Monday, October 31, 2011

This Month and Toronto in a Nutshell

This month has been a crazy-busy month for me. I've been pretty much non-stop. I don't know where October went. As I wrote a couple of blogs ago, my mother-in-law came to visit for a week. Then, I had a little bit of time to recoup and pack-up for Cananda. I was there for 10 days. My friend, Emily and her family picked me up on their way from Tampa, FL and we drove straight through. I was there for my friends' (Stephanie [Emily's sister] and Peter's) wedding. Which, by the way, was BEAUTIFUL! I'm beyond happy for them.

Toronto was a world of its own. It's HUGE and there is so much to see and do. Lord willing, I definitely want to visit again sometime next year.

I met some new friends, which is always nice and I danced at the wedding like there was no tomorrow. I was literally the last one on the dance floor. I was telling my friends I was trying to burn as many calories as I could. LOL! I know I burned a lot, too. I was sweaty and my legs are still really sore. That and walking around Toronto was about the only exercise I got in Cananda.

I never got a chance to post a blog to tell you all that I was leaving, so I'm sorry that I'd been MIA for a while. I'm here now. :-)

I got in today around 11:30 in the morning. As soon as I got home, I unpacked and showered. I'm so very tired. I took a little nap but Brad woke me up at 8:30 so I wouldn't be wide awake at 2 AM.

I never had a chance to take pictures or post a weight-loss blog today. I'm just going to skip this month and then continue at the end of next month. I will say, I gained weight ... 6.4 lbs this month, to be exact. It's REALLY hard not to when you can't go to the gym for over half of the month and you're around a bunch of Greeks (Peter's family) who love to eat. I made a lot of good decisions but I also made a lot of bad ones. I take full blame for my weight gain. I'm really looking forward to getting back to business starting tomorrow: gym, eating better, eating less, etc.

I feel like poo. I can tell just from my pictures that I gained weight. My face looks so puffy. Ugh. I'm super embarrassed and ashamed but I share this because this is part of the journey. I obviously still have some food issues and I'm still learning. I'm not going to set a goal for next month but I would like to lose AT LEAST what I gained this month, plus some. I think I'll lose what I gained pretty fast because I don't eat that kind of food or that much at home. Plus, of course, the gym.

So, I guess that about sums up October for me. I'm super happy to be home and to be with Brad and Oopsie again but I already miss my friends.  Brad tells me that I sound Canadian now because I'm ending everything on an up-note. It doesn't take me long to pick up accents, apparently. :-P

Here are a few pictures from my trip to Toronto ...

First time on a subway

Love my girls!

Beautiful hotel we stayed at the night before the wedding

 Such a pretty city

Before the wedding

The beautiful couple

Father and daughter dance

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Muffins

I was really in the mood for something pumpkin-y this morning. I thought about making my pumpkin bread, (it's SO good) but it has three cups of sugar in it, so I passed. I made these delicious muffins instead. I found the recipe in a free Kindle for PC book called Gooseberry Patch Classics: Pumpkin. It has tons of different recipes for pumpkin.

1-1/3 c. sugar, divided
1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. cinnamon 1
 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs, divided
3/4 c. oil
1 c. canned pumpkin
 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

Combine one cup sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, 2 eggs, oil and pumpkin; set aside. In a separate bowl, blend together cream cheese, remaining sugar and remaining egg. Pour pumpkin mixture into greased muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Place a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese filling in the center of each muffin. Sprinkle each with one teaspoon topping mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. Makes 1-1/2 dozen muffins.

1/4 c. sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
3 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. butter

Combine all ingredients until crumbly.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Mother-in-Law's Visit

My mother-in-law, Sandy, came to visit Brad and I for a week. She just left this morning; we had a great visit. We did so much stuff that I can't even remember it all. Haha. We went out to eat every day, sometimes twice a day. I gained exactly 4 lbs. I know, I know! Shame on me. I'm working on getting it off, trust me.

Some of the things we did (besides eating) were playing mini-golf, seeing Dolphin Tale in 3D, shopping, going to the park, taking a ski-lift up a mountain then having a bobsled-type of race down the mountain (I won!), riding the sky-lift (not to be confused with ski-lift) 2.1 miles across the mountains, ziplining on six different ziplines through the Smokies on the country's longest ziplines. Fun times!

Oh, and just for the record ... I'm REALLY scared of heights. I was so scared and wasn't sure that I would be able to go through with ziplining but once I got up there, the fear subsided. It was beautiful and I knew I was secured and safe. It wasn't a free-fall feeling at all. Everyone should do it at least once. :)

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from her visit (if you're my friend on Facebook, you can see the rest on there):

Right before our first jump

Getting hooked up

Ready. Set. GO!

Sandy flying through the trees

Going up the ski-lift

Part of the bobsled-type of thing we raced down

Riding the sky-lift

 Sandy's adorable little yorkie, Frankie

My precious little boy

The Moyers family

Be blessed,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Amy's Healthy Pizza

I really wanted a healthy pizza I could make at home. So, I experimented and I was SUPER happy with the results! :) It's super easy and super good! Wow, I just said super three times. Haha!

1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust Original
Grilled chicken (you can get the precooked Tyson grilled chicken as a shortcut, which is what I did)
Tomato (chopped up)
Fresh spinach leaves (cut into ribbons)
Buitoni Pesto with Basil
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (more or less depending on how much you like garlic, chopped very finely)
Fresh squishy cube of mozzarella (slice in chunks)
Extra virgin olive oil
Dried oregano

Press out pizza dough onto a large rectangular or circular pan (be sure to spray pan). Poke with fork and spread all of pesto and garlic all over top. Preheat oven and cook on whatever temperature Pillsbury tells you (I forget). Cook until the crust isn't doughy anymore but don't fully cook it! Then, top with spinach leaves, mozzarella, grilled chicken and tomato. Then lightly drizzle some extra virgin olive on top and sprinkle with dried oregano. Cook until cheese is melted and crust is done. Enjoy!

Oopsie is Healed!

Where do I even begin? First of all, as of tonight, Oopsie is completely bump-free. Praise God! He is AWESOME.

I had SO many family, friends and strangers praying for Oopsie and so many kind words and words of encouragement. I can't even begin to express how much every single prayer and encouraging word meant to Brad and me.

The first couple of days were REALLY hard. I Googled ... and I shouldn't have. Of course, something horrible and deadly came up that sounded so much like what he had. I had a hard time not thinking about it. I was a serious mess; my eyes were so swollen from constantly bawling my eyes out.

I thank God so much for the people he has placed in my life. You all are such a blessing to me. I asked God to do a miracle and for this whole thing with Oopsie to become a great testimony that gives Him honor and glory and that He did. I have no doubt that my God is a Healer and a God of miracles.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)

Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou taken up and cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he saith cometh to pass; he shall have it. Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11:22-24)

Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)

Those are some really encouraging verses among many in the Bible. I also know what the Bible says about being double-minded and being double-minded is something that I struggle with quite a bit, especially in hard times ... as well as, fear, anxiety, condemnation, etc. So, I have no doubt that my husband, family and friends (many who have great faith that I admire) really stood in the gap for me while I was going through this. No doubt, God heard their prayers and answered them.

I know Oopsie was on antibiotics and we also had him on Children's Benadryl but we know that God is the one Who healed him.

John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it have been given him from heaven (John 3:27).

So, I give all honor and glory to God.

Brad and I grew so much through this. We grew closer to each other and closer to God. It caused us to examine our hearts and repent of some things and for all of that, we are thankful.

Again, thank you so much for all of the prayers, love and support. I love you all so very much!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Please Pray for Our Little Oopsie

Dear family and friends,

Oopsie is in need of your prayers. Three nights ago Oopsie was laying on me and I noticed a couple of hard bumps on his belly. I thought it was just a hard fat cell or something. Then, last night, he was acting very down and not wanting to move much and Brad picked him up and was snuggling him and he noticed hard pea-sized and smaller bumps all over his inner back legs, belly and chest. They are all under his skin connected to the muscles. We thought it was probably just an allergic reaction to a plant or something outside since we just moved three weeks ago and since the bumps are just on his underside. When we pick him up sometimes he squeals in pain and we think it's because of the bumps putting pressure on his ribs. When we just feel them, it doesn't seem to bother him.

We took him to the vet this morning and I wasn't too worried, again, just thinking it was allergies or something. The vet told us he didn't think it was allergies because all of the bumps were spread out all underneath the skin and he wasn't having any symptoms on the skin and no itching. Also, he ruled out hives. He said it could be swollen lymph nodes (which would mean his body is trying to fight something) but he doesn't think so because the bumps are so spread out. He said he's never seen this many bumps show up so fast. He put him on antibiotics to rule out allergies. If he still has them by next Tuesday at 9 AM, they want to sedate him and do a bioposy.

If you know us, you know that Oopsie is our son. Words can't even express how much we love him. If we had a human child, we would love him/her no more than we do our little Oopsie. He has brought so much happiness, joy and love into our lives and so many others' lives. He's only a little over 5-1/2 years old. I don't want to have him sedated (dogs die from that everyday ... especially small ones). So, my prayer is that nothing serious is wrong with him (i.e. cancer or something) and that all of these bumps will be gone by next Tuesday. Please keep Brad and I in your prayers as well. It only took me until we got in the car to bawl my eyes out and I can't seem to stop. It's really hard not to think of all the what-ifs.

PLEASE, repost this on your walls, websites, etc to form a prayer chain for Oopsie. We know that God answers prayers and that miracles happen every day.

Thank you so much.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New House Photos

Here are the pictures that many of you have been waiting for. I tried really hard to get good pictures but with the lighting it was hard. I also tried to get a good picture of our mountain view but it was way too bright. I hope these will do. :)




Brad's office


Guest bedroom

Guest bathroom

Master bedroom

Master bathroom