Thursday, February 11, 2016

Update, birthday celebration

This report is for me: It is Feb 11 and I've been going strong on my eating plan for about 38 days. I feel good, lost some weight, and still feel motivated. I try to avoid the scale until weigh in day but that doesn't seem to be working out. 

IRONY: If I step on the scale and I don't lose, I want to eat to suppress the frustration. If I step on the scale and lose, I want to eat to celebrate. What does that say about me? 

In other news....

Harold has travelled twice in the past month; once to Boston and once to Nashville. Traveling is fun for him in some ways and a bummer in other ways. He says he would give anything to be able to just go to the fridge for some milk and cookies but is stuck in hotel rooms without the same kind of conveniences. And he has to eat where EVERYONE agrees to eat, even if he isn't jazzed by the decision. 

We miss him while he is gone but make the best of it by piling on my bed at night and chatting about nothing. I like having the kids close. Last night I had to kick them out of my room so I could sleep. And now I'm wishing I would have just gone to bed even later so I could enjoy them. I mean, my 17 and 20-year-old want to hang out and chat with their mother? I should NEVER kick them out, ever, no matter what time it is.

The fog here is super thick today. Inversion. I missed an accident on my way in, YAY! 

I crave protein lately, like right now I'd kill for some brisket. 

Mack had his 17th birthday this week. Such a sweet kid. And so confident, funny, entertaining, tall!, motivated, and respectful. On Savannah's social media post about Mackson's birthday she said he would wake her up just to tell her she deserves the best and that he loves her. 

He loves #happysocks, soccer, conditioning class (haha!), KT tape, and Tiger the cat. He is picky about his food, but can really put away the cold cereal. He works hard to maintain all A's and A-'s in school. He can be found at night in his bed reading his scriptures, both the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament (to stay on top of his assigned reading for seminary). He loves his sister, fiercely. And he likes to tell his mom and dad about his day. 

His birthday meal request was BBQ beef sandwiches, frog eye salad, potato salad, homemade rolls, and yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I added a green salad, drinks, ice cream and another cake for the 18 family members at the party. 

HaPpY bIrThDaY dear Mackson!

Friday, January 29, 2016

What's Happening

I made it through my 10 days of sugar (and carb) fasting with minimal problems. And I felt so good about myself.

Now I'm 25 days in and have had some sugar and some carbs....but very little. I feel more in control but I don't think I've detoxed necessarily or killed any cravings. But I am making better choices. Yay!

I am a bit tired lately. I don't think I've slept well in about a month. And today I am really feeling it. I feel worn down and incredibly tired. I usually sleep quite well so this is a bit unusual for me. I'm on a mission to sleep well this weekend.

Harold traveled to Boston this week (via JFK, Rhode Island and Atlanta). In a couple weeks he'll go to Nashville. Lucky boy! Traveling sounds fun to me, even if it is for work.

The greatest thing I got to do this week was go to the Springville Museum of Art high school student show and select a piece of art as the McKay School award winner for the year. The award comes with a cash prize and we'll get to display the winner in our conference room for a year. I'm super pleased with the selection, despite my lack of art education. I am a human being and when art speaks, it speaks.

And one more fun story: A kind woman told me I have beautiful eyes. I never get compliments on my eyes so I was extremely flattered. Then as I was thanking her (and probably blushing a bit because I was so surprised) she says, "no, your eyes are MAGICAL." How sweet is that?? Like Savannah said, "Zero to Magical, just like that."

I am giving a lesson to the young women at a ward conference this Sunday. The ward conference theme this year is Alma 7:11-13:

 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions and btemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.

 13 Now the Spirit aknoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the bflesh that he might ctake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

When I first read this theme I was a bit disappointed honestly. I felt like there was nothing catchy or jazzy about this scripture. The scripture seemed long and not interesting. 

I am here to say, I was wrong...on every account. 

Knowing we have a Savior and that he suffered EVERYTHING for our benefit? Amazing. And awesome. And humbling. 

I'm excited to talk with young women about what their trials are and how each of them can gain strength through Jesus Christ to overcome them. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 9 of 10

Just a quick update: 

I've done REALLY well on my 10 day sugar cleanse. I've lost a few pounds but more importantly I've proven to myself that I actually can live sugar-free. I'm pretty proud of myself at this point. I also feel a little like an addict, wanting my 9-day chip for going sugar-free. Is there such a thing as a 9-day chip?

I also realized I have something in common with Lot's wife. She looked back! I look back....on my life with sugar and carbohydrate addiction and resent having to move away from that life. I want to bathe in sugar and feed my addiction. I want to return to the life that will eventually destroy me. Just like Lot's wife. 

In a quote from Jeffrey R. Holland in a speech given at BYU in 2009 he said, "So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her sin." 

I feel the attachment to my past has, up to this point, outweighed my confidence in my future.

Onward and upward. I'm hoping to learn a lesson and look my wonderful future!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

21 Years Later...

It was 21 years ago on a night just like tonight.....(my family understands this reference)

Really it was in the morning hours, in Oakland, CA, where Harold and I were sealed. If you had known us then you would know that Harold was pretty freaked out at the idea of getting married...worrying about whether or not I was the right decision. He cried (the first time I had ever seen him cry) on the way to the temple, telling me he KNEW I was the right choice. And as soon as we walked out of the temple he had a sweet smile on his face and told me how glad he was that we were married. Even though some of my pre-wedding memories are pretty traumatic, I have other very sweet memories of that day. I know I made the right choice and I hope Harold still feels the same.

I heard a radio segment today wherein people were supposed to text into the show to tell how their spouse has changed them for the better. Pretty appropriate topic for me today of all days. I've decided to name a few ways that Harold has changed me for the better. Or maybe these are really things that Harold does for me that make me feel loved.

The Top 21 Reasons I love Harold, for our 21st Anniversary

1. He helps me understand that others have their agency and that I cannot control them.
2. He makes me feel wanted and needed when he takes me out on dates every.single.week.
3. He quietly lives the gospel and by doing this encourages me to do the same.
4. He has always insisted that I drive the newer car. This makes me feel safe and loved.
5. We have fallen into a routine of who does what around the house and while either of us would gladly step in to each other's roles when needed, we are both very glad the other takes care of certain things. E.G. Harold does yard work, I do laundry.
6. He insists we have getaways to help our minds reset and to show each other we prioritize our marriage.
7. He apologizes quickly.
8. He accepts my weaknesses and forgives easily.
9. He insists on family prayer, scripture study and family home evening. I had no idea how rare this is, even among those who know.
10. He is real. He isn't perfect and I love that about him.
11. He is ultra supportive in making sure I spend time with my family. He even sleeps over at my parents house when asked...with zero complaint.
12. He spends hours serving others. Think Christmas Day where he didn't even open the box to his new gadget until he had spent HOURS removing snow from my parents driveway and sidewalks.
13. He is my rock when anxiety sweeps through my mind. He reminds me that things will get better.
14. When we vacation together, we are completely in sync. We rest, we sightsee, we eat. It's nice that we have the same traveling rhythms.
15. He gave me pretty much the most beautiful children on the planet. Thanks hon!
16. He supports me in callings and in any dream I have. He wanted me to finish my degree and even though I started back for my final year of school when I was still the primary president and had a part-time job, he didn't bat an eye. He just loved me and told me I could do it.
17. He listens to my complaints and empathizes with me. He hears me.
18. He has always loved and respected his mother. I noticed this the first time I met Georgia. We were preparing for Brice's wedding and reception at the house and Harold jumped right in and started working from sun up to sun down. He knew what his mother needed and he made sure he supported her. I always knew he would take care of a wife in the same way...anticipate needs and make sure those needs are met.
19. He works HARD. I always knew he would take a job anywhere and do anything to support our family so I never worried about a layoff. This past year when he was laid off he was at the employment center almost every day firing off resumes and making contacts. I was super proud of him for being such a hard worker but also proud of him that he wouldn't take a couple of jobs that just did not suit him. I know it was hard for him to turn down a couple of those jobs because we didn't have anything else lined up. But he has really come into his own and realizes what his strengths and talents are and waited until a job came that fit him. Not only does he work hard outside the home, he is constantly working at home. He cleans, he cooks, he fixes.
20. For our 20th anniversary he insisted we do something big to celebrate. We ended up getting some money that was unexpected and while we probably should have paid down some debt, he insisted we go somewhere amazing. Then two weeks later we were on a plane to Paris. I didn't think we needed to be anxious to go...why not wait until spring time? But Harold was sure if we didn't take advantage at that moment, that the opportunity would pass us by. And he was right. With the layoff we never would have gone to Paris if we had not gone when we did. And we had a fabulous time! (see #14)
21. For 21 years this man has loved me fiercely. He has always made me feel secure in our relationship. He and I have set some marital rules to help ensure we stay strong together and he sticks to those rules. Even though my imperfections can sometimes be so obvious, he doesn't care. He loves me anyway. He not only loves me, he likes me. And I like him. He is my best friend. I am grateful every day for Harold.

I love you Lima!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I love tacos. Always have. I have tacos every single year for my birthday. Just simple ground beef tacos with a seasoning pack thrown on and corn tortillas fried up. I could eat tacos every day of my life I believe.

I saw an article today about a new "taco cleanse." The article was ridiculous and the cleanse was touted by "taco scientists." I mean...if there is such a job, I want it! Despite the ridiculousness of it, I could relate since I am on a cleanse of sorts....a sugar cleanse.

Day 3 people!

The hardest part isn't going without sugar, the hardest part is the planning. I have to make sure I arise in time to make a breakfast for myself so I'm not grabbing something on the go (my go-to breakfast last year was chocolate milk from the BYU Creamery...and it was oh so good!) But this year I've had smoothies with spinach, frozen fruit and greek yogurt. If I have more time I'll scramble up an egg.

And I have to pack lunches. Usually I eat out....every single day. And it costs a lot of money. So even though my grocery bill last week (the shopping trip wherein I bought a TON of fresh ingredients) was $50 over my usual budget I will save between 30-50 by not eating I don't feel bad the fresh ingredient expense.

I had a headache last night, I'm sure it was some sort of withdrawal from sugar because I don't typically get headaches.

So there you have it. Day three is half way in the books. Tomorrow is my anniversary, 21 years!

Monday, January 4, 2016

First Monday of 2016

Did I mention I'm going sugar free for 10 days. Today is day 1. Ha! And it's 10:33 AM and things are GREAT!

I truly am worried about my ability to stick to this; however, I know the benefits will help me enormously so I'm feeling motivated.

My work fridge is stocked with turkey, swiss cheese, carrots, a pear, an orange, natural peanut butter and cream cheese. I wish I would have brought my celery (to go with the cream cheese and peanut butter....oh well, another day).  My home fridge is PACKED with fresh ingredients and I'm excited about that.

I should note that the sugar free thing is not fat free, nor do I count calories.

I've noted to myself that my usual daily diet consists of carbs, sugar and fat.

So this SF plan makes me eat protein, fruits, veg and fat.

I had a smoothie this morning consisting of blackberries, an orange, a banana and 1/2 C of greek yogurt. It was pretty bitter.

I keep wondering if my taste buds will make any real changes in 10 days. I am so used to NOT liking the taste of fruits and veggies because my tongue is so overloaded with sugar, ya know? I'd like to enjoy fruits and veggies again. was hard to come back to work today. Having two weeks off really messes with my head. I stay up late, I do what I want, I cook, I clean, I spend time with kids and hubby. I LOVE IT! And I'm mourning the loss of those two weeks.

I got online this morning and got my reservation for our family to tour the Provo City Center Temple Open House on Jan 16, which happens to be my dad's 69th birthday but he will be out of town that weekend.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Journal 2016

The other day my dad was telling me about how he had read in his journal back in 1994 about me bringing home a boy named Harold Nichols. It was fun to hear his thoughts and we reminisced about the events surrounding Harold's proposal and our wedding day.

A few days later, Harold pulled out his old journal and started sharing things with me. It was fun to hear about the little things we did together and as a family.

I was feeling a bit blue about my lack of journaling when I realized I had a terrific journal that I was pretty faithful to from 2008-2011 and it's THIS BLOG!

The original plan for this blog was to document my weight loss. That was back in 2008. And I'm still worrying about weight loss.

However, I've decided to start blogging again because the blog is my journal. I may not share everything on this blog due to it's non-private nature, but events and general feelings about those events are and will be shared. This is the easiest way for me to journal. I may share weight-related stuff...but only if it's super important to me that day. But I want to share the day-to-day stuff on here. I want some kind of record for my to look at when my memory is completely gone and hopefully this blog will spark a glimmer of recognition in my failing years. And I'd like my kids and husband to read about what was important to me and the goings on of our every day life.

Here goes, events of note:
1. I am going to sugar detox for 10 days. Jan 4-Jan 13, 2016. I am completely sugar addicted and I'm hoping this will boost my energy and hopefully curb some of those nasty cravings.
2. Harold started a new job on June 29, 2015 at LexisNexis. We are super glad for this change in his employment and despite a very large learning curve, he is really enjoying the new job. It is stressful, to be sure. But he is closer to home, getting a decent paycheck, and we are hopeful that this is a long-term employment situation.
3. Savannah started a cosmetology apprenticeship in Payson at Cloud9 Salon with Holly Despain Amuse. Holly is a great teacher and Savannah is loving her schooling. She will test for her state boards around May or June of 2017. The apprentice costs less but takes longer to complete. She attends the young adult ward and was called to teach 3rd Sunday Relief Society, which we feel will be a really great challenge and blessing for her. She is dating a pre-mission boy named Jacob. We are hoping he leaves during the first half of 2016 and are supportive of this desire. :)
4. Mack is midway through his junior year. He enjoys club and school soccer. He recently attended the NY Eve youth dance and loved it. He looked super fly in his new navy floral shirt with navy blazer and jeans. Best dressed kid there and the best looking. He is the 1st assistant in the priests quorum.
5. I am still at BYU and really love where I work, not just BYU but the dean's office of education. I work with hard-working people who are dedicated to their work and are really great people. They are supportive and kind. I was called to serve in the Stake YW back in September-ish and serve as the 2nd counselor. It is a BUSY calling.

2015 was a very eventful year for us.

Harold and I celebrated our 20th anniversary by going to Paris, France from January 30 until Feb 8. It was so very cold but we bundled up and just completely enjoyed our visit. We stayed in a small little flat we rented online and it was perfect! We ate great food, saw amazing sites, and spent some super quality time together. We went in the Louvre, walked down the Champs d'Elysees, went to the Eiffel tower twice (once at night and once during the day), toured the Musee d'Orsay, walked ALL OVER Versailles (the city and the palace grounds and saw the temple site/construction), took a day trip to see Chateau de Fontainebleau, and walked to the Sacre Couer. Amazing trip! We really stressed over whether to take this trip and Harold's defining moment was, if we don't do this now something could happen and we won't end up going ever. I'm so glad I listened to that advice because.....

Harold was laid off from the University of Phoenix on April 2 and was without work until June 29. He handled it pretty well and worked like a champ to gain employment. He was at the LDS Employment Center daily sending out resumes, making contacts, etc. He was offered the job at LexisNexis mid-June and since we had a couple of weeks before his start date, we altered our family vacation plans (originally scheduled for end of July) and.....

We took the kids to Seattle for our family vacation. We stayed with Britty, Wyatt and Ro. They are gracious hosts and we loved spending time with them. We went to the top of the Space Needle, took a ferry to Victoria, BC, Canada and toured Buchart Gardens as well as the touristy parts of town. We went to Pike's Place Market a couple of times. It was a great trip.

We were able to get new carpet in the house and Harold also tiled all the linoleum areas in our house (back hall and bathroom, two upstairs bathrooms). The new carpet and tile makes us feel like we are living in a brand new house and the feeling is fabulous!

Despite unemployment, financially we did just fine this year. And the only thing I can attribute this to is that we pay our tithing. Many would call us foolish for this belief, but we have always felt strongly that the law of the tithe is an essential part of our faith building and heaps blessings upon us. We have not always been blessed financially through tithes, but we do believe we still own our house because of our obedience to this law of God.

I have nothing bad to say about 2015. We had our share of stress, to be sure. But in the end, we saw God's hand in our lives daily and are grateful for the knowledge of the gospel that sustains us through our trials.