Day 84 — Down 32.8 lbs & 19″

Haven’t updated in a few weeks so have a bunch of things to cover. I was in Vancouver over the weekend getting my hair done.


Last summer I wanted to do something different and always wanted to try blue hair. Worked out well, so I figured I would make it a tradition.

After Vancouver, I flew to Las Vegas to participate in the World Series of Poker for the first time with a good friend from work. We both played in the $1,500 no-limit texas hold ’em event starting on Monday, it was supposed to be a three-day event, but we both got knocked out the first day. So instead I played in eight single table tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $125 to $275. Here is how I did:

$125 – chopped with two people ($360)
$125 – didn’t finish in the money
$175 – chopped with one person ($1,000)
$175 – didn’t finish in the money
$275 – chopped with one person ($1,230)
$125 – chopped with one person ($600)
$125 – didn’t finish in the money

So total I cashed in 50% of the single table tournaments. Total buy-in was $1,125 and I ended up winning $3,190 for a net profit of $2,065. The big tournament was an additional $1,500 and I lost a last longer bet with Scott for an additional $100. So total for the week I was up $465, minus hotel and airfare. So not too bad. If I was to go back I think I would just play in the single table tournaments.

On the 20/20 front, I have new measurements from two weeks ago (week 10) and a new weigh-in this week with my dietician.

My original and updated measurements are:

Neck: 16″ vs 14.25″ (-1.75″)
Chest: 43.5″ vs 40.50″ (-3.00″)
Waist: 42.5″ vs 37.00″ (-5.50″)
Hips: 44″ vs 39.5″ (-4.50″)
Biceps: 13.75″ vs 11.5″ (-2.25″)
Thighs: 24″ vs 22″ (-2.00″)

So total I have lost 19″. I had planned on only buying new clothes after I had reached my target weight, but almost none of my pants, shorts or bathing suits fit me anymore, so I had to break down and buy a few pairs of shorts and pants. I was wearing size 37/38 pants before I started and ended up buying one pair of 34 and one pair of 32 jeans and shorts. The 32 are a bit tight and the 34s are a bit loose, but I’m thinking the 32s should fit pretty good by the time I’m done.

My blood pressure when I started the program was 135 over 71 and is now 110 over 50. And I have lost a total of 32.8 lbs, 5.2 lbs in the last two weeks. I’m still tracking slightly above my targeted weight loss per week and on an aggregate basis. I have four weeks left in phase one and I hope to lose approximately another 10 lbs which will get me very close to my target weight. Then I will use the 10 weeks of phase two in order to figure out how to maintain that weight over the long term.

The garden seems to be coming along fairly slowly. Only a few of the plants have sprouted leaves and it looks like a deer walked through it and crushed some of the plants. Good news is I remember that we have two large huckleberry bushes in the backyard so I picked a bowl of huckleberries last night.

Chris, Zoe, and Ainsley are in Palm Desert for Zoe’s horseback training until Sunday and then Chris and Ainsley will fly home, and Zoe will stay on in Palm Desert and drive with Mark and Keith to Las Vegas for the EMO/Celebration Circuit show next week. Chris will meet her there and I have Ainsley at home all next week.

Hannah, our Au Pair, finished her year here this week and is traveling around the US with her friend Sarina for the next month and then will fly home to Germany. I can’t believe that it has already been a year, seems to have gone by even fast than normal. Next month Melanie will arrive on July 12th from Germany and we will start the process again.

In August Zoe has two big shows, the first is the AQHA Youth Worlds Show in Oklahoma City, this will be her first time attending the Youth Worlds Show and she is super excited. Then she will go to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the NSBA Worlds Show with Ainsley, Melanie and I.

Day 2 — Rainy days

Day 2 — Rainy days

Unfortunately rained all day so I didn’t get outside for any exercise today. I start at the gym with my personal trainer tomorrow morning at 8am.

Had a bit of a headache all day today. Right behind my eyeball so that kinda sucked.

Had three protein shakes with mixed berries, a protein bar, some turkey sausage and grilled ham. Totals about 1400 calories, low on carbs, high on cholesterol and sodium, and low on fat.

Next week I will switch to mostly grilled chicken which was thawing over the weekend. This should reduce sodium and cholesterol.

Will need to expert starting tomorrow with how much to eat before my workout and how much to eat after.

Feeling pretty good given the fairly massive change in diet but will have to see how I do next week with workouts and work.

We Are Moved In

We have been in our new home for just over a year now.  We had our one year walk through and there are a few minor things that need to be addressed.  Overall the house turned out how we wanted.  There are 2 minor things that are not how I would like that can not be changed.

One is that the cupboards in the library are too shallow for us to put our board games in so we have to put them on the shelves.  The shelves are quite full with all our books.  We are considering have something built to go behind the sofa in the living room that we can tuck them into.

The second is that in my office the drawers are too narrow for me to hang files.  They are about a quarter of an inch too narrow so I have to put all the files in the drawers in the library that are the right size.  I was going to use the office for all of our paper work and it sucks to have to take papers back and forth.

Neither of these is huge just minor annoyances for me.

We have also added a jacuzzi and deck just a short distance from the house and a fire pit.  Both have paths to them from the deck of the house.  The fire pit is farther away and we have enjoyed making smores on more than one occasion.

After we moved in the first few months there seemed to be at least one day every week when a random person would be there finishing or fixing something.  Soon that will happen again when they fix the minor cracks and things that happened with settling.  The biggest thing I think is our heated floor in the bathroom stopped working so we have to wait for a person who has a special device to see through to the wiring to see where it may of disconnected int he floor.  Only one person in area with it apparently.  This is preferable to tearing out the whole floor.  I am hoping it is at an edge maybe by the door so we don’t have to take to much out to fix it.

We have really enjoyed the house last year in the spring and summer.  Steve hosted many BBQ’s for his coworkers.  Ainsley also had a birthday party at home and they hung on deck and played on playset and trampoline.

The space and being surrounded by trees is very relaxing as is the sound of the rain on the metal roof.  The pond has cranes, eagles, hawks, ducks, catfish and bullfrogs.  I do not enjoy the bullfrogs and am worried based on how many babies there were last year this spring we will be over run.  We took several egg balls out of the pond last year but there were still a ton of them.  My oldest wanted to catch them and release them somewhere but they are considered an invasive species so that will not happen.  Too bad the birds did not like to eat them. We also frequently have deer in the yard.  They have grown somewhat used to us so in the summer they would get fairly close.  We do not feed them (except for the landscaping plants they seem to like) so we keep our distance from each other but they are relaxed if we are deck and they are 10 or so feet away drinking from pond.  We do feed the catfish and the ducks (fish food and duck food).

I am not sure I would ever want to build a house again.  It was a long and stressful process.  If we did at least I know which things I like now and which things I would want to change.  I think Steve would do it again without flinching.

For now I am looking forward to spring and summer.  There will BBq’s, fires, and jacuzzi time.

Almost at the finish line

We are almost at the end of this journey and in our new home.  In a little over 3 weeks the 3 plus years of planning, editing, and making decisions will be complete.  It seems so close yet there is still so much to do and still a few things that could really mess things up.

The cabinets are almost all installed and they look amazing.  There will be so much storage everywhere.  The walls are painted and the colours are great.  Peaceful and relaxing with the exception of the girls who chose teal and purple for accents in their rooms.  The floors are a beautiful warm walnut colour.  I just want to start moving our books onto the library shelves.  I want to put my mixer on its popout stand but that all has to wait.

I am sure all the waiting and many hours and stress will be worth it when we are sitting on our deck enjoy the peaceful sound of nature with drinks and some snacks.  Maybe even after the kids go to bed we can enjoy some time outside cuddling to keep warm under the starts with no other homes in sight.  Our kids will be able to run out their door into their own playground and get lots of outside time without ever having to drive anywhere.  We may become kind of like hermits.

Steve has told me he wants to start doing a Sunday dinner maybe once a month.  I think it is a great idea but warn my cooking skills are few.  I hope to take some classes now that I will have an amazing kitchen to cook in.  I plan on having game nights, cocktail parties, bbq’s, and family fun days.  It should be a place we can really enjoy and share with others.  Next year on July 1st come on over for Canada Day celebrations.  I will be sure to have lots of Canadian treats on hand.

This journey has been long and often times frustrating but it is starting to seem worth it.  It has also seemed to move painstakingly slow at times.  Right now seems to be one of those times.  For now it is just deep breaths knowing the wait will all be over soon.


There has been another delay because of the insulation.  They had to build boxes around the many recessed lights before they could do the spray type.  We are now looking at mid August for completion. I hope that we do get to at least enjoy a couple summer BBQ’s in our completed house before the year is over.

I had not been in the house since before Christmas and was surprised on Tuesday when we walked through.  The outside has most the stone and wood siding on.  After that is done the metal will be added.  Inside the walls are insulated and some drywall is even up.  This means that I can see how the light and the size of the rooms will be.  Although the rooms without the drywall are a bid darker because the light does not reflect off the insulation.  Our little sitting room is very bright and will be where I think Steve and I will spend a lot of time.

In the next seven months we will be packing up our house and selling it and moving into our new home.  We are hoping our house sells fast but now that the completion date is moved out we may have to reconsider when we put it on the market.  We may end up in a temporary house between.  With a cat and 2 kids this could be tricky.  Of course there are a few places that offer furnished places short term but they are price and we would like to spend as little as possible on that.  We will need some new furniture and would be great to be able to put more down when we go from a COC loan to a mortgage.

Our drainage issue with the neighbour is being worked on.  We believe we have should have no trouble getting the county on board to put the overflow from the pond back to the way it was.  It will cost us a good chunk but we may be able to recoup some or all of the cost from the county as we did submit options that would of avoided this and our reps told them their plan would not work.  There was also the fact that it took 7 months and a meeting with a supervisor to get our drainage plan hashed out and final permit approval.  We were supposed to break ground in November and it was in March.  During this time the cost of materials went up and increased our budget.  So very frustrating.

Building this house has required patience which is something I am often short on.  Steve and I have worked together and been a team and it has been mostly fun.

The progress so far

We now have the waterproof shield up on the house along with all the doors and windows.  They are currently running heaters in the house to dry out the house before insulation and drywall.  The electrical wires are almost all in and the plumbing piping and heat ducts are in.

We were hoping that the house would be complete and ready to move in by late May or early June.   Today at the site meeting we were told that is is looking more likely to be mid July at this point.  When we first submitted the permits the finish date was projected to be by February or March.  Then the permit process was delayed by a few months and here we are now.

Today we went over plumbing fixtures.  I have been told the tub I have selected will not work and was shown an alternate tub.  It is one that I sat in and while it looks pretty it was not comfy.  Was very narrow and as I am not a narrow girl it felt uncomfortable.  I find this frustrating because if the tub is not comfortable it will not be used.  I was looking forward to a tub that I could actually fill high enough to cover me and have a back that was inclined at an angle to relax in with out kinking your neck.  I now have to go to another project the architects worked on to sit in the tub to see.  I am pretty sure it is the same as the one I sat in at the show room and did not like.

This is causing much frustration and stress for us because we want to sell the home we are now living in and be closed and done with it when the new one is finished.  I am thinking we may have to pack a bunch of stuff up and put it in storage for a few months to have the house less cluttered and more open house ready in the next few months.  Then we will have to hope that we put it on the market at the right time.  Houses in this area tend to sell very quickly in a week or two.  Which means we could be out a month or two after we list.  This would then put us in a short term rental which is hard to find or very expensive.

Add to all these things a horse show I will be at for just over a week in January in Arizona then 2 shows in Vegas one in March and one in April and that is about a month when I will not be home to get things sorted.  Packing and moving was much easier before kids.  I am going to gather as much as I can this week for the donation truck coming to pick up on the weekend.

Things are moving along

The framing is almost done and the walls and roof are going up.  It is fun to see how much things change with our weekly or biweekly visits to the site.  We have just finished picking out all the plumbing fixtures.  Toilets, sinks, faucets, shower heads, and a bathtub are all selected.  The plumber has come and started putting pipes in too.

Later this week we are finally going to start looking at interior elevations.  We know we want hardwood floors through most the house and I would like to go with greys and blues for cabinets and counters.  I am sure our architect has a plan in his head I hope that it is not way off of what I have in my head.  I have gotten several samples of paint, tile, and flooring.  By the end of next month the windows should be in and house should be wrapped up for the winter.  Maybe we will have a sleepover there once it is closed up.  We should be moving in in just under a year.

Framing has started

We are well into framing now.  This phase will be done by the end of August or sooner.  The framers are scheduled to finish about a month ahead of what we expected.  It is nice to finally have something be done early.  I am hoping we can take advantage of this time savings and get things moving so it is done a bit earlier.  End of May next year would be great.

We have meetings on site every Tuesday and talk about progress and which things need to be done next.  I am experiencing a bit of frustration with the speed at which our architect is doing things.  I know he has built many homes and has a method to his madness but I would like to see things move along a little faster.  I wonder why we did not meet to figure out lighting, electrical, plumbing and maybe some of the interior finishes while the permit was delayed.  Then we would have everything ready to go so if like in the case of the framing something was ahead of schedule we could take advantage.

Steve often goes after work to check out the progress.  You get a good idea of what your view will be now that the windows are all framed for the main floor.  The deck is roughed in and I can see many mornings out there with my tea.  We hope to be out there a lot this summer to enjoy the property.

We are considering getting a play structure for the kids and/or a trampoline and may take an inflatable pool out there so they can swim.  There is the port a potty on site now so if you need a restroom you can go.  I do not really like the port a potty but in a pinch it will do.  Steve has purchased a shed and a John Deere riding mower.  He now mows the lawn every other week or so.  It is a lot of grass and takes a few hours.  So far the novelty of the riding mower makes it fun.

We have pictures and will try to get Steve to post some.  We also have a camera on site that takes pictures every few minutes and soon there will be live video on site to keep an eye on things and for security.  So we will be able to look at what is going on anytime.  Steve may be a bit distracted at work watching the live feed.

It is moving along

Our foundation is coming along.  Next week the first lumber drop will happen and framing will begin.  It is estimated that the framing will take 2 1/2 to 3 months.  By fall we should have the framing done and the house sealed up in time for the bad weather.

We are also now starting to make decisions on finishes.  We met with the architects and decided on exterior materials and colours.  The builder will be getting some samples together in the next couple weeks for us to look at.  We are going to start deciding on the interior finishes and all the appliances soon as well.  Next week we are meeting with the architect to go over the lighting details for the house.  The following week Steve will be meeting about the wiring.  I will be in California and hope he does not go too crazy with all the wiring and tech in the house.

We have been taking pictures of the construction as it happens and Steve should put some photos up soon. So far the building has been going well.

In other property news Steve has bought a John Deere rider mower and spent the weekend mowing the lawn.  It also has a little wheel barrow type thing you can tow on the back.  Steve is loving riding the mower right now I am not sure if it will wear off at some point but for now he is having a great time mowing the lawn.

Hitch in the permit process

Well we have run into a hitch with the final person needed to approve the permits for building.  At this point a letter has been drafted to his supervisor hoping to help move things along.  We submitted the permits back in August and he has had them since October. Hopefully by the end of this week we will have some kind of answers.

This is very frustrating when we have been waiting and ready to go.  Right now all the buildings are down but the foundations are still in place.  The job trailer is on site and we all are waiting.