Betrothed!!

September 14, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

So apparently I decided to go on an unplanned, 5 month long, blogging hiatus. I never intended to take a break or to stop blogging for that long, I guess life just got in the way, so to speak. So many things have happened since I last wrote, I don’t even know where to begin! I guess first and foremost and probably the most exciting thing that’s happened: we got engaged!!!

Yep, you read that right, after 4 years J proposed & we’re ENGAGED!! J has always told me that he’d make sure I’d never know it was coming. He didn’t know how (since I’m in charge of all of the finances), but he was certain he’d figure out a way for it to be a surprise. He’s always been extremely adamant about it being a surprise, he’s very traditional in that way.

We’ve talked about getting married from the very beginning. We hadn’t even been together for a month and we were talking about proposals, weddings, and what all we wanted out of life. Of course after moving to Alaska together and buying a house, we’ve been talking about it even more frequently now. He once told me, “It’s bad enough that you already know it’s coming. I’m going to make sure it’s a complete surprise, you’ll never suspect a thing!”

Of course my response was always, “How are going to pull that off, when I’ll know as soon as you pay for the ring and it shows up on one of our accounts?” But he was bound and determined to get it by me and he did just that.

On our 4 year anniversary, April 20th, 2010, J said he wanted to get some food and have a picnic on the beach; which sounded wonderful to me, so I was all for it. Of course, in true Alaskan fashion, it was raining that day, but by the time I got off work it had started to clear up. So we stopped to get some take out and headed to the beach.

Our house is about a mile away from the beach and a week or two before our anniversary, while looking at a map, I noticed that there was a street not too far from our house, where it looked as if you could drive right up to the bluff. I mentioned to J that I wanted to check it out, so that’s where we went. When we got there, we got out of the truck and walked up to the edge together, overlooking the ocean. After a few minutes, we got back in the truck to listen to some music and eat our food.

We were sitting there for about half an hour, just chitchatting, listening to the radio, and eating our food. I was babbling on about all sorts of random stuff (no surprise there) and I could tell J wasn’t really listening. At the time I just figured that he was tired from work and had had a long day. He’d also been telling me how much he loved me, how proud he was of me and how far we’ve come, and just being sentimental. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s normally pretty sentimental, but this just seemed a little out of sorts. Of course I say that now, looking back, but in the moment I do remember thinking to myself, “Hmmm, that’s weird, but oh well, just soak it up.”

Then out of the blue he started to say, “Soooo….” and immediately I thought to myself, “Oh great, what does he want now?” You see, J usually only starts his sentences with, “Soooo….” whenever he’s got some sort of plan he’s approaching me with, whether it’s buying something new, a new fishing technique he wants to try out, or just any new idea he’s been pondering.

So I immediately turned to him and said, “Alright, what do you want?” He laughed nervously and said, “What do you mean, what do I want?” I told him, “You only start your sentences with, ‘Soooo….’ whenever you want something, so come out with it, what is it?” He of course said, “I do not!!” all while laughing, obviously knowing I was right. After a few seconds, he brought his hand up, out of his sweatshirt pocket, and said nervously, “I want you to be my wife.”

How did I respond you ask? True to myself, I of course shrieked, “SHUTUP?!?!?” (insert long pause here and emphasis for disbelief” “SERIOUSLY?!?!?” He laughed at me and said, “Yea seriously, will you marry me?” By this time of course I was a ball of nervousness and emotions and all I kept saying was, “Seriously?? No joke??” J kept laughing at me and saying, “Yes babe, seriously, what do you think I’m joking?” I said yes of course and he slipped the ring on my finger. He then went on to say, “Now this is just a temporary ring, but now we can go out and by you the real one.”

Here’s the best part of the whole story, remember how I said he wanted to make sure it was a surprise and I’d never be expecting it? He knew if he bought me a ring, I’d know he was going to propose as soon as it showed up on our accounts. So what did he do? When he got off that day, on his way home he went to Walmart and bought a $10 pseudo engagement ring to propose with. How hilarious is that? I thought it was not only incredibly funny, but also very creative of him. Being the girl that I am, I wore that ring every day until we bought the real one, even though after a week or two the silver coating started to wear off and turned my finger green.

You better believe I still have that ring too and I’ll keep it forever. His mom told me later that he spent a long time trying to figure out how exactly to get it by me and she thought it was a pretty smart idea he came up with, I’d have to agree. I just love our engagement story, it was so creative and unique of J and the whole thing is definitely so “us”.

After a month or two of searching, debating, and dealing with some seriously horrible customer service I might add, we found the perfect engagement ring and wedding band to go with it. Originally I had a particular ring in mind, that I had found online and fell in love with, but after seeing some similar rings in the stores, I decided to go another route. I couldn’t be happier with my ring, not to mention the lifetime guarantee that came with it (a big selling point for J of course). If anything ever happens to it: a diamond falls out, a prong gets bent, anything, it’s covered. Isn’t that awesome?

Alright, here it is, what do you think? (Click on the image, to see it larger)

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Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism

April 11, 2010 at 10:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Apparently I took an unplanned hiatus from blogging. I can’t believe I haven’t written in nearly two months. As you can imagine, things in my life have been a little out of sorts. I’ve been dealing with health issues, family issues, and just life issues in general. (Wow, can we say overuse of the word issues?)

Toward the end of February, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. For those of you who don’t know what Hypothyroidism is, in short…it’s when your thyroid gland is underactive. Most people don’t know this (I didn’t either until I was diagnosed and started researching), but your thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in your throat that controls your metabolism. When you have an underactive thyroid, it slows down your metabolism. Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include: fatigue, weakness, weight gain, dry skin, constantly feeling cold, memory loss, irritability, and the list goes on and on.

I had so many of those symptoms and I’ve had a feeling for years that I have Hypothyroidism, but when I was tested last, the tests showed I didn’t have it. The kicker there is that the testing range has changed in the last few years, so I could’ve had it back then, but since the tests were different, my doctor wouldn’t have diagnosed me. Thyroid problems can also be genetic, my sister and grandma both had thyroid problems, my grandma even had hers removed.

I can’t even describe to you the way that Hypothyroidism makes you feel, but I’ll try. You know when people say, “I’m so tired all the time”? Well with Hypothyroidism, you literally feel like death. On the weekends, I would sleep in until noon, maybe take a nap half way through the day, and still be able to go to sleep at 10 o’clock that night. It feels like you can sleep 10-12 hours and still keep sleeping and not feel any better.

I had a horrible time with concentration and memory. I kept forgetting things and had the worst time trying to concentrate at work. My face was so incredibly dry that even after putting pounds of lotion on, I’d still feel flaky and dry. I just figured my skin was trying to get used to the dry Alaskan winters, but this was definitely different.  My skins getting better and better, hopefully once my doctor gets the dosage right everything will go back to normal, or at least somewhat-normal.

I’ve been on thyroid hormone replacement medication for a little over six weeks now. I do feel a little improvement, but the process is very slow. They start you out on a very small dosage, then in six weeks you go back for more blood tests and they adjust your dosage according to the hormone levels in your blood. Just to give you an idea, she started me on 50mcg and from what I’ve read the typical dosage for a person of my weight is 150mcg, but it all really depends on each specific person, there’s no generic prescription dosage they can write you. You can’t just jump into a dosage that high though, they have to gradually get you to that point because a high dosage like that right off the bat would send your thyroid into overdrive.

My diagnosis was like someone turning a light on. Everything suddenly made sense, on our drive to Alaska I gained 10 lbs and then since being here I’ve gained another 10 lbs. For the last few months, I was killing myself on the treadmill with no results. I was eating 1000-1200 calories a day and running 3-5 times a week with absolutely no results, in fact I believe I gained a lb or two. That’s what Hypothyroidism can do to you; it makes it extremely easy to gain weight, but near impossible to lose it unless you’re given the correct dosage of medication.

How did this post become entirely about my Hypothyroidism? Apparently I felt the need to just get all of that out of my head and put it out there. Other than the recent diagnosis, life is going really well. I have a whole host of things to write about, but I’ll save those for additional posts. For now, I’ll leave you with a cute little cartoon:

thyroid problem

Pick Five Fridays Vol. 1 Issue 3

February 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

BLOG:

This month’s blog is one of my very favorite blogs that I just so happen to be a contributor for, Who’s Your Dachshund? WYD is exactly what you would expect from the name, a group of dachshund owners writing about our wonderful-yet-sometimes-frustrating relationships with our beloved, long, short-legged children. All our writing styles are so different and unique, just like our dachshunds. We’re coming up on our 500th post, pretty exciting, and Ben has some awesome stuff in store for post number 500.

Who's Your Dachshund?

WEBSITE:

I chose Alice.com for this month’s website. Alice is a new website that will do your pesky shopping for you. You can buy all of your household items including shampoo, toothpaste, and laundry detergent. Alice offers price comparisons so you can see if they’re cheaper than a competitor, automatic coupons, and FREE SHIPPING to boot! No wonder they say, “Everyone needs an Alice!”

Alice.com

ETSY:

I found this amazing Etsy shop on the home page today. KittyRogers has these beautiful prints that I could totally see in Kerri’s house, they’re just so her style. The prints are reasonably priced too so even someone on a budget (like me) could afford to buy a few. If anyone’s feeling extra generous, feel free to buy me a print or two, here are some of my favorites (but I love almost all of them):

KittyRogers Photo #1KittyRogers Photo #3KittyRogers Photo #2

GADGET:

I know we’re all guilty of leaving our cell phones and other devices plugged in, even after they’ve been fully charged. This gadget is an awesome energy saver. The Leech Plug unplugs itself once your device is fully charged in order to save energy and keep your electric bill down. It’s not available for sale yet, but even so it’s a brilliant idea.

Leech Plug

RECIPE:

A couple of weeks ago I made this cheesy nacho bake and it ended up being incredibly good, I was presently surprised. I used 1 ½ lb of ground beef and I substituted my favorite TOSTITOS® Hint of Lime chips. J and I loved them and we ate almost the entire dish that night. Word to the wise, they’re not so good the next day.

cheesy nacho bake

Birthday Weekend

February 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve been a little MIA from my blog lately for many different reasons. The 7th was my 25th birthday and the night before J threw a dinner party for me and it was great! We had 15 people total. Everyone lived the house and loved J’s enchiladas. It felt like the first “real” birthday I’ve had in years, it was nice to spend it with some of our new friends here.

My boss bought me a $25 gift card for a local book store! It was too nice of him, now I have to figure out what books I’m going to buy. I usually only like to spend money on books when I know they’re going to be really good books that I’ll want to hang on to.

On my actual birthday J had to work, so I spent the day lounging in my pj’s, catching up on my TV shows, and snuggling with Brody. When J got home he surprised me with a Wii!! I have been talking about buying one for 6 months now and he kept acting as if he wasn’t getting me anything for my birthday. We played Wii every night for the first week or so and my arm was sore at first from all of the action. I just love it when I beat him at bowling, it’s a nice little ego boost.

The dogs are actually a little afraid of the Wii and it’s quite entertaining, I must admit. Whenever we get it out Brody will hide in his hole behind the couch and Sadie cowers her head and lays down somewhere out of the way. It’s as if they think we’re going to throw the remote at then or something. I feel bad, but I also can’t help but laugh.

All in all it was an amazing birthday weekend. I can’t believe I’m already 25, where has the time gone?!

Hello world!

February 18, 2010 at 4:23 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Work It Out Weekends: The Beginning

January 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Work It Out Weekends
I’ve been debating writing this post for a little while now and I’ve decided today is the perfect day. (Besides the fact that it gives me yet another excuse to procrastinate ironing my work clothes and vacuuming the house. I know, I know…I’m horrible.)

After looking at some recent photos of myself I decided it’s definitely time to get serious about losing this extra weight I’m carrying and to get much healthier in the process. I can’t believe I’m actually going to tell you this (all four of you who will read this), but I gained 10 lbs during our move from CA to AK and then over the last few months (I blame the holidays), I’ve gained 10 more! This after I lost 25 lbs in the summer of 2008.

My ultimate goal is to lose at least 30 lbs, but to start small…my first goal is 10 lbs, then so on and so forth. If I lost 30 lbs it would put me within the healthy BMI for my age, height, and frame…heck 25 lbs would put me just at the border, but the extra 5 lbs is an added bonus!

Enough about numbers. I really just want to make a big effort to feel less insecure and have a better self image, even if that means I don’t get to eat all of the yummy junk food I so desperately love. I’ve tried damn near every “diet” known to mankind and they’re all just that a DIET, that nasty four letter word America loves to spend billions of dollars on.

This time it’s going to be more about finding out what works for me. The last two weeks or so I’ve been watching my caloric intake and making an effort to exercise almost every day. Just the exercising alone makes me feel that much more energetic and healthy, but limiting my calories and watching what I eat gives me that added boost of zippiness (yes I said zippiness, what? it’s a word! Google it).

Don’t get me wrong…I’m an avid junk food lover and luckily so is J, just last night he was telling me how badly he wanted junk food, but we don’t have any in the house because I have no willpower…hey at least I admit it. “Hello my name is Kristin and I’m a junk food addict.” HI KRISTIN!

Anyway, point is I don’t expect to never have any slip ups and I vow to not feel incredibly guilty and hate myself when I eat an entire bag of peanut butter M&M’s or give in to the evil-yet-oh-so-wonderful chocolaty Gods. I’m just going to make a huge effort to talk myself off of the junk food ledge before I make the leap. And if I do leap, I’ll make it up by working out harder or limiting myself to a few pieces instead of an entire bag.

I’d like to thank Kerri, Kaleigha, and Sizzle for the inspiration. Might I also add that Kerri and Kaleigha are teeny tiny, yet they’re still trying to lose weight and get healthier? Sizzle has been rocking it out and has lost 35 lbs!! I envy her.

Sidenote-Why are we women so obsessed with our weight? Oh yea that’s right…because every magazine out there is covered in diet tips, anorexic models, and how Kourtney Kardashian lost 10 lbs in 10 days or how our President called Jessica Simpson fat! No wonder we obsess over our weight, even when we’re at a perfectly healthy BMI. We always kill ourselves trying to lose those last 5 lbs.

I’ll get off my soap box now, I’m off for my date with the treadmill! Anyone have any diet or work out suggestions? Please send them my way!

Pick Five Fridays – Vol. 1 Issue 2

January 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It’s the third Friday of the month again, time for Pick Five Friday!

BLOG:

This week’s blog is written by my lovely friend Kerri. I have a GIANORMOUS bloggy crush on her. Her nervous rants, obsessive thoughts, inspiring openness, and precious crafty ways never cease to amaze me. She’s one of those people that makes you think to yourself, “Man I really want to hang out with her…like…daily!” Every time I read her blog I always tell myself I’m going to start blogging more because she’s so damn inspiring. Some of you may know her better as Your Wishcake. She’s also got an awesome Etsy shop where she makes incredibly cute wallets, hairpins, notebooks, and etc. so make sure you check that out too!

Your Wishcake

WEBSITE:

I’ve been using this website called The Daily Plate for a few years now and I love it. For those of you who made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, get back into shape, or lose weight you’ll love this site too. It’s just like the tools sites like Weight Watchers give you, only it’s free and it doesn’t stick to the “points” that Weight Watchers uses. You can log all of your food in and it gives you graphs to tell you your percentage of carbs, protein, and fat. Logging your food is really simple, you just enter the food you ate, hit search, and it brings up a list of options according to your search subject. You can also log your physical activity and it automatically calculates your daily caloric intake based on how many pounds a week you’d like to lose.

ETSY:

I came across this shop today and I just love this idea. I may even have one made when we get married. Bosheree makes these beautiful, custom signs. I’ve seen the idea done before and I think it’s a very unique touch for a wedding and then after the wedding you can keep the sign in your house forever. Perhaps it’ll even help forgetful husbands to remember their anniversary dates. 🙂 This particular sign is from the wedding of my amazing designer friend Kaleigha.

Bosheree

GADGET:

Have you ever wondered why they make laptop cords so HUGE or why no one has figured out how to make smaller ones by now? Then this device was created for you. (I’m starting to sound like one of those lame infomercials) Anyway, I found this charger and immediately fell in love. It weighs 43% less than the average laptop charger and you can plug other gadgets into it because it has a built-in USB charging port. It’s the Kensington Ultra Compact Notebook Power Adapter . Pretty cool right?

RECIPE:

I’ve decided to share one of my very favorite recipes with you. I made this recipe for the first time a few years ago and J just LOVED it. He always tells me it’s one of his favorite dishes that I make. Who can blame him? Apples, onions, and bacon stuffed into a pork chop, covered in an orange-pineapple gravy, hello?! In the words of Rachael Ray, YUM-O! I usually make it with a side of brown rice or mashed potatoes, more to pour the gravy over of course!

Apple Onion Stuffed Pork Chops

Inspiration

January 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My former boss recently sent me an email with this video in it telling me that it reminded her of me, what a great compliment!

The video is a palindrome, it was submitted in a contest by a 20 year old. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.  So simple and yet so brilliant.

What Dreams Are Made Of

January 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last week I had the most incredible dream. I’ve never had a dream about my dad and I’ve always wondered why. My dream last night was so vivid and real that I woke up fighting back tears, it felt as if he had really come to me in the dream. So here’s how the dream took place:

We were at the house I grew up in, it was my mom, my sister, and I and we were sitting on the back porch. All of a sudden my dad’s truck and another truck drove through our field and parked next to the gate. I looked down at the truck and then looked back at my mom and sister and all they did was smile and nod at me, as if to say, “Yes honey, it’s him.” Then I saw my dad get out of the truck and walk back to the man in the other truck and they exchanged money and some item I couldn’t see, then the man in the other truck drove off.

My dad came up onto the deck and said hello to my mom and sister and showed them the necklace he had just bought from the man. He made some comment like, “Here, give it to someone who wants it, like your uncle or someone.” (Really random right?) The necklace was made of this chain that resembled the chains you see on a swing set.

Then as my dad was talking to them he stopped and goes, “Geez, that kid’s never going to leave is she?” And he was looking around as if trying to find me. It was so weird, it was as if he could feel my presence, but he couldn’t see me, it was as if he was looking right through me and I didn’t understand. My mom said, “She’s right here. She’s standing right in front of you.” He looked straight through me and then put his arms out as if he was going to hug some invisible figure. I looked at my mom and she nodded for me to go ahead. I put my arms out nervously because I didn’t think I was going to be able to feel him and I really didn’t want to be disappointed when I couldn’t feel him.

When I put my arms out suddenly I felt his arms wrap around me, I could feel him! I started to cry and held my breath in order to stop myself. He looked at my mom and sister and said, “Why does she feel so tense?” My mom and sister started laughing and said, “She’s trying not to cry.” He laughed and said, “Don’t cry, it’s okay. You’ve gotta be tough, you can’t cry,” to which my mom laughed and said, “She’s just like me Chuck, she cries over everything.” He just smiled and said, “It’s okay,” and hugged me even tighter. At that I lost it and just kept crying. 

A few minutes later I was still teary eyed, but I started to chuckle, my mom looked at me puzzled and I said, “He’s so tiny.” Everyone started laughing and as we pulled away from each other I smiled and my dad just rolled his eyes. (My dad was only 5’5″ or 5’6″, about the same size as me.)

For a minute he stepped back with his arms on my shoulders and just looked at me and then smiled at my mom. My mom smiled back and said, “She really does look like you doesn’t she?” and he nodded with a smile.

I hadn’t realized this whole time that in my peripheral vision my grandma had been standing behind him, smiling and watching the entire interaction between all of us. The last thing I remember before I woke up was just watching my dad, mom, and sister interact as my grandma stood smiling and I stood in awe of it all.

I don’t know what the dream meant, but I do know that it was the most incredible, life-like dream I’ve ever felt.

Who's Your Dachshund?

December 19, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve been in love with a particular wiener themed blog for quite awhile now. Wiener dogs that is (yea I know you went there; get your mind out of the gutter). The blog I’m talking about is Who’s Your Dachshund? It’s a fabulous blog all about dachshunds and being a dachshund owner of course! There are also a few non-dachshund stories thrown in here and there.

I wrote to the authors of the blog a few months ago letting them know that if they ever needed any help with the blog or were looking for additional authors that I would be MORE than happy, heck I’d be ECSTATIC to help them out.

At first Ben just replied and told me that they had their set ten bloggers for now, but I could write some guest posts if I really wanted to. I was okay with that and totally understood that they had enough bloggers for now, I was more than happy to write a guest post now and then for fun.

I set to writing a post about Brody and his newfound love for the snow. When I sent it to Ben, to my surprise I got the most exciting email back, this was his reply:

Hi Kristin and thanks so much for sending your post in! I have it all set up to publish and the video works just fine so no worries there.

How did you find writing the post? Piece of cake? Worth doing three or more times a month? Let me know…I’ve put some thought into expanding the ranks of contributors in order to make sure we keep the daily content up. If you’re interested, we could use this post to launch your involvement with Who’s Your Dachshund.

Ben

How utterly fantastic is that?! Of course I said yes and got right to writing my bio. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of Who’s Your Dachshund? Thanks to Ben and all of my other fellow authors! Swing on over and check out our wonderful wieners and how crazy life can be when you welcome a dachshund into your life.

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