Monday, August 31, 2009

Construction, Construction, Wedding, Construction...

So this weekend my buddy Aaron and his Fiancee (now wife) got married in the great state of Michigan. So this is how our weekend went. Friday night we went and got haircuts since I was looking like Grizzly Adams and Melissa wanted to get her hair cut as well. Saturday morning we woke up 1/2 hour late to getting out of town. Dropped off the dogs to stay with my co-worker Lori for the weekend since the plan was to drive up to the wedding and drive back we didn't have anywhere for them to stay with us. We headed out of town and drop from Monroe where we stopped to get breakfast all the way till we hit the greater Detroit area, stopping for a bathroom break and a fill up. Now I didn't buy a Diet Pepsi at either stop since they were $2.00. Now we did have to stop since I picked up April back at Lori's house and she got dirt on my shirt. So according to the GPS we were going to be about 45 minutes early, which was perfect, enough time to find a good seat and say hi to everyone prior to the ceremony. We grabbed a shirt at Old Navy, stood in a line that was entirely too long for such a gorgeous day (GO OUTSIDE PEOPLE) and we were on our way. Our 45 minutes early had turned into only 10 minutes early, which turned into 15 minutes late when we hit, as the title gives it way, construction traffic on the 75. So now we are 15 minutes late and we make a detour and find another road that gets us to the Van Dyke which we are flying down until we hit, yet again, construction traffic. We are now 1/2 hour late per the GPS. We get to the church just in time to see the end of the homily and we did get to see the exchange of the vows (the most important part).

So we had set up meeting a friend of ours for a quick bite after the wedding but before the reception which was a couple hours away so we headed off to that. We headed for an Applebees 20 minutes away via the Van Dyke which on our way we hit, YET AGAIN, construction traffic. Forget that "Pure Michigan" advertising slogan I got it for you so listen up Michigan Department of Travel/Tourism/whatever: Michigan, Construction Traffic. I finally get to calm my nerves and order some food and 2 tall La Batt Blues since we are in Detroit they have it on draft, LOVE IT. We had a nice snack and conversation with our friend but now we are off to the reception.

The reception was nice. I got to see my buddies Aaron and Justin, Aaron's wife Christina, Aaron's family and we met a couple of new people, too! Now we got to the reception at 7 and had dinner and talked with everyone but now it is 11 and we still have a 5 hour drive ahead of us. We were given the option to stay in Michigan at Aaron's/Aaron's parent's house but we wanted to get back to the dogs cause we missed them and it was Penny's first weekend with us and we wanted to see how she was doing so we headed back. We decided that we would drive and spend the night in Toledo and then head out in the morning. Mental note to everyone, just because a Quality Inn and Comfort Suites are run by the same company and may be a parking lot apart from each other doesn't mean that you will get the same type of room $59 / night or any room for that matter.

The next morning we headed out and picked up the dogs who loved staying with Lori and are welcomed back anytime from what I understand and headed home. We unpacked the car and everyone were bumps on a log for the rest of the day, what an action packed weekend :-) and hey there was plenty of purchasing of Tim Bits and Ice Cappes! Congratulations Aaron and Christina!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ideal Body Weight, Milkshakes, & Benihana!!!

     Well, your probably wondering how the 3 things in the title go together.  They all have something to do with how my weekend went.  Starting on Friday, I had a doctors appointment.  Last time I was at the doctor (October of last year) I weighed 265 lbs. and this time I weighed 219.5 lbs.  I asked the doctor if this was an ideal weight for me, and after asking me if the number was right or if it was a typo she said yes based on your height and body build my weight was a healthy weight for me.  Working out has completely changed our (Melissa and I) lives, we have more energy, eat healthier food, and have fun working out.  We have been leading a healthy lifestyle and will continue to live this way.
     Having said all of the above things, everyone is entitled to slip up at least once or twice.  So let's talk about the rest of the weekend.  We had dinner Friday night and took April out to the dog park.  On the way, Melissa and I split a peanut butter shake, yummy!  April had a lot of fun at the dog park.  We let her play by herself (thanks to the German Shepard that came at her when we got there)  and she seemed to like playing fetch and running around by herself.  She loves the dog park!
     Saturday we got up early and went to register my car.  We also found out that Purdue opened up some tickets for the Notre Dame vs. Purdue game so we are going to the game with our cousin John, a Purdue graduate, and it will be fun!  Then we took April with us and headed to the Outlet Mall in Jefferson, Ohio.  The Outlet Mall there is pet friendly which means that some of the stores allow you to bring your dog in with you.  April got a ton of pets, compliments, and lots of love.  Being out by the Outlet Mall also put us near a Tim Horton's which means TIM BITS & ICE CAPP'S all around!  We then headed back to Cincy and Melissa turn to me in the car and said "Benihana for dinner?"  and I said SURE!
     Melissa signed up for their "Chef's Club" which gets you a free dinner entree during the month of your birthday which means that her meal was free!  Going to Benihana is always fun and it gives me the option to get some sushi.  I like to order the Spider Roll, a soft shell crab roll.  Melissa turned to me after I ordered the Spider Roll and said, "Can I have some?" and I looked at her and said sure.  She had tried a roll I had in the past and didn't like it but this time when my Spider Roll came she had some and liked it (and even asked for a second piece).  I was happy to share with her and it brought an end to a great day!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Doggie Pool Party!

Melissa and I have been training for the Niagara Falls International Mini-Marathon. We should be ready to go by the time the race comes around. We run 5 nights a we and do strength and conditioning 2 nights a week. This helps us keep losing weight and get in shape for the race. This weekend we did some work around the and today there was a Puppy Pool Party at one of the local dog parks. I posted some of the pictures and videos from the event below.

Monday, August 10, 2009


It's hard to believe it but I turn the big 3-0 today! I have been a little apprehensive about meeting this milestone as the past couple weeks have gone by, but I've decided to embrace it. The best in life is yet to come and I have a great guy to share the coming years and my life with!

I've decided this song will be my motto for the coming year.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cincinnati Premium Outlets

There is a new outlet mall in the Cincy area! It opened yesterday and Greg decided to take me out there today for a little birthday shopping! I'm still not sure if this was a great idea for opening weekend. I began to wonder when traffic began slowing 6 miles from the exit where it is located, but I thought there is no way this traffic is due to the outlet mall. Boy was I wrong! It took us nearly 40 minutes to drive those six miles. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Jimmy Buffett, Songs I Know by Heart. I sang every song making Greg crazy. This was the second time we heard the CD today. I'm not so sure Greg wants hear Jimmy Buffett again for awhile.
  • I decided I am going to move to Florida or somewhere in the Carribbean so I can become a Buffett head and go to Margaritaville frequently
  • You should never risk it with your gas, just ask the three people with broken down cars along the way.
  • I posted at least 5 messages on facebook
  • I realized there was a Tim Horton's at exit 29. That meant I would have an iced capp after sitting in the car forever, maybe even some TimBits. This combination is way better than birthday cake!
  • It's great to be able to budget a specific amount of money for clothing shopping and not feel bad about spending
  • People in Cincinnati must be crazy for outlet shopping! Do they not realize we are in the middle of a recession????

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dave Ramsey

Last October we got a satellite dish so we could start watching the Buffalo Bills football games. This decision also impacted our lives in other ways. As part of our package we also began watching the Fox Business Network and discovered Dave Ramsey. I knew of Dave Ramsey previously as my Dad had been preaching his plan in my general direction for a couple years. However, since as adults we all seem to insist upon learning things on our own I did not pay much attention to his recommendations.

I watched Dave's show for a couple months before I decided to pick up his book and learn more about his plan to help people get out of debt. I read the book and encouraged Greg to read it as well. We decided at this point that we needed to get on this plan and change our attitude about debt as it had become a standard in our lives. So far under this plan we have paid off and closed accounts for three credit cards and we have three to go, along with our cars & student loans. We are projected to have everything paid off in the next two to three years depending upon how Murphy impacts us during this time frame.

Here are Dave's Steps (we are on step 2):

1. $1,000 In An Emergency Fund
2. Pay Off All Debt With The Debt Snowball
3. 3 To 6 Months Expenses In Savings
4. Invest 15% Of Income Into Roth IRAs and Pre-Tax Retirement Plans
5. College Funding
6. Pay Off Your Home Early
7. Build Wealth And Give!

We continue to watch the Dave Ramsey show daily as part of our motivation. We also recently watched a documentary, Maxed Out, about credit card companies and the lengths they go to keep people in debt to make money. We may take Financial Peace University down the line but for now we are doing well. We meet weekly to discuss our budget as a family and use the envelope system to control our spending. We love changing our family tree and hope our decisions now have a long term impact on keeping our children and those around us out of debt as well.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Half Marathon Training

In July we took a hiatus from training. We've still be running and exercising the dog this past month but we needed some well deserved down time from consistently training for a race to allow our bodies to heal before we begin training for the half marathon at the end of October.

August brings the end of the break and starting tomorrow we are following Hal Higdon's 1/2 Marathon training program. I went ahead and created a weekly calendar we are hanging by the door so we can maintain our focus as we begin to build up towards our first distance race. It is going to be nice to get back into the swing of training and jumpstarting bigger amounts of weight loss again. We've both lost a little bit during our hiatus but not as much as we'd been losing before. We are officially down a combined 95 pounds! We are each looking to drop just a bit more but are very happy with our weight loss and increased fitness levels to date.