Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Recap of 2013

It's the last day of December. It's the last day of 2013. Where has the year gone?? It seems like every year goes by quicker and quicker. Like I recently pointed out, I've lacked in the blogging department in the last year, but as I sit here and reflect back at this year, there are a lot of highlights!

 As the post I wrote yesterday explained, one of my goals for 2013 was to loose weight and become more active. One of the highlights has been all the bike rides we've taken as a family. There is an entrance to the bike trail that parallels the river bottom behind our house and it's a route we love to hop on and ride. I've enjoyed our rides as a family and the few times that just Steven and I have gone.  I look forward to many more bike rides in 2014 as a family!!



In March, we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary by spending a few days on Coronado Island in San Diego. While on our get away, we bought a new car! A 2013 Grand Caravan! Our old van had over 190,000 miles on it and had a ton of issues. We have loved our new car (I've never had a brand spanking new car!!!) and appreciate all the things we were missing out on in our old car - windows that go up and down, air conditioning, cruise control, etc, etc. 


We spent Memorial Day Weekend, as well as a week in July, tent camping at the beach. Both times were with friends and family and was a great time of rest and relaxation! 

2013 will also be remembered for the year I developed a kidney stone too large to pass on my own and required shockwave lithotripsy to break it up!  Getting older is NOT fun! LOL

Speaking of getting older, I celebrated a milestone of a birthday in 2013. I turned 40 the end of October, and for the past year, all I've wanted was a big birthday party! And that's what I did, we had a party that had about 60 friends and family help celebrate!
In November, long story short, a friend and I set out to earn the "Mom of the Year" award by surprising our teenage daughters (and their younger sisters) and trying to get as close to the Los Angeles Red Carpet Premiere of The Huger Games: Catching Fire. Well, we not only managed to get close to the action, we actually got on the sidelines of the red carpet, at the very beginning of the arrival of the stars!!! We got tons of pictures, and our girls got autographs from the likes of Josh Hutcherson and Liam Helmsworth, and many others! As if that wasn't enough, when we exited the red carpet grand stands, we were presented with tickets INTO the premiere of the movie! Yeah, this was a HUGE highlight of 2013!!
And last but not least, 2013 wouldn't have been complete without all our trips to Disneyland! Hannah has developed a new love for going to Disneyland and it's been great! Every trip has been different, we've gone by ourselves, we went with my parents once or twice, with my uncle, met up with friends, even met up with my dear friend that came all the way out from Pennsylvania! One of the highlighted trips of the year was in mid November when I had tickets to when The View was taping from Disneyland! That's a special memory for Disneyland for the year!

These are just a handful of highlights of 2013. As I look forward to the new year that is quickly approaching, I can't help but wonder what adventures and things 2014 will hold for us!! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Goal for the Year

On January 2nd of this year, I set a goal. I set a very specific goal that I wanted to meet by October 29, my 40th Birthday. My goal was a weight loss goal. 

In order to meet my goal, I set an exercise goal of walking 2-3 times a week and doing some sort of exercise as a family on the weekend, via walking, hiking Mt. Rubidoux, bike riding, etc. I soon exceeded that goal and was walking 6-7 times a week, on a few occasions, exercising twice a day. 

My 40th birthday has come and gone and I’m a little disappointed that I did not meet my goal. But I would never have guessed in a million years of the challenges I would face along the journey of this goal. 

As I increased my walking more and more, hitting 83 miles walked just in the month of March, I developed Plantar Fasicitis in my one foot that set me back in my walking. I wasn't walking as frequently and was really focusing on getting my foot better.

Another speed bump in the road hit in June, when I experienced some blood in my urine the morning after an 11 mile bike ride. I went to Urgent Care, after some tests, etc, I was told that sometimes with excessive exercise you can have blood in your urine. I was fine with that information and tucked it away and didn't think twice about it. I had another episode after another bike ride in early September, this time I made an appointment with my Primary Care Doctor. I had a CT Scan done of my abdomen and two weeks later I was seeing a Urologist for a 6mm kidney stone!

My urologist said the stone was too large to let me try and pass it on my own without complications, and by the second week of October I went into the hospital for an outpatient procedure of shockwave lithotripsy, where while under general anesthesia, my doctor broke up the stone into tiny pieces that would make passing it much easier. And yet again my exercise had to be scaled back while my kidney healed.

But here I am, the end of December, and I have lost 50 lbs (it was a little more, but you know, the holidays, etc), have walked 456 miles, and developed an enjoyment for physical activities - walking, bike riding, hiking, and even started going to Jazzercise in September and absolutely LOVE it!

Other highlights from the last 12 months include packing the exercising clothes and paying to use the hotel gym while away for our anniversary, walking and doing the stairs while vacationing at the beach, and purposing exercising on a few holidays to off set some of the calories that would be consumed! 

My goal for the New Year ... to continue on this journey to a slimmer and more fit me. Becoming even more active in walking, bike riding, hiking, and continuing with my Jazzercise classes. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Love Days Like This!

I love days like the one we had yesterday! A day where we go and do something fun as a family!

This last year, we've had San Diego Zoo/Safari Park annual passes and they were due to expire today. With Steven being on vacation, it was a perfect day to go! We left a little after 9:00a and made a stop at Starbucks along the way and arrived to a very crowded zoo parking lot. Thankfully we got into an overflow parking lot just before it became full.

We saw everything we wanted to see, probably walking at least a couple of miles, or more specifically 14,400 steps according to Steven's Fit Bit! LOL. The Pandas are always on our must see list, and as always, they are as cute as can be! We also saw one of the scariest animals at the zoo...a teenage girl!!! Oh wait, she's with us!







The zoo was open until 8:00, but it was getting dark, and getting harder to see the animals, so we left around 5:30. Which was perfect, we made our way across the Coronado Bridge to one of the locations of our favorite Mexican restaurant in San Diego. We discovered this particular location this last March when we stayed on Coronado for our anniversary. There was a 45-60 minute wait when we arrived, which we expected as it was Friday night. But we made the best of it and walked across the street to walk around the grounds of The Hotel del Coronado which was festively decorated for Christmas. 
Standing on the sandy shore with the Hotel del Coronado as our backdrop.
We found two amazing sand castles built on their private beach. This picture doesn't do it justice, and it's just of the one castle, but getting a decent picture of something in the pitch darkness was extremely difficult. But they were amazing to see!


Shortly after discovering the sand castles, we headed back to wait out the remainder of our time at the restaurant. We finished off our wonderful day with a yummy Mexican food dinner, and not without enjoying the white queso dip and chips! 

The only picture I took of the four of us. Hannah was clearly in need of food as she was pretending not to know us!
After our meal, we made our way back over the main land and hit the road for home. I love San Diego. The city holds many memories for our own little family, as well as many childhood memories for myself. So thankful for days like yesterday when we can get away on a day trip and spend time as a family!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

A friend contacted in the last few days and told me how much she missed my blogging. Truth is, I miss blogging too! And if this had been this time last year, I'd have plenty excuses as to why I wasn't blogging - busy at the school, PTA President, etc, etc. But I have absolutely NO EXCUSES as to why I shouldn't or couldn't be blogging this year. I wrote her back to say I'd definitely try to be better at it in the New Year. Won't she be surprised when she sees I didn't wait until January 1 to blog. :)

It's the day after Christmas. It was a different Christmas this year, and I have a feeling it's the first of many different Christmases to come in the years ahead. The reasons that made this holiday different don't need to be blogged about, but they did leave me disappointed and sad.

The Christmas Season is my most favorite season of the year, and as I sat here on the couch last night looking at our Christmas tree and it's emptiness below it, as I sat here and watched Rachel playing with one of her new treasures, the overflowing trash cans dragged out to the street, the overflowing fridge of leftovers, I couldn't believe Christmas has come and gone. It was a much shorter season this year with Thanksgiving being so late in the month, so we were 'robbed' of that extra week of the festive season. But it's hard to believe that today is December 26th. Where has the season gone??? Where has 2013 gone???


Steven is on vacation, with the way the holidays fell, he only had to take 4 or 5 days off in order to have 12 days off from work, he'll go back to work on January 2nd. As for the girls, they  have 3 weeks off from school and don't return until January 13th! So just like any other vacation day, our day is starting off slow, relaxing, playing with new toys, watching episodes of Sherlock on Netflix. And me, I'm cleaning up odd and ends, starting to dismantle some of the Christmas decor. Our plans for the rest of the day.... well shopping of course! There's a return to be made, and of course gift cards to be spent! Rachel has made a shopping list and counted all her money and gift cards and she's ready to shop!