Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

Merry (late) Christmas! I hope everyone had a day filled with love, laughter, and good times. I know that I had an excellent day. My Christmas was very different this year, but in a good way. My family elected not to do a tree or gifts this year, and we just celebrated by spending quality family time together. It was awesome. Our holiday also did NOT revolve around food this year. Yes... I baked cookies and pumpkin bread on Christmas eve, but I did not have ANY. I also made our traditional breakfast on Christmas morning, and only enjoyed the foods that I pre-planned for myself (turkey hashbrown casserole, sweet potatoes, and deviled eggs... all scaled down/healthier versions than usual). I made a pie and gorilla bread (another tradition), but didn't have any. But this number on the scale yesterday morning made all my holiday discipline worth it...

Yes... it was a Christmas gift to me from me to get right under the 300 lb mark for Christmas! I have been sugar free for about three weeks now, and have lost 19.4 lbs since 11/15.

This past week of vacation has been awesome so far. On Thursday, I took my kids to tour Cheekwood in Nashville. It's an art museum in a historical home, but it also has acres and acres of botanical gardens surrounding the property. It's really close to where I go to hike, and I've been wanting to take the kids for a while. We used to field trip there when I was a child, but I know it's been at least 25 years since I've been. We had an awesome time touring the home, but the best part was a sculpture hike we took around the property. It was basically a hiking trail, where different sculptures of different mediums were scattered about for our viewing pleasure.

This was my favorite one.

The kids and I enjoyed Cheekwood so much that I purchased a one-year membership. The sculpture hike is a short one, but there are other longer hikes available around the property. There are also the botanical gardens that we were unable to explore because it started raining. Now we can go back and really enjoy this place over the next year.

On Friday, we did a little shopping, then went to a family fun center to spend the day. The place we went to has bungee trampolines, skating, bumper cars, laser tag, bowling, and lots of other games, etc. Each child got an armband for only $10.50 each, so that was really a deal for all the kids to have hours of fun.

Saturday was a lazy, around the house day. Well deserved if you ask me! But on Sunday, Mr. Leonard surprised me with a day trip to Missouri to see my mom! He drove the entire eight hour round trip! It was so good to see my mom for the holiday, if even for the short time. It seems she has really started to adjust to the nursing home. She has made friends, and even has a "boyfriend" (even though she won't admit it, lol). Her Alzheimer's is progressing, but she still remembers all her loved ones, and was so glad to see us.

Christmas eve was pretty uneventful, besides spending the afternoon baking and getting movies/games rented. I surprised the kids with a "Family Game Night" basket that I'd won at an auction at our school. It had several board games, popcorn, candy, etc. that they really enjoyed breaking into on Monday evening. It really made my night to see everyone so happy and content.

On Christmas morning after breakfast was over, Mr. Leonard and I went on a walk/jog at the park to burn some of those breakfast calories. Even though I pre-planned my meal, that casserole (even with reduced-fat ingredients) was still kind of high in calories. But after that trip to the park, I burned most of them off, and even felt good enough to take my baby girl out to break in her new skates.

I realized that doing ACTIVE things like this with my children is so important to me right now. I am getting healthy for my family as well as for myself.

My sisters from Nashville stopped by and hung out for a while in the afternoon. They played games with us, and there were plenty of laughs. It was a great day!


  1. Thank you for sharing! Looks like you had a great holiday!

  2. Hey Hollie, so glad you mentioned Lebanon in your comment on my blog. I knew you were in TN, but had no idea you lived in Lebanon. Would you believe that is where my sister lives? We spent all of Christmas Eve at her house before driving back to Knoxville. Not sure when I'll be back in middle TN (although I come fairly often), but maybe we can meet up for coffee or something soon! I'd love that. BTW, how cool on the new century weight on Christmas morning. What a GIFT!!

  3. Sounds like great fun!
    I LOVE devilled eggs. Yum. :)

  4. Sounds like a wonderful holiday. You are very blessed and looks like everyone had fun.

  5. I love this post! I love the sweet picture of you and your Mom. I love the sculpture hike and how you are doing so many wonderful active things with your children . You have given me some ideas to do with my kids. Amazing restraint you had in not indulging over the holidays. I am sugar free too and it has been life changing. Congratulations on getting under 300!!! HIGH FIVE! Awesome!! Your family pic with all the sisters is terrific too. You are a beautiful woman!


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