Saturday, May 31, 2008


I've never had great hair. My scalp is oily but my hair is dry. (Try finding a shampoo for that!) If I recall correctly, I believe the natural color is a mousy brown. But I haven't seen it's natural color in many moons. And to top it all off, recently I've been shedding in ridiculous quantities like some sort of mangy cat. Most annoying is that I always seem to find a strand in Ian's tiny fist. Despite these natural detriments, it is probably more appropriate to say that I've never been a great hair owner. All of these obstacles would be easily overcome if I spent any amount of time on it. But alas, I find blow drying tedious, product a necessary evil and salon appointments a waste of time. And as a result, it just hangs there in a limp, frizzy pile.

Hair just isn't that important to me. Never has this been more clear than watching child after child lose their hair to cancer. Maybe this experience should prompt me to count myself lucky to have hair but instead it feels quite the opposite. Hair seems more like an accessory. Like it's optional or something. Fortunately Lillian didn't seem to notice when she lost her hair. But many older kids are devastated over this side effect of chemo. Personally I think they're little bald heads are adorable! But I love to see their hair grow back after treatment as well. It's such a tangible sign of health.

Between my general disdain for my hair and my desire to help kids struggling with cancer, I decided to grow my hair out for Locks of Love. I haven't had a haircut since October and believe me it was getting beyond annoying. Recently I checked the donation instructions on the Locks of Love website. Imagine my horror to discover that they cannot accept highlighted hair due to the wig manufacturing process. Months and inches of hair wasted! That was the last straw...of limp frizzy hair. I decided to hack off the older colored hair and start anew. Fast forward and nearly a month later I excitedly marched into the salon armed with pictures of some sort of longish-short haircuts. Thirty minutes later I'm all glammed up in my gorgeous longish-short do and ready to paint the town.
Of course not. No, that wouldn't be a blog-worthy story now would it?
Instead the stylist determined that my hair was not bleached to achieve the highlights so it could in fact be donated. What the heck?! Now I'm in a dilemma. I really hate my long hair and want desperately to cut it. But I've come this far, how can I not grow it for a few more months and donate it?
After a brief discussion, I decided to really go crazy and cut off the 10 inches now. That leaves me with this:

I love, love, love my super short new do. I keep reaching back to play with my pony tail but it's not there! And I smile. Because I love, love, love the idea of a little girl proudly wearing my hair. Win-win. I caught my reflection in the car window tonight and remarked that I look like Peter Pan. Jeff said it's more like Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell in the movie "Hook." Hey, I'll take a resemblance to Julia Roberts any day! Win-win-WIN!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I am not a liar...anymore

Well, I guess that's not ENTIRELY true. I swung from understating the truth to overstating the truth. Let me explain. I have reached a very crucial milestone in the weight loss process. I officially weigh less than what it says on my driver's license! Wooohoooo! I may have updated my weight once since receiving the license at age 16. Maybe. And truth be told, I was probably lying when I gave them that updated weight. Probably. But all of that is in the past now. Should I get in a multiple-car pile up whereby they are using driver's licenses to identify our bruised faces, they may actually be able to pick me out of the crowd. I guess that's not as comforting as I thought it would be. Huh. Anyhoo, back to my crucial milestone.

For 2 weeks, I languished in no-weight-loss-zone. I wasn't trying that hard so it was no surprise when the scale read the same stupid weight day in and day out. But then I got my second wind and decided to kick it into high gear. I cranked up my workouts and buckled down on the food choices. As if to prove math does in fact work (calories burned > calories consumed = weight loss), the scale rewarded my diligence with a 5 lb weight loss last week! And catapulted me past my driver's license weight in one fell swoop. And put me within spitting distance of my goal weight. Which leads me to my next problem...

I selected a goal weight during the Biggest Loser contest when someone threw out the question of goals. I didn't have a number I was striving for so I just arbitrarily selected 3 digits that form a lovely round number. But now that I am just 8 lbs away from that goal, I am wondering if that is really the number for me. I'm not trying to be model-thin.* I like curves. But I would like to get rid of the back fat roll, slim my thighs and flatten my tummy a bit more. And I don't think those 3 things will happen in the next 8 lbs. Which leaves me torn.

  • Hitting this number has been a big motivator for me. I'm goal oriented (you're shocked about that revelation I'm sure). So having a goal weight to work toward has been one of the main reasons I get out of bed in the morning and stumble through a work out. Will changing the number continue to be motivating or quite the opposite?
  • It's been a great way to count down the weeks until I can finally buy new clothes. I WANT NEW CLOTHES! But would I be happier if the clothes fit better? You know, without the back roll?
  • I would like to eat a few naughty things. Things which I could balance with workouts if I was maintaining my weight. But things which would not be conducive to losing weight. I will not eat these things until I've reached my goal so don't tell me to cheat. History has proven that I do not recover well from cheating.
  • I've come this far, why not keep going? What's a few more days?...weeks?...months?...ugh.

If you can't tell, I am trying desperately to talk myself into keeping the current goal. Partly I'm sick of being so stinkin good. And partly this is one of those days when I'm just flat out hungry for no great reason. Fortunately I don't have to make the decision today. Maybe my mind will be clearer tomorrow. Maybe.

*Side note - I heard on the radio that the first plus-size model won America's Next Top Model. She is a size 10. WTSH? (what the sam hill?) If a size 10 is model-thin then count me in. But call me plus size and I'll knock your block off.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Putting the "Fun" in FUNdraiser

Walking with Angels has been persistently calling local businesses to find FUN fundraising opportunities. Our goal is to find ways for you to donate AND get something in return (other than the warm fuzzy feeling of giving of course). So, check out this line-up of events:


Award winning photographer Emily Andrews has generously donated her time and talents on Sunday, June 1st from 10am-2pm to have your family portrait taken. For a donation of at least $49, you receive a portrait session and 1-5x7 finished portrait. Location at Village Baptist Church in their beautiful park like setting, 330 SW Murray Blvd, Beaverton OR 97005. Limited sessions so call Emily Andrews Portrait Design at 503-646-6039 to schedule your appointment. 100% of your donation goes to the American Cancer Society. Check out this amazing picture of Ian that Emily took.


Present this flyer at Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant in Beaverton on Tuesday, June 3rd between 5pm and 8pm, purchase a meal and a beverage and Sweet Tomatoes will donate 15% of your purchase price to the American Cancer Society. Enjoy a great meal and help a great organization! (Right click on the picture to save and print - you must bring the flyer to receive the donation!) 1225 NW Waterhouse Ave, Beaverton


Bring this flyer into Papa's Pizza in Beaverton on Tuesday, June 10th and Papa's will donate 50% of your food order to the American Cancer Society. A great dinner idea for the whole family or a grab the buffet on your lunch break. (Right click on the picture to save and print - you must bring the flyer to receive the donation!) 15700 NW Blueridge Dr, Beaverton

But wait, there are even more ways to donate!

  • LUMINARIA - Purchase a luminaria bag in memory of or in honor of a cancer fighter for $10. We'll decorate with the fighters name and at Relay they will be filled with sand and a candle and lit during a special celebration ceremony. Click here to purchase online or e-mail me for more info -
  • DRAWING - Enter to win a weekend getaway in Bend. Package includes a luxury condo rental at Mt. Bachelor Village Resort and dinner for 2 at one of Bend's finest restaurants. Tickets can be purchased for $5 or buy 5 for $20. E-mail me for more info -
  • CASH - We're always happy to take cold, hard cash. Go to my fundraising page to donate online.

I hope to see you at all of these events. I mean, you've got to eat, right? And that family portrait from 1992 could use an update. I haven't seen a perm like that in quite a while!

With your help, we'll be one step closer to a cure for cancer. Thank you!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot

What the heck?! How can we go from 62 one day to 85 two days later? Hey, I'm as D-O-N-E with this cold spring as the next gal...but I'm not sure my pasty white body can handle the shock of such a dramatic temperature swing. What on earth will I wear? Do I turn on the air conditioner? Do I need sunscreen for the 20 yard walk from my car to the office?

On a side note, why would Dave indicate that the weekend of 70's temps will be HOT instead of the prior two days of 80's temps? Perhaps he needs a small refresher in the definition of hot.

That big yellow thing in the sky is the sun Dave. You remember the sun. You even use a representation of it in your forecast graphic. See, I pointed it out for you. Anyway, the sun makes things hot. When the sun is covered by those white fluffy things (aka clouds), it's less hot.

Or maybe a quick brush up on the Fahrenheit scale.

Have you ever stuck your hand in boiling water Dave? It hurts. It's hot. You remember hot, we just talked about it. Ice (aka frozen water) is cold. Brrrr. See how water boils at 212 degrees? And freezes at 32 degrees? Since we know that boiling water is hot and frozen water is cold, that tells us that the bigger the number, the hotter it is Dave.

I dunno. Can you trust a meteorologist that doesn't know what hot means? Only in Oregon.

Only in Oregon.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Dilemma

Ummmm, is it strange that I did a bridal boot camp workout today? Keep in mind that I've been married for nearly 14 years. In my defense, it was a great workout. Although the constant encouragement about looking good on my "big day" was somewhat lost on me. Oh well, screw em. It was a good workout and I'll do it again. So there.

I'm beginning to think that I need new clothes. I'm trying to hold out until I reach my goal. I mean who wants to buy new clothes that I can only wear for a couple of months? I've lost 35 lbs as of today and my goal is 47. (Hey, don't judge me. The goal weight is a round number.) So only 12 lbs until I treat myself to a whole new wardrobe! In the meanwhile, I've basically got 3 pairs of ill fitting jeans and a random assortment of tees, vests and hoodies. Thankfully my workplace is super casual so that's an acceptable work wardrobe. But I am looking pretty schlocky. (Huh, spellcheck liked schlocky. Go figure.) My standards have fallen from "fitting well" to "staying on." If I can take off a pair of pants without unbuttoning them, it's time for them to retire. Other than that, it's fair game. I am so thrilled that my former skinny jeans now require a belt to keep them above the plumb line...if you know what I mean. Anyhoo, what do you think? Should I break down and buy a few things? Or just power on and subject all who know me to this slovenly existence?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dinner Playdate

Last night we had Avery and her parents over for dinner. We met her parents-to-be through our adoption agency last November at a Waiting Families Gathering. Little did we know at the time that we would all have babies in our lives in a matter of weeks! Avery is a month older than Ian and as cute as they come! Is there anything better than baby giggles?

Avery's mommy is an avid blogger (yeah) and introduced me to the most wonderful thing...Google Reader. Ahhhhhh ahhhh ahhh ahhh, do you hear the angels singing too? Google Reader allows you to subscribe to blogs and websites and such and notifies you when there is new content. By some standards, the 30 or so blogs that I read regularly do not make a long list. But checking them everyday to see if anyone has posted an update was becoming tedious. Especially when many bloggers only update monthly. (You fortunate readers, on the other hand, are blessed with two posts in one day thank you very much!) But thanks to Google Reader, I just open one folder and bam, there are my notifications. Quite the time saver! So of course, I had to pass along this tip to you. What can I say? I'm a giver.

Okay, back to the dinner. Since you seem absolutely fascinated by my pot pie recipe, I'll pass along a couple of test drives we took last night. Calm down, don't get too excited. Remember your blood pressure. And yes, I'm the idiot who likes to try out new recipes on my unsuspecting guests. Wanna come over?

I'm a fan of the slow cooker for school night dinner playdates. In fact, I was able to prep most of the food the day before.

Easy Slow Cooker French Dip
lonwolf32 (from

10.5 oz can condensed french onion soup
10.5 oz can beef broth
12 oz can/bottle beer
4lb rump roast

Dump everything into the slow cooker on low for 7 hours. Let rest, slice and arrange on toasted french rolls with the au jus the meat cooked in. Voila, dinner is served.

Smoked Turkey Wrapped Asparagus
Ellie Krieger (from

Smoked Turkey
Olive Oil

Trim ends of asparagus (just bend and it will snap where it should be trimmed). Shave the large end of the stalks with a peeler. Coat asparagus with olive oil. Wrap 1/2 slice of smoked turkey (or smoked tofurkey in my case) around the center of the asparagus. Roast at 400 for 10 min.

Annie's Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
Ann Page (from

2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
3 Kiwi, peeled and chopped
1 lb fresh strawberries, chopped
8 oz fresh raspberries
3 T fruit preserves (I used organic raspberry)
1 T brown sugar
2 T sugar

I made it a day ahead so I put some lemon juice on the apple chunks to keep them from browning. Just mix everything and refrigerate. I made the cinnamon chips with flour tortillas cut in wedges, sprayed with Pam and dredged in cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min.

I can't honestly tell you how the french dips turned out because I didn't eat them. That's the curse of cooking meat when you're a vegetarian I suppose! Jeff's no help, he gave them his usual "fine" review. So on to the dishes that I did eat. The asparagus was delish and oh so simple. Definitely a recipe to repeat. But my fav has to be the dessert. And it's not that unhealthy! In fact, you could leave out the sugar and use all-fruit preserves and it would be down right good for you. I also made herbed roasted potatoes but that's not rocket science so I'll save you the recipe boredom.

Well, that was our dinner playdate in a nutshell. Simple food. New friends. Good conversation. And hey, the babies even looked at each other once or twice.

Corporate Life

In a business class in college, we read a book written in story format about corporate life. I remember one scene where a character was promoted and moved into an office. But the office was designed for a higher ranking manager so they built false walls in a foot in all directions to make it the appropriate size for the character's position in the company. Crazy! I recall arguing with the professor about how ridiculous the scenario was. In true college professor fashion, she laughed and remarked that in the "real world" these things really happen. And in equally true college student fashion, I thought, "right, like this tenored professor knows anything about the real life!"

For the record I still think the example from the book is a extreme...but maybe not out of the realm of possibility. How things change! A few years ago at work, I was told that a new layer of management was being added above me. (Ugh, okay) Then I was told that my new boss, Fred* would be starting the following week. (Fast but fine) Then I was told that they were going to put Fred in my beautiful corner office and I would need to move my stuff over one office to a windowless tomb. (WHAT the *&$@?!) This was foreshadowing as Fred would shamelessly steal every idea I ever brought to his attention too. But I digress...

Corporate life is like super fun sometimes, especially for the middle management rank and file. But oh what valuable life lessons we are taught! I have been that self-sacrificing-60-hour-a-week-employee. My identity was so wrapped up in my job that something like moving to a new office sent me into a paralyzing tale spin. (I went home at 2pm that day feeling completely crushed for crying out loud!) Yet another gift of parenthood is a broader identity. Yes I am still a hard-worker who wants to do well at her job. But I also want to get home at a decent hour to play with my son. Thank you Ian and Lillian for teaching me about balance! Cause you never know when this could happen to you...

*Fred's name has been changed to protect his innocent, office-stealing, idea-stealing identity.

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