Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


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Two amazing days in the Badlands of South Dakota!

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We left the city of Sioux Falls with me feeling very sick. All of us have been very run down on this trip. Possibly from the months of downsizing and the stress that brings on… With Christopher finishing off his senior year and going to awards nights and different events throughout, to my finishing off my ten year career with UPS-SCS. It was bound to leave us all a bit worn out.
We wanted to set up camp at the Missouri river for a couple of days, but those spots were full up… So we stopped there for gas and drove right on through…

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Ended up driving longer than either of us wanted to, but we were headed for the Badlands anyway, so we just got there a bit sooner. We were lucky enough to secure a spot to camp just outside the park in the small town of Interior, SD. Budget Inn campground.

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The views aren’t too bad and they have showers and laundry and water and electric for us for just $29/night.
The first night, we set up and then took a drive through the park and it truly is stunning!

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Then back to the campground for dinner cooked by us in our kitchen.

The next morning, we all took our showers, had a light breakfast, then headed out to enjoy the day. Our first stop… Wall Drug. In Wall, SD. You see billboards for wall all the way through SD on the Interstate and you just have to stop. It is on the other side of the Badlands loop, and it is a huge tourist destination. Coffee is only .05, free ice water, homemade donuts, too!… Stores galore and tons of gift shops and photos of the old west! You could stay for hours!

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We stopped for a piece of pie and the guys had some of that coffee (they have had worse, that you have to pay much more for) and I had my free water). Then it was back on the road to check out the park more.  

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Fun to see a goat! Very sure footed creatures out on this terrain!

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Bunnies, too!

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We just had such an awesome time, even found a great place to picnic lunch!

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We are ready to hit the road again. We obviously are not planning anything out… So we spent about an hour the morning of the 2nd trying to secure a spot to hook up for the third and fourth… Just wasn’t thinking of the holiday weekend.
Finally found a spot, but it is outside of Custer State Park, so we will have to drive in… We are ok with that. No bathrooms or showers, but full hookup, so big time relief in that one! We pass through Rapid City, so we are stopping for supplies and drinking water… Should be good! We haven’t been getting wi-fi, so daily posts aren’t happening, but stick around for location posts.
Thanks for reading of our travels… We are having the time of our lives, even though we are doing so without voices our coughing through it all. 😉

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Sioux Falls… Park is a must see!

We left Dow City, Iowa. We truly enjoyed our time there. We know we want to return to that gem of a place in the heartland of America!

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Christopher was not driving today, as he is just wiped out. I feel ok so far. Ivan is still coughing up a storm. Oh, to be sick on the road. What fun!
We knew we were in South Dakota at the first sighting of a teepee.

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I noticed on our travels cross country that Sioux Falls was on our path. I googled it to see if there was anything to do there and Falls Park stood out. We are so glad we stopped! Such a beautiful park! I wish I could see this beauty every day of my life!

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After our stroll through the park to get all of these amazing photos… We went for dinner at the Pizza Ranch, which came highly recommended by our camp hosts. A buffet that costs 10.98/pp including drink and desert. Pizza, fried chicken, salad, macaroni and cheese… What more could one ask for? It was great. Chicken was delicious, so was the Pizza.
We drove back to the park to catch the trolley for $1/each.

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It took us around the city and showed us the sites. Lots of lovely building built with the quartzite that this area is known for and they are all so beautiful. Also, there are so many sculptures throughout downtown to look at, as well. It was raining… It gives us a reason to come back to visit again.

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These were just two in Falls Park.

A lovely visit here! We will remember this as a wonderful day!


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Iowan hospitality!

We are at the Nelson Park in Dow City, Iowa currently.

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Friends of ours that we have known via an online word game called Acrophobia for about 16 years now live near here. Ivan and I met playing that same word game. We pulled into their very small town of about 1,200 population yesterday (Dunlap, Iowa) and it was like stepping into the past. Stores shut down, due to it being Sunday. The nearest Wal-Mart is 18 miles away in Dennisen, Iowa.
Our friends, Veronica and Marty, invited us into their home after our travels… By the way… What a beautiful state Iowa is! The rolling hills are lovely! The wind turbines are mesmerizing, as well. And huge!

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Veronica made us a lovely fried chicken meal with mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet, locally grown corn. Delicious!

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I feel like she is part of my family, I have known her so long! We were offered to do our laundry, which was much appreciated! We talked till our eyes couldn’t stay open.
This morning, back at our campsite, we decided to take a quick morning walk to check out our surroundings. Found the prairie trail…

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We are going back to Veronica and Marty’s today to hang out and relax. She is inviting her children over to dinner tonight for a great meal and we will head to Sioux Falls, SD tomorrow.
Christopher and I woke up with sore throats this morning, but hope to stay on top of that. Ivan is still sick, so we are sure he is the one who graciously shared his sickness with us. Need to get meds on way up to SD tomorrow.
Having a great time here in the heartland of America!


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Been hovering… and pulling myself out of a funk…

First time in my journey… I guess it’s expected.

I’ve been in a funk. I’ve been stressed. Mostly financial. I guess we all get that. I’m so glad that I’ve done my taxes and am just now waiting. I’m waiting for that check to make things LESS STRESSFUL! The effects? Well, I eat when stressed. I wish I didn’t. I guess old habits die hard and I didn’t even think that I had any old habits when I’ve been so very good for almost a YEAR now! I thought you create NEW habits after what? 7 days? 21 days? What is that saying? Well, I guess it’s not working in this girls’ head.

So, I’ve discovered a few things about myself. I’ve discovered that I am healthier. Thank God! I’ve discovered that nearly 10 months, or 10 months (since March 19, 2012) of eating healthy and nearly 9 months of exercising religiously, have made me healthier on the inside… because, even though I have been eating things I should not have been eating (cupcakes, which is seeming to become a wierd pattern as these aren’t really things I ate in the past, but for some reason they are snacks of the “now world” I think… anyway, pizza, which I don’t feel is horrible, as I have had that throughout the diet, just not as “often” as lately, and bread)… just stuff that I haven’t really had in doses that I haven’t had it over the past 10 months. Anyway, I’ve only gained 3 lbs! I haven’t stopped eating most of the foods on the plan I follow, so maybe it’s that. I sort of have stopped most of the exercise, but not completely.. just not as intensely.

I’m thinking that maybe I have built up lean muscle, which burns calories more efficiently (I hear). Maybe, from being healthier, my metabolism is much higher, and I’m processing things much better… I’m not really sure. It’s sort of a mystery to me that I’m not being that “good” yet I’m not showing it on the scale…

However, with all that said, I’m BACK on track. So, I do hope that I’m not derailed TOO much to see my goal too far away (or rather, further, away). I guess, I can’t be “perfect” all the time (and yes, I do TRY to be, even though I do realize no one can be)… It’s the A-type personality in me. First born and all that, you know. Sort of snaps me back into reality and throws the “You are only human” saying into my mind.

Stress… I did just post something about that recently somewhere… about 5 minutes of stress allows 6 hours of a breakdown of your immunity or something like that.. then BAM… this goes and happens… and Boy, does it ever! I’ve been a bit under the weather as well… and the eating, and the feeling “in a funk”… I don’t get depressed… I won’t say that is what I was feeling… in a funk way better expresses what I was feeling. I’m a very upbeat person… but when I’m “in a funk” it’s just that I get introspective… I don’t want to talk, to post, to do much more than read, watch tv, sleep, read more…

What I was doing alot of was watching Dr Oz and Ellen shows. I love to watch Ellen, because she’s about one of the only people I feel is about as positive as I am! LOL I truly love her spirit… I smile when I watch her and I laugh when she laughs and I just GET her! She’s a beautiful person and if I could be anyone else in the world (if I wanted to be, as I like being me, actually)… but I’d want to be her. Anyway… her and Dr Oz… but his shows get a bit repetitive.. but I have been trying to gleam as much info as I can… and reading tons of books on weightloss just to see if there are any little “tweaks” or things I can use or just think about.

I found a few. I already do quite a few things that are mentioned all over that show. Have been for months. Anyway… One thing I’m going to try is the ginger tea for bloating. I already have green tea all the time, so I’m going to look for decaf ginger tea, don’t need anything caffeinated, that’s for sure… but I’ll try to find something today. Anyway, the other thing I’m going to try is Cayenne before a workout. Who’s heard of this? 200 mg taken 1 hr before a workout is supposed to help you burn 40% more calories. Really? I’ll give it a try. Jorge Cruise gave me that tip and I already use his 8 minute moves in the morning and they are soooo amazing and I totally feel them working, so I’m IN with what he suggests! Another supplement I’m going to give a whirl is CLA. Read about it in “The Eat-Clean Diet” by Tosca Reno and also again, on the Dr Oz show… we’ll see. I’m going to STOP taking the Green Coffee Bean extract… not too much really studied about it and just not too sure it’s really helping or not helping actually… I think I’m losing same rate as I always was.

I like that the CLA is more than just for the fat, but also an Anti-carcinogen and also an anti-inflammatory, so with my arthritis, I love that.

I also am going to add drinking water first thing in the morning, before I even drink my warm lemon water… which I usually have after I shower and dress… so there is usually a bit of a delay.. been reading up a bit on getting water in first thing as a bit of a benefit.

We’ll see… nothing seems harmful to try… I never like to try things that seem too drastic.. just little tweaks. Everything else I’m very happy with… just need to stop the off plan and get back ON PLAN… re-focus and get rid of the stress… that isn’t good for anyone!


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Ivan and I have hit 200.5 lbs lost between us!

We’ve lost 200.5 lbs as of today!

As of today, Ivan is down 70 lbs (still trying to catch up to his 73 lbs lost, he’s almost there…) and I am down 130.5 lbs.

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We celebrated by going out to our favorite Indian buffet. I was a bit disappointed that almost all their vegetarian offerings had potatoes… but still, we did enjoy the foods. I love potatoes, don’t get me wrong, but I enjoy that usually when we go, we get lots of just veggie offerings that don’t have tons of carbs for me to watch for. But, it was a treat and we’ve been so good. I didn’t overdo on the rice or the naan, so I am fairly sure that today was still very healthy for us, and I know that Indian spices are so very healthy and good for you… so I know that always makes me feel so much better as well.

We are just relaxing a bit here at home, and will head out in about 15 minutes to beat some snow that may come down, as we have to make a drive north to see my son perform at a District Band concert. Districts is where he auditions to hold a position that only a few in surrounding schools get the honor of being chosen to perform in. So, this is quite exciting. He chose to go in with a baritone horn, as his normal instrument of trumpet had a bit too much competition and I guess that strategy paid off, since he made the cut. So, we are headed up to see the concert. He went up on Wednesday and has been there for the past few days and it’s all been sponsored by the school (room and travel/food), which is pretty cool. He really enjoys being so immersed in music like that, so I know it’s a great experience for him. I’m very eager to see the concert tonight and bring him back home.

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It’s been a slow’ish week for exercise for me, as I feel I’ve been fighting a cold. Even though I’ve still been losing a bit of weight. I’ve only been walking 1-2 miles a night and just keeping on top of the food, really. Getting lots of rest as well. As soon as the concert is over tonight, my son goes straight into performing 2 live shows this weekend of Les Mis’. We’ve been super busy and it’s been so hard trying to fit all of it in, but I’m trying to do it all.

I know that there are alot of us out there that juggle family life and our own personal goals and then in the bitter of winter (and this past week here in the Northeast, it’s been SUPER BITTER), it’s hard to do all of it and not get sick on top of it all… but it is still important to try to keep up with all of it. I am still very focused on my weight loss goals and I do get the fitness in. I am dialing back the 4 and 5 mile workouts to 1 and 2 miles when I’m feeling a bit under the weather, but at least I’m still keeping up with it. I know it’s helping my immune system from having me literally falling into bed and not able to get up, like I was last winter before I started my journey. Last winter, I had walking pneumonia, followed by a sinus infection, followed by a throat infection. I was sick for 3 months solid…

This little cough thing? This is the only bit of sick I’ve been since I started my journey. I can manage this. At least, I hope and pray this is all I have to manage! LOL

LOL I just sort of re-read this… I must be just a bit sick… this post is sort of all over the place… forgive me. And, I’ll try to post a pic of my son with us from the concert a bit later (a bit blurry, but we got someone else to take the photo for us, oh well)… Thanks everyone for following my journey!

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