41 Thoughts

It’s so hard to imagine that this time last year we were on a sunny, sandy beach in Hawaii for my 40th birthday.

I got to have my favorite lunch at my favorite restaurant in Kona. We got to celebrate with family. We hiked every day, we swam every day, we ate good food. Hawaii is always amazing, no matter what.

And then we flew home 8 days after the first case of covid came to the US. After being home for so long, not seeing many people, not going anywhere, not doing much, it is truly had to believe that in one year everything has changed.

Here I am, another trip around the sun–41 years old. No trip, no family, not doing much. 🙂 But it was still a pretty good birthday. I woke up Tuesday morning to my kiddo jumping into bed and singing me happy birthday. Then my husband making me an omelette for breakfast. Then working out (yoga and my exercise bike). Then going to the park with Logan. Then I went for a long walk in the sunshine with Bella!

Dinner was sushi!

The next day…the inauguration! And homemade cheesecake from a friend for my birthday. <3

So much has changed since I first started this blog. I started writing it in 2008. Basically 13 years later…here we are. The blog world isn’t as popular anymore. Now it’s instagram “influencers”. Or blogs that are just disguises for advertisements and constant MLM schemes. Me? I like writing, I like sharing, sometimes I have things to say, sometimes I don’t. I write here less, my focus has changed. There have been many times I wanted to quit the blog. I feel like my focus has changed a lot.

In the beginning, it was all about weight loss. It was inspiring stories and tips for readers about how I lost 110 pounds, about how I changed my life. I liked it. I thought I had a good message–instead of the usual diet obsessed culture of extremes, my story was about making small changes to develop a healthier lifestyle. I kept the weight off for over 10 years.

Now? I am finding that there are more important things than obsessive exercise or weighing my food and counting my calories at all times. It really does start to take over your whole life and that wasn’t what I wanted my focus to be on.

Sort of Festive

Is anyone else just not feeling it this year? I am trying to get in the mood. I love Christmas Lights. I love that our neighbors have all gone ALL out this year. Yards are full of lights, blow up characters, the whole shebang. It’s very nice and cheery.

Right around Thanksgiving Logan and I did some decorating inside the house, but since it’s just the three of us this year I decided to do minimal decorating. Our mantel is pretty much it.

During our lunch breaks Michael and I went and picked up a tree and then later Logan and I decorated it. We got a little tree this year. I like little trees sometimes and we aren’t entertaining this year like we did last year so it’s nice to just kinda do a little bit.

We put Logan’s angel on top 🙂 –I think he made it at daycare when he was like 2! <3

Kitties were loving the tree. They watched it all afternoon. Hopefully they won’t destroy it while we sleep!

Then I made dinner. I wanted to share this recipe because it’s pretty decent and nice for a cold, rainy night.

Cheddar Ham Soup recipe:


  • 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  • 1. In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, water, carrot and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add the milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted. Stir into undrained potato mixture. Add ham and peas; heat through.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 331 calories, 20g fat (12g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 772mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 19g protein.

Logan is getting older now so we have to wait to put any presents under the tree. Usually we’d just put them under there! But little bug can read now so…..! 😉