January 1, 2015

2014 In Review

Happy New Year!

2014 was a BIG year for our family.  No, no additions were added and none are expected.  At least, not for us!

Our year in Review (Super Long Post Warning!!):

January 2014 - This was the month I decided to take my life back.  I wanted to get healthy and lose some weight in the process.  So starting at the end of January, I began a new 'healthstyle' journey.  I set 3 small goals that would lead to 1 ultimate goal.  My first goal?  Lose 10 pounds in 3 months. And just for the record, I was currently wearing a size 14 pants and mostly XL shirts.

My kiddo made the A Honor Roll for the first semester of 1st grade.  Proud Mama.  Same smart kid also turned 7!  And I gave her strep for her birthday (I know, I'm awesome!) so we had to reschedule her party for a few weeks later. She was able to donate a TON of stuff to Batson Children's Hospital again.

February 2014 - We had the MS blizzard of 2014. 

And yes, my kids were out of school for 2 days because of this. It was 'worse' south of town, apparently. 

We baked.

And rode horses at Meme's.

March 2014 - This month started with the Run Thru History (WALK).  I enjoyed this race but this was the day I decided I would start back running and WILL run the 6.2 mile (HORRIBLY TOUGH) race in 2015.

We also took Big Sister to yet another concert. She's seen more concerts in her 7 years than I think I have in my 30 something (we'll just leave it at that!).

She was mostly excited to see Jamie Grace and Third Day! Me too....

We finally made it over to Jackson for our Batson delivery.  And we brought cousin Hayes for a lunch and movie after!

This was also the month I went to NYC for the first time.  Oh, and I had reached my 1st goal of 10 pounds lost by the time we left for NYC!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had the BEST time in New York. It was a JAM PACKED 4 days of travel and sights and soooooo much fun.

I didn't get to see my boyfriend, Jimmy, but this would have to do.

We say Jersey Boys, which is a MUST for NYC.

Central Park too!

9-11 Memorial. Unreal.

Dessert at Sardi's after seeing Phantom.  We ran into Joan Rivers here.  Little did we know, she would not live to see 2015. So sad.

Another bucketlist item checked off! The Today Show!!!!

We are really BFFs, he just doesn't know it yet.

April 2014 - Now, I was into phase 2 of my 'healthstyle' journey.  The goal was to lose another 10 pounds by  July 4th. Swimsuit season. UGH. I've never been a big fan of the swimsuit.

We got last minute tickets to another concert - Kari Jobe and Rend Collective. So much fun!

This was HUGE month for Big Sister.  After many questions, she told our Children's Director at church that was she ready to ask Jesus into her heart and get baptized.  Talk about emotional.  There is nothing better than seeing your child make that decision.  I hope we have laid the foundation for her to have a child-like faith for all of her years.

We also had a pretty bad storm where the girls and I hid in the closet. We looked outside to see this.  We were happy everyone was ok but sooooo upset about our pool that was only a year old.  Boooo. Daddy won't let us replace it.

Big Sister and I also made a trip to Starkville for Super Bulldog Weekend.  I ran my 1st 5K in MANY years (and had a pretty decent finish) and then we visited with friends, watched LOTS of baseball and some football and met a few baseball players AND run the bases at Dudy Noble!

We also celebrated a great Easter! 

May 2014 -  On May 18, 2014, my daughter was baptized.  Pretty special day. Hard to top that day for this year, or ever.

I did get to have lunch with some special Bulldog friends, coaches, and Golden Egg! Glad I got a picture with it before it went back to TSUN, temporarily! 


We spent a few weekends at the lake with best friends!

We had another Awards Day for my All A student!

We had a movie and splash park play date with a buddy on the last day of 1st grade.

We sooooo loved our 1st grade teachers!

We enjoyed our annual Memorial Day fun with cousins!

June 2014 - Big Sister had a big first week of June.  She attended Winshape Camp (started by Chick-Fil-A founder) that was held in town for the first time.  Also, that week, she attended Weird Animals VBS at my Mother in Law's church. She was pretty won out by the end of the week.

We all (and yes Tate was there too) attended Ms. Ellie's and Mr. Hunter's wedding.  These kids were crazy but the wedding was the sweetest one I have EVER seen.

I ran the 4 Miles for Missions race in Clinton. They provided childcare so I took my kids with me for this night race.  It.Was.HOOOOOTTTT. My time was terrible because it was soooooo stinkin' hot BUT Big Sister got to see me cross the finish line and take my picture.  Did I mention it was hot? We had a fun time though (minus the HEAT, I mean HELLO, it's JUNE in MS!).

Hubby and I celebrated 12 years of wedded bliss.  We went to church and I took Big Sister to camp because that's how we roll now.  Nah, our cruise in Nov. was how we celebrated, sans kids.

Big Sister was sooooo excited to spend an entire WEEK at Warner-Tully camp.  She was not old enough last year for a full week. Her and a buddy were 'cabin mates' and luckily my friend was the nurse that week and constantly text us pictures.  I used to go as s kid and this place is soooo much fun.

While 1 kid was gone, I went to see the International Ballet Competition with some friends in Jackson. LOVE these 3 ladies!!

After these 2 were reunited, 

we headed to Lake Bruin for my work party.
My kids love this party.

We were already exhausted from our summer with another month or so to go!

July 2014 - July 4th was the 2nd phase of my 'healthstyle' journey.  While I did not reach my goal of 10 more pounds lost, I did lose 8 more pounds.  By this time, I was starting to get rid of clothes and now wearing a Large top and all those old size 12 jeans that I had saved for all these years thinking one day I would wear them again.

The last phase would be to lose 12 pounds by our cruise Nov. 1.  I knew this would be a serious uphill climb as it gets harder and harder to lose the less you have to lose!

I ran another 5K with my friends in Jackson that was soooooo much fun. GREAT weather for July 4 in MS. Plus, all the watermelon you could eat. What's not to love? Plus, we all had pretty good times!

We spent the rest of the 4th with this crazy crew.

 And had our own parade! 

Then, a few days later, we went to the (always WARM, read HOT) Miss MS parade. Kids are thrilled, can't you tell?  In one's words, "It's just another pretty girl! Where is the candy?"

August 2014 - We decided to have one more fun day of summer with the 'big kids.' That whole day was a comedy of errors and laughter. Although it didn't turn out as we expected, we definitely had some laughs! Best end of summer trip EVER (that NONE of them said).

Big Sister started 2nd grade.

And Baby Sister turned THREE.  Still in denial about this.  She's my baby and will stay that way!

She had a fun pancakes and pajamas party with mostly family a a few friends from her class.

She also enjoyed some donuts on her actual birthday! (Is it bad that they know us by name at this donut shop??)

Big Sister lost LOTS of teeth this year.

And we celebrated the start of football season!

September 2014 - This is the month that the Hubby and I both celebrated birthdays.  Again, we didn't really do much to celebrate as that is what part of our cruise was for.

We celebrated the true end of summer with one last dip in Nana's pool, while they were out gallivanting in Alaska!

We cheered our Bulldogs to MANY victories this month!

We celebrated a special 1st birthday of a nephew with a tailgating party (and cheering to ANOTHER victory).

Ran another 5K and had a GREAT time and really thought I had finally placed in my age group. WRONG. 5th in my very difficult age bracket.  This was also the 1st race in my 'new' age category.

LOVE my running ladies!

We showed off our muscles!

October 2014 - This was another month of firsts! Our Bulldogs reached the #1 ranking in NCAA football!  College Game Day came to Starkville!  We were #1 in the first ever College playoff projections.  I ran a 5 mile race. I bought some new clothes (well, not for the first time but in this new size!).

We went to yet another concert! Mercy Me, Love and the Outcome, Colton Dixon and more.

This was the first month that I bought a Medium shirt and a size 10 pair of pants. EVER. Or at least that I can remember.

And we went to the Pumpkin Patch. It was hot there too.

We celebrated Halloween. A lot.

We finished up our 7th or 8th soccer season (WOW).

November 2014 - The month of our cruise.  We planned for this for over a year.  I set a goal to lose 30 pounds before we left.  Well, I did not meet that goal but was only short by 5 pounds. When Nov. 1 rolled around, I had lost 25 pounds and was wearing medium shirts and dresses and size 8 or 10 pants!  I was able to borrow some clothes from my BFF before the cruise since I had no money to buy new ones with!  Will give a full update at the end of this never-ending post.

I've post all the pics from the cruise (or enough of them!) on the blog so no need to do that again (especially since it took me 2 months to do 7 posts!).

Big Sister and I went to ANOTHER concert (I had no idea we went to 4 this year! I didn't even go to 4 when I was in college for 4 years!). All Sons and Daughters and Crowder.  Lots of fun.

Then these best buddies came to our house for a visit!

I went to meet 2 blog friends with my Sister in Law and a good friend.  These 2 were hilarious and we had a great time, despite the awful weather.

I ran another race.  This time it was a 12K, which is 7.4 miles.  I was nervous about this one since it was the longest I had ever run. I signed up before the cruise because I knew it would be motivation to not just EAT the entire cruise (which I did but threw in a little exercise!).  I finished with a great time of 1 hour and 12 minutes.  The last half of a mile was the WORST because it was ALL uphill.  It was super fun race for a good cause and I didn't have to walk any.  I will be back again (I hope) next year.

I have zero pictures from Thanksgiving but we did have it! Promise!

December 2014 - We had a FEW plays to attend or be in this year.

My owl

"It's not about the presents."

With special appearance by Mary and Joseph.

Christmas was fun with these 2 this year. Well, we had to have a nice little chat about being grateful for what we have!

I wrote this post in January about resolutions and what I wanted for 2014.  I'd like to say I've done a pretty good job on those.  For the first time ever, I've actually stuck with my resolutions.  I guess because I used a word and not a resolution. Intentional.  I think I nailed that one, for the most part. There is always room for improvement.

As for my 'healthstyle,' this is where I made the biggest improvement that I am most proud of.  Since the end of January, I have lost 25 pounds (at my highest, with the cruise and holidays I've managed to find a few I misplaced).  My body composition has decreased from 35.5 to 32.1.  My BMI is decreased 3.7%, which puts me almost at a normal range.  I have lost a total of 5 inches from my waist.  This is HUGE.  This is why I have needed so many new clothes!  My heart rate recovers 42% better now than in did in January.  My per minute race mile has decreased to under 10 minutes (12K race was 9:45 per mile) which is HUGE too. I wondered if I would ever break a 10 minute mile when I started running in March.

Big Sister requests asparagus as a snack sometimes.  That's what I'm most proud of.  I'm teaching my kids better habits.

Although, I didn't reach the final goal, I'm happy with my progress.  And I know that I am not finished. I won't ever be finished. I look forward to buying even more new clothes.  I'm, weird.  Every time I go to the bathroom, I glance at the size on my pants just because sometimes I still don't believe I can wear a size 8 skinny jean! But I do.

Thanks for traveling on this journey with my family and I. I can't promise I will be a better blogger in 2015 but I will try.

Oh, and I am also proud to say that I have not set foot in a single Walmart in 2014.  With no intentions of every going in ours in town.  I do shop at Sam's so I can't say I haven't spent any money with them.

Don't get me wrong. These are just the highlights. We have had our share of low-lights as well.  We've had friends going through crap, we know people who have been given diagnoses that no one wants, we have made some serious financial decisions, our girls FIGHT like sisters but we choose to focus on the positives.
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