A Happy 101 Award... fun! :)

I love being referred to as a "happy person".  That, alone, can make me happy! *grin*  It is true.  So when my blogging friend, Ellen, of Weighting Around passed along the Happy 101 Award to me... well... it made me happy!  Ellen is a fun person and honest and real... her blog is a lot like mine in that we're not terribly strict in what we write about - it is whatever the spirit moves us to blog on.  She has some great recipes, too, so please do check out her Weighting Around blog! Thanks, Ellen, for the Happy 101 Award! :)

Here are the instructions:
1.Copy the image and display it on your blog.
2.List 10 things that make you happy.
3.Try to do at least one of them today.
4.Pass on the award to 10 bloggers who brighten your day

Ten Things That Make Me Happy:
This will be hard 'cause I know myself and know that there are soooo many things that make me happy.  I'm likely to wake up in the middle of the night and think to  myself "oh! I should edit that blog post... this makes me REALLY happy..." lol  But... as of right now... the ten things that immediately pop into my head that make me happy are:

  1.  My son.  He is my one and only. He's nearly 24 now and at the point in his life where he's exploring all the options of life.  I love that he is a happy person, too, and will often kind of hop with glee when we're discussing something that excites him.  He'd kill me for saying that, of course, but ... I'm grinning ear to ear thinking of how he makes me happy.
  2. Knowing that God "has my back" makes me happy and makes me feel peaceful.  I've gone through some pretty rough patches in my life... I've been a single Mom for 20 years now... I've faced some major illness... two which could have killed me... I've lost my job when I had no other income... and through it all, I knew I would be fine.  I know in my heart that nothing is going to 'best me' as God is my strength and only asks me to trust Him.  And I do. :)
  3. Books!  I love to learn new things and am like a sponge when I read books.  I seep up all the info from people who are experts, travel logs, history lessons, optimists, collectors, great cooks, poets, illustrators, wonderful health mentors... I am happiest when I am in the sun, in the summer, a book in my lap, my mind free to lose itself in the book I'm reading.  Heaven! :)
  4. Laughter.  Who can't love a person with a good laugh?!  It always makes me happy to hear someone really truly laugh... old or young... a really heartfelt laugh makes me happy! 
  5. Losing weight.  I'm pretty focused on my health and weight right now... it makes me happy that I have finally found the fortitude to lose weight and that I am actually healthy.  Getting healthier every single day... THAT makes me happy.  Really happy.
  6. Friends makes me happy.  And if you're reading this blog, you are considered one of those friends who make me happy.  You're the people I am on this incredible journey with - we're honest and open with one another - some of us have met in real life, many of us have not, but you are really good friends to me and seeing your words, reading your blogs and tweets and posts on Weight Watchers, all those tiny bits of outpouring of who you are - that makes me happy! Thanks for sharing you!
  7. Random acts of kindess.  You know when you see someone reach down and stop someone to call them back and give them the leather glove they dropped that the person didn't know they'd dropped and then you watch and they smile at each other?  Those little acts sometimes make me happy to the point of getting teary eyed.  I try to be of help to others where and when I can, I have - as a result - experienced SUCH kindness from strangers... kindness makes me happy.
  8. Letters in the mail from friends and writing to them in turn.  It may be a lost art but I still have a few friends whom I have been life-long friends with, and we write real letters.  I save every one.  I open my mailbox with great anticipation and when one is there, instantly I am happy.
  9. Traditions.  I love love love traditions.  I like breaking the wishbone at Thanksgiving and buying a new broom at New Year's.  I like looking for the 1st robin in the Spring and get excited for opening day at Fenway.  Wearing red at Valentine's and orange around Halloween... all these things... they make me happy!
  10. Baseball.  I just sat here for 10  minutes and tried to decide whether to list "travel to Ireland" or "baseball" as my last item of this list.  I do really love Ireland and love to travel... I love exploring 'cause I am curious by nature and love to learn about new lands... but BASEBALL.  Darnitall... I really do love baseball.  It makes me happy to see a home run, it makes me happy to read the stats and follow the teams, to know the historical references, to remember collecting baseball cards and trading them with friends (I was a tomboy!), to go to games with my Dad and now with my son.  Baseball makes me happy.  It always has.  I would definitely be waking up in the middle of the night if I didn't add it to this list! *grin*
So there you go, my friends... really a lot more than you'd ever want to know about my happiness triggers.  I could go on and on... I truly could and I realize that I am blessed in so many ways because I have to edit down my list and not scratch my head trying to think of ten things!  (That makes me happy, too!)

Now I get to pass along this award to blogging friends and I'm going to try to break up the list with new bloggers and friends who have an active blog following!  Enjoy the award, gals! : )

A Foodie Gets Fit ~ my friend Kyra, a displaced New Englander in Texas @KyraTx
A Year in the Life, One Picture At A Time - Izabella's new blog
Cunning Mom Christine's weight loss journey
Fighting the Fat: Another War Story -  Diz is the best - just love her & her great blog! :)
I Lost Another Me  Charity's #WeightWatcher journey - she's doing great!
The Big Girl Blog such an inspiring, fun blog... you've probably gotten 1,000 awards; here is another ; )
The Healthie Foodie Ashley's great recipes & blog
Fit this, girl! My pal Mary who always has something new & interesting posted on her blog!
Lady In Weighting - love Alice~ great blogging friend who can hold a plank for nearly 3 mins when I can barely get into the position w/out falling!

Watch Out World! I'm BACK!

I am back... no, not little quiet "i'm back"... I am B A C K!!! With a vengeance... with a goal... with determination... with COMMITMENT!

I have been oh-so-sick for the last four weeks so the month of January really "went to hell in a handbasket" (have no idea what that saying means but my Dad used to say it and it makes me grin to reference it here!) as far as being on my Weight Watchers plan or getting any exercise.  I didn't get to the YMCA once... I didn't figure out my new WiiFit Plus at all!
Seems I had this bacterial infection called "cellulitis" which meant that my foot and toe hurt so badly I couldn't put any weight on it or even lay a bed sheet across my toe without really horrid pain. Pretty serious stuff. Long story short - my doctor thought, at first, it was gout... treated me for gout (old man's disease, hello?!?) and it wasn't getting better so he sent me to a specialist. Between the time my doctor saw me and the specialist saw me my whole foot and up to my knee was enflamed swollen and full of yucky stuff (HLG medical term! *grin*). Off to the Emergency Room... more antibiotics by IV in three days than most people could survive, then onto oral doses of antibiotics and then I come down with thee worst sinus infection known to man.  (Well, known to Jan, in my particular case!)  Could not breathe thru my nose... so clogged up that I could only hear in one of my ears... so onto steroids/prednisone for this.  Ahhhh the joys of everything hitting at once!  FINALLY... now a month later, I'm still on the antibiotics and the prednisone but I can step 95% onto my foot and wear regular shoes and heels again. Okay, the heels are painful but then they always kind of are! 

I had been feeling 'down in the dumps'.  That's not like me!  I'm usually a really upbeat, optimistic person but this got me grumpy.  I was exhausted. 

And then - suddenly - over the weekend... I was much better.  I cleaned house.  I did laundry.  I cooked and went to the grocery store... I went out to eat with my son.  All of the sudden... I was BACK!  Big letters - bold type - B A C K!  And I was "me" again! :)

So last night I decided to rededicate myself to this journey I'm on as I've lost a full month. I'd done amazingly well over the holidays but this past month was just gone forever.  Now I am going to make up for it.

On March 19th, 2009 I started - commited to - this weight loss journey I am on.  I took measurements, I prayed about it, I made a commitment to myself to not back down and - once and for all - get to my healthy weight, get fit and start living life with no regrets!  I've lost over 60 lbs. to date.  And with March 19th only FIVE and A HALF WEEKS AWAY... I am on a NO EXCUSES for 5 1/2 weeks mission!  I am writing down every bite, lick, sip and taste of food that passes my lips!  I am drinking water.  I am exercising AT LEAST four times every week these next five weeks even if for only 30 minutes of exercise a day.  And NO darn excuses.  Yes, I'll probably have some asthma issues... yes, it will probably be "ToM" in there a few times... yes, it may be inconvenient or I may oversleep or I may want to go out or I may .... fill in the blank... but I HAVE COMMITED TO THIS... so
I'm going to be using #hlgWoW on Twitter to report my progress.  I would LOVE for you guys to join me these next weeks and report how you're doing with:

1. Decide on a food plan that is right for you and stick to it completely. I like Weight Watchers 'cause it is flexible enough for my non-concrete schedule. Journal if you can... it always helps me to write everything down.

2. Exercise.  Up to you how many times a day or a week.  But move.  It is the middle of the winter here and we need to move our booties when the temps outside tempt us not to.  I'm commiting to 4x of exercise a week.  I'll be doing WiiFit and Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds dvds at home and - this is not a commitment but a 'hope' - I hope to get out to the YMCA and use the membership I pay good money for.

3. Be positive!  This is key.  Know in your mind you can do this... know that 5 1/2 weeks will go by in the blink of an eye and you'll be so darn proud of yourself on March 19th you will KNOW you can do it all over again if you want to.

4. No excuses!  This is key, too!  I am the very best of excuse givers, or I used to be. A year ago I sure was a great excuse giver.  But guess who I was letting down?  Myself. I refuse to let myself down any longer.  No excuses!

Between today and March 19th I am invincible... I am commited... I am dedicated!  And my friends, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for you to come along on this short little 5 1/2 week journey with me. 

I know we can rock this... Watch out World!!!