>Weight goal accomplished!

>I don’t have a scale at home. If I did, I’d probably weigh myself too often. Instead, on Saturday mornings before my workout (and before eating, haha) I weight myself with the “real” scale at the gym. At one point, I weighed in at 196, which for my height of 5’10” my BMI was 28 (overweight). Today, I weighed in at 155, which is a BMI of 22ish. Now I’m in the healthy range and I can definitely feel it! It took me about a year… I averaged about one pound a week, a healthy weight loss. I am back to what I looked like in high school. I really think that running and other high-energy cardio has helped me keep it off. I feel great. I fit into a size 8 pant, but most of the ones I have now are 10. I haven’t been that size since eighth grade. I remember that my confirmation dress was a size 8.

The problem I’ve encountered is that I’m having to get rid of a lot of my bottoms… skirts, jeans, capris from last summer. However, I went shopping at Goodwill here on Pioneer Parkway last night and got two long sleeve sweaters, two short sleeve sweaters that I can wear over long sleeve shirts or camis, a pair of dress pants, a pair of jeans, two pairs of capris I can wear to work and a dress for $44! The dress needs to be altered the slightest bit, but it won’t be hard to do that. That will be my Easter dress when to go to Arizona in April. I couldn’t believe all the nice things I found. I always go there first and if I can’t find what I’m looking for there, that’s when I raid the clearance at Target, Old Navy, or JCPenney.

I feel confident that I will run my 5K in May in 30-31 minutes. Last time I ran it was a couple weeks ago at 31:30. I just never thought I’d be into fitness. But now that I am, I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

>Almost March

>Our average temperature for this time of year in Illinois is 40*. What is it today? 19*! I am ready for spring. Even 50* would be amazing. This has been the longest winter I can remember. I really cannot believe it’s almost March already. That means there are a little under three months of school. At least things seem to have picked up at work.. I feel like we’ve accomplished something! This third quarter has been really long.

There are only 36 days until I fly out to Tucson to see Aaron for Easter. I bought my plane ticket in early January and have yet to reserve the car and lodging. We’ll stay in the TDY (temporary duty) lodging on post – it’s only about $50 per night and it’s nice. As much as I love being on the worship team and being involved at church, it will be nice to just go to church on a holiday and not be involved. I’m also excited to visit the Huachuca Hospitality House where Aaron spends some time on the weekends. I can’t wait for the warm weather! I might even have to buy some more spring-y clothes before I go because everything from last year is too big.

I started to realize last night that Aaron graduates in only three months! In the midst of freaking out, I got a pen and paper and started making a list of everything I’m worried about that has to do with PCSing (permanent change of station, moving). Thankfully Aaron doesn’t worry like I do. When I look at it from a different perspective, there’s not a whole lot to worry about. I’m just gonna give it all to God and figuratively burn that paper.

I haven’t been to the gym since Saturday. It’s been busy this week! I hope to get there Friday or Saturday. Saturday night my sisters and I are planning on going out to eat.. it’s been months since we’ve done something, just the three of us. I love them so much.

>Ode to stitchery.

>Well, I run the risk of stepping on pins in the living room. I’ve started my project of making a slipcover for the couch. I forgot to take pictures of making the pattern for the cushions. That was interesting since we have t-shaped cushions. I’m not entirely sure how long it will take from project beginning to end.. hopefully it’s before we PCS. I think I will try the piping as well. Yeah, I know, I’m making it as challenging as possible.

I love the whole process of sewing. I love how I can spend hours on a project and not even think about anything else. It’s such a productive hobby.. whether lovely or not, the outcome is a physical product. I love putting seams together and sewing them. I love the sound of the machine and even the slight electrical smell of it. I love turning out a seam after it’s been sewn, most of the time. There are times when it’s not so pretty. I have a bad habit of not always taking my time with things and it’s at times like that when the seam ripper becomes my best friend. That’s probably why I have a few of them.

The last big sewing project I did was a dress I made last Memorial Day weekend. Turns out it’s too big for me now, but I made that dress in about fourteen hours. One night I was up from 9PM to 4AM working on it.

If we don’t have school tomorrow I will try to get the rest of the pattern done. That’s exciting.

In other news, we ordered a lamp from JCPenney that was on sale for $25 marked down from $140! With shipping to store it ended up being $33. It will go in the living room. The next step is to get a new table lamp and get rid of an ugly ’70’s gold lamp!

Here’s our new lamp.. sorry the pic isn’t bigger.

>"Crafty projects" – past and future.

>I love to sew. If I didn’t work full-time, I would sew a lot. I have made my prom dress, wedding dress, flower girl dresses and other projects. We have this couch that was a hand-me-down, as is virtually all of our other furniture. In fact, I think the only furniture we have bought ourselves is a futon and two bookshelves. Anyway, this couch was my parents’ and it’s about 15 years old. However, it’s still in good condition. For the amount it would cost to get it redone professionally we might as well buy a new couch. Ready-made slipcovers are about $60-100, but they never fit quite right and you can tell it’s a slipcover. Hmm… why am I trying to justify this new project?

I came across this website when looking for instructions and inspiration on making a slipcover. She goes into detail and has pictures of virtually every step. With a twinkle in my eye and a “bring it on” attitude, I decided that I was going to go for it.

I went to JoAnn’s tonight and got muslin to make the pattern. I definitely won’t start on it tonight because I would stay up way too late. Tomorrow, maybe.

This is our couch now:

 I would like to refinish it with a microfiber fabric of a dark brown or tan color.
Because I’m posting about projects, here are a couple things I’ve done within the last few months…
Placemats for Christmas made of greeting cards:

And this is what I made for Aaron as part of his Valentine’s Day package. It’s made out of black foam board, ribbon, pictures, and scrapbooking paper written with Sharpie marker. The quotes are from our favorite movies or moments. (Back and front)

(Please feel free to steal any ideas! My great-grandma and great-aunt made placemats like that so I wanted to make my own.)

>Still no orders/update/six weeks!

>Aaron graduates AIT in less than four months and we have no orders yet, no idea where he will be stationed. I know that many Army families don’t find out until a week before. I would just like to have an idea. However, I know that this is teaching us a lesson of patience.

Our debt snowball is going well. We owe $1600 out of a total $7k in credit card debt. We used half our tax refund for the credit card and the other half for savings. We hope to be out of credit card debt by summer!

Work is going well, I guess. We will be half-way done with the semester in about three weeks. Looking forward to Easter break – it’s only six weeks away!

That’s about all I have for everyone now. Check back soon – maybe we’ll have orders by then.