Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall holiday hike

Yesterday we went up to Mt. Lemmon to go on a nature walk at the Aspen trail and to see the fall colors.
While it may be 90+ degrees down in Tucson, Mt. Lemmon was a refreshing 60.
And while the leaves aren't at their peak yet, they're still beautiful to behold.

I really should have grabbed more leaves and pine cones on our walk.

I think I'm going to call this picture the stop light tree. Obviously you can see why.
Being on the mountain and walking on the trails brings such a sense of peace.
At first Wyatt was grumpy, I can't blame him, he had just done a 10 mile hike the day before with the boy scouts and was sore and sunburned. He later confessed that we were driving him crazy with all the stopping. That's when I explained to think of this as a nature walk and not a hike, to look around and enjoy.
By the end of our nature walk Wyatt was in a good mood but Chelsea was the one who was getting grumpy and wanted to go home.
This picture of the kids is one that kinda cracks me up. When we started out on the walk we were wearing jackets, except Rob who never wears one, by the end of our walk we see us in three stages. Chelsea still wearing her jacket, Wyatt in his t-shirt and Kelly who is sporting a tank top. 
The weather was just right for the t shirt.
 After some rock climbing and Chelsea whining that she wanted more beef jerky and was hungry we headed for the truck.
We tortured them by going up to Summerhaven and walking around the general store and then over to Ski Valley where we encountered 4 deer crossing the road.
Now we didn't make them get out and walk, oh no, they got to eat snacks.I  on the other hand hopped into the bed of the truck as we cruised down from the U of A observation station parking lot to ski valley, snapping pictures with my phone. I got plenty of finger pointing and weird looks from the people driving up that's for sure.
Once we got back into town we swung by Carl's Jr for a late lunch and headed home to chill.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Cricut Make something you love- Phoenix

Last week, me and two friends, Julie and Jill, drove up to Phoenix to attend the Cricut Make Something You Love event that introduces us to the new Cricut Maker machine. 
Not only did we get to see the Maker in action and try it out, we also go to play with the Easy Press and the Bright Pad. The event was held in this cool art gallery that complimented the Cricut vibe that was going on.
 I was super excited about being there and was hoping it was the push I needed to get my creative juices flowing. It was.
Something about that day sparked me, and its really hard to put into words.
I think one of the things it boils down to is that I miss what I once had, and that was being a stay at home mom.
Like many other moms I need to work to support my family, and the time that I used to create and write on my blog were now working hours and that put my creative life on the back burner, way back on the burner.
Creating in the evenings when the family was home was hard on them and me. Just writing about it I can feel the swirls of emotion.
To this day I keep praying for an answer to how I go about having a larger craft room, one that can accommodate the kids if they want to hang with me or even the hubby.
Added on top of that is my youngest asking to have her own room. Big fat sigh. I would love to be able to give her her own space, but where would I put everything?
I'm already overflowing the room.
Anyway, during one of our conversations my friend Julie remarked how I needed to start blogging again.
She is right.
So, even if its only short snippets I'm going to keep updating.

BACK TO THE CRICUT MAKER, there are so many opportunities that I can foresee using this machine. the capabilities of the knife blade for balsa wood and the rotary for fabric have my mind going in all sorts of fun directions.
While I've had my eye on getting a heat press, I know, I have no room whatsoever, the easy press was something I felt more comfortable with. It's lightweight, super stinking easy to use and from a brand that I trust.
It's definitely on my Christmas list.
Plus, it will finally get me to use the iron on vinyl that I've been hoarding, because I was too nervous to use my iron and the vinyl not staying on.
I really want that Easy Press.
I've had a Cricut since the first machine, my baby bug that was 6 x 12 to now having the original Explore. I've demonstrated it as an employee of Jo-Ann's to being a part of the Cricut Demo Army back in 2010. There is something about this company that has never pushed me away and that has continued to challenge me as a crafter to explore new avenues and techniques.

I believe my dream job would be to work from home creating anything that makes people smile and that fulfills that creative need that I have to give back and show homemade kindness whether that is creating cards, party decor, home decor or anything else my imagination whips up.
 Until such time, I will do my best to carve out what time I can and fulfill that creative need as best as I can.      Much love, Carrie

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Welcome back Carrie! What's been going on?
Work got busy so I couldn't blog during the day and most nights I'm asleep around 9pm.
I must say these are the hardest posts to type, so much has been going on and I have missed months of keeping track, I just don't know where to start.

Since January I've gained about 5lbs. I'm not sure how much is muscle but it seems like every time I have a cheat meal I gain a pound of concrete that doesn't want to come back off. To combat the gain I've started working out in more of a HIIT style and I've still gained more weight. I can honestly say I'm struggling and lost right now.
So did I get back into my wedding dress for my 20th anniversary? No, I was still about an inch or two short in the back to get it buttoned up. Rob said I would have ripped the dress but it was close. I'm not giving up though, from what I've been able to see, from the profile I follow on Instagram it may take another year or two to get my body where I want to be.

 Another thing I have been working on is reading different self help books. I tend to find them fun and interesting. I've written down some questions that I truly need to meditate on to see if this is the way I'm being guided. One question I have is, if blogging is something that I think about and take notes on and pin ideas on Pinterest, quite often actually, is this what I'm supposed to be doing? Am I ready to re- commit to blogging again like I used too?
I've been thinking about my strengths and the skills that I've used over the years and I'm trying to see where it may be leading me. I have revisited an idea that I've had and now I'm trying to see if I'm willing to see it through to the next step.
Where is my path leading to?
 I will start by saying that I really enjoy my job, and the opportunities that it has provided our family.
Creatively I am suffering.
I have a room full of stuff that I haven't been using and to be honest there is some guilt associated with having all that money spent on craft supplies not being used and the fact that Chelsea keeps asking for her own room. True, she also keeps asking when are we going to move into a bigger home too.
Anyway, I'm hoping to alleviate my creative woes soon and have a partner or two to help keep me motivated. I will also meditate and pray over my path and ask for some guidance.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

My valentines were a huge hit and I still need to find a way to transfer pictures from my main pc to my google account so that I have access to everything and incorporate more photos into my blog.
Work has finally begun to pick up and I enjoy being busy. Granted it doesn't leave me any time to blog during the day, so I'm trying it out on my tablet while I hang with the family watching tv at night.
 On Wednesday we finished up another girl scout cookie season. Chelsea sold about 425 cookies and it was her best year emotionally, We had very little in the way of breakdowns and whining. She is really learning how to work with the other girls but she struggles at listening to what the customers want.
This year I wasn't the cookie mom and it made the season fly by with very little stress. I'm still debating if I want to continue next year with girl scouts but we'll see how the rest of the spring and end of year stuff goes.
This last month has been crazy, I've needed a root canal and found out that I need 3 crowns, thank you for double dental insurance. Hopefully the cost won't be crazy high. The suburban, or Sabrina as we call her, had some issues so we were late in getting her new registration until last night.
Let's see, we found out that Mikey and his family are moving by the end of April. They're not moving too far away, just to Rita Ranch so that they stay in the Vail school district.
We've had sleepovers and birthday parties. My house is a wreck and I have no motivation to do anything about it. I've tweaked a nerve in my back and have taken the last few days off at the gym hoping it will help. As frustrating as that is, my long term health is more important then to keep pushing myself where I can make my back issues worse.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Tomorrow is Valentines and my office has organized a good old fashioned party where we are handing out Valentines to each other and having a bag decorating contest.
I have designed everything on my Cricut and tonight will cut everything out, put it all together. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to finish up, especially when I have been designing and making plans for two weeks. I will say that my valentines are based off of the create a critter cartridge and a quick search of animal puns. Since my time is short, I will once again use the print and cut feature with my machine. While not as impressive as piecing each animal together, I think with some added dimension I can make them stand out.

I bought a couple of new toys that came in last week and I immediately loaned them out to my church for a video our pastors are shooting. I bought a 3 piece umbrella light set and a softbox for a quick studio photography setup. Once I get them back I plan on taking them for a spin, I have already told the kids that we will be doing some portraits and I'm hoping to use it for taking pictures of things that I make. Wyatt is excited because he wants to use it for making videos on you tube. Yeah, we'll see about that. Who knows, maybe I'll start making videos. I think right now I'll start with taking better pictures first.
I seem to have a renewed love for my photography and wanting to learn how to be more effective in editing and overall composition. We''ll see once I get the chance to set up and play around with the light set and then start working in photoshop elements to play with the images.
One of the new products that I'm looking into getting is a pocket printer from Amazon. It will be nice to have quick picks off my phone and to be able to create, when I do create, fun new sizes on my pages.
Maybe my new found creativity has to do with a co worker who just bought a new DSLR camera after suffering through a point and shoot. Maybe its a new book from Amy Tangerine that has me wondering where to start again creatively. And maybe it could be that I don't want to work 7-3:30 five days a week. Whatever the case may be, I'm looking at the big guy upstairs and taking baby steps to get moving.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Cub Scout blue and gold 2017

So I received a text Thursday night, could I make 10 centerpieces for the blue and gold ceremony that was on Saturday morning the 28th. Trish said to make it simple. Looking at my schedule, I agreed and during my breaks at work, I planned everything out. Even though Wyatt is no longer a cub scout, I still have friends whose boys are and I also had my Cricut cartridge Do Your Best that I had been wanting to use. Sadly the cartridge came out after Wyatt's Blue and Gold. Now I get to use it on his scrapbook.
 Another one of the new things that Cricut has done is create and app, that is still in beta testing, where I can create on my phone. Oh Hallelujah! I was able to start and name each project so that when I got home I could put in the final tweaks and hit go. Since I was on such a time crunch I opted for using the print and cut feature. YES! YES! YES! In less than two hours I was about 90% done with my work. I was so confident, I ran to Hobby Lobby to look for wood bases and, you know, anything else I may need.
After I came home, Rob decided to get in on the fun by drilling holes in all the bases for me and Kelly helped by gluing most of the pieces together.
 This fire was my biggest pain, it didn't want to stay glued together and then I added to the fun by painting with a thin layer of stickles glitter glue to give it more dimension. I had seen this project done on the Cricut website and it looked so easy, but man did I learn some lessons.
I decided to make each table a theme and while I did run into some glitches, like how the bear, wolf and webelos signs would not flatten for print and cut and how also the space ship, boat and car wouldn't flatten for print and cut, made me rethink things.
I also need to remind myself to edit my phone photos before I upload to google. Yikes, I need to crop. If I remember I'll edit and replace these guys.
From what I've been told the centerpieces were a big hit and on a couple, people tried to walk away with the tent and the glass framed oath.
I'll take that as a compliment.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

They say its your birthday....

Happy 46th birthday to my Rob. You are now officially middle aged, lol.
 We celebrated with most of our family Sunday afternoon by going to a new restaurant, Lin's grand buffet where he grossed out Chelsea by eating the little octopus from his stir fry. We really liked the restaurant and everyone is talking about going back soon.
On Tuesday, his actual birthday we gave him his gifts, some funko pop Star Wars characters, an AK-47 shirt and a copper pot. In lieu of cake, I had him stop off at Nadine's and pick up some of his favorite treats.
Overall I think he had a pretty good day, but I always want to do more for him. He works hard and is such a great guy, we deserves the world.
50 is just a few years away and my hope and prayer is to go ALL out for that one.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rough patch

I'm feeling lost and frustrated today. I have stressed out my back just enough that I can only do limited exercises. I so fear my back going out completely, that was utter hell that I don't want a repeat performance. My weight hit 223.2 this morning, the same weight I was at in October of 2016 when I started my new job. Gosh, I'm beating myself up. I know your weight fluctuates daily but I should be losing, not slowly gaining. I know that I need to calm the F***k down, but if only I understood what was going on and what do I need to do to change.
I keep telling myself that this is a plateau and eventually I'll bust through it, but mentally it is so hard. Can I truly love myself at this number, this size? I would like to think so but knowing that I'm so so close, the feeling of failure sits on my shoulder like a bad tattoo.
So while I'm not giving up or giving in, I am having a mini pity party today.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I snagged this picture off of Instagram, it a excerpt from a book by Stephen Covey, and for me if feels like a mission statement for the next four years.
Tomorrow is the inauguration for our 45th president, Donald Trump. To say I'm nervous and a little scared is an understatement. What I choose to focus on is my hope. Hope that he will calm down and become a great leader, that he will improve the business side of our country, and find a way to unite us. That he will remain level headed and make America strong internationally. I didn't vote for either him or Hillary but I did vote. The people have spoken and I choose to respect the office of the President of the United States.
I am not adept enough to go into all the reasons and underlying motivations I feel I see coming from not only the P.O.T.U.S but also the everyday American. The hate and disrespect that has been flowing around our country is totally unacceptable and goes to show how much we need to want to change ourselves, to show love and be love in a country screaming hate and being intolerant to each other. We need to stop standing on the sidelines and have each others back, to be respectful and give respect. If you're going to criticize have a possible solution. The secret to life is love, to love yourself and to love others. You may not like them personally, but to love them for what they may bring to this world. This will hopefully be my focus. 
I'm hearing that there will be a women's march on Washington DC the day after the inauguration,   It's followed by Love Warriors like Glennon Doyle Melton and writers Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert, there are artists, actors and athletes galore. I just went to www.womensmarch.com and saw the title of this march. Its called The rise of the woman = the rise of the nation. I encourage you to read their mission statement. Heck, I just may print it out for myself. 
I pray for our new administration, may they rise to their offices, and govern with wisdom and be a light for our world.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

major non scale victory

Yesterday I celebrated my one year Dr. Gann anniversary. That was the day that with help and accountability I took back control on my health.
On Friday, I had my normal 3 month A1c checkup. I must admit I was a little nervous, I had had a rough December and really had no idea what my blood sugar was going to be. 
Dr Hamant came in and started looking over my test results. I had lost a little more weight, my blood pressure was great, I'm on pins and needles here, your A1c was at 6.1 and is now at 5.9. Seriously?
He asked if I was still taking my meds and I told him that I hadn't taken them since September.
Dr. Hamant says that normal A1c is 5.7 and he said that I no longer have to test my blood sugar everyday!!! I'm in the pre diabetic stage and hopefully if I continue my healthy eating I just may get my numbers back to 5.7. How Awesome!!!
Admittedly, I started crying. This is so major huge for me. My doctor gave me the awkward pat on the shoulder and later on the knee that had me smiling. He told me that I did good, all my hard work has paid off, now keep going and don't slide backwards or he'll beat me up, lol. I said not as much as I would to myself.
So my doctor says that my weight loss is going to slow as I get closer to my goal and get harder to obtain, like I don't already know that. My one year weight is 219.2, a total loss of 57.2 lbs. it doesn't seem like much when I see other people who have lost 100+ in a year but my before and after has me very pleased and wanting to fight for the next 24 lbs that I want to lose. Onward and upward!
These photos were taken at my last appointment with Dr. Gann where I earned my 50 lbs lost star. Too bad they don't have one for 75 cause I'm gonna hit it!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I know in my heart that I won't be making my 215 weight goal by 1/16/17. I can't say that I've sabotaged myself but injury and my last two evening meals haven't helped. I'm told I beat myself up way too much over my weight. I'm just truly afraid that this is where I'm going to stand, and for me that's not acceptable. I'm sooo close to where I want to be. I want to finish what I've started, I can obviously maintain, but do I have what it takes to get me through to the finish line?
When I started this journey to health I took my plan and yearning straight to God. I asked him to walk with me and lift me up when I struggled or became stagnant. I feel that I've lost that lately. I think about inner voices and will power more and more lately and how it affects daily choices. (I can say that when two dozen donuts were placed on the table next to me at work, I didn't have one, and when someone brought in a bunch of beautiful oranges I snagged one up real quick. A few of the ladies at work are going to do a diet bet for the next 90 days, here's to hoping that it brings great results for them and less crap around here.)

On my lunch today I feel the strong urge to come to Him. I know there are a variety of factors why I've added a couple of pounds, just as I know they will come back down, but its my morale and mind set that makes me think sabotage. What do I need to work on or work through to get myself charging forward?
I screen shot this from Instagram a couple of weeks ago, as I was looking through for a photo to add to this post this one popped up. I have probably been feeling this way for a while now or maybe deep down I knew I was going to need this. I just pray to hang on.
Please don't get me wrong. If I stay this weight, its not the end of the world, I'm not a loser, my body is amazing and beautiful, my body is so much stronger. There will be a time where the occasional donut isn't going to be a big deal, like there is now, I'm just trying to finish what I've started. Believe me, I do not deprive myself of treats, they're just usually low carb, or in moderation, and I don't go as crazy as I once did.
Sadly, I'm having trouble really conveying what I'm trying to say. I think about both sides of weight loss, body image, moderation, loving myself and even though it may sound like I'm bagging on myself there is the other side that quietly pipes up and says why? is this really a bad thing? does it really matter? does it define who I am? does it make me happy? is it hurting me in the long run?

Monday, January 09, 2017

weekend update

On Friday night we went to the annual cookie kickoff at the U of A McKale center. For the second year in a row we got to watch the ladies gymnastics team perform. Just amazing.
Chelsea is still part of troop 534 and Kelly has stopped joining her old troop. With Junior strings, Saturdays got a little crazy, plus she felt she was outgrowing scouts and didn't want to go anymore.
This year is Chelsea's second as a Brownie and I have stepped down as cookie mom. Two years was more than enough for me. Granted I'm sure I will miss the control and the interaction with the moms but cookie season kills me. I'm dreading it, all of it. I'm kind of hoping this will be Chelsea's last year. We both feel like outcasts in the troop we created. I've been involved with scouts for a little over 10 years now. I'm tired, no I'm burned out. Hopefully we can get Chelsea to her goal of 500 boxes, but I'm just hoping she'll put more effort into working at selling cookies herself. Truly, my baby is a lazy little toad at times, and it drives me crazy.
Friday night was also the lock in for the boy scouts. Wyatt had such hopes about staying up all night to play video games but in the end he was out for the count at midnight-ish and back up before 6. That's OK by me because he wasn't grouchy on Saturday.
As weekends go, it was a pretty nice one. We are slowly making progress with decluttering our home. We got rid of one box of junk from the girls room, one box of clothes from me and about 5 boxes of old baby/kids books. I completed more of organizing my craft supplies and was able to make some cards with my mom on Sunday. I'm finding that now that I work full time, I use what time I have better. Where as a stay at home mom, I kept putting things off because I always felt I had all the time to do it.
My plan, at least for right now, is to start working on my side of our bedroom. Cleaning out drawers and under neath our bed. The transition of getting rid of the clothes that are too big, and new clothes, new work necessities has made my side a lot messy. Which is really starting to weigh on my nerves, especially with how well things are progressing in the rest of the house.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Word of the year for 2017- *Victory*

In 2015 my word was Faith, I was struggling in my godly walk and trusting God to take control. That year he opened my eyes and calmed my heart. In 2016, my word was Believe. Believe that I was worthy enough, that I was enough, period. Believe that good things could and would happen. In a lot of ways last year felt so light for me. Right now I chalk it up to all the physical and emotional changes that I was going through.
In December when the prompt for "one little word" started making the social media rounds, I started praying about it. My heart or my mind wouldn't let go of the word, Victory.
This is the year that I want to proclaim victory. I want to hit my weight goal of 215, and then hit my new goal of 195. I want to maintain a better love for myself and my health, aka blood sugars. Let's see, I want to get out from under the credit card debt. I also have plans to take two mother/daughter trips with my mom this year. The first trip is sch
eduled for May to visit family in Ohio and then the next in July where we head to Monterey so mom can attend a wedding. I'm so excited for both. In April, Rob and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, while no plans to celebrate have been made yet, I'll chalk it up as another victory for both of us that after all these years we still enjoy each other as much as the day we were married. No small feat in todays world and I know I owe it to the big man upstairs.
So with positive thoughts, a good work ethic and lots of God time, I own that VICTORY will be mine this year.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

New Year, new me

Happy New Year! 
I just re read my last post and so much has changed. I've decided that my blog is going to be for me. My online journal. I'm not going to try and turn it into a business or a popularity contest. Just my thoughts, my memories. This past year I have spent way to much time thinking about blogging and looking at resources about blogging than actually blogging. Crickets....chirping.
Now that a new year has begun I have regretted not keeping up with the last couple of years because I don't have a memory book to look back on. I've contemplated doing a yearly recap for 2016, but lets be honest, I'm too lazy to do it, lol.
Where to begin? In October I left my job as a monitor at Chelsea's school and went back to work full time with the Western Passport Center. My hours are similar to the kids' school schedule, so I'm not missing out on anything. It's been quite the adjustment for me but things are getting better.
One of the great benefits is the extra money that it brings in. Our goal for 2017 is to be almost completely debt free. I can just taste the freedom!
Looking back at my last post in March, I had lost about 20lbs. So, where am I now? 
I'm almost too giddy to post the answer.
These two photos, taken on the 2nd of January show my current look. I'm currently at 219 lbs, I've lost 57 lbs so far and I'm 4lbs away from the original goal of 215 I set at Dr. Gann's last January!!
In fact, my one year anniversary is on the 16th. The week of Christmas the scale actually hit 216 for two days but come on, Christmas dinner, work potlucks, new year and Mikeys' 39th birthday. I've cardioed my heart out to keep my weight somewhat in check, but still. My hope is to be back to 216 by the 16th or better yet 215. How awesome would that be?!
Mom and I transferred to the gym back in April when it started getting too hot to walk around the block. We go roughly 5 times a week only taking Wednesday and Sundays off. I really like the consistency. In November moms schedule went a little crazy so I usually go to the gym on my own, well until I talked my friend Wendy into joining. We meet up after work and put in a good hour of sweating. I am
so close to my goal I've focused more on cardio than building strength. Does that make any sense?
Let's see... more stats, I'm wearing a ladies size 16 almost a 14 in pants and an XL in shirts. Oh to be able to find clothes easier! I've been hitting the local thrift shops for my work wardrobe and I have gone a little crazy, but I'm loving it!
I haven't been this small since the year we got married and it will be 20yrs in April.
New goals, my new goal is to get to 195. Back to onderland. I figure that getting to 195 I can consistently maintain my weight closer to 200. My other goal is to fit back into my wedding dress. I tried it on the other day and it fits except the arms which makes the neck about an inch away from buttoning up. Since the dress was tailored to me 20 yrs ago I can only hope to get my arms toned enough to get it buttoned. If not, no biggie, it fits everywhere else.
I plan on doing another post about all my feelings and the journey but my thought process is to wait until I hit 215 and right now I'm just jotting down thoughts about things I want to cover.
Gosh, I wish I had consistently blogged. Very frustrated with myself, because now I'm trying to back track and explain. Grrr.