Friday, December 28, 2012

Take A Picture of Me!

For the first two years of Peyton's life, she has been an uncooperative model.  Whenever I attempted to take pictures, she quickly managed to look away, sad or angry.  It was a rare moment that I was actually able to capture a good picture.  It annoys me to no end, because I just love ‘perfect pictures’, but simply had to be satisfied with whatever I could manage.
It seems that the times of camera avoidance may be coming to an end.  I find that Peyton is actually starting to pose for pictures.  But only for moment.  That moment probably feels like forever for a two year old though.
Peyton got ahold of some stickers and attached them in a few random places.  Including the middle of her forehead.  I was taking some pictures, and she said,  “Take a picture of me!”
Shocked, I quickly turned to take pictures of her, only to have her run away once again. But… too my surprise, she ran to the tree and stood in front of it.  Then said, “Take a picture of me here!”  Of course I took the moment.  Didn’t get a very good picture with my iphone, but it was a picture nonetheless that she requested.  I feel that the future of good pictures is on the horizon:)

What a cute kid if I must say so myself!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Coming To A Close

Our annual Boxing Day Dinner at my mom’s tonight marks the official end of the 2012 Christmas Season for our family.  It is the last time of over-indulging in food and treats.  Our last family get-together for the year.  As much as I love the time leading up to Christmas.  The days of Christmas.  And everything to do with Christmas.  I am officially done. 

I am looking forward to the remainder of the week.  I took the whole week off just to stay at home with my kids and take care at least one of my DIY projects.  Taking time off and not going away is something I have NEVER done before.  So it should be interesting. 

My goal is to finally complete my Buffet redo.  This piece has been sitting in my garage for the past year, just waiting for some TLC.  I am so looking forward to seeing what I can do with it.  I have a vision of what I hope it will look like at the end.  But… this is my first ever furniture redo.  So, fingers crossed.  I am going to tackle it.  Hope that I can show off a completely transformed Buffet early in the New Year:)

2012 Christmas 108

 2012 Christmas 112

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Eve To Remember

Our day started slowly.  The best way for a Christmas Eve Day to begin.  Our children were so tired from the past few late evenings, they let us sleep in.  We made our way through the morning, and then into the afternoon without too many challenges.

It became noon and we were still moving at a relaxing speed.  We did have a tiny bit of shopping to wrap up the Christmas Gift Giving purchases. I was cringing at the thought of doing any shopping today, but unfortunately it couldn’t be avoided.  Crazily enough, it was peaceful in both the stores we ventured out to. A total shocker!  The two stores I thought would be a disaster were Wal-Mart and Future Shop.  It seems that we made a great decision in strategizing the best time to go out today.  We sailed through our little lists and were quickly headed back for home.

Then it was time to prepare a buffet of goodies for Jeremy’s mom and Trevor to enjoy with us before we headed out to Christmas Eve service.  I took advantage of Peytons mini-nap to get as much done as possible without the usual distractions.

Our guests arrived and we enjoyed a nice late afternoon together before we all got on our way to once again to our yearly tradition of Christmas Eve Service.  We enjoyed some singing, laughter, candle lighting and of course some entertainment from our little ones.  My favorite thing about the service every year is that it is a reminder of to my family of the peace and love of Christ and what it is we celebrate at Christmas.  It brings the season into perspective for me year every year, and it didn’t disappoint once again.

We then went home to spend some more time together and unwrapping some gifts and our Christmas Stockings. And of course a little more eating. The cheer and joy was fantastic.  We all were thrilled with our treats and gifts and went to bed dreaming of a White Christmas.  Well, it is now 12:30 am and the snowflakes haven’t started falling.  Sigh.  What a disappointment:(

Peace on earth, and goodwill to all men!

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Breakfast Denbow Style

The weather today couldn’t have been any better for our fourth annual Denbow Family Christmas Breakfast.  It was sure cold, but the sun was shining which always helps brighten our day.

We had a record breaking amount of people joining us for the yearly tradition. 84 men, women and children in total. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that draws the families from their homes so early on a Saturday morning to take part in a company event.

Is it the promise of the usual delicious buffet, full of fantastic choices?  The games that I plan?  The employee Christmas bonus that gets handed out?  The chocolate the significant others always go home with?  Or the present that all the kids receive?

Maybe it’s simply just getting together with the Denbow Family.  Whatever it is, I sure appreciate seeing all the laughter and joy I see on everyone as they leave with their bellies full and gifts in hand.  I eagerly look forward to planning it all over again next year.

Cheers to hopefully many more mornings like it!


2012 Denbow Christmas (49)

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2012 Denbow Christmas (88)



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Health Challenge Journey

Success in Maintaining

It has been over 9 weeks since I took part in my last Health Challenge Competition.  Because I had so much success and was able to win with perfect points for three challenges in a row, I decided to take a pass on the last one and simply organize it for others.

Many times over the past weeks I wished that I had taken part in the competition because I still have many pounds to go to my final goal.  But, I quickly reminded myself to simply enjoy some well-deserved time off and practice maintaining my current weight.

To my great surprise, I have had no problem maintaining!  I really was worried that I potentially could start swinging up in the wrong direction on the scale.  But after 9 weeks of simply enjoying slight lifestyle improvements that were part of the challenge, I have gained only 3 pounds and held.

This has been so valuable for me. I now know that when I get to my final goal, I am confident that without to great a difficulty, I will be able to stay there. 

For the past 9 weeks I followed some of the Health Challenge guidelines and was relaxed on others.  I made sure to drink my daily water, get my fruits and veggies in, exercise 3 days and week and stay away from eating most times after 8:30.  I was able to re-introduce some treats daily and increase my base calories to a reasonable number.  And still maintain!

I know that I will always need to be mindful of how easy it can be to gain back my weight if I am not a little bit careful.  But after 9 weeks of maintaining I also know that I do have more than enough freedoms also.

Best wishes to all those who are on the same journey I am!



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Health Challenge Journey

Scale OCD

WeighScale, make you cry

“What the heck is scale OCD,”  you might ask? Or you may be saying, “Me Too!”  Scale OCD is when you have an addiction to weighing-in daily.  It probably isn’t a real illness for real, but it sounds good:)

All fitness and weight-loss experts tell us not to use the number on the scale as a guide to how much success we are having at losing or gaining weight.  We’ve all heard the saying, “Muscle weighs more than fat” so it can throw your numbers off.  “Measure your losses by how your clothes are fitting.”  I know these are great tips, but still have a driving need to weigh-in daily.

Long before I even started losing weight I weighed-in daily.  I don’t really know why, because the numbers were doing nothing but going up and down by a pound or so. It was just something I did.

If you are anything like me, it takes a minimum of losing 15 pounds before there is a drop in size of clothing.  That is a whole lot of pounds to wait to know your going in the right direction.  Sure my clothes were slightly getting looser along the way, but I still needed to have a number to see it. Thus, my desire to still use the scale as my guide.

I will say that I have learned an awful lot about how different types of food and hormones will affect my number on the scale daily.  I know that if I eat a chinese food dinner, I will weigh at least 2 pounds heavier the next day.  If I eat a lot of sugary treats after a whole week of none, I will weigh at least 2 pounds heavier the next day.  At a certain time in a month, I will weigh in at least 2 pounds heavier the next day.

The great thing about weighing in daily, is that I am no longer surprised by ‘jumps’ on the scale, therefore I no longer get frustrated and just quite trying to lose.  And that is why I accept that I have Scale OCD, and am not looking for any interventions:)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Health Journey

What make The Health Challenge work?

Probably the biggest driving force behind my success in finally losing weight, and a lot of it,  was that there was an opportunity to win some money. 

Really, that’s it?  For me that was most certainly the first contributor.   The next reason was that it was a simple plan to follow and only cost me twenty-five dollars.  Following that was the fact that I would be on the journey with others and accountable to them.

When I started my first Health Challenge I was easily sixty pounds overweight.  I was healthy but unfit.  I was not as mobile as I would have liked to be when it came to playing with my kids.  My feet and my back also always hurt.

When people ask me what it is about the Health Challenge that makes many people who take part in it be successful I like to point out the following:

1) Drinking 8 cups of water- easy once you get used to it and certainly helped my joints.  I bought a water-bottle that I liked to drink from.  I also drank a full 3 cups 1st thing in the am and always had a full water-bottle with me.  I easily got into the habit of drinking up to 12 cups daily.  And I was a serious non-water drinker prior to the challenges.

2) Staying away from all ‘treats’ except for 1 day per week.  Was very challenging for me because I love my treats.  But I simply saved all my favorite things for my 1 treat day.  It helped me mentally get through the next week, knowing I just had to wait ‘6 sleeps’.  I only purchased snacks for my family that I didn’t love.  This helped to keep the temptations away from home.

3) Exercise- making the time was a challenge at times.  But I did find that I started to enjoy exercising with my kids.  Biking, walking and hiking.  It also got my kids off the couch. The trick was to pre-plan the ‘when’, or it wouldn’t happen.

4) Getting all my fruits and veggies was also a slight challenge in the beginning.  I had always thought I ate enough of these until I had to track them.  I was quickly informed that I was lucky to get in 2 servings prior to the challenge.  I made sure to set myself up for success by preparing all my veggies and fruits in the am.  I kept it simple by including an apple which is always easy to grab.  Also I would chop fresh veggies up and make a simple salad.  If I didn’t quite get enough in, I would drink a glass of V8 Low Sodium Tomato juice.

5) Tracking my food and exercise via ‘My Fitness Pal’ app was fantastic.  It kept track of my calories for me and how much protein, fats and carbs I was consuming.  This helped keep me dialed in to the right foods to eat.

6) The last very positive thing to contribute to my health loss was the tool of Facebook.  Just being encouraged by what others were going through and writing about was very motivating.  The tips were also very helpful.

My hope that everyone gives the Health Challenge a real effort.  Not every week will be as good as the last, but keeping the eye on the end goal is always key.  If the end goal takes longer, it OK.  Just as long as each foot steps in front of the other, week by week, that goal can always be reached.



Monday, September 24, 2012

My Health Challenge Journey

Part 2

It seems to me that I have probably tried every weight loss program, food, shake or pill out there.  OK, I am sure I didn’t even come close, but I certainly tried many things.

I spent many dollars on these trends and all with the same result.  Little or no weight lost.  And a wallet a little lighter.  I am not saying that many of these programs didn’t have the potential to help me lose weight, I just simply didn’t.

I lacked the will-power needed to stay on any program or diet.  I needed to see results quickly.  I also have a body-type that does not let go of the pounds very easy, thus I would quickly get frustrated and quite whatever I was trying at the time. 

If I were to total the cost of all the things I tried, it would be embarrassingly high.

Jenny Craig twice, Sure-Slim, Herbal Magic, Nutri-system, and Herbal Life.  Weight Watchers twice.  This ‘magic shake’ and then another kind.  PGX, and and a few other supplements.  Even the Soup Diet.  The total of all these easily adds up to $4000.00 over a fifteen year period. 

I am not saying that some of these programs are not good.  They just simply were not good for me.  The only one I had any success on was Jenny Craig.  At a cost of at least $800.00 over the course of two months, and a twelve pound loss.   Jenny Craig was the only real loss I had seen on any of these programs.

This past Spring I received an invitation to  ‘The Health Challenge’.  I was intrigued by the word  ‘competition’.  So I read a little further. 

The Health Challenge seemed very simple.  No ‘special dieting’ and no ‘special pill’.  Everything that was involved simply promoted a healthy lifestyle.  One that included following the Canada Food Guidelines as well as adding in some exercise.  Very simple. No nonsense.  I accepted the challenge.

I joined my very first Health Challenge this past Spring.  I have since competed in two more and am still loving it.  Currently, I am not competing in a Health Challenge, but I am enjoying taking my turn in the organization of Health Challenge #4.

I am really enjoying sitting back a little and encouraging others along the way.  I have to admit that the competition of it all is certainly more of a motivator for me and Ilook forward to taking part in the next one.  For now, I will continue to live my ‘new healthy lifestyle’ and make small steps forward.

Best wishes to you all. Hope you all stay motivated and accept that small steps forward are just as good as the big ones!




Monday, September 17, 2012

My Health Challenge Journey

Part 1

My story goes back many years.  It starts about the time when I was a pre-teen.  Prior to my teens I as a healthy and active person whom absolutely loved sports.  I was always out there with the boys at lunch break playing whatever sport was going on.

Then came the pre-teen years.  I ate more and slept more, becoming far less active.  It started to become socially unacceptable to hang out with the boys, so I was left just hanging out with the girls just chatting and probably playing those hand and string games.  You know the ones:)

I steadily got heavier through high-school.  Not that I had become severely obese or anything, just past the ‘healthy’ range.  Then came graduation and the start of University.  I settled into a weight that was still not obese, but about 30 pounds overweight.

I stayed at this weight until my early to mid-twenty’s at which time I decided to take control of my weight by loads of exercise.  I got to the fittest that I had been since I was a pre-teen and stayed there for about three years.  I worked a lot.  Slept little.  Ate little.  Exercised at the gym a lot.  All those things together contributed to a wonderful twenty pound loss and I loved it.

Then I got married.

It seemed the day after I said ‘I do’ I gained weight steadily.  Seriously.  I gained five pounds alone on our honeymoon and it didn’t stop there.  By the time I had been married 1 year, I had re-gained the twenty pounds that I had lost three years prior. 

Then came my second year of marriage.  And another twenty pounds.  Wow, they were just piling on.  Why?  I was married.  So, I worked less. Ate more. Exercised less and just was less active overall.

My third year of marriage, I got pregnant with Cayden.  Through my pregnancy I gained more weight and did not lose all of it following his birth.  As a matter of fact, I gained even more.  I had reached the point of gaining another twenty pounds on top of the previous forty.

My story is not different from many.  My biggest personal difficultly was that my weight gain was so contradictory to who I was.  Through University I was studying Human Kinetics.  At the time I had planned to become a Phys-Ed and French teacher.  I was also a sports fanatic.  I played any sport I could when the opportunity would arise.   But here I was not fitting the ‘profile’ of an athletic person.

Here is a picture of me of the past.


Here is a picture of me now. Still not quite done.



I am so excited to share my story. Back in the day I would never have the guts to share something so personal. But I am happy to share because I finally have something to celebrate! So how did I do it?  I’ll share in ‘Part 2’.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

This Little Word Of Mine

I have been working on establishing goals for the year 2012.  The goals I am working on affect three aspects of my life. Mind, body and soul. 

So far I have established the specific goals relating to my body. I am proud to say that I have been successful thus far. I have been training for the 10 km runs in my awesome new shoes.  Consuming much more water and less coffee. And incorporating more veggies and fruit into my day.

I look forward to writing about the goals that I have set relating to my mind and soul.  But for now, I want to write about “This Little Word of Mine”


If applied: It is this word that is going to help me succeed at living out my goals.  The word is… Discipline.

Discipline can be defined as the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state. Qualities associated with discipline include willpower, hard work, and persistence.


This is gonna be a great year!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Me Today


i was … just thinking about how I need to be better about journaling about all the cute things my kids say and do.

i am … exactly between 30 and 40.

i think … I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people in my real life.

i wonder … how much more I would do if I got out of bed earlier.

i wish … I spent more time praying.

i save … spaghetti jars and toilet paper tubes in case I ever get the ambition turn them into something cool.

i always … crave a little ‘alone’ time.

i can't imagine … life without my awesome husband and super cute kids.

i believe … everybody's story is worth recording.

i promise … I really got a D in High School sewing class.

i love … home.

I want… to spend more time creating beautiful things.

i scrap …but only a little. But have a growing desire to get involved in ‘Project Life’ with Becky Higgins.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Runners “Tool Of Trade”

I do not boast of having a number of shoes like many women can.  Mostly I can be seen wearing a pair of running shoes.  Not because they make such a fantastic fashion statement, but I simply like to be confortable.

My ritual is to replace these at least once a year.  Not because I want to go and blow a bunch of money over at my favorite shoe store, The Running Room, but because I have to.  In well under a year I turn a very good looking running shoe into one that looks like it had been hauled out of the nearest dumpster. I manage to stretch my new purchase to as close to a year as possible simply because I am cheap.  Also known as frugal.



So off to The Running Room I went. To give my new goal of training to run a couple 10K runs a fresh start in a new pair of running shoes.

After at least six years of purchasing the exact same shoe, the Asics 2160, I wanted to break the cycle and try something new.  A brand new pair of Nike’s.


A couple of runs, indoors on a treadmill,  I came to a realization that these certainly were not the shoes for me!  My feet were in so much pain.  So, back in the box these Nike’s went, and back to The Running Room to test out their trade-in policy.

After a quick check-over by the saleslady, off we went to look for another new pair of shoes.  I tried a few different brands of shoes.  Found a few that seemed to fit my finicky feet well.  After a final decision, I spent even more than usual on a new pair of Asics.  My usual shoe but in top model.  Unfortunately these even cost more than the usual. 


Well, I haven’t gotten to try these out yet.  Tomorrow is the day for these babies to go for there first test drive.  I am really hoping that I come home with happy feet.  I don’t want to  have to take yet another trip to The Running Room. I really wish I could just throw on just any pair of runners.  Would be a pocketbook saver as well as a time saver.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First 2012 Resolution-Health

One stage of my personal transformation for the year 2012 involves many aspects of health.  From healthy eating,  more water, and an  increase in physical fitness.  With discipline, I will face and challenge myself in all my goals.

This is fairly broad I know. But I do have some pretty specific and attainable goals for the year.

The goal that appears the easiest is drinking more water.  Should be easy, but won’t be for me.  Drinking lots of coffee and almost no water is an everyday occurrence for me, so this goal will be challenging.

My new rule is that for every cup of coffee I want to drink.  I must drink two glasses of water.  Whew,  thinking that I may need to move my office nearer to the bathroom:) Glass-Coffee-Set

Another goal involves healthy eating.  I am most certainly not the most unhealthy eater, but really could handle eating more fruits and veggies and a few less sweet treats.  So, I’m going to have my daily checklist include some extra portions of these.

I now start the day with an apple first thing in the morning.    My rule created for myself will be that in order to have my favorite lunch, toast topped with some heavenly jam, I will have had to eat my veggies.  Wow.  Now I know firsthand how my son feels with the rules I make for him. 


Physical fitness is probably one of the highest priorities for me.  I have been enjoying playing on some women's hockey and soccer teams this past year, but have been limited in my success in both by my fitness level.  I want to be able to run up and down the field with speed and finesse and without hacking and wheezing after a play.

In order to tackle this goal, I have entered the 10km run in the race “Run For Water” in May.  I figure that since I have to pay to register for the race, I’m going to want to get my money’s worth by actually competing in it.  I will also be kept motivated by my cousin who is also running the race. 


Though 2012 is very young, I have faced each day with discipline, but without perfection.  I am human, after all.


The Tree of 2012


The time honored tradition of every New Year is to start the year by making a goal or list of goals in an attempt to improve oneself. The time honored tradition of every New Year’s goal or resolution is to forget about it.

It was best said by Eric Zorn this way. “Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility.  Breaking them is part of the cycle.”

Why are New Years goals so difficult to keep?  My opinion is simply this: discipline. Specifically, a lack of discipline.  For certain the ‘goal-breaker’.

I am visualizing my goal setting for 2012 as the image of a tree.  The trunk of the tree is “Discipline”.  There are three broad areas of my personal goals, the branches which are each individually labeled   Heart, Body and Mind.  Each of these branches has a few specific twigs labeled with my goals for the year.

So why am I approaching this time-honored tradition of setting New Years goals with such seriousness?  Is it because I am unhappy?  Or maybe, dissatisfied with my life?

Most certainly not.  I have been blessed tremendously and have no desire to changed it.  Just improve it.  I have to admit that I have become very complacent in the past years.  I have not challenged myself and feel that I am simply going-with-the-flow.  The year 2011 was a wonderful year.  I am looking forward to the year 2012 being even better.