Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A year ago today....

 A year ago today we left home very early in the morning with my parents, and drove to Manchester airport to catch the first of our two flights to California and  our new life...

It was an exciting and upsetting day all in one. For me personally, when I think about leaving my daughter behind I still get upset even now, a whole year later. But it wasn't just my daughter who was left behind. We also left behind my Mum and my Dad, my baby sister and 3 of my nieces. We left behind friends and co-workers, teachers and schools, homes, and a multitude of familiar and welcoming things. We made a conscious decision to only take with us the personal stuff and clothes we needed, so furniture and other material items were found new homes or were thrown away!

Now matter how I look at it sitting here this morning, it just doesn't seem like a year has past! Where did go?  What have we achieved? Was it worth it? They are questions that are running through my head. They say that time flies when you are having fun, and we have certainly had some fun and laughs over the last 12 months. There have also been some trials and tribulations to go along with it all, but on the whole there has been way more good stuff than bad stuff.

  • My daughter, the beautiful A graduated from Warwick University with a BA (Hons) in Theatre & Performance Studies, and I got to fly back to the UK to watch the ceremony and spend time with my family
  • My eldest son, gorgeous G graduated middle school as Valedictorian with a GPA of 4.0 and the English Language Arts Prize, having only been at the school for one full semester and without any weighting on his GPA.
  • My wonderful S and I got married, in the back garden, by Chris Robinson, celebrity Officiant, although we had no clue how well known he was at the time (http://www.officiantguy.com/). Now of course we can tell people that we got married by the same guy who married Scott Baio, Milla Jovovich, Gene Simmons & Tori Spelling to name but a few - that's pretty cool!
  • Myself, G and H were all granted  our Green Cards and became Permanent Residents of the US.
  • I took my 2nd driving test and passed first time (again)
  • Handsome H, discovered he has a natural talent for playing the drums and promptly gave up.
  • G took up Hapkido and will pass his purple belt before we move.
  • My wonderful S left his job at the hospital to work for the hospital association and then got laid off, which was not fun, but he got plenty of work privately while looking for something permanent again so it was all good.
  • S got a personal letter of commendation from Colonel Noto of the USAF, for the work he has done and continues to do for the AFSO21 office.
  • The beautiful A, came to spend 5 weeks with us here in Sierra Madre and whilst I couldn't persuade her to stay, we had a great time while she was here.
  • My parents came to stay with us for 2½ weeks which was fabulous and we got to do some cool stuff with them, like see the space shuttle Endeavour on her last ever flight.
  • More recently we have heard that my Dad no longer needs to have an intensive course of intravenous chemo for his prostate cancer, but is able to go onto a brand new wonder drug which is just brilliant.
  • My Dad also got another all clear after his bowel cancer and doesn't need to be checked again on that for another 12 months - Wow!
  • My wonderful S, got offered a great job with Walmart that whilst not being in the field he really wants to be in (healthcare), means that we are moving to Arkansas and buying a big house on a lake in the forest, instead of renting a small house in suburban LA. The difference to the quality of life is totally immeasurable and is way above anything we had dared to hope for here in LA where the cost of Living is just crazy high, and S says it is totally worth getting out of healthcare for!
  • I finally met some great people, and believe I have a couple of new friends that I can add to my little select list of 'real' friends - you know the ones who are there no matter what. The ones that call a spade a spade, tell you when you are being and idiot, but still love you anyway.
  • We have cemented relationships with new family, and got to visit some cool places on family get-together's.
  • I met some of S's oldest friends and found that WE hit it off instantly as well, and I can now look forward to finally paying them a visit at their home in New Mexico, as we make the journey across to Arkansas in December. I am so excited about that :-)
  • I still haven't visited my middle sister in Massachusetts yet. She has lived there for nearly 13 years and I have never visited her. We do talk a lot more on the phone now though. However, interestingly, I believe that here in Sierra Madre, I am actually further away from her than I was before I moved from the UK! It just seems closer because the time difference is less and there isn't a giant piece of ocean between us...lol
  • The boys and I got to visit some cool places. We have been to Arizona, New Mexico and Arkansas - got to see the inside of airports in New Jersey, Georgia, Tennessee & Arkansas. We have seen the Golden Gate Bridge, been inside the Rose Bowl and watch a football game, visited the Meteor Crater and taken photographs of the Space Shuttle as it flew overhead.
There are probably a million things that I should have added to my list and haven't, but I think all in all, this past year has definitely had more upside than downside. Now of course we are facing major upheaval again with the move to Arkansas - but I am so sure it is going to be the best thing for us as a family, and I can see us going from strength to strength over the coming months.

So no regrets - Bring on another year!
Happy Halloween

Have a wonderful day


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A few days in....

It's only a few days since S left us, and already I am feeling the loss of him around the house....
Obviously there are some things I don't miss, like cupboard doors and drawers left open after he has been in them, but that is quite honestly the only thing that I don't miss....

I am back to not sleeping, hence my blogging at 11.45pm on a Monday night. Actually it isn't so much the sleeping as the not feeling tired. Once I do feel tired, I know I will actually sleep until morning - it's just waiting and passing time until I feel the tiredness creeping up on me. If S were here, I would have been blissfully in the land of nod for at least an hour and a half by now - at least! Ho Hum

S said that his temp accommodation is clean. It's what is called a 'Studio' - Where this 'studio' in England it would be more appropriately called a 'Bedsit' because that it what it is - a room with a bed, and a place to sit (IE. a loo). In other words it is like a hotel room with a kitchenette - I think he said they were called 'extended stay studio's'. He sent me a few pics, so judge for yourself:

Hmmm - Wardrobe & window!

Kitchenette & end of the bed
Bathroom
I have to be honest and say that I have seen far worse places in my time. When I was at college in Stockport, many many moons ago, I had a friend Martin, who's parents were living in Moscow as his Dad was some kind of Special Envoy or something or other. Anyway they had pots of money, but Martin was living in this dirty grotty bedsit just down the road from the college and it was THE pits! At least this place is actually clean although not very salubrious. S did tell me that he went out and bought new sheets for the bed though, just to be sure they were clean, and he decide that since the bed there was the same size as ours he may as well get some good 500 count Egyptian cotton ones, so we can have even more extras when we move....lol I have to be honest and say I like his justification for wanting nice bedding.

Anyway, he had his first day in the new job today. He said it was a typical boring orientation day where he did pretty much nothing but was busy all day. He says he has the same thing again tomorrow and Wednesday, but he is also meeting with Christy, the Realtor to finalise things over the house so we can get the ball rolling, sign our lives away with the mortgage and get sorted to move in. I am looking forward to getting a call from him to say the deed is done because I kind of feel like we are hanging in total limbo at the moment.

Tomorrow I am meeting our current Landlady for lunch - which is something I have been meaning to do for ages but never got round to. She and her husband are such  a lovely couple, and it seems almost mean to finally set up the meeting and to know that I am going to tell her that we need to break our lease agreement. I am hoping that because we are moving out of state, she will be reasonably accommodating over it all, but you can never tell. I can understand her being upset if we wanted to do it because we were only planning to move to the other side of town or something, but this is something beyond our control as it were - Fingers crossed! I am planning a return to my T'ai Chi class tomorrow night, so at least I will have that to calm me down if the lunch is a traumatic affair. It seems like forever since I last went to T'ai Chi and I have missed it, so it will be good to get back into the swing of it again, even if only for a few weeks.

Well that's all the news I have for now, so I will leave you with a photograph that I took while we were i Rogers the other week.

Have a wonderful day


War Eagle October 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Abi....

This time last year, I was worrying whether everything would come together for my daughters 21st Birthday Surprise....
Today she turns 22, and I am not with her....
I am trying hard not to think and dwell on it too much because this is the first year that I haven't been around for her birthday. I don't suppose it will be the last one that I am not there for. I guess as a parent it is something that you just have to get used to as your children get older. That doesn't make it any easier though...

Although she clearly isn't my baby any longer, she will always be my baby. My wonderful child who lights up a room just by walking into it. Who talks sense to me when I am lost. Who runs at you from behind and flings herself on you for an unexpected hug. Who breaks your heart when she cries because she sobs so hard, and who becomes child like when she snuggles up to you as you go out through the door and asks you if you are "going to buy something yummy what comes on a stick", and when she is feeling down or sick, asks you if you are putting the kettle on could she please have "miracle tea".

She has always been a bright and intelligent child, often asking questions that a child of her age shouldn't even be thinking about let alone able to communicate properly. In the UK you have to take you child for checks with the Health Visitor at age 2 to 3 and then again just before they start school which is the September before their 5th birthday. When I took my beautiful A for her 2 year check up the Health Visitor put some building blocks on the floor, and asked A if she could make a tower (its a standard test for fine motor skills development). A looked at her and said "Yes". The Health Visitor looked at her and asked "Would you build me a tower?" to which A, aged 2 remember, answered in a lovely clear voice "I will yes. How many blocks would you like me to build in my tower?" The Health Visitor was shocked by the level of this 2 year olds' speech and the clearness with which she spoke. She was even more surprised when having told A how many blocks to build, A carefully built the tower, counting the blocks as she went.

Myself & A on the morning she left LA
At 13 or 14, when I attended her Parents Evening at her High School, her Geography teacher, and one of the Deputy heads of the school ,Mr Roberts, told me that A was certainly the most intelligent child in her year, and quite possibly in the whole school. But even more than her intelligence (which amazes me on a daily basis), I have a wonderfully kind, caring and thoughtful daughter, who will do anything for anyone without a care if she is getting anything in return. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't love her to bits. She is quirky and crazy, and sometimes downright pig-headed if she believes strongly enough in something.

She is missed by myself and her brothers every day, and if I could find some way to persuade her to move to Arkansas with us, I would. As it is I have to respect that she has known what she wants to do career-wise since she was 14, and accept that although I may not like it, she is where she believes she needs to be to fulfill her dreams - and her dreams are the most important thing in the world. I need her to follow her dreams and be happy in her life.

I believe she knows how much she is loved by me, not only as her Mum, but as her advocate, and her friend. She is my angel, and she always will be.

Have a very Happy Birthday Sweetheart
Talk to you later on Skype 

I love you
xXx



And so it begins again....

It began again this morning....
Time apart for myself and my wonderful S....

He has loaded up the car with essentials and headed off along the interstate in the general direction of Arkansas and the new job. It actually feels kind of surreal, and is certainly something I wasn't expecting to happen after our 6 month separation last year. That being said he is in the same country this time, albeit 1500 miles away, which is more land than there is between the top and bottom of the British Isles, but hey - if I need to I can actually jump in the car and drive there!  Yes I know it would take me a long time, but if I NEEDED to, I could!

And, this time it won't be such a long time before we see each other, in the flesh, again. It will only be 3 weeks, because S will be flying home for Thanksgiving, Our Anniversary, and his Birthday (that was bad planning really - makes the end of Nov very busy), before heading back for another couple of weeks away, and then flying back here again ready for the drive back to Arkansas with myself and the boys - THE MOVE!

Everything for the move seems to be progressing well. There were a couple of issues raised over the house survey, but nothing too troublesome I hope and we will find out the current owners intentions on Wednesday. For the most part the survey was good, and it turns out the builder actually 'over built' the house which is a good thing as it means the structure is very solid and well built.

I spoke with the removals company a couple of days ago and it seems that Walmart (did I tell you that was who S was going to be working for?) have pretty strict rules about their relocation, and the moving company do not want me to pack a single thing, they will do it all, and are happier to do it all. Does make me feel a little redundant, but I am will embrace the extra time it gives me to do other stuff, like Facebook and Blogging and playing Angry Birds....lol - Well lets face it, we're moving, there isn't a whole lot to do apart from packing at this stage, and then unpacking at the other end of course. Funny how Walmart want the movers to pack everything up, but they don't pay for an unpack at the other end.......

I have spoken to schools both here and in Rogers, and everything is set for the boys. There are forms I need to complete for both of them, but that shouldn't take too long. Poor gorgeous G has to sit his end of semester tests early, before we go because at his High School here the semester doesn't end until the 3rd week in January, so testing is done after Christmas, but in Rogers the semester ends on the 21st December and so the testing is done before the Christmas break. I don't suppose G is too happy about the additional work load he has to make sure he knows everything before he tests early, but all he seems able to think about at the moment is getting to Rogers and getting out on the lake on his new Fishing Kayak that S bought for him. It's a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler, I am told (see photo below).
Means nothing to me but it wasn't cheap and G is so excited about having it. I'm not sure it will help him catch more fish, but anything is possible, and if it means he keeps up with his love of fishing, I am all for it - far better than the multitude of pc games younger brother H plays, and should present me with some great photo ops if he tips it a few times...lol

So that's where we are up to so far. Lots has happened, but there is still lots to happen. I feel a little like we are in the eye of the storm because there seems to be nothing to do for the time being but wait. I think it is probably a good idea to just enjoy the calm and harness up ready to ride the roller coaster that looms over the horizon!

Have a great day
                                                                                                                          


Thursday, October 25, 2012

We found our home....

 Last Thursday we flew to Arkansas to go and look for houses....
We had spent a lot of time looking online and talking with our realtor, David Pegg or Market Pro Realty in Arkansas, and he had very kindly gone out to look at and to take video of one house which kept coming up time and time again every time S and I were looking. My good friend S, who I have known since school said this could be a good omen, and I was truly hoping it was....

The flight from LAX to the NW Arkansas Regional Airport, was uneventful but very long. In order to get 4 seats on each of the flights (there is no direct flight) we had to go via Atlanta, so it made the travel time longer than it really needed to be, but we didn't mind because we were so excited to be there and to see the area and do some house hunting!

Friday morning, S had to go and have a meeting with his new boss, and so we arranged to meet the realtor at 9.30, and he had made our first appointment for 10.30am - This first appointment was at what this far was proving to be the favourite, the Fain house. We got to the office and met with David and also his partner at Market Pro Realty, Christy Fournier. Both of them were lovely people and I thought there was a great connection between us and them which was good. Anyway after a few minutes chat and discussion over which houses we were seeing and in what order, we set off for the first house "The Fain House". We headed east on Highway 12 and then took Highway 303 and after about 15 miles turned into the road and at the end, the house! The first thing we spotted was the stunning view from the front of the house over Beaver Lake, WOW! I got my camera out and started to take photo's. We went into the house and straight away, all 4 of us seemed to relax and take deep breaths. G turned to me and said "Mama this feels like home". We spent the next hour wandering around the house and the gardens on the 1.4 acre plot, and all of us felt it was home. It was such a relief to not feel disappointed. Perhaps my friend S was right, it was a good omen.

Even though "The Fain House" felt almost too right to be true, I was determined to keep an open mind. We had another 4 houses to look at that day, and each one deserved our full attention and consideration.The 2nd house was the "KcNight House", originally at the top of my list. It was the furthest house from town, but had 2 amazing wrap around decks and a truly stunning view of Beaver Lake. Sadly once inside it felt more like a holiday let than a permanent home and despite an amazing vaulted ceiling in the living area, the bedrooms were small and cramped and the layout just wasn't geared for us - it was a "No".

The next house was "The Pageant House". This one was a 2 acre plot, but all the land was to the back of the house and on a pretty steep slope that meant it was pretty much useless space as a back yard other than somewhere to view the wildlife from the comfort of the rear deck, which was smaller in reality than on the net. The house itself was very old fashioned and would have taken a lot of work to make 'right' for us. There were 2 bedrooms in the basement and 2 unfinished areas as well, but it was very dark. Again a "No".

The next house was in a world all of its own. On a 5 acre plot it was a traditional "walton" house. A notice just inside asked us to please remove our shoes and indicated slippers behind the front door. There was also an overwhelming smell of scented candles. The living space was open plan, with tiled floors and tile around the 2 archways at either side that led to the bedrooms. This house was so pristine and OTT that we felt like touching anything would be a mistake. There was a deck running the full length of the back of the house but it was very narrow and totally useless for anything other than walking across. It was more like an outdoors corridor. The master closet was to die for, it was like another room that had been converted into a closet - it was huge!. The en suite was gorgeous too with a huge shower room and separate deep jacuzzi bath and his and her sinks. The tiles were those wonderful natural stone, and I was in heaven. Upstairs there was a huge office and another tiny lounge area. The other 2 bedrooms were a great size and so was the guest bathroom. However, the open plan living area was nowhere near big enough for us, and it was far too ornate for us to have ever felt comfortable - Again another "No"

Finally, we looked at "The Quarry House". On paper my 2nd favourite and on a huge plot, at 10 acres! On paper this house had, an amazing professional range in the farmhouse style kitchen, but at just 2000 sq ft, it was the smallest of the houses we saw. Sadly, it was way too small, and the piles or dirty laundry on the landing and in the bedrooms, combined with unmade beds and general mess everywhere, was enough to put all of us off. The realtor, Christy and I agreed that the lady of this house, was not really keen to move and was trying to delay departure from her home for as long as possible.

At the end of Day 1, we were still keen to move forward on "The Fain House", and S and I agreed that we needed to see something really special on Day 2 to change our minds on it. The boys both agreed that as far as they were concerned, there were no other houses worth seeing.

We went to bed tired and excited about what the new day would bring, but pretty sure we had already found our home.

Day 2 was a gorgeous day and we met our lovely Realtors at 8.30am, full of anticipation. The first 2 houses were  a little way north in Bella Vista, but both on the lake. They were both huge houses the first at just over 4000 sq ft and the 2nd at just under. They were actually built by the same builder and their layouts were pretty much identical. The first had been kind of made into 2 houses or apartments with bedrooms, living space and kitchen repeated on both floors, although on the lower floor the living area had been turned into a games room and theatre room. It wasn't us, and the outside decks needed way too much work immediately that put us all off straight away. These 2 were also right at the top of our budget, so with the work that needed doing to both, they tipped the scales even more heavily, and we moved onto number 3.

Number 3 was back on Beaver Lake and the details said it was 3000 sq ft. It looked great as we pulled up, and looking past the overload of stuffed animal heads on the walls, I thought it had some potential. Its views of the lake were amazing and it had a boat slip included in the sale. Then the more we looked the more we found, literally. Below the main house was a double garage and an office, then below that was another double garage and a workshop and then below that was another workshop space and an area we couldn't get into because it was locked. This house was a total labyrinth - we reckoned on 3000 sq ft heated and cooled and then another 3000 sq ft garage and storage space - it was enormous. Way too much for us - so despite the stunning views, it had to be a no, it was just too overwhelming to feel right!

The final house of the day was away form the lake and was a new build. It was on 5 acres of land, but it was just nothing like we wanted, and we all agreed - we had found our house on the first day. We had found our house before we even arrived. We went for lunch to discuss all the houses and see how everyone felt.

Our decision was a mutual one - we loved the Fain house. It had a good feeling, a good flow and was everything we needed. We toasted our decision and returned to our hotel so the boys could go in the pool and S called the realtor to tell what what they knew already - we wanted to proceed with the Fain house!

Here she is - our soon to be new home.
My apologies to my Facebook friends who have already been bored by these photos.

Front of House
Living Room
Living Room Gallery
Den/Office
Kitchen

From Living Room across towards Kitchen & Dining Area

Family Room

Master Bedroom

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2
Bedroom 3
Master Bathroom, Part 1

Master Bathroom, Part 2
Boys/Guest Full Bathroom

Guest 1/2 Bathroom
Back Deck

View from front of house over Beaver Lake

View of side and back yard from side edge of property

View across the front of the property

Friday, October 12, 2012

Heading East....

As you all know, my wonderful S has been working independently as a Consultant for the last few months. There is a link to his website over there on the left somewhere. However, he has now also taken a full-time position that is going to radically change our lives... Change in a good way, a very good way from where I am standing....

However, in order to make this change, we are going to move - we are moving big style and heading east to Arkansas....
OK, so it isn't big as in moving from the UK to the US, but it is still a pretty big move and we are all really excited about it....

Things are going to move pretty quickly as S needs to be in-situ and ready to start work before the end of the month, so next weekend, myself, S and the boys are being flown to Arkansas to go and look at houses....

Looking at houses is just one of the things that has got us excited about the move.
Here in LA the cost of housing is 352% higher than it is in Arkansas - that is right! It isn't a typo - 352% higher. This is the reason why we currently rent our house and had no plans to buy here in Sierra Madre. Our lovely but little house here was valued at $650k in 2008, so you can imagine how much a monthly mortgage payment would be, and can get an idea about how much our monthly rent is too! Add onto that the crazy high California taxes and you start to get the real picture. In Arkansas, we are looking at houses that are more than double the size of our house here and on a decent plot of land, in some cases 5 to 10 acres, but none less than 1.8 acres, for less than half this value.
Also the state tax in Arkansas is a lot lower than here in California (it is a fact that California has pretty much the highest state tax in the country - crikey sales tax in LA is 8.75%).
The overall cost of living in Arkansas is almost 50% lower than it is here - so that means our hard earned dollars are going to go much further there than here.
Gas/petrol is $1 cheaper per gallon (at normal rates, even more at the minute with the sky high rates we are experiencing).
Insurance is cheaper in Arkansas.
Electricity and Gas are cheaper in Arkansas.
The population of Arkansas per sq mile is considerably lower.
The schools in Arkansas are better, and the high schools in the area we are looking at among the best in the state.
The countryside is green and lush.
OK so Arkansas is in Tornado alley - LA is in earthquake ravine!
There are definite seasons in Arkansas - OK so it will be humid in summer - it will be cold in winter which for us is a wonderful thing - I don't like the fact that here in LA we only have varying degrees of heat. I know some of my friends from the UK will think that this is crazy, but seriously guys, when you have weather like we have had this summer when for 4 months the temp never drops below 90ºF, you miss a cool day. Last Christmas it was 85º on Christmas Day that's never right! You have to get everything you need to do, done before 12 noon, because you know that after that time you are going to need to just park up in front of the A/C and not move! It's great for a holiday - but when holiday time is over and you need to be working and doing normal day to day stuff, it isn't fun!

There are a few downsides, but they are kind of unusual for the US  generally. Sierra Madre is more a village than a town. It has a population of only 11k people. The nice thing is that at the moment, if we want to go out to dinner, we can just walk up the street and along into town - it's half a mile at most! Once we move, we will have to drive to most places - 1 because we are choosing to buy a house on a lake 15 - 20 miles away form the nearest town, and 2 because the nearest town is a big town with a population of 54k, and the nature of the best means that anything residential is on the outskirts and so we would have to drive in anyway!
Friends - moving away from friends is never easy, and the few I now have, have taken me this long to get. However, bigger house, more rooms etc - my friends can come out and visit whenever they want, and we will keep in touch via FB and text and skype and all that stuff. I am firm believer that good friends will remain friends no matter where you are, and so far that has held true for me. I will miss my new ones, as I miss my older ones though. However, I am positive that I will make more new friends, and widen my circle even further which can only be a good thing!

We cannot think of any other downsides to the move - everything about moving is a positive. We have been given an opportunity that means that we can buy a house and set down some proper roots in a part of country that really is quite beautiful, and will give us the chance of a lifestyle we could never have living in the suburbs of a big city...

So over the next few weeks, life is going to get a little crazy - thankfully the company S is going to be working for will sort everything out for us,guide us through, and foot the bill as well. They have already got us flights and a hotel and a hire car so the 4 of us can fly out next week to go and look at houses. Someone from the removals company has called and is coming to do a recce of the house and our belongings here and will come and pack everything and ship it to our new home once we have that sorted. All we need to really do, is organise us and schools, and then hopefully we can make the final move during the school Christmas holidays, and spend a first Christmas unpacking in our new home!

Obviously, I will keep you all posted.


Have a great day


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On the move....

My blogging has been very sparse of late and I seemed to have lost my inspiration. However, as some of you will already know via Facebook - a change is coming....

We are on the move....
Some may say it is a strange move, but for us it is a wonderful thing....

We are leaving behind the bright lights of LA and California and heading east to the lush and green land that is Arkansas, and we couldn't be happier....
There have been trials to go through to reach this decision, but we truly believe that this is an opportunity that cannot be missed, for reasons that will become clear as I find more time to fill you all in....

For now - our move is imminent....
We will have moved by Christmas, and we will not be moving again in the foreseeable future....

If anyone had plans to visit us here in LA - you will need to change your flights...The good news is, that if you were planning to fly from the UK, the flight is 1500 miles less and about half the price...

I feel exhausted just thinking about how much we have to get done in a short space of time, but also excited about the future...

I am off to bed, I need to conserve my energy!
More to follow

Please if you are reading this on Thursday 11th October, please send good vibes to my blogging buddies Amy and Andrew (Tiny Green Elephants), they are in court tomorrow in a far away country to finalise their adoption of 2 beautiful children, Maria and Elijah, so they can finally bring them home to CA and welcome them into their family. And if you live in the San Diego area, Amy is the most amazing family portrait photographer - so if you need family photo's, she is your woman, and all the money she makes goes to their adoption fund which is a wonderful cause!

Have  a great day

Lou :-)

Monday, October 01, 2012

OMG - Weight.....

Well as you all know at the beginning of July I went back to the UK for my daughters graduation ceremony from University....
Then brought my daughter back home with me and she stayed here with us for 5 weeks....
Then we had 2 weeks with no-one here....
Then my parents arrived from the UK and were with us for 2 and a half weeks before they left us last Wednesday to fly to my sisters near Boston which is where they are now!....

Whilst it was wonderful to spend all of this time with family - it has been a total nightmare on my weight loss.
While in the UK I managed to maintain, but since I got home all of that has flown out of the window and I am ashamed to say that I have put on a massive 10 lbs....

This is not good!
On the plus side my exercise regime is much better than it was with me power walking for a couple of miles a day - obviously this doesn't seem to help with my weight though!

So, I am shaming myself on my blog in a bid to re-find my will power, and get myself back on the straight and narrow!

It is a fact that my body cannot convert Carbs or Vit D, so I really need to stop eating flour tortilla wraps and start making sure I take my 5000mg Vitamin D every day.

I have committed online to 1000 minutes of exercise in October, so I am going to have to either walk further each morning or find something else to supplement my exercise regime. S suggested a revisit the dreaded Gillian Anderson DVD, but the thought of all that pain from lactose retention is putting me off, although S made a very good point in that I am now a lot fitter than I was back in Feb when I first discovered the masochist that is Gillian, and so the lactose retention may not be quite so bad....

We will see....
One thing is certain - this 10 lbs is not going to stay on - it will be gone, and hopefully another 10 along with it!....

I will be thin
this is just a blip!

Lou :-)

PS. I finally have some semblance of a photography website working..Please feel free to take a look and see what you think. I should point out that this is my first attempt at web design, so hopefully the mechanics of my site will improve as I learn more.