Thursday, December 16, 2010

Victory is Mine!

I did it!  I can't believe I did it!  Holy CRAP I did it!  Three months ago I blogged about my weight loss goals.  I bragged about my  30 pounds loss.  That was about my halfway point.  I am so excited to be able to blogg once more of my success.  It has been a long 8 months but I have stuck too it like a booger to your finger!  I set many goals along the way and acheived everyone of them.  Now a little more detail (or shall I say bragging).  I started out at my heaviest at 241.5 pounds(and yes that .5 sure is counted!)  I am now 175 pounds.  That is 66.5 pounds lost in 8 months! I have lost a total of 38.25 inches!  I have lowered my BMI from 37 to 27! I went from a size 20 to a 14 and a shirt size of 3X to L!  I used to have chronic knee pain that kept me from being active.  I started out slow and now I can walk a 12 minute mile!  I love the new me!

Celebrate with me because it will be a short party.  After further thought, I have decided that I need to keep going.  I want to loose another 10ish pounds.  Thank you too all that have already acknowledged my hard work.  Thank you to those who walked with me over the summer and to my new partner in crime who has me up at 5:10 AM to take me to the gym!  I have awesome family and awesome friends!  Oh!  I almost forgot the best news ever.........I weigh less than Andy!! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Hope

You might remember back in August a post about a special event that was coming up that our family was going to participate in called the Festival of Trees.  My sisters and I had decided to donate a tree in honor of Mom.  It was to be called Christmas Hope.  Since then we made plans on what kind of tree decorations, went shopping for them, and put them all on the tree to make sure it was exactly what we wanted. We had so much fun doing all this knowing it was in honor of a fantastic lady and for a great cause. 

November 29th was decorating day and the excitement grew even more.  We spent a good 4 hours making the tree structurally safe, wiring all the ornaments and other decorations on, and sometimes just goofing off.  So there it was......the last three months of planning, shopping, crafting, worrying all done.  And it was beautiful!
On opening night, the first thing we wanted to do was see Mom's tree.  It sold!  We were so excited. 
Later that week I took my cute little family back to Festival so they could also see the tree.  By then, they had posted who was the purchaser of the tree.  We wondered if it might have been a friend that knew about our donation.  It was a complete stranger which surprisingly made it even more special to our family.

I was told that donating a tree to the Festival would help bring our family together even more during this hard time.  It would bring the Christmas spirit deeper into our hearts.  If you have never donated a tree to the Festival, you might not understand the feelings that surround the whole idea.  I was not expecting what I learned and felt. 

Christmas Hope....what does that mean exactly.  When we decided on the tree, the meaning was dual.  The best present that Christmas could bring was a cancer free mother which brought our family hope.  Many people hope for a Christmas all to together.  We submitted a story about our tree.  It stated how Mom had hoped and survived many things in her life.  Even now with her battle with cancer she believes there are only two things that can get a person through.....Love of family and faith in God.  She says, "if you don't have faith in God, is it worth the fight?"

My final thoughts came to me yesterday while enjoying and listening to testimonies being said at my church.  Christmas hope started before our decision to donate this tree.  Christmas hope started before my mom was diagnosed.  Christmas hope started when Christ came to this earth as a baby with the plan to become our Savior.  My mothers hope to survive cancer came from this baby boy.  My hope that she will live a long happy life comes from this same baby boy.  Our life on this earth is given hope through the baby Jesus.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Never-Slowing November (family)

Carina, you just finished the hardest year ever without a husband!  What'll you do next?

I'm going to Disneyland!

Come can't be surprised....we are addicted to DL. 
Our thought process is as follows----->
Do we really want to remember 2010 as the year Andy was always gone, that Mom/Grandma was diagnosed with crappy cancer, and we were all really lonely and sad? H*ll no!  We need a vacation!  We left for DL the Friday after Andy got home.  We drove all day and stayed in Ontario, CA.  A word to the wise.  Ontario is the hood.  While trying to get settled for bed, we heard this really loud noise and our room started to shake.  I thought maybe a car driving by with a stereo?  Nope....we were right next to a car stereo installation store!  It was 10 PM!  What are ya thinkin!  We demanded a new room and called the cops.  Good thing we were only there one night.

We spent  Saturday, Tuesday , and Monday at the park.  It was never very crowded.  We walked onto most rides.  By Tuesday, they weren't even giving out fast passes.  Couldn't have asked for better weather! It was anywhere between 75 and 80 the whole time (sorry Melissa). 

We went to Huntington Beach on Sunday.  We try every time to make it to the beach but run out of time.  I am so glad we did!  That was the day it was 80 degrees.  We had lunch at a quaint little surf side shack, ate under straw umbrella's, and soaked in the Cali atmosphere.  They had a surf contest which brought in a fabulous people watching crowd.  We even saw a pair of dolphins!

Tuesday was my birthday.....I know right!  How awesome is that to spend your bday at the happiest place on earth!  I wore a button saying it was my birthday. Complete strangers wished me happy birthday all day.  I had an enormous hand dipped corn dog for lunch. I shared a piece of mile high chocolate cake with the fam while watching the fireworks.  Perfection!

Enjoy the slide show (watch for the hidden mickey's!)

Never-Slowing November (Andy)

The next big event with the start of the new month was our daddy was finally coming home!  He had decided to stay an extra two weeks so his plan was to fly home November 8th.  That made it 8 weeks total this time that he had been gone.  That's 2 months people!  Ugh....hard Mim.  But, we fought on.  We also decided that this would be his last time in least until the spring.  He gave his notice and said that he was going to try to find something at home but if not he would be back if they would take him.  They really liked Andy and had no problems with that. 

Good, a door left cracked.

We never got a bad feeling about giving notice.  We felt like it was right.  That Heavenly Father had things to help us at home.  That it was time to have our daddy back.  And sure enough......with a little faith and prayers we have found some things to keep us busy for a bit.  Isn't the spirit awesome!  We are still  praying that more will come. 

Andy did have a heck of a time getting home.  Alaska is an Arctic tundra and we thought that weather in November might have an effect on Andy's travels.  It was the right thought.  His plane leaving Barrow, Alaska broke down and he had to take the later flight to Anchorage.  His flight from Anchorage was delayed because the pilots were on another flight that was delayed by weather.  He missed his flight home and had to stay the night in Seattle.  He finally arrived home the morning of November 9th!

It has been so great to finally feel like a real family again.  To send Andy to work, kids to school, and we all come home in the evening to have dinner together at the table.  To have a second person to set and maintain rules.  To not have to schedule when I can talk to my own husband.  To have someone to fix things right away.  To not be lonely.  To have my best friend back. 

I have always said that I have been blessed to be married to a person that takes pride in providing for his family.  He has worked seconds jobs, long hours, and in harsh weather.  This last year with him taking out of town work has made me realize even more how amazing he is.  He lived in places with terrible weather, lived in houses that were filthy, worked two weeks straight without a day off, left his family for weeks, sometimes didn't have a familiar face around.......all for US.  His family.

Thank you are one AMAZING HUSBAND.

Never-Slowing November (Mom)

You all have heard of March Madness?  Well let me tell you about my Never-slowing November......(And I will be splitting into parts as to make it easier on the reader.) 

After that dreadful holiday Halloween, it was the final count down to many exciting things!  Firstly, Mom had finished her chemo and the next step was surgery.  We did celebrate her end of chemo with a lovely dinner at Sizzler and a round of mini golf .......adults only.  We sure were excited to have Mom finally feel a little better!  Her surgery was scheduled November 5th.  She did amazing and was home from the hospital by Saturday afternoon!  In fact, I had a Sunday dinner at my house and they came!  She is such an amazing and strong person!  They told her that the pathology results would take to till the end of the week.  It took till Thursday November 11th to hear that they got all the cancer in her breast, the perimeters were clear, and only 1 of the 9 lymph nodes taken showed cancer in it!  Wow!  What a fantastic day.

Mom is cancer free! 
She fought like a girl...........kicked cancers ass................
She is a survivor!

Right now she is gearing up for the holiday season.  Thanksgiving is at her house.  She's been Christmas shopping.  She will go with you to do errands.  She is alive again!  Her hair is growing back, she can taste things again, and has so much more energy.  They will decide next month about radiation but for now......All I can say is she is one AMAZING WOMEN!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do I Really Have to

"Do I really have to do Halloween?" This was what played in my head for the whole month of October. Halloween is more of Andy's holiday anyway.....he's not here so I have a "get out of Halloween free" card right? Well the guilt crept in and soon SOME of the Halloween decorations went up. I drew the line in putting new batteries in the talking skeleton! We did a few traditions that there was no way out of like the corn maze and the cousins Halloween party. This is what you get in way of pictures for Halloween.....

My attempt of making the corn maze fun. We finished it in a half hour! Guess we need to find a harder one next year.

I love how boys can take a very nice and pleasant costume and add gore and death to it! Poor Mario and Luigi never new what hit them.

Janae made a self portrait in her cookie clever

As you can see, no pictures from Halloween. I did take them. One of Drew and one of Zach. Lost them while downloading! Why am I not surprised!

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Inner Most Debate

As the title states, I have been having my inner most gut wrenching debate for a couple of days now. Many know how much I loath posting pictures of myself. My self image lands pretty much somewhere between zero and zilch. I mean weight loss doesn't have to be public knowledge.

But, after a very not-appreciated comment made from unnamed silly man, I feel that if I leave my "horn tooting" to only be heard by him, I will never get what I need. Plus, I have this deep down fear about "public horn tooting". I fear that I will jinx myself and there won't be enough wood in the nearby Wasatch Mountains to knock on to dig myself out. But here it full color .........for all to see.

I've been working my arse off for the last 5 months and have dropped 30 pounds! I am almost half way to my goal and I finally feel like it should be noticed. I have even dabbled in a little jogging and played volleyball for the first time in three years! I am down two pant sizes and can wear a normal XL shirt (not a plus XL). What kind of prize would you give?  Unnamed man got it all wrong.

p.s. I think I am in love with the brunette seeing it side by side with the blond.

p.p.s. Please humor me and knock on some sort of wood after reading this post. My skinny jeans thank you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bringing the "A" man home

Yes!!!!!!!! We made it through yet another 6 weeks with dear old Dad being gone. And I use the word "made" loosely. It was definately harder this time then last. At least the first time he was gone we had no idea what it was going to be like. This time.......we knew it was sucky!
With the kids in school, we didn't plan a trip but did do things around town. We went to the zoo, the movies, swimming, mini golf, to lunch, to dinner, hung out with friends (which we didn't do last time), went to the BYU home opener, BBq's, bottle rockets (with only two near car misses,1 saved life when Drew sacrificed himself by taking the blow from the falling rocket, and 1 Grandpa hit!), and a trip to Pocetello for a family reunion. Still, it went by way too fast. He is gone again and might even be staying 8 weeks/2 months this time. Uggghhh-------------> Miss him already.

Monday, September 13, 2010

New School Year 2010

I know, I know, I know! They have been in school for two weeks already and I am just getting up their first day of school pictures. That doesn't label me a totally lame blogger does it? I can't get over how "grown" up Janae looks! And this year Drew was too cool to have a picture with his little brother!

One Proud Mamma

Can I just tell you how much I love my Janae! She is the best daughter anyone could ask for. She is a great helper, kind, funny, never gets into "real" trouble, knows who she really is, and has a firm testimony of the Gospel. It was no surprise to any of us that she was called into the Beehive Class Presidency as the Class President. She choose her counselers with prayer and careful thought. Her totally awesome Grandparents offered to be apart of her special day. I know that she will do a fantastic job! She is ready and willing to serve her Father in Heaven and her "sisters". She is a special blessing to our family.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Burley.....THE summer hot spot?

I was born and lived a few years of my younger life in Burley. I still have family there. My mother's parents are there and are always happy to have a visit. They are the best hotel in the city! I took the kids the last weekend before school started to visit. The Cassia County Rodeo and Fair was in town so I picked us up some tickets. The kids have never been to a rodeo before. The night we went was "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night. Everyone was encouraged to wear pink to show support for Breast Cancer. My kids loved that idea and so we searched for pink shirts to wear. The cowboys, cowgirls and even the horses were dolled up in support.

During one of the event changes, they called attention to these pink balloons. The MC for the rodeo asked for a moment of silence as they released the balloons into the sky. The balloons represented the prayers and wishes of breast cancer patients. They flew to heaven in HOPE of answers and a cure for this terrible disease. Very touching to me....I did cry a little.

Zach said he'd bet there was going to be some pink chaps and sure enough there was!

The rodeo royalty-----> in pink!

Janae was in awe to see an actual tractor moving. She has only seen ones standing still or broken.

Grandpa asked if we would care for some red potatoes to take home. Drew offered to help dig them up from the garden. A first!

I took them to the Burley pool to swim. I told them this was the same pool that I took swimming lessons in 25 years earlier. They were actually impressed.

The Bee's Knees

At the very beginning of the summer, the Salt Lake Bee's offered half price tickets for any games the whole season. I love going to the games and at half price, I jumped on that band wagon. My parents love the games too so I invited them to go along. We bought three games together. Carpooled and everything! I think they won only one game of the three but still a nice distraction for the summer.
It never failed that Zach would ask for four things while at the games.
1-can I ride the train.
2-can I have a snow cone.
3-can I go home.
4-can I have a balloon
So the one time I said OK to the balloon....this is what he brought back! THE biggest "A" balloon hat ever! We made him sit in front of us so we wouldn't get hit.

Drew didn't sit far enough apparently.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Christmas HOPE

August 25, 2010

Dearest Family and Friends,

As most of you know, our mother was diagnosed with cancer in May of this year. We have had many offer their prayers, fasting, and help. For that we thank you.

We are proud of Mom and her continuous bravery and strength. After much thought, we have decided to donate a tree to the Festival of Trees. This not only will honor our mom, but the proceeds for our tree will go to Primary Children’s Medical Center to provide a better opportunity for patients there.

The name chosen for the tree is Christmas HOPE. We continue with HOPE that Mom will win her fight with cancer. We HOPE the money donated will help another in need. We HOPE you will contribute what you can to help us decorate the greatest Christmas tree to honor the greatest woman we know.

We have an event deadline of November 1st, 2010 so; please send donations before then to:

Carina Both
2446 Jordan Meadows Lane
West Jordan, UT 84084

We are excited to support our mom and to help families at Primary Children’s Medical Center. If you want to know more about this charity and/or information about coming to see the tree, log onto

Thank you for your love and prayers,

Carina, Heather, Heidi, and Stephanie

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The year of the Yellowstone

We havent been to Yellowstone for 9 years. I was prego with Zach last time we visited the National Park. We went twice this year and within two weeks of each other! Over 150 pictures taken. I narrowed it down to 41. We spent two days with Andy and slept in a cabin. We spent three days at our family reunion and camped. The weather was beautiful both times. We saw more animals with Andy including 7 bears!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fourth of July 2010

Better late then never.....

Lovin this weather!

I am so lovin this weather! Almost three weeks of overcast skies and scattered showers. You may think this weird to like but have you ever spent a August in Utah. H.O.T. hot! with the cloud cover and little rain showers it keeps it under 90 baby and that is ok with me. Besides the cooler weather for August, we have had some beautiful skies! Heavenly Father has great artistic abilities.This was a FULL rainbow! I dont think I have ever seen a full rainbow and it was on display for all to see at the Bee's baseball game.
The kids liked this because there is this lonely little white cloud amoung all the grey and blue.