Thursday, May 31, 2012

Not For The Squeamish

Before I post a picture, I am clearly and plainly warning you.... If you happen to be squeamish or faint at the sight of something bleeding, absolutely do not keep reading this post. If you don't want to see a head laceration of any kind click off of this post pronto, my friends! For my friends that are rather curious about our whole ordeal yesterday that I mentioned on Facebook, here's the story....

Yesterday I was working when I got a phone call from my dad. He said, "He's okay, but you need to come get your husband and take him to the doctor for stitches." I flipped and hung up to run out and get him. Dad called back on my cell phone to tell me where exactly to pick Ryan up. Oops... I was panicking because I know that if Ryan is willingly going to get stitches, it's bad. He can cut himself and shrug it off. Ryan was joking about it and seemed just fine. 

Ryan was climbing off of a boat yesterday, stepped onto the dock, and hit a piece of metal hanging from some of the tornado damage. He never thought it was that bad until it bled quite a bit. Luckily, my dad was nearby and told him he had to get a stitch or two. When I looked at it, the bleeding had slowed a lot and his hair covered most of it. At first it didn't really look that bad. I took him to the nearest doctor and they took him right back. A nurse checked his laceration out and said he would need a couple of stitches. We figured that seemed okay....She told us it would be at least an hour or two before the doctor got to us because they were so very busy. 

They took us to a procedure room and another nurse came in to clean the wound out. That's when things got a little more serious. I decided that I wanted to see how big the cut was when she cleaned it. I stood behind her when she started and I realized it was pretty big. I saw a small flash of white and gasped. The nurse immediately made me sit down and told me not to look. Neither of us thought it was that bad beforehand. I admit I thought I'd seen all there was to see of my husband until yesterday afternoon. I guarantee I never need to see his skull again!  

After the nurse left to grab the doctor, I snapped a quick picture of his head. I have several nurse friends that were curious, so I documented it! Ryan looked at me like I was crazy and told me I was not posting it to Facebook.... I never promised this blog was off limits! It really wasn't bad looking unless someone was cleaning it out.... 

I could tell the nurse was a little concerned about the cut at this point. As soon as the doctor got a chance, he was in the room with us. They prepped him, numbed the area and stitched him up. The doctor measured it and told us the cut was 10 centimeters long and about 4 millimeters deep. They predicted 25 to 30 stitches at first. The doctor asked his nurses to explain to his patients it may be a bit and we had a major laceration. He began sewing and realized it wasn't coming together like he had hoped, so he wanted to staple it. They didn't have any, so he put 8 large stitches in instead. Ryan has to be very gentle with it for it to heal. Luckily his hair covers everything and they didn't have to shave the area. You really can't even tell unless you're looking for it. 

Ryan has to take antibiotics for three days just in case. It hasn't bled at all so far which is great news. He was also able to shower this morning and gentle patted it dry. Other than that I just have to clean with peroxide and apply Neosporin. In twelve days we go back to get the stitches removed. He's a little sore today, but not too bad at all. It totally confirms how hard headed my dear husband is.... Ha!

I joked yesterday that this is the first time he's ever really been injured around me. Considering how wild he was when we got together, I'm very proud of myself for keeping him pretty safe and in one piece for nearly five years! I feel like I can handle anything until either Ryan or Caleb gets hurt! Let a tornado come, I'm pretty much okay. Let my husband get a large gash in his head, I come unglued. Just the way it is, my friends. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Busy Bees

Caleb has had a big week so far! On Monday my family got together for dinner. Caleb and Zoey couldn't wait to play on their new playset....

The kids love it! They can actually use every part of it with no trouble. I was fairly skeptical about the whole climbing wall, but Zoey and Caleb climb right up. 

Pure joy on this boy's face! 

I just love that he is such a happy child! 

Once Zoey got there, Caleb took her to play. They were so sweet! They made sure to hold hands the entire way to the playset! 

They really are best friends. It's so precious! 

Caleb played hard! 

On Tuesday Tara, Ryan and I took the kids to Chick-Fil-A for dinner and play time. This fast food restaurant probably has the best healthy kid meal choices around. Caleb enjoyed the chicken nuggets and fruit cup he got. After dinner, we turned them loose on the play area. We wanted them to get some of their energy out before we attempted to take them to their first real movie. 

We saw The Lorax and it was very cute. Caleb and Zoey did great the entire time! Tara and I agreed that the first one who pitched a fit or started to act up would be the signal that we would get up and leave. We all expected them to be interested in the movie for a few minutes and then we'd probably have to go, but they loved it! I sat between Zoey and Caleb and they devoured the large popcorn I held. Caleb sat in his seat the majority of the time just mesmerized by the movie. I am so excited that we can actually take him to the movies now! It's going to be so much fun!

Tara and I have decided that we are going to start a curriculum with the kids soon. We have both wanted to start teaching them a few new things and I think an actual homeschool program would be a great start for us. I have found a Christian based program for young children that looks very promising. I will be ordering the material in the next week or so. When choosing a program, I looked for something Bible based and one that gave a variety of activities. Caleb loves art projects and I looked for things specific to that. Tara and I want to make sure that the kiddos are ready for pre-K when the time comes and we want to give them a great start. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Progress - Week...Who Knows?!?

Wow! It has been forever since I've done a weight loss post. Oops! I'm seriously still working at it. It's just I have had absolutely nothing to report since I checked in last. Going for five or six weeks without any loss when you have been working so very hard is discouraging. Normally if I had done that in the past, I would have completely given up. I'm looking at it differently this time around. I may not see anything on the scale, but I am so much happier at my current weight. No, it's not where I want to be but it sure is better than where I was! I figure my body is actually changing and the weight will start coming off again.

I visited my doctor for a check up on my back this week. It's much better! I thought I would pick his brain about being stalled out on the weight loss thing. He told me the best thing I could do right now to lose a quick 20 pounds is try the B-12/ HCG injections. He explained that would basically put my body into starvation mode so I wouldn't be hungry at all. I'm sorry, but that doesn't seem like a healthy way to lose weight to me. He told me that my body seems to be stuck at this set point and I need to reset it. No joke!

I refuse to starve myself to reach my goals. I want the results to last, not come right back as soon as I go off a program. That just seems ridiculous to me! 

Regardless, it's still time to change some things up since I've slowed down so much. I've done some research on calorie staggering. If you consistently eat the same number of calories each day, your body gets used to it and stays the same. If you vary your intake from day to day, it confuses your body and results in weight loss progress. I can really agree with that theory. This is really not a difficult process if you track your food each day. I use the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone every day. You can also chart your weight loss there too. 

I began staggering my calories last week and saw some very promising results! It's typical for me to gain and lose between four to five pounds every couple of days. Yes, my body is nuts and it is very frustrating! I gained last week, but as soon as I started staggering the calories I saw decent losses! Woo hoo!

I've also been asked by a couple of ladies how my health has improved so far. Prior to losing thirty-two pounds, I had severe issues with acid reflux. Last August when we went to Panama City Beach for vacation, it was about an eight hour drive for us. You can read my post here to see pictures of me last year. Ryan drove us at night and it was a really long ride. My feet swelled like crazy! When we stopped for the night to get some sleep, we were exhausted. I woke up after an hour of sleep with the worst heartburn. It was so extreme that I was nauseous. I vomited blood and was scared to death. I couldn't sleep the rest of the night. When we got back home, I spoke with my doctor about the problem. I admitted that I had severe heartburn nearly every day. I woke up at night with it no matter what I ate. At times I had difficulty getting food to go down and felt like I had a knot in my esophagus. My doctor told me he was certain that I had a hiatal hernia that would require surgery to fix. I was scared and knew I had to do something!

When I began losing weight, I noticed my heartburn came less frequently. Now, I maybe have it once or twice a month! I know without a doubt my weight loss and eating habits are the cause. I was absolutely wrecking my body with my eating. I can tell whenever I have greasy food now. I still cannot believe I did that to myself. It's really frustrating when I think about what I put my body through. It was selfish. I had no energy to be a good wife or mother. God has blessed me with an amazing family and I was shorting them. I don't want to go back to that ever again! That is enough motivation to see me through the slow times now. 

I enjoy my progress each and every day. I notice things here and there and it always makes me smile. I like being able to share the recliner with Caleb without squishing us both. I love being able to get a tan this year without worrying about the way I look. I enjoy trying on new clothes. I don't mind pictures anymore. I appreciate compliments from my friends and family more. I love when my husband compliments the way I look. My heart is full of joy when Caleb tells me I'm a pretty princess now. Life is so much better for me than this time last year! I am so very blessed!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Maiden Voyage

Ryan wanted our maiden voyage in the new boat to be on his birthday. We loaded Caleb up and took off for the afternoon!

He was so excited to check out the cushions I finally finished!

I just love his new swim shorts! We found them at Osh Kosh this year. Of course we had to have the Orange and White! If you love them as much as we do, you can find them HERE

Mommy and Caleb helped Daddy set the anchor so we could swim. 

Caleb just loved it! He was so well behaved on the boat the entire time. I believe Ryan enjoyed that part the most! Ha! Our boat is the perfect size for Caleb. The sides are tall enough that I don't have to worry about him climbing out. The cabin is especially nice if he wants to lie down or play out of the sun. 

We went swimming and Caleb loved it! He enjoyed getting into the water with his swim noodle. He also liked sitting on the float when waves came by. 

Yesterday morning, I finished up the bow cushions for the boat. That leaves only two left!!! Then I get to start on adding some color around the boat. I just couldn't wait to share this with all of you today. 

This area was the part that scared me the most when I got the idea to recover the cushions. I was completely intimidated by the odd shapes and angles of these three cushions. They turned out much better than I originally thought they would! I'll admit that it took some work to wrestle with them, but it was so worth it!

Here's a shot of the inside so far! I've only got two cushions (the ones to the right) left! 
I love how it lightened, brightened, and freshened the whole inside!
So much prettier! I don't mind the blue carpet as bad right now! 
I've just about convinced my sweet husband to put down hardwood flooring. It will be a little tricky with the angles, but I think it would give it a classic look. 

Remember the before?

I'm going to do a tutorial on the cushions soon, so be on the look out for that. If you have outdoor cushions that need some attention, you can totally do it yourself. I'll show you how and it's super easy. 

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Liz Marie Blog

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hubby's 30th!

What a special day this is, friends! My gorgeous hubby turns thirty today! What a milestone birthday, right?

I cannot begin to tell you how unbelievably blessed I am to have this sweet man in my life. He is my best friend and I love him dearly. There's no one on this Earth that knows me better than he does. We've been through a lot together and I look forward to so many happy things for us.

I am so thankful that God placed him into this world thirty years ago. Ryan is one of the best things that ever happened to me. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Boat Dinner

Last night Ryan and I had our first official boat dinner. My parents have been taking Zoey and Caleb out to dinner once a week and it gives us a night to ourselves. We were more than ready to get out on the boat this week. 

I wanted to keep our dinner simple so I fixed us some cheese, crackers, and fruit. To me, that's the perfect boat dinner!

It was so relaxing sitting on the boat, watching the sun set. It's been a while since I just stayed still. I feel like we've been so busy for so long and it was nice to just stop. 

This sweet husband of mine has a birthday coming up in just a couple of days!

We have the best time together. I'm such a lucky lady! 

I don't think Caleb even missed us last night. He got to go to dinner with three of his favorite people and then  got to play on the new playset my parents had built for them. Both kids were so excited! They are treated so much better than I was growing up! They are beyond spoiled by their grandparents. Ha! 

I also wanted to share my first picture of some of the reupholstered cushions! I love how they are turning out! Big difference....

I took a picture of them beside some of the old fabric to show you the difference! Crazy, right?!?

They are beautiful so far and I have actually enjoyed making them. That's the real shock! Once I get them all done, I will move onto the curtains and accent pillows. It's not been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, so I'm fairly happy with it right now. There's just quite a bit to recover! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Things I Love

I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite things right now....

First of all I wanted to document a very special day for my family! Today we received our first shipment of new docks at Island Cove! Let the rebuilding begin, friends. 

I found myself almost teary eyed this morning as I snapped a quick picture. My heart is filled with joy at the sight of our beautiful marina coming back together. I felt like we had been in limbo for a few weeks...patiently waiting as our new docks were built. We've still got a way to go, but this is a huge step! I'm feeling unbelievably blessed today and I just wanted to share with all of you. 

Onto the other things I am absolutely loving right now!

Caleb has been such a joy the last several days. His vocabulary is amazing and I am constantly in awe of the things he says. Ryan and I find ourselves staring at each other, jaws dropping to the floor. He's absolutely hilarious!

You all know how I love to share great things I find. I am one hundred percent smitten with Joss and Main. I seriously love any of the amazing deals they have. I love that their specials change every day. If you haven't signed up for their great offers, click HERE! It's by invitation only, so I'm sharing that with all of you. Enjoy!

I'm also crazy about Ballard Designs right now. They have teamed up with Southern Living and produced a gorgeous collection of tableware. I seriously swoon! 

My favorite creamer right now if Peppermint Mocha. In the past you could only find this around Christmas, but Coffee-mate has kept it around this year. It's my favorite way to have my coffee in the mornings...makes getting up early well worth the effort!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Weekend

We had a very busy busy that I just plain didn't get to take any pictures! Oops! Imagine that...

On Saturday we had to visit the funeral home. My great aunt passed away last week. We had to take Caleb with us and he acted great the short time we were there. I think he's finally starting to understand that there are some places he can be wild, but other times he has to act like he wasn't raised in a barn. It was good to see some of my extended family, but I hate that the only times we get together are during sad times. Isn't that just how it works sometimes? Everyone gets so busy with the everyday parts of life that they run out of time for the most important things...

It was beautiful that afternoon, so Caleb and I went swimming while Ryan worked on the boat. I strapped Caleb into his life jacket and let him go. I had no idea how brave he would be this year so I was more than happy to keep him in the life jacket! We got him a pool noodle to use and he enjoyed "swimming" around the pool. Caleb is really into splashing right now and thought it was hilarious to splash his mommy. When I would splash back he would say, "Trop spashin me! No! Trop it" (Trop is stop right now, but it's so cute). 

Afterwards, we checked in with Ryan on the boat. Caleb didn't nap all afternoon and he was grumpy the entire time. I swear it feels like we argued the entire time that poor hubby was trying to work on the boat! 

On Sunday, Ryan and I finally took the boat out for the first time! The engine runs perfectly and we love it. I also installed the cushions that I reupholstered in the kitchen area. I love how they turned out and I am so excited to finish the rest! I've slowly began plotting all of the decor for the boat. I'm praying it all turns out like I have it pictured in my mind! I'm not usually one for planning something so carefully, but I want the boat to have a certain look to it. I love having a project and have really enjoyed this whole process. I like the creativity and flow of ideas that come. 

I'm really looking forward to relaxing on the boat now. We've been really busy getting her just right and now it's time to start enjoying it! The hostess side of me has kicked into gear....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Smitten by Bright and Beachy!

I've not been able to work on the seat cushions for the boat like I wanted to (having some seriously painful back issues right now), but we did get the engine installed last night. Ryan is in the process of tracing all the wires and getting them hooked up. We ran into a problem when all of the disconnected engine wires were so faded that you really couldn't tell what color they once were. Poor Ryan has had to trace each wire and figure out where it goes. Thank goodness he's so smart about stuff like that or we'd be in some serious trouble! Have I mentioned lately that I'm completely amazed/in love/smitten with that man of mine?!?

The cabin of the boat is completely torn apart! I have been able to sit and clean while Ryan works on the engine. It has really taken some time because it has been awhile since the boat was cared for. There was caked on dirt everywhere. It's finally starting to smell fresh and clean. When I have all of the carpet and old upholstery removed, it will be like new. We're getting to the point where I really get to do some fun decorating! Pinterest has been a source of unlimited ideas for me. I've been thinking more and more of my decorating style lately. When I moved out on my own for the first time, my mom was the one who decorated everything for me. I really had no idea what I liked or disliked about the look of my house, but thanks to Pinterest and Houzz I am slowing beginning to get a feel for my own preferences. In case you hadn't noticed yet, I'm pretty much an open book! I like bright and cheery looking decor. I am obsessed with Pottery Barn beyond belief! Anything light, turquoise, and beach-y is making my heart swoon like crazy right now! 

I love the crisp, clean look! I love the colors used and the way everything is just balanced out. I am craving pops of beautiful color right now. 

I'm definitely making this to use in the cabin. It is beyond adorable!

You can probably tell how smitten I am with this look!

There's something so peaceful and serene about it. I can imagine being surrounded by these colors on a beautiful summer day while spending time with my family. I can also imagine lying in the sun while the waves rock me gently. Can't you feel that when you look at those pictures? Makes me want to go boating right this second!

When I was younger, my parents had a cruiser that we spent all summer on. My mom and dad had some great traditions and we all shared some amazing memories on the lake. Now that Ryan and I have our own boat, I find myself more than ready to recreate those feelings for our family. I can remember nights that we anchored out in the lake, dancing to Eric Clapton, the Beatles, and the teeny-bopper music I was into at the time. Mom and I danced the whole time and life was so beautiful then. I can still remember how my mom would buy tons of snack foods for our trips out. Cheese and crackers will forever be my favorite boat snack! I miss the simplicity of that time. Ryan and I are also looking forward to the social aspect of the boat. We have many friends who raft off together on the weekends and plenty of friends that would like to go out with us. We are both very social people so this really appeals to us! We love entertaining and I am definitely looking forward to that this year. I'm mostly anticipating sharing my boating passion with Caleb. I want him to grow up loving the water like Ryan and I do. I want nothing more than for him to look back on a childhood filled with happy memories with his parents. Who knows? He may even share this love of boating with my grandchildren one day! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Love Being His Mama

This is my third Mother's Day with my sweet, little boy! I am so very blessed to be his mama!

This morning Caleb and I had a "date" at church. We went to a breakfast for all the mothers with preschool kiddos. This was our first year and I was so happy to share it with him. I can't believe he's growing so fast. He's turned into a rambunctious boy overnight! He asked me over and over, "Mama, you wanna go on a date with me?!?" Too sweet!

 I cannot imagine my life without him. Before I became his mom, I didn't understand why so many women wanted to be mothers. Kids are messy...they smell....and they love pitching fits and throwing themselves around. They are unbelievably expensive. Caleb is all of that times ten right now, but it's the stubbornness, the attitude and the impatience that makes me love him even more! I look into his little eyes and see myself, see my husband, and it makes my heart full of happiness. We drive each other crazy sometimes, but that's how it's supposed to be. I'm his mom and he's my wild child! I live for the moments that he snuggles up beside me or lays his head on my shoulder. He's honestly the best thing that ever happened to me.....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who Knew?!?

Last night, I started sewing my new covers for the boat cushions. I selected a light color because I really wanted to brighten the cabin. I have to admit I am slightly obsessed with all things Pottery Barn and this material just makes my heart skip a beat! 

I believe I am developing a love/hate relationship with fabric, sewing machines, and straight pins.....
Who knew I could actually pull this off??? 

Well, maybe my hubby believed in me enough to push me to it! 

My mom came over to discuss my project last night and then left me to it. I'm the type of person who has to sit and study how I'm going to go about things like this. I don't have a natural knack for this stuff. Totally foreign concepts to me! I sat long enough to really question my abilities and had pretty much convinced myself that I was in trouble. My sweet husband came in and listened to me plead my case....and then he told me to just give it a try. The worst I could do was waste some fabric until I got the hang of things. 

This is my very first one! This is one of the seat backs at the kitchen table. It took about thirty minutes for me to cut the fabric out, piece it together and then sew it. I think the sewing part was the most intimidating, but it actually went smoother than I thought it would! 

I plan to show you how I'm tackling this step by step. I didn't take any progress pictures with the first one because I honestly didn't think it would turn out right! Now that I have a feel for what I'm actually doing, I'll share it! 

Freezer Meals

I had a couple of emails and one comment here asking for some of the recipes for my freezer meals. I love sharing what works for us, so here you go....

I tried a recipe from Pinterest and Ryan absolutely fell head over heels in love with it. It's super simple and I don't think it actually has a special name. At our house, we call it Cream Cheese Chicken stuff. I know that it seems super simple (which it is) and doesn't sound like anything special, but it is absolutely wonderful!!! It does freeze well or you can simply throw it in the crockpot that day. 

I took three boneless, skinless chicken breasts and put them in my freezer bag. I emptied one can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup, one regular block of cream cheese, and one packet of Italian salad dressing seasoning. At this point, I sealed my bag and froze it. Yesterday morning I took it from the freezer, opened the bag and dumped it into my crockpot. I turned it on "Low" and went to work. When we came home, I shredded the chicken and mixed it all together. By this time it was smelling beyond fabulous! I cooked some white rice and stirred it in. You could also use noodles here instead. 

This is what it will look like when you're ready to eat. I promise it is soooo good!

Tonight I am fixing pork loin. This is another quick and easy freezer meal. I put one pork loin, a cup of brown sugar and a can of pineapple chunks (with the juices) into a freezer bag and sealed it. 

This is how it looked when I took it out of the freezer...
I dumped everything into my crockpot and set it to "Low". 

You can use chicken here too and it is awesome! So simple and it really doesn't take much effort. Tonight I will shred it and serve it over rice. 

I love meals that are easy to make and don't take a lot of prep time throughout the week. I enjoy cooking more complicated things on Saturdays when I have more time. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Removing Oxidation

While I've been plotting and planning the interior changes to our boat, Ryan has transformed the outside. When we got the boat, it had a lot of oxidation on the gelcoat. Basically, if a boat sits in the elements for an extended amount of time, this white, chalky layer covers the entire boat. The best way to prevent this from happening is keeping the boat covered and waxing it regularly. 

In this picture you can see the front half of the boat is still faded, dull and chalky looking. The right side is where Ryan began using buffing compound. It works to polish the gelcoat and restore the shine. We only use Meguire's and it does a fantastic job! 

You can really see the oxidation on this boat when you look at what is supposed to be the navy stripe at the bottom. See the scum line below the blue stripe? We got rid of that using an acid called On and Off. It's a very strong chemical and Ryan has a lot of experience using this product. We recommend gloves and a lot of fresh water to rinse if you decide to use it. Be extra careful with it! 

He was so excited to see his boat! 
He has only visited during the washing process. We've kept him far away from the messy part of this! Could you imagine him with the buffer and some liquid buffing compound?!? 

Ryan and I have spent our lunch breaks for the past week doing this:

Before we got started, we washed the boat to remove as much residue as we could. Then Ryan used the One Step Compound from Meguire's to begin removing the oxidation. He used an electric buffer for the job. I could not imagine doing this by hand! There will be a couple of areas on the top that we'll have to tackle by hand, but the buffer made it so much easier! We actually had to do the whole process twice because the oxidation was so bad. You can see the stripe at the bottom is in fact navy! Last night, we began waxing the sides. It's beginning to look amazing! It has taken quite a bit of time, but it's well worth it. 


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