Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #112

A Year of Gratitude #112: Girls Night Out

I'm so thankful that I've made friends here in Atlanta. Last night, I met my friend Beth for dinner and then we headed to the movies to see The Lucky One.

Dinner was delicious. We met at a place called Miller's Ale House in Alpharetta. I had the apple walnut salad that was so yummy. It had grilled chicken, apples, grapes, blue cheese, crasins, and walnuts and had a vinaigrette that was tangy and went well with the rest of the salad. 

After dinner, we drove over to the AMC theater and got our tickets to see The Lucky One. The movie stars Zac Efron, and because of that, the place was SWARMING with teenage girls. While we were in line to get tickets (it's a PG13 movie-- and probably should have been R with the sex scenes) a mom had three girls with her and asked what the movie was rated because she had three 12 year olds with her. SO INAPPROPRIATE for a 12 year old.

During the movie, there were several scenes with them having sex, or about to have sex, and you could hear little fits of giggles throughout the theater. A tell-tale sign of immaturity. The parents that allowed these CHILDREN to go to this movie, should be ashamed of themselves.  I'm sure the thought was that Zac Efron was in HS Musical, a Disney show/movie, and most parents assumed when their daughter said it was a Zac Efron movie, that it was safe.

The movie was based on Nicholas Sparks's book The Lucky One. I read the book quite a while ago, and I had not remembered it being so military-focused (the movie starts off with ZE in Iraq). As soon as he came home and set off to find the woman in the picture, and arrived at her dog kennel, I instantly remembered the plot. It was a good book... predictable, and a bit unrealistic, but not awful.

Anyway- after the movie, Beth and I headed outside and we ended up talking and talking for over an hour. Had a crazy man not started coming towards us, we would have stood there talking longer I'm sure. 

I laughed with her and had a great evening enjoying her company. I'm so thankful to have met friends here that I can go out with and get away when needed. Steve is about to start his traveling for work, and it'll be a couple of weeks of just me and Gus 24 hours a day for a few days with no break. It can be hard, but I'm grateful for the times when I can get out, laugh, and come home to my loving husband and incredible baby boy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #111

A Year of Gratitude #111: Perspective

My dad is the greatest. I've said it before, but I am so thankful to have such a solid, wonderful relationship with him. 

Anyway, he reads my blog religiously and sent me an email this morning after he had read my post yesterday. It was just what I needed to hear. Here's what he said:


Did you know that if you only burned that extra 260 cal every day... and not eat extra food, and your normal food intake is 2500 cal that at the end of one year you will have burned and extra ~97000 cal. That is a lot but did you know that is like not eating for 37 days!!! Talk about a diet.

Keep up the work and think of the long run.


I'm so thankful to have him (and others) keep me going and for their advice, prayers, and thoughts. It's all about putting things into perspective, and as he said, I need to think of the long run and stay focused on my goals.

Thanks daddy-o! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #110

A Year of Gratitude #110: Effort

I did it. I got off my bum after Gus's nap and we took the stroller on its first voyage. LOL. I learned a few thing as I was out with Gus.
  1. I am so incredibly out of shape. I had to stop numerous times on my mile walk. It's sad, but at least I'm doing something to combat it.
  2. I must get the brake fixed on the stroller. I had initially said, "Why would you need a brake on a jogging stroller?" Then I started my first downhill descent and I had a difficult time controlling how fast the stroller was going. My toes were crammed into the tips of my shoes... not comfortable at all.
  3. I need to update my iTunes playlists and sync my phone with these new playlists. My music selection today was not the greatest.
  4. My app that calculates how many calories I burned forgot to take into consideration two things: a) I'm carrying a lot of additional weight on my body-- surely I burned more because I was carrying more weight... right???  b) I was pushing a stroller AND Gus in addition to my walking... AND had a dog thrown into the mix.
  5. My neighborhood is VERY hilly. I didn't realize how steep the hills were until I was working my butt off today.
I didn't think my transition into becoming a jogger/runner would be easy, but after just walking today, I feel like it's a much bigger hill than I had expected. I can only go out and try again and not give up, but man oh man... I kicked my own butt, and all I did was walk.

I got to our driveway and it took all the strength that I could muster to get us up the driveway. I thought I was going to die pushing Gus up the drive!

I don't know if it's normal to finish exercising and be ready to sleep, but I was. I didn't get the "rush of energy" that I assume most people get. I just wanted to take a nap. Maybe that'll change as I get more active and my body adjusts to burning more calories.

All I know is that I gave it an great effort. It's going to be really hard and a long road, but as long as I get out there and try, something positive has to come from it. It's better than just sitting on my butt doing nothing.

I also found that after I finished, I was drinking water and plugging in my info on my phone, and it said I burned like 260 calories. I seriously had a "WTF???" moment. I couldn't believe all the effort it took to only burn 260 calories. Hmmmm...

Anyway. Not sure if walking/jogging/running with friends is a good idea at this early stage. I was so out of breath and had to stop so many time, I don't want to hold someone else up, or feel like I can't stop because of someone else. Maybe I'll get to the point where it's easier and I don't stop as much. Maybe today is as bad as it'll ever be because it was the first day???

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #109

A Year of Gratitude #109: Support

I'm so thankful to have friends and family who are so incredibly supportive of my goals. I posted my blog about running and have been overwhelmed by the support coming from my family and friends.

I'm so blessed to be surrounded by love and support!!!

I Am Not A Runner (YET)


So I was on Facebook not too long ago, and my friend Lee posted that she was so excited to do The Color Run 5K. I had never heard of it, so I decided to Google it. I'm not sure what happened, but I immediately decided that I wanted to run it in 2013. It was like instant motivation for me, and it looked so fun.

It just looks like a complete blast and I want to do it. Maybe I can get three others to join with me and we can run as a team of four. I just think this is just what I need to get myself motivated.

As if the stars weren't aligning enough with a sudden burst of motivation, I sent out an email to my MOMS Club asking if anyone had a jogging stroller to give/sell me and I actually had someone email me and tell me that she had one for me! I was able to go today and pick it up and it's beautiful. It's a Jeep Music on the Move stroller and has a built-in speaker/iPod cord so I can listen to my music while out and about!

So then today, we were at an event and I was talking with some of the ladies about my decision/motivation to start the Couch to 5K and Pilar said she'd work with me and help me built up to being able to run a 5k! I'm so excited! I told her that I am VERY out of shape and it's going to take a while for me to get into the groove, but she said she and a few of the other ladies run and they started off very small too.
It's an official program where you can get a plan for running

I have an app similar to this for my iPhone. It let's me know when to run/walk/jog and plays my music for the intervals needed

I'm more motivated than ever before. I am not a runner. Yet. I hope to get myself into a groove and run with the ladies three times a week and then Steve wants to start walking after dinner at least three times a week... so between running and walking, I should be moving my behind seven days a week and I'm very excited about what can come from it.
 I ask for prayers as I start this new journey. Ultimately, I don't have a weigh goal, it's more of just feeling good. I want to not be out of breath, not be tired, and live a long life with Steve and Gus. I MUST lose weight... and while I'm sure that running isn't the answer to all the issues, it should at least help me burn calories and get me moving. As my dad says, "You can eat whatever you want (in moderation) if you're regularly exercising and burning calories."  :-)

As one last motivator for starting my metamorphosis into a runner, I bought myself a GOOD pair of running shoes. I did some research and looked at motion-controlled shoes for overweight women and found these:
Adidas Supernova Glide 4

Now I just need to get started!! I can't wait until I can say (with pride)... 


Adoption Blog Hop

A wonderful site called Adoption Magazine is hosting a BLOG HOP. It's a place to post your blog (if you're connected to the adoption triad) and check out other blogs. I think it's a great resource and the list of blogs is continuously growing. 

If you're a reader of this blog, and have a connection to adoption, please consider checking out the blog hop and adding your own blog to the list!!


A Year of Gratitude #108

A Year of Gratitude #108: Laughter

I am not going to go into any details on this post (sorry), but I am so thankful for laughter. I love the openness shared between my brother, that he was willing to share experiences that he's had, that cause me to laugh so hard I felt like I was going to pee myself.

I don't know if there's anything better than a good laugh. Not a forced, fake laugh, but a genuine, bust your gut, laugh so hard your sides hurt kind of laugh. 

I'm glad my humor aligns with Dave and we were able to commiserate about things, and laugh at the same time.

A Year of Gratitude #107

A Year of Gratitude #107: Cousins

Eamon, Gus, Aine, and Benton
I was most excited for Dave and Heather and the kids to get here so that Gus could spend some time with his cousins. It was so fun to watch them play together and they all seemed to really have fun. Gus really bonded with Aine, which is no surprise because she's very good with little kids. He liked making faces at her and she'd make them back at him, which delighted him completely.
Trying to take a picture of them both making the face at each other
Hee hee hee

I could go on and on about how thankful I am to have had the last three FULL days with my oldest brother Dave and his family. I guess you truly don't know what you're missing until you spend ample time with family that you haven't seen in years... and then the reality of how long it's been, and how much you REALLY miss them settles in.

I love my brother Dave so deeply. He's my "big brother" (even though technically Scott is older than me... we're twins, so Dave's the big brother). I've always had a special place in my heart for him and have always loved being around him. I do look up to him, and think he's an incredible person. Someone that I'd be honored to know outside of the realm of being siblings.
Dave on the trampoline

Dave's wife Heather is a wonderful ying to his yang, and his other half. They're in-tune and have the same beliefs and values, which is important when picking a partner. She's as funny as he is, and brings out the very best in him. I love her so much and I'm lucky to have her as a SIL.

Their kids are very special to me because for the longest time, they were my old nephew and niece. Eamon and Aine are awesome. They have funny senses of humor, are super smart, and are fun to be around. I was most excited to see how Gus would enjoy being around his cousins (and that's another post I'll blog about shortly).
Aine and Gus

The kids loved the trampoline

Fun with Eamon

Fun with Aine (and Eamon)


Sketched Aine

Eamon & Aine loved the Stachematic app that I have on my phone!

The boys jumping and Eamon was blowing bubbles
The boys together
 Benton is the youngest of Dave and Heather's kiddos and he's just as sweet as can be. I enjoyed spending time with him this visit because it let me get to know him a little better... since the last time he was just a wee one and I didn't really get to spend time just watching him and getting more familiar with his personality.
Gus and Benton at the park, sharing some fish
We had a great couple of days. We went on walks together, listened to music together, laughed at videos together, played outside, and played inside. It was really enjoyable.
The kids playing in the basement 
Going on a walk

Fun at the park
The boys playing in the backyard

I am so very blessed and so thankful that Dave and the family were able to swing through on their way to D.C. It gave me precious time with them, and let me really reconnect with them. The only negative is that it makes me really sad that they're gone and I won't see them again for a few months.

Our plan is to head back to MI and reunite in August/September for a week with everyone in my family together. It'll be awesome to have all three of us kids and our families together again with my parents. I'm excited to see them again this fall and hope they have an amazing time in Washington D.C.!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #106

A Year of Gratitude #106: Adoption Day
C, P, our judge, Gus, Steve, and Me at Gus's Finalization Hearing- April 15, 2011

A year ago today, Gus's adoption was final!! We call today "Adoption Day" and each year it will be a very special day for us. While it's an important day, we also think that the day he was born is the day that he became ours. 

Here are some pictures from our Adoption Day last year:
In Court

Swearing to tell the truth

Deborah (our adoption attorney) and Michael (Macomb County Adoption Lead Council)

Two families joined together forever!

This year we weren't sure what we wanted to do... and Gus was up REALLY late last night and wasn't in the mood for much today. I had wanted to get him a cake, but it didn't happen. We had a little BBQ, but the time spent together and with his Uncle Dave, Aunt Heather and cousins was good enough!!

I'm thankful that our adoption has long been finalized and our family has had a year to just enjoy being a family without being under the microscope and having to have visitors come to check on us and having to go to court to prove that we're fit to be parents.

A Year of Gratitude #105

A Year of Gratitude #105: Family

My brother Dave and his family arrived last night and it was absolutely wonderful to see them all again. It had been just shy of two years since we last saw each other and it was so great to see them!!

They'll be staying with us for three days and so far it's been great! I love seeing Gus with his cousins and watching them all play together. It's the stuff that I always dreamed about but never thought I'd have the ability to see... and it makes me so grateful!!
Gus at the park with 2/3 of his cousins... Aine and Benton

A Year of Gratitude #104

A Year of Gratitude #104: First International Order for C4

Many of you know, I have my own business called Cat's Custom Classroom Creations. I've been in business for about three years now and I make items for teachers and parents. I usually get really busy around June and from June through September, I am constantly working on fulfilling orders for my customers. I don't make a lot of money doing what I do, but it's a nice amount.

Anyway, on Wednesday, I got a notification that an order was placed for C4... and it was from someone in ENGLAND!!! That means that C4 is now being sold internationally!!! I was super excited to have an order in the middle of the spring... and not during my rush time at all, but also that it was for a teacher in England. 

:-) I am so grateful and thankful that people share my work with friends and co-workers and that these people trust me to create things for them. I hope my customer enjoys what I created for her as much as I enjoyed creating it!!

A Year of Gratitude #103

A Year of Gratitude #103: Mayor of Rita's

It's not much, but I am the mayor of Rita's (on Foursquare). For the first time ever, as mayor of somewhere, I actually get something! For the duration of my reign as mayor, I get free regular Italian Ice at Rita's. It's pretty sweet.

I am thankful that I get perks as the mayor!