Friday, October 14, 2011

Birthday Girl

That's Birdie at a whopping 1 day old!
Today my sweet precious Birdie is 23 years old.

I was quite the lucky woman with all four labors/births and Birdie was no exception. From beginning labor tug to ending birth, Birdie's process took all of an hour and a half. That's it. No problem, right? Wrong.

The problem was that the birthing center was an hour and a half away from our house. It was 1988 and there were no midwives around here so we had to travel an hour and a half away to our midwife and the birthing center. By the time I called Hubs and he got home, we had way less than an hour and a half to get there.

And it was rush hour.

As we sped down the interstate at a crawling 10 mph to no movement whatsoever, the time for her arrival became imminent. Hubs may have been really, really close to panic mode. I would have found the whole situation humorous, but I was busy.

We did the only thing we could and pulled into a hospital that we passed along the way. We were rushed into an emergency room and, as the doctor walked by the curtain, he stepped in and 'caught' Birdie. Just in the nick of time took on a whole new meaning for our family.

Birdie's hair used to stick straight up when she was an infant. Our pediatrician, who was the sweetest man, used to laugh and say, "It's no wonder. The hair raising way she was brought into this world!"

That was 23 years ago today and, while she made have arrived with her hair standing on end, she has been the most patient, go with the flow kid of the four.This child has brought us absolutely ZERO difficultly or heartache--well, there was this summer when she moved TWENTY HOURS AWAY to stupid TEXAS for GRAD SCHOOL---but other than that, no heartache at all.

Birdie is our athlete. She played soccer for 8 years and loved every minute of it. Until high school when she disagreed with and refused to participate in the politics that are a part of soccer in our area and quit soccer. It was at this time that she discovered athletic training and became a student trainer all through high school, majored in it in college and then left us to get a master's degree in athletic training in TEXAS which is TWENTY FREAKING HOURS AWAY.

Birdie and DoodleBug
She has a contagious laugh, loves old black and white movies, Frank Sinatra, Elvis and the Beatles, dogs, and sports (especially soccer and football). She is loyal beyond belief to her sisters and has had the same best friend since the age of three. She is independent and has better financial savvy than her dad and I ever had. She drove herself out to Texas after being accepted into a grad program and is the head athletic trainer at a high school out there. She loves decorating for holidays and celebrations. She has the patience of a saint (which she gets from her dad) and is creative in multiple ways. She is strong willed and independent. She never, ever ceases to amaze us.

And so, my wonderful Birdie, it's your 23rd birthday and I am so very, very glad that you were born!

 I'm linking up with FOLLOW FRIDAY 40 AND OVER with JAVA over at NEVER GROWING OLD 

AND FRIDAY FRIEND CONNECT with Jan over at Midlife Parenting 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


HUMP day is here which means it is FINALLY time for my THREE favoritey fun HUMP DAY HOPS!

If you're here for Chats on the Farmhouse Porch or Get Wired Wednesday only, then scroll down.

First up this week is WEDNESDAY HODGE PODGE from Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.  This meme is fun and sometimes even poses a challenge (read: she makes us use our noggins!).   

1. Have you ever been 'asked' to report for jury duty? Were you chosen to serve? If not, were you happy or disappointed? I did serve once. While in college. It was ok. I've been 'asked' (yeah, right) twice in the last couple of years but had an out both times, so I took it. 

2. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very), how mechanically inclined are you? Give an example to back up your answer. What, no negative numbers? I know how to start my car. If something goes wrong with anything, I call Hubs and he fixes it. He's THE MAN when it comes to fixing anything at all (IF you can ever get him to do it)! Now, the lovelies? They can repair mechanical things up to a point and they can build things! Their dad taught them from the time they were little. Which impresses some boys and intimidates others. 

3. Beets-cabbage-cauliflower-butternut squash....of the four, which is your favorite fall vegetable? I have to say that I love them all (we just had beet soup last night) BUT if I have to choose a favorite- it would be butternut squash!!!

4. What do you recommend to overcome self-pity? I don't go down the self-pity path. I have strong opinions about this too. (Big surprise) I guess the best thing to do is just SUCK IT UP and GET OVER IT. The lovelies don't walk that path either. We just don't see the sense in it. If something is going wrong or we don't like it, we take action and change it. Life is too short to waste time traveling the self-pity path.  

5. Do you enjoy classical music? OH YES!!! In a big way! I could listen to it any time and love to go to the symphony. Breezy (our oldest) is a cellist and I love to hear her play. I think that the cello makes the most beautiful sound in the world- musically speaking.

6. October is National Book Month...what's on your reading list this month?Wheat Belly and a new book that I'll be reviewing at a later date!

7. What is your idea of 'cute'? Puppies! Little kids laughing and running and playing! Tucker! 

8. Insert your own random thought here. Deanie will be home tomorrow! Woot!!! She has to go be in a wedding in Hilton Head Friday and Saturday but she'll be back Sunday morning and I am so excited to see her face! AND DoodleBug has an ultimate frisbee tournament this weekend! It's her first as captain of the College of Charleston women's team! AND there's football!

Next up is a HUMP DAY HOP from Patrice at Everyday Ruralty called Chats on the farmhouse porch!

1. Did you have a way to earn money as a child or teen?  I babysat from the age of 12 til I got my first 'real' job at age 15. Ever heard of Carowinds? The year I turned 15 was their first year being opened. I worked there that first summer. It was FUN!

2. Does your body run hot or cold? (Are you in a sweater/jumper when everyone else is in short sleeves or do you wear a sweatshirt when everyone has on parkas?) I used to run HOT all the time. I could always take the cold but never the heat. NOW, I can't take hot OR cold extremes. I probably bundle up more than most around here during the winter. But, I only complain about the heat.

3. What's your level of computer savvy? Computer savvy? ME? Surely you jest! I can turn it on. I can use Word and Excel. I can load pictures. I can receive and send email with OR without attachments. I can BLOG!!! And that's about it.

4. When you have pasta, do you prefer a red sauce (marinara type) or a white sauce (fettuccine type)? Red sauce. Even though we aren't eating pasta anymore. But still, red on spaghetti squash! As a matter of fact, we had spaghetti squash with red sauce and meatless meatballs last night!

5. What's your favorite thing to put in brownies? Big chunks of chocolate! I'm looking for a good gluten free brownie recipe, BTW, if anyone has one- PLEASE SHARE!

I'm wired are you?


 It's so easy to join!

  • Click the button and follow your hostesses- Victoria's Voice and Three Boys and an old Lady through GFC
  • Follow the Guest Host Judy H-J's Thoughts
  • Link up at Victoria's Voice
  • Follow some of the other great blogs (and leave a comment so they can follow you back!) 
  • Copy and Paste the blog hop BUTTON on your blog so others can join in (this is optional) 
  • And, while not mandatory, Victoria would love for you to leave her a comment that you joined the HOP!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Conquer Your Exercise Barriers!

It's guest post day! I'm really excited about this guest post because it is written by my high school BFF, Nancy Klotz! We reconnected in the last year or so and I found out that Nancy is a certified personal trainer and lifestyle and weight management coach (writer, great all around person, mom, wife, educator...)! Who better to share wonderful insights with us regarding health and exercise? None other!

I'm thrilled that Nancy took the time to share her insights with us in the midst of teaching classes, maintaining her website, Naper Fit, writing posts for her blog, NaperFit Fitness Blog, writing feature articles for and working on her first novel!

Without further ado- because I could really go on and on and on about Nancy- I gladly share with you Nancy's take on how to:

Conquer Your Barriers to Exercise!

Excuses, excuses. We all have them for one reason or another. But what are your excuses for not exercising? While ‘lack of time’ is the most common excuse for not exercising, some people don’t even consider exercising at all. Research has indicated that the benefits from physical activity are tremendous: 

Health Benefits!
  • helps control weight 
  • can prevent or manage chronic health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, arthritis, high cholesterol, osteoporosis 
  • reduces stress – boosts your mood 
  • gives you energy – improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your system 
  • increases performance – improves your muscle tone and endurance 
  • improves physical appearance with toned muscles (helps you fit better in your clothes!)


Barriers can be real or perceived. They can be environmental or internal to your self. Although some individuals may not even think about exercising, there is another group that is still considering the pros and cons of starting to add physical activity to their lives. The benefits are the pros. Some examples of the cons are:

  • lack of time
  • location of fitness facilities
  • financial limitations
  • lack of social support
  • family demands
  • no interest (boring!)
  • childcare
  • weather
  • medical issues or injuries
  • anxiety about appearance or ability (like comparing yourself to others)
  • intimidation of surroundings at the gym (like not knowing what to do or how things work)
  • personal thoughts and feelings about physical discomfort (like sweat, increasing heart rate, muscle soreness)
  • belief in your ability to succeed (like past failures and negative experiences)
  • beliefs about exercise that may or may not be true
Then there is the group of people who start exercising and then stop. Making a permanent lifestyle change is difficult! Research indicates that 50 to 65% of people who start an exercise program stop within the first three to six months of participating. 


First, you need to be ready to try to add or keep physical activity in your life.

Make sure your healthcare provider approves of your plan.

You need to make some goals. Start out small and simple, like walk for 10 minutes a day, five days a week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website defines physical activity guidelines for adults. There are some good ideas on how to build up your goals and what types of exercises to do. “10 minutes at a time is fine.”

Next, you need to reduce or eliminate your barriers.

Finally, you need to plan for overcoming lapses or obstacles that will stop you from sticking to your goals.

Conquering Barriers

There are many ways to turn a negative into a positive. Sometimes you need to be creative. Here are ideas for conquering barriers.

  • Take a walk with your children.
  • Take a hike with your family.
  • Pack a gym bag and leave it by the door where you go out in the morning.
  • Leave an extra set of work out clothes in your car.
  • Join a gym that is on your way to work or on your way coming home from work.
  • Try different forms of exercise to discover what you like doing best.
  • Walk or jog in your neighborhood.
  • Take a bike ride with friends or family.
  • Try exercise videos or follow an exercise program on TV.
  • Just move! If you are sitting in front of the TV get up during commercials and try some step touches, knee lifts, or hamstring curls.
  • Find a role model using someone who has successfully done what you are trying to do.
  • Find a partner to socialize with, motivate each other, and get each other to show up when planned.
  • Start slow so that you become familiar with any physical discomfort you may have.
  • Define goals that you can succeed at to develop confidence in your abilities.
  • Ask a trainer, instructor, or friend what the ‘rules’ of the gym are. Try a group fitness class and learn how to use equipment. You can observe and explore.
Lapses and Obstacles

Many of life’s events can cause you to go off your program, like, vacation, holidays, illness, someone in the family needing care. Plan ahead if you can. Be aware that many people slip up or relapse. This is not a failure. It’s time to identify what caused the slip and to recognize where you are in the scheme of things – like are you not exercising at all or back to twice a week? 

Find social support. Can someone in your family support you? Is there a group at work or the fitness center that you can exercise with? Use your partner or role model to help get you back on track. Can you self regulate yourself? Try keeping a record of all of your achievements.

Time to drop the excuses and do something wonderful for your self. Get active!

Links for Nancy Klotz:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Challenge Day!

Today is the end of the FOURTH week of Biz's Holiday 2011 Challenge and the end of the THIRD week of Give Yourself the Best Gift and the Christmas Dress Challenge! (All buttons are on my sidebar but you can just click the links to get to their blogs OR click the links above!)

Here we go!

  • Drink 64 oz of water daily: YES
  • Walk 5 miles/weekday (1-2 on weekends): YES except for ONE DAY when I chose going to the Farmer's Market with DoodleBug over walking 5 miles...of course, I did walk Tucker anyway and then we walked all over the Farmer's Market...But I don't consider that exercise.
  • Keep daily calories between 1200 and 1400: YES
  • Post daily exercise and food on YES
  • Post weekly results: YES
  • No food after 8:00 pm: YES--that is, Yes I've had NO food after 8:00 pm.
  • Last minute addition: eat slower: NO. I really suck at this one.
  • Three days of strength training exercises: YES. This is a new one that I've just added.  
Here's the calorie breakdown:
  • Monday: 1366
  • Tuesday:1314
  • Wednesday:1185
  • Thursday:1258
  • Friday:1127
  • Saturday: 861
  • Sunday:1120

Total calories for the week: 8231 
Total walking miles for the week: 26.07 miles
Weight total for Biz's Holiday Challenge 2011 week FOUR: -3 lbs (for a four week total of: -8.5 lbs)
Weight total for Give Yourself the Best Gift and Christmas Dress Challenge week THREE: -3 lbs (for a three week total of: -6.5 lbs

Remember y'all: One day at a time!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Week in the Proverbial Nutshell

It's been a full week of cooler temps which made walking so very pleasurable! We ended our week with a trip downtown to the farmer's market. And, next week, we'll be meeting a new interest of DoodleBug's. One of the male persuasion. Should be interesting. AND Deanie will be home for the weekend! Woot!

A word of warning- there are quite a lot of photos on this post! 

AND NOW, here's my week in a:

I got Birdie's package mailed off and she's already received it. It's a birthday present from DoodleBug and me. BUT Birdie is not allowed to open it until Friday- the 14th- her actual birthday! You know, so she will have something to unwrap on her special day. This is the very first year that Birdie has not been at home for her birthday. *sniff* She will turn 23 years old. In Texas. Without us. Twenty freaking hours away from home. Stupid grad school. 

Hubs is going along nicely with my no meat and gluten free trial. Although he did say something like, "I sure would like some meat every once in a while," the other day. So I made a recipe that Biz had on her blog called Poppy's Chicken Brunswick Stew. It was fab! Hubs also asked me to pick up some bread for him the other day. I asked him what, exactly, he thought gluten free worries! I found a gluten free bread mix so now he gets homemade bread! 

Biz's Chicken Brunswick Stew! I threw in a hot pepper from our garden- Hubs likes things spicy!
And this is my first attempt at homemade gluten free bread. Hubs LOVES it!

I LOVE autumn! It's my favorite time of year because of many things--football, the changing leaves, the cooler temps, the cooking/baking, the holidays---just everything. One more thing I love about fall is that I get to use the hot water knob in the shower for lovely warm showers. A good, relaxing, enjoyable, nice, drainthehotwaterheater long shower makes me feel so stress free. Plus, the steam fogs up the mirror and makes it easy to see something like this:
Yes- Hubs sometimes leaves me a message on the bathroom mirror---can you see it?
Some of my summer flowers are on the road to demise. But not this little gem! I need to plant some fall flowers- soon! 

I had to make the dreaded Wal-Mart trip this week. Tucker loves to find 'his' bag when I come back. He does this when I return from the grocery store too. Silly pup! Wait, maybe that should be spoiled pup!

He puts his face in every bag until he finds the one with his treats. And yes, he gets something every time.
DoodleBug, HannahBanana and I went downtown yesterday to the Farmer's Market at Marion Square. FUN! Careful, lots of photos follow:

There was music. Which would have been great- if that guy hadn't been singing.

There were a crap ton of people.
And apples...

and tomatoes...

and eggplant and peppers...

and pretty flowers...

and jars of homemade yummy goodness...
(we brought two jars home for Hubs but I noticed after we got home that the stupid woman gave me TWO WRONG JARS)

and Charleston goodies...

and nutty goodness--seriously, go visit these young ladies at The one on the left is a friend of DoodleBug's but they are both delightful young ladies--I love that they are so young and so industrious! Check them out!
We bought these for Hubs!

There were more apples...

and peaches...

and peppers...

and beans and peanuts and cucumbers and okra...

And there were plenty of arts and crafts such as sweet grass baskets...

and purses...

and paintings and sketches...
and these little...thingys...

and jewelry...

Tucker found a friend...

who just loved him so gently...

DoodleBug actually knows this little sweetie pie...

who told us what her doggie says--"woofwoof!"

And on the way back to the car we saw plenty of bikes at the College of Charleston.

The bikes in black&white...yeah, I don't know...

OH! And Hubs' cousin (whom I A.D.O.R.E.) had her second daughter this week! 
Aren't they just the sweetest, most adorable family you've ever seen?! I love these guys so much! Ellen has a blog too- you can visit her at Baby Meets City! (I might have stolen borrowed this photo from BigDaddy's fb page...)

AND I won the Autumn giveaway at Katherine's Corner!  YAY! I'll post about that when I receive it so I can show y'all a picture! 

Share some love:

The video this week is for the lovelies- here you go girls: 

 And that's it for my week!

I hope everyone has a fantastically fall week coming up! And remember to smile- it makes people wonder just what it is you've been up to!