Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What's Up Doc?

I am just in a routine with life right now (or rut, depending on how you think about it).  I feel like it's all work, sleep, exercise, eat, work, eat, sleep, REPEAT these days. There are pros and cons to that I suppose.

The Thanksgiving Holiday was fantastic and fantastically busy around the Helen household.  We spent T-Day itself with Mr. Helen's side of the family.  I contributed homemade potato rolls, this delicious roasted butternut squash and red potato dish, and Ina Garten's Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake.  Mr. Helen loved the vegetables so much he asked me to make another batch to go with our "leftover" turkey dinner.  (It's not really leftover, I just make us our own turkey breast every year to have a dinner and sandwiches.)

Friday we avoided all shopping and spent the morning lazing around waiting for Little Helen to arrive, followed by a trip to the winery to pick up our Grape Nuts shipment.  This might be becoming an annual tradition with us!

Saturday, Little Helen and I went out to Macy's briefly just to check out the door buster deals and I think I found my upcoming holiday party dress.  I leave the tags on thereby leaving my options open!  Mostly we wanted to shop local for Small Business Saturday - we weren't really shopping for anything in particular, just wanting to support the small businesses.  I found this adorable miniature Nativity ornament carved from alabaster at our Fair Trade store - for only $4.98 I couldn't resist.

In the afternoon we went and looked at yet another venue for the wedding.  They are just having a super hard time deciding.  They really did love this place, so fingers (and toes) crossed.  I am worried at this point they are going to run into other obstacles like being able to coordinate a caterer, photographer, and all the other miscellaneous things with the date.  We really feel like our lives are on hold so we wish they'd make a decision!

Sunday I worked for four hours at my part time job and then came home and took down all the fall decorations and replaced them with Christmas stuff.  It was a particularly balmy day so Mr. Helen took advantage of the fact that he had the day off and got all the outside lights done as well.  This weekend we'll get the tree and then that's done.  I have only begun to shop and I can see it's going to be a bit tedious this year as I try to fit it in between the two jobs. The mall has regular hours for this week then beginning next week the hours extend.  I am NOT looking forward to getting home at 11 PM but thankfully that will be over soon!

I am one of those people who love when a Monday and a 1st of a new month happen on the same day so I spent quite a bit of time reflecting on where I am emotionally and physically right now.  I have to say emotionally I'm just in a pretty good place.  I feel much more content than I have in a while, even with the uproar of two job and the wedding.  Maybe it's because I'm slowly learning to let some things go and also learning to better care for myself.

Physically I'm still having issues with my back.  Frustrating because I honestly feel one more shot would do the trick for me (I have that almost there/healed feeling) but they changed our insurance plan this year and each time I get the shot I will have a co-pay of $500 so that's not in the cards right now.

Other than that I think I mostly have mid-life stuff going on - various aches and pains for whatever reason, inconsistent sleep, and what seems to be some arthritis in both of my thumbs (that's my next doctor appt.).

Exercise wise, I am almost done with Neila Rey's 90 day strength program.  This program was not linear like my 30 day challenge because I decided to purposefully have some no exercise days.  But I am doing her workouts at least 5 days a week and doubling some of them up to try to stay on track.

Running is fine - like most runners I have good days and bad.   The Neila Rey program has had me walking at least once a week for a totally low impact day and that has reminded me how much I enjoy walking for exercise.  Thanksgiving morning I did 3.2 miles in 45 minutes.  That's a pretty good clip for a walk.

Eating wise, I continue to allow myself to have whatever I want and continue to find I just don't want some things nearly as much as I thought I would.  I am not losing weight, but I'm not gaining either and while that is a major victory, I've decided that without counting or prohibiting, I am going to try cutting portions a bit more.  Almost like a challenge to see how little I can eat and be satisfied and fuel enough for exercise.  I'm hoping it will bring about some weight loss but I'm just not sure how my middle aged, hypothyroid body will respond.  I have a HUGE desire to weigh at least 30 pounds less than I think I weigh right now (haven't been on the scale in a long, long time) before Little Helen gets married, so it can't hurt to try that. I'm not afraid I'll go overboard or feel deprived since that feeling has just disappeared for me when it comes to food.

Also, I think I have become the crockpot queen as of late.  That appliance is saving my butt with all the working I'm doing and it's keeping us eating healthy.  I made a crockpot bolognese that we ate on Saturday evening and Little Helen's fiance turned to her and said, "Get this recipe, it tastes so good it's in the spiritual category."  She looked at me and said, "Add crockpot to my Christmas list."

Stay tuned - I'll share that recipe later this week.


  1. Funny how routine and rut can mean the same thing, but it's all in how you perceive it. Still, if things are going smoothly, I'll always take that over chaos.

    Grape Nuts - took me a second but that name cracks me up! :)

    My friend got engaged and has been ON IT with wedding planning - I told her she's like a real-life Pinterest board for me, because when we run she tells me all that she's found and decided on. I suspect she's not the norm, though...it will be a relief for you, I know, when your wedding peeps finally pin some details down.

    Huzzah for feeling good about your life in general! How wonderful to finally be at that place, eh? :) :) :)

    Oh - loved the crockpot comment...Little Helen is funny!

  2. I like that you are feeling more content. That just is a good way to live.

    Will you still be working at the mall after the holiday?

    1. I suspect I will. I was technically hired as a seasonal employee but 2 people quit right after I was hired so we are just basically staffed right now - no seasonal employees and too late to hire them because of the training. My own plan is to work there for a while - lots of life events coming that could use the cash influx. I actually like the job and the hours won't be so crazy after the next few weeks.

  3. I loved the nativity ornament, I've bookmarked the squash/potato recipe, and I am anxiously awaiting the crockpot bolognese recipe!

  4. Looks like life is busy but good for you Helen. Nothing wrong with routine, better than stress.

    Girl 3,1 miles in 45 minutes for a walk is great! You really walk fast. It takes me around 1 hour to do that but I have the excuse that Bella is always with me and doggies need to stop every now and then :) Since I started walking more this year, I can honestly say I love it. The past months I haven't walked that long but I'm going to start fresh next year. Already have planned a long week for almost every weekend then.

    Anyway it's great to hear you are doing fine and happy and hopefully the physical aches disappear soon.

  5. All hail the crockpot Queen!! I curtsy to you!

  6. Thanks for this week Helen - the flowers are beautiful and it was so nice of you guys to think of me - hugs!

    p.s. can't wait for the crock pot bolognese recipe! Biz