Somebody Turns 40 Today!!

Happy 40th Birthday to my Knight In Shining Armor.


I love you very, very, very, very, very (that is a lot if you weren’t aware) much!



Doesn’t Kenyon have the ultimate party birthday!!  I am jealous.


Turkey Leftovers

I love turkey.

I love turkey leftovers as well.  If I can’t have turkey with all the fixings then turkey leftovers are second best.

I ended up eating most of my Christmas leftovers on Christmas Day and into the early morning hours of the day after Christmas. One of the benefits to working the graveyard shift is that I still had plenty of eating hours left in my day AFTER our Christmas festivities ended.

My first round of leftovers was a turkey sandwich.  This is my most favorite way to eat turkey leftovers.  My Mom bakes Rhodes Texas Rolls at every holiday meal.  Rhodes makes a roll that tastes just as good as homemade with less hassle.  You just thaw and bake.  It is that easy!

I had my turkey sandwich on a Rhodes roll with some spicy brown mustard, lettuce, and provolone cheese.  It was quite tasty. 

I also had some leftover pretzel jello salad.  If you haven’t ever made it I suggest you do.  It was delicious!  I wish I had taken a photo so I’ll have to make it again for a potluck and share it with you.  Just Google “pretzel jello salad” and look for one that you bake the pretzel crust and then add a cream cheese layer and a jello layer.  I highly recommend it!

For my next round of leftovers I wanted to get a little creative with the mashed potatoes I brought home.  I did a Google search for baked mashed potato patties and found Skinny Taste’s recipe.  I didn’t actually use her skinny mashed potatoes, which is the base of the recipe.  I added some sour cream, some garlic power, and some Red Robin seasoning.  I formed them into patties, dipped in the egg white wash, and put into bread crumbs.  I baked them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes each side.  They were really good!

I needed some greens so I opened a can of green beans and had my turkey alongside it.  Yum!  I have two leftover patties to eat so I’ll try to reheat in the toaster oven.

I also made a batch of turkey and noodle soup to serve with the remaining left over mashed potatoes mixed in.

Did I mention already that I love turkey?


"She Wore An Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"

Several years ago my brother, my sister Katie, and I were going to spend the day at our local water park Roaring Springs.  Katie was worried about wearing her swimsuit in public.  My brother gave her some very wise words that I still use to this day,

“You won’t be the fattest person at the pool.”

Ain’t that the truth!

I thought about this when I took my nieces to the YMCA to swim last week.  I also had to give myself a pep talk when I took my first water aerobics class.

I have been in a bathing suit several times since I lost my weight.  Despite losing 130 pounds and keeping almost all if it off for just about five years, I don’t have a perfect body.  There is a lot of excess around my legs and arms.  To others at the pool, the beach, etc I am sure I don’t look really fantastic in my swimsuit.  But I don’t care.

I feel okay wearing my swimsuit in public.  I strut around with as much confidence I can muster because I know what I used to look like before I joined WW.  While I am in NO WAY ever going to be signing up to strut my stuff on stage at a Miss America contest, I am also not the fattest person at the pool.

In just a little over a week, I’ll be wearing my swimsuit on the sunny beaches of Hawaii with not a single care in the world other than sunscreen!


Missing: My Umph

I seem to be missing my umph these days.  It started around last Monday.  I actually had a really great week and I even logged 22 APs, with some snow shoveling thrown into the mix.  For the most part I have been able to get in some higher intensity exercise on the treadmill and elliptical where I can get my heart rate up for most of the time.

My food was also pretty good.  Granted a few weeks ago when I tried giving Simply Filling a bit of ago, I did show a loss.  Whether that was because of Simply Filling or just changing up my food and increasing activity intensity I saw some tiny results.

Then Monday rolled around and my eating sort of got off course. 

Kenyon and I had plans to go to Cracker Barrel at 3pm before running last minute Christmas errands.  I had planned to have the new Pecan Skinny Bun French Toast they have been advertising.  I figured up a rough calculation for PPVs and set my sights on some yummy goodness.
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When we got there I was told they had run out.  Bummer.  That sort of set the rest of the tone for the day as I ended up eating “around” what I really wanted most. 

By Tuesday morning, Christmas Eve, I was feeling a little guilty for my food intake and also feeling a bit of indigestion.  I was craving a salad BIG TIME!  I also wasn’t able to sleep really well.  I ended up going to SouperSalad for a huge salad to go.  It really hit the spot!

Christmas Eve was filled with yummy food and desserts as was Christmas Day.  I also finished off some leftovers later in the evening on Christmas Day.  Thankfully no temptations at home (now at work…that is another story!  It looks like sugar blew up in here).  There was also a trip to the movies and some movie popcorn.

I also have not "officially" exercised in several days.  I was running around like crazy on Christmas Day and got almost 10,000 steps.  Thursday I took my nieces to the YMCA to swim so I got in some activity there.  Yesterday I forced myself to get on the treadmill for a three mile walk.  Hey, better than nothing.

My tracking has been less than stellar.  I have no desire to plan meals.

I know ALL of this is not the “proper WW” way to do things but I just don’t seem to have much umph these days.  I am VERY ready for vacation and while it is only a week and a half away it still seems like forever.  I am really looking forward to warm weather, time with Kenyon, and breaking out of my boring daily routine. 

I am also looking forward to being back at my favorite Tuesday WW meeting upon our return.

I had wanted to be back in goal range by the time we left for vacation but that isn’t going to happen.  I am confident now in my ability to maintain at my current weight of around 182.  I am confident that vacation weight will only be temporary but it is never a bad idea to be mindful.

I will be starting 2014 above goal range.  That is okay.  I know I should have the desire to work harder at getting back to goal but right now I am doing the best I can.  I suspect soon I will find my umph again.


Indian Creek Christmas Light Display


Sorry I have been gone for a few days. It has been a busy few days off work with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and napping! I hope you had a great Christmas. I really enjoyed spending time with my family.

Several years ago in downtown Caldwell several old buildings were torn down to expose Indian Creek, which flowed below the buildings. It was really sad to see such historic buildings all of a sudden gone. Last year I learned of the elaborate Christmas light display that now filled the downtown area for a few months of winter. It is beautiful.

Kenyon and I stopped by on Christmas Eve so he could see the display. We didn't dress quite warm enough and with our dropping temps it was a cold one!


FitBit - Weekly Stats

It was a good week for logging steps on the FitBit!!!

I love seeing my weekly FitBit summary when it arrives via email.  So far it looks like I am pretty closer to my previous week’s total of 69,840 steps and 33.34 miles.

I am still finding ways to get in extra steps and on a few days I was so close to 10,000 steps that I would take the “long way” when I would take my breaks at work.

Kenyon and I hit up Costco and Walmart (the day BEFORE Christmas Eve) and I didn’t mind the extra steps from the parking lot and walking around the chaos of the store.  My FitBit Zip is really helping me be mindful.

Last week’s total:

Total Steps 66.499


Total Distance: 30.41 miles


Total Calories Burned: 15,902


I also earned 20 APs last week.  I have been trying hard to make my exercise count.  There were a few days that I was pretty low on motivation though.


Holiday Traditions

With Christmas fast approaching I am reminded of such great memories of holiday traditions.  The thing I love most about Christmas, and all holidays, is family time.  I really enjoy spending time with my family.

Both my parents grew up in the area.

My Dad’s immediate family, and most of the extended family, still lives in the area.  Every year on Christmas Eve we would load up and drive to Murphy to my grandparent’s house.  My Dad’s two sisters, and their husbands, would be there and we would have dinner and open gifts.  It was cool to sit at the kids table and my siblings and I had a lot of fun!!!  The last gift we opened was Christmas pajamas from Mom and Dad.  We would change into our pjs and wear them on the drive home.  Nothing is better than being a kid at Christmas and opening presents.

My Mom’s mother, who passed away a few years ago, also lived in the area.  She would spend Christmas morning with us.  

I loved running into grandma’s room to wake her up on Christmas morning.  Every year under the tree was $100 in crisp $1 bills from Grandma A.  It was the highlight of Christmas morning.  We would have breakfast and then load up to head to our family Christmas party with my Dad’s extended family.

Our family Christmas party originally started because of my Great Grandma Ihli.  My grandfather is one of 8 children so there are lots of relatives to see.  Each year we get together on Christmas Day.  When I was younger my parents hosted the party since we had a pretty large house.  Eventually it was moved to a hall in Kuna.  When I was a teenager my siblings and I used to go to the movies after Christmas dinner.  It was a really fun tradition.  A few years ago I took over the party planning from my Great Aunts.  We now have our party at a hall in Murphy.  We usually have 50 in attendance.

As time has evolved traditions have changed.  The four of us kids started to get too old for presents and once the next generation arrived, my two nieces, we really didn’t get presents (darn kids)!!  We still get together with my Dad’s immediate family on Christmas Eve.  We used to draw a name and get one person a gift and now we do a $30 generic gift exchange.  I have to say it does make it easier to buy gifts, yet I do miss opening all the presents (I am still a kid at heart).

I look forward to this time with my family.  I love seeing the little girls open their gifts from everybody.  I love that we can steal gifts in our generic exchange.  I still enjoy sitting at the kids table, even at the age of 34.  Christmas is family time and I have the greatest family in the world!


Wreath Decorating Contest

Last year our dispatch center entered into the door decorating contest held at work.  We used styrofoam cups to make a 3D snowman.  It was tons of fun!

This year HR decided to change it up and have a wreath decorating contest and raffle.  The catch this year is that you have to buy raffle tickets to vote for your favorite wreath.  The wreath with the most tickets wins and you get a chance to win the wreath.

We also had to name our wreath so we tied it in with ISP's 75th Anniversary and have titled our wreath: Spirit of Service for 75 Years.

I still really liked the cup idea so after a quick google search we were onto some really great ideas.  Everybody pitched in ideas and last Friday a few of us worked on the wreath.  I am VERY happy with how it turned out!  **Edited to add: Our wreath, sadly, did not win**

We actually cut the cups to make more of a fringe look.

Now, if I can only get the troopers to swing by and vote for our wreath!  It isn’t about winning but I sure like to.  Here are some of the other wreaths that other officers have put together.

This one is made with gift cards!  What a great idea.  I am sure it will get lots of votes.  I heard last year they made one with loto tickets.  There are five gift cards, I assume $5 each, one for Dairy Queen, Subway, Starbucks, Wendy's, and Sonic.


My Tips For Holiday Parties

It is that time of year again.  Parties, potlucks, family get-togethers, and more parties.  Food…food…food!

We had our dispatch center potluck and Secret Santa reveal yesterday.  I love potlucks because I love all the variety of foods.  We had meat and cheese trays, soups, chili, cheese ball, crackers, beef summer sausage, layered bean dip, and desserts.

These are my tips for navigating a holiday party or event. 

Never Arrive Hungry:  You don’t have to eat a full meal before you go but it is never a good idea to show up to a party or food event hungry.  It can be a recipe for disaster.  I also find that sometimes when I try to eat super light through the day I am just over all more hungry.  I would rather eat a regular meal and use some WPPAs or APs for the party then be miserable all day.

Look Over All The Options Before Filling Your Plate:  I use this technique at buffets.  When there is a potluck and all the yummy food is in front of you, take a few moments to survey what is there.  Decide what is worth the PPVs and what isn’t.  I brought the cheese ball, crackers, and beef summer sausage.  You better believe this worth it!  I also had some ham and cheese on the side (x2 unpictured) and a few more cheese and crackers (unpictured.  I also had some chili with chips and sour cream.
Make Room For Homemade:  I LOVE desserts.  But I don’t want to waste my time with store bought desserts or prepared salads I could have any day of the week.  If I am at a potluck I want the homemade desert.  I try to take a small portion of one, or a few, and enjoy each and every bite.  Potlucks often have really yummy desserts.  Don’t waste your time on store bought ones.  I had three of the pecan pie bars that my cowoker made.  It was easy to pass up the store bought cookies.


Take Small Bites Of What You Really Want:  If you really want something, have it!  Take a small portion and savor it.  You don’t have to go into a potluck with an all or nothing attitude thinking you can ONLY have one or two things.  I love to take small bits of lots of food and count it as 2 or 3 PPVs.  Sure, the PPVs can add up quick but my taste buds are satisfied.

Alternate Alcoholic Beverages With Water or Non-Alcoholic Beverages:  I try to take a small pour of wine so I feel like I am drinking a few glasses but not going way over PPVs.  And unless you have a designated driver, slow down on the cocktails, beer, and wine.  I love to drink in social situations but I also make sure I drink plenty of water as well.

Have Fun And Socialize:  Remember most reasons for a potluck or a holiday party is to get together and socialize.  It doesn’t have to all be about food.  If you show up early and the food isn’t ready then chew some gum, drink some wine, and socialize.  If the food is set up in the kitchen then socialize in a different room.  Food is fun but so is just sitting and visiting with family, friends, and coworkers.  And, if you don’t know everybody it gives you a good excuse to meet some new people.
If All Else Fails, Balance It Out: So you ate more dessert (ahem, pecan pie bars) then you planned on.  So what?  Just balance it out with the rest of your week.  Get in some extra activity or eat a little lighter the next day.  The one thing you don’t want to do is punch yourself for going over your PPVs.  It is a party.  Usually just one event and one day.  Track it and move on!


December 20, 2006

There is a patrol car that sits in our parking lot at work with the license plate ISP656.  This patrol car was retired on December 20, 2006.  It is now only driven in parades and other community functions and will no longer be used for another trooper to drive.  Why?  Because the ISP Trooper that drove this car on December 20, 2006 was shot that morning while he was on patrol.  I was his dispatcher.

I had not quite finished my first year as a police dispatcher.  I was working the Twin Falls area when the Twin Falls County Sheriff Office called with information on an armed robbery at a convince store.  Trooper Glenn had just checked into service for duty that morning.  He was actually in plain clothing since he was training one of our new troopers but had not yet picked up his trainee.  Trooper Glenn spotted a white passenger car that matched the description of the one in the ATL (attempt to locate) and made the traffic stop.  There are many times that officers will spot a vehicle that matches an ATL and it turns out not to be that car.  Today was not one of those days.

I no longer had any further contact with Trooper Glenn.  What I didn’t know is that as he approached the suspect vehicle, the driver opened the door and fired a shot at Trooper Glenn.  The bullet hit Trooper Glenn in the neck incapacitating him.  My sergeant on duty that morning told me over the air that there was an officer down.  He knew this because he had heard it on the county’s radio channel once a county deputy had arrived on scene.  We also didn’t know at first that another county sheriff deputy was in pursuit of the vehicle and suspect headed south towards Jackpot, Nevada. 

The suspect crashed his vehicle in Jackpot and was taken into custody.  He pled guilty and was charged with Assault/Battery on Certain Personnel and Robbery.  He is not eligible for patrol until 2036.

Thankfully, this story does not end with a Line of Duty Death.  Trooper Glenn survivedthe shooting, although he is now paralyzed.  This tragic event didn’t deter his spirit though and I always see Trooper Glenn smiling when I see him and he says hello.  Trooper Glenn was also awarded the Purple Heart.  He is now a training specialist and works with our new recruits.
There are many events in life that shape us.  This will always be one of those events for me.


How My FitBit Zip Is Making Me Work For It

I have had my FitBit for about two weeks now.  The first week wasn’t a full week since it arrived onWendesday.

Here is my first week’s progress report:

Total Steps 41,480

Total Distance: 19.94 miles

Total Calories Burned: 11,390

And week two’s progress report:

Total Steps 69,840

Total Distance 33.38 miles

Total Calories burned: 16,145

I still have no idea how it is figuring my calorie burn but it does factor in my actual active steps/time and when I exercise it is pretty accurate.  I think overall when I exercise it is also accurate with my mileage.  I know the FitBit can pick up other movement and vibration.  I am using this as one more tool so I am not really focused on the numbers.

I have noticed wearing the FitBit has encouraged me to get more steps in throughout the day.  I really strive for 10,000 steps each day.  Working graveyard has made it harder to get my steps in. It resets at midnight and I get home at 6am. I wake up around 4pm and head back to work at 8pm. So unless I actually exercise, and even that doesn’t always get up to 10,000 steps in a day, then I need to find these little ways to increase my daily mileage.
Ways I have been getting in extra steps:

·        At work I will empty the trash cans by walking each of the eight cans one-by-one to the big trash can.

·        I will take the “long way” around the consoles when I am going to the bathroom or to the break room.  I will also bring individual food items to the console when I am ready for my lunch break if I am waiting for something in the microwave.

·        I didn’t mind parking far out at the mall, which is typical this time of year, since I knew I would get some extra steps.

·        I have walked around Costco a little further extra when needing to avoid the huge sample area traffic jams.

·        I  have talked myself into exercising because I knew I needed to get in my 10,000 steps and that would be the only way I can.

·        I  have walked extra distances because my FitBit friends can see my weeekly mileage total and they are BLOWING me out of the water compared to the amount of steps they walk (I am jealous oh mighty walkers).

I really love my FitBit.  One morning I forgot to put it on because Kenyon was sleeping and I got dressed in the dark.  Thanks to Nichole, who mentioned my FitBit on the WW message boards, I then remembered I didn’t have it on.  This was a day off where I was going to be out of the house most of the day.  Just think of the steps I would have missed out on!


The Big Secret Santa Reveal!

I can now share with you what I got my Secret Santa person!

The name drawn for me this year was Loni, who is one of our supervisors.  I don’t know her that well but I still came up with some fun ideas and also incorporated some of the stuff she wrote down on her questioner.

This year, I split my gifts into three different days.

The first gift was:  cashews, pixie stix, $5 Starbucks gift card, a pin, and an owl mug.  I put it all into a gift bag and left it on her desk.

Loni really likes cashews so I found two bags at…you guess it, the Dollar Store!  I also found this cute “I Believe In Santa” pin and some Pixie Sticks, which I know she likes.  I wanted to get her a mug to go with her Starbucks gift card, which she put on her questioner, and really loved this owl one I found at Walmart.  The bummer is our carpet at work has just been replaced and we will now be required to have “sippy cups” so we don’t ruin our new carpet.  This mug is not on the approved “sippy cup” list so Loni will have to enjoy your owl mug at home.  It was just too cute to pass up!


The second gift was: A holiday game pad, Gingerbread Race game board, and holiday animal cookies.

I found more fun Dollar Store items.  A holiday game pad with various crosswords, word searches, and Sudoku, which Loni enjoys.  I also found a Gingerbread Race board game that I thought she and her team might also enjoy playing.  Loni put on her questioner that she loved animal cookies and crackers so I searched Walmart for some holiday themed ones.  It was all put into another gift bag and placed on her desk.

The final gift was given on the big reveal day: $20 Target gift card and a bar of dark chocolate.
Loni put on her questioner that she liked Target and Starbucks for gift card options.  I am a HUGE fan of gift cards.  I love that somebody can get exactly what they want.  I know Loni is a big reader and she also said she didn’t have a Nook, Kindle, or iPad.  Picking out a book is hard for another person but with a Target gift card she isn’t restricted to just books.  I also got her a chocolate bar as she said she likes dark chocolate.  This gave me the ability to wrap the gift card so she had an actual present to open on the reveal day.  I usually give a big gift on the last day as the rest of the gifts are pretty little.