Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to Da Man... XO

December 30th, 2012 ~ A celebration of a Special Person

I want to wish a Happy Birthday to my beloved. With Great Love ....

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sharing ....a HEALTH post...

"As you get older, you may notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, the most profound weight gain in a woman's life tends to happen during the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause). The hormonal changes of menopause may make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen, rather than your hips and thighs.

In addition, muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, your body composition will shift to more fat and less muscle — which slows down the rate at which you burn calories.

 If you continue to eat as you always have, you're likely to gain weight.

The bottom line? Successful weight loss at any stage of life requires permanent changes in diet and exercise habits. Take a brisk walk every day.

Try a yoga class. Trade cookies and candy for fresh fruit and vegetables.

 Drink more water, and less sugary drinks,  Commit to the changes and enjoy a healthier you!"

All of us read these little tips and articles and warnings throughout the year. We all know what it is talking about. But as it says...the BOTTOM LINE is whether we COMMIT............

When I came back  after my Summer and Fall blogging break, I mentioned that I had been through some health challenges that I wanted to touch on later, in case someone else was possibly going through the same thing....unknowingly...just like me.

In January 2011, at the ripe old age of 50, I committed.  I surpassed my goal and lost 28 pounds. I then determined to hold to that healthy weight.

After the move to Iowa...I slowly but surely began to gain weight. I worked like a fool to take it off, doubling my workout routine.

NOT ONLY COULD I NOT TAKE IT OFF....I COULD NOT NOT NOT STOP THE GAIN! For the first time EVER in my life, I was unable to LOSE weight.

The further along this went *(with me chalking it up to perimenopausal symptoms and working harder to fight against it), the more I went downhill... Many more symptoms cropped up, including mini-bouts of Vertigo, which finally brought me to the realization that it COULDN'T be all "mid- life" changes...

Come to find wasn't. I had a mal-functioning thyroid.

To make this already long post shorter...I have now been on a supplement for 4 months that has enabled my thyroid to operate properly again. My metabolism has once again ramped up and the 25 pounds that came BACK ON TO MY BODY ... are coming off. I have 9 pounds to go to get back to where I was.

I hope this helps somebody who is going crazy feeling blue/depressed,   experiencing moments of brain fog,  low energy/exhaustion, too much hair in your hairbrush, not enough sleep, and no matter what, cannot stop gaining weight.  You might check with your doctor and ask for a Thyroid Test!!  It may NOT just be "Mid-Life" changes.

I am NOW on my way to feeling much much better. The Thyroid works very slowly, so it took 8 weeks before I actually noticed a difference in how I felt, even though after 4 weeks I had "magically" started losing weight once again with my normal workouts and diet. Take care of yourself...Don't ignore symptoms that seem "Abnormal" for know yourself better than anybody else!!

 Slow and Steady wins the race. :-)

I wish good health to all of my visitors and bloggy sisters who pop in here. As 2013 approaches, I pray that it will be a year filled with God's best blessings from Heaven, and that you will have a VERY HEALTHY journey.

COMMIT TO IT.  There's no better time than the present. As my husband says...."You gotta start somewhere."

Sending out little heartfelt hugs to all of you this day. Thankful to ALL of you who have covered Justin and his battalion in prayer as they were deployed and now returned safely to the States. We get to have him here in our nest starting next week, and are excitedly looking forward to it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Whirlwind Week....

As is the custom for Marine Corps is always a Hurry Up and Wait life when waiting for any information about Homecoming dates. And this one was NO different. Justin's 8 month deployment with the 24th MEU  turned into a 9 month tour when the three ships were turned around and sent back to the Mediterranean after they were in the Atlantic steaming towards home.

Finally, we got confirmation that Justin's Battalion would be arriving back in the states...We had 3 days to pack - get on the road - and get from Iowa to North Carolina to be there waiting for our Marine.  Semper Gumby!!! But get there...we DID!...

We only had to wait about an hour past the original arrival time...and thank goodness it wasn't raining. It seems to rain a lot in Jacksonville.

Many families were there waiting and chatting and anticipating their Marines' appearing...

This big lug came up from behind, and not from the direction the other Marines were walking in. He surprised us. :-)


It is SO good to see ALL these guys back on homeland soil. It never stops being an indescribable experience. While we caught up and waited for the final formation, Justin wanted to get his "driving" legs back. So we jumped into the car, and he drove around and was extremely excited to go see the new gymnasium that had been built. It is a SIGHT to behold. HUGE!!! He can't wait for it to open. There is a very tall climbing wall at the back which thrilled him. Something to have fun on since he doesn't get to do much "Assault Mountain Climbing" on base. While we were chatting, a reporter came over and asked if she could ask him some questions for the evening news.

We dropped him off for formation, and waited to get him for a quick supper on base.

The next day he had to work until 4 so we picked him up and went to his choice for supper, Cracker Barrel...of course. :-)

Every once in a while I can quick catch a smile on that tough guy's face. :-)

We said our goodbyes and headed out for Charlotte to see more of our treasures we had not seen in 15 months.

My one and only girl Kat, and her special guy Sam, whom we finally got to meet. A very very nice young man.

And Jonny's sweetie Maria. She is very special too!

And something VERY special happened while we were there. Those two got engaged.

And Jonny is bringing TWO special ladies into our family. Not only will we get Maria, but we also get this little cherub too!!! We are thrilled. :-) This is my NEW little girlfriend!!

We were able to stay with my Dad and see my sister and niece, and meet Sam's parents and Maria's family. It was a non-stop week, but very much fulfilling and thrilling. We thank God for safe travels and reunions accomplished.

Poor Kam was at home in Iowa in the first blizzard of Winter 2012 and sick with the flu and Strep throat. I felt bad for my Guard guy. But he survived. :-)

We drove back into Iowa to see snow and roadside drifts and about 8-10 inches in our neighborhood.

Glad to be home. Happy to have seen our loved ones. A quiet Christmas was spent here in the nest.


Love our Kids...

Blessings to all who pop over to visit this little journal entry on my blog today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Random ~ Bucket Lists....An Artist....Dreams and Goals

Some of you may have seen this movie...a comedy/drama starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Though Jack Nicholson is an acclaimed actor, he is not one of my favorites, but I definitely like to view Morgan Freeman in his Hollywood element. The movie is course in some of it's comedic moments, the dramatic ones definitely touch the emotions and give reason to ponder.

It gives us all a push to consider what things we might include on our own "Bucket List"...a personal list of wishes or dreams. Any goals or experiences you may have always had sitting on that back burner inside your head. The kicker though, is that it is done in the context of "BEFORE YOU DIE." * as in kick the bucket. (which is what the movie is about, since both men have been told they are going to die.)

Now...before I get too far into this bucket list idea, let me switch gears to say >It may not be too far-fetched to have your own short-term Bucket List that does not necessarily contemplate death in the picture. Just a list of personal goals...turned into plans...concrete plans. Getting real with yourself that life is going faster and faster and you seem to always be caught up in a stirred up, swirling tumbleweed of busy-ness!

Maybe ALL of us should give this a little twist and instead of thinking about what we want to do before a physician tells us we don't have much longer to live....make an I'M STILL KICKIN' Bucket List! ;-)

Maybe a seasonal Bucket List: My Winter Bucket List...My Summer Bucket List...

For my purposes today, this post would suggest something on My Iowa Bucket List. ONE of those items is definitely to visit THE SANCTUARY in Zionsville, Indiana before we ever leave this Midwestern part of the States. That would be the HOME of this artist, Nancy Noel.

The Sanctuary is a Victorian church originally built in the 1800's on Main Street in the quaint Indiana town of Zionsville. This unique historic landmark is home to the remarkable collection of Nancy Noel. Housing a museum shop, framing gallery and delightful luncheon café, The Sanctuary is perfect for a quick visit to escape from reality or for a leisurely day spent browsing the original artwork, discovering the quality of the many available giclees and prints, and relaxing over lunch or afternoon tea in our restaurant.

I am sure that one of these days, Kurt and I will get on the road and head towards this "quaint" spot not too far from here in Cedar Rapids.

How about you? Do you have a place you want to visit, an experience you want to feel... a goal you want to accomplish? this year? before you turn 50? before you leave a place you are residing? before you have kids?...Write it down. They say until you actually write something down, it isn't really a goal.

 Mine is in front of me on my Inspiration Board....Where will yours be? :-)

I leave you with my inspirations here in My Nest, that keeps me motivated to fulfill this wish on my "Before I leave Iowa" bucket list...

Ian and the Frog

Fine and Fancy




My Calf



For those of you who have seen a previous post on Walls: Blank Canvases, or My Favorite Artists, where some of these pictures are used...apologies for repeats.

Maybe you will be inspired to go and visit THE SANCTUARY.

But better than that, hopefully you will write something down that you are dreaming about. Make it a goal. Give it a deadline. Make a LIVING bucket list. :-)

Hugs to all my bloggy sisters and thanks to any visitors popping in to this little corner of the world in Iowa.

Many thanks again for prayers lifted for Justin's battalion!

God bless our Military Heroes everywhere....We LOVE YOU Justin...Godspeed 1/2...