Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm so excited...

And I just can't hide it!

I have wanted a "real" camera for a couple years now. In the last 6 months or so I've gotten serious about wanting one. A nephew, a blog and vacations will do that to you. I want to take amazing pictures. I want to learn a new hobby. I want to be creative.

And guess what? I got a new camera yesterday! We went to a local camera store to "window shop" and talk to someone about recommendations and what might be a good camera for a beginner like me. The woman there was so helpful. She was my age, friendly and explained a lot of things to me about several different cameras. I really didn't even know what kind of questions to ask - that should tell you what a novice I am! Long story short, window shopping turned into purchasing a camera.

I ended up with the Sony A33 based on her recommendation for someone like me. It's (relatively) easy to use and has some features she really likes and I liked too. I'm not going to lie though. It's intimidating! I've been attempting to read the instruction manual since yesterday afternoon.

Here are a few reasons we ended up buying right away:

- Interest free financing will allow us to pay it off more slowly so the up front cost was minimal
- It was on sale
- Signing up for the $20/month photo club thing saved us an additional $75
- I get FOUR free instruction classes, I'm taking my first on Saturday!
- I wanted time to get used to it before our next vacation in May
- The store is close to work and with the photo club membership I get $20 in prints every month. I go to the store whenever I want and can use their editing software for my prints. This forces me to stay organized with printing and they will help me with whatever I need.

I had been doing research online but in all honesty all the photography jargon was over my head. It was so hard to know what I would like and dislike about different models and brands. The help and instruction I received and will continue to receive at the store was priceless. So... I'm still so excited! We've been playing around with it and I even brought it to work today so I could continue reading the manual and testing everything out during down time. I can't wait to have an occasion to take some pictures. So far it's been pets and the house!

Friday, March 25, 2011


No Fit Friday today. I am soooo tired today.

Yesterday was MrHoppy's birthday and we had plans to eat dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Chop House. He picked me up from work and we headed downtown. I love the ambiance there and of course the food. Delicious!

Happy Birthday! I forgot to take pictures last night so this is an old cute one I found. :)

Our plan was to have a little date night, just the 2 of us since we're celebrating with friends on Saturday night. One of MrHoppy's old roommates from college called yesterday and invited us to see a comedy show after dinner so we jumped at the chance. He had free tickets so why not?

After our amazing dinner of shrimp, cornbread, salad, filet mignon and garlic mashed potatos we met up at the comedy club only to find that the tickets weren't available after all. So the 3 of us made the most of the night anyway. Or should I say, the 2 of them made the most of their night? They hadn't hung out in a couple years actually so it was just like old times. But this girl was getting tired of sitting at the bar watching them drink beers! So I took my husband's drunk self home about 11:30 which is so late for me. I turn into a pumpkin at 9 usually!

MrHoppy said he had the best night and such a good day. I'm so glad he was born 32 years ago!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You Spin me Right Round...

Baby Right Round, Like A Record Baby, Right Round, Round, Round.

Seriously - I feel like my head is spinning lately. I have so many ideas and projects dancing in my head it's hard to concentrate on anything else. Home projects, landscaping projects and we cannot forget the project to update my wardrobe.


And all on a budget. Hence the sigh. If we had all the money to do everything we want I wouldn't be spinning so much! I would just do my research, throw caution to the wind and DIG IN!

Our house was built in 2003 so it's in great shape. There are just a few things that are bothering us lately and we want to update a couple spaces, make them more ours. MrHoppy has "it" as bad as I do. He's been working the last few nights and spending his days watching DIY and HGTV. He said last night (via text of course) he is the builder and I am the designer!

The problem with being the designer? I need to have more direction. There are so many looks I like and I'm not sure how to nail down a "look" for each space while making the home feel cohesive.

On the list for inside our home?
- move the big screen from the basement into our main living area
- figure out how to hang the dang thing
- update wall decor on main floor
- pillows for couch
- take down blinds covering back door and replace with sliding panels
- master bedroom - needs a total overhaul including paint, curtains, bedspread, art, light fixture
- master bathroom - total overhaul including removing wall paper, paint, framing the mirror
- guest bathroom - replace tile on counter and paint, frame mirror, light fixture
- office - total overhaul, light fixture, paint, desk, etc.

I'm not worrying about the guest rooms now. Isn't everything else enough for now?!?! See why my head is spinning?

Thankfully the outdoors can wait a month or so until I really start thinking about it. We have a lot of rock surrounding the back fence and I'd like to fill it in with flowers. We'd love to have a concrete pad poured on the side of the house. Little things that will make a big difference.

Wardrobe? I'm just trying to update my "look". I love fashion and have been making more of an effort to accesorize even when I'm just going to work. There are a few things I want for Spring but I'm being sure to only buy things that will last. I am OK with buying "trends" but only if they are inexpensive. If I'm not going to wear it next season then it must be on sale!

Spring has sprung and I am in overdrive! What are your goals and projects for Spring?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hi Babe

Guess who has started reading my blog? MrHoppy!

So this is your shout-out! And a post to say that while I may say things here that hurt your feelings or that you might not always understand you know how much I love you. And I won't be censoring what I say just because you are a reader. OK?

I have to keep this a place to be able to say anything and everything I need to say.

But I'm excited you are reading it. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fit Fridays - Kind of Long...

TGIF everyone! I am so thankful the weekend is here. Spring Forward really kicked my butt and I haven't slept well all week. When I do finally fall asleep I feel like I've been tossing and turning all night. It's driving MrHoppy crazy. I hope staying up later than usual tonight (since it's the weekend) will ensure that I fall asleep easily and having a cocktail (since it's the weekend) will ensure that I sleep well. ;)

Added warning - this post got really long but I thought it was useful information for anyone that might be doing what I was!

Last Saturday night my BIL (who is really MrHoppy's cousin - I call him that because they are like brothers and grew up next door to each other) came over to hang out and spend the night since they were going dirt biking on Sunday. He is a successful personal trainer and MAT certified and I've worked with him in the last year on my sciatic issues so he always asks how I'm doing. We got to talking about fitness and more importantly: posture.

Posture? How is that important? Well it is apparently a huge issue for me. Not that I have bad posture, my posture is just incorrect. And it could be causing my lower back issues and also a weakened core. I'll try to explain as best I can and then explain what I'm doing differently to change it.

Apparently I walk and stand with my hips tilted slightly back, almost tucked in if that makes sense? I was shocked when he told me this. How embarassing right? But he assured me it's only because he's trained to see these things that he noticed. This form then causes my head to jut forward slightly putting strain on my lower back and neck.
Hmmm... How do I fix it? We stood there forever while he showed me how I'm supposed to stand. He said it's really common in women who are... ahhem... well endowed, because our bewbies are heavy and a lot of times when we are younger don't want to draw attention to them. OK, makes sense so far.

Then he showed me his back when he's standing. A natural curve in the lower back because his hips line up with his shoulders, which line up with his head. Then we looked at me. Not lined up at all and no natural curve to my spine. Wowza...

So since Saturday I have been very conscious of my hips. It really starts there. It feels awkward to be tilting them forward and sticking my boo-tay out but that is correct form. Once my hips are where they are supposed to be I have to be sure my shoulders are lined up with them. And that instead of pushing my chin forward I am holding it back so my ears are above my shoulders. And when I walk I am supposed to be pushing with my glutes instead of plopping each foot down. Also driving is a huge "head forward" time so I put my seat straight up(and feel like a total dork) but it's helping me keep my head aligned.

:::sigh::: who has to lean how to walk, stand and sit again when they are 30? This girl. I think it's helping though.

Anyway, on to my progress this week! Aside from all of the above of course :) I'll keep it short

Fitness: I workd out everyday this week. It went really well. I have been noticing the back of my upper arms aren't as tight as I would like so I've been doing a lot of push ups and other arm and back exercises.

Nutrition: We ate really healthy this week. Didn't go out and cooked balanced meals. Thank you MrHoppy for taking me seriously and not inviting me to happy hour or out to dinner! We didn't eat our ONCE last weekend either. This is progress!

Weight: On Tuesday I was down to 117.5 which was exciting. Today I was 118.5 and I'm OK with it. My BIL talked to me about my weight as well last weekend and he said I shouldn't expect to lose much with the lifting I've been doing. He said he can tell I'm building muscle and that I am toning. Hooray!

Side View

Front View

No back view today, I was in a hurry, MrHoppy was grumpy I woke him up for these and the back picture was super weird looking!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful on Thursday - Travel

I am so thankful that we have the ability to travel. I would do it more if it were feasible financially! I would say that travel is one of my passions. I love going to the airport, arriving at our destination and exploring a new place. MrHoppy loves it just as much as I do which is great. We make it a priority in our lives, especially now that we are done with IF treatments. Last year was a strain financially and I'm hoping that things continue to get better in that area. So we can travel more of course!

In the next couple months we have a very exciting trip planned. We decided to use our miles for 2 "free" tickets to Seattle to visit MrHoppy's sister, her husband and our new niece J. I haven't met her yet and I cannot wait! They are excellent tour guides so I know we'll see the best of the city. MrHoppy has been there, my BIL is from Washington and my SIL has lived there for years now. I'm the Seattle virgin! Seattle has always been a place I wanted to go, a place I've said I could live even having never seen it in person! It just looks so beautiful and fascinating to me.

While we are there we will be taking the Amtrak Cascades train to Vancouver for 2 nights! Half of my excitment is that I will get to ride on a train for the very first time! This portion of the trip will just be MrHoppy and me - a little romantic getaway on our vacation. We have been researching where to say (we want to be downtown of course) and what to do while we are there. We will have 2.5 full days there and want to make the most of it. Everything I have read says the city is amazing and you just can't see it all in a couple days. So we have decisions to make!

We finally settled on a hotel based on a suggestion from a VERY helpful person on a travel forum. She lives in Vancouver and even sent me a whole list of the best attractions, best restaurants and "must-see's". It was exactly what I was looking for that I just wasn't finding in my online research! We'll be staying at the Sutton Place in downtown Vancouver. Perfect location and we were able to score a deal online for a Deluxe room. We normally don't really care about hotels since we don't spend much time there but this hotel came highly recommended by a local. Along with the perfect location what more could we ask for??

I will post more about what we decide to do during our trip, both in Seattle and Vancouver. Until then I am just anxiously awaiting a vacation to a brand new location! I'm so thankful that we have this opportunity and that I finally get to meet my gorgeous niece!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

The cat that only gets along with dogs... Sorry, another crappy iPhone pic

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Flame-FULL Confession

I wondered if I should even post this confession. I wonder if it will make me come off like a super-bitch? I wonder if people will judge my desire to have a family? I'm going to put it all out there. After all, this is my blog and a place where I can state my feelings.

I don't LOVE all children.

OK there. I said it. It's the truth. I don't and I never have. There are even children I don't like. Whew...

I do, however, love and cherish all the children and babies in my life. Let me just get that out there with emphasis! I'm sure anyone who reads this blog knows that part already though.

I should also say that I do enjoy children that are nice, polite and well behaved. I think the bratty ones have ruined me though for the "I desperately love all children" thing...

I have felt this way as long as I can remember. It mostly has to do with the way children act in public. Don't get me wrong, I understand that all kids have melt-downs and parents can't control that. That's not what bothers me. I'm talking about rude, self-centered kids. The ones that act like they are entitled to whatever they want and based on kids I see... this is a growing majority. I noticed it a lot in college when I was a server in a restaurant and continue to notice it in places I frequent.

MrHoppy and I couldn't believe the way some children acted while we were at Disney World in November. Temper tantrums, screaming at their parents, whining, begging for more, more, more. What more could you want kid? Your parents probably just dropped over $2,000 on this trip for you! I was a child once, a child at Disney even. And this kind of behavior was NOT acceptable in our family. When did this shift of power occur? When did parents begin to lose control of their children? Again, I'm not talking about children that are having a bad day. Hell, we all have bad days! You know the ones I'm talking about...

Don't get me wrong, there were adorable and sweet children there. I loved watching them experience Disney with their parents. The smiles and glee when they met Cinderella or Mickey. It melted my heart honestly! It did amaze me though the difference in the 2 "types" of children. Very different attitudes...

Does is come down to parenting? Are kids just different these days? Is this behavior now more socially acceptable? Are feelings of entitlement coming from parents that feel entitled? I do feel that society as a whole is less and less courteous. Are future generations learning this behavior by watching the way adults act? It makes me wonder.

So there you have it. Is there anyone out there that feels the same way? Am I the only one? I just feel like adults should be respected by children. They should say please, thank you, and excuse me when they bump into someone. Common courtesy...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fit Fridays

TGIF everyone! I'm thinking about the people in Japan and the Pacific affected by the earthquake aand tsunami today. I find tsunamis both fascinating and terrifying at the same time.

On to fit Fridays!

Fitness: I did really well this week. I have worked out 4 days so far and am planning my 5th tomorrow. This includes running, a core class at the gym which is SO hard and 2 days of lifting. It feels so good to stay on track with my workouts.

Nutrition: Sucked it up again this week. We have been eating out way more than normal and I know this is where my problems lie. I had a talk with MrHoppy last night - my mind frame isn't where it usually is in regard to nutrition. I'm usually the one that keeps us on track. Lately I've been slipping and being lazy. When he suggests going out it hasn't taken much convincing... So he agreed to help me by not suggesting it and reminding me to eat balanced meals at home. Thank goodness I'm working out - I would be gaining if I wasn't!

Weight: Same as last week. I guess this is OK, I started my period today so hopefully some bloat will go away by next week and it will show on the scale. Again, I'm not focusing on a number but it sure doesn't hurt to see it go down!

Here are some pictures taken with my iphone this morning by MrHoppy. He keeps saying he can see definition forming in my stomach so we'll see. I'm not convinced but I'm going to keep working at it! The sides and top look ok to me it's just the area around my belly button that I am not happy with.
Front view
Back view, not too shabby
Side view

Thursday, March 10, 2011

1 Year Ago Today

Was one of the best days of my life!

1 year ago today I was in the trenches of infertility.

1 year ago I was devestated, bitter, sad and struggling with my relationship with MrHoppy.

And then little O came along to brighten my entire world.

I tell my sister all the time that I simply cannot imagine how much she loves him. Because I know how much I love him. And she always replies that I probably love him as much as they do, just in a different way. It's probably true.

That might sound weird but you don't know my sister and me. We are 2 peas in a pod. We live 2 miles from each other, talk pretty much all day, everyday. We spend our free time together, go on trips together.

When she was pregnant, it was the closest thing to me being pregnant. She shared every minute of the journey with me, allowed me to come to an ultrasound, feel her growing belly whenever I wanted and feel her little man kicking away. Her pregnancy was a really exciting time in my life. Even after all I was going through. It was amazing.

And then came March 10, 2010. I got a call at 5AM or so that she was in labor but would be staying home as long as possible. I went to her house to visit and pick up their dogs. She was doing so well. The plan was for my sister and her husband to be in the delivery room alone. My Mom and I arrived at the hospital shortly after she was admitted and hung out all afternoon keeping them company, doing what we could to help her.

Her plan was to go completely med free and they prepared for that her entire pregnancy. It wasn't easy to watch her in so much pain but she is incredibly strong. My Mom and I were waiting down the hall when K called and said that she changed her mind and wanted us in the room. It was time to start pushing!

At 8:12PM (I think!) after hours of laboring and almost 2 hours of pushing O.J.H was born. It was the most amazing experience of my life to be there. I was able to hold one of her legs and help her push. I am forever grateful that she allowed me to experience that moment with her, K and O.

He has gone from a mellow, easy going baby to an energetic, sweet and funny little boy.

Happy birthday O, I hope you know how much you are loved!
Brand new baby
Auntie loves you
Such a big boy

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Holy cuteness!

Monday, March 7, 2011

21 Again?

Sometimes MrHoppy and I think we are 21 again. No joke. We think we can drink it up, stay out late and party like rock stars! Such was the case on this recent night out on the town...

Our good friend is the lead singer of an up and coming band in CO. Ever heard of Random Hero? They are becoming increasingly popular locally and we hadn't heard them play yet. So we trekked down to the Rock Star Lounge where they were playing one night recently.

Side note: this bar sucks. But we were willing to go for A!

Anyway - there were a couple other bands on before them and it was all hard rock. Not usually my favorite but I couldn't wait to hear Random Hero. There was nowhere to sit so A ended up getting us a VIP table right by the stage for free! We just had to pick a bottle to share with our friends who joined us. It ended up being such a fun night. Random Hero didn't play until late and we closed down the bar. When was the last time I did that?? I don't even remember!

They were awesome and I was so impressed. Can't wait to see them play again!
MrHoppy and I took our rings off because it was so cold they kept slipping off. So we were single for the night... ;)
The 21 year olds!
A and MrHoppy before the show
My BIL had just put my bindings on my new board so I was excited. This was after 3AM... Yikes!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fit Fridays

Welcome to my first "Fit Fridays" post!

I decided that Fridays will be the best day to write about fitness and nutrition. I will have the last week to reflect on and MrHoppy is home in the morning to take pictures of my progress. I'm kind of nervous to post my pictures - while I'm OK with where I am physically I know I can be better. I guess that's the purpose of this right? To document my focus on fitness and health! I'm an open book at this point and writing about it should give me motivation. I want to be able to see my progress.

So without further adieu...

How has the last week gone?

 Physically it went well. I forgot my running shoes on Monday so I ran outside with the monster until it got dark. Worked out on Tuesday night. Wednesday night I forgot my sports bra and didn't realize it until I was changing at the gym. I almost went home but instead I sucked it up and wore my regular bra under a sweatshirt. I have big boobs y'all. It wasn't pretty but I hopped on the elliptical and got through it! Thursday I hit the gym early and today is a day off.

Nutritionally I SUCKED. I'm starting to PMS and was craving salty crap all week. I hate when I do this and it happens every month. I put on a couple pounds of bloat which is discouraging. A friend of mine recommended Midol for my crazy bloating so I think I'll try it this month. Anyone else had success with Midol? Anyway, I need to eat more veggies. I need to focus on balanced meals and lots of protein. I'm normally really good about it so just need to refocus.

Weight was 119 today. Ugh. Just to give some perspective I am about 5'5 but have a very small frame. My most comfortable weight is about 115-116. That's ideally where I would like to be. I do know that as I build muscle and tone I may not be at 115. This is fine with me. My focus is not a number on the scale but rather a toned and healthy body. 3-4 pounds does make a difference on someone my size.

So here is my first progress picture! Ignore the wrinkles on my belly - I sit in the sink to do my makeup and MrHoppy was making fun of them! I will say that I'm starting to notice more definition in my abs which is great as they are my #1 problem area. First place to gain and last place to lose. Everyone has an area like that right?

Taken with my iPhone so ignore the crappy quality. And ignore my swollen boobs - thank you PMS! :) I do have a couple of these sports bras and I LOVE them. So supportive for us bigger chested women and I bought them on clearance at the Nike outlet. I found one similar online, you can order them here. I highly recommend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Annoying Day

This day is annoying already. Last night I packed my lunch, packed my gym bag with work clothes and set my alarm for 5:40. I was actually excited to get up, take a class at the gym, run, and then get ready there and head to work. On Wednesdays I get my workout out of the way in the morning so that I can spend these evenings with MrHoppy.

Fast forward to 6:30AM when I startled awake wondering why in the hell it was light out already. I thought I had escaped the alarm issues with the iPhone 4. I guess not, it never went off. Annoying - yes. End of the world - no. It just meant I would spend time after work at the gym instead. Delay our dinner together but no biggie right?

Until this morning when a potential client let me know they want to come in. After work. Meaning that I have to stay late. Meaning no gym. Not to mention my boss has an appointment tonight so he's taking the afternoon off completely. So now I get to cover alone all afternoon, stay late, miss the gym and get home late.

Have I mentioned that I am a total creature of habit? When I have a plan I don't like for it to change. So all of these things together drive me nutso. I am so annoyed right now... :::sigh:::

Oh and I have my post from the weekend in the mountains done, all I have to do is download the few pictures we took. We didn't do very well taking many... Another bummer.