Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fashion Sense

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Season

This holiday season really snuck up on me this year, and it seems like everyone I know is feeling the same way. Like one week was magically removed from the calendar and we're all scrambling to catch up and get everything done in time.

And yet, I've managed to maintain my goal of recent years of keeping things simple and inexpensive (relatively). I've found that I am more mentally at peace going into holiday celebrations (and all the commercialism and "stuff" that inevitably comes along with them), if I have done my part to stay local and handmade in my gift giving.
And although I didn't seem to have the time to handmake many of my own gifts this year (as I have in years past), I ordered most gifts online from local merchants and stuck to handmade items for the most part. That kept me out of the traffic and the malls, which always seem to make me cranky about the whole gift-giving endeavor....

I revised my plans for our holiday card when we all fell ill the day we were supposed to have our pictures taken and ordered a card with a picture of Sadie from this fall.

Brian and I collaborated on putting together our annual holiday CD (a tradition of mine for nearly a decade now) and somehow managed to get it done in time. Long gone are the days of drinking Bloody Marys all morning and making the CD together while listening to our entire music collection. This year it was more about emails back and forth and each of us working on it a little bit while the other was out and about or at work. But it got done, and we're loving it. Hope our friends and family will too.

This morning I sent off the last of our holiday packages, and by getting to the post office before they opened, avoided the hours-long line that many experience this time of year.

I've already experienced some holiday events that have put me in the mood for celebrating, namely our annual bookclub holiday party (with husbands), and our annual high tea at the Brown Palace. And what a treat it was for Sadie to join us for the first time. The magic of this event was heightened even more by her participation and wonder.
And now that nearly everything is crossed off my to-do lists, I'm ready to celebrate. I'm so happy that I've made it through all these holiday tasks with minimal stress. Now I can enter into the remainder of the season with a clear mind and heart and open myself up to what these celebrations are really about. I am so excited to settle in with my loved ones with a warm drink to savor the season. Delicious food (the cooking and the eating), music, fireplaces, twinkling lights, and friends and family. Bring it on...I'm ready, and I can't wait.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Florida trip

Too busy, or tired, or distracted to write eloquently about my recent trip to Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday, but I have some great pictures to share.

Sadie and I traveled alone to Florida to add a few days to the trip. It was fun traveling together, just the two of us. And Sadie did REALLY well on the airplane.

We spent a few amazingly relaxing and calm days at the beach with my parents, consisting of delicious meals out, unstructured playtime on the beach with a few Florida family members, TV and reading with Mom at night, and a dolphin watching expedition!

Our first Peckett family Thanksgiving Day 10K run and 5K walk were a great success! And Brian won the race!

Thanksgiving was lovely as usual. What a nice treat to be able to eat the big meal outdoors, at a table all together, in the gorgeous 75 degree weather.

Visit to the new, fabulous Children's Museum in Tampa.

Boat trip on the Gulf of Mexico with the entire family. Best day ever.

Cousins in the bath. Just like their mamas used to do...

Sadie's enthralled with the horses....

What a great trip....the fact that it was so perfect continues to make coming back to work that much harder....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lonesome Traveler

Our last house concert of the season was with a great, local bluegrass band, Lonesome Traveler. Every season, we like to host at least one full band to our house concert series, and although we've had a lot of musicians from all over the country play, we strive to also support local musicians whenever we can.
We had a great crowd for the night, and were so thrilled to meet all the band members. Good people, good food, and great music. Exactly why we love this house concert thing....
Thank you Lonesome Traveler for sharing your music and your friendship!

We're taking a house concert break for the holidays, but we'll be back at it in March and are already really excited for the spring lineup:

Saturday, March 10: The Atomic Duo
Saturday, April 14:
Dr. Harlan's Amazing Bluegrass Tonic
May house concert: TBA

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Big Steps

Big stuff happening in our little one's world....

Sadie is no longer wearing diapers! (except at night...). She took to using the toilet (pardon me while I use the word potty from here on out...it's become second nature. Ugh, that word, used by adults, used to bug the hell out of me. Look at me now...). Anyway, Sadie took to using the potty like a champ. The first day we decided we were going to give this whole thing a go, she was done. Done with diapers during the day and during naps. We've used potties in restaurants, stores, friends' houses, in airplanes, and on boats. She especially loves to pee outdoors (that's my daughter...) and will sometimes go in the backyard to pee. Whatever floats your boat, kid....

Sadie's big-girl bed is on its way into her life as well and we're hoping to have it ready to go by the holidays. The fact that she climbs in and out of her crib to turn on the fan, grab a book, change her clothes, etc. should be our first clue that she's well past ready. Thinking that the diaper at night will end along with the new bed.

She may not have much hair, but she's sure growing up fast....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mike Compton House Concert

October 22, 2011 was a big night for us Petersons and for our little house concert series. We were so thrilled, excited, and nervous to have Mike Compton join us for a house concert.

Mike is an absolute legend in the bluegrass/folk/acoustic music world, and is a master of the mandolin. He's worked with nearly everyone in the industry, including some biggies like Bill Monroe, John Hartford, David Grier, and the Nashville Bluegrass Band. He was also a big part of the success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and the associated Down from the Mountain concert tour and album.

Well, there's a reason for all the accolades he's received and success he's had.....he's a damn good mandolin picker!!! One of the best ever, in our opinion. And for some reason, he jumped at the chance to come play in our living room. Wow, was that a big day when I called Mike up and worked out the details. Needless to say, we'd been looking forward to this show for quite a long time...

And it was one of our best ever. Mike's playing was SO good and clean and fast and interesting and AMAZING! Videos of some of our favorites from the night are here, here, and here.

And what a gracious and humble man he is. We loved visiting with him before the show, and especially had fun hearing stories afterward over drinks about how he met and started playing with John Hartford and others.

We packed the house more than we ever have (over 70 people I think...it was hard to keep track). It was so fun to meet more local like-minded music fans who seemed to come out of the woodwork for the chance to see Mike in such an intimate setting. And the jam afterward was the biggest yet! And almost all mandolin pickers....fancy that.

The best line of the night, by far, is when Mike summed up his feelings about music by saying, "I can't hardly live without it".

We feel exactly the same way, Mike. Thank you for sharing yours with us. It was an honor and a pleasure.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This week

This week has gone really well. I had a successful weigh-in on Tuesday; I was down 2.2 pounds from the previous week's big, ugly gain. My diligence paid off! I used the success as motivation to keep it up this week. And knowing that this weekend will present another three days of challenges, I knew I needed to keep things in check this week.

Tuesday night Brian and I only cooked half a box of pasta. We used to put down an entire box (1 pound of pasta!) by ourselves, no problem. We don't do that anymore. We could if we let ourselves, though...

Wednesday I had lunch plans at my favorite Jewish deli. I like to order the 6" tall (seriously) corned beef sandwich with egg salad. But I didn't. I planned ahead and knew before I walked in the door that I would order a bowl of beef barley soup (with a matzoh ball in it for good measure), and a mini bagel with cream cheese and lox (cream cheese on the side). The meal was yummy and I left feeling full. Dinner was a bit lighter after a heavier lunch.

Thursday night I had movie plans with friends. I skipped dinner at Chilis (in favor of a healthy dinner at home), had one small glass of wine before the movie and didn't buy any candy at the theater. Good!

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings I went to the rec center and worked hard.

Today the challenges start. Tonight we'll be going out for Thai food. Tomorrow night's sure-to-be-awesome house concert potluck and accompanying beer drinking will take some self-control. Sunday, it's another baby shower and I'm sure there will be lots of lovely, delicious food. So....

I'm going into the weekend planning for success. I'll plan ahead as much as possible. I'll make a responsible choice at dinner tonight, I'll have ONE (and only one) plate of food at the potluck and not pick over the leftovers at the end of the night, and I'll only eat smart portions of food I really like a the baby shower (rather than eating everything offered, just because it's there).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Checking In

Last week went well after my previous post. I tracked (journaled) my food and activity each day, and stayed on track with my choices and portions. I felt great going into the weekend, and did a lot of visualizing about making smart choices during several challenging events this weekend.

My results over the weekend were mixed.

Friday night: challenge #1: no dinner plans, dinner out. Response: We went to our local mexican restaurant and I ordered the Sopa Tlalpeno..chicken soup with potatoes and garbanzo beans. I know this is a low-point option at this restaurant, and it's filling. I limited the tortilla chips I ingested before our dinner came (and turned down the repeated offers to refill the basket). I ate one slice of Sadie's quesadilla (1/6th of an entire quesadilla). Overall, felt good about my choices and actions.
challenge #2: baking killer cookies for Saturday baby shower. Response: I did not inhale cookie dough while cooking (just a couple small bites). Did not have ANY cookies that night.

Saturday: challenge: baby shower at my house with lots of yummy food. Response: I ate small portions of the more fattening things and larger portions of the fruit and veggies. Ate a few bites of the cake and only a couple killer cookies. Kept drinking in control. Overall, felt good about my choices and actions.

Sunday: challenge #1: lunch out and about. We went to Qdoba and I ate a small bowl of the Mexican Gumbo and a few bites of Sadie's quesadilla. Felt good about my choices and actions.
challenge #2: White Fence Farm dinner with friends. I'm not a big fan of fried chicken (which is what this restaurant is famous for), so I knew going into it that I would order the roast turkey dinner. Overall, not thrilled with my choices and actions. I ate way too much of the sides (coleslaw, fritters, etc) and kept eating even when I wasn't hungry anymore. Didn't track everything since I don't remember everything I ate.

I came out of the weekend feeling relatively positive about how things went. Although I acted on some bad habits Sunday night, I feel happy that I didn't behave that way in all cases this weekend. I made good choices Friday and Saturday.

I went to the gym this morning and worked hard. After feeling so full and uncomfortable after last night's dinner, I packed a big bag of fruits, veggies, a hard-boiled egg, and cheese stick for lunch and snacks today. I'll eat well today, tonight and tomorrow and hope to have a positive change on the scale tomorrow!

Lessons learned:
  • Limiting what I ate during dinners out and the baby shower did not lessen my enjoyment of these events at all!
  • Quit eating Sadie's quesadillas!
  • Only eat quantities that you'll be able to remember afterward!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I'm trying something new here. It's not going to be easy, but I think it's necessary. This blog is somewhat of a safe space for me. Partly because I'm not convinced that anyone other than my mother and my husband actually read what's written here. And also because it's easier to be brutally honest in this somewhat anonymous place called a blog.

So, it's time for some accountability in my life, and I'm using this blog as a way to mix it up a bit.

I LOVE to eat. I sometimes LOVE to overeat. I don't love how I feel while I'm overeating, or afterward, but I sometimes have no control over it (or at least it feels that way).

I've worked really hard over the past 5 years (through Weight Watchers and in other ways) to rein in my habit of overeating. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how healthy and empowered I feel when I am in control of my eating habits. But that doesn't mean I always stick to it. It is so hard from me to constantly be vigilant about my eating habits. Sometimes I just get tired of having to work so hard at it.

I hold myself accountable for staying away from bad habits by going to my Weight Watchers meetings. I know a lot of people lose the weight they want to lose and then stop going to meetings and stop actively participating in the program. I'll never be that person. I will probably go to Weight Watchers meetings for the rest of my life. Even when I FINALLY (someday) reach my goal weight. It's that accountability thing.

Anyway, I'm needing a new way to hold myself accountable for my actions, because I'm feeling a bit out of control right now. So I'm going to start discussing my eating habits and their consequences on my blog for a while. And I'll start with the hard part. And then hopefully continue to have positive changes to discuss here.

So here goes. The hard part.

I've been within 3 pounds of my weight goal for 6 months. These last few pounds have been so hard for me. I make a lot of excuses....but it's behavior like this week's that is the reason I've had so much trouble.

(By the way....let me say that I have no aspirations to be Hollywood-skinny. I don't even want to be considered skinny. I think that word is so misconstrued in our thin-obsessed culture. I just want to be healthy.)

So, back to my bad behavior....The last few weeks have been full of distractions from my regular routine, celebrations, ordering in, and dinners with friends. I went into this week already feeling pretty bad about what I've eaten and how I've behaved recently. Monday I opened the halloween candy as trick-or-treaters started arriving on our street. And before anyone came home, and before anyone saw me, I probably ate (inhaled is more like it) 8 pieces of halloween candy. And continued to eat candy in this way for the rest of the night. I was eating it so quickly I didn't even taste it or enjoy it. And I felt sick afterward.

On Tuesday, the day I usually press the reset button and get my habits back on track (and the day I weigh in each week), I started off the morning with a chocolate glazed donut. A bit later, I ate the healthy breakfast I'd packed. For lunch, instead of eating the healthy lunch I'd packed, I stopped and scarfed down not one, but two huge Lauer Kraut sandwiches. Completely unnecessary and gluttonous. I overate at dinner, but managed to only have one piece of halloween candy afterward. When my generous (and well-meaning) neighbor brought homemade chocolate chip cookies over yesterday, I ate three immediately, and another one when Sadie got home.

I'm not proud to admit any of this here. These are not the eating habits that are going to help me lose these last few pounds. These are not habits that help me feel in control. This makes me feel out of control and disgusting and unhealthy and sad. This is not what I want for myself.

So. Enough with the sad story. Time for positive talk from here on out. I think that documenting my struggles and successes here will help me snap myself out of this current slippery slope I feel I'm on. So. What have I done right in the midst of all this?
  • I have continued to go to the rec center three days a week and work very hard in my boot camp class. I like the way I look in the mirror. I'm stronger and more fit than I've ever been in my adult life, and I feel and look great.
  • I went to Weight Watchers and weighed in! Accountability! It wasn't pretty. I gained 5 pounds in one week. Embarrassing. But, if I hadn't gone, I would have continued on the wrong path...and the bad news from the scale is what has encouraged me to shake things up a bit and turn things around.
  • I went shopping (mostly unsuccessfully), and tried on several jackets, blouses, and sweaters. I automatically went for medium sized garments and found that those were all too big!!! I found that in most cases I needed a small! I can't remember the last time I bought a small anything! This was a good reminder of how far I've come in the past couple years with my weight loss. Even though I've fallen off track a bit recently, it doesn't diminish the successes I've had up until now!
I know that I will always struggle with my weight. I will always have to work hard to maintain a healthy weight. I will always have to fight against my tendency to binge and overeat and lose control. But I also know which I prefer. I prefer to be in control and healthy and energetic. I want to set a good example and be a good role model for my daughter about how to nourish yourself in a healthy way.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Recent Photos I Love

Sadie at the circus. I had tears in my eyes watching her watching the show. It was great fun.

Sadie sleeping the day away in her silky pajamas. I'm pretty sure she was fighting off the 24-stomach bug that Brian and I were floored by the day before. She handled it quite well.

Sadie enjoying a beautiful fall day at the pumpkin patch for our annual family pumpkin outing.