep you posted on all of our adventures.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I've gone Mac

Well, I've done it. I've gotten a MAC. My husband won a sweepstakes for a shopping spree at the Mall of America and I used my portion of the gift cards on a Mac Laptop. I'm so excited. Because I am a college student I got a free printer, free Ipod, and a couple hundrend dollars off. Life is good. My older brother has been on a Mac for a long time now and has told me all of the benefits, but what really sold me was talking to a few teachers who do lots of cool things for their students using the MAC. They have told me how easy it is. This was really the turning point for me in wanting to get one. I will be student teaching in January and then a teacher hopefully by next fall, so it should come in handy. The bonus is, it was free. The gift cards were VISA cards, so I went ahead and got my gift. We are going to the Mall of America over Labor Day Weekend. We got a free night in a hotel and wristbands for the amusement park. It will be a great time before getting back in the swing of school.

My older brother Karl, Thee Great Mac Evangelist, came over tonight around 10:30ish to install some software and start showing me the ropes. He left at about 1:00am with so much more that he wanted to share. We are getting together again next week for my next tutorial. I look forward to it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's Hairspray!!

For those of you who do not know, Parker, my son is into musical theatre. He took his first class in January where he got to be the Scarecrow in a small rendition of Wizard of Oz. This summer he went to a musical theature day camp where they performed Disney songs. He a couple solos and a speaking part and this school year he will be involved in theatre classes. Not only is Parker into Musical theatre, but so is his Auntie DarDar. She lives for Musicals and has introduced my kids to all the classics. So as you can imagine they were very excited to see the Musical HAIRSPRAY when it came outthis summer. It helped that one of our favorite actors from High School Musical was in it, Zach Efron. We went on opening night and Darlene did our hair. We had a lot of fun doing it and the movie was great too.

My favorite quote from Parker is this. . . .

I was telling Parker before the movie ever came out, that I would have to read some reviews and decide, with Daddy, whether or not I could take him to see it. Parker said, "Mom, it's a movie with singing and dancing. How could anything be wrong with it?"

Enjoy the pictures!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Me after losing 100 pounds

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!I found this computer program that lets me see how I will look after losing 100 pounds, my weightloss goal. Check it out. I found it very interesting. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

New Look!!

How do you like the new look? I had a lot of fun putting this all together. Don't forget to scroll down and look for my weekly poll. I love to hear your comments. Keep 'em coming.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Squirrel Melts-Yummy!!

I have a friend, Tri Girl, who has a new blog at who actually put on her blog that her favorite food is squirrel pie, so this You Tube video is dedicated to my new friend Teri. I laughed so hard when I watched this.

WW Update for Aug. 11, 2007

I had a great week. I was prepared with my eating. I took food with me to events and had healthy snacks for some long car rides. I went to two birthday parties and had no cake and just bites of pizza. I drank mostly water all week and only ate out once. I ate a lot more fruit and veggies than usual. I logged everything I ate and journaled about how my days went. I am very happy. This was a turning point for me. I only made it to the gym once this week, so my goal for this week is to go at least 3 times if not more. I got on the scale today at Weight Watchers and lost another pound. Yahoo go me. My goal is to lose weight every week. I have decided not to concentrate on the numbers. I just want to go down each week. I'm not weighing myself at home anymore. My first small goal is to lose 5 pounds, on top of the 2.4 lost, by August 25th. Let's see how I do. GO ME!! Thank you Lord for an amazing breakthrough this week. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength-Philippians 4:13

Starting next week I will be posting pictures every week with my update, so hopefully we can see a difference. :-)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Weight Watchers Update

I had to miss Weight Watchers for 2 weeks due to family events, so I wasn't sure what to expect on Aug. 4 when I went back to my meeting. I was happy to hear that I lost another 1.4 pounds. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired and had a break through this week. I have had perfect eating habits this week so far and am getting back into a workout routine. It feels so good to be back. I cannot wait to give you another update Saturday. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I got caught giving Lukey M&M's. He loved them as you can tell, but got cut off after 4 M&M's. I love being an Auntie.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Not Givin' Up

My WW update this week is that I gained 2.0 pounds. I'm not sure how or why, but I did. On the way home I popped in an old Bryan Duncan CD. He is a Christian artist I have liked since I was 11. This song came on and really encouraged me after my bad weigh-in.

Givin' Up Givin' Upby Keith Ward
I've gotta stop kickin' myself around,
Swimmin' in a pool of pity.
I'm gonna pick myself up off the ground
And get back to the nitty gritty.
It's just one step, two steps,
And then I'm back on my way.
Sittin' around has just been gettin' me down
And that's why I just have to say . . .

I'm givin' up givin' up.
I'll never give up again!
I'm givin' up givin' up,
And hangin' on 'til the end.
And I'm givin' up givin' up.
I'll never give up again!
And I'm givin' up givin' up,
And hangin' on 'til the end.

I gotta keep working with what I got,
Wait until the clouds start breakin'.
Instead of sittin' and wishin' for a better lot
Than the one already in the makin'.
It's just one step, two steps,
Strength enough for today.
Workin' it out instead of frettin' about it's
Gonna help to keep me on my way

'Cause I'm givin' up givin' up,
I'll never give up again!
I'm givin' up givin' up
An hangin' on 'til the end.
Givin' up givin' up.
I'll never give up again!
Ooh, I'm givin' up givin' up,
And hangin' on 'til the end.

When it gets too hard to take it,
And I don't think I can make it any longer,
That's when I decide I'm gonna take another stride
And ask the Lord to give me the strength to go on

Wo-oh-oh-oh-oh, give it up!
I'll never give up again!
I say ah (scat singing)
Well, I'm givin' up on givin' up
Well, I know it's so sound, it's so simple,
But it's up to me, yeah!
I'm givin' up givin up!
'Cause I know when I do,
You're gonna see me through it again!
I'm gonna pick myself up,
'Cause I'm givin' up givin' up,
It's just one step, two steps
'Cause I'm givin' up givin up!
And I'm back on my way again!
All I gotta do is give it up, give it up,
Just one step,
Try another step
And then another step
Ooh, I'm on my way!
And I'm stoppin' kickin' myself around!
Yeah, I'm gonna pick myself up off the ground
I'm gonna give up, na na!
I'm not really givin' up,
I'm just givin up

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Weight Watchers Update

Every Saturday morning I go to Weight Watchers (WW). I had taken some time off and now am back. I go to a new meeting with a new leader. He is awesome and a great match for me. Every Saturday I will give an update on how I did. This past week was a crazy week. On the 30th we had friends over for a BBQ, Parker's birthday was on the 2nd and we celebrated with the annual cake for breakfast, we had fireworks on the 3rd and 4th, which means eating, and ate out a couple of times. With all that said I wasn't sure how my weigh-in would be, but I am happy to say. . . .

I lost 1.8 pounds. Go me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bike Tan

Click on cartoon to enlarge.

How's your tan this summer?

Monday, July 02, 2007

The professional pictures

There are a group of professional photographers that take pictures at all different places during the event. Here are some of the pictures they captured of me. Enjoy!!

Here I am coming out of the water after my swim.

Here I am biking. Look's like I'm going to beat that girl. I beat her for about 5 seconds. :-)

Here I am plugging along. I had such a sore ankle. UGH!!

Crossing the finish line.

I literally kissed the ground after finishing.

Here I am showing of my finisher's medal. GO ME!!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Official Tri Results


No 164
FN Melissa
LN Black

Last year I did the whole thing in 2:27. My swim was 21:27, T1 7:30, Bike 57:47, T2 4:33, and my run was in 55:33.

I really had a hard time with this triathlon as I did not get to train as much as I would have liked to. Here are some things that I was up against in this event. I had a major leg cramp in the swim that I had to stretch out during my first transition. That is why I have a 9 minute transition. UGH! Also, on the bike I had some chain trouble and a lady flipped off her bike. I just didn't feel right about biking by her. She ended up being ok and there was a cop that came up to assist her. That added time to my bike and on the run I rolled a weak ankle in the first mile. I don't run yet anyway, but was able to plug away and finish. I was very happy to see that my run was under 1 hour. It felt like a lot longer. I know this post may seem like a lot of excuses for my times, but it's just reality. I had a hard day, but putting that all aside I was very proud of myself for finishing. There were several times that I wasn't sure I was going to make it and this shows me that no matter what I am up against I can have a positive attitude and make it through whatever is thrown my way.



Sunday, June 24, 2007

I DID IT!!!!!

My triathlon journey started on Saturday, June 23rd. The Subaru Women's Triathlon Series was held in Naperville, Illinois. They have an EXPO where you can go and get your packet and your numbers put on. They also have a lot of sponsor booths you can go to. Here I am getting my numbers put on. Lucky number 164.

Here I am at the EXPO after getting my numbers marked. I am so proud to call myself a Triathlete. I'm still pretty amazed.

Here I am just a couple hours after meeting my friends Wylee and Siren in person. We have been friends online through our blogs for sometime now. It was great to finally meet them in person. Wylee's blog is at and Siren's blog is at Check them out. They are a lot of fun!! Here we are showing off our Tri numbers outside of Olive Garden. We were getting ready to carb load before hitting the starting line in the morning.

The red head is my friend Wylee and the dark haired girl is my friend Siren.

My hubby and kids couldn't make it today, so I had them write notes on my arms and hands. Here is my arm graffiti from Parker and Keith. Keith drew a heart and a smooch because today was our 13th wedding anniversary. Keith, thanks for your unconditional love and support. I couldn't do all this without you. I love being married to you every minute. Happy Anniversary.

Here is my arm graffiti from Tricia. She is always really proud of me. What's neat is now my kids want to start doing kid's triathlons. I'm so glad that I'm starting to get healthy, so they can be healthy too. My friend Darlene wrote on my right hand too. It said, Breathe, Pedal, Pray. U can do it. These notes really helped me along the way. It made me realize just how much people love and support me. Thanks guys.

Here I am in transition with my bike. I love triathlons.

Here I am waiting for my wave to start. I was in wave 18. Some of the elite athlete's were finishing the race before I even got in the water. Way to go ladies.

Right before my wave a friend of mine walked up to me. She is a trainer at the YMCA where I work out. I see her all the time and what is cool is I have bumped into her at the last three events I have done. I bumped into her in a stairwell while climbing the Sears Tower. I bumped into her at BIKE THE DRIVE with 10,000 people in attendance and now today she bumped into me. She is always so encouraging at the gym and at the events I see her at. Just want to let you know with all that bumping no one has been hurt. :-)

Here I am coming out of the swim. I had just crawled out of the water. Just kidding, but it did feel like it. I encouraged a girl not to quit and she stuck with it. She thanked me later. It was a good feeling to be able to talk someone into not giving up. Later I saw her on the bike leg with her pedal in her hand. She was having bad luck. I hope she stuck with it.

Here I am starting off on my bike. The bike was hard because my leg really cramped in the swim and I had gear shifting problems, but overall it went well.

Here I am crossing the finish line. Every other year I didn't think about a fun finish. This year I remembered to put my arms up and after crossing the finish line and knelt down and kissed the ground. The professional photographer took a picture of it,so I will post it when I get it. It got a good laugh.

Here is Wylee and Teri right after they finished the Tri. This was their first Tri. You girls Rocked it!! Good Job!!

This is my friend Siren finishing the Triathlon. She is 4 1/2 months pregnant. Wahoooo to you and Baby for finishing strong. You ROCK!!

Here are my three friends right after they finished the race. L to R Wylee, Teri, and Siren. Way to go girls.

Today was a great day. It was difficult at times during the triathlon, but I knew that I would finish. Here I some thoughts I had along my journey today.
* I have a great support system. I have so many family members and friends that love me no matter what size I am or what event I am doing. They love me for who I am and that means the world to me.
*Because of it being my anniversary I realized how much I take my husband for granted and how much I truly love him. I don't know where I would be today without him. He completes me. Keith, I love and respect you so much. Thanks for being here for me with school and with all my crazy adventures. You are incredible.
*I have been through a lot of different things this year and one had me really analyzing what a good friend is. I thought I had more friends in my life and then I was hit with a hard situation. It made me realize that I don't need to have a lot of friends. I just need to have quality friends. Today my friend Darlene, whom I have known now for 21 years, was by my side. She couldn't race with me this year, but got up at the crack of dawn and came to cheer me on. I realized even more on this race how much I appreciate her and love her. It's friends like this that only come alone once in a lifetime. Thanks for your support Dar. It means the world to me. We are going to kick some Tri butt next year. :-)
*Because my kids wrote all over my arms I thought of them a lot today and decided that today is the day I start a REALLY healthy lifestyle to get this weight off. They are my inspiration. I want to live a long life and see my grandbabies grow up. Today was really a turning point for me.
*Because it was Sunday and I was missing church I realized how my relationship with Jesus Christ has been on the back burner. I could not have done this triathlon without his strength. I am renewing my relationship with him too.

Today has been a great day in more ways then I can even describe here. I look forward to many more athletic events in my life and look forward to where God will lead me next. I'm feeling very satisfied today. Now tomorrow when every muscle in my whole body aches I'm not sure how I'll be feeling. :-)

Gotta get to bed I'm about to keel over.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Triathlon is Here

Well, this is it. My triathlon is on Sunday. I'm really nervous, but yet excited. I'm not as ready as I was last year. I've gained quite a bit of weight back, so I'm not feeling as confident. I decided that I would turn to the Bible at this time for encouragement. I found many verses that I will cling to during my triathlon. Here they are:

Psalm 63:7-8 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8-My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me up.

Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

1Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run (or walk in my case) in such a way as to get the prize.

The last part of my triathlon will be a 5k, that's 3.1 miles. I will not be running it. I will be walking most of it, so I found some bible verses about walking to encourage me. I was discouraged because my goal was to run my 5K this year and it didn't happen. I am encouraged after reading these verses. Here they are:

Proverbs 4:12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, when you run, you will not stumble.

Psalm 26:3 Your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.

Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.

I love the last verse because it shows me that no matter what I go through God is there to protect me from my foes and reach out to save me.

I also am looking at this verse through the eyes of my triathlon. I will have trouble walking the 5K and it is just a promise to me that God will reach out His right hand and guide me through my triathlon. What a great picture to have with me on race day.

Another neat thing about this triathlon is that I will be meeting two of my online buddies at the triathlon. We met online through my blog and we are now friends. They are doing the triathlon as well and we are meeting the night before for dinner. I cannot wait to meet them. Their blogs are always an encouragement to me. I will definetly take pictures and post them soon. Thanks to all who help me reach my dreams and always encourage me. You know who you are and you are the best.

Good night.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Great Quote

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bike The Drive 2007

As stated in my previous post I did Bike The Drive again this year. This is where Chicago closes down Lake Shore Drive for about 5 hours and opens it to bikers. Last year I was hot and sweaty. This year I was cold and wet. It was still fun. I started heading North as this route is more hilly. I only went a few miles before turning around as I was meeting up with my friend and her Dad at 7:30. Once I met up with them we went South. The South route ends up at The Museum of Science and Industry. This is the fun route as you go by the Field Museum, Soldier Field, McCormick Place and The Museum of Science and Industry. If you do both loops you end up doing 30 miles. I ended up biking 20. I felt great afterwards. Here are pictures of my day. Enjoy!!

This was the first picture I stopped to take after heading North on Lake Shore Drive. It is a self-portrait of myself with Navy Pier in the background.

The weather was really a downer this year. Look at the low cloud coverage over the John Hancock. Yuck!!

Here I am by the Chicago River. For those of you who know my fear of walking across bridges (especially Chicago Draw Bridges), I am standing on part of the bridge for this picture.

I met up with Darlene and her Dad, Bob. Here are Dar and I getting ready to start.

I had already biked North,then headed south and made it to the Mueseum of Science and Industry. Once there I ran up these stairs with my bike I felt like Rocky, so here I am doing my Rocky Pose. There was some annoying guy on a megaphone and when he saw me do this he yelled, "That woman is proud to be a biker."

Darlene ready to ride down the stairs of the Museum of Science and Industry.

My friends and I were heading back from the Museum of Science of Industry to finish our ride and we were having fun taking pictures while we were riding. This guys starts yelling at us, "NO TIME FOR PICTURES. PUT THE CAMERAS AWAY. THEY ARE REOPENING LAKE SHORE DRIVE." Because he was yelling at me for taking pictures I just couldn't resist taking a picture of him.

I would put my camera around my wrist, so I could take pictures while biking. Here is a cool picture of Soldier Field that I didn't even know I took. Look how the pillars are bending.

I saw these guys last year. Love their jerseys.

This is my friend Darlene. We had just finished the ride and were checking out the booths to see what we could get for free.

This bike had a puppet stage on back. I actually saw them riding in Bike The Drive with music on and puppets dancing. I also saw Superman on a very tall bike, but was unable to get his picutre.

Here I am before I head back to the train. I decided to stop by Buckingham Fountain. It was finally starting to warm up. I really enjoy doing this and despite the weather I still had a great time.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Yesterday I went to Bike The Drive, which is where Chicago closes down Lake Shore Drive for 5 hours and opens it to Bikers. If you bike the whole thing it is about 30 miles. I biked 20 of the 30. It was raining and cold at the beginning, but by the time we were done it was sunny and warm. I'm having trouble posting pictures to my blog right now, so they might be out of order.

I rode the train down to Chicago and on the way there met a man named George that was also doing Bike The Drive. I noticed his backpack was camoflauge and it said Operation Iraqi Freedom. I felt so priviledged to meet him and hear his story. One thing that stuck out to me were his eyes. He was telling me stories about how no one cares when they get home. He was telling me how hard it was in Iraq to watch the New York New Years Eve celebration on TV because it made them wonder if anyone was remembering them. The thing that stuck out to me was when he said, "we train ourselves out there not to expect anything when we get home because then we won't be hurt when it doesn't happen." He was travelling home from serving a year in Iraq, the airline asked if anyone would give up their seat for these soldiers to get home. No one did. When they did get on the plane because standbys didn't show up, no one would even make eye contact with them. He said it hurt. He was with three younger soldiers who he didn't know, but told them to get used to it and not to expect anything. His eyes showed me how hurt he is even though he says he's trained himself not to be.

Let's remember our soldiers this Memorial Day!! When you see a soldier thank them for serving our country. I always have my kids do this and only one time did we get a negative comment. Otherwise, it has always been greeted with a smile and a handshake. George told me that when people DO thank him it means the world to him. Let's not hurt our soldiers anymore. Which ever side you are on with this war let's put it aside and not forget our men and women serving. They need our support.

The best thing that I did was stop at a memorial for all the soldiers that have died in Iraq. It was right near Bike The Drive. They had boots of soldiers with their names, ages, where they were from, and some momento or picture for each soldier. It was very moving. Please remember our soldiers this Memorial Day. This is more than just a day off work, day to BBQ, day to go shopping and a day off school. Please take time to remember those who have died, those who have fought, and those who are fighting.

These two rows of boots are soldiers who have died from Illinois.

Happy Memorial Day to all the soldiers who have gone before, who have fought, and who are fighting to make America the best place to live. I appreciate you all very much and pray for you all.

Please remember our soldiers today and everyday!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An email from my brother

I received an email from my brother Karl in Spanish. Here is his email:


Espero le y su familia y tener un rato muy maravilloso. Le faltamos
mucho y somos impacientes tenerle hogar. Tenga por favor un buen rato
y recuérdenos. Si venden el rocío de la montaña allí, cómpreme
lata o botella de a y tráigale el hogar con usted. Espero que usted
pueda leer esta nota, yo estoy un poco oxidado en mi español. Su
ordenador principal puede ayudarle quizá a leer esto. Estamos rogando
para usted y miramos adelante a oír sus historias cuando usted
consigue casero.

¡Le amamos!

Karlos y Sara y bebé Lucas

I had my friend Michelle translate it for me. It was a little hard, but she was able to give me the jist of the email, so I decided to put it into one of those great translators online and here is the translation:

Hello! I expect him and its family and to have a while very marvelous. We lack him a lot and we are impatient to
have him home. Consider favor a good while and recall us. If they sell the dew of the mountain there, buy me tin
plating or bottle from to and bring him the home with you. I expect that you can read this note, I am a little
oxidized in my Spaniard. Its main computer can help him perhaps to read this. We are begging for you and we look at
ahead to hear its histories when you obtain landlord. We love him! Karlos and Sara and baby Lucas

Thanks for the email bro. I'm just glad I had Michelle here to help me understand it.