Monthly Archives: September 2017

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One of my Amazon readers, Enid, recently reviewed my Cornerstone boxed set and made the comment that if she had read the books separately, she would have probably given them 4-stars each, but reading all of them together made her want to give them more than 5-stars.

Here is what she said:

Usually I rate every book separately and believe all books should stand alone. If I did that with the Cornerstone series I might only give each of them a four. But reading all three I will give them a 5 plus. I can’t even begin to pick out a favorite character. The characters are so well developed that I even liked the ones that maybe you weren’t supposed to like. And I’m thinking I’d like to go back and get a degree in counseling. I recommend this book for anyone whose life has not been perfect, who has at one time or another been angry at God and questioned why he does things his way.

I totally agree with her! The books as a set tell a more complete story, which is why I’m so happy that they are all bundled in a boxed set now. The 3-book boxed set is $7.99. But for two days, you can GET THE FIRST TWO BOOKS for FREE (HERE and HERE) and then pick up Until Then for just $3.99. That’s 60% off the individually priced books, and you get the whole series for less than that pumpkin spice latte you know you want even though it’s not even officially fall yet. ;)

P.S. Her counseling comment has to do with Michelle’s story in Until Then.

Happy reading!

44 at 44

Earlier this month, we made a decision as a family to stop eating unhealthy foods and stay away from fast food and pop. It’s going really well so far. My goal is to lose 44 lbs by my 45th birthday. ;) If I lose more than that, I won’t complain, but that’s my first big goal.

I’ve been making up scrambled eggs, sausage, and bacon on Sunday nights so we can easily put some in a bowl, heat it up, and start our days right. Jake takes some to work with him every morning. Sometimes we bake up eggs, sausage or bacon, and cheese in the muffin tin (400 degrees for 20 minutes) and have those, which are super easy and convenient. The kids aren’t being as strict as Jake and I, which is fine with us. They tend to eat toast or waffles for breakfast. Sometimes a bowl of cereal.

I usually eat a light lunch because I just haven’t been that hungry and it doesn’t take much to make me full. I’m trying to listen to my body and eat only what’s necessary rather than devouring more than I really need. So it’s typically a salad with a small amount of dressing (using Olive Garden lately), a few strips of chicken if there’s some grilled up, maybe some almonds. Some days I’ll just heat up a little chicken or pork along with a veggie and I’m good to go. And I always love zoodles (zucchini noodles shown above) with some Olive Garden dressing. Jake takes meat and veggies with him to work. This weekend we made white chicken chili, so he took leftovers of that with him today. Zach takes a peanut butter sandwich to school every day. He pretty much has since he was in kindergarten. But he no longer takes chips and a Little Debbie snack cake. He takes cheese, a fruit cup (peaches), cucumbers, and cashews. Chloe takes a bowl of salad with a little Olive Garden dressing. She also likes Babybel cheese and some fruit (strawberries or blueberries or both).

We usually have whatever meat we’ve pre-cooked on Sunday – chicken, pork, salmon – along with veggies of some kind. We aren’t eating potatoes too much, but we aren’t completely cutting them out. We’ll have a few mini potatoes with dinner once in a while. We’ve pretty much done away with bread (except the kids), so no rolls or biscuits along with dinner.

I think one of the keys to this working so far has been having healthy snacks for in-between mealtimes.

• Almonds
• Cubed cheese
• String cheese
• Apples w/a little almond butter to dip them in (love almond butter)
• Carrots & hummus
• Greek yogurt (plain) with some fruit

For a little treat, we bought a trail mix that is mixed nuts, cranberries, raisins, and mini dark chocolate/white chocolate chips. That has helped when we just want something sweet.

So far, I have lost 10 lbs and 2 inches off my waist and hips. I think Jake has lost about 6 lbs so far. The kids aren’t really keeping track. Neither of them were really overweight, especially Chloe, who is always conditioning at gymnastics practice. Just as long as they are eating healthier, that’s all that really matters to me.

One more thing I’ve started doing is drinking H2OJ. Many of you know I was on Becky Higgins’ Project Life Creative Team a few years ago. One of her wonderful employees, Molly, has lost 60 lbs. since last fall and she shared her weight loss and healthy eating journey recently and one of her tips was to get 100% orange juice (not from concentrate) and drink 1 part OJ to 7 parts water. She said the theory behind this is that when we wake up our body is dehydrated, so this helps to hydrate us by starting off our day drinking this. The orange juice helps to stabilize blood sugar. Here is a link to her post with 10 great tips for eating healthy. Very similar to what we’re already doing, but I found all her tips very helpful and just kind of reaffirmed that we’re on the right track.

I was tired. Of being overweight. Of having my clothing fit so snugly. Of being tired. Of aching all over. I was having a problem with my sciatic nerve and just overall sick of feeling bad! I started going to Planet Fitness in January and I went at least 1-2 times a week for 5 months. I lost probably 5-7 lbs during that time. I’m sure some fat was lost and muscle gained and muscle weighs more, but still. Just wasn’t seeing results because the eating hadn’t really changed much. Time to change that!

The kids. They don’t like that Jake is overweight especially. He has tried many times to lose the weight, and they have tried to help. My hope is that doing this as a family will really help this to be the time it sticks, and I know the kids feel the same way.

My dad. He was overweight for many years and it did a number on his liver, which is why he is now on the transplant list. I don’t want that to happen to me or Jake or the kids somewhere down the line. So that is a huge motivation right there to get healthy.

Thanks for following along with our journey, friends!

AJAXed with AWP