Christmas + Never Before Seen "Before" Photos

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas is such an amazing time of year for my family. Ken and I both have at least 10 days off (I have 14!) and we can enjoy each other and see, literally, everyone in our family. It is so incredible!

This Christmas season did not disappoint! I made it my goal to maintain my weight (which I accomplished!) and follow my typical workout schedule (which I also accomplished!!) We had a holiday celebration every day from Wednesday-Sunday.

Wednesday was our annual Youth Group Christmas party. It was a blast! We had board games, the Wii, a white elephant gift exchange and lots of high energy group games. Around 40 kids showed up so it was a crazy place!

My white elephant gift :)

We had Ken's mom and brothers over on Thursday. Ken's mom requested my healthified shrimp étouffée which turned out to be incredible! I also made some mint truffle brownies from scratch. I figured I would take the rest home over the holidays. They were very good and satisfying with only a small serving. We ate, opened gifts and played the game Power Grid. I won for the first time ever!

Friday was our 2nd annual viewing of A Christmas Carol at the Omaha Community Playhouse. We always go with our very dear friends, Tim and Wendy, to the closing performance. I bought a new dress for the occasion and the play did not disappoint! My favorite part of it was when Scrooge had the audience sing carols together after the curtain call. So magical :)

I wanted to compare a before photo with some photos from Friday night, so here you go!

Saturday Ken and I woke up early to have our little Christmas celebration. I planned on making banana nut scones but the bananas weren't ripe enough. Ken's favorite breakfast ever is sausage egg and cheese biscuits. I found 50 calorie biscuits and decided to make these for our celebration. I don't like sausage so I had an egg, split between two biscuits with Kraft 2% cheese. I also had a cup of grapes. Not bad for 260 calories! We then exchanged gifts. Ken had asked for a tool belt and truck tie downs. I bought those for him PLUS front row tickets to TobyMac on January 21st!! He surprised me with the most gorgeous diamond cross necklace. I have wanted one for so long! Here are some photos.

Before and After

When my brother returned home from work, we loaded the car and made the 4 hour trip to my parent's house.

We went to church and then to my maternal grandmother's house. We had a lot of fun, enjoyed time with family and I made great choices. My uncle almost cried when he saw me. He told me that I look so beautiful and awesome! Of course, some people voiced concerns about me being 'too skinny' but I easily let them slide off my shoulder. It was so nice to see everyone. My mom has this 3 generation photo of my grandma, my mom and I at her house. I can't stand that photo and asked her to take it down. She said she would if we took a new one this Christmas. Here they are with a before photo.

We went back to my parent's house and had our family Christmas. My parent's were so generous and bought Ken an air compressor and me, the most beautiful Citizen Eco-Drive watch.

We had a lot of fun just hanging out as a family. Here are a couple shots of Ken and I. We are so cute!

On Christmas Day we went to my paternal grandparents house. I forgot my camera so I don't have any photos but we had so much fun playing games and enjoying my dad's side. He has 6 siblings, so there are a ton of people! So fun! Everyone was so supportive and encouraging to me.

I am so thankful I gave myself the gift of health this year! I didn't think I was unhappy before I lost weight but when I look at these pictures, I can see the lack of self-esteem and confidence in my face. I praise God for giving me the strength to continue this journey and I will never go back to where I was! I will be posting 2012 goals in a later blog! This journey is an every day choice that will never be over and I look forward to it!!

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