Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Car pictures

Here are pictures of the damage to my car. It's a lot better than it could have been! The insurance company is sending me to see an adjuster on Friday so I can see how much it's going to cost to get it repaired. I also have to wait and see if the other driver is going to take responsibility and if his insurance company with pay for it. I'll keep you updated!

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Good News and Bad News

This evening started off to a great start after work when I went to my Weight Watchers meeting. I had been fairly good this past week and really tried to stay on track while in Richmond with family this past weekend. I only ate a small helping of my mom's famous spaghetti on Thursday night, I didn't give-in to temptation for Papa John's pizza or BW3 Chicken Wings on Friday night and I even passed on Cold Stone Creamery (my favorite ice cream!!) on Saturday night. I was sure that I had done well enough to see a significant weight loss on the scale. And, I was right!

I weighed in 3.8 lbs less for a total of 11.4 lbs lost in 6 weeks! WOOHOO!! I am so happy with my progress so far and it nice to see that the hard work (and not splurging) this weekend really paid off!

Well, now the bad news......I was driving home after my WW meeting and I was in a car accident. I was driving along the road that our neighborhood is on (about 1/2 mile from our house!) and this guy in an SUV pulled right out in front of me coming out of a school parking lot. He was turning left and didn't even stop! He was going full speed ahead coming out of the lot and I slammed on my breaks and honked my horn. Luckily I was only going about 35 miles per hour so I didn't hit him super hard. The weird thing was that he didn't really stop even when I hit the side of his car. It was like he stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake! At first, I remember thinking that he was going to drive away. But then, he shot across the two lane road (after I hit the side of his car) and his car ended up in a ditch and hit a fence on the opposite side of the road. I was worried that he was going to be badly hurt because it seemed like he hit the fence pretty hard and he didn't get out of his car right away.

After I realized that I should get my car out of the middle of the road, I pulled over to the side and got out. There were a few people who had been in the parking lot and they came over to see if we were ok. There was also a lady in a car who stopped to see if we needed help. I called 911 and someone else said that they had called also. I wasn't hurt at all, but pretty shook up. I crossed the road to see if the driver was ok and he then got out of the car. He was an African man, probably in his mid to late 40s, who didn't speak English very well. When I asked him why he didn't stop, he said something that I didn't understand. I just stood there on the side of the road and waited for the police to come. He didn't say anything to me other than he asked if I was ok and if my car was ok. He seemed either really shook up or kind of out of it.

Soon, two fire trucks, an ambulance and a police car arrived. They tended to him first but asked me if I was ok, which I said I was. The police officer looked at my car and took all of my information. After a little while of waiting, the officer gave me my license and registration back and gave me a police report number. He said that the man's insurance company would be paying for any damage to my car and that I should contact my insurance company in the morning and then he told me I was free to go.

I realized when I got home that I had had my camera in my car at the time of the accident. I should have taken some pictures of his car in the ditch and of the damage to my car, but I guess I just wasn't thinking. I'll take some pics of my car in the morning, in the daylight, and post them tomorrow. Thankfully there wasn't much damage to my car, other than the front bumper is scraped a bit and the license plate is bent and scratched. Also, I am glad that no one was injured.

It just sucks that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and what was going to be a happy evening turned into kind of a crappy one. I guess it could have been worse....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fun with our Families!

Since I didn't do a post after our trip to visit with my family two weekends ago, I thought I would combine both family visits together and post some pictures of our visits.

The weekend of Feb. 8th & 9th, Keith and I drove together with Katie, Shaun and Pierce to Raleigh for a "Stank Family Reunion" (which doesn't happen very often these days!) It was my "baby" brother Mike's 24th birthday and an awesome occasion for us all to get together. It was a short visit - down on Friday after work and back up Saturday evening. But, we had a lot of fun and laughter while we were together. Here are some fun pics from that visit:

Shaun was throwing Pierce in the air and I happened to get this great "action" photo!
Pierce and Uncle Keith hanging out on the air mattress in the morning.
Happy Birthday to Mike!!
Pierce took his first "ride" on a slide. He was a bit afraid, but never cried! Wheeee!
Mike and Brian got in on the swing action at the park.
Pierce was having fun at the park - it helped that the weather was beautiful - close to 70!!
Grandpa and Pierce were reading stories.

This past weekend, Keith and I took a few vacation days (Thursday & Friday) and made a trip to western PA to visit his family. Because of our crazy schedule around Christmas and New Years, this was the first opportunity his family had to all get together. His aunt even left her Christmas tree and decorations up for us since we weren't able to see them back in Dec/Jan. We had a wonderful time staying with his aunt and uncle Wednesday-Friday nights. We all went out to dinner for Valentine's day and his aunt and uncle are such wonderful hosts - they are so accommodating and generous and they always have a TON of food for us (see my previous post about that! haha). We were able to take long walks both Thursday and Friday along two different hiking/biking trails near their house (which is also the house Keith grew up in so there are lots of memories around that area for him). They had gotten 5-6 inches of snow just a few days before we arrived, so we were able to "enjoy" the snow and cooler temperatures, although it wasn't too cold. On Saturday, we all went to his cousin's house for a big family dinner and a fun night of playing games. Keith and I stayed overnight there on Saturday night and his cousin and her husband were gracious enough to let us stay in their bed, while they slept on the living room floor (they are too kind!!). All in all, we had a GREAT time and it was really nice to see everyone again. We don't get to see them all very often so times like these are really great!

I didn't take as many pictures as I should have from the visit, but here are a few:

Keith's uncle Barry and I were making salad for dinner on Friday night
Keith and his mom posing in front of the Christmas tree
Keith and me in front of the tree
Keith and me after one of our walks through the snow. It was really sunny and fairly warm.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Not surprised

I had a bit of a set-back on the scale at my WW meeting last night - I was up 1.2 lbs! I can honestly say it was not really a surprise though after the way that I ate this past week - I was good until we left for PA on Wednesday and then it was all downhill from there! I certainly ate a lot less than I normally would have on a trip like that, but it was still WAY too much. Also, I know that when I don't track what I am eating, it tends to get out of control (or simply I think I am eating less than I really am). I was secretly hoping that my workout & good eating habits yesterday would completely erase all of the bad stuff that I did the five days before that, but of course, that is just not reality!

The breakdown in my eating all started when we stopped at The Olive Garden in Winchester, VA on our way up. It's one of our favorite restaurants (and we had a giftcard which makes it even better!!) I knew what I should have ordered, but of course that Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo was calling my name!! (And boy did it taste good!! So good that I ate the entire thing!!!)

During the next few days, I actually did have some willpower at breakfast and throughout the day by not eating the donuts and sweets that Keith's aunt had (she had SO much food!), but I was not-so-good when it came to dinnertime. We had spaghetti casserole on Friday night at his aunt's house and lasagna at his cousin's house on Saturday night. Also, I had a piece of cake on Thursday night in honor of Valentine's day and a piece of peanut butter pie on Saturday night. Geez, now that I am remembering all of the food that I ate, it's a miracle that I only gained a little over a pound!!

Oh well, I need to put this week behind me and move on. I know that I am going to have times like these where I gain weight solely based on the decisions I make regarding eating and exercise (or lack thereof). I know that I can move past this and do better this week. I'm hoping that next Monday night, I will have lost that 1.2 lbs plus some! Only time will tell......

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Weight Watchers Update - Week #4

I went to my WW meeting last night and was happy to learn that I had lost 3.6 more lbs. That brings my total weight loss to 8.8 lbs in four weeks! I am really happy with my progress so far although it hasn't been easy!

I was very surprised that I lost as much as I did because I was not as good last week and we ate out both Saturday and Sunday. We went to The Twisted Fork in Raleigh on Saturday night for Mike's birthday (and I had a piece of Blakely's cake for dessert!). Then, Keith and I went out Sunday night to The Bonefish Grill for an early Valentine's Day dinner. The food was so good (I would DEFINITELY recommend it!) and although I had a pretty healthy entree (shrimp & scallops with steamed veggies), we also had appetizers that were fried, bread with olive oil dipping sauce, and a brownie/vanilla ice cream dessert. I tried to not eat "too much" of the bad stuff, but I didn't want to deprive myself of all of it. Thankfully, it didn't completely sabotage my weight loss and I was able to enjoy some really tasty food!

This week is going to be challenging because we are going up to PA to visit Keith's family tomorrow and will be there for four days. It is always hard to eat right when you are not "in charge" of the food that is being served to you. I am certainly not complaining about Keith's aunt and uncle's cooking - in fact, the opposite! They always have WAY too much food for us and it's hard to turn it down for fear of offending them (and it is always very yummy food too). Hopefully I can tell them about my weight loss so far and explain my goals and that will make it easier for me to keep away from the fattening stuff. It will also take willpower to choose the "good" stuff so please keep me in your thoughts!

I will post another update next Monday after my weigh-in and hopefully I'll continue to have good news! It helps me to know that I have so many people cheering me on. I feel very accountable and I want to succeed! Thank you for reading my blog and for helping me in this journey!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby, it's cold INSIDE!

So, you think it's cold outside?! Try coming home to a house that is 57 degrees INSIDE!! That is what our thermostat read when I get home around 7pm tonight....it currently reads 59 degrees! Brrrrr!
It's a long story, but let's see if I can make it short (yeah right, if you know me, you know my middle name is "Make a short story long".) Let's see if I can give you the Reader's Digest version. :-)

First, about two weeks ago, when we returned from Las Vegas, I noticed that our heating unit was constantly running - I mean like 24 hours a day. It was doing what it normally did and shut off when the temperature inside the house reached the desired temperature (which in our house is normally 68-70 degrees in the winter). So, I contacted our landlord and he sent me the following email last Thursday: "Kirsten, You called this one! My AC/Heat guy went by today and looked at the unit. He said it is dead and needs to be replaced. That won't happen until next week, unfortunately. Anyhow, in the meantime, your heat is set on Emergency Heat (which means that it will still provide heat, but it will be done through the Emergency Heating Strips). This type of heat is a little pricier than typical heat pump heat, so you may want to keep your thermostat a little lower than normal to avoid higher costs until the new unit is put in. The good news is that we have warmer weather than normal, so that will help. I will update you as I know more."
Note the part about "warmer weather than normal".....well that didn't last very long!!

I sent him another email on Friday asking him if he knew when it was going to be fixed and this was his response: "Kirsten, The unit had to be ordered, so as soon as it comes in, the technician will install it. The estimate is early next week. However, I have no control over that."

Lucky for us, we were out of town (having a great visit with my family in Raleigh) for most of the weekend. But, now that we are at home, it's a bit chilly!!
Thankfully, our landlord is a nice guy so when we got home from our trip on Saturday night, there were two portable heaters waiting for us on our front stoop. He dropped them off for us to use until the heat gets fixed. And, they have sure been a blessing. The past two nights, we have turned on the small heating unit and closed the bedroom door and it has been quite cozy in our bedroom. Unfortunately, we eventually have to leave the bedroom and head to the other parts of the house that are not as comfy.

Please say a prayer that the heating unit comes in and the technician gets it installed SOON! (Thankfully, we are going out of town again starting on Wednesday evening so we just need to make it two more days!)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Snow Tubing

I am a little late in posting these pictures but better late than never, I guess.

Last Saturday, Keith and I - along with some friends - went to the Wintergreen Resort for some snow tubing. Wintergreen is a ski resort that is located about 45 minutes southwest of Charlottesville. Last February, before we moved to Charlottesville, we went to Wintergreen as part of a Wellness event at the University of Richmond. It was during that trip (which was the first time skiing for both of us) that we realized we aren't the skiing type! Snow tubing is definitely more our speed!

We decided a week or so before that we wanted to go on Saturday so we ordered our tickets on-line last Thursday (tickets sell out pretty quickly for the weekends so you need to order them in advance). The cost is $24 per person for two hours of tubing. This equated to about 5 times down the slide. The ride down is less than 30 seconds but after you get to the bottom, there is a conveyor lift - similar to a moving sidewalk but it goes up the hill - that takes you and your tube back to the top and then you have to wait in line to go again. The lines were pretty long but we had fun chatting and watching other people slide down while we waited. The complicated part was for Keith and I to get in two separate lines and be the same number of people back from the front so that we could go at the same time. This meant we had to let some people in front of us at times to make it work. The first time we went down, we were able to link our tubes together and go as a double. That was really fun but then they said only single rides were allowed. You definitely go much faster when you are a single rider! They say on the website that riders can get going up to 30 mph and I believe it! I was wearing a winter hat and I thought one time I was going to lose it because I was going so fast!!! Also, the tube doesn't always face you forward so you are sliding down a huge hill going backwards - that was scary, but lots of fun!!

We are going to try and plan another trip in another few weeks if the weather cooperates and doesn't get too warm too quick. If you are in the area and would like to join us, let me know!

Me and Keith at the bottom of the hill
My co-worker Roxann and her husband Justin
Keith in his tube getting ready to "take the plunge"
This is a view at the top of the hill.
According to the Wintergreen website,
the hill is 10 stories high and over 300 yards long!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A disappointing loss

If you read the title of this post and thought I was going to write about the Patriots' Super Bowl loss last night, you are mistaken! In fact, I was the least bit disappointed that the Patriots lost! It was such a good game and I was super happy to see the Giants pull out a great win!

The real reason for this post is to report my Weight Watchers weigh-in results. I went to my meeting after work today and weighed in for a loss of 1.2 lbs. I was disappointed that I didn't lose more this week but the fact that I have been sick (and still am fighting the same cold) probably didn't help. I only went to the gym three days last week and just didn't have energy to do much of anything. Hopefully this week will be better!

My total weight loss for two weeks is 5.2 lbs. 54.8 lbs more to get to my goal!

I saw this cartoon and thought it was pretty accurate so I wanted to share. Don't you agree?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Happy Engagement!!

A HUGE congratulations goes out to my little brother Mike and his fiancee, Blakely who became engaged yesterday!

Keith and I are very happy for both of them and are excited that Blakely will soon become an official member of the Stank clan! We love you guys!!!

(P.S. We can't wait for another super fun wedding!!)