Quick Weight Loss Update

Alright, so now an update on my weight loss.

Things are actually going pretty good in this area. I've kind of been following a carb cycling plan and exercising regularly.

My workouts consist of Zumba, R.I.P.P.E.D., a weight/strength training class, and running. I try to get a workout in at least 4 days a week. If my schedule allows it, I really like to get five days in.

I have always hesitated to share actual numbers, but I think it will help me stay accountable and help others.

Here are my measurements taken January 13, 2016

Height: 5'1"
Weight: 212.8 lbs.
Chest 48"
Right Arm: 13.5"
Left Arm: 13"
Waist: 44"
Hips: 46.5"
Right Thigh: 24.5"
Left Thigh: 25"

My measurements taken May 18, 2016 (I'm due to weigh/measure again)

Height: 5'1"
Weight: 196.6 lbs. (-16.2 lbs.)
Chest 45" (-3")
Right Arm: 12.5" (-1")
Left Arm: 13" (0)
Waist: 43.5" (-0.5")
Hips: 46.5" (0)
Right Thigh: 23" (-1.5")
Left Thigh: 23" (-2")

I find it so interesting the way my body loses.

Things are moving in the right direction though, so I'm just going to keep on keeping on!

Life Update

I feel like there's so much to catch up on! Life sure has not slowed down at all lately. I feel like I'm having to hold on tight to every second. 

Brenn just turned 16 and is getting ready to finish his sophomore year of high school. That's just crazy for me to think. Pretty soon, we will be touring colleges! I'm excited for him but also sad that in just a blink of an eye he will be an adult and on his own. The colleges he's looking at are not in the state we live, so it's looking like there's a possibility he won't be close.

...Which brings me to my next update. I knew there would come a time when I would be dealing with an empty nest. That time is looming closer and closer. Relationships have not worked out (that area of my life has almost become comical...I need to write a book). So, I began to pray that when the time comes, God will use me wherever He wants me to be. I can feel that He's preparing me for a big move. I'm not sure where and right now I'm okay with that. It gives me plenty of time to start preparing...getting finances in order, decluttering, etc. I'm leaning towards the east coast, but He may have very different plans. I guess we will see in time!

I'm starting to get back on track with my weight loss and exercise. Last November, I started taking a class at our local rec center called R.I.P.P.E.D. It's intense and has really rocked my world. I love it so much that in February I became certified to teach. I'm not teaching anywhere yet, but I'm hoping to in time. In the mean time, I'm staying focused on meeting my goals. I've started running again and my time is WAY better than it has ever been (thank you R.I.P.P.E.D.!). 

I did a 10K mud run last weekend with friends and had SOOOO much fun! It was a great experience. I'm planning to run the St. Jude Memphis half marathon in December. Very excited for that!

We lost our sweet Skittles several months ago to a heart condition. It was heartbreaking to see her go, but I'm very thankful for the year we had with her. 

We now have a new member of the family. Her name is Espen. Brenn wanted to name her after his favorite sports channel, ESPN. I refused to spell her name that way so we compromised. She's about 7 years old and so very sweet. She has fit right in to our little family. 

Hope Outreach is trucking right along. This year, we've already added free monthly haircuts, been able to give out numerous supplies every month, and we've added two more meals a month. We're starting to build relationships with several of the people we're ministering to. Some of the places we've delivered meals to are heartbreaking...busted windows, inhabitable conditions...it's very sad. For many who are living like this, it's all they know. We've learned a lot in the almost year and a half we've been working this ministry but we have a long way to go.

Alright, that's all for now folks! Hopefully I'll talk to you again soon. :)

My teenager and privacy

One of the biggest questions I get from other parents pertains to privacy. Do I check Brenn's phone? Do I look at his Facebook page or his messages? Is he allowed to take his phone to bed?


I think this topic is huge with all parents of teenagers. We want to give our kids space to grow, but we also want to protect them from the evils of the world.

My approach is probably a little more lenient and lax than other parents. I know Brenn, I know that he's a good kid, but I also know that he's a teenager. I'm well aware that he's not always going to make the best decisions. I was a teenager once. Ask my mom...I gave her hell as a teen. Thankfully, so far Brenn has been ten times better than I was at this age.

So, here's my take on privacy and my teenager:

First, I have to know my child. It is my job to know his mannerisms and his personality. Knowing my child will make it much easier to notice when he's not acting like himself.

I have Brenn's password to Facebook and to email. I know the passcode to his phone. He knows that at any given moment, I can and will check on him (and have in the past). I don't get into his business just because I'm bored or for the fun of it. I do allow him to take his phone to bed. It doesn't make him stay awake any longer than normal and he uses it for an alarm.

If something is going on that starts to affect Brenn's grades, attitude, or personality I will start investigating. This means I will check social media and I will check his phone. I will make it my priority to find out what is bothering him.

I'm very blessed because my almost 16 years old is very open with me about what's going on in his life. I think one of the reasons for this is because I have given him space to grow and become his own person. He knows that he can come to me about anything and I will listen calmly and with an open mind. He also has the security in knowing where the boundaries are and that I care enough to enforce those boundaries.

I know some of his friend's parents are much more strict when it comes to this stuff. I don't totally disagree with their actions. They have their reasons for making the decisions they do. I just know this works for us.

So, long story short...Yes, I will check Brenn's phone or social media if I feel it's necessary. Yes, I do allow him to take his phone to bed. Yes, I do give him space to grow and make decisions because that's how decision making skills are developed. Yes, that does leave the door open for wrong choices to be made. I know I can't protect him forever no matter I much I want to.