St. Chapelle Concert

There is nothing like starting off Monday with a day off. I slept in late, which is the norm on days off. Not sure why I am so tired. I just got a call from the new endocrinologist (thyroid doctor) who is adjusting my medication. The test results show I am a bit hypo (low) thyroid. I am also going to start supplementing with T3, which was recommended by the doctor I saw when I had my physical for the new job. The new thyroid doc explained that adding in T3 along with my T4 medication should help combat fatigue, increase energy, and possibly help with weight loss. All fo that sure sounds great to me! He also explained there is no magic pill for weight loss (still waiting on that to hit the market) and that it can also be a small window to get the right dose of each meds. I feel like when I was starting my medication supplement all over again. Welcome to the world of frequent blood tests again! I like the new thyroid doc though.

Okay, now that I have gotten you caught up on my medical history, HA!, I'll continue with regularly schedule blog content.

We had a great time yesterday at the St. Chapelle concert. I wasn't sure who the band was, JR and the Stingrays, and on the drive to the winery my sister said it was an “oldies band.” Looking at the crowd that began to fill in you could clearly see it was mostly an “oldies crowd.” I've never seen so many people up dancing. These oldies can party! Side note: my friend Natalie kept saying how seeing so many 60+ women looking stylish and attractive gave her hope for the future. I had just got done telling my sister Jenny that I was looking forward getting older so I can start caring less about worrying about what others think. I've stopped wearing face foundation and I'm working to get used to my face and the parts I don't really like and used make-up to cover up.

I even told the girls I might stop coloring my hair when I turn 40. Jenny said to keep coloring it. Nice.

Jenny and I arrived at noon to snag our spot in the shade. It was a beautiful day with cool temps and was slightly overcast for some of it. I was glad we postponed a few weeks. It was a perfect day. Natalie and Ashely came around 2pm.

I bought a bottle of sweet wine and shared with everybody.

We packed our own picnics to eat during the concert. Jenny picked us up some sandwiches and some really delicious brownie bites. I made a pasta salad (I'll share the recipe later this week).

It was really hard to fight the urge to buy another bottle of wine. I wish I had Kenyon there to be my DD. It is easy to get wrapped up in the atmosphere and fun. We had a great time. 


Weekly Activity & Wine

Good Morning. Sorry I have been MIA. It was a really busy week at work and I am happy to report that I have been cleared to move onto the second part of my phase one training. There are many things I need to continue to improve on. I am up for the challenge.

Today I'm picking up my sister and heading to Marsing to St. Chapelle Winery for an outdoor concert. 

We are meeting Natalie and her friend Ashley. We had planned to do this a few weeks ago but the smoke from the Soda Fire would have made sitting at a concert miserable. We will also be doing some wine tasting (included in the gate entry fee) and taking a picnic to enjoy while we listen to music and drink more wine. I've started my morning off with a healthy breakfast at home.

My food this week has included more treats than necessary. I haven't been tracking but I have been paying attention to my food choices. I'm not sure what the scale will say come Tuesday morning. My activity has been really great!

If it wasn't for forced activity I am not sure I've have the energy to workout after a 12-hour workday. There just isn't much time between getting home at 6:30pm and waking up at 3:45am. The included workout time in my workday has been wonderful. I was sort of irritated (and still am) that the workout function on my Apple Watch doesn't talk to the activity function. On Monday I walked over 17,000 steps and it didn't register my 30 minutes of activity or close up the activity circle. I really like to see that I've met all three of my daily goals.

Upon suggestions from the internet I have found that if I pick the “other” option instead of the “outdoor workout” it will register my 30 minutes of activity. It doesn't tell me anything other than calorie burn so if I want to know my mileage or pace I'll have to just get over seeing that circle filled. The silly things in life!

I love getting my messages when I complete my three goals each day.

I also love seeing the calendar filled with full circles. I can't wait until I have a whole month of filled circles. That is my goal for September.

I had better get this day started.



Some time ago I read a blog where the gal and her husband were traveling on a cruise. She used the acronym DINKs to describe her and her husband. DINKs stands for Double Income No Kids. I loved it! I knew from then on out that Kenyon and I would also be DINKs and I've used that when I've talked about our upcoming travels to other people.

I love that Kenyon and I are in a position to afford travel. I never wanted money to be a reason that we didn't go where we wanted to go and see what we wanted to see. We are lucky to have jobs that allow us the financial means to be able to do so. One of the many places we are wanting to travel to is Europe and specifically on a Viking River Cruise.

Kenyon introduced me to the idea of river cruising a few years ago. At that time we ran the numbers and realized it would cost a lot of money and we would have to either cut back regular travel to save the money or we would have to extend the travel timeframe so we would have more time to save. Eventually the river cruise was pushed back to 2018 as we would then celebrate our 10 year anniversary and it felt like a nice idea to combine both the large trip and the special occasion.

I got into my car crash last December and since my car was totaled a big fat check came in the mail from the insurance company. We decided to finance my car and keep the insurance check to use towards the river cruise fund. I also just got a big fat check from my last week at ISP thus the money for the river cruise is now set aside and ready to go. Now the hard part is the waiting! It still feels good to wait until 2018 (or maybe even 2017 as we plan to travel in the fall) to take our trip and celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. It is hard to wait when it is such an exciting trip.

We plan to cruise The Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.

We will also perhaps extend the trip on the Switzerland side a few extra days. The nice part about having the money saved early is that we can continue to set money aside for other luxuries that we want to do on this trip. I love having that type of flexibility. What I am most excited about the idea of river cruising is that they boats are smaller and the sight seeing is right off the water edge. We will be so close to beautiful castles and scenery.

Waiting really is the hardest part!


Mid-Week Check-In

Good Morning and welcome to the mid-week check in.

I am about to get my work week started. This week should be the end of part one of phase one of training. I need to check in with my trainer when I get to work today but I think I am looking good to move onto the second part of this training phase. I will still be answering non-emergency phones for the next four weeks, I'll just have a different trainer. It also happens to be that my new trainer is on this same shift so my workdays/days off won't change. I'll have new days for my sort and long days and I'll have to wake up at 3:45am for three days of the week instead of just two. Have I confused you all yet? My friends could never figure out my ISP schedule and this Nampa one seems more confusing. However, if you are on the “inside” like I am, I totally get it. I guess that is all that matters.

These last three weeks have gone well. It is very overwhelming at times and also frustrating at times. I still am 100% sure this was the right move, even when I am doubting my abilities. It is really hard to know part of a job but not be able to fully use those skills because you don't know the main computer system that runs the job. I also don't quite know all the day-to-day questions that come up on the non-emergency phone lines. All of that will come with time. My trainer keeps reminding me that I am doing okay and that I need to be less hard on myself. We ended Saturday on a really good note so I hope this week goes well too.

I really enjoy the hour fitness time I have each day at work and I have been exercising on days off as well. On Monday Jamie and I walked five miles and yesterday I mowed the lawn. I doubled the calorie burn goal for my Apple watch on Monday and yesterday I was able to get my activity app to show all three of my goals met. Success!

I've enjoyed a little bit of extras in my diet these last few days so I need to reign that back in. I've had an omelet and grapes for breakfast and my snack and lunch is packed for work. I also have my dinner idea planned out. I was sort of winging it this week with food so I could prevent a large grocery store trip. I'll see how creative I can get so I can avoid eating out! That wouldn't make sense if I didn't buy groceries and then spent money eating out. But, I've been silly many times before.

Okay, better wrap this up.



I had a double dose of WW meetings this week. I went yesterday with Jamie and again today to see my Tuesday morning WW friends and Donna. I had a loss of 2.2 pounds this week and I plan to keep that momentum going.

This week the meeting topic is What's Your Super Power. The WW Weekly listed 24 character strengths and asked us to circle five of them.

        Spirituality                    Humor                         Hope
        Gratitude                        Appreciation             Self-Regulation
        Prudence                        Humility                     Forgiveness
        Leadership                     Fairness                     Teamwork
        Social Intelligence        Kindness                   Love
        Zest                                   Honesty                     Perseverance
        Bravery                           Perspective               Love of learning
        Judgement                     Curiosity                    Creativity

I chose: Perspective, Honesty, Leadership, Humility, and Humor

We then had to choose of our five characteristics the two that most closely describe you. There was a list of meanings defined on the next page of our WW Weekly. I chose:
Leadership – Encouraging a group or team to get things done.
Honesty – Speaking the truth; acting in a sincere, genuine way; owning up to your feelings and actions.

I feel I am a natural born leader and that while I can get down from time to time I try to pep up the group. I want to lead by example and help others who are discouraged. I also feel I am honest, sometimes to a fault. I will often “out myself” when I make a mistake before anybody else notices. I know to be successful in weight loss and maintenance you have you be honest with yourself.

We are to pick one of our five traits to work on this week. I chose:
Humility – letting your accomplishments speak for themselves.

When I got on the scale yesterday morning and rejoiced my loss, the WW receptionist wanted to total up how much I have lost from my start weight. I told her I didn't really want to look at that number. She had already calculated it and showed I had lost 95 pounds. She asked why I didn't want to look at that. I explain while it is a good accomplishment, I am reminded that I once lost 130 pounds.

This is why I need to work more on humility. I need to not be so focused on where I once was so it over shadows all other accomplishes. I thought the definition in the weekly said it best: letting your accomplishments speak for themselves.


Apple Watch

This blog post is going to be long. Prepare yourself.

I looked at the Apple Watch when it first hit stores a few months ago. The technology seemed pretty neat but I found it hard to rationalize why you would pay more money for a devise that you need your (already expensive) iPhone to work it. I didn't really think much of it after that. I've started to see a few people I know sporting a fancy Apple Watch on their wrist and it started to peek my interest again. I started asking questions and talking about it with a couple of my friends who are also thinking of getting one.

When I was at the mall earlier this week I stopped in to play with the display models and try a couple different on with different colored sport bands. I had mentioned to Kenyon that I thought they were still pretty neat and I'd talk more with my WW leader Donna when I saw her at my Tuesday meeting. I had also done some research and found out Best Buy is a Southwest Rapid Rewards partner so if I bought my watch through the Best Buy online link I would earn three times the Southwest flight points than buying one at the Apple Store. I quickly found out Best Buy isn't actually selling the watches yet so you can't get one through them. Honestly, if I had been able to get an Apple Watch with the extra flight points I would have sealed the deal on Monday!

After talking to Donna about her watch and the features she really liked it mostly came down to the fitness component of her new Apple Watch. Like most high end technology devices (aka all of Apple's products) my knowledge of the cool stuff you can do is limited. Donna agreed and showed me more of how you can track your daily activity/workout and how it tracks your movement encouraging you to move more overall within your day. It also tracks your heart rate all day and counts your movement calories so it would mean not having to wear a second devise, such as my Polar heart rate monitor, when I exercise. The Apple Watch was looking more and more appealing.

The final step in every thought process when it comes to Apple products is the price point. I got double paychecks last Friday between my last ISP paycheck and my first Nampa PD paycheck. I also had 110 vacation hours paid out to me. Kenyon mentioned that I didn't need to transfer any extra money into our joint account and that the extra money was mine. Big mistake in telling me that because now I had extra money just burning a whole in my pocket. Tuesday afternoon I went to the Apple Store and bought an Apple Watch.

BUT, I wouldn't let her open it as I was afraid I might still change my mind. By early evening I had decided I really did want the watch and got it all set up.

The verdict? I LOVE IT! Right now my daily activity goals are to burn at least 340 active calories, actively move for 30 minutes, and stand for at least 12 hours of my day. You don't have to actually stand all 12 hours you just have to get up and move at some points during each hour. This is a challenge in itself with sitting all day at work. I am trying to get better about remembering to get up and move around at my console. Not sure if that helps at all with the tracker or if it really wants some movement. I'm still playing with it.

I used the workout function this week during my hour fitness time at work. You can set a goal of time, calories, or miles. I selected a 30 minute goal since my daily activity goal is to move for 30 minutes that is my focus for my workouts. You can select several different workout options such as indoor walk, outdoor walk, elliptical, rowing machine, stair stepper, etc. My WW leader Donna said she picked the “option” other for her yoga class and saw her calorie burn climb through the roof. As long as you tell it you are doing something active it will start tracking your calorie burn through the heart rate monitor.

I tested the Apple Watch out the first day by wearing both it and my FitBit. While the start of the day there was a but of a different in the two numbers displayed for the daily steps it had become really close by the end of the day. I wasn't sure if the Apple Watch was giving me more numbers for different types of movement than the FitBit or if it was just being overly confident you were moving that much. I decided after day one to continue not to wear my FitBit. The reason I wanted the Apple Watch was so I had just one device to worry about.

I still have to rest the Apple Watch against my Polar Heart Rate Monitor. I am not sure if the calorie burn it is telling me after my workout is accurate or not. Danielle made the comment that she had heard it wasn't very accurate or trusting for those that had an Apple Watch. The HRM portion is on the top of my wrist. I don't keep my watch band really sung as I don't care for a tight watch. I figure at this point it is motivating me for activity. I am counting the APs for my workout only and they don't seem outrageous. I often earn 3 APs for a 30 minute workout where I am walking up/down the parking garage at work. Also 3 APs for a brisk walk but only 2 APs for my slower walk with stops along the way where I paused it. I do plan to test it out against my HRM sometime this weekend.

The workout function is pretty neat in that you can check your progress as you workout and then it rewards you when you are done.

I loved getting this message on my first day of using my Apple Watch. You also get a complete summary that you can either save or delete. So far I don't think there is anywhere it is being stored on the phone as there isn't an app for the workout portion. I was told the Apple Watch has 2 GB space so I have been deleting my summary. Just like my HRM, I don't need to keep that or reference that. I have been writing it down in my 12-week WW tracker this week as well. I'm not a huge numbers girl. I just like seeing my overall summary.

The watch is really customizable. I can pick any color I want or any layout. I can also change the colors. I really liked the purple display color but it is harder to see than the bright green display. Good news is that I can switch it up whenever I want!

I can add or remove apps. It connects with my iPhone so I can also see the main Activity goals daily and also by a monthly calendar. While the iPhone doesn't store the workout stuff it does store your Activity stuff through the Activity app. I am going to push myself to continue to meet my daily goals as much as possible. At the end of each hour I will get a little “reminder tap” that it is time to move. I like this as often it is easy to just sit and zone out in a chair all day at work. Sometimes we are busy but if there is a little lull I will get up and walk around my console area until I get the “good job” message.

I know the Apple Watch does other stuff than activity monitoring and workout summaries. Sometimes I feels like it doesn't do much else. I do occasionally use it for text messaging and I like getting my messages right away if my phone is in the other room or in my purse across the room. It has a microphone so you can reply to the message or I can just get on my phone and type. I can read emails but I can't reply to emails or write an email. The downside to voice-to-text is you are stuck with whatever it thinks you said as there is no keypad to re-type your message. It can get frustrating. I can listen to music and control my iPhone music through my watch. I can check the weather and see what is on my calendar for that day. It is a handy tool when your phone isn't in reach. I'm very happy with my purchase.


Traveling Vineyard

Good Afternoon. I was exhausted so after meeting Kenyon for breakfast, I ended up going back to bed with him this morning.

I took a four our nap. I guess I needed sleep! I feel like my day is half over already.

After working a 12-hour shift yesterday I swing by the care center where my Grandma is staying at for a quick visit. She had back surgery July 15h and is slowly starting to improve. I know she hopes to get home soon and there is a chance perhaps sometime this week. Poor gal. I had stopped by Flying M for coffee so I took over three different cookies varieties for an afternoon treat. We shared them with Grandpa.

My friend Stephanie hosted a Traveling Vineyard wine party. I have never heard of it and this was Ashley's first home party since starting her business. She is also the only vendor in Idaho.

I didn't snap many photos as I got wrapped up in the fun. Wine tasting is always fun and this type of tasting also included some pairings with small bites of food to change or enhance the flavor. It was really great getting to know more about wines. Sadly, my pallet only likes sweet wines and they are usually the type that is last on the tasting flight and always the one with less choices. I enjoyed the sweet wine we tasted and decided to buy a bottle.

I liked the Traveling Vineyard but I have a hard time thinking it will take off as something as popular at Scentsy. The prices are just okay. If you are an expensive wine drinker then these prices are cheap. I drink $6 Barefoot wine from the local grocery store so paying $17.99 for a bottle of sweet wine is a bit spendy. There is also a $10 shipping fee on all orders up to $250. So if you ever go to a party be prepared to go in with others there and do one order for less shipping cost. Oh, and bring cash because they can't run individual cards for one single order. Despite not needing a $20 bottle of wine (total cost), this was Ashley's first party and the start of her new business. So I'll be drinking my expensive bottle of wine slowly...when I get it. You don't take wine home with you as she doesn't have an alcohol license.

It was still a really enjoyable night. It was also a late night and a long day as I didn't get home until around 11pm. After waking up at 3:45am it was a long day. I logged 10,000 steps according to the Apple Watch stats and met all my goals. I burned a total of 627 moving calories, exercised for 34 minutes, and stood (moved) 18 hours of my day. 

 I really love the results of this new Apple Watch and I'll fill you in tomorrow with a huge post.


A Tour Of The Nampa Karcher District

My trainer was out sick yesterday so I had the opportunity to drive around and get familiar with some of the Nampa City geography.

I started my geography lesson at the Mr. Hotshine car wash so I could get the Chief’s car looking spiffy again.  From there I headed to Fire Station Number 4 on Flamingo.  I am familiar with this location as it is near my grandparents retirement community.  Once I arrived I decided I’d have a little fun with my scavenger hunt and take selfies at each location. 

I had not been to the new Nampa Christian High School. 

I quickly found it but got a little lost from there.  I didn’t realize I was as far west as I was and was thinking if I went west from the high school on Flamingo I would get to Midland…wrong!  I ended up on Midway and knew I was too far from my planned next stop.  I decided to veer from my plan and continued south towards Lone Star Middle School.

I knew from there I was now back on my route and between Middleton and Midland so I headed to Roosevelt Elementary.  I spotted the park before the school itself. 

I headed back to Midland to try and find West Middle School. I used to live off Davis Avenue and remembered this middle school as soon as I spotted it. 

The Willow Creek Elementary sign was easy to spot and I thought the school was that old abandoned church.  I decided to investigate further and drove down Elementary Lane to find the school itself. 

My last stop before heading to the Treasure Valley Marketplace was Nampa Christian Elementary, which I knew right where to go. 

Despite being nervous to drive the Chief’s car I am glad it had the direction display.  It really helped me to put together the roads I am familiar with and the direction of travel I was driving.  This helps me visualize the area better, which is the whole purpose of driving around. 

It was an awesome opprotunity and I look forward to going again sometime.


Hokulia Shave Ice

The end of summer is approaching and I had yet to visit our local Hawaiian shaved ice stand. Hokulia Shave Ice came into the area two summers ago and every time I pass by one of them I am reminded of our trip to Hawaii in 2014. It seems the summer flies by and I never actually stop in and take a true trip down memory lane. So, on Tuesday I rounded up two of my favorite gal pals (and a tiny gal too) for a taste of Hawaii.

It was just as delicious at the shaved ice we had in Oahu. I picked their macadamia nut ice cream with tigers blood and blue Hawaii flavor. Shauna said it wasn't true Hawaiian unless I also got the sweet cream poured on top. She was exactly correct! It was every bit Hawaiian.

I am sad summer is almost over and most of the shaved ice stands are closing. I'll have to make sure I visit a few times next season.