Friday, June 28, 2013

Week 18 Weigh-In

Last week I weighed in at 155.8 and today I weigh in at


Well, what do you know? I thought I was going one step forward, two steps back, but it looks like I've stayed stable. Quite uplifting, considering how I totally gave up on this week. Here's to getting back on track!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Night Before Week 18 Weigh-In

It ain't happenin' this week. Just ain't.

I haven't had a week like this yet. I totally stopped tracking my points around Monday or Tuesday so I don't know how much I've eaten. I lost my ActiveLink monitor for a day or two, so I knew my activity points were going to be off. I basically just gave up this week.

I think I'm having retroactive issues from when our whole house went off-kilter a couple of weeks ago. Or maybe I'm eating my emotions after the Spurs' loss. More likely is that I'm just exhausted and stressed.

I spent four days in Dallas at an interpreting conference, which was AWESOME. I loved all the workshops, loved seeing my old friends from SLIS in College Station and really felt productive. I even got to have lunch with one of my favorite high school friends, so all in all it was wonderful. But being out of town meant we had to come back in town, and this week has consisted of getting ready for another trip. Lots of loads of laundry, unpacking, repacking, grocery shopping, list-making, and by the end of the night, I'm just spent. Poor Brandon has wanted to watch all the Best Pictures that we own but hadn't watched yet, and I fell asleep during all three of them. This is a very un-Tracey thing to do. And then the two top stressors right now:

1) Brooklyn had a terrible reaction to something at my parents' house, so off to allergy testing we went. It will take me less time to tell you what she ISN'T allergic to, but I'll spare you. We're off for round two tomorrow to make sure all the negatives are really negatives. Then we'll see what else has to be done.
2) I do not have my original service records from when I worked at Needville. They say they were sent to me, but I don't have them. And I keep everything. EVERYTHING. There is not one other piece of paperwork from NISD missing, and I have gone through every folder, envelope and binder that has paper in it in this house. Add to that that I don't even know what it looks like and I'm 100% sure I never got it in the first place. My guess? It was sent to an old address and got lost in the mail. Wouldn't be the first time. We have moved twice since I resigned, anyway. All this to say that if I don't have my service record, I don't get paid what I'm owed. I'll be two steps down the ladder than where I'm supposed to be because I won't get credit for the two years I've already worked. TEACHERS DON'T MAKE MUCH AS IT IS, so I certainly want what I have earned.

Anyway, I should be cleaning up, considering my parents are coming tomorrow and so is my friend Paige to babysit Peyton, but I'm not. Please, guys, don't judge me by the pieces of granola bar that are stuck to the carpet. It's been a long week/month/year.

But a weight loss this week? Impossible. See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Little Insight Into Our Marriage

Every so often, Brandon and I will be having a conversation and it'll get to a point where one of us will say something so outrageous that the other responds with something along the lines of, "There's another sentence no one has ever spoken before!"

Here's a little peek into our lives:

Me: (while unpacking) Aw man, that was my loofah that was in the upstairs bathroom at your parents' house.

Brandon: Why didn't you just take it? We're the only ones who use that bathroom anymore anyway.

Me: Because it's something you use to wash all over your body with. What if it had been someone else's? I am not comfortable with that.

Brandon: I see. If there's one thing you don't want to be rubbing your body on, it's the German Air Force.

Me: *pause* What?

Brandon: The lufwaffe is the German Air Force. It's part of World War II curriculum.

Me: Okay, there's a sentence that no one has ever spoken before: 'If there's one thing you don't want to be rubbing your body on, it's the German Air Force'.

Brandon: No, that has been said before.

Me: Has not.

Brandon: Yes, it has.

Me: No, it hasn't!

Brandon: Some other history teacher has said that to his wife before, I guarantee it. What does lufwaffe sound like?

Me: Loofah.

Brandon: Some other wife has left their loofah somewhere and complained to their history teacher husband, and he's come to the conclusion that there's one thing you just don't want to be involved in your showering experience:

Both: The German Air Force.

I told my dad last week that Brandon and I were cool borderline dorky, and he said he was pretty sure we had crossed that line. He might be right.



(There's a difference.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Week 17 Weigh-In!

It's a good thing that I had a nice weight loss this week, because the Spurs had a couple of not so nice losses this week that make me want to cry. But I digress.

Last week I weighed in at 157.6 and this week I weigh in at...

155.8! Sorry there's no picture. I'll take one, but I didn't bring my camera connection with me to Dallas this weekend so I'll be late adding it. I also weighed in on Wednesday instead of today because I didn't want to bring my scale with me. It just seems like a precarious item to just have bouncing around in a suitcase.

I also finished my 12-week Active Link Challenge, where I was slowly ramping up my activity level to burn more calories and live a healthier lifestyle. I earned 254 Activity Points by going above and beyond the base line of activity expected for someone my gender, height and weight, and achieved an average of 112% of my goal each day. Those are some big awesome numbers, and I am so much more full of energy than I used to be. It's awesome.

I'm extremely pleased with this week's weight loss of 1.8 pounds because it allowed me to hit TWO milestones:
1) 25 pounds lost (25.2, but who's counting? Hahaha. I AM!)
2) HALFWAY to my goal weight!

But really, I'm just still bummed about the Spurs.


Monday, June 17, 2013

And Now, the Rest of the Story

On Sunday the 9th, our First Family came over for lunch, like we always do on the second Sunday of the month. We opened the blinds to see the rain while we ate and were enjoying our time together when there was a lightning bolt, a thunder strike, a loud POP and all our lights went out. A transformer must have blown, was the consensus. Luckily, only one of the kids was upset by this and since our blinds were already open we had enough light to eat by until Brandon went outside to flip the breakers. No blown transformer, but still quite an eventful moment in our lunch.

And now, in the famous words of Paul Harvey, the rest of the story.

First, Brandon decided to show some of the guys an app on Xbox Live when he noticed that the lights on our router weren't even coming on. Our router was fried. Yikes. So once everyone left, Brandon went to Best Buy to buy a new router. Except that...

Second, our garage door wouldn't open. No power to anything in the garage. No lights, no garage motor. So, he had to open it manually to travel to get a new router. When he got home, he started to set up the new router. He couldn't get it set up using his computer, so he asked for mine. My computer was dead, so he plugged it in. Except that...

Third, my computer wouldn't charge. "Was your charger plugged into the wall during the storm?", he asks me. Yep. Luckily, my computer wasn't, but the charger was definitely fried. I ask my dad what happened and he tells me we should call Comcast and ask them to send our modem a reset signal to fix things. So we do. Except that...

Fourth, it didn't work. So we have to have a technician sent out to fix the modem. Or possibly have it replaced. By this time, we notice we haven't heard any beeping all day. Normally, we don't want to hear beeps. Except that...

Fifth, we are supposed to hear beeps when our doors open because we have a security system on our house. Which is obviously off because of this storm. You would think this would be the last of our problems. Except that...

Sixth, by this time we notice our house has been getting progressively hotter. It has now reached 79 degrees and we realize that our A/C is out too. And that this is going to be one long, rough week.

How about a timeline to explain the rest of the week?

All of the above
10:30- We go to sleep with every fan on. It reaches 80 but we grin and bear it.

It gets hotter and hotter during the day.
11:30- We escape to the mall to get out of the heat and buy a new charger. That plus the router makes two down, four to go.
2:00- We get home for naps. The temperature is still rising.
4:30- Without internet and A/C we decide to go somewhere with WiFi and a cool place for Brooklyn to play. Chick-Fil-A it is. Of course, we pick the one Chick-Fil-A without WiFi, and Brooklyn does nothing but sit next to me in the play area. Fail.
6:00- We head to the Speights' for the evening. We've got to get out of the house until late at night when our house is cooled off. They offer for us to spend the night, but out of shyness and pride perhaps, we decline.
10:30- Arrive home to a house that is still 81 degrees. We sleep, but not great.

8:00- Brandon goes to work. Lucky him gets to be in the A/C all day. Our A/C is supposed to get fixed sometime between 9 and 6 today.
9:00- I make the executive decision that we need to be anywhere but here and shamelessly invite ourselves over to all friends' houses in the general vicinity. Somewhere close so I can rush home in a moment's notice to be home for the repairs.
9:30- We hang out at the Hammond's until we have to arrive home for the garage door to get fixed.
11:30- The garage door repairman is supposed to show up. Doesn't.
2:30- I call the repair company only to hear that my appointment is for Wednesday at 11:30, not at Tuesday for 11:30. Not what they told me on Monday. I'm upset. And still waiting for the A/C repairman.
4:00- Brandon gets home.
4:30-We get a courtesy call from the A/C company that they close at 6 but we are still on the schedule for today. Okay, whatever that means.
6:00- Still no repairman. It's now cooler outside (83? with a breeze) than inside (85), so outside for bubbles we go.
6:45- We're hungry. We're hot. We take my parents up on the offer to stay in a hotel.
7:30- We check into the hotel.
7:45- We get a call from the A/C repairman. He's on his way. AT SEVEN-FOURTY-FIVE. Brandon is furious, but heads home.
8:30- Brandon comes back to the hotel. The A/C is working outside, but not inside. The circuit board in the attic has blown, so they need to get a part. They *hope* to get it tomorrow and *hope* to be able to get to us tomorrow as well.

8:00- Brandon goes to work. More A/C for him.
9:30- We check out of the hotel.
10:00- We go to the Hinson's house to drop off some presents for a birthday party. I end up dropping Brooklyn off so she can go to the party too.
11:30- I get home for the garage repairman who is actually coming today.
12:00- I feel stupid for not knowing to check the GFI reset button in the garage. $60 for pushing a button. Awesome. #homeownerproblems But still, three down, three to go.
12:30- I invite myself to the Galvan's for the day (Turns into the night as well).
4:00- Brandon gets to our home for the day.
4:30- Another courtesy call. Same thing. I ask, "Are you sure he'll be here by 6?" And get assured that he will.
9:30- Brandon finally assumes that even though they got the part, they didn't get to us today. We'll not even get into how we should have been first on the list as soon as the part DID come in. He heads home to get clothes for all of us for the next day.
9:45- The A/C repairman calls and says he is on his way. AT NINE-FOURTY-FIVE. Brandon is... what's worse than furious? Hopping mad? Pissed off? Yeah, he's upset.
11:15- Brandon arrives back at the Galvans, frustrated, sweaty, and in the dark in an unfamiliar house. So=not happy. But at least our A/C is supposedly fixed. Four down, two to go.

8:00- Brandon goes to work.
8:30- I wake up, half an hour late. We all slept in due to a rough night of sleep. Thanks, Brooklyn, for deciding to be awake from 2-5. That was awesome. I frantically pack all our stuff and shout a thank you out the door as I leave.
9:10- We get to the Blackburn's and I drop off my kids with Brittnie so she can watch them while I sign my Fort Bend paperwork to officially become a teacher again.
11:30- We all arrive back at our house, which is cooling off at a lovely 72 degrees. Normally we always keep it at 75, but I think I kept it at 72 for the next 3 days to catch up.
4:00- Brandon gets home from work and promptly takes a nap. It's been a rough week.
5:15- Our Comcast repairman shows up, an hour late, and promises us $20 off our next bill. That's considerate of them. Not like the A/C guys. Grr.
6:00- New modem installed. Five down, one to go.

Nothing to report. Thankfully, we just lounged around in the cool house.

9:30- Security system technician comes and resets all the sensors that were blown. Six down, none to go.
1:00- BONUS: Comcast shows up to give us cable. In addition to the extra money off our bill, they offer us a deal to give us faster, cheaper internet, and really really really basic cable (as in we don't even get ESPN, but whatever- it's cheaper than what we were paying).

Now it's Monday again, and I finally have time to share the story. So, what caused the loud POP at the start of the story? Any number of things, but we are about 90% sure that our house got struck by lighting 9 days ago, and we're proud of how flexible (in general) our kids were during this crazy week. We're so thankful for all the friends and family who offered their cars, homes, money, company and babysitting services. We're happy that Brandon and I kept it together (for the most part), and that all of these services/parts only ended up costing us a total of about $300. Not bad for such a series of unfortunate events.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Week 16 Weigh-In!

Guys, I am overweight. And thrilled about it.

What? I thought the point of Weight Watchers was to lose weight? Isn't your goal to get healthier? To get to a weight more appropriate for your gender, age and height?

Yes. But in order to get into the "normal" weight range, at least according to the BMI, I had to stop being obese and start being overweight. I am happy to say that last week I weighed in at 159 pounds, still slightly in the "moderately obese" range, and today I weigh in at

which means I am no longer obese. I'm overweight! Whoo-hoo!! 23.4 pounds total lost and feeling great. I am on schedule to reach my goal weight around Brooklyn's 3rd birthday in early October.

And it's worth remembering that this is where I was 16 weeks ago:

I like the difference. So much that I'll post the first picture again.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Week 15 Weigh-In!

I spent a weekend in College Station eating out at restaurants. I had pasta and bread and four chocolate chip cookies on Tuesday. I got a job yesterday so we went to La Casona to celebrate on chicken fajitas, my celebratory meal of choice. I was prepared for a weight gain this week. Some weeks are just worth it.

It was not meant to be. Last week I weighed in at 159.4 and today I weigh in at

 That is a weight loss of .4 pounds and a total of 22. I'm beyond pleased.

My mom took me shopping yesterday and I got a couple of new dresses, shirts, a skirt, some pants, and all are sizes smaller than I've worn since early 2010. Size 12 pants are not where I want to be, but it's better than the 16 I was at a couple of months ago. And I'm pretty ecstatic that I'm wearing medium shirts again.

I'M NOT LARGE!!!!!!!

I'm medium. I don't think I've ever been so happy to be average! :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Twelve Baseball Academy

Brandon, the kids and I spent the past three days in College Station. We spent lots of time with Brandon's grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousin. We went out to eat, swimming, and to church. We chatted, colored, and went on hikes (well, Brandon and Brooklyn did. I hate going outside. We've discussed this before. And my dislike for mosquitoes, which was in full force this weekend. And it hit 96 yesterday, once again making me ask, as I do every summer, why do we live in Texas??).

The culmination of these activities, and the reason for this being the weekend we came to visit, was a baseball reunion for the select team Brandon coached while we were in college. He got his coaching started with the Twelve Baseball Academy in College Station as the assistant coach to a guy named Brian, but whom all the kids call Lefty. Brandon was working on his Bachelor's and Lefty was working on his Doctorate. Since the end of their coaching together, Brandon graduated, he and I have moved 3 times and had 2 children. Brian finished his doctorate, married Ashley, and moved to Ohio where he is a professor at Bowling Green.

I LOVE these people.

I had only met Ashley once, when she and Brian were dating, and I just instantly loved her. I feel like we've been friends forever, and that doesn't happen with just anyone. And while Brandon and Brian were coaching together, I was so thankful for a loving, Christian friend for Brandon to coach with. They were a great team and did a great job with the boys they coached those two years together.

Brian and Ashley came in town for a few days, so the parents of the kids he and Brandon used to coach decided to host a reunion party for them. These kids were 12 and 13 when they were all on the team together, so now they have all either graduated high school in the past week or are going to be seniors in the upcoming school year. It was surreal to see how much they had all grown, how mature they had become, and that they were actually speaking to me. You see, most 13-year-old boys are terrified of girls, so no matter how much I tried to converse with them back in the day, I never got much in return.

We had a great barbecue meal and the boys played basketball in the pool for hours. Brooklyn made friends with every female at the party, and Peyton was content to be passed around from parent to parent. We survived a day without Brooklyn getting a nap and actually finding a quiet, out of the way place to nurse Peyton twice in a house full of boys.

We got to the Pye's house at about 2:00 and left around 7:30, and in that short amount of time I relived an insanely important time of my life with people I had forgotten made such an impact on me. Brandon and I got married just two weeks before the Twelve's first tournament game. Those parents were shocked to have a coach who was married, because he looked (and was) so young. They loved us both, constantly bragging on Brandon for being a good example for their kids as a baseball player and as a person. They made me feel involved at all the tournament games, which I went to each weekend because I had no other commitments like, you know, children.

Brandon and I had just started our life together, we were still in school, and we were away from all family doing it. I never really knew it at the time, but all these baseball playing boys and their families were helping us through one of the hardest transitions of life. They were the first people I can remember ever treating me like an adult. See, these were the first people I ever knew who had no prior knowledge of Tracey Allen, they only knew Tracey Strother. And let's face it: Tracey Strother is a much better person to know. Being there with them all again tonight brought back vivid memories of moms sharing stories of their newlywed lives, about college, about their first jobs and decisions to have kids. I learned about which school districts paid the best, where everyone went to church, what benefits there are to doing x, y and z extra curricular activities, and that if you have 3 kids and want a fourth, you have to be prepared to have triplets so you end up with six. True story. Those triplets just turned 12 :).

Probably the funniest thing today was how life just comes full circle. Five years ago I was playing with all the ball player's younger siblings when they were 7, 8, 9ish years old. Now, teens or close to being teens, those same kids were the ones swimming with Brooklyn, helping her eat her chips and salsa, tossing balls and sitting with her in their laps. I just had to smile at how we all pay it forward.

I was indescribably sad when we had to say goodbye and drive back home this evening. Those baseball boys were so good for Brandon, especially since his JV team this year had no drive, no competitive nature and no love for the game of baseball, all of which his Twelve boys have and then some. Those parents that always welcomed us into their cars, homes and lives reunited with us as if no time had passed at all. They and the siblings doted on my children and loved them just as they always had us. And Brian and Ashley, I realize, are friends who feel like family. And those are the best kinds of friends. We've got some of those kinds of friends here in Rosenberg, and back in Dallas, too. But not many. They're special. I'm feeling very blessed today to have relived a time that I didn't think was so extraordinary at the time, but now am honored to have had. And I look forward to a future summer when our whole family travels to Ohio for the Reds, the Indians, and the Tigers stadiums to add to our stadium watched list.