Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On the Mend...

Skylar is feeling better already. It's amazing how a couple of doses of antibiotics can change a person. I can tell she is sleeping better, and her appetite is growing as well. Even though she didn't act like she felt that bad, I can definitely tell she feels better now.

I have to thank my mom now. She was really feeling brave yesterday afternoon. She and my sister took my kids and my nephew downtown for Monsters on Main Street. I haven't heard an official count but they were expecting around 1500 kids to be trick-or-treating the downtown businesses. I couldn't get off work in time to go - since they do it before dark - so I very much appreciate my mom taking them especially since they won't be going trick-or-treating tonight. I haven't taken a picture of them in their costumes yet but I will get one of my black cat and Emperor Palpatine (of Star Wars fame) and post it soon.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketUpdate time - stayed the same. And once again I am grateful for that. I weighed in +4 on Monday morning, though that was obviously water retention or it wouldn't all be gone today. Weekends are so hard for me. I think it is mostly because I am surrounded by people that aren't in the same mindset when it comes to food. It is a lot easier when those around you are at least trying to follow the same rules. We had a fish fry at church Sunday afternoon, and it was really hard not to eat more than I did. Don't get me wrong, I did not deny myself as I should have, but quitting when I did was harder than it should have been.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moods - Good and Bad - Are Contagious

Have you ever notices how moods are contagious? How you can start the day in a good mood, and it can be turned around by the moods of those around you? I notice this all the time and have tried to keep others from getting me down, but it is not always easy. Sometimes before I know it, negative comments from others have "infected" me, and I have a big old case of the bad mood. I have also noticed that bad moods are way more contagious than good moods. Maybe its because I see fewer cases of good moods, but they do seem harder to catch. Anyway... what to do about it? I read the following article at and it seemed to have some good tips...we will see if any of them work.

Working productively: Managing your moods at work
Most of us have emotional ups and downs at work. Some days we can't wait to get to work and other days we can't wait to go home. Our moods may be affected by a great variety of factors -- from the weather to a long commute to a personal issue or a conversation with a customer.
It's normal to experience different moods during the workday, but it's also important to know how to manage them. Recent studies have found that moods can have a strong effect on performance. Research has also shown that moods are contagious -- people can "catch" moods from each other. It will be easier to do your best at work if you are aware of your moods and know how to control them.

How moods affect your work Your moods may affect your work in many ways. Some of these may be obvious. If you're feeling low because of a problem at home, you may find it harder to get started on a challenging project. If you're overjoyed by a great performance evaluation, you may be able to accomplish even more than usual.

Your moods can also affect your work in more subtle ways, according to a recent study by Nancy Rothbard at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Steffanie Wilk at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. They found that:
The mood we bring to work has more effect on our performance than on mood changes caused by events in the workplace.

Both positive and negative moods can affect your performance, but positive moods are more powerful.

If you deal with customers or clients, their moods may affect your moods. All of this means that while you need to be aware of your moods all day long, it's especially important to start work in a good mood or a positive frame of mind. Why does this matter so much? A possible explanation is that your mood at the beginning of the day carries over into events that occur later and affects how you cope with them.

Managing your moods during the day The key to managing your moods during the day is to balance the "up" and "down" times. Your overall sense of well-being is determined partly by factors you can't control, including your genes and family background. So it's unrealistic to try never to have a bad mood or to stay in an upbeat mood every minute of the day. You don't have to avoid all unpleasant feelings to be happy. Just don't allow them to crowd out all the good feelings.

Be aware of and keep track of your moods. Pay attention to your moods at different times of the day and in different situations and how, if at all, they affect your work. Get feedback if you aren't sure about this. Ask a coworker you trust how your moods come across. You might also keep a notebook of your moods. Write down your four or five most noticeable mood changes during the day. This can help you identify the situations or times of day that are most challenging for you, so you can figure out how to control them.

Acknowledge your bad moods and don't allow them to affect others. Avoid blaming others for your moods. Even if you're in a bad mood, be courteous and businesslike with coworkers and customers.

Set boundaries. Take steps to avoid "catching" the bad moods of chronic complainers. Have a polite exit strategy you can use when someone starts to gripe.

Make the most of your lunch break. Whenever possible, take your lunch break. Try to make time to eat away from your work area, in a lunch area with coworkers you enjoy. Try to keep lunch time topics light and upbeat.

Connect with positive people throughout the day. Being around upbeat people makes us feel good. When we're with upbeat, optimistic people, we don't just relax mentally -- we relax physically, too.

Limit how long you hold on to a negative emotion. Daniel Goleman writes in "Emotional Intelligence" that we may not have control over when we're swept by an emotion, nor what the emotion will be. But we can control how long an emotion will last. Sometimes we need to take an active role to send the emotion away. Consider giving yourself a "two-minute warning" when a mood has gone on for too long. Give yourself two minutes more to think about the subject, then move on to something else.

Learn relaxation techniques you can do at work. Physical tension can prolong a bad mood. Keep your posture and gestures relaxed. Avoid crossing your arms or legs or clenching your fists. Try deep breathing or muscle-relaxation techniques. If your moods are caused by mental stress, you may benefit from visualization techniques, such as looking at a pleasant picture or envisioning yourself in a setting that makes you feel good.

Talk with a doctor if your moods are severe or frequent enough to affect your work. Mood swings can result from some illnesses, medications and normal biological changes. You may have a health concern that needs attention if your moods seem to be worse or last longer than other people's. If your doctor can't find a medical reason for your mood swings, you may be experiencing depression and could benefit from talking with a professional.

Most of us can't avoid occasional bad moods. You may not always be able to prevent them from occurring, but you can control how you respond to them. You can keep your moods from affecting your performance, and your overall sense of well-being, by being aware of your moods and how to manage them.

Moms Don't Know It All

Skylar is sick. She hasn't acted sick. She's not run a fever. She only has an annoying little cough that doesn't want to go away. We have been giving her allergy medicine and cough syrup, but after a week of coughing it was daddy that was convinced that she needed to go to the doctor, and now mom feels like a real heel, because guess what - she has pneumonia. I feel horrible for not taking her to the doctor sooner, but my "mom sense" kept telling me it was just a cold. She hasn't acted anything like Stephen did when he had pneumonia last spring. Granted, even the doctor was perplexed by the fact that she had not had any fever, I still feel like I should have known. But now she is on the mend, with 10 days worth of antibiotics - and she didn't even have to get a shot. Keep her in your prayers, that she has a quick recovery and is as good as new in no time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thankful Thursday

  • I am sooooo thankful for a God that still heals, even when our faith gets weak.
  • I am thankful for a good report at Stephen's parent-teacher conference this week. Knowing that he is excelling in school and that he behaves well there - even when he doesn't at home - makes my heart smile.
  • I am thankful for Skylar feeling better today - she had a fever last night but it was gone this morning.
  • I am thankful for Skylar's teacher. Skylar is learning so much at preschool. She continues to amaze us with all of the things she remembers. Just this morning she informed me that Little Rock is our capital and Mike Beebe is our governor. More importantly she knows that the Bible is the inspired word of God, as well as many other facts about the Bible.

For more thankfulness head over to God is in Control...NOT ME! , where Crystal is guest hosting Thankful Thursday for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Challenge Update

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Still doing good. Well actually up 1 pound but considering I have had no exercise this week other than the 3 miles I walked Saturday, I will consider that good. I have had a sinus infection which of course makes me feel like barely moving when I have to, let alone voluntarily engaging in exercise. But I am on the mend now, so this week will be better.

I wish I had my pictures off of my camera to show you the baby shower cake that I helped decorate this weekend. I will try to share soon. Come to think of it - after "taste testing" that icing Saturday, I should be VERY thankful that the scale was only up a pound this week.

Wanna be inspired...head over to Tales from the Scales and see how everyone else did this week on the challenge.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Praise Report

Several months ago Brian's dad was diagnosed with lymphoma. At the time the doctor told him it was very treatable. After the first few rounds of chemo, they rescanned him and found that the cancer had not gotten much smaller. He has since been through several rounds of much stronger chemo and the whole family has dealt with the ill effects of the treatments. But God is of yesterday the doctors told him the cancer is now gone. You really can't ask for a better result than that, can you? He still has to undergo two more rounds of chemo, but just knowing the cancer is gone is such a relief.

Monday, October 22, 2007

2007 Race for the Cure Photos

2007 Race for the Cure

Saturday my friend Kathy, my sister Julie, and I joined with close to 50,000 other participants in the annual Susan G Koman Race for the Cure in downtown Little Rock. We were cheered on by thousands of onlookers, including my hubby Brian and my son Stephen who took part this year for the first time by registering for the Three Miles of Men. And while we didn't finish in record breaking time (right at 1 hour 15 minutes), we left feeling great about our contribution to the cause of breast cancer awareness and research.

It was amazing to see that many people turn out in support of this cause. There were so many people walking in honor or in memory of someone who has fought breast cancer. I walked in honor of both my grandmother - a nearly 20 year survivor - and my mother-in-law - a 13 year survivor. It was most inspiring to see those who are currently battling this disease out there taking it one step at a time. I saw many who showed the signs of current treatment- no hair- face masks. It really made me stop and realize how truly blessed I am to be as healthy as I am.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's Been a Week???

Has it really been a whole week since I posted? What happened. I guess life happened. It's been crazy at work with the final income tax deadline for the year passing on the 15th - sure hope everyone got their taxes filed. I don't think I mentioned it before but I am also in the middle of and income tax class for work. We had our midterm Monday...hope I did OK. It's been a long time since I have had to sit in lecture, do homework, and study for tests.

There has been some fun stuff too. Last Friday night was the Casting Crowns concert. Even though I have to say that I don't think it was nearly as good as the first time I saw them two years ago, I really enjoyed it. We had good fellowship, a great meal at Chili's, and the music and worship was a real blessing.

Saturday was a busy day too. We took the kids to Brian's company picnic. I have to say it was better than the county fair a couple of weeks ago. His company really does it up right. They have carnival games for the kids, bounce houses, mazes, bingo, door prizes, and lots of food. There were nachos, funnel cakes, sno-cones, smoked ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, chips and cookies. And it was all FREE. The kids had a wonderful time and when we left there we took them to a birthday party at Playworld. By the time we left there we were all give out.

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As for this weeks Tales from the Scales challenge...I lost a pound. Which is hard to believe since I think I had at least one bite of everything listed above - plus birthday cake. But I will take it. If I could skip the weekends I would do much better at losing/maintaining my weight. I do really well during the week when everything is on schedule. I eat lunch at the same time. I bring the same things for breakfast. It's when I am faced with too much time on my hands and too much to choose from that I tend to make the wrong choices.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Holding Steady

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So there was no change in my weight this week. I know that if I had made better choices this weekend I would have seen a slight drop, but I didn't and I will take what I got. I have been doing better at getting my water intake up. The last 2 days I have had 80+ ounces. Needless to say I have made many trips down the hall to the restroom. I have also tried to do better at excercising. I still haven't made it outside to walk, but i did dust off the seat of my stationary bike a few more times this week.

I have been reading a very interesting blog concerning weight over at girltalk. They are running a series of interviews with authors David Kotter and Dr. Jeffrey Trimark. They have a book scheduled to be published next year called Eat and Be Content. They have brought out some thought provoking ideas about overeating, discontent and sin. While I haven't read enough to know that I agree with everything they say, they have definitely given me some food for thought about the way I view food, eating, weightloss and how it relates to my spiritual life.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thankful Thursday - Better Late than Never

Ok, I am a day late, but Thankful Friday just doesn't have the same ring to it.

I am thankful for the Encouraging Word I get from KLOVE each morning in my inbox. Today it reminded me that as long as I build my life on Him my faith will grow, and then I won't be able to stop being thankful.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your
faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with
thankfulness. Colossians 2:7, NLT

I am thankful for the conviction I felt at the altar Wednesday night. It is time for me to get back in shape...
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto
all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to
come. 1 Timothy 4:8

...I have let myself get slack in my Bible reading and just like when we stop exercising our bodies, we get out of shape, when we stop exercising in God's word, we easily slip back into old habits...mine are negativity, sarcasm, and being withdrawn from those around me.

I am thankful for friends that will hold me accountable in my reading and improving my attitude as well as for helping me to recognize the Spirit's conviction. God has really put some special people in my life and I am thankful He sent them my way.

Check out more Thankful Thursday...on Friday... at Sting My Heart.

I gotta add this after reading Heather's comment I went reading her blog and it led me to this article she wrote about pessimism. God is really good you know! That article spoke right to my heart.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tuesday Challenge

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It's amazing how well things work when you actually do them right. I stayed on track for the last week, counted my points, and tracked them daily, and I am very proud to say that I am down 3.5 pounds. That puts me back at the very top of my maintenance range.

My next goal is to get back into my exercise routine. I have let that slip a little here lately. My problem is that I absolutely loathe riding my stationary bike, but it seems to be the only routine I have been able to stick to. Now that the weather is cooling off, I hope to get outside and go walking some. At least that would shake up the routine some. I guess I could drag out my real bike so I would at least feel like I am going somewhere, but I would probably be as graceful as my friend Jenny. I haven't been on that bike since I found out I was pregnant with Stephen back in 1999.

Anyway - hope everyone else over at Tales from the Scales had a good week too.

In Other News

Brian has been going to therapy for carpal tunnel as well as lower back pain. My sister starts physical therapy today for carpal tunnel as well. This got me to thinking, as much time as I spend at my computer, it is almost inevitable that some day I will develop this as well. So for a little preventative measure, I switched my mouse to my left hand. Talk about a way to really mess with your mind. Now I am left-handed, so you wouldn't think this would be such a big deal, but it is all in what you get used to. Though I do think that being a lefty makes it easier for me to adapt because most things in this world are made for right-handed folks, it is really a struggle to retrain your mind. I challenge you to try it for a day, mostly so I won't be the only one confused about right clicks and left clicks being totally backwards.