Wellness Wednesday: Still Nooming Along

Yes, folks, yesterday marked one solid week of tracking everything in Noom (see my last post about starting this adventure.)  I have to say, the first few days were pretty rough.  Imagine going from eating pretty much everything in sight to eating 1,200 calories a day.  Yup, that’s right.  1,200 calories a day.  Craziness.

What’s even crazier- I only went over one day.  Can you say “miracle?”

I’m pretty sure that this program may work.  I, oddly enough, really like it.  Each day I have different “checklists” to do.  For example: each day you weigh in, there’s different lessons, you log our workout (or your Apple Watch does for you if you sync it), you take quizzes to make it interactive, and, of course, log your meals.  Everything checks off the list as you complete it.  For a to-do-list-er like me, I’m loving it.

I’ve even started working out.  What?!?

Yes, three days in a row.  I’m inspired.

I have to say that part of this happened today as I was going through my quarterly achievement and habit goals for Quarter 2, 2018.  Next week I’ll do a Mommy Review Monday on the Full Focus Journal.  One of my goals starting in January 2018 was to get down to 125 by the time we go on our Bottlinger Family Cruise in July.  That was already a pretty big goal but then I messed around and didn’t succeed with Weight Watchers in Quarter 1 like I should’ve.

So….here it is Quarter 2 and I still have the same weight to lose but now only 3 months to do it in.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, goal setting for Quarter 2 started with looking at my weight loss goal.  I have to lose a little over 2 lbs a week for this to work.  How’s that for inspiration???  No pressure.  No pressure at all….

Here’s my inspiration photo.  December 2005- prior to 3 pregnancies, 4 kids, 3 job changes, and 3 moves.  I will never look like that after carrying the twins around but at least I can get closer…and dream….or maybe have a few surgeries….Liz in bikini

But, honestly, I think I may be able to do this.  Between Noom, working out, and meal planning, I could make it happen.

3 lbs down- only 29.5 to go.  I’m rocking Wellness Wednesday.  Stay tuned for more healthy recipes and meal ideas.  Please, please share yours with me!  I can use all the help I can get on this adventure.

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(Not So) Tall Tale Tuesday: Bringing Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

Today’s (Not So) Tall Tale Tuesday prompt:

Write about a childhood memory that changed your perspective.

I could probably write quite a few stories about childhood memories that changed my perspective but for now, I’m going to go back to a memory from a long, long time ago that I barely even remember.

I am not sure how old I was but I was young enough to not understand death, funerals, or visitations.  However, my great grandmother on my Grammy’s side had passed away and we were in Lincoln, NE at the visitation at the funeral home.  I remember being there and there were so many people.  And they were all crying and they were all sad but they would brighten up as soon as they saw me.  I was just glad to be with so many of my family members.  I kept going to the many tissue boxes scattered throughout the room and pulling out the tissues one at a time.  I think I emptied all of them.  I might have picked a few of the flowers too.  I found it quite odd that they were all over the room.  They smelled so good, I couldn’t help it.  And for once, no one said anything.  I was shocked I didn’t get a spanking right then and there, to be honest.

At this point, you may be asking how this changed my perspective.  It didn’t change my perspective as a young child but what I got from this and the many other visitations and funerals that I went to as a child is that death is an inevitable part of life.  It’s something all must face and it doesn’t have to necessarily be a bad thing.

The other thing is this- I sometimes feel funny taking my children, knowing that it will be awkward for them (and possibly a hassle chasing the flock around).  But then I think back to the smiles that I brought the many grieving visitors and family as a child.  I see the same smiles from those that we share our kids with in these times of sadness.  Children bring joy in the midst of sorrow and are a constant reminder that life does go on.

Deep for me, I know….

017f89537a0905d084e75ed02fa953ccc6ceef910cMost of my (Not So) Tall Tale Tuesday posts have been a bit more upbeat, positive, or funny than this but it honestly was the first childhood memory that came to mind in terms of changing my perspective.  Sorry.  Not sorry.

However, if you need a laugh after this sobering post, check out this one.  It always gives me a chuckle.

Photo credit- Garen Graves Photography

Photo Friday: Easter at the Blowin’ O

We celebrated Easter with the Odom side of the family on the Saturday before Easter.  The kids had a great time getting to play and explore the Blowin’ O, what we affectionately call Aunt Karen and Uncle Lee Roy’s place out by Aleman, TX, which is right outside of Hamilton.  It was Granny and Grandad’s house first and they bought it while they were still living in Fort Worth back in the 70’s.  They lived there still while I was still young and we had many, many Easter egg hunts in the yard and field.

Actually, we hunted Easter eggs until we were married.  That was the rule.  It may sound cheesy but a bunch of high school kids running around looking for the prize egg was pretty fun.  Good memories.  And I’m so glad my kids are getting to make the same memories with their cousins as well.  It’s even more special that Grandad gets to watch his great grandkids enjoy the hunt now!

It’s Photo Friday, so I’m sharing just a few of the photos Garen took.  You can see a few more on Garen Graves Photography’s blog.  Happy Photo Friday!

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My Dad turns 60

Growing up, and even in the recent past, my mom has told me, “You are just like your Dad….”

Man, what a compliment.

My Dad is one of my heroes.  It’s no secret that I adore him.  I’m proud of his accomplishments throughout his career, but I’m even more proud of the man he is personally.  Here’s a few things that I love about him:

He takes things as they come.  He has more patience than any person I have ever met….even Garen and that’s saying a lot.  He’s generous and truly believes in doing what’s right, even if it’s not the popular thing to do.  He’s got faith in what he believes in, even when others around him may doubt.  He loves my mom, his soulmate, with all his heart.  He taught me to get up early and to become a lover of all things breakfast-related.  He treats everyone with respect….and I truly mean everyone.  He can and will talk to anyone.  He is so very smart but also has common sense, which doesn’t always come packaged.  He loves a great debate.  He is passionate about whatever he sets his mind to.  He is a perfectionist and he goes further than measuring twice to cut once.  He can rock a sweater or turtleneck like nobody else I know.  He always wants to find better, more efficient ways to do things.  When he gets on a kick- whether it’s making bread, buying classic wool shirts on Ebay, or designing a custom anchoring system- he focuses in and perfects each process.  He admits when he’s wrong, quickly apologizes, and, on the flip side, also forgives quickly.  I believe him when he says he can fix anything but a broken heart.  And he can build just about anything too.  He believes in good shoes.  He’s an Eagle Scout.  He loves to read, listen to books, go to classes, and is a true life-long learner.  He is not afraid of change.  He’s hilarious and can find a way to make almost anyone laugh….or at least shake their head and grin.  He is an excellent friend to many.  And he truly is an amazing father and now also a wonderful YaYa to five grandkids and four grand-fur-babies, plus a grand-cat.

I could go on and on.  Really.

I’m sure, if you know him, you’d be able to add a few things too.

If you’re reading this, Happy 60th Birthday, Dad.  I hope you know how much I love you and how proud I am to be your daughter, employee, & friend.  I’m so glad for my kids to get to call you YaYa.  

To everyone else– enjoy the photos.  There’s nothing like looking at old photos to provide a bit of entertainment.  Genes run strong in our family, both on the Odom (Dad) and Bottlinger (Mom) sides, right?!?  Most of these photos were from the slideshow that Joe put together for Dad’s 50th surprise party that we pulled off, plus a few since then.  Yes, Mom, that means that I have found the video.  Hallelujah!

The above photo is from Mom and Dad’s 60th Birthday trip.  They climbed Machu Picchu.  Yes, I know they’re awesome!

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Thanks also to Joe for putting the man hours into getting these photos together.

Glazed Brown Sugar & Bacon Pork Loin via Instant Pot

I’m still learning to use my Instant Pot.  And still loving it.  Last weekend I had the opportunity to have my parents over for Anna’s birthday lunch.  I made the mistake of not planning very well and couldn’t find the recipe I wanted for the pork loin I planned to make that morning.

So, in true Liz-fashion, I searched Pinterest and did a combination of things to come up with what I’m now calling Glazed Brown Sugar & Bacon Pork Loin.  I served it with whipped new potatoes and broccoli.  According to the family, it was pretty tasty so I’m sharing in case you’ve got some pork to cook!

Glazed Brown Sugar & Bacon Pork Loin via Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Pork Loin (mine came in two pack, about 1 lb each)
  • 8-10 slices of bacon
  • 2-4 tbsp Tone’s Rosemary Garlic Seasoning Blend (I’m sure you can find a similar homemade version but I buy this at Sam’s club)
  • 4 tbsp Dijon mustard (grainy gives it a little better)
  • 2/3 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 cup Chicken broth

Instructions

  • Rub the pork loin with the Rosemary Garlic Seasoning Blend
  • Wrap the pork loin(s) with bacon strips.
  • Place the pork loin(s) into the Instant Pot bowl.
  • Combine the Dijon mustard and brown sugar with the chicken broth.
  • Pour the chicken broth mixture into the bottom of the Instant Pot bowl.
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing.
  • Press Manual and adjust the time to 30 minutes.  It will take a while to come to pressure and then start the count-down.
  • When time is up, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for about 5 minutes. The display will indicate how many minutes since the Instant Pot completed the cooking cycle.
  • Then quick release the rest of the way.
  • Open the lid and remove the pork loin to serving dish or platter.

Optional Steps:

  • To make the bacon a little crispier, put the cooked pork loin into the oven on broil for a few minutes.  BE VERY CAREFUL with this step because you can very easily over cook the pork this way, which would be super sad.
  • You can make gravy/sauce out of the juices.  To do this:
    • Combine 1-1/2 tbsp cornstarch and 3 tbsp of water.
    • Add this to the juices left in the Instant Pot bowl.
    • Whisk this mixture and juices.
    • Continue to whisk for about 1 – 2 minutes while the sauce thickens into a gravy.
    • Turn the Instant Pot off once this has thickened.
    • Pour some of the gravy onto the cooked pork loin and put the rest into a gravy boat.

There you have it.  It was super easy and tasty.  You can cook your broccoli and whipped new potatoes while it’s going so your meal is ready in about 45-50 total start to finish and it looks like you’ve spent hours.  Next time, I may try to add the potatoes, knowing this may not allow me to make a gravy.  We will see…. I’ll let you know if I do!

Happy Instant Potting!

Photo Friday: A girl and her doll

We got Anna her first American Doll for her birthday. She loves it. Garen got this photo of us “doing hair.”

I love it. So real. So special.

Here’s another great one that Garen took.

Happy Photo Friday!