28 Days Later

I really can’t recall a busier month in my life. It has been fantastic and a huge learning experience. And most of all, it’s been (largely) a really good time! So instead of jumping into the health portion of this blog post, first I’m gonna tell you all about the past four weeks.  You care, right? Of course you do.

To catch you new people up – we bought a newly constructed house in February! It was perfectly white and boring beige with wall to wall carpet and linoleum. So we’ve spent the time since then making it our own. Paint and new flooring. Wee!

March started off with an obsessive search for the perfect grey beige color for the main living area. This sample of swatches is really only about a fifth of what I went through.  I want to give a special shoutout to Pinterest which helped me find the perfect one: Ancient Stone by Valspar. Love. It. More on that below.

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In the last post, I told you about painting this room – our little media/guest room.  Well, after painting it, we laid the hardwood flooring. It took a lot of hours, but it set a positive tone for flooring the rest of the downstairs. Turns out, J and I are capable of anything. Anything! And we now own a boatload of power tools. In case I never mentioned it, the floor is an engineered hand-scraped bamboo.

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After the media room, we got the main area painted (this is the Ancient Stone here). Then it was time to rip out the linoleum in the entry and kitchen areas. You can imagine how much fun that was.

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It didn’t bother the kids though. Amidst the chaos downstairs, they had their own room to enjoy.

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Once we had given the paint time to dry and we had put down the underlayment, I had to get something on the wall. These are three of the new canvases I ordered. They look great, right?!

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This shot jumps forward a bit. We spent days (weeks?) on the main area’s flooring so dinners weren’t great. You can tell how excited Austin was about this frozen lasagna. Sorry, kid.

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We finished all but the last row of flooring, so we moved on to other things. Weird, right? Well, every board on that row had to be cut in half lengthwise, and I wasn’t thrilled about that idea.  I just put the living room back together and ignored that last strip. The denial worked well for a few days.

We bought the goods for our next project, and we started practicing making pocket holes.
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Then we finally got to work on that last strip. Yes, it was a huge pain in the ass. But it’s done. And I’m a measuring pro. We were so conservative with our cuts, that we only wasted about a box or two of flooring. That’s way less than the extra amount we purchased. Go us. However, it’s important to note that we questioned our decision to do it ourselves more than once. It was not easy!

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In the same weekend, we designed, cut, built, and painted this fantastic entertainment center for the media room. We created this from scratch, y’all! I still can’t believe it. I really can’t overstate our lack of DIY knowledge before buying this house. The progress we’ve already made is pretty freaking phenomenal.

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And here it is inserted into the room’s closet. It’s perfectly removable for the next owners. It leans to the right, but that’s an easy fix. And we’ll be putting trim around it as soon as we do the baseboards.

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I also decided to put film over our front door’s bare window panes. It took me about 45 minutes to do the first one. So I quit after that. It’s been like that for two weeks now. I’m in no rush.

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So why the huge rush in working on this house? Well, we had guests coming to stay for a week! We had exactly one month to get as much done as possible. And we really killed it. In addition to what I’ve shown (and what you can see below), we painted that back kitchen wall (a watery green!) and the downstairs bathroom (the same Ancient Stone). We still have a ton to do, but this is how things are looking. We still need curtains, baseboards, a ceiling fan, and a new coffee table. And hopefully a new dining light as well. Not in love with this one that came with the house. (And then we have to start on the upstairs!)

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So two Thursdays ago, our friends arrived. The guy is a high school friend and he was the best man in our wedding. And this is his wife who we’ve only had the pleasure of meeting a few times. But we certainly got to know each other during the visit! The morning after they arrived, she wanted to go hiking. So I took her on my favorite (6 mile) ridge trail. And she absolutely kicked my ass. I was huffing and puffing like an 80 year-old smoker while she tackled the incline like it was nothing. And then we went home, grabbed the guys & kids, and hit yet another trail! That one was only a few miles and a bit easier. But still, it was a good start to a very busy week!DSC03092-Recovered

The next morning, we woke up bright and early and hiked Ka’ena Point. It’s another favorite of mine. And we got lucky enough to see two monk seals. It’s hard to pick out, but one of them is just to the right of Audra’s head in this shot.

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And then (because we hadn’t had enough fun), we headed over to a little secret beach that always has sea turtles. We weren’t disappointed.

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The next day, we unloaded the kids on our local friends (so grateful that they took them last minute!), and we had an adult day with our guests. We visited this coffee farm, showed them the Dole Plantation, and we did some shopping in Hale’iwa (the big surf town).DSC03152

Then we went to a beach-side restaurant for dinner. Watching sunset while enjoying your friend’s birthday meal? It was kind of incredible.
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Monday, we were back to hiking! We tried out an easy waterfall trail, and it was only trickling. Boo. But we still had fun. And saw great scenery.

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While walking back from the trail, we saw the entrance to an arboretum. So we checked out the plants and came upon this amazing view. How is that even real?
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And THEN, we took them up Tantalus Drive so they could get this kick-ass view of Honolulu and Diamond Head (and the western side of the island too).

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That night, my new & much bigger canvas arrived. I’d put this one up at the same time as the others shown above, and I realized it was crazy small on the wall. So I ordered a bigger version.

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Oh yeah, that’s better. Much better. And dammit, I love this picture.  (My mom is taking the smaller one!)

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The next morning, we rented kayaks and paddle boards and hit Poka’i Bay in hopes of seeing some dolphins. No luck. But we still had a great time.  After we left there, we went back to the turtle beach, and then to a different lagoon so we could relax and have some drinks. I’m not gonna lie – I really like sharing in the vacations of others. It’s so much fun! All in all, we spent about 8 hours on or near the ocean. And I got burnt to all hell. I’m still itchy as my skin recovers.

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The next morning, we dropped our guests  off so they could go whale watching, and then we busied ourselves with friends nearby. After they were done, we picked them up and headed off to a brand new trail.  Another waterfall. And it was absolutely incredible.

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After the trail, we hit the Macadamia Nut Farm and bought tons of nuts. We were too late for the famous movie tour they have, so we’ll be back.

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And then (because we were seriously packing every single thing possible into our days), we visited a nearby beach. And I’d read in one of our tour guide books that there was a way over to this secret beach we’d seen from above while on a jungle expedition in December. So we set out to find it.

And we found it! We had to walk forever, but oh it was so worth it. This is the opposite side of the beach – and man is that ridge line incredible or what? The water is a large fishpond. I need to do more research on it.

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And on our way home, we saw this amazing double rainbow. So very cool.

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This past Thursday was our friends’ last day here, so we went on our sixth(!) hike. It didn’t go quite as planned, and we had to turn around when we came to an overturned tree. We probably could have gone on, but we didn’t. So we headed back feeling kind of frustrated.

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But we went home, showered and got pretty, walked 3 miles around the neighborhood, and headed to the beach for a little mini session.

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And then we went out for a fancy dinner. Best Brussels sprouts I’ve ever had in my LIFE! I’m salivating at the thought of going back. It was the perfect ending to such a fantastic week. We’re grateful they came to stay with us!

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Early the next morning, J drove our friends to the airport and they made it safely back home. And one would think it’d be time to relax a bit, but nope. I had a full weekend of schoolwork ahead of me. Two quizzes, a cultural project, and a whole psychology research paper to write in three days. Woot!

It’s now Monday, and I accomplished it all on time. Because I’m a procrastinating badass.

And one last random picture because I wanted to show you this bra that I’m now in love with. So you know I had a breast lift as part of my skin removal surgery, and I’ve been honest about that the fact that the girls are already falling. So I prefer to always have a bra on. But I want something comfortable enough to sleep in. I have a sleeping bra, but the straps are gigantic and it’s the least sexy thing you’ve ever seen in your life. But I just found a pack of these at Target. They’re called Hanes Bandini Bras and they are awesome! It was something like two for $18 I think. (Cheaper on Amazon.) The back straps cross too, so I can wear it with a racerback tank. It’s certainly not the most supportive bra in the world, but it’s perfect for when I wouldn’t normally wear a bra anyway. And it’s much less restrictive and more comfortable than a sports bra.

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Now, let’s get down to business.

So my weight has remained stable over the last month, and that’s incredibly exciting. I only logged my food about half the days in the last four weeks, and the numbers weren’t great even then. And running? Not once. Same with weight lifting. I’m hanging my head in shame. But I busted so much ass in other ways over the last 28 days that I can’t be upset with myself. So I’m not.

Week One: My step total was 72,989 which equals out to about 10.4k steps/day. Not great, but still respectable.  I burned about 2100 calories a day, but my food log shows that I ingested 2243 daily. Oops.

Week Two: My step total slipped even further down to 69,552 – just under 10k steps per day. There were two days in that week that I didn’t meet my step goal at all, but I’m happy to report that I didn’t fall short again. I logged my food about half the days that week, and I averaged about 2030/day. My burn total was slightly higher at 2138/day. So that almost evens out with the previous week.

Week Three: I showed a marked improvement with my steps this week because our guests arrived.  My total was 103,440 which meant a huge improvement of 14.7k/day. So nice! I didn’t really log my food, but I can tell you that it wasn’t great. I did, however, get a new Fitbit gadget – a Charge HR, so I think that improved the accuracy of my calories burned. (I’ll write a little review on the Charge this week!) That number was 2555/day which is pretty awesome considering I didn’t do anything that felt like “working out”.

Week Four: My numbers fell a bit this past week, but they were still pretty great. I walked 92,185 steps or 13k steps/day. And I burned 2375 calories/day. So nice! Again, I tried logging my food a day or two, but I wasn’t consistent. Just too much going on to care, quite honestly.

So as you can see, my lack of formal workouts did not in any way equate to laziness. My ass was on the move constantly. And although my food was kind of a hot mess, I didn’t really gain weight so that’s pretty impressive. I’m one step closer to mastering this maintenance thing. But I’m not ready for that – I still have weight I’d like to lose. And now I’m ready to begin that process again. Life has calmed down a bit, and I can focus on things other than the house and college.

Of course, I said in my last blog post that I was going to be making changes and none of that happened. So I’m not to be trusted. Obviously. But I hope to have good news for you in the next post. What I do know is that this coming week I plan to sit back and relax a bit. No house projects – no running around like a mad man. I’m going to spend some time this week writing blog posts for The Wandering Five, I’m going to read a book or two, and I’m going to enjoy this beautiful new home of mine with my family! Because that’s the point of all the work, right? And then we can start working on the rest of the place. After this week. We need this week.

But this week of rest means I have no excuse not to lift weights. I have no excuse not to log my food. I have no excuse not to cook healthy meals and eat normal portions. I really have no excuse not to run either, but I just don’t feel like doing that yet. I went on a walk last night and my Charge said I burned almost 600 calories in an hour. I don’t know if that’s a testament to our speed or a pathetic look at how out of shape I’m getting? I’m just not sure. Either way, I don’t feel like running right now. And y’all know – I do what I want. 😉

So that’s been my month. I really can’t believe how much we’ve grown, experienced and learned in the last few weeks. I’m so proud of us! We took on this house, and we took on the projects that came with making it our own. And we haven’t let ourselves down yet. The craziness was awesome, and we were grateful to be able to show our hard work off to our first visitors! But now it’s time to get back to normal life. We’ll take the next projects as they come, and I’m excited to start adventuring again. We got to experience a few new things while our friends were here, and that reminded me how much I love it! I love experiencing new things!

That’s it for me! Sorry for the long break in posting. I hope to be back next week with an update! But with me, ya just never know. Thanks for always following along. It means the world to me!

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