Wednesday, February 08, 2012
We are staying positive, DH and I!! No one said this move was going to be easy. If it were easy, maybe we wouldn't appreciate it as much once we got back over to the US of A!!
We are preparing our Waiver application with USCIS (Immigration) in NC. We have a few things to get together, some of which need to be translated, so it will take a couple of days. However, we are very optimistic that we need to continue our plans as they are, leaving on May 22nd!!
Some "Evidence" that USCIS is looking for can include written affidavits from anyone in support of my hubby being let back into the States. Several of our friends are going to be writing these affidavits, as well as a couple of family members. Even my cousin's husband, who is a major in the Army stationed here in Germany, wrote a GLOWING letter about DH, urging them to let him in and to expedite our processing. I know that if we had time, there would probably be many more people we know, and family members who would do the same. It is so great to see our friends and family doing what they can for us!!
We also read up on this waiver, and according to the information we found, we *MOST LIKELY* will be approved without a problem. So, just keep praying!
I had an AWESOME tempo run this morning!!! 1-mile warmup + 35 min TR + cool down. In that 35 min, I covered 4.35 miles!! (about an 8:02/mi pace) For an early-morning run, before breakfast, being sleepy and such.... THAT IS AWESOME!!
SPEED WORK is so much fun!! It's going to be a BLAST running my HM in May, and seeing how fast I can really take it!
Day 2/14 - No-Sugar, No-Baked-Goods Challenge
I did really well yesterday, though my kids got into some chocolate (chocolate that DH bought for me when I was craving so bad on the weekend, that I did NOT eat), and I ended up having ONE LITTLE BITE. NO MORE, I promise. But I have noticed I have been slipping a little and nibbling on other things. I just want to make sure I am staying on track.
I certainly haven't fallen off the bandwagon at all. In fact, I feel like my self-control and ability to say "no" has only been getting stronger and stronger. I have noticed that not eating sugar and baked goods also GREATLY HELPS when it comes to my appetite!! I have far less bouts of uncontrollable hunger! And it is so much easier to stay within the right calorie range! So, this is definitely something I wanna stick with!
That's all for now, folks! Have a great day, Sparkers!!
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I hesitate to write this..... I hate bringing more "bad news." Everything was looking so GREAT for us.... And now this.
Yesterday, we got an email from the Immigration offices (USCIS) in Frankfurt, saying the could in fact NOT PROCESS his visa, and that we MUST apply for the waiver that we thought we might need after all. They said after the interview some additional information came up, which led to them not being able to process.
This is really BULL CRAP, because I was VERY honest and forthcoming about Jan's prior "removal" (even though we weren't even in the US at the time they ordered him removed), and even TOLD the immigration officer that we were afraid he wouldn't be approved without the waiver, to which she replied, "Oh, no, that doesn't effect his processing. We just need to know what happened." And then she proceeded to tell us everything looked fine, and that we could be expecting our visa (Permanent Residency) package in the mail in about 10 days.
So, NOW, we have puschased plane tickets only 3 and half months away, based on what the immigration officer said.
NOW, EVERYTHING is back up in the air. I mean, our case is strongly in our favor, because he did nothing illegal, he's not a criminal in any way, and he was "deported" long after we had already moved here. But you NEVER know with USCIS!
NOW, we have to BUST OUR BUTTS, and get in that waiver into USCIS offices in North Carolina, begging and pleading with them to expedite, in order to get an approval, so USCIS in Frankfurt can process our visa.
The next few days are going to be quite strenuous getting everything ready for that.
HOWEVER, I do not believe we are making the wrong move. That immigration officer may have made a mistake, but God does not make mistakes. He knew what that lady would tell us. I believe there is a reason this happened, and I believe we need to keep on trusting Him. While part of me is panicking, the other part is strangely calm. I do ask again for PRAYERS during this time, and especially for a swift approval of our waiver!! THANK YOU!!
No-Sugar, No-Baked-Goods Challenge, Day 10-12 of 14:
I now know why I was craving chocolate and stuff on Friday!!! TOM was on its way. I did delve into some organic peanut butter and honey on Friday - not too bad for me!! I did have a little bit of chocolate on Saturday after my 15-mile run... I know I ran long, but trust me, I do NOT deserve to pig out just cuz I run long. Still, not too bad.... right? But then on Sunday, after working at the cafe, and after obstaining from any cake during work, my co-worker coaxed me into bringing some apple cake home.... And yep, I had a slice!!! I tried not too, and tried to just give it to the kids, but alas, some made it into my mouth... LOL.... and I didn't stop with one little nibble. I ONLY had one piece though. And there were 3 pieces left after the kids ate theirs, which I ended up just TOSSING to avoid temptation.
Again, I am NOT beating myself up. I think I refrained pretty well. BUT I do want to start my challenge to myself over this week (starting yesterday). Not because I "messed up" or to punish myself, but because I think this is good for me!!! Can't go wrong cutting out sugar!! And because, after seeing how successful I was for 10 days STRAIGHT, I am inspired to work harder and keep setting the bar HIGH for my health/fitness goals!!
Running is going AWESOME!! But it is COOOOOOOOOOLD here!! Yesterday was only 9°F outside (-13°C), and today was only 5°F (-15°C).
You think that stopped me?!?!?!?! NO!!!
I covered my face up like a ninja, and HIT THE TRAIL!! I had 4 layers up top, and 2 on my legs, thick thermal socks inside my Saucony Hattoris (minimalist shoes), and gloves. It REALLY is NOT bad when you dress properly.
I was super pleased with Saturday's 15-miler too!! Longest run since my marathon in October last year, AND it was in my minimalist shoes - the Hattoris! Between the Hattoris and the Vibrams, I prefer the Vibrams. I think they are more comfortable and natural feeling for sure. But I can wear thicker socks in the Hattoris, hence me choosing the Hattoris for these last few runs. But I DEFINITELY feel like I am getting the hang of the "barefoot" running.
So, today's blog doesn't carry the BEST of news, but I am staying positive! Thank you for all your support, Sparkers!! I hope to report good news once again soon.
Friday, February 03, 2012
The job prospects for my DH just keep looking better and better!! He received an email yesterday from the manager of the area he used to work, who told him, if the positions that are opened now are filled, they will REQUEST a position to be opened for him. Then today, he talked to the actual HR guy that will be working on placing him. He asked him how likely it was that this is going to work, and was told, unless there was some big turn of events, he WILL have a job!!!! We won't find out until March exactly WHERE, but we feel certain this IS GOING TO WORK OUT!!
You should see how tickled DH is! I have had to endure his whining and pining away about that STUPID JOB for 5 YEARS!!! I'm hoping all of his whining is FINALLY silenced in May!! LOL
Day 10 of 14 - No-Sugar, No-Baked-Goods Challenge
Today was not the best of days, to be completely honest. I was just hungry all day long. I ate really well, made healthy choices, but just felt like I was craving something and couldn't put my finger on it. Maybe chocolate???? No, No, No!! I've been doing soooo good!! But peanut butter also sounded good. I can't keep peanut butter around, cuz I mix that with honey to make one of the most DELIGHTFUL treats that could EVER reach my tastebuds!!!! I mean, peanut butter (at least the natural stuff WITHOUT hydrogenated oils) has its health benefits, but NOT in the massive amounts that I can eat it!!
So, I gave in to the organic peanut butter and honey treat.... as well as a few other things that I probably shouldn't. But you know what? I'm runnin' LOOOOOOOONNNNGG tomorrow, so I will put it behind me, and get myself back on track hardcore tomorrow.
Yeah, didn't really track today either.... did I mention that??
I'm NOT throwing in the towel, though, Sparkies!! Keep moving ahead!!
Thursday, February 02, 2012
It's funny - I think our moving plans to most people sound backwards. I have told so many people we are moving back... definitely. And they are always like, "Did he get a job over there?"..... "Um, No. Not Yet." It's like people expect you to have the job and the secure things all lined up, otherwise moving is just... crazy!
No, we had to wait for applying for jobs. Why? Because we had some HUGE concerns (as stated in my other blogs) that he would NOT be granted a Visa right away. We didn't want to get into negotiations with a job, and then not be able to tell them for certain IF and WHEN we were even coming.
But now... IT IS ON!!! My husband started last night by contacting his old work colleagues and superiors. The company he used to work for is a huge nation-wide company. He left of such good terms, I can't even count the times people told him, if he ever wanted to come back, they'd give him his job back. But it's a large company.... Lots of beaurocracy when applying.... You know, that kind of thing.
He sent out an email to several people... And we thought that was it for the evening. But within just a FEW minutes, he got SEVERAL replies, all from people overjoyed to hear the news he was coming back. They quickly forwarded his email to a recruiter, who in turn sent him an email with a special password to access their huge job application system, so he could apply as an "employee referral." That should definitely help get his foot inside the door.
To top it off even more, one of his old co-workers who he'd emailed was online, and started to IM him. She said 2 other guys he used to work with were "arm-wrestling" to see who had dibs on my hubby when he got back, because they work in teams at his old job. That totally made his day!! She even said she is moving out of the Pensacola area, and is putting up her house as a lease-to-own deal, if we were interested! This just keeps getting better and better.
So, we went through the whole application process, and even found they have 1 or 2 job positions open in Pensacola! If it worked out where he got his old job, and we were back in Pensacola, he is just gonna be thrilled. AWESOME, AWESOME, !!! He's also in contact with his old boss, and the recruiter, so we are definitely getting something rolling in that area!
DAY 9 of 14 - No-Sugar, No-Baked-Goods Challenge
Well, there is nothing new to report - just that I am STICKING TO IT!! It is not easy, and I feel tempted with the baked goods, but I keep on resisting! Pumpin' that self-control muscle, YEAH!! Gettin' stronger every day!!
I really need to sit down and devise a whole marathon/half marathon training program over the weekend. I want something definite, with specific runs I do on certain days. I like that I KNOW what I am doing every day, and it's not so much up-in-the-air and spontaneous, because then I tend to modify my planned workout in my head to be less and less.... LOL With the upcoming moving chaos that is about to hit, I really need to have a definite plan to keep me focused. I currently am using a great HM training plan, but with me taking on the marathon, I need to modify it a bit, to make sure I am getting some longer training runs in there. I definitely have the mileage base and time to build up. Just gotta work out a plan!
So, MARATHON/HALF MARATHON TRAINING PLAN - that is my assignment this weekend.
My half marathon is on May 1st, and will be my last race here in Germany. I am inviting other people I know to run it to, so I can make it a memorable and fun run.
Then my marathon is the Make It By Midnight Marathon in GA on July 14th. That is gonna be my BIG HOMECOMING race!! Since it is more of a party than a race, I think it is going to be PERFECT! Gonna meet up with other SparkFriends too! It's gonna be PURE AWESOMENESS!!!
Keep steppin', Sparkers!! Keep reaching for those goals!! Do NOT give up! It is never too late to start again, and try anew!
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
111 days until we set off for the big US of A!!! Can't wait....
I know I have got the HUGE task of getting things organized, sorted, thrown out (if need be), and boxed up, ready to go, for this HUGE move. Today was more of a relaxing rest day, though, because our trip wore me out.... wore me out with all its AWESOMENESS!!
But this morning, I had the wonderful experience of stepping on the scale and having LOST 3 POUNDS!! And NO, I did NOT starve myself over the weekend. In fact, I ate quite a bit. But I DID stick to my No-Sugar and No-Baked-Goods challenge.... LIKE MOLD ON A SHOWER CURTAIN (as Plankton says in one episode of Spongebob.)
All of this success has only FUELED THE SPARK!! I know, I know, there are a lot of health advisors who say you *shouldn't cut out certain foods*, don't be too hard on yourself, just eat reasonably... But I am sorry, that just doesn't work for me. I have to have clear, firmly-set guidelines, and not just "make healthier choices" or "cut out a few calories." And there are certain foods I avoid or nix nearly completely from my diet because they are simply not healthy.
This is what I have found - you wanna see results?? Develop some discipline!!! Self-control is like a muscle - it only gets STRONGER if you USE it!!!
I'm not afraid to restrict myself here and there. And it's at those times when I exercise some discipline, make some sacrifices, make some tough choices, and stick to them, that those RESULTS come!! Go figure! It certainly is NOT when I start being lenient, and saying, "Oh, it's ok to have some of this, I will run it off later!"
So don't be afraid to set the standards high!! Even if it is for 2 weeks like my challenge is! You never know what kind of a fire it might start. You never know how much good it just might bring you. And in learning to be a little more disciplined, you become STRONGER! (And probably healthier too!)
JUST DO IT, Sparkers!!
Between now and our departure date (of MAY 22nd! WOOOOHOOOO!), I will be focusing heavily on my fitness and training and eating habits. I WILL NOT give up. With the momentum I have been building in the past week, I FULLY intend to reach my goal of getting back under 125 lbs.
Spark on, Friends!
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