Showing posts from 2010

Work Home and Familly - Household Goals from 2010

Ahh, yes.  That was a pile of stuff that lived under one of the two desks in our home office.

One of my goals for 2010 was to clean out my house.

I didn't get the house completely cleaned out but I did make significant progress. I cleaned out the following rooms:
the kitchen, the living room, the kids' room, the guest room, the laundry room, and parts of the office, family room and our bedroom. 

The office is actually usable, though it still has a long way to go, our bedroom might actually greet the New Year as a haven rather than something that looks like a giant mouse nest, and the family room TV cabinet needs to be cleaned out for that room to be done.  

The two rooms I didn't get to at all were my sewing/craft room and the furnace room. Both are a disaster of colossal proportion.  I have to have at least part of the furnace room cleaned out next week so that they can install a new computer in our thermostat stuff and then add a humidifier to our furnace as well. Not…

Goals Update - What I Did Today - December 28th

I'm working on knocking off some of these 2010 goals before the end of the year - a whole 3 days away!  That means I have to kick it into high gear during those next three days.   With the kids at daycare (I had to pay for it whether we used it or not) and my folks here, I have a kid-free house and extra hands.  I love being able to really knock some things off the to-do list and getting to spend some time with my folks to boot!

So what did I do today?

I installed another closet system.  This time in the kids' closet.  Again with the help of my Dad (thanks Dad!).

BOY, what a difference did that make!  I was able to clean out an entire 2-shelf bookshelf in there and it went into the closet and out of the room completely.  I also cleaned out another three-shelf bookcase and took it out of that room too!  Extra space, a closet rod that the kids can actually reach, and less junk to dig through daily!  Love that!

I also worked out for a hour, comforted my neighbor who has lost 3 fa…

Healthy Habits in 2010 - Reaching My Target Weight

Oh boy.

This is the biggie.  My weight loss goal for the year - reaching my target weight of 165lbs.

Did I make it?


The good news?

I stayed exactly the same weight!  Not a single pound gained from the beginning of January 2010 to the end of the year.

And I lost 1 1/2 inches off my waist.
And I worked out more this year than I have since 2004. 
And I learned a LOT about my eating and snacking and nibbling habits.

My thigh measurements stayed the same as did my hip measurements.

I'm okay with that. 

As I said yesterday, I didn't realize how many things I would have on my plate and how hard it would be juggle them.  After all I did it all the time 'before.' 

The fact that I didn't gain a ton of weight says quite a lot actually.

I used to eat to pacify myself when I was stressed.  Now I try to do something physical and/or productive. 

I made it to Jazzercise 4 times during Christmas week. 
And I managed to make it through the holidays without gaining weig…

Goals Update - How did I do in 2010?

Boy, did I start out this year with ambitious plans.   In retrospect, they were way to ambitious.

I had no idea how difficult it was going to be to teach and work on my PhD and an additional research project as well as juggle my children and my husband and my home and church responsibilities. 

I used to do this all the time!   How could I do this before and not today?

I pushed myself to the point where I was sick - ending up chronically sick, and I will now never fully recover.  Sleeping 3 hours a night, drinking way more coffee than I should, eating poorly and then relying on John to pick up the slack and the pieces. 

I can't get 3 hours of sleep a night and function anymore.
I can't drink that much coffee anymore (and no, you really don't want to know how much coffee that was!).
I can't eat that way anymore.
And John is just way too busy with school and work and the kids and his own responsibilities to pick up everything else.

So how did I do with my goals this year…

This week on In the Refiner's Fire....

I can't believe this year has flown by so fast already.  It's really hard for me to believe that January 2011 is almost here and with it a whole new year! 

This week I'll be running down all the goals that I had in 2010 and how I did with them.  Some I did very well and others...well...let's just say there is another year right around the corner!  :)

Here's the scoop:
* Monday (today): General overview of the year and how I did on goals not included in other categories.
* Tuesday: How I did with my goal to reach my target weight.
* Wednesday: Household goals and their successes and failures.
* Thursday: Spiritual revelations and a few other things.
* Friday: Frugal Friday: My $25 OCC boxes and my financial goals review.
* Saturday: Super Savings Saturday: I'll be kicking off my personal January Pantry Challenge!
* Sunday: These are a few of my favorite things: My favorite things that happened in 2010.

So there you have it!  My upcoming week in the bloggy world…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of the 26th of December

Can you believe it's the week of New Year's already? I think I live in a time warp. 

My folks are here for part of the week and then head back home on Thursday.  Someone has had the flu or food poisoning  (and yes, we know they are two different things!) in this house for the last week and 2 days - I hope we're finally over it!   We're actually back to eating well again so hopefully that means we're done with it all!
Anyway, here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, December 26th:
    Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
    Lunch:  Turkey Sandwiches, Oranges
    Dinner:  Chicken Noodle Soup, French Bread, Apple Wedges

Monday, December 27th:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon
   Lunch: Spit Pea Soup with Ham, French Bread with Cheese
   Dinner: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash, French, Salad, Orange and Grapefruit Wedges

Tuesday, December 28th:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Apples and Raisins
   Lunch: Minestrone Soup, French Bread, Fruit Salad
   Baking: Lefse, Krumkak…

In The Refiner's Fire - Dealing with Grief

I've lost a lot of family in my short life.  So many that I'm fast running out of relatives.  John is in the opposite situation, just starting to lose his relatives.  In both cases it means that I have experienced a lot of death, a lot of funerals and a lot of grief.

This last week was no exception, we had the death of a family member and the death of a friend.  Another family member and a friend (who is a shirt-tail family member) have received very, very serious medical diagnoses.  Another friend has surgery for a serious injury - she already has a life-threatening, progressive illness on top of that. 

Death is part of life.  If we have contact with other people at all in any way, shape or form, we deal with death. 

And it usually ain't very pretty.

I read an article yesterday on "Walking through the shadow of death".  It spoke about worshipping God and rejoicing in Him even in the tough times.

Overall the article was very good but there was something that bo…

Work Home and Family - Busy Mom Tips: General Kitchen Tips

Now that we've covered all the basic stuff that goes along specifically with meals, here are some general kitchen tips that make my life so much easier.  I can always tell when I don't follow them - life gets a wee bit more chaotic and chaos is something I just plain don't need!

* Eat breakfast in your pajamas.  Or at least have the kids do that.  That way you don't have to worry about spilling milk, coffee, cereal, syrup, oatmeal, jam or whatever on your work or school outfit.  Even if you don't leave your house that day, it's nice not to have to change clothes again or worry about looking weird if someone stops by unexpectedly.  It's usually right after I spill coffee down my shirt that the doorbell rings.  I currently get dressed way before breakfast, but the kids eat in their pajamas.  That means school clothes are clean at least until they get to school!

* Wear an apron.   There's a million cute aprons out there and, man, are they practical!  I lo…

Healthy Habits in 2010 - Ramping It Up!

After eating all this junk for a few weeks, I decided that it's time to really work on my eating.  And, yes, while I'm going into the land of Christmas baking!  Yee haw!  Nothing like a challenge, right?

This past week I did pretty well with working out. Since I didn't put it in yesterday's post here it is:

Number of times I worked out: 4

Yep 4!  With a sinus infection, and a whole host of other things going on to boot.  Was I sore? Yes.  Did my legs scream? Yes.  Did I move up to level two in the 30 Day Shred? Yes.   :)

This week is even easier!  Since the semester is almost done, my teaching requirements have 'calmed down' (though grading has ramped way up!) and I am able to attend Jazzercise more than I have for a while.  So I'm attending Jazzercise 4 times this week!  And I'm hoping to get in at least one more workout with Jillian.    I'm gunning for 2, but I'll settle for one.

Can you believe I'm actually excited about ramping up the ex…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 12th

Okay, I almost wrote "November" in that title... is that wishful thinking or what?!

Anyway, we're busy this week and my folks fly in from down south (and the warmth!) on Saturday!  Picked up more 'stuff' at the sales this last week when I went shopping in a full-fledged blizzard (note to self: don't do that again!).  Anyway, we're eating well this week!

Here's what we're having:

Sunday, December 12th:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins and Oranges
   Lunch: Out after Christmas Programs
   Dinner: Crackers with cheese and sausage, Oranges

Monday, December 13th:
   Breakfast: Cold Cereal, Bananas, and Milk
   Lunch: Hot at school for kids; Leftovers for Mom
   Snack for Mom: Yogurt with Blackberries
   Dinner:  Easy Black Bean Soup, Cornbread, Salad, Fruit

Tuesday, December 14th:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Apples
   Dinner:  Chicken Flavored White and Wild Rice, Broccoli and Cauliflower, Fruit

Wednesday, December 15th:
   Breakfast:  Chai Sp…

My Last Week in Numbers...

This last week has been quite the week - it seems like ever since we got back from Thanksgiving it's been crazy and I just can't dig myself out.  So here's what I've been up to for my silent week (since last Tuesday):

Number of classes taught: 3
Number of assignments graded: 220
Number of quizzes graded: 22
Number of labs graded: 22
Number of tests written: 2
Number of transcripts analyzed: 14
Number of hours spent in the car: 32
Number of hours spent sewing for the Christmas program this past weekend: 2
Number of hours spent sewing Christmas presents: 1 1/2
Number of Christmas program practices attended: 2
Number of Christmas program practices canceled due to snow: 2
Number of Christmas program performances canceled due to snow: 1
Number of Christmas program performances held: 3
Number of times I had to re-pin Missy's skirt because it almost fell off: 6
Number of times I had to retie Buddy's shoes: 3
Number of Christmas presents wrapped and delivered: 10

Healthy Habits in 2010 - Six Plus Two

I was so proud of myself the week of Thanksgiving - I worked out six time!  Yes, I even worked out on Thanksgiving day (and at 745am mind you!). :)  I think that balanced out the TON of deserts we had at my in-laws - literally a whole table of them (all pumpkin-related!).

This last week?  Not so much.

I worked out a whole whopping two times this last week.
If I average them, that's 4 time a week over the last two weeks! :) Does that count?

I won't even talk about what I ate because, boy did I eat a LOT more than I should have during thanksgiving week.  I have been better during the last week, and I'm liking that!

I'll tell you something though:

Something changed in my thinking the beginning of Thanksgiving week.  Something that has made me work on cleaning out, watching what I eat, and exercising more than ever before.  My house shows it and my waists fit better and someone even commented on it at Jazzercise last week! 

I'm lovin' that!

How are you doing?  Ma…

Goals Update - The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men....

...or something like that!

After my wild and crazy week last week, I was ready for a weekend complete with not one but TWO dates with John and some time to get a few things done around the house.   Plus, I had a Super Savings Saturday post half done and my thoughts all aligned for my These are a Few of My Favorite Things for Sunday too! 

So, Friday I ended up with a super duper sinus infection courtesy of one of my co-workers and spent the rest of the weekend SLEEPING.  Then, when I was all ready to go and post on Sunday evening, Comcast had our Internet down. 

I think I'm officially ready for Christmas break!  **SIGH**

What have I accomplished over the last week or so?
* Cleaned out our guest room (my MIL is coming tomorrow so she needed a place to sleep!)
* Finished Christmas clothes for my daughter (mom had started them)
* Made homemade tree ornaments with my kids
* Made Chocolate Dipped marshmallows
* Made Hot Cocoa mix to go with the marshmallows
* Got the Advent wreath and…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 5th

My Goodness! 

With Christmas right around the corner, we have a busy, busy week around the corner and that means easy meals this week!

I did some stockpiling this week with the grocery shopping thanks to some fabulous store coupons, so we're eating well this week.  Here's what we're eating:

Sunday, December 5:
     Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
     Lunch: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Pecans, Orange Wedges
     Dinner: Salad with Chicken, Pomegranate Seeds and Mandarin Oranges

Monday, December 6:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with pecans and cinnamon
     Bag Lunches:  Apples with Peanut Butter, Cheez-Its, Carrots or Tomatoes, Cookie, Juice Box
     Snack for Mom: Yogurt with Granola
     Dinner: Beef Tacos, Fruit

Tuesday, December 7:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins with Bananas
    Snack:  Apples with Peanut Butter
    Late Dinner: Out After Christmas Program with Friends and Family

Wednesday, December 8:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon
    Bag Lunches: Ham Roll Ups…

Frugal Friday - My Favorite (Easy and Cheap!) Gifts

For Frugal Friday this week FishMama is hosting a $10 or less present carnival!  Love that!

Since my camera took a bath this last weekend (quite literally), I don't have pictures (sniff) to go with this.  I can give you ideas though!

* Homemade Ornaments!  If you're even remotely crafty, have the kids make ornaments for their teachers, grandparents and friends.  Last year we made ornaments using painted TP tubes (you could color them if you don't have paint), pipe cleaners and beads. This year, we made "cupcake" ornaments using cupcake liners, giant and mini pompoms, glue and curling ribbon.  They are adorable and the kids had a great time making gifts!  All of these things were items we already had (since we're a wee bit crafty at our house!), so they were free to make.  Total Cost for Us: Free; Roughly between $5 and $10 depending on what supplies you have to buy ($4 for a giant bag of pompoms, $1 for cupcake liners, and $2 for a bottle of glue at our craft…

A Brief Note This Week

We were at my in-laws out of state for Thanksgiving and this weekend has been one of those weeks where I wish I could hit "Rewind" and start over! 

Really! I managed not to blow up at anyone, but it was really tough - especially since the person I wanted to blow up at the most was ME!  ***SIGH*** I hate it when that happens!  :)

Anyway, the short story is we took nothing in terms of productive school/teaching-type tasks down to my in laws with us and I am still working on things that needed to be done early this week! Uff da.  We also had a ton of other little things happen that if they had happened individually would have been no big deal at all, but combined and with the mountain of missed work to catch up on, sleep has been a rare and treasured treat around here!  My final crown of the day was forgetting the kids backpacks for school today right next to our front door and not having any time to go back and get them before school let out today. Ugh.

Thus, the absence from…

In the Refiner's Fire - So Very Thankful!

It's Thanksgiving Day.
And I have so very much to be thankful for... health.... husband.... children... home... education... career... parents.... husband's parents... husband's parents... husband's 8 siblings and their spouses... ...four lively nephews... ...a lovely niece... ...the addition of a new brother-in-law and his two daughters as nieces in the next year... vehicles to travel in... ...plenty to eat... ...plenty to wear... for things I need and desire... insurance... ...access to good medical care when needed...
...with all of this glorious bounty the thing I am the most grateful for this Thanksgiving is by far and away this...
...the Grace of God Almighty...
...who gives abundantly beyond all things we could ever hope or dream of... ...who cares for us in our time of need... ...and carries us when we'd fall... ...and continues to refine me into the person He would have me be... ...which is far …

Work Home and Family - Busy Mom TIps #3: Holiday Trips, Gatherings and Meals

Turkey day is TOMORROW!  Are you ready? 

We head out of state to the in-laws this weekend.  John's wonderful, huge family.  His parents, 8 siblings, 3-in-laws, 4 nephews, 1 niece, 5 dogs, and random cousins, aunts, uncles and friends as well. 

It's a super busy time and we enjoy it.  Most of the time.

We're heading out after I get done teaching today - which means we won't get on the road until about 8pm.  We'll get in around midnight and hit the ground running tomorrow morning. 

Here are some of the busy mom tips I use to keep us sane and happy while running around like the proverbial chicken with it's head cut off:

Get a hotel room.  Seriously.  If it is at all within your budget and you have to travel, stay at a hotel.  While Aunt Matilda may be terribly mortified that you are, it gives you a place to 'recover' in peace and you don't have to worry about offending sister Sue because you stayed with brother Joe (our original reason for getting a…

Healthy Habits in 2010 - Mixing Times Up a Bit and that Food Journal

My goal for the month so far has been to get up with John at 530am and do the 30 Day Shred on the days when I don't go to Jazzercise (i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and possibly Saturday).  That wasn't working out well.  John and I have a short devotional time before he leaves in the morning and my working out at that time meant that we didn't get to do that.  It may sound trivial, but since that time is an integral and meaningful part of our day we decided that wasn't working well.

So, I decided to work out to Ms. Jillian after the kids go to bed at night on those nights - about 830pm.  I realize that people recommend working out first thing in the morning but I have always preferred working out in the evening (usually 6pm-ish rather than later) and I have been just completely beat when I get home and want to crawl into bed right after the kids do.  By working out at that time, I have the energy to get my evening schedule actually completed rather than falling int…

Goals Update - What do you do...?

We have an ice storm in Minnesota currently and I hit the pavement this weekend - my back patio.  On Sunday, I went sailing off the back step and landed in the middle of my patio, bruising my back end and my right arm in the process.  Today my whole body feels like it's been beaten with a stick. 

While sitting around on the couch with an icepack on my arm, lamenting that I didn't make it to church and reading random articles on the 'net, I had a bit of a revelation.

I have a huge problem with procrastination (no, that wasn't the revelation!).  A huge problem.  And I have had it for a long time.  I know that.  And I've been working on it.  And I've made huge strides in the last year or two - especially after my surgery in fall 2009.  I'm proud of that.

(Yes, you did know that was coming!)
I have a long, long way to go.  Not only to be where I want to be but to get myself out of the hole I'm in and get moving forward toward that somewhere I want t…

In the Refiner's Fire - Holding Myself Accountable

I realized something a little better than a week ago.

I have a terribly hard time holding myself accountable.

So does John.

Boy are we a pair!
Where there's outside accountability we do great - at our jobs, school (with grades or other 'incentives'), outside commitments where other people are counting on us to get our jobs done!  At home and personally it's a completely different story.

We had a huge "discussion" last week and it came down to this: neither one of us holds ourselves or the other accountable for anything worthwhile (at least in our estimation).  John commented that he didn't know how to hold me accountable without being a drill Sargent.  I don't know how to hold him accountable without being a drill Sargent either.  Being a drill Sargent isn't good for either one of us. 

Yet, I grew up in a house where expectations were high, and people were held accountable without resorting to drill Sargent tactics.  You were expected to do certa…

Work Home and Family - Busy Mom Tips Part 2: Cooking that Meal

Last time on Busy Mom Tips, I talked about menu planning. Today's topic, Cooking that Meal, is intimately linked to planning your menu. Busy nights mean that dinner either needs to be something that can be made quickly or something that can be made ahead of time and just eaten. Slower nights mean that more time can be taken to make dinner. Freezer cooking or simply planning ahead can aid on any night for making cooking dinner (or any meal) quick and easy. Here are some tips that help me make dinner quickly and easily, especially on busy nights!

Learn your timing. It takes 20 minutes to cook the brand of rice we buy. So if I'm making stir fry, I start the rice and then brown the meat at the same time, then cook everything else. That way everything gets done at the same time. No time wasted waiting for certain things to cook and no overdone food with others. This does take some trial and error but just looking at the recommended cooking times can help. If you have something that…

Healthy Habits in 2010 - How Loud Can You Say OUCH?

I started the 30 Day Shred a week ago last Wednesday - two weeks ago tomorrow. 


Jillian does pack quite the punch.   The workout is a real workout - no ifs, ands or 'butts' about it!  I can feel it. And I really felt it the first week - so much so I ended up with a knot in my left calf the size of a ping pong ball ( you could actually see it!).  Jillian combined with a new killer leg routine at Jazzercise was apparently just too much for my little legs to contend with.

Anyway, I'm plugging away at it - so far it's been Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I haven't hit a Saturday yet, though part of me would like to.  I go to Jazzercise Tuesday and Thursday. That gives me 5 workouts a week.  And since I'm not trying to "Shred" myself, just get more fit and add in extra workout time, I'm expecting to see "Shred" results at the end of the month.

So here's the run down according to me of the 30 Day Shred (all opinions are 100% mi…

Goals Update - One Word: Slow!

I have two words on the tip of my tongue lately when people ask how things are: "busy" and "slow."

That seems to be a contradiction in terms, but the pace is busy and the progress is slow. So I guess they go to together.

Or something like that.

I have had a number of set backs with this darn degree this semester and I only have one left to clear out and then I can begin rapid forward progress again. My goal is to get that one knocked off by Thanksgiving next week so I can go into the holiday without quite as much on my plate.

Teaching is going well, but it is keeping me busy - as it usually does.  New preps (as in preparing for a course I haven't taught recently or at all before) are time consuming.  So that is a problem.  I am having a difficult time with a few things and I have a few students who have been a real blessing as well as a real challenge.

I have pretty much relegated myself to not getting much of anything on my giant home to-do list done other th…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 14th

Another week!  Wow!  I think I officially live in  a time warp or something - either that or I'm officially getting "old".  Who knows?  Anyway, we have another busy week ahead of us.
Here's the menu for the week: Sunday, November 14: Breakfast: Cold Cereal Lunch: Breakfast Tacos, Fruit Dinner: Baked Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli and Cauliflower, Fruit
Monday, November 15: Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Apples Bag Lunches: Apples with Peanut Butter, Carrots or Tomatoes, Fruit Snacks, Juice Box Snack for Mom: Yogurt with Granola Dinner: Easy Black Bean Soup, Cornbread, Fruit
Tuesday, November 16: Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins with Orange Wedges Dinner: Potluck at Church: Bring Fruit Salad
Wednesday, November 17: Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Raisins Bag Lunches: PB&J Sandwiches, Carrots or Tomatoes, Orange Wedges, Juice Box Snack for Mom: Yogurt with Granola Dinner: Harris Pizza, Salad, Fruit
Thursday, November 18: Breakfast: Waffles with Strawberry Banana Smoothies Din…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

We woke up yesterday morning to this - a winter wonderland.  Now it's sleeting outside but as long as I stay inside, I can ignore that. :)
 This is my very excited little man who wanted to go out and play in the snow in his pajamas!
I love the look of snow. I love sledding. I love Christmas lights. And Christmas Carols. And hot cocoa with big marshmallows.
Most of all, I love the excitement on my children's faces and the light in their eyes when the snow comes!
What more can I ask for?
(BTW, the orange 'dots' on the door are pumpkin stickers.  Buddy thought that the house needed a little extra 'decorating' this year!)

Frugal Friday - Using Leftover Candy

We got a ton of candy this Halloween and there was no way we were going to eat it all.  I froze some of the chocolate pieces (kisses, peanut butter cups, 4 full size Hershey bars, crunch and nut bars, etc) for baking at Christmas time and pulled out more hard candy than I've seen outside of a store for our Operation Christmas Child boxes. 

But we still had a ton left.

So what do I do?

Well, I got asked to bake for the Church bazaar the week after Halloween. Since I'd scored several boxes of cake mix at 88 cents a box plus 50 cents of two coupons for a grand total of 63 cents a box and some frosting for the same price.  I decided to bake 4 cakes and decorate them using candy. 

Here's how it goes:

Start with this:
Then pick these:

Add these, which I had bought for another 'project' with the kids:

Then use the candy to decorate the cakes so that you end up with these:

Skittle flowers with fruit slice 'leaves' and Pixy Stix colored sugar.

Smarties grass and flowe…

Work, Home and Family - Busy Mom Tips - Part 1

Busy Mom Tips Part One: Meal Planning

The thing I get asked about the most when people find out we eat dinner at home about 28 nights (or more) a month and that we cook dinner, rather than buying pre-made is "How on earth do you do it!?"

For me this is normal. I grew up with a working outside-of-the home Mom and a homemade dinner on the table almost every night. Take-out or pizza was a rare treat, meaning either a special occasion or Mom was out of state visiting Grandma and Dad got to "cook". :) So, making dinner at night each night is just what's normal for me. And, yes, I've put certain meals on the table at night and thought "Ack! I'm turning into my mother!" That's okay. Really. My mom is a lovely person and she's an excellent cook. Plus, she taught me all she knows! Well, except how to milk a cow and butcher chickens. And unless I actually need those skills in my daily life at some point, I don't plan on learning!


Healthy Habits in 2010 - Setting New Goals

Well, it's NOVEMBER already.  Can you believe it?  Where on earth has the year gone?  I have no idea and I'm really pretty shocked that it's already November.  It just blows my mind how fast this year has flown!

Way back in January, I set a goal to reach my target weight (165lbs) by the end of 2010. 

The short answer to whether I made progress is that I really haven't budged in weight since way back then.  I weighed in on January 12 at 175 lbs.  And guess what?  I weighed in today 174 lbs.  At least I'm holding steady! **cringe**  I know I have lost inches, and that makes me happy.  I do have a bit of a roll of fat around my hips and thighs that needs to go and hasn't budged. 

I was convinced by several people at Jazzercise to be licensed as an instructor and I will do that - after I finish this darn PhD, which won't happen until sometime next summer. 

In the mean time I need to lose that extra weight - how much credibility does a flabby and unfit aerobi…