Happy Birthday to Me

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I know I’m long overdue for a post, and my birthday seemed like as good of an excuse as any. 🙂

We’ve had plenty going on to write about. For starters, I sent my youngest off to high school:

Welcome to high school in 2020. That was orientation day, which was sort of his first day of school, but then the next day was his actual first day of school, where he wore the uniform and everything. I did make sure to get pictures with him without the mask.

He goes to parochial school in Michigan, and they’re doing five-days-per-week fully in-person school, with all the requirements like masks all day, social distancing, no cafeteria lunch, and one-way hallways. JJ had to write an essay about his first day of school, and when I read it over to proofread it, I was rather surprised that in all the things he said about the first day, he never mentioned wearing a mask. Clearly kids are more accepting that way.

After I sent my youngest to high school, I sent my oldest off to college.

That last photo is my husband and I doing a little champagne toast at dinner after we left Jamie at the dorm. I felt that sending my first-born off into the world, which meant we’d managed to actually get him to adulthood, was cause for celebration. 😀

He’s going to the University of Michigan (I’m sure you can figure that out), and although his experience certainly does not look anything like what we had anticipated when he applied last November, we decided together that he should go to campus, and that’s where he is. Despite the challenges, I know he’s enjoying himself and making new friends.

I had my annual canning weekend over Labor Day, though it was on a much smaller scale than usual. Still, it was productive and I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment when it was over.

If you’re wondering about the flowers, the story is that after enjoying the two bouquets I bought for Jamie’s graduation party for well over a week, I discovered that I really enjoy having flowers in the house, so I bought myself a bouquet for canning weekend. 🙂

I also took a pretty awesome sunset photo (if I do say so myself) that weekend.

It was good enough to make the paper, anyway!

High school football in Michigan was cancelled after the first week of practice, which was devastating for many kids, especially the seniors. But then, just before Labor Day, it was given the go-ahead. (I won’t comment on the fickleness of our government, but will instead just be happy that the kids get to play.) We lost three weeks, but at least the kids are playing. I was blessed to get an official press pass this year from our local paper, and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to photograph my son and his friends on the junior varsity team, as well as the many kids I know and love on varsity. And having my pictures in the paper every week has been pretty cool. 🙂

Today I turn 49, and it has been a blessedly low-key day. We had JJ’s confirmation last night, and despite the restrictions on guests and the fact that we all had to sit many rows apart, it went well, and we were so proud of JJ. We went to dinner afterwards with JJ’s mentor, where I enjoyed half a brownie sundae as well as a few bites of my husband’s carrot cake and JJ’s cannoli. (Everyone in my family knows that they are required to share dessert with me, and especially on my birthday. 😀 ) Today, since I didn’t have to go to church, I slept in until 9am–crazy!! My husband bought me flowers, after lots of hints from me. 😉

It’s the first birthday I’ve had in years where I had nowhere to go–no hockey, no football, no school functions. I’ve been lazy all day, except for making myself an apple pie, which I will enjoy in a little bit. 😉

Through all the things going on, including continuing to work from home, I’ve still be running 4-5 days per week, and I’ve also continued the healthy habits I started in the summer: I’ve been measuring and tracking my food very diligently, and I’ve also drastically reduced my carbs. I have completely cut out pasta and rice, cut my bread intake down to 1 slice a week (a piece of rye toast with my omelet at breakfast on Sundays after church), and although I haven’t cut out potatoes, I only eat them about once a week, and just a small amount. It’s gotten to the point where I have my husband conditioned to heat up my frozen riced cauliflower when he and JJ are having rice or pasta with dinner, ha ha!

The habit change has definitely been working. When I last posted, I was thrilled that my weight was 126.8, which was the lowest I’ve been in two years (during the height of marathon training). I was so excited about that milestone, but this past week when I weighed myself, I hit another milestone:

That weigh-in puts me at (actually under) my goal weight of 125 for the first time in two years (again, during the height of marathon training). I was so thrilled to see it, but to be honest, I am more thrilled with how I feel these days. It feels good to be in control of my weight, and it feels great to be fitting into jeans and pants that I haven’t worn in years. In fact, for JJ’s confirmation yesterday, I bought myself a new top, but I didn’t have to buy any pants, because I was able to fit into pants I bought when I first lost the weight 8 years ago!

It’s times like these that I remember why I work so hard to watch what I eat, and why I get out of bed at 5am to run: because the feeling of confidence, of knowing that I am in control, is so worth it.

Now, having said all that, I’m about to go dig into a big slice of apple pie a la mode. 😉 But the good news is, I can splurge on my birthday, because I know that I can get right back to the habits that will keep me healthy and feeling good about myself starting at 5am tomorrow morning. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Note: I’m still working on removing my blog from Bloglovin. They don’t make it easy or intuitive. :/

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