Go Broke, Eat Mutant Animals, Or Get A Divorce

Happy morning/afternoon to you from this frozen tundra…

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I was driving to work yesterday during the greyest of days when I saw the sun trying it’s darndest to shine through the clouds. What resulted was an angelic looking orange orb floating in the sky. It only lasted for a moment before I was left submerged in the grey again. Luckily, I was crazy enough to stop mid-drive and capture the moment.

It was worth it, frozen nostrils and all.

I’m tempted to say that I’m over winter, but I’m actually not sure if this is true or not. I actually think I would be more bummed out if the weather were beautiful and I were trapped in daily grind of work and missing it all. In the meantime I am perfectly fine with cuddling up under blankets and drinking red wine warm tea when I get home from work.

That being said, I am super excited about the prospect of summer. I can’t wait for the summer dresses, outdoor concerts, green grass, butterfly catching, bike riding and hiking to come. I’ve already got big plans for my garden this year, including this flower chandelier

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Just kidding… I wouldn’t actually make that.  But it’s always fun to pretend like you are handier than you really are.

In anticipation for summer I keep finding myself wanting to put pressure on myself to just hurry up and drop any additional weight that I might be carrying. The fifteen year old in me just wants to look good in a bathing suit when the end of May arrives. I tend to forget that it doesn’t matter what I look like in a bathing suit, nothing gets in the way of my summer fun.

The whimsical, go-with-the-flow side of me simply wants to enjoy the process of being healthy, because I tend to feel my best when I am eating wholesome foods and working out. This side of me kind of just wants to just go with it without dead lines and see what happens.

There is a battle of personalities going on in my head right now and I’m not sure which one is winning. (We’ll just ignore the implication that this means I’m crazy.) Then I’ll step on the scale to discover that no weight has been lost over the span of a week. I weighed in at exactly the same place as last week 199.2. A part of me thinks I should find some sort of motivation to move along a little faster and another part of me thinks, “Ah…Who cares?”

I don’t know if this shows lack of motivation or the conscious effort to not get crazy over a number on the scale. A part of me just kind of wants to enjoy the simple things and not create deadlines and problems where they don’t exist. Today is a good example of this.

I simply had the best time just hanging out with Penelope and Bridget at the book store located where the farmer’s market takes place. The famer’s market had been packed away for the winter but we still hang out in that area and pine over the day when we get to taste freshly roasted nuts and smell flowers and peaches.

Usually when I am at the book store I have an agenda. I will want to scout around for new books to read or catch up on my gossip magazine reading. But on this day, instead of being the dictator of activities, I just kind of went along with whatever Penelope wanted to explore. We spent hours playing with various toys and looking at books. Then we went outside and examined the ice, trying to slide on it or smash it…

We walked into a near by toy store and both had so much fun playing with the trinkets! Her laugh was so loud and contagious the people standing near by couldn’t help but join in.

It was nice to forget about deadlines from work and just play. The week is usually filled with me trying to rush the kids so that we can make it to one activity or another. Having a fun agenda free day today really made me look forward to the days of summer when we can stomp in puddles, fly kites and examine bugs.

There is something to be said for living vicariously through your kids.

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When we got home this afternoon Penelope passed out for her first nap in months. I’ve taken the time to search for healthy food recipes and plan out my workouts for the upcoming week.

I’ve really been struggling with what to make for dinner these days. When Brent is gone Bridget will complain if I have healthy dinner plans and Penelope doesn’t eat anything but peanut butter and honey sandwiches. I’ve gotten super paranoid about the quality of meat that we get here in the U.S. and I toyed with only buying organic and grassfed/free range products. Then I discovered that my food budget had mysteriously vanished after a few shopping trips. It’s just too expensive.

I thought that we could cut back on meat to make it more affordable but Brent didn’t agree. He posted this on my facebook page shortly after our discussion about it.

“Just something to think about the next time you want to suggest we go vegetarian.”

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So, now I am left with the dilemma of whether to go broke, eat mutant animals or get a divorce.

While I ponder upon that you can check out the recipes that I have decided to make this week, which may be a combination of the three depending on my cooking skills…

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Ginger Garlic Sauce

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One Pan Mushroom and Kale Garlic Herb Quinoa

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Quinoa Black Bean, Avocado, Chicken Bowl with Harissa Vinaigrette

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Inner Goddess Raspberry Breakfast Bowls

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Butternut Tabbouleh

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Spiralized Shanghai Beef and Broccoli

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Spaghetti Marinara with Poached Egg

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This might be a good time to let you all know that I have changed my weigh-in posting day from Friday to Sunday. This will give me the weekend to not only put my thoughts together but to write a decent blog post. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

Turf Wars and Mom Fails

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Can we please just take a moment to talk about how I’m a failure as a mother before we discuss my weight?

M’kay? Thanks…

Lets start with the first transgression, Girl Scout cookies.

I hate them. I hate them with all of my being. When Bridget was little I thought it was the cutest thing, bundling her up and taking her door to door.

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I mean… look at that cute little face. You would do it too.

It took a few years for the fun to fade and the realization that it isn’t really my Girl Scout selling the cookies but me.

Wait a minute…I’ve already got a job, thanks.

I know, I’m such and asshole.

Every year I can’t help but envision rivaling minivans filled with moms wearing their game faces speeding off to pick up the cookies so they can beat the other troups in sales. I see girl scouts having turf wars and all of a sudden something that started out innocent and adorable had turned into something ugly and distasteful. (Even if it is tasty.)

I soon realized that standing outside of grocery stores, knocking on doors, hustling on Facebook and hitting up my co-workers wasn’t really my thing.

Sorry…

Okay, so maybe I’m not really sorry.

Once I started to come to this realization I would feel guilty for not pulling my share of the cookie sales so I would buy a butt load of cookies for the cause, and then I would eat them.

But I’m not even doing that this year, and it makes me an even bigger asshole. (Even though my ass may end up smaller due this decision.)

Bridget is sorely disappointed in me and I understand that. My suburban street cred has seriously taken a hit due to my lack of girl scout cookie selling participation. I’m sure if I were to walk into a PTA meeting I would be shunned, but I kind of don’t care. And I’m still debating on whether I should feel bad about that or not.

I’m still on the fence on whether I’m just being lazy or drawing a healthy boundary.

The jury is still out…

The next transgression is swim team.

Bridget is not the most athletic of children. She has inherited the clumsy gene. It’s so bad that I actually thought she had an inner ear problem or something.

I always wonder where she got this from and then I’ll think of my sister. She’s tall, lean and beautiful. She’s also known for her fantastic fashion sense. In high school she would wear stilettos with her size tiny jeans. She would park her car at school (even though we lived three blocks away) and strut her stuff across the parking lot only to trip and find herself bleeding on the asphalt.

So… apparently it’s a family trait.

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(Actual picture taken from my sister’s Facebook page… love you Aly!)

 Bridget has tried many sports, but they were never quite the right fit until she stumbled upon swimming. She is literally a fish out of water. As soon as she slips into the pool she is graceful and powerful. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

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Swimming for Bridget has been a labor of love. She has tried to quit several times, but we wouldn’t let her. She’s shied away from the competition and has only participated in a few swim meets over the past few years. Recently, she has really started to get into it and was signed up for her first swim meet in a long time this weekend.

I completely failed today because I didn’t take her to it. The meet was supposed to take place during a massive snow storm that they have been predicting all week long. Swim meets take about half a day to complete and I was concerned that the drive home would be treacherous. (In other words I’m a wimp.)

I’m from Texas. Snow and Texans don’t mix. My husband however, works in the mountains. He spends 9 months of the year navigating through snow. We would have been just fine.

Bridget grasped on to my lack of enthusiasm for going and decided not to participate in the swim meet. I felt horrible. I completely lead her astray. I derailed everything she is supposed to have learned from sports- team work and dedication.

We woke up this morning and there was barely a dusting of snow.

I regretted my decision instantly. Then Bridget’s girl scout troup leader, whose daughter is a good friend of Bridget’s and also on the same swim team, texted me asking if we were coming because the coach was looking for her.

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I felt even worse. The prediction of an abundance of snow had prompted our local school district to close down all of their facilities for the weekend. I thought there was a possibility that the swim meet would be canceled as well. It wasn’t.

PARENT FAIL #2- Someone please take my mom card away from me.

I felt so bad I woke Bridget up to make her take a walk with me in the snow to talk about how I’ve taught her horrible lessons on not following through with commitments. But she didn’t want to go for a walk. She had cramps. Turns out my decision to not take her to the swim meet saved her from the embarrassment of having to endure the curse of womanhood in a bathing suit surrounded by spectators.

Mom card returned.

So Penelope and I went on a walk together instead.

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I’m currently working on mommy transgression number three, my lack of enthusiasm for potty training…

Phew! Now that we have established that I will not be invited to play bunco with the other moms let’s move on to why we are all here. We all want to see if I can actually get my shit together and lose some weight.

Because according to this “suggested post” from Facebook, I’m fat.

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Can you believe the insinuation!? I’ve slapped a hoe for less. Just kidding, I don’t know any hoes. In fact, I’m not even sure I know how to spell hoe.

Anyway, I am proud to say that when I stepped on the scale today I weighed in at 199.2. This is exactly three pounds down from last week! We’re going to ignore the fact that I weighed this a few weeks ago but gained it back. In fact, let’s forget I even mentioned it.

Damn it Facebook! You know me so well!

Ninja Turtles, Poop Texts and Toned Legs… Oh My!

*I started writing this post last night but I fell asleep  without posting it. Then I woke up and added more. I thought you should know otherwise you might have been confused.*

I’m currently sitting in my living room watching the new Ninja Turtles movie with my husband and oldest daughter in celebration of Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure how you equate Ninja Turtles with love but to my husband the two are synonymous.

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I’m not complaining, though, because I do have to say that after ten years of marriage my husband has somehow turned into super husband. He just keeps getting better and better…

This previous week I had to work late again for more parent/teacher conferences. I was exhausted this morning when I woke up to the sound of Penelope chirping in her room. “I’M READY TO GET UP NOW!”

I was expecting Brent to have already left for work and was prepared to spend my day off of work alone with the girls. I shuffled into Penelope’s room with one eye still stuck shut, abiding by her demands with mumbled grunts.

I was sitting on the ground taking her pajamas off when from the corner of my eye I saw something crawling into her room. It was my husband… scaring the shit out of me. (It’s his love language.)

He had taken a vacation day but didn’t tell me. He woke up early and got out of bed like he would any other day that he was going to work, but instead of going to work he went out and got roses, coffee and heart shaped donuts. It was super cute.

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We spent the morning cuddling then later Brent and I took the afternoon to ourselves to go on a date. It was the perfect day…

We came home early to spend the evening with the girls. After I had gotten all snuggled up in my pajama pants I picked up my phone and found Brent and Bridget huddled in the corner giggling. It didn’t take me long to discover the text message they had sent to my sister. It was an exclamation about the awesome poop I had just taken, picture included.

Eew! What weirdos! (I’ll spare you the photo.) I don’t even want to know where they found the picture.

Needless to say Brent’s surprises had distracted me from the fact that it was weigh-in day.

My tactic of weighing in first thing in the morning after emptying my bladder, butt naked was kind of forgotten. Instead, I weighed in after indulging in my heart-shaped donut. (not helping…) I weighed in at 201.8, last week I weighed 202.2.

To be honest this didn’t surprise me. I was really sick for the majority of the week with a super cold that had kicked my butt. I wasn’t very hungry all week, but I also was not in the mood for working out. I almost went to the gym but I couldn’t find my ear buds so instead I threw a fit and passed out.

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Brent was away at work for three days last weekend, so it was just me and the girls. I had mustered up just enough energy to make some homemade chicken noodle soup and was spent for the rest of the weekend.

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Worth it… I ate it all week long.

It was beautiful outside and I was so upset about not being able to go outside and play with my kiddos. Bridget ended up taking care of Penelope for me so I could rest and I couldn’t help but feel my heart swell up when I heard how excited Penelope was for the picnic Bridget was preparing for them. Later I looked out the window and saw them lounging on blankets in the grass giggling together and reading books. It was too sweet.

My plan was to try and sleep and get well, but for some reason every time I lied down for a nap the inside of my throat would start to feel like it was made of velcro. So instead of sleeping I watched travel channel adventures and pinned healthy recipes for when I actually had the energy to go grocery shopping again.

Here are a few of my finds…

Healthy and Delicious One Bowl Meals

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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Candied Walnuts

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Slow Cooker Pork Ramen Soup

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I was pretty much craving anything kale or soup related. I think my body was trying to find a nutritional solution to my dilemma.

I slowly started to feel better as the week progressed. Due to testing and parent/teacher conferences my schedule was a bit off. I had to spend a couple of evenings at school but I also found myself with a free afternoon. Bridget still had to be in school but the rest of the family headed out to the Littleton Museum to see how the animals were doing.

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We even ventured out in out garden for a bit and were excited to see that it was already starting to come back to life!

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The chives, green onions and lady bugs are starting to make their appearance!

This nice weather keeps reminding me of the summer days that are looming ahead. I CAN’T WAIT! It’ll be here before we know it. I keep telling myself I need to get my shit together so that I can show off my toned legs when the time comes. (For the record they aren’t toned yet… but they will be.)

As for now I need to hurry up and finish writing up this post. We’re going car shopping! It is time for Black Beauty to retire. We bought her ten days after we got married. I didn’t know just how much of a time capsule she was until I cleaned her out…

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Cassette tapes? Floppy disks? Photos taken with actual film? What?

Now I have to try and get cleaned up in an attempt to look like my former self from ten years ago. As Bridget pointed out, “Mom! Look how young you guys looked!”

Look-ed? What is that supposed to mean?

Bring on the kale, the sunshine and those toned legs! I’ve got to represent ten years well lived!

Week 5 Weigh-in with a side of Vulnerability

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Can I be honest with you?

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately but there is one thing in particular that keeps nagging at me.

Every time I see a pregnant lady I think about it. Every time I look in the mirror and see how fluffy and soft my body has gotten with weight gain I think about it. And then the flier I got in the mail recently from the hospital urging me to use them as my birthing center…

Every time I look in the mirror and see that my muscles have somehow disappeared I’ll be at a loss for how I ended up like this in the first place after having worked so hard to find a place of health and happiness.

I’ll ask myself over and over, “How did this happen…again?”

Every time I search for the answer I think back to when the weight started to come on again and I’m reminded of this summer when I lost the baby I didn’t know I wanted and the feelings I’m still struggling to figure out.

I’m not much of a mourner but I’ve struggled with this loss because it confuses me. To be honest, when I found out I was pregnant this past summer I didn’t really want to have a baby at that time in my life. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted any more children period.

But that doesn’t stop the hurt… and the most confusing part is I’m not even sure if it’s a hurt that I even have a right to feel.

What’s the deal? Why does it still nag at me? Why can’t I just get over it…

I avoid talking about it because there is nothing I can do about it and I feel like I should be over it by now. By even mentioning it, I feel like I’m making up self pitying excuses for the weight that I had gained this past fall.

This past week was kind of rough. It’s not like it was the worst week of my life but it was one of those weeks you wish would hurry up and pass. It started off with two visits to the ER this weekend for Penelope who had croup and couldn’t breathe.  Before my week had even started I was ragged and sleep deprived.  By Sunday afternoon I found myself sitting on the couch watching endless episodes of Curious George while nibbling on the Chinese food I had ordered out of desperation. The wrinkles in my forehead were twice as pronounced due to the worry and lack of sleep.

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The rest of the week kind of went by in a blur, other than the Chinese food I had ordered, I can’t tell you one thing I ate throughout the week. Food was the last thing I was interested in… and yet, I gained weight. I stepped on the scale this morning and weighed in at 202.2.

What the crap?

I hate you!

Not you…

There’s something to be said about being a weight loss blogger who kind of sucks at losing weight. It takes double the courage to keep writing and processing and trying because, well… It’s embarrassing.

It’s not like I’ve been holed up in my house eating secret cheese burgers or anything. But there is shame to be had for the extra fat roll that is currently hanging over my stretchy waist jeans, even if my ass does look great… which it does. (In case you were wondering.)

Every time I see that roll I think of this summer and the downward spiral that set me in motion to become a love handle making machine.

And every time I go to write a blog post on this “Weight Loss Blog” I feel like a loser.

Why would any of you want to read my blog if I can’t freakin get my shit together?

Then, out of nowhere I got a comment from one of my readers who seemed to be reading my mind…

Court wrote- “I love reading your blog. It’s my favorite. I find it funny how some “weight loss” bloggers just stop updating. I can only assume they are not doing too well in their journey. It’s like they just fall off the face of the planet or something. 0_o I hope we never lose you!”

It reminded me of why I write this thing… to relate to people. I’m not here to portray the image of someone who has it all figured out, because I don’t. I’m not entirely sure why I feel compelled to post my weight for all to see on a weekly basis.

I think it might just be the release I feel by facing the truth.

There is something powerful in being honest and vulnerable and completely and utterly imperfect. In a weird way facing all of my flaws and insecurities head on feels… good.

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They’re not pigtails… they’re cat ears (Week 4 weigh-in)

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Is it just me or did January just fly by?

Before I knew it, it was time to take my monthly pictures again. I found myself standing in my friend, Andrea’s living room again wearing those tight yoga shorts that emphasize every physiological flaw in my derriere. (Which… for the record I would never wear to an actual yoga class. Nobody wants to see that down dog.)

In other words, I had been dreading this day all month long. I am fairly certain the result is going to hurt my feelings.

I took my “before” pictures shortly after Christmas and I still haven’t seen them. Taking before pictures isn’t that big of a deal because you are supposed to look like crap. (Even if it is your second round of “before” pictures.) But today was my first progress picture.

What if you couldn’t see the progress?

I couldn’t help but feel nervous when I pulled up to Andrea’s house.

When I asked her to take these photos for me I thought I would be super comfortable with it since I talk to her about anything/everything. But somehow when I looked up at her, masked by her super expensive camera, I couldn’t help but feel the awkward 13 year old that will forever remain embedded in my soul start to make an appearance. I just kind of froze in front of the camera forgetting to flex my ab muscles in an attempt at not sucking in my gut. I couldn’t help it I just felt self-conscious and in my frozen stupor I just let it all hang out.

I haven’t felt that self-conscious in a long time. Over the years I’ve kind of adopted an attitude of self acceptance. I really like who I am and I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter if you agree but as far as I’m concerned… I’m pretty awesome.

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But for some reason, today, when I donned those ugly shorts all of the confidence vanished.

Everyday when I see my middle schooler’s roam the halls emanating their prepubescent self-aware-but-not-really-aware awkwardness I can sometimes feel myself silently willing them to love themselves. Why can’t you see what I see?! I will silently scream at them.

Yet, there I was today trembling in my booty shorts…

What gives?

I still haven’t seen the results of those photos. Andrea is taking the time to add a watermark to ensure that my pictures don’t get stolen again. I’ll be posting the result sometime this weekend. Honestly, I don’t mind putting it off while she edits them. I will pretty much do anything to stall on that :)

When I weighed in this morning I had no idea what to expect. This week was all over the map. On Saturday I woke up in the worst mood. I just couldn’t shake it. So instead of glaring at my family all day long I decided to head outside for a nice long run to see if I could improve my spirits. It was really cold outside but the time to myself was worth all of the shivering.

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After that run I quickly realized that I was in such a rotten mood due to the fact that I was exhausted. For the rest of the day I was completely useless. I had the hardest time keeping my eyes open. For the remainder of the day I was only capable of snuggling under blankets and watching movies. I didn’t even have the energy to eat and subsisted off of homemade popcorn and earl grey tea.

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I kept trying to caffeinate myself awake, but even that didn’t work. I started to worry that I was seriously getting sick or that I was pregnant because I hadn’t felt that fatigued in a long time. I went to bed at seven that night.

The next morning I woke up just as the sun made its appearance. As the sun streamed through the windows the fog had lifted and I was ready to make up for lost weekend time.

We started off the day with big sticky bowls of oatmeal and headed straight for the book store in remembrance of our old farmer’s market/ book store excursions we used to take when the weather was warmer. The farmer’s market isn’t ready yet, but the book store always is…

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In the mean time, Penelope has decided that she is a pirate named Jake. (She got this from the cartoon Jake and the Neverland Pirates.) While we were at the book store she made friends with a little boy and their introductions sounded like this:

Boy- “Hi, my name is Ezra. What’s your name?”

Penelope- “I’m Jake!”

Boy- “Uh… Jake is a boy name and you are a little girl.”

Penelope- “I’m not a girl. I’m a boy.”

Boy- “But you have braids, so you are a girl.”

Penelope- “They’re not braids.”

Boy- “I mean pigtails, you have pigtails so you are a girl.”

Penelope- “Those aren’t pigtails. They’re cat ears.”

Boy- “Oh (?)…”

After an hour they were best friends, so I ended up exchanging phone numbers with his mom. We went home just long enough to fill up on some chicken harvest soup and headed out again to play at the park and fit in another run…

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It was absolutely beautiful outside! The kids were giggling, the dogs were barking and the kites were dangling in the air. We just couldn’t bare to go inside… so we didn’t.

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We stayed to chase remote control cars and feed the ducks. The whole time Penelope introduced herself as Jake to all of her new friends. We didn’t dare go inside until the sun slipped behind the mountains.

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It was beautiful for the remainder of the week. After work we went on family bike rides and I was even crazy enough to go for a sunrise walk and talk with my friend Andrea on the same day that I had parent/teacher conferences. Fifteen hours later when I got home from work I was super tired, but decided the sunrise was worth it.

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I felt a lot of mommy guilt for working so much, so when I got home from work yesterday I snuggled the girls and watched more movies. Penelope was super clinging and fell asleep on my chest. As we lied there I could feel her temperature creeping up. You could tell that she was feeling under the weather, so I didn’t leave the couch all evening. That night we all tucked in and watched Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

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Later that night when I tucked her into bed I kissed her forehead and said, “Good night Penelope.”

She said, “I’m not Penelope.”

“I’m sorry… Goodnight Jake.”

“I’m not Jake. I’m Sherman.”

“Okay, good night Sherman.”

She whispered, “Goodnight Mr. Peabody.”

She was feverish all night and I had to get up a couple of times with her throughout the night. I felt tired and hung over this morning when I woke up. I stumbled into the bathroom and stripped down for the weigh in. I had no idea if I would lose any weight. I was trying to be as quiet as possible so that I wouldn’t wake Penelope up. The scale creaked under my feet and read 200.4. So close to being under that dreaded 200 pound mark! I’m down 1.6 pounds from last week and eleven pounds in a month.

Who knows, maybe we will see a difference when I get my photos back.

As I stepped off the scale and started to put my clothes back on I heard a little voice across the hallway say…

“Mr. Peabody! I’m awake now!”

“Okay Sherman… I’m coming.”

;)