Friday, March 27

A Weight Watchers Way of Life

Well, for the past month or so, I have been feeling the effects of some extra pounds. I don't really "do" the scales. Mainly, I judge by my clothes. If they begin to feel sort of tight, I try to cut back.

I exercise enough, so that method generally works out alright. But, I had gotten into REALLY bad eating patterns. Actually, that's putting it mildly...I had lost control.

So, last week, Heather decided that it was getting very close to swimsuit season, and it was time for us to "get serious". Her plan -- we weigh every morning and text our weight to each other.

Since I HATE the scales, I was not happy about this plan. But, without any control of my own, I had no choice but to play along.

Needless to say, I was NONE TOO HAPPY about the results the next morning. So, as I tried to figure out what I was going to do, I remembered the "point system" that Weight Watchers uses. Basically, you get to eat what you want but with boundaries.

I like this plan, because if I want a doughnut, I can have one. I just have to cut back somewhere else during the day. The problem I had been having was that I was eating whatever I wanted, but I wasn't cutting back anywhere. EXCESS!!!

On a different note, we are experiencing the same kind of issues with our finances. Because of our life choices, we have to be careful about when and where we spend money. We are blessed, so we don't have to completely do without "extras". But, in the same Weight Watchers mindset, if we choose to indulge in one area, we have to cut back in other areas.

In other words, if I WANT that item of clothing for myself (who am I kidding, for my children), I can get it. We just need to eat in for a couple of days to make up for it. The problem I was having was that I was spending what I wanted, but I wasn't cutting back anywhere. EXCESS!!!

So, I'm on the point system for my eating, and I'm adapting my financial thinking to this thought process. It's not natural, because our country lives in EXCESS. See, it's not just our house that is experiencing the effects of living beyond our means. We aren't the only ones that live with plenty but constantly feel that we need MORE. It's a national problem; and, unfortunately, a bail out isn't going to fix it.

No one can bail me out, because the problem is my lack of discipline. Weight Watchers figured that out. The point system works for me, because it made ME responsible for my weight loss. There was no one telling me exactly what I could and could not eat. I use a little common sense and a lot of self discipline (mixed with a healthy fear of a bathing suit) and it becomes a lifestyle of living in moderation rather than excess.

I'm pretty sure it works in the financial world, too. We're going to try it out here. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 22

Spring Break -- Short Lived!!

I haven't posted since last Sunday; and, honestly, I haven't had the time. Spring "Break" has actually kept us very busy.

First of all, I am so grateful for the beautiful weather God blessed us with this week. Last weekend, I was a wee bit nervous that I was going to be inside with my 3 C's all week. And, it is never "well with my soul" when we have to spend large amounts of time cooped up together inside.

Monday was still a little cold and damp outside. But, that was the day that we headed South to McComb. Laney opened the gym that she teaches in. The kids jumped and played for several hours with friends that we don't see enough. Then, Laney took us out to see her new house that is being built. Let me just say, you know you're a redneck when...four adults and eight kids climb into the cab of a truck to drive out for a new house viewing. We rode right through a muddy field full of cows, and it was, by far, the highlight of the kid's week. The bonus -- the house is gorgeous.

The remainder of the week was spent at Pump it Up, Brighton Park, the Jackson Zoo, Traceway Park and a birthday party to top it all off. We spent time with great friends including the Williams who left us for Texas back in the fall. Scotty even took the day off on Friday to spend the WHOLE day with us, and that was a treat for everyone. It really was a fabulous week.

It seems that I should be tired after our "break", because we did not all, really. But, I do feel rested. I believe that watching my children have such a great time and visiting with wonderful friends has been refreshing to my soul.

So, 7 days ago, I just knew that I would be so eager tonight to get back into the routine tomorrow. I'm not. I'd love another week to move at our own pace and just enjoy one another.

But, there is a time for everything. And, tomorrow, it is time to get back to the schedule. The beautiful weather reminds me of something else, though. Summer is on its way.

We can't wait!!!

Sunday, March 15

A Childhood Memory

It's SPRING BREAK!!! And, the beauty of Sunday night with no school tomorrow seriously overshadows the dreary, ugliness outside.

I have been in the kitchen preparing hamburger patties, because our fun friends, the Bryants, are coming over for dinner. Outside the kitchen window, I have a perfect view of Scotty and all three kids. They have been swinging (mainly squealing, because Daddy swings much higher than Mama) and jumping on the trampoline.

As I watch, I am having flashbacks to holidays when I was in school. Whether it was Christmas vacation, Spring Break or the summer, my favorite part was always Sunday night. There was such a great feeling about coming home from church and knowing we didn't have to rush to the bed. We could play games, stay with a friend, or (my personal favorite) watch the Sunday night movie. What ever happened to those Sunday night movies?

Anyway, we don't have much planned for this Spring Break week, but I'm looking at lots of "unplanned fun". So, I suppose our week holds promise of great times.

Enjoy your time away from long days and crazy schedules.

Tuesday, March 10

I Need My Hour BACK!!!

Honestly, one little hour should not make a huge difference. But, I have been tired since Sunday. I also keep having to explain to Caleb why we have to get ready for school while it is dark outside. Although, I'm not quite sure why he is concerned. He has never seen the point in waiting on the sun to get out of bed.

I might be tired for more reasons than the time change, though. I traveled to Memphis this weekend for a weekend with SLAM. I am truly sorry if it is annoying to anyone that we continue to refer to ourselves in this Jr. High manner. But, it's just easier. And, let's just be honest, when we get together we act like we are still in Jr. High.

Here is proof.

This is what we did while Laney was looking for children's bedding in Target. Only those who "get" Jr. High humor would pretend to sleep in the patio furniture on display in Target.

I love my time with my friends. We have been friends since 8th grade. At that time, we began the tradition of a Christmas party which we have carried on to this day. However, once children came into the picture, our "Christmas" didn't necessarily land ON Christmas. One year, I believe we celebrated mid-February. But, we have been adamant about having our time together. Sadly, though, most years, our Christmas gathering was the only time we all got together.

Since Jason's death, we have gotten together 3 times. Amazing! While I am so very thankful for our visits, I just wonder why it takes a tragedy to realize the importance of friendships.

I just want to share briefly a little bit about our last visit to Memphis. It was years ago. Macy was single then. She and a friend wanted to show us all that Memphis had to offer, so they took us down town to a Loyko (I forgot how to spell it) performance. If memory serves me correctly, Macy's sweet friend was VERY excited about the cultural experience that we were going to enjoy.

We had no clue what to expect other than music of some type. Oh my goodness, we needed more warning. The group surged the stage wearing the tightest pants I have ever seen on men. They also had very long, very frizzy dark hair. And, can I just tell you, they were EXCITED about their music. The four of us did what we were sure everyone else in the theater would do -- LAUGHED UNCONTROLLABLY.

However, no one else was laughing. They were quite mesmerized by the performance. Our attempt to stop laughing only made it worse and our inside laughter shook the entire row of seats. And, when Macy took out paper and pen to start writing notes, I knew I was done. We are still unsure why we didn't just leave. Even after intermission, we paraded back into our seats (I'm sure those around us were thrilled) for more. The insane group of people that we were a part of even asked for an encore. It was the longest show of my life -- but it has provided laughter for us for many years.

This year, Macy redeemed herself with tickets to the Orpheum, and the show was fabulous -- SERIOUSLY!

Wearing our feather boas, we received many stares as we walked throughout downtown and into the theater. But, we are accustomed to being stared at. Most of the time, people stare at us because we are acting ridiculous. But, I also know that many watch us because our friendship is an oddity.

I have come to realize that so many people just don't have close friends. And, those that do, usually haven't had them for over 15 years. So, for whatever reason God chose to include me in this very special friendship, I am eternally grateful. Sadly, sometimes, the manifestation of that gratefulness is obnoxious behavior (or lengthy posts).

But, oh well, it's a small price to pay. Can't wait till the next visit, girls. Laney, you and McComb have big shoes to fill.

Tuesday, March 3

Four Wonderful Years with Collin

I have been trying to get to the computer for days to write this post. We celebrated Collin's fourth birthday on Sunday. We did it Indiana Jones style.

On February 28th 2005, at approximately 8:15 p.m., my water broke while I was playing Bunko. I was rushed home by a group of friends and then rushed to the hospital with Scotty. Collin arrived at 12:01 a.m. on March 1st.

I clearly had some emotional issues with Caleb and did not have that glorious "I love this child" feeling immediately. But,my memories of Collin's birth are laced with that feeling. I could barely fall asleep that late night because I felt so happy.

Another difference was his personality. Now, obviously, no major personalities were evident during those first few moments. But, Collin was just peaceful and content during our time at the hospital and that continued throughout his first year. He was such a happy baby. He slept through the night between two and three months and rarely fussed. Now, you know I LOVE my Caleb. But, this baby's easiness was a welcomed surprise.

Anyone who knows Collin is grinning right about now, because you know that he has also brought a number of surprises that were not so welcomed. At one year, Collin turned into wild child -- still a very happy child -- but not easy anymore. My sister used to say that "he tricked us" and just made us think that he was easy going. Once he turned 18 months old, he required more than one pair of eyes watching him at all times. On THREE different occasions, he escaped from the play room of various fast food establishments, and I found him heading to the parking lot. One time, I'm humiliated to say, I retrieved him FROM the parking lot.

However you look at it, though, Collin Rogers is such a gift. His smile can turn every bad emotion into a happy one. One can only feel loved when Collin hugs you... with both arms and legs. He loves life, and I wish I could be a little bit more like Collin most days.

I will be forever grateful that God chose me to be Collin's mother.