Giving Thanks

... for my people tonight. And for another year of health and happiness. Life is good and I am truly blessed and lucky.

From our home to yours -- Happy Thanksgiving.


O Christmas Tree: Through The Years

Confession: This is what my Christmas tree has looked like for the past two days --

Wah wah.

I am fresh out of inspiration so I thought that looking back at all of our Christmas trees over the past 13 years might help stir the creative juices. Let's take a jaunt down memory lane ...


Our first Christmas together -- with the $50 tree that I bought for my apartment in college.


The next year we were newlyweds and decided that we needed our own tree for our new home. That is when the Monster Tree arrived. Word of caution: Trees look a lot smaller in Lowes than they do in your dining room. And never ever buy a tree that you have to assemble every branch one by one. #learnedthehardway


Several years go by without a designated tree photo -- which is rather strange for me. I think that it was no coincidence that those years coincided with a tiny human arriving.

After five years of assembling the Monster Tree, I could not take it anymore. I talked The Engineer into a skinny seven footer and I have never regretted that decision.



Our first Christmas in Huntsville --


Yikes, 2009 and 2010 are terribly blurry.





Thank goodness that my photography has improved over the years.

So I am not any closer to deciding on a style for this year but I am thinking that I am ready to add some color again. And don't clutch your pearls about the lack of homemade ornaments -- I do have them and they have their own special place on a tree upstairs.

What about you -- what is your Tree Style? One? Twelve? Monochromatic or bright and bold? And the big question:

Colored lights or White?


Getting Fit - Bit by Bit | A FitBit Review

So I have jumped on the FitBit train.

FitBits are basically pedometers -- on steroids. They sync to your mobile device or computer and track your steps, calories, sleeping patterns and on. It is a Type A person's fantasy so needless to say it satisfies my organizing and control quirk. Working at a desk job, I knew that I was not moving as much as I did when I was a yoga instructor but on my first day when I logged 6,000 steps (goal is 10K) I knew that I was going to have to make some lifestyle changes.

I had already started those changes on Sept. 1 when I unfroze our YMCA membership. I set myself a goal of working out 4X a week for 45 min. to one hour each. Since then I have only missed one workout, other than vacation week. There are a lot of days that the last thing in the world that I want to do is spend 45 minutes on an elliptical but I always feel better  -- after it is over.

Sidebar: If you are looking for some new workout music to get you motivated, I have really been digging Janet Jackson's Number Ones. Standout track -- "Feedback." 

Yesterday was a good day. The temperature wasn't in the twenties as it has been this week, so the Chunk and I were able to fit in a walk.

So far the only facet that I am not impressed with is the calorie counter. I think that it plays fast and loose with how many calories that you can eat to maintain/lose weight. The first week, I actually gained two pounds. FitBit does not take into account that type of calories that you are ingesting, so if you are staying within your allotted calories but eating crap all day then you are not going to lose weight.

What I do like is the water log. I don't think that I have made my goal of eight glasses yet, but I have come close. The water count is easy to use and a visual kick in the butt when I am existing on coffee and soda. There are several options that I am still learning, this really is much more intensive than your run of the mill pedometer. It has a social feature where you can connect with your friends with FitBits and send them messages, or Cheers/Taunts (which is akin to a Facebook Poke). I make a point to Taunt the Bestie once a day. I do wish that it were easier to connect to other users online.

The FitBit is pricey if you purchase it new from Amazon or another store/site - running around $100. I found mine -- brand new -- on eBay for $60, plus shipping. So that is an option. I have the dark grey  FitBit but if you don't want to wear a plastic wristband every day there are some fancy options out there, such as Hinged Bracelet by Tory Burch:

So far, I am really digging my FitBit. It gives me the motivation that I need on days that I just want to scavenger for leftover Halloween candy and sit on the couch. The jury is out on whether I will see any weight loss -- I have quickly found that trying to lose weight at age 37 is much different than trying to lose weight at age 27 -- but I do think that it will be a valuable tool in the quest to be healthy.

Have a great weekend!