Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In it to Win it

I just haven't smack-talked in a while, so I thought I'd send a big 'ol
to those in our Biggest Loser challenge.
(Cuz that feels almost as good as eating the Ding Dongs in my pantry.)
While nobody has commented on how much skinnier I look (unlike the experiences my husband is having and if you don't count my mom who is always making me feel better about myself), I can tell that I don't have to yank my jeans on and suck in my gut QUITE as hard as I did a few weeks ago. I will say, however, that I have found my particular weakness is my sister's cinnamon rolls and that I cannot only eat one of them, I HAVE to eat two.
I love hearing what everyone's been doing (I'm gathering that Mindy is chugging the broccoli?!) and everyone's plan to win the $$$. I'm pretty sure we're up to $800.00 by now and we officially have 11 weeks from tomorrow until it is judgement day.
Bring it, LOSERS! You will totally feel good winning 2nd place!
PS. The "nobody has told me I look skinnier" comment above was not a shameless plug for people to leave comments to the contrary; it was merely an observation.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Colby and Adam

This past weekend I loaded myself and an overnight bag into my sister's van with my mom, brother, cousin, niece, and sister. It was early Friday morning when we hit the road to make it to Mesa by 4pm for the wedding of my cousin's daughter (I think that makes the bride my 2nd cousin . . . I dunno the semantics of it all), Colby. Colby was marrying Adam after a long love affair (not that it was scandalous or anything; they've just been together for a while.)

And we had a blast!

We, of course, chatted the entire way down and enjoyed a lunch at Chick-fil-A before barely making it to the wedding. It was completely overcast and ready to rain at any moment, but warm and really nice at the same time. We barely had enough time to say hi to the CA family that came too before all the Tanner clan began coming down the aisle.

It'd been a year since I'd seen Jodie (my cousin) and her kids and they all looked AMAZING. An added bonus was having my Uncle Larry there and cousin Larry Jr., who we all voted is THE best hugger in the family. You could obviously tell we were family since most of us had our cameras and were click, click, clicking away throughout the ceremony. I had to laugh when the minister told everyone to "be seated" and my sister slowly went down so she could get a couple more shots before having to worry about peoples' heads in her way. Adam was the sweetest thing just ready to bawl at any minute while he waited for Colby to join him. And when she did, they were so happy and then they were married and then they started the happily ever after part.

Which, obviously included a kickin' reception complete with a Mexican dinner and the MOST divine cupcakes I have had in ever!

Here's the groom and bride being announced:
If you can't tell from the picture, Colby is a woman who knows what she wants.

Here's some pictures of the ceremony:

(I just have to point out how beautiful Colby AND her sister/maid of honor Jessika AND her mom Jodie were. And, the boys were lookin' pretty "adorable" too. Garrett, for those of you following his story since his gymnastics accident is looking so much stronger and controlled than he was a year ago. It was great to see/hear how much he's improved and what's all working for him.)

The reception was mostly the normal wedding events: cake, bouquets, dancing, etc. Because we were some of the only sober ones that stayed for the whole thing, we got quite a kick out of all the sloshed guests who, by 10pm, were a pretty decent show. Without going into all the details, it would suffice to say there was a lot of jaw dropping and finger pointing on my part as I became more and more shocked at what people will do when they've had one too many.

(Yes, that's Colby in the upper left corner dancing with Garrett to "Wind Beneath my Wings." Could you have asked for a bigger tear-jerker? One thing I've always admired about Jodie's kids is how close they are and for Colby to have Devin walk her down the aisle and Garrett to dance with her solidifies that bond they all have.)

We had a wonderful time and on Saturday we enjoyed sleeping in at Jessika's sweet house, a yummy lunch with Adam's family (who were WONDERFUL!) and watching the newlyweds open their gifts. We headed home in the late afternoon, but somehow the 5 hour trip there took nearly 7 when we returned. Normally, like if I were travelling with my kids, that would have guaranteed a hair-pulling-out situation, but we were highly entertained with our own conversation and reviewing all the catch phrases and highlights of the weekend. We had some cool convo about who would have been at the wedding that we couldn't see (Aunt Dode was a fer sher) and that led into a whole discussion about angels. Angels led to a really entertaining discussion about our funerals, which sounds kinda like an oxymoron that talking about funerals would be entertaining, but it was. Trust me, we can make anything entertaining. (And just to warn y'all, my mom's funeral is going to be about 5 hours long if she has anything to do with it.)

Thanks to Erin for driving and Jess for her hospitality. I REALLY thank Adam and Colby for completely loving each other and letting us in on their good times! And welcome to the family Adam . . . you'll never be the same!

So I'm having a bad day . . .

I'm having a bad day.

I'm feeling grateful that I can take the sacrament today, yet totally apprehensive about prepping my kids solo and fighting the kids the whole time we're there.

I want to eat the entire bag of potato chips leftover from Tyler's weekend scout campout.

That's how bad it is.


*On a better note, we had a great weekend at Colby's wedding. Post coming.*

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

O Christmas!

In 2007 I posted a few pictures at Christmas time and then "organized" my photos. SOMEHOW in all that organization I deleted all my photos from December 17th until December 30th. Yup, all the pictures I have from Christmas are the ones of my sisters' family (because I had saved hers on a CD) and the ones I put on the blog. I'm still about it. I can't talk about it too much more.

So here's my collection of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve at the Barlows for dinner, scriptures, and song-singing:

Then we came home where the kids found that Santa HAD dropped off pajamas. That silly Santa! He must have already known they all had Christmas jammies from the Polar Express trip, but must not have been able to help himself with another pair that were more character-y.

Then, with Uncle Brandon's help, Tyler and I prepped for Santa. We staged everything by about 1am and, perfectly, the kids slept in until 7am-ish. Just right. We had a hard time keeping the kids out of the living room, but they were pretty patient for Briggs to be changed and fed (which he promptly re-gurgitated. ew!)

Later that morning Grandma and Grandpa Barlow came by to do their Christmas with us (again Uncle Brandon helped with the package opening). Then we headed over to my folks. I got to talk to my brother for a good 40 minutes. It was fabulous. I miss him a lot. David treated us all to super cool feather deer statues. You gotta notice next time you stop by.

And finally. EVERY year Tyler takes the kids to a store and lets them buy whatever they want for me. This year Caylee was in charge and led the boys to the accessories department. Boy, I bet you wish your little elves hooked you up like this:
(Not shown, super long star dangly earrings.)

Polar Express

Since this blog doubles as my/our family journal, I guess I should apologize for posting events SOOO long after the event, but ALSO considering my lack of memory past a couple months I will not be apologizing for wanting to remember our fabulous family trip to Williams, Arizona for The Polar Express.

Last year for Christmas it was our gift to everyone to go on this way fun trip. Everyone just had to get themselves down there and THIS year we gave them all pajamas to ride on the train (like in the movie.) For months I was looking online and buying and returning and re-buying pajamas for all (nearly 40) of us. I loved trying to color coordinate everyone so we could have one ginormous cool family picture. The adults were all really good sports (even the guys who had super-long pants . . . I guess I shouldn't have bought TALL sizes, but I was trying to avoid the dreaded flannel pant flood situation) about wearing the pjs and the picture was totally worth it.

Of course I thought a bazillion times how much I wished my brother, Michael (serving a mission) and my father-in-law, Bruce (working in CA) could have been there. We were lucky enough to have my SIL, Mindie's, dad come with us and it was SUCH a blessing for me to have ALL my family in one place. That so rarely happens and as we continue to grow and have more kids and get more busy I know the chances that it'll happen again are pretty slim.

We all drove down Saturday morning to Williams and made a stop in Kingman for a little Del Taco and to stock up on winter clothes. Just to sum up Kingman . . . I will NEVER live there! By Saturday afternoon we were all checked in to our hotel rooms. It was nice that most of our rooms connected together so we could help keep track of ALL the kids and put kids in each others' rooms to sleep, etc. We were treated to a fine buffet dinner and then headed out to the train station to FREEZE OUR FANNIES off. Seriously, it was so cold waiting for the train. We were out there in PLENTY of time and the poor kids were getting pretty numb by the time we boarded the train. Here's some pics of the Garrard side of the fam:

And the Barlow side:
Sunday morning we headed back to the buffet, spent our gift vouchers and then headed home. We were going to stop to let the kids play in the snow, but decided to just go home. Here are some of the other pictures I took at the buffet or when the kids were outside playing around.

I would HIGHLY recommend this trip. I don't know if I could do it every year, although the train ride itself was really fun: the cookie and hot chocolate, carol singing, and Santa's visit. I loved the warm coziness of the old train car and seeing my kids play with all their cousins. I think my nieces and nephews are THE most adorable kids EVER. My best friends are my siblings, my parents, and all my in-laws and to have them in one spot was a real blessing.

I believe, I believe, I believe!

Down and Dirty

So. Last night Tyler came home with this little goodie.

Yeah, that would be an entire cake from dear, sweet Mindy and Annie. That would be Mindy and Annie of the weight loss competition. Nice, huh? Such a cute cake. So perfectly decorated and PERFECTLY supportive!


My kids are going to enjoy eating this sweet treat while I add your $20.00 into my pile of winnings. I hope you don't succomb to the temptations that will be coming your ways shortly, because, you know, payback is a BIG, FAT CANDY BAR!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

In my spare time

So somewhere in my day of getting my kids off to school and preschool, nurturing the sweetest baby, making three healthy meals for 6/7 of us (I do feed Tyler dinner, but he's on his own the rest of the day), cleaning and re-cleaning the same dishes, clothes, and toys, doing my church calling, keeping up with friends and family, and all the general things that life throws in my direction you really think I have time for two-a-days???

You are giving me way too much credit.

Yes, Jeannie did see me in the morning.

Yes, I mistyped tonight when I meant to write today. I should have cleared that up more quickly on the comments of my last post.

I will share, in the spirit of full disclosure, this lovely experience this morning at the gym. It started early this morning when I got up a little earlier than normal and started drinking water. By the time I got to the gym I wondered if I should make a potty stop before hitting the treadmill. Let's just say that when I hit speed 4.3 mph I KNEW I should have emptied my bladder. I got a good 3/4 mile in before I abandoned my treadmill to go potty where I discovered I had pretty much pee-ed my pants [really it was more like a little trickle and it was good I stopped when I did.] Yes, I know that is TOO MUCH INFORMATION, but you know you need to be in better shape when even your bladder can't hold it together. Thank heavens for me wearing black pants today and the fabulous dry-wear fabric blotted dry pretty quick so I could finish my workout.

And before anyone thinks, "ew, she's a work-er-out-er," I'm really not. I don't like it that much. I am FINALLY beginning to see how it's good for my body, but that's a long stretch from loving the gym. I spend the majority of my workouts figuring out when I can be done . . . like it's a necessary evil. Usually. Today was a little different. I don't know if I hit some good groove on my ipod or what, but I was really feeling good about what I was doing. Don't think I was soo rose-y that I didn't notice my body jiggling in all the reflective surfaces at the gym, but even so I was appreciative that I have gotten to the point to be dedicated to making a change. Finally.

I'm curious what everyone else is eating. I'm discovering how little I NEED to eat vs. what I want to eat. I am also learning how much better I do with food when I'm busy and so I've been trying to keep moving throughout my day instead of sitting on the couch. (Don't think I have forgotten about my DVR shows that are piling up, though. It kinda stresses me out.) Tonight I was talking with Amy and Bob, who are both in the contest, and we were speculating what percentage would win this biggest loser competition. What do you guys think you can pull? I have a target and I know that even if I fall short of it I'll be happy with what I get. I figure come April 15th it will have been a good thing for a lot of people (we're up to 37 . . . yeah, do the math for the pot total!) no matter what the percentages end up being. Hopefully everyone will lose something. (I mean we already know they're losing their $20 to me, but hopefully they lose a couple pounds for their well-being.)

I know I've been blogging a lot about this weight loss thing; it's fun for me. My kids are all doing well and Tyler is keeping us all together. I will hopefully post pictures soon of the fun program Caylee was in at school and the awesome Disney on Ice show we got to go to tonight (thanks to Uncle Derrick who is about THE most generous person I have ever known. *Seriously* you made a bunch of girls super happy . . . and the moms had a good time too . . . I think even the dad had a good time. You're just great!)

Tomorrow's a busy day. *Sigh* Gotta love it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Weighty Matters

So I was talking to a friend who wanted to join the weight loss competition tonight and she brought up how her scale might be different than my scale. I guess somehow it would skew the results come April 15th. SOOO. I am putting my scale outside of my house all day tomorrow and you can come and weigh yourself without me knowing, and then you can calibrate your scale at home to match. I dunno. This may be getting to be too much effort.


And, honestly, I don't mind adding more people. Just email me with your weight and you're in like Jenny Craig or whoever. But again, that obligates you to the $20.00 commitment. I don't want to have to chase you down for your money or talk crap behind your back if you flake on this commitment. Cuz you know I will trash talk you if you stiff me MY $20.00.

And I swear there is more going on in my life than this biggest loser competition. I could post Christmas pictures or from the Polar Express. Maybe tomorrow.

I have been going to the gym with every other Tom, Dick, and Sally who decided to get in shape for the new year. I can't wait for February when everyone looses steam and I can have my pick of gym equipment like before. Whoops, I guess that's not very supportive. And I've been doing much better with my eating. I have decided, though, that healthy eating makes me a little more cranky AND that the effort from all this "being healthy" business could land me a lucrative job somewhere in the real world. And if I used all that energy at my new job I could afford lipo. And a boob job. Cuz figuring everything out takes a lot of effort is all I'm sayin'.

I did finally get my Christmas mostly packed away. I keep forgetting the girls still have a tree in their bedroom until I walk in there at bedtime and I think, "Crap! I forgot that tree is still up." And then come morning I don't think about it until bedtime the next night. Oh well.

ScrapFest is coming in a quick month. I'm really looking forward to it. I just have to get on the ball and order everything so I have it ready to go. While I REALLY enjoy doing it, I do stress that people won't have a good time or feel like it's worth the money. If I don't think about that, though, I get to be excited to see all the people who I only get to see once a year when they come to ScrapFest. Or I think about all the fun people who will be in the same room at the same time. I'm seriously trying to only bring a few things because I'd really like to sit and visit more this year. Each year I pack up all my stuff and then don't get half of it worked on. Then again, I haven't scrapped in so long that I have a ton to do. Sigh. Such issues, huh!

I've decided for the new year that it will be a good one. We talked to the kids about our goals for the year and I tried to keep mine simple and attainable so I wouldn't be frustrated. I want to learn how to make wheat bread. I want to be healthier. I want to work on my spirituality. That's it. Other than having a loaf of bread in my hands, I'm not sure how to measure the other ones. Having a desire to be better goes a long way, I think, so I am going to hope by the end of 2009 I'll feel good about what I accomplished.

Alrighty. Since my back is cramping up from a good workout tonight, I'm gonna hit the hay. Later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009



That's barely over three and a half tons.
That's seven groups of a thousand with two left over (1st grade mathmeticians)
That's two year's ago, backward (What?)
That's the total amount of weight for all the people in the weight loss competition.

Because I will be soon taking
Leah Darrington's
April Paris's
Jess Prisbrey's

$20.00 too.

Why have deadlines, right? At some point we'll have to cap this event off, but I hate to deprive someone of a little extra motivation AND of 20 more dollars in my pocket when THEY LOSE TO ME on April 15th. I do have to remind everyone, though, that once you email me your weight, YOU ARE IN! I'm not going to check up on you or collect the money early or call to follow up that you're enduring until the April 15th final weigh-in. I figure we're all big enough (no pun intended) to fork over the $20 when the competition is all said and done. And I have calories to keep track of; I don't really want to play secretary.

I do have to thank Daniel for the Sparkpeople.com website. It's pretty much filled with awesome-ness. Not that I want to give anyone tips, but I'm finding it pretty handy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Aubrey Bingham
Mindy Doty
Mollie Sekikawa
Robin Egbert

I'll take your $20.00, too, on April 15th.

Making the grand total a nice, even $600.00.

I would like to thank you all in advance for helping to purchase my new living room furniture . . . sorry about the computer, Daniel, and the summer wardrobe, Annie, not working out for you :)

And in other Barlow news.
  • My house still looks like Santa took a crap on it from all the Christmas decor and toys that are strewn hither and thither. (Yes, I just used thither.) I have to get it down by today or I will lose my mind.

  • I am going to a funeral today. It is sad. Some things just defy any understanding; like why parents have to lose sweet, innocenet children.

  • I am hoping MOANA reads this post and will call me. And if you're not up to it, girl, know that I love you and want you to get better quickly. And if you're better and just not calling me . . . well, then . . . I stick my tongue out at you! I'm worried about you and want to hear more about your move (WTH!) and Ocean (so sweet!) and your family (so great!)

  • Special thanks to Briggs who is just now waking up at 10:23am since I didn't get in bed until 3:30am. I went with some of my best girls to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." I loved it. It was compelling, entertaining, made me think, and HELLO!? Looking at Brad Pitt in his "prime" was sooo worth the other hour and a half of the movie when he was an old wrinkle-ly man. Delish.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The diet starts today . . . for reals!

I'm calling YOU out:
Amy Barlow
Angela Webb
Annie Ostler
Beth Garrard
Bob Carino
Candace Utter
Chris Jenkins
Daniel Jensen
David Wald
ElRae Carino
Erin Mohler
Jeannie Galvin
Jennifer Newkirk
Jennifer Scarborough
Jessi McCall
Julie Frye
Kevin Mohler
Leanne Stanley
Lindsey Miranda
Marylin Kelly
Mindie Barlow
Nate Garrard
Ryan Jenkins
Samantha Michaels
Tyler Barlow
That $520.00 is mine!
And today I am NOT eating at Famous Dave's BBQ JUST to show you how serious I am (like I did yesterday . . . oops.)
So in the spirit of good sportsmanship/friendship/supportive-ness, let's rock these pounds off our hot bodies :) Good luck.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Who needs Richard Simmons?

See what the chance to win $460.00 will do to people?
YES! That's how much money I will be winning on April 15th.
(Or maybe more if people want in and email me at barlowfamily2@cox.net by midnight tonight - see previous posts for more details)
Because I will not be a victim of sabotage KEVIN!
Just a couple sips.
And THEN I will not be a victim of sabotage.

Show Me the Money!

I'm just sayin'.
There are 15 people CONFIRMED to be in this weight loss competition.
That's a pot SO FAR of $300.00
I'm gonna kick your trashes for that money.

(Don't forget to email me by midnight if you want a chance to lose, er I mean, WIN the money yourself.)