Monday, December 29, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas! in absolutely no logical order.

This is the manliest way to open presents. Magnum or Blue Steel?
Sawyer was pleased with her "first computer" and has been playing with it non-stop.
The pink bathrobe also went over like gangbusters.Cute Brittany enjoying an unexpectedly fun Christmas with us here in Utah... in the snow... with the Mormons... otherwise all by herself. What a champ she is to put up with us.
Matt thought it would be funny to pretend I was a pirate & give me a treasure chest full of "gold dubloons" instead of my requested gift cards. Believe me, they don't spend the same.

Due to the drop in mortgage rates, Matt has been working like c.r.a.z.y., and we weren't able to go to Idaho for Christmas as planned, which worked out okay because we had lovely cabinet and countertop installers who wanted to do our basement on Christmas Eve & the day after. So yeah, it was fine. Plus, our cute friend Brittany kinda got ditched on Christmas & so we had her over for Christmas. Honestly that was the best part of the whole holiday, we didn't even know that her boyfriend had ditched her & flown home a few days earlier until Christmas eve afternoon, so we scrambled around for some gifts & stocking stuffers & made her sleep over and hang out with all of us crazies the next day. She really is awesome and has more faith & courage than I have ever even thought possible. We will see what happens but right now it looks like she might be the reason we've felt impressed to finish our basement faster than seems logical. I hope she takes us up on the offer..... we'll see.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

go now.

We saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last night. It was Susie's birthday & all her kids & their spouses went to the Mandarin & had one the more enjoyable dinners ever. Then we went to this movie and oh my goodness.... is it bad of me to admit that of the two of us, my husband was the one who dissolved into a blubbering pile of goosh? That is not to say that I wasn't a bit weepy myself. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful movies of all time. I will be reading the book asap. Cate Blanchett is amazing. Brad Pitt is amazing. Makeup artists are AMAZING & this movie made me really wish that I had followed through on my plan to move to LA & become one. Anyway, it is beautiful & touching & beautiful & amazing. And beautiful. Worth every bit of the 3 hours.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

new year's resolutions

mostly they are a joke right? well, if yours include (like 90% of the world) losing weight, eating better or just trying some healthier habits, I think you'd really benefit from a fantastic article I just read in my Women's Health magazine. I completely HEART this mag. I love, love, love to work out, so technically, my body should be absolutely rocking, right? Well, it is not. It's healthy & strong & that's great & all, but there is a bit much in the padding department & it's is time for that to go. My friend Katie at my gym & I were talking a few weeks ago & she said that weight loss/maintenance is really 80% nutrition & only 20% exercising! I guess I really need to own up to my crappy habits. Plus, I hate how I feel when I am eating all unconciously & out of control-y. At this point, it isn't even about getting back into my True Religion jeans, I have had it up to HERE with my poor eating habits! By the way, those True Religions, along with 5 or 6 of my most lovely (pricey) jeans that I don't exactly fit into right now... my "skinny" jeans? Yeah, they just went to my friend Kierstin's house, to become her "fat" jeans after she had a baby. Nice, huh? Stupit skinny hooker. (just kidding.)
Anyway, the point of this post, is to share some things that are probably complete no-brainers for most people, (Kierstin) but for me & the other will-power challenged people out there, they might be complete revelations. Just thought I'd share.

#1 Ramp up your resolve
One reason most diets fail is that long-term goals can be deceptively difficult: When the plan is to watch what you eat for the next six months, chugging one caramel latte with whipped cream seems like a minor slip. To avoid that kind of thinking, commit to eating well for a fixed amount of time that you're 100 percent confident you can manage, even if it's just a few days. (I'll be going one day at a time myself.)
"Once you make it to your goal date, start over," says Mary Vernon, M.D., chair of the board of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. "This establishes the notion that you can be successful and gives you a chance to notice that eating better makes you feel better, reinforcing your desire to continue."

#2 Find meaningful motivation
If the main purpose of your diet is cosmetic--i.e., to look amazing in boy shorts--you're unlikely to stick with it for the long haul.
The solution: "Arm yourself with additional motivators," says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Connecticut. He suggests keeping a daily journal in which you monitor migraines, heartburn, acne, canker sores, and sleep quality in addition to body measurements and the number on the scale. (I'm totally doing that!)
"Discovering that your new diet improves the quality of your life and health is powerful motivation," Volek says.

#3 Move on after a mistake
OK, you overindulged. What's the next step? "Forget about it," says James Newman, a nutritionist at Tahlequah City Hospital, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, who followed his own advice to shed 300 pounds. (That's right, three hundred.) "One meal doesn't define your diet, so don't assume that you've failed or fallen off the wagon," he says.
Institute a simple rule: Follow any "cheat" meal with at least five healthy meals and snacks. That ensures that you'll be eating right more than 80 percent of the time.

#4 Roll out of bed and into the kitchen
Sure, you've heard this advice before. But consider that if you sleep for six to eight hours and then skip breakfast, your body is essentially running on fumes by the time you get to work. And that sends you desperately seeking sugar, which is usually pretty easy to find. (This one, I actually don't struggle with, thanks Mom! I love breakfast & have no problem making good choices at this point.)
The most convenient foods are typically packed with sugar (doughnuts, lattes) or other quickly digested carbohydrates (McMuffins, cinnamon buns). Which brings us to our next strategy.

#5 Restock your shelves
How many times have you driven to the store in the middle of the night to satisfy a craving? Probably not nearly as often as you've raided the fridge. You're more likely to give in to a craving when the object you desire is close at hand. So make sure it's not: Toss the junk food and restock your cupboard and fridge with almonds and other nuts, cheese, fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna, chicken, and salmon. And do the same at work.
"By eliminating snacks that don't match your diet and providing plenty that do, you're far less likely to find yourself at the doughnut-shop drive-thru or the vending machine," says Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., president of Mohr Results, a fitness and nutrition consulting firm in Louisville, Kentucky. (Now if I could just stop baking crap to eat. I guess I just need to instantly give it away or something. Leave a comment to be placed on that list.)

#6 Think like a biochemist
Cookies made with organic cane juice might sound like something your yoga teacher would eat, but they won't help her fit into her Lycra pants. Junk food by any other name is still junk. Ditto for lots of "health foods" in the granola aisle. "Natural" sweeteners like honey raise blood sugar just like the white stuff.
"If you're going to eat cookies, accept that you're deviating from your plan, and then revert to your diet afterward," Berkowitz says. Kidding yourself will only get you into trouble. (I love that. I totally need to quit "kidding myself" about pretty much everything I put into my face.)

Spot hunger impostors
Have a craving for sweets even though you ate just an hour ago? Imagine sitting down to a large, sizzling steak instead. "If you're truly hungry, the steak will sound good, and you should eat," says Richard Feinman, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. "If it doesn't sound good, your brain is playing tricks on you." (Genius! Dur! I love this idea.)
His advice: Change your environment, which can be as easy as stretching at your desk or turning your attention to a different task.

Anyway, I know it's not even Christmas yet, but I am way excited to make these changes & quit stressing about "dieting" and just create better lifetime habits. So yeah, there ya go, hope you learned something! Hopefully you'll see how well I'm doing soon! Kierst, I'm gonna need those jeans back! ;

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sawyer's new BFF is ballet class.

sorry these pictures all stink. photographer friends: how does one go about getting good picture with this equation: quick shutter speed necessary due to dancing toddler + spotlights that are too low or too hot depending on where she is standing + my complete and utter hatred for using my flash + my photography stupidity = crappy pictures. I know just enough about photography to know that I don't know anything. Just enough to know that after taking 3 actual-factual photography classes & inadvertently surrounding myself with AMAZING photographers, I really should understand these things by now.
moving on.
Sawyer is delightful at ballet. LOVES her class. Adores her teacher (she should be sainted, seriously). The only day of the week that she give a fiddler's fart about is Thursday because she knows that it is ballet day. It is so fun to see her tell me to "go 'way, mom" when she arrives at class. If by fun I mean "simultaneously gut-wrenching yet ridiculously proud-making", then yes, so fun. I remember when I was little, waiting for my ride to ballet, sitting on this really funky ergonomically correct computer chair, envisioning myself kicking my teachers pounding stick out from under her feeble hand and watching her go down. Hard. You see, she had this cane kind of thing that she would pound on the floor to count out the beat for us, you know.... and a one and two and three... that kind of thing. It was absolutely menacing. Awful place. Dreadful woman. I am so glad that Costco came & destroyed the building that it was in. The only reason I stuck with it as long as I did (probably one whole year) was that I really liked the fancy costumes we wore for recitals. Actually, it just so happens that I have photographic evidence of their awesomeness right here! Check it out. I freaking LOVED that dress! The satin was sooo soft & the sparkles were very sparkle-y, a nice combination of textures, even at that tender age, I knew it. That thing was pure magic. I should really post more of those lovely pictures from the eighties. I have a feeling that I will be delving into that folder more frequently, so yeah, there's something to look forward to. To summarize
1) I suck at photography
2) My daughter is an amazing bundle of pure joy and thank goodness she is related to Grandma Miller in the dance department.
3) Why was I not allowed to dance in proper dancing shoes? Grandma Miller? What is up with the tight-foot? Surely I would have been a prima ballerina by now if I had been given the proper equipment.

Friday, December 12, 2008

tears. tears flowing down my face. laughing so hard.

You all know that I am a fan, but this is HILARIOUS!! It starts out a little dumb, but oh my goodness, the glitter and the stuttering and the running... ah ha ha ha hahahaha! I'm gonna go watch it again.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm sorry.... what?

True Religion jeans for under $100? Ferreal? My new favorite place in the entire internet-web-land. Which ones should I get, the Bobby's or the Gina's? I'm a denim-whore. Plus they have super cute tops & accessories & shoes & belts & jackets & dresses....
Santa can I have a shopping spree for Christmas?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

MDC Christmas Party version 2000.8

(sorry, these pictures are all blurry.)
I cannot even express how lucky I am to have friends that I love this much. Sometimes I get into funks where I feel like people don't really "get" me, and with the exception of my husband this is probably true 90% of the time. Lately I've been thinking about how much more complex it is to have good friends once you are a couple and have kids & jobs & whatnot. You also have to get along with your friends' spouse and approve of their parenting style, have similar spending patterns, interests, hobbies and taste in food. At least it makes things easier if you do. There are just so many more factors that effect the friendship. It kinda stinks. I remember being in high school & thinking that when I was married, I'd have my friends over all the time & it would be one non-stop party. I guess it's the way it's supposed to be, but our families become our priority & sometimes that makes it hard to have close friendships like you did in high school. I've been feeling a bit out of place lately & adding that to some of the other straws on my camel's back, I've had a rough two days. (probably hormones, let's face it, but that doesn't make it any more fun.) To make a long story short, tonight was just what I needed. No drama, no insecurities, nobody putting on a show, (clearly)just laughing till my face hurts and feeling completely loved. Even though they know all the dumb things about me (that I call people "nasty ho" occasionally, that I snort when I laugh, that I have an affinity for shoes that are all together too tall for me, that I am ridiculously rude when woken up, that I flip dogs off, etc., etc., etc.) for some reason they still love me, make fun of me and remind me that I ran away crying the first time that we hung out. I literally feel like each of these girls was a complete God-send in my life, and collectively they have been my rock so many more times than they will ever know. Not only that, but they are amazing examples to me, and inspire me to be better in so many ways. And they make me laugh my brains out. So Trudy, Kierstin, Jolene, Jill, Becky, Kathryn & Kirsten, whether you read this blog or not, I hope you know that I love you and would do anything for you. (sorry I didn't get pictures of all of us together, I was too busy feeding my face chocolate fountain stuff.) Let's do better at staying in touch & get together more often. Kierst, you may now leave a smart-a*& comment about how sappy this is. And the boys who put up with us.... I kinda like them too.