Saturday, September 28, 2013

Start of the Max Phase

We have officially ended the cleanse!  Good Job Hazzards!  I am proud of us!

Bryan is continuing to be super supportive as I start the next 14 day section.  I can't help but laugh at my mindset.  I convinced my self that I could do anything for 10 days.  24 days seemed like too much to commit to.  What if I couldn't last 24 days, all of that $$ would be wasted.  10 days is better.  Then I got started... and realized that if I have gone this far... I should continue and not just give up.  Now, 3 days into the max phase, I am so glad I didn't.

I lost a total of 3.5 lbs during the cleanse phase.  Bryan lost 3 (I know...), so together we lost the weight of our dog... I just think that's funny.  :)   We started to eat right.  We started to ride our bikes together.  We went on 3 bike rides throughout the cleanse.  Overall, I would highly recommend the cleanse to others.  It does have to be done during a season of your life where you don't have to grab dinner on the go... you need to be able to plan out your meals.  It's not very easy to go out to eat with others.  You need to have time to go to the grocery store and buy the right kind of food to eat.  We ate at home for every meal during the cleanse phase.

As I started the max phase, I kept the same diet but had many more pills to take.  I was a little overwhelmed about what to take when but my adviser was very helpful.  I had the vanilla meal replacement shake mixed with water for breakfast.  It was... interesting.  I had been craving sweet things during the cleanse so that was nice to start with something sweet.  However, the texture was very similar to really pulpy orange juice.  I could take little sips, but not big gulps which meant it took a LONG time to drink.  I had my handy nuts as a snack--but for the most part, I wasn't very hungry all morning.

I had to take pills 30 minutes before eating lunch which is really awkward when you are a teacher.  Luckily, my student teacher can handle things while I step out to take all of the pills.  Then at lunch (more taco salad) I had even more pills.

For dinner I had a plan.  As a thank you to Bryan, I treated him to Chili's for dinner (he technically paid... I mean, hey!  I'm still the girl :)  )  But I did have a coupon for a free appetizer, so Bryan got to enjoy the new pretzel sticks and a hamburger!  I ordered the mango grilled chicken meal with the sauce on the side.  It had big chunks of salsa, mango and avocado on it... it was delicious!  I forgot to order the broccoli without the garlic butter sauce... so the one bite that I ate was delicious, but then I decided not too eat the rest.  I also had the side of black beans.  It was a yummy dinner and it was so nice not to have to do the dishes!

Weighing in that next morning, I lost 1.2 lbs from the first day.  Talk about exciting!!!  I do think that I would be successful loosing weight without the supplements, but I also think that it is helping me see the most results for my efforts.   I used some almond milk (because you can't have dairy) at the advice from some at school for the breakfast shake.  That helped a little bit.  I was able to drink it much faster.  Day 2 of the max phase (day 12 total) was similar to the first day... MANY pills.  I convinced Bryan to grab a Subway sandwich with me, and I just ate the veggie one.  I love the veggie sandwich from Subway anyway.  I was really wanting something to bite into so I took a Carb-Ease pill that helps your body digest carbs.  I hadn't had a carb yet for the day, so I felt like it was okay to eat one.  I did make a slight mistake and took that pill too early, (it is designed to take immediately before dinner) I took the pills and then went with Bryan to go get the sandwich and then bring it home (about 20 minutes) It ended up making me very nauseous.  I won't do that again!  As soon as I started to eat the sandwich, I began to feel better.  We ended the night riding our bikes one neighborhood over to see some friends garage sale that they are doing to raise money to adopt a little girl in China.  Half of the church was there helping, so we spent a good hour hanging out and then rode home.

I only have 12 more days to go!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Days 8, 9 and 10

Day 8 wasn't too exciting.  I hadn't seen any difference in my weight on day 4-8, but I do feel better than I did before.  It's hard to explain, I still feel tired but just don't seem to get tired as quickly.  I don't seem to notice being hungry very often, and when I am I eat a small portion and move on.  So far in the cleanse I have lost 2.5 lbs (and that was all on day 1-3) but remember that the first ten days are not designed to make you loose weight, they are to get your body prepared to digest food the way we are supposed to.  I'm still buying into this whole process.

I was feeling good about myself; Bryan went and weighed himself... he's lost 3 lbs.  That goober!  I love him so much.  If you know Bryan... you know he doesn't have 3 lbs to loose, he is doing this to support me and to be healthy.  I just had to laugh... me feeling like I have worked so hard (and I have) and he has lost more.  That cartoon commercial of the woman loosing weight in the boobs and the man dropping 6 pant sizes came to mind when this all played out the other night.

Day 9 started with a success! I caught up to Bryan.  I officially was at 3.1 lbs weight loss.  I realized that Bryan and I together have lost the weight of our dog, Paco!  :)

 I woke up late though and was exhausted--I'm not really sure why.  I was sort of dragging most of the day.  I'm tired of eating nuts and I'm tired of eating hummus.  We made beans and rice for dinner with some chicken tossed in.  That was really yummy, and really easy to through together because we already had cooked chicken and cooked rice that needed to be warmed up.  Through some beans in... and here we go!

Bryan and I really had a heart to heart, and he wasn't impressed with the experience.  I am still grateful that he did it with me.  He made it all the way through, but he didn't feel a difference in his energy level and he was hungry most of the time.

Day 10 finally arrived and we were pleased to complete it!  I finished those nasty fiber drinks and only got sick that first day.  It does get better--kinda.  I can proudly say that I made it to day 10 without cheating!! (I didn't expect to be able to say that).

We did come to have a favorite recipe through this, and I just wanted to share:

Turkey Taco (Salad)

We would browned the turkey and then added a can of Rotel to the meat... no seasoning.  It was delicious!  I would eat it on a bed of spring mixed lettuces with tomatoes, carrots, picante sauce.  Delicious!  Tonight I realized I had an Alvarado that was getting close to it's end date, so I mashed it up with a little lemon juice and salt and added that on top.  It was almost like having sour cream and guacamole - super creamy!  Bryan would stick his in the (cardboard) tortilla and enjoyed that.    This might have been my favorite meal from the whole cleanse.

Tomorrow I start the "Max Phase"  there is a significant increase in the number of pills and remembering to take your pills....  we'll see how it goes! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 6 and 7

Day 6 was a day I was sort of nervous about.  Remember how I said it was easier around other people, and being by myself was the harder part for cheating?  Well Bryan went to a men's retreat.  He had a ball, it was good that he went.  But I was nervous about being by myself with food that I can manipulate... I was afraid I would cheat.  I am very proud to say that I didn't.

For breakfast, I had my pill and Spark, and ate the rest of the ground turkey mix in with a scrambled egg and Picante sauce.  This was a winner.  I finally found a breakfast food that I enjoyed eating (only took 5 fails to find this one)  but the problem is that I can't easily duplicate it during the week because I don't have enough time in the morning.  Yes I know I could wake up 5 minutes earlier... but this whole cleanse is about finding what works for Bryan and I... and waking up earlier doesn't. :)

I snacked on an orange and banana during the day.  Ate some hummus, tomatoes and carrots for lunch and then would snack on the tomatoes as the day went on.

Bryan was in the mood for a steak when he got home from the retreat.  I pulled out a New York Strip from the freezer and we cooked that (yummy).  I was sure to cute out any pieces of fat, so I only ate the leanest parts of the steak.  I also cut my 1 strip into 3 pieces and only ate one of them.  It was the right size serving of meat.  We ate some whole grain pasta and a bag of steamed veggies with the meal.  I goggled a recipe for a clean salad dressing and came up with a balsamic vinegar dressing that I had all the ingredients on hand for. I read the directions wrong though (4 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp of minced garlic) I put 4 tbsp olive oil and then 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar... before I saw my mistake.  It made it VERY strong, but I thought it was delicious.  Bryan thought it was too much.  The good thing about it is that I can easily make it 2 different ways and us both enjoy it. :)

Day 7 started off with the meat from the night before warmed up in scrambled eggs... what can I say?  I found a winner.  I added some onion, bell pepper, spinach and garlic.  Yummy!  With Bryan's work schedule we baked salmon for lunch after church.  We had our separate dinners and then the pills.

The biggest thing about day 7 was this was the day I decided to go all 24!  I placed my order for the max phase.  It is expensive, but Bryan and I decided it was worth it because it was what is working for me.  We financially also looked at the fact that we hadn't eaten out all week.  Yes, I bought a lot of groceries... but I usually do and then we go out to eat.  It will not be exactly the same amount, but it is a factor that allowed us to continue.

I am really grateful for all of the feed back I got.  I had lots of encouragement and even ideas to keep in my back pocket for after the 24 day challenge is over.  Yes, I do think it is possible for me to be successful with out Advocare; but Bryan and I decided that Advocare is providing the parameters for me to see the most results.  One of the biggest things that I have learned through this is that there are realistic healthy options.  Every meal does not have to include meat and sides of mac and cheese.  I think that I will get what I put into this experience... and right now, I'm willing to give it my best.  :)  Thanks for the support!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 4 and 5

Day 4 was the day of change.  I didn't have to drink the fiber drink.  I just had to take two pills with breakfast. I can't seem to remember what I ate for breakfast... I guess that's a good thing, because don't have any traumatizing stories to go with it.  I took a left over chili for lunch.  This was the first day that I didn't really feel hunger.  This was the first day it wasn't THAT big of a deal.  It wasn't all that I could think about.

We had a late arrival day at school--meaning teachers are there at 7:00, but the kids didn't have to come to school until 9:30.  In my department meeting, my sweet student teacher was eating a muffin.  She turned and looked at me saying "Oh, I'm sorry I'm eating the muffin in front of you."  My response was that it wasn't that big of a deal.  I could see other people eating stuff and it didn't bother me.  (I think it is harder when I am alone.  I find myself thinking "I could totally eat this cheese stick... and no one would know."  Clearly that's not true, God would know and so would I.  I think the thought of the guilt that would come with cheating is what has kept me true to the cleanse so far.)  But then later, when the students showed up... a student walked by with a Chick-Filet breakfast biscuit, and I changed my mind... that looked good!

We made taco salads for dinner with ground turkey.  Bryan mixed in a can of Rotel, so it had tons of flavor.  Bryan wasn't please that I bought a spring mix package of lettuces (and I mean I bought a HUGE package)... but hey... spinach is good for us!  I thought it was delicious.  I had the spring mix, turkey, carrots, tomatoes, a couple scoops of the home made salsa I made earlier in the week and a nice topping of Pace Pacanta sauce as the dressing.  I thought it was super yummy.   Bryan splashed some lemon juice with his and ate his first helping.  He was still hungry, so he got one of those cardboard tortillas (read previous post)  and made himself a taco.  He really enjoyed it.  I stuck with my salad... if you know what I mean?
We took our pill with dinner and then the cleanse pills later that night.

At dinner Bryan and I started talking seriously about me adding the second phase (max phase) to the end of it.  For those of you who don't know much about Advocare, they have this thing called the 24 Day Challenge.  The 24 day challenge is broken down into 2 phases:  the cleanse phase (days 1-10), and the max phase (days 11-24).  The cleanse phase is designed to rid you body of toxins that build up in our systems over time; it jump starts your body and it's digestion system.  It gets your body ready to digest food the way God designed it to.  The max phase is designed to help get your body into overall wellness, and for many that includes weight loss.  Bryan and I started discussing me taking the max phase with him staying on the strict diet with me.

Day 5 started off and followed very similarly to day 4.  I wasn't hungry.  It didn't consume my life.  I had fruit for breakfast (I still need to find a protein that I can eat at breakfast that I like...), nuts for a snack, chili for lunch.  Bryan left for a men's retreat last night so our original plans were dinner on our own, however we found we had a little extra time with each other so we threw the turkey back on the skillet to warm it up and had taco salads again.  Hey, there is nothing wrong with left-overs!

I am still on the fence about continuing to the max phase or not. Part of me is thinking that I have gotten this far and I will finish day 10, what is 2 more weeks after that?  The other part of me is thinking that I really want to go to a Mexican restaurant and have some chips, salsa and queso.  My adviser has told me that my body has done all of the work on days 1-10, and that I will really see results on days 11-24.  But then again... can my will power hold up that long?  I keep going back and forth.  Bryan has been so supportive.  In a dream world I would wait until day 9 or 10 to decide what I want to do, but I have to order the products and give them time to be delivered.  So I really need to order them by early Monday... What do you think?  Should I continue or not?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 2 and 3

After talking with my sweet Advocare Advisor,  she recommended that I try the peaches and cream fiber drink for my 2nd morning (Tuesday).  I only put it in 4 oz or water... and chugged, but I got the whole thing down!  I felt like a champ.  There might or might not have been a celebration dance in the kitchen that morning.

I had stuck a piece of chicken in a crock pot the night before and shredded it for some protein for breakfast.  After my accomplishment of the fiber drink, I was thinking that I could do anything.  I put the chicken in a whole wheat (low carb, low fat, low everything that tastes good... I didn't know I bought THAT kind of) tortilla with some fresh salsa in with it.  I was thinking that I was going to rock it.  On the way to school, I opened my burrito and took a big bite.  I have to learn to take small bites for new things...


I was able to swallow my bite and a half worth of the cardboard they call tortilla.  When I got to school I took the chicken and salsa out and just ate that.  The morning went smoothly and had my standard nuts for a snack around 9:00.  By lunch time I was hungry again; I ate the quinoa salad from the night before with some fruits and veggies.  I lost the Spark packet so I only had the one drink in the morning.  I didn't NEED it, but it would have been nice.

I was hungry most of the afternoon, but not the kind of "I think I'm going to die" hunger... just the "I would munch on something right now if I could" kind.  We made a chili for dinner and ate around 5:00.  It was really good and fairly simple to throw together.  We did use beef... it was the 96/4 kind that is kind of pricey, but so worth it!  We took our pills at dinner and then again before bed.

Day 3 took a similar route.  Fiber drink, shredded chicken (not the greatest for breakfast) and fruit.  For some reason, I was hungry all day.  I snacked on my nuts, ate my quinoa salad and veggies and found the Spark from the day before in the chaos called my desk.  I came home and we made chicken and steamed veggies.  I was starting to think that maybe I couldn't last the 7 more days.  Then I got on the scale, and I was down 2.5 lbs from my starting date (weighing at the same time of day).  Suddenly... 7 days was looking good!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 1 of the Cleanse

So we hit the ground running Monday with the cleanse.  Let's just say that it has been interesting...

I started my morning with the Fiber Drink Mix.  The instructions say to mix it with 8 ounces.  My Adviser suggested maybe a little bit more if it started to thicken up on me.  So I put it in 12 oz.  WRONG!  On my first chug, I probably got about 6 oz down.  But I had to come up for air... big mistake!  I was completely grossed out and then had to continue.  On my second attempt, it got the best of me and I got sick all in the sink!  I'm not sure if any stayed down or not.


My first task at the cleanse and I have already failed.

I poured the rest out, brushed my teeth and grabbed my lunch to head out the door.  For breakfast, I had a Spark (yummy!) and then an apple and banana.  I was laughing at myself as I was praying on my way to work this morning.  I was talking to God about being a failure already and what the next 9 days were really going to look like.... and I was chomping down on my banana.  When I finished complaining about what I was going through, I realized that I ate the entire banana without complain or gagging once.  That is a BIG accomplishment for me because I HATE bananas!!  Maybe when you puke in the morning... anything tastes good!  Maybe I can do this??  God sure is funny that way. :)

I bought a package of almonds and a package of mixed nuts and mixed them together just to add variety.  I had my nuts for a snack and I was very proud that I had a small portion and was fine.

I was starving by lunch time but with school, I don't eat until 1:00 anyway... and I am starving everyday by then.  I ate my carrot, tomatoes, celery, and cucumbers with my hummus and finished lunch with some berries, an apple and an orange.

When I got home Bryan told me about his day... he didn't make it as far as I did with the Fiber Drink.  We started making dinner and sat down to eat around 4:30... hey you eat fruit all day and then talk to me.  For dinner we had baked Tilapia topped with Rotel and then a Quinoa Mex Salad from Pintrest.  Surprisingly... both were delicious.  We decided that both things were something we could eat more of in our diet when we finish the cleanse.  To be honest, I am not sure if we were just hungry or if it was really good... but either way, we demolished those plates and will be having it again!

We went down for a belated birthday celebration in Texas City and had a watermelon snack.  Everyone else ate a cherry cobbler dish (that I love) and homemade ice cream.  I was not thinking the nicest things about them.  But our watermelon was delicious and we powered though.  I am so grateful for Bryan.  He have up his birthday ice cream for the cleanse and to support me.  I am impressed with our will power.

I'm not sure what the other days will entail, but day 1 is finished!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Prep for d-day

So in getting ready for our 10 day Advocare cleanse, I spent Saturday afternoon shopping.  I couldn't help but laugh, I was in the fruit and veggie section much longer than normal.

I bought just about everything:
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Mangos
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Mixed greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Avacodoes 
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • JalapeƱos
  • Green onions
  • Fresh salsa (or at least the things to make yummy fresh salsa) 

I also picked up some hummus, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat bread, tortillas and pasta. 

The middle shelf that goes straight across is all vegetables and was bought today.  The bottom draws are fruits and veggies. 

In case you can't tell, I am really hoping that this works.  We are willing to put in the effort to get the turn out.  My shopping trip cost me $185 and I only got things for the cleanse.  But to be honest, that is about how much I would spend on a normal shopping trip and I got all of the supplies to make the next 10 days worth of food.  We might have to restock on some if we go through them too fast, but overall, we're covered.  And we wont be eating out either.

Today I spent time prepping everything so that it is easy to go.  I know that if you don't wash fruits and veggies until you are ready to eat they usually last longer, however, ain't nobody got time for that!  And we are eating A LOT of the fruits and veggies.  This way (hopefully) with a little planning we can just grab and go. 

I have taken my measurements, weighed myself, and taken the "before" pictures. However... I want to see results before I post those pictures... If you know what I mean, :) but here is proof that I did take the pictures!!  I have been weighing myself throughout the week... And I have to say that my weight has fluctuated so much... I'm not sure what to think.  Weighing myself around the same time everyday and not changing my diet or excercise, my weight has had a 7 lb range... 

I think we're all ready for tomorrow :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

It's time for a change

So starting next week, Bryan and I are doing an Advocare Cleanse.  We are both a little excited and nervous  (I think that I am more of both than Bryan... but he is being very supportive).

I had never heard of this company called Advocare until my neighbor started talking about it this past spring.  She is a consultant for Advocare and really believes in the products. I wasn't too sure about it when she first started talking to us.  It seemed like anything else off the shelves that held big promises with only potential let downs inside.  She gave us both a Spark Energy drink... and I have to admit that it tasted good.

When I got to school, one of the ladies at lunch had started a cleanse with Advocare and was really singing it's praises.  I thought she was nuts... eating clean... who wants to do that?  She explained the diet... and again, I thought she was nuts... (Sorry Steph)

Then at church, some really sweet ladies started talking about it too.  I felt like everywhere I went I was being bombarded with Advocare.  Maybe there was something to this?  Maybe I needed to try it?  The cleanse is only 10 days... I can do anything for 10 days... right?  Even though clean eating does sound slightly crazy to the untrained eye, Advocare has a fairly large recipe book with meals that don't sound too far out there.  I do have to give up Diet Cokes (If you know me... you know that is a big deal) however, but the Spark drink has caffeine in it and keeps me more focused than Diet Cokes.

So in late August, Bryan and I signed up to become a distributor for Advocare.  We get a small discount on the (fairly expensive) products.  We ordered our first box of Spark and have really enjoyed it.  We also ordered 2 cleanses and the d-day is finally here.  We start Monday.

I have made a calendar of the recipes and have a fairly strong list of snacks planned out.  We have enough Spark, so hopefully I wont be standing at the vending machine banging my head into it...  I am going shopping tomorrow and then prepping a lot of the food so the week goes smoothly.

From what I can tell... this is what to expect:

  • Drink ALOT of water
  • Drink some more water
  • Chug the Fiber drinks in the morning (apparently they aren't the easiest to get down)
  • We aren't supposed to be hungry during the cleanse, we just can't have certain things
  • No sugars, processed foods or fried things
  • We aren't using the additional products that are optional, so we will drink a fiber drink in the morning, take a OmegaPlex (pill) at dinner and the Herbal Cleanse tablets (pills) before bed. 
  • Then drink more water

So why are we doing this?  We both feel it is important to have a healthy lifestyle.  We both admit that we might not be making the best dietary choices right now as we eat.  We both want a change. 

I personally am doing it for a few reasons.  I am tired of my clothes not fitting.  I feel like my body shape has changed since we got married, I can't wear things the same way.  I want to feel attractive to my husband (he thinks I am... and keeps telling me this... I just want to feel this way again too)  I don't like how people without manners ask me when my due date is.... yes, this happens.  I want to make choices that glorify the Lord.  I want to be a well round individual-spiritually, not physically.  I want to try something new.  I don't want to be tired all of the time.

My plan is to make daily posts about how the cleanse is going.  However, if it doesn't happen everyday... so be it! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Nathan Turns 1

It is hard to believe that my sweet Nephew, Nathan, turned 1 last weekend... I remember this like it was yesterday.

I had the privilege of making his birthday outfit. How cute is this!

It was quite a work in progress.  I ended up going through 3 onesies before finally getting the bow tie centered the way it is supposed to be.  I do love how it turned out though. 

And more importantly... I LOVE my nephew! :)  Happy Birthday Nathan!  We are looking forward to everyday between this birthday and the next!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

100th Post

So in a little under a year and a half, I have hit my 100th blog post.  That is pretty exciting... and a lot of pressure.  What should my 100th post include?  I have spent some time thinking about it... and I think I found just the right topic!

Today is Bryan's 26th birthday!

I love you Bryan!  I could not be more proud of you!  Bryan's parents, brother and sister-in-law and I took him to Perry's for a nice dinner and then birthday cake back at our house.  He was so excited for me to take his picture. :)

This is the Bryan I fell in love with...

Happy Birthday Bryan!  And happy 100th post!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Leaky sink

On my way home today, Bryan calls me with the question "Are you ready for an adventure?"

I didn't have a clue what he was talking about, he said he came home to find the kitchen sink was leaking.  

He took everything out of the cabinet...

and this is how I found him.

I will say I am very impressed that it only took him about 15 minutes to really figure out how to make the leak stop. 

We set up this very classy fan to try to help dry it out.  (Shout out to my dad who bought this fan for me my freshman year of college... Saying that I HAD TO HAVE A FAN!  I thought he was crazy... He was actually quite helpful). :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

What did I accomplish this summer?

At the beginning of the summer, I wrote a post about the goals I had this summer.  Here is a list of the things I said I wanted to do.

-paint 2 remaining bedrooms, closets, master bath and closet, laundry room and guest bath
-lay flooring in the 2 rooms mentioned above
-clean the grout in the hallway walk way
-re-caulk the guest tub
-make pillows for study couch
-hang curtains in the living room
-make some of those pintrest recipes I have been looking at :)
-hang bridal portrait
-learn new embroidery tricks/expand my abilities
-4 more bib/burp sets (that I know of right now... hopefully there will be more orders)
-make 2 dresses from patterns
-go to youth camp as a councilor
-go on vacation (Super excited!!!!!!)
-finish the Karen Kingsbury book I started last summer...
-I want to read Redeeming Love
-Maybe paint some more canvases

 Let's see how I did:  You can click on the pictures to take you to a post about the experience.

-paint 2 remaining bedrooms, closets, master bath and closet, laundry room and guest bath
     - I got everything painted except for the bathrooms and laundry room.  (that is more than it
-lay flooring in the 2 rooms mentioned above
     - We did one better... we finished ALL of the flooring in the house
-clean the grout in the hallway walk way
   - Didn't get to this one.  But hey, I was busy.
-re-caulk the guest tub
   - We didn't do the guest tub, but we did get the master shower done and it doesn't leak anymore. :)

 -make pillows for study couch
   - I will be making more of these!

 -hang curtains in the living room
    - It didn't happen until the end of the summer, but it did happen... sorry, no pictures :)

 -make some of those pintrest recipes I have been looking at :)

 -hang bridal portrait
   - Still hasn't happened yet.  But hopefully will soon.

 -learn new embroidery tricks/expand my abilities
    - I think I have improved.

 -4 more bib/burp sets (that I know of right now... hopefully there will be more orders)
    - I made a total of 8 different sets.  You can see them all in the sewing tab at the top of the blog. 
      Here is a sample.

 -make 2 dresses from patterns
   - I only got 1 dress made, but I have the material for dress 2 and 3.

-go to youth camp as a councilor
   - Youth Camp was awesome!

 -go on vacation (Super excited!!!!!!)
   - Disney World was such a blast!!

 -finish the Karen Kingsbury book I started last summer...
   - Nope, but I did start the Chronicles of Narnia. I'm on book 3.

-I want to read Redeeming Love
   - I finished the book at the very beginning of the summer.  Here are my thoughts on that....
-Maybe paint some more canvases
   - I did paint one, but the blog hasn't seen it yet.

What an awesome summer.  This summer was truly all about me.  I don't mean to sound so self-centered (but I know I'm coming across that way.)  What I mean is that I was able to do things on my time table.  I was able to do what I wanted because that is what I wanted to do.  I could be myself, be creative and even be a little lazy if I wanted to.  I spent many mornings cuddling with Paco and watching TV.  I spent a lot of time sewing. 

I also got to spend some very precious time with Bryan.  Because of his work schedule, our "weekends" were on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Bryan did a good job of being intentional with our time and we made some very special memories.  I am so lucky to have such a loving husband.  Happy Summer, here's to Fall 2013!