Saturday, January 08, 2011

a healthier livin'....

I'm 20# lighter and I feel LOTS better.
In just a few days, I start RUNNING.
I haven't really been running for fun since.....I can't remember when....) Running would set my asthma off something fierce and breathing is fairly important for any activity. I'll be anxious to see how my asthma changes with the weight loss.

How have I change my habits?
  • I stopped snacking. Well, not completely. But I am making better choices. This is one of my recent "snack addictions" satisfies that crunch that I need. And I can eat that whole stinkin' bag for 150 calories...of course, I don't eat the whole bag at once. But it's a good snack. I buy these at Wal-Mart for $2.00 per bag.
  • Another good option we're exploring is TURKEY BURGERS.  We've had turkey burgers before, but they were bland and not appealing. But these are goooood. I grilled them (which makes ALL the difference) with a bit of cracked black pepper and basil, and finish them off with a bit of sea salt...YUM! And they're budget-friendly. At $6.79 for a package of 12, that is only about $0.57 per burger!

Although not on my diet plan, we made was so yummy.....this is all Adam Richman's fault...we've watched a bazillion hours of Man Vs Food 
(which is really hard to watch when you're changing how eating habits, I might add....)

If you have any GOOD healthy recipes that you'd like to share, I'd love ya forever.....

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I feel new....

For two days, I felt like a complete slug.
Because I didn't work out. I didn't even that was possible for me.
But time got away from me and I put myself last, at the end of the day, when the sun has gone down and so had my energy. I find it really challenging to put myself first. I'm like a lot of moms and wives in that way, I'm sure.  But today, I got up and  I knocked out my two miles. This is my last week of walking. Next week, I start RUNNING. It's pretty inspiring, as I'm walking in the BITTER cold, hearing a whole bunch of soldiers come up behind me, yelling out encouragement at me.

I also wanted to share this with you guys.
100 days link

If you're like many of us and made resolutions, You might want to check this entry out. I printed out the 100 days. I'm going to do it. I don't want to give up on myself. I'm just getting started. I'll be like those soldiers that I pass in the morning, I'll holler out encouragement for you if you're tackling a new habit :)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

good things....

Check this out. It's Jonathan at his job-training :)
He's gaining skills that will make him more independent and I LOVE IT! I had to beg him to stop working visit with me for just a few was sweet...

I collect few things. Plates is one of the things that I like to own. I like to look through plates at thrift stores and found this one the other day for $0.99....I love what it says :)

I also snagged TWO workout shirts, one Nike DriFit and the other is Under Armour. Both retail for $35.00 or more, which I think is insane to pay for a workout shirt...but I got these on $0.99 day. This is a HUGE savings from retail.... I love Goodwill's deals. I look for whatever tag is on sale that day and try to steer my purchases towards what's on sale.

These are just a few of the good things in my day....

Saturday, January 01, 2011

in the New Year...

In my New Year, I'm going to write more. These last 4-5 months have been LONG and arduous and I feel like I'm surfacing out of a black cloud (dramatic but that's how I feel....)

So I'm going to try to focus on helpful positive things.....I spent a few hours this morning, planning my Commissary trip for tomorrow, coupons at the ready. Deals to be had :) I love coupons! I mean, seriously, I LOVE coupons. I love that thrill of saving money on things my family NEEDS. I use a variety of sites to print off coupons. I go to these sites FREQUENTLY....Here's a small list of blogs that focus on saving money, they might help you, too.

coupon printable sites:
These sites are very helpful to my budget. Another resource I use is MyPoints. They have printable coupons, too. PLUS you get an additional MyPoints bonus if you use the coupons from their site, so it's like a double dip....I love MyPoints fiercely....I talleyed up my savings this past year. In 2010, I cashed in over $400 for gift cards FOR FREE.....MyPoints is super easy. You can get free gift cards and other free stuff for simply doing what you already do. By shopping, reading emails, filling out surveys and other daily chores you will rack up points which can be redeemed for free gift cards, gas cards, hotel discounts and much more.Seriously, it's FREE goodies....and I'll be your best friend forever if you allow me to refer you :) If you join with my link, I get 25 points and you get in on the action. So let me know if you want to start saving, I'll send you an email or a Facebook link.

When it comes right down to it, I'm not a rich woman. I look for saving money wherever I can. Are the same way, too?

Thursday, December 30, 2010


By the way, I forgot to mention in the previous post....I'm working on the LONG post about Jonathan's journey, his commitment and our subsequent court dealings for his guardianship. I've had so many people ask about the assault, the guardianship, the commitment process, that I am writing it all out.

As you can imagine, it's emotional and somewhat's taking me a while to put it all down. But there are dozens of parents with fragile x/autism kids who are at that age where they might have to deal with this to. And if my experience can help someone, I'll be glad for that. I'll finish it during the New Year.....


This last month has been a blur. I kid you not.......if you sat me down and asked me, what's been going on, I'd have to say I'm so busy, I can hardly tell you :)

It's the End of 2010 tomorrow. I, for one, am glad. Lots of changes this year, some good, some not so good. But life cannot stand still. It would be boring if it did.

Just to re-cap these past 6 weeks, I'm a healthier Me. After Jonathan's departure from our home, I am considerably less stressed and have made my own health a focus. I've lost 20# and am aiming to lose 10#. I'm adding muscles now :) so watch out. I am not aiming for bikini season but for better overall health, and a reduction in asthma symptoms. I am even making a goal of running my first ever 5K in April. We'll see how that turns out....I'm actually a little nervous about that.....

The kids are still plugging away at school work. We've had some major adjustments to WAVA. Let's just leave it at that....

Jonathan is still in the hospital, awaiting a slot at a suitable group home. He is learning job skills and gaining independence. He's making friends.....I am so proud of him. And I'm relieved that he's safe and happy....

My resolutions for 2011....
  • To be kinder.
  • To be healthier.
  • To be more attentive.
  • To be more goal oriented.
  • To try new things more often....

All of these can be achieved, I have no doubt. I'm not doing the "I'm-going-to-lose-weight" goals, because I did that before Thanksgiving to give myself a head start :) I want to be healthier and more involved....2011 is my year. I can feel it.....

Friday, December 10, 2010

time warp...

I have really been doing a poor job of keeping up with my blog.
And I had SUCH good intentions..but life has been pretty darn busy...

I'll give the brief updates:
  • Jonathan's doing well. He's still in the hospital and he will be for a while longer. He's settled into the routine, is making friends, he even has a JOB :) Seeing him happy is a great comfort when I miss him. I don't miss the meltdowns, the walking on eggshells, the physical altercations. But I do miss the fun & happy times with Jonathan. 
  • The kids are still bumping along through their school year. We've had some challenges adjusting to an online school that has had some issues. But we're committed to schooling at home.
  • Greg's job is going well. He works with some good folks. It's nice to be in the regular ARMY Band field again. I missed listening to typical Band stuff. Plus my husband is appreciated in a whole different way here...
  • And me...? I've been busy. Adjusting to life with Jonathan in the house. Adjusting to life without the stress of being a 24-7 caregiver. Just feels odd at times....
last month was my birthday (I am now 42......Wooo hoo!) I got a Roomba for my birthday. I love that little robot vacuum... it really cuts down on the dust in the house which helps my asthma.
Since moving to the West Coast, my asthma has eased considerably , for which I am grateful. Reducing the stress and losing weight has helped even more....

Christmas is almost upon us...seems like it was just summer a few weeks ago. That's certainly a sign that I'm getting old, isn't it? Maybe I am. I'm trying to soak everything up and appreciate it more....

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It's Thanksgiving.
And I am so thankful.
My house is warm, filled with yummy food, and people are happy.
For this, I am thankful.

I'm working on a bunch of stuff for the blog. Things to share :)

I'll be back tomorrow. I will NOT be shopping. (I have no money to shop with PLUS I'm not crazy enough to get out in that madness.....) Besides, I have enough "stuff"...I'm aiming for memories this year.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm back.....

It's been a while since I've written.
Life was, and still is, very busy....
I don't even know where to start, with updating the readers.....

1. We moved VA to WA State. This is just normal military life, but it was a big move for us. It was our first in 6 years. We'd sort of "settled" in VA and it made moving a bit more stressful. Especially for Jonathan.
2. Jonathan did not "move" well....halfway across the US, Jonathan pretty much melted down and never really recovered. Upon arrival in WA, his meltdowns just got worse. Skip ahead a few months of nothing but meltdowns, which brings us to...
3. In early October, Jonathan assaulted me. I was lucky this time, with only a mild concussion, two black eyes and a very sore neck...and a broken heart. This meant that Jonathan was no longer able to live at home with us. I was very blessed that the social workers and Jonathan's team at Madigan helped me navigate the mental system and have Jonathan involuntarily detained. In other words, "committed". It was very tough.....but it was a safety issue. For me, and for the children....
4. The days and weeks following Jonathan's departure left me with every emotion you could imagine: fear, guilt, horror, relief, emptiness.....usually all at once. But here we sit almost 7 weeks later, and everyone has settled into a different life....a life without meltdowns, a life where no one throws furniture. A life where I don't get punched, kicked and bitten.....and Jonathan? Well, he's living in a facility that is designed to handle his needs. In a way that I could not at home. He's so much happier, I'm safer and in the end, it all works out like it should.....I miss him, but I don't miss the drama....for those of you who would judge me, please don't. This was not an impulsive decision. It was I was sitting in the ER, going through the CT to make sure he had not broken my neck, one of the nurses told me she'd been through the same thing...I felt so alone until she said that. I just burst into tears...but I know I'm not.....

So now, you're all caught up on my drama.....

What else is new? I'm looking forward t the Holidays! I LOVE THANKSGIVING and CHRISTMAS....and I'm planning.....I've got my recipes all laid out :)   I'm ready for some happiness and some new memories!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

it's been a while....

I haven't yet decided to quit blogging...but life has taken a different turn and I just don't have it in me.
Not now, maybe not ever again....I don't want to go into all of the personal stuff (you know if you're on my Facebook acct)....but my life is very much changed.

I'll keep this blog up even if I don't continue writing because I have links for various recipes and coupon sources that I don't want to lose :)

Be well.....and take care of each other.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

it's the weekend, baby....!

Every Friday, Jonathan and I have the same conversation....Without fail. Because we are creatures of habit and because we're goofy like that. It's how we roll... It goes a little something like this:

Mom: "Jonathan, you know what day it is?"

Jonathan: "yes (smiling from ear to ear)."

Mom: "And you know what that means?"

Jonathan: "It's the weekend, baby! (in your very best Austin Powers voice)

So here it is, it's the weekend, baby....and we have oodles to do. We're starting off Saturday with muffins for breakfast then heading off to an 11am showing (on-post) of "Despicable Me". Just to give you some idea, off-post movies will run us about $60 for the family. And that's with only ONE popcorn shared amongst people. ON POST MOVIES: $10 for the whole family, and that's WITH POPCORN to share. Lemme give a big HOOAH to AAFES for having on-post movies for military and family members. We love love LOVE that benefit.

After the movie. we're off to the Commissary. Because apparently, I'm trying to starve people and they need more food. Go figure. Then we're going to hit up Trader Joe's. I'm hostessing a breakfast on Tuesday and need to stock up on their frozen croissants. LOVE those. They're so stinkin' easy and they make me feel fancy. Plus NO ONE has better organic bananas than TJ's. And plus my family has become addicted to their dark chocolate covered blueberries...And I need to load up on some produce for our smoothies..Yep, we still drink smoothies. Love 'em. They make me feel so good (when I type that, I hear disco music...very odd). Remember how when we first started the Smoothie Drinkin', how Adam thought I was trying to kill him with fruits and spinach? Well, feast your eyes on THIS? Now, he begs to fix them. Good things, man. Good things...(it would frighten you to see just how much spinach is in our smoothies...about 2 cups....we go through a huge bag of spinach every 2 days.) Last week, we drank cucumber-spinach-strawberry-kiwi-melon. It was Awesome!!)

Tonight, we're grilling and kicking back.
Why? Because it's the weekend, baby....!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

oh happiness....!

hello, my name is Suzanne......and I'm a flour snob.
You guys KNOW I am a devotee of just about ANY product made by King Arthur Flour. They make high quality products without equal....
So naturally, after moving to Washington State, I've been searching for KAF Bread Flour.......
Well, my commissary carries every flour EXCEPT for the bread flour.....I'm going to work with them to order the bread flour but I was so eager for good bread that I looked outside of the military gates.

Well, the local Albertson's sells it for $5.50 per bag. And remember I had once claimed that I would pay $5 a bag if I had to..? Well, it would appear that I was going to have to actually do that......ugh!
I love KAF flour....but I'll admit it: I'm cheap. I'd be willing to pay that much, but I didn't want to....

So I kept looking....and lucky me! I found it at Wal-Mart for less!!

woooooo hooooo! My favorite flour for only $3.42.......I'll still be working with my commissary to order my bread flour but I'm grateful that Wal-Mart carries it :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

just filler.....

1. Didn't know about the no A/C thing about life in WA before moving...It's been very warm these last few days. Am I whining? A bit.....but it'll pass....

2.  I bought some of THE best Bing cherries at the local Albertson's. I had great plans to photograph, you know, to make all of you super jealous....because that's just how I am....hahaha....but in my haste, I ate 'em all. They were beyond sublime. That fruit can taste that good is truly a gift from God. It took all of my restraint not to go buy 5# more....maybe tomorrow.

3. Still working through the maze of paperwork for Jonathan. Also starting this week, the maze of homeschooling notification paperwork for the State of Washington. That's my life: paperwork.

4. Photography? I am finally going to start doing gigs. Freebies first, so I can get to know some families, which I am happy to do. Many of these families are just welcoming back husbands from year long deployments. So I'm overjoyed to do this :)

5. The kids? Jonathan is anxious for Special Olympics. Micaela just got her VERY OWN military ID.....And Adam...? He's always the same: unflappable, cool, living on Poptarts. He did make his very own smoothies the other day :) We'll ditch that poptart need as soon as the school year starts....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

where did the time go....?

It's almost mid-August......
MID August, people....
I'm still stuck in early June when we left Virginia.
I feel like I'm starting to catch my breath...

I've been sick for a few weeks...three weeks to be exact. 10# lost from not being able to eat. My whole relationship with food is changed now...I am still not able to eat without feeling really sick.....I am hopeful that this changes. Maybe 20# from now, but still....

Taking Micaela, who is now a super old get her very own military ID today. I can't believe my daughter is TEN...She's getting old....

Guess what else..? I'm writing this to from my desktop computer. Greg and I gave up on ever finding the cords so we relented and bought new ones. So NOW I can download photos from the trip....!! I could've done in on my laptop but I prefer editing on my desktop.

So perhaps tomorrow, I'll have actual photos for you guys....!!

Now, I have to go make some dinner rolls.....

Saturday, August 07, 2010

busy times, folks!

1. I know that you guys aren't sitting around, missing me....Life is BUSY around these parts....still settling into the house (will it ever end...?) Still haven't found those critical computer cords, darn it...I KNOW they packed 'em....hopefully they'll turn up soon..

2. My kitchen is completely usable now. Even though it's the size of a postage stamp, I still have to cook and create in there...which means I require a few things. Which means I did a little shopping on my beloved King Arthur Flour online this morning....I do love that site, but trying to narrow it down to what I "need" is sort of like taking me on a chocolate tour and only giving me one sample....but my wallet dictates what I can buy, so I'm only buying the super-duper important stuff. Like Pizza Dough Flavor - 4 oz (for homemade pizza crust, a real money saver in my house) and SAF instant yeast, which is WAY cheaper through KAF than through your local market.....and you know how I like to save money :)

It broke my heart a little looking at all of the beautiful cake pans. I don't have ANY storage space for the pans I already own so of course I can't buy any new ones...but still I like to look at 'em.... If I owned all of the cake pans I want, I'd have to have my kitchen in an airplane hangar...hehehehe.....

2. How's Jonathan...? No meltdowns for two whole days. It's a record I'd like to break....hoping for 3, then 4 and more. It's been tough on him. He misses his friends. He misses his whole life back in VA. But soon, he'll settle in here and we can all breathe....hopefully. If you have to pray for anyone, pray for Jonathan...

3. Greg's job......- It's a big change going back into the real ARMY Band world after being in Special Band arena...but he likes it. The Band members are good, hard workers. And I am glad to get to know some of the spouses. We lived so far from Greg's office before in DC that I didn't get to know many people and I regret that....but here, Greg's commute is only 1.7 miles :) MUCH better than 55 miles each way.

4. The kids......are making friends and begrudgingly prepping for the upcoming school year. Homeschooling with Jonathan AT HOME ALL DAY will be a new challenge.... I pray that God gives me what I need to do my job...I know He will.....

As soon as I get my desktop computer hooked up, I'll be doing posts more regularly. With actual photos.