Tuesday, January 26, 2010


One advantage to having a full week of snow days was being able to finish a small-scale remodel of our front bathroom.  Finally!

We actually started this project way back on August 15th, but between being busy with work and dealing with my heart issues that cropped up soon after that, we accomplished very little over the ensuing months.

There is still more to be done.  The medicine cabinet, mirror, and light fixtures all need to be replaced.  I'll have to find out how to remove a variety of nail polishes, sticky residues, and dried epoxy glues my children and ex-husband left stuck on the surface of the sink over the years.  I'm not happy with the dark blue towels, so I'll be searching for some nice medium-blue ones. 

But those details will wait until I have more time and more money.

For now, though, I'm happy with the great improvement over how this tiny little half-bathroom looked back on August 15th!

The room is so small it makes me claustrophobic, so I left its cleaning to Mark and, later, the kids.  I avoided this bathroom as much as I could.  It gradually began to look like one of those bathrooms people submit to home makeover shows: "Can this bathroom be saved?"

When we first moved in, the walls were painted pale blue.  However, over time the scrubbing of little boy splatters off the wall near the toilet wore away the paint, revealing the ancient wallpaper underneath.  Looks like a public bathroom in a subway station, right?
Mark and I actually bought paneling for the bathroom many years ago, but this and that happened, and it never got installed.  It collected dust while leaning against the wall in my office.

Then in August Jacob's friend Chelsea said she was in the mood to tackle a painting project.  I suggested the front bathroom. 

Chelsea and Jacob gave the walls a fresh coat of blue paint and put up the panels, which resemble white tiled walls.  It looked much better and we purchased more supplies to complete the job, but it just never happened.

Over Christmas break we picked up where we left off.  This time Jacob got the cupboards painted.  At right he is painting the inside of the cupboard a deep red.  (It looks like blood to me, but that was his decision.)

We thought long and hard about our color choices.  There was quite a bit of debate between Jacob and Dylan, who use this bathroom most.  In the end, they agreed to a red, white, and blue theme.  I think it turned out pretty well.

We already had blue ceramic tiles down on the floor.  My brother Darryl put those in for us a few days before he and his family moved to Missouri more than 5 years ago.  Then Mark and I put dark blue grout between the tiles.  Thus we knew blue had to be part of the color scheme!

During the snow days we completed the trim, the base boards, the touch-up painting, installing the new toilet seat, and hanging the new towel racks and toilet paper holder. 

At last, it is finished!  Now I no longer need to cringe when guests ask to use the restroom!

I thought the boys were pretty bold in their choices of colors, especially the rich red.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but as it turns out I really like the look.

The brown stain on the floor in front of the toilet isn't anything nasty.  When Jacob and Chelsea were working in the bathroom, she soaked the floor around the toilet with bleach water.  Unfortunately it bleached the color out of that portion of grout, which bled over onto the surrounding tile.  One more stain to figure out how to tackle.  Hopefully the staff at Lowes or Home Depot can help!

It feels good to have this project completed!

Now we just need to finish my bathroom, which we started remodeling over Labor Day weekend. 

It never ends...

Monday, January 25, 2010


We were so cozy in our home during the big storm, I was completely oblivious to the destruction that was happening elsewhere.

Throughout the state of Arizona there were dust storms, high winds, tornadoes, severe floods, and heavy snowfalls that created a lot of damage.  It was so bad that last Thursday Governor Brewer declared a state of emergency for the entire state. 

We still haven't returned to school.  There's no school tomorrow, either, although on Wednesday the high school expects to reopen.  Grades kindergarten through eighth may be closed all week.

Sarah took the photo at left of her brothers and their friends sledding at the country club on Saturday.

Today it was beautiful and clear with blue skies.  Sarah, Dylan, and I took the opportunity to pick up a few things at WalMart before running a few other errands.

We stopped by the water company to pay this month's bill.  It's one of those bills that isn't available for online payment, and since I drive by their business nearly everyday, it's easy to save myself a stamp.  Sarah thought the icicles on the building were beautiful.

The water company is intact, but the roof on the Pinetop Fire Department caved in during the storm.  We didn't drive all the way to Pinetop to get a picture of it, but we did drive around Lakeside to check out some of our other buildings.

Of course, we already knew the church building was okay, since we attended all of our meetings there yesterday.  I think snow-covered churches are so Christmas card-worthy.  It just needs a bit of sparkles added.

We cruised by the high school.  This sign is in front of the district office, which is barely visible on the right.  In the background is the high school's main campus.  It was our only campus and the location of my classroom for 18 years, until just a year and a half ago, when the new middle school/junior high was opened.

One of our assistant principals told me tonight that a water main burst somewhere in the high school, plus the print shop flooded when rain and melting snow seeped in under the door.  Many cases of paper were destroyed.  I guess these are the reasons we're still not in school despite clear skies and well-plowed parking lots.

This is the East Campus of the high school, where my classroom is currently located.  It used to be the junior high campus, the one Sarah and Jacob attended not so many years ago.  Dylan, of course, will start junior high in the new building this coming August.

The East Campus is also where the print shop is located, just down the hall from my classroom.  I hope we don't end up with a mildew smell!

From there we drove on to Dylan's school building.  The left half of the building is the Middle School, grades 5 and 6.  The right half is the junior high school, grades 7 and 8. 

Major flooding here is another reason for the delay in returning to school.  The company that built the school cut several corners, which the district has been battling to rectify.  One of those corners was not raising the school's foundation enough, even though it was built upon a known flood plain.

At WalMart I ran into Dylan's former 2nd grade teacher, Brian, who now teaches Spanish at the junior high.  He'd heard that the junior high offices and the library were badly flooded, about 6 inches of water.  When we drove by, we could see rolls of new carpet padding being taken into the building.  The front door was ajar, with fat hoses snaking inside.

Apparently we also have to wait for air quality testing to be completed before the younger kids can be allowed back in school.  So Jacob and I may be returning to school on Wednesday while Dylan continues to kick back at home.  Life is not fair, but that's okay--I'm a professional!

While we were driving around, we noticed a strange light in the sky.  It almost looked like an oddly bent rainbow, but then this bright glow began to appear behind it.  At first I thought it was the sun behind the clouds producing this strange beam, but then I looked over and realized that the sun was actually behind those trees on the right. I still have no idea where that brilliance came from.

This is a random thought, but whenever I see something like this, I always wonder what we'll see in the sky at the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Will I recognize what's happening?  Should I turn down the radio and listen for the sound of a trump?  Above all, will I be ready?  With all the turmoil in the world today, and with the trials of natural disasters happening all around us, that day may come sooner than we know.  If we open our hearts to the needs all around us and serve as Christ would, I believe we will be prepared and we'll welcome that great day.  As I said, just a random thought!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Promised Storm

The big storm finally arrived in the early hours of Friday morning, as promised.  At our house we got about 3 feet of snow, though some drifts are 4 feet or deeper.

Dylan had a big job clearing the snow from the gate so we could go in and out of the yard.

Just the day before, he and his friend Robert were clearing a space to build an igloo. 

Apparently Jacob and his friend Kyle were doing the same thing over at Kyle's house and the younger boys thought it was a brilliant idea.

They found a broken-down old bucket to make snow-bricks and got a pretty good start on a wall. 

That's as far as they got, though, before it started getting dark.

We were quite blessed during this series of storms.  We only lost power twice, for 2 hours one day and for just 5 minutes early yesterday.

Quite a number of our friends were without power for most of the week.

Dylan's gate-clearing duties paled next to our neighbor removing the snow around her much wider gate so they could get their ATVs out of the backyard.

The Neals have been great.  They have a snow plow shovel that attaches to the front of an ATV, and after each morning of snow they've come by to plow our driveway for us.  Wonderful people!

While I chatted with the neighbor, Sarah cared for Cocoa Puff and Likki Nikki.  At left, Cocoa sips her water.

Sarah puts a tarp on the hutch to keep our bunnies dry.  With their winter coats, they are unfazed by the cold.

She brings in the water bottles at night or they'll freeze.  Sarah returns them to the thirsty bunnies in the morning.
Speaking of pets, our roof-cat Tabitha decided it was cold enough now that she would deign to join us lesser mortals indoors.

She's a ratty old thing now.  She'll be 16 years old in May, but she's a tough old biddy.  She quickly convinced Diego to keep his distance from her and has taken up residence in the boys' bedroom.  (Here she is sleeping next to Jacob.)

Eventually I had to hike around the house to the shed where we keep our tall freezer so I could get steaks out to grill for last night's dinner.  (Even if the electricity goes out, one can always grill!)

The snow was above my knees the whole way, which makes for quite a hike.  Keep in mind that my feet still weren't on the ground; I was standing on several inches of packed snow beneath the powder.

If you're wondering, on my left is Jacob's hammock, slung between the trunk of an oak tree and the skeleton (on my right) of an old camper shell that my ex-husband scavenged long ago.  He sold the aluminum for "party money."

Obviously, our car wasn't going anywhere for awhile. 

Today, though, Jacob dug it out and at this very moment he, Sarah, Dylan, Diego, and a whole slew of their friends are back at that big hill in the country club, sledding and celebrating.

I'm home alone, praying for no broken bones or concussions.

The snow continued throughout the day, but it only added a few more inches by nightfall.

This is how our yard looked today, just a few minutes ago.  Originally the forecasters said the storm would end by noon, but it's still snowing lightly. 

They say maybe 4 more inches by tonight.  But then it will be clear skies for a few days before the next storm system moves in.

And we'll be ready!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Storm Goes On

The third and largest storm arrived last night. It should continue until noonish on Saturday. The forecasters say the worst will hit tonight and pound us all through tomorrow.

The second storm dropped 8 inches of new snow on us, but then some rain melted much of it off. Yesterday we had another fairly nice afternoon between storms. Sarah even went out and built this snowman during the lull.

Yesterday we spent the morning doing heavy housecleaning. Then I drove to WalMart to buy hardware for the kids' bathroom, which we're remodeling; Sarah met up with her friend Emmi; and the boys went off sledding on a steep hill in Pinetop Lakes Country Club.

The country club is located at the highest point of Pinetop-Lakeside, on the southern-most end of town, which I'd guess is close to 7,500 feet.

Elevation plays a big role in how much snow we get. We live just north of town (the low end, at 7,000 feet) and we got 8 inches. Jacob and Dylan tell me the snow level at the country club was up to the middle of Dylan's chest. Dylan is as tall as I am, mind you (5' 5").

I took these next 2 pictures at 1:00 this afternoon. It has been snowing steadily all day, but the accumulation is limited because the snow is still mixed with rain (which is called sleet).

We had our first power outage at 7:30 this morning, but it only lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes.

That's not very long, but during that time, the temperature in the house dropped from 72 to 64 degrees. That's the biggest concern when we lose electricity.

Tonight the rain is supposed to stop. That's when the snow will begin to pile up. The prediction is for 2 to 4 feet of new snow.

Unfortunately, they also still predict high, damaging winds and the probability of wide-ranging, long-term power-outages. Cross your fingers for us!

We haven't had any school this week, and it's pretty much guaranteed that there won't be school tomorrow, either. Our school calendar has 3 snow days built into it, but we'll have used double that by tomorrow. Hopefully the state will exempt us from making those days up. I don't think I could bear it if they made us work through Spring Break or the first week of my summer break!

Meanwhile, a new storm may be headed our way the middle of next week...

For now, despite the related problems, I'm going to relax and enjoy watching the beauty of falling snow!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This was the sight we awoke to back on March 12, 2006.  Four feet of snow had fallen during the night, reaching the top of the fence and burying cars and trash cans.  It took 3 days for the snow plows to reach us, so we were stranded all that time.  School was cancelled while everyone dug out.

This is my 20th winter here in the White Mountains, and that four-footer is the heaviest snow I've seen in all that time.  Most storms leave one foot or less of snow, with an occasional two- or three-foot dumpage.  The old-timers like to reminisce about the winter of 1967 when 10 feet of snow fell, caving roofs in and forcing people to tunnel out of their homes.  Nothing like that since then, though.

The weather people have prepared us for another big storm.  Actually, three storms in a row this week, coming to us from California.  Originally they were predicting huge snowfall levels, but so far the reality isn't living up to expectations.

The first storm hit yesterday and dropped 7 inches of snow overnight.  Not as bad as we'd anticipated.  Our school was cancelled, but Show Low--about 5 miles away and 1,000 feet lower in elevation--got very little snow, so they had only a 2-hour delay in starting school.  This afternoon the snow cleared sooner than predicted, and it was a beautifully sunny day, turning the snow to slush.  It looks like we could have gone to school on a 2-hour delay schedule, too.  

Snow for the second storm started about an hour ago and is falling heavily.  They say it may leave us with 14 inches of the white stuff by noon tomorrow.  Then the third storm is supposed to hit tomorrow night and last for 2 full days, the worst of the three.  We could get an additional 2 feet of snow, bringing the total to well more than 3 feet.  We'll see.  I wonder if we'll have any school at all this week.

What concerns me most is that the final storm is supposed to bring heavy, wet snow accompanied by more damaging winds, with the likelihood of long-term power outages due to power poles going down under the load.  Oh no, not again...

So I decided to be prepared, just in case.  I spent our beautiful afternoon mailing bills (the few I don't handle online); filling the propane tank for the gas grill; topping off the gas tank of my car; refilling a prescription that will run out in a couple of days; and running to Wal-Mart to pick up a few extras.

We collected all our assorted flashlights and I bought enough D batteries to power them all for the next few days.  I also purchased 2 more lanterns to go with the one we've had for years.
Dylan gets a bit freaked out in the dark, and the lanterns are far more comforting to him than flashlights.

We made a list of possible meals should we be unable to cook anything: cold cereal, bread, peanut butter and jelly, tuna, cold cuts and cheese, pork and beans, cottage cheese, salad, fruits... Everything is in place.

I checked our bottled water supply: we still have 12 gallons, so we're good.  The kids went out to the shed and brought in firewood for the fireplace, just in case. 

Tonight we charged up our cell phones, cameras, lanterns, iPods and MP3 players, and hand-held video games. 

As I told my children, life will be easier with these little conveniences intact.  Plus, maybe I won't have to listen to as much grumbling from my technology-deprived children!

And, in anticipation of no hot water should the power go off, we washed and dried all the laundry; washed up all the dishes; and made sure everyone took a shower.

I think we're ready.  Bring it on!

Monday, January 18, 2010

HCG and Me

Today I am officially launching a new blog:

After seeing my success (so far) on the hCG diet, many people have expressed interest in learning more about it.  I'm thrilled to share my journey with them, but there is just so much to explain.  At first I referred people to my current blog, Melethwen's Memories, telling them to type "hcg" into the blog search at the top of the page, but I finally realized it made better sense to start a new blog dedicated solely to my hCG experience.

I've been working on the new blog all week, and now she's ready for her maiden voyage!  I'd be happy if you'd all stop in to check her out.  (A link is also provided in the Blogger Buddies section in the left column.)

Actually, the posts on the new blog are posts I already published here on Melethwen's Memories.  They've been re-edited to fit the new blog's format, with some photos removed or replaced or resized.  In very few instances, paragraphs have been expanded upon or shortened to be more clear for readers who don't know me.

I also put new tunes on HCG and Me.  I tried to find music to pump us up and inspire us to never give up, to keep working at improving ourselves: "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor; the Rocky theme "Gonna Fly Now"; "Reflection" from Mulan (as in "When will my reflection show who I truly am?"); "I'll Make a Man Out of You,"  sung by Donny Osmond; and my personal favorite, "Go the Distance" from Hercules, sung by Michael Bolton (that man can croon in my ear any time, mmmm!).

If you are a regular visitor to Melethwen's Memories, the information on this new blog will mostly be old news to you.  However, I hope you will refer anyone you know who is struggling to lose weight and finding the usual methods to be ineffective.  I'd like to share my journey to weight loss and better health with anyone who is searching for answers.

I will continue to post here about our hCG experiences, as well as on the new blog, but for those whose interest is solely in the diet, HCG and Me is the way to go!  Welcome!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Sweetest Music

We heard the sweetest music in church today.

In the program, 11-year-old Amelia was slated to sing a solo after the first speaker, accompanied by her mother on piano.
I thought her performance would be postponed. Her father, a member of our bishopric, is very ill. Yesterday her mom drove him to Phoenix for testing. There is concern that it's a recurrence of a life-threatening illness he beat more than a decade ago.
His young daughters are very concerned. Surely this would be too much.*
Amelia and her sisters are staying with another family from church while their parents are gone. When the mother of their host family suggested that she could wait for another day to perform, Amelia insisted that she was fine and wanted to do it today.
Her young voice was true as she began:

A long time ago in a beautiful place,
Children were gathered 'round Jesus.
He blessed and taught as they felt of His love.
Each saw the tears on His face.
The love that He felt for His little ones,
I know He feels for me.
I did not touch Him or sit on His knee,
Yet Jesus is real to me.

Dylan was impressed. He leaned over and whispered, "She sounds really good, Mom."
Then Amelia began the chorus:

"I know He lives--" That was as far as she got before she choked up with emotion. The substitute accompanist played quietly in the background as this brave girl struggled to get her voice back under control. She tried to pick it up several times, but she just couldn't continue.
Finally, she spoke quietly into the microphone: "I don't think I can..."
Before she could finish, she saw four figures leave their seats in the congregation and walk up to the podium to join her. Her older sister Allie, the mom and daughter of her host family, and another woman gathered around her and with Amelia they began the song over from the beginning. Their five voices quavered slightly, but it was truly the most beautiful music any of us had ever heard.

Now I am here in a beautiful place,
Learning the teachings of Jesus.
Parents and teachers will help guide the way,
Lighting my path every day.
Wrapped in the arms of my Savior's love,
I feel His gentle touch.
Living each day, I will follow His way,
Home to my Father above.

I know He lives!
I will follow faithfully.
My heart I give to Him.
I know that my Savior loves me.

I can tell you that there was total silence in the congregation for this performance. Tears were pouring down nearly every face. The toughest of men were mopping their eyes with their handkerchiefs.
The Spirit filled the room, welcomed in by an outpouring of tender love and compassion.
It was as if Christ Himself had entered the room. Certainly He had entered our hearts.
I'm sure Heavenly Father was beaming down on a courageous young girl and the four pairs of loving arms supporting her, and thinking that this was some of the sweetest music He had ever heard.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

An Afternoon in Snowflake

Today my sons and I traveled to the LDS temple in Snowflake with 24 other young people from our ward to perform baptisms for the dead. Our youth participate in this temple ordinance every other month, but today was special because it was Dylan's first time to do so. Thus it was my first time to be able to attend the temple with both of my boys. With Jacob set to go away and serve a mission this coming summer, who knows when or if we'll be together like this again?

It was also special because the people for whom our youth were baptized today were the ancestors of my cousin Raelene's husband, Holiday. The temple workers tell us Holiday and Raelene have submitted more than 50,000 names for temple work over the years through their diligent geneology efforts. It was fun to see Holiday and Raelene at the temple today, too!

The temple is sacred and central to the LDS religion. Because we follow Christ and because He said that baptism is necessary for entrance into heaven, we believe it is important that the opportunity to be baptized be extended to all people, including our ancestors who never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

These proxy baptisms are perfomed in the temple, as they were in ancient Jerusalem. See 1 Corinthians 15:29.

Many other saving ordinances are also performed in the temple, but proxy baptisms are the one way that our youth can participate in these rites for our kindred dead.

I love being in the temple. The interior is beautiful, and everyone is dressed in white, glowing like angels.

The white represents both cleanliness and commonality, with no person being set above another.

While inside, we speak in hushed tones. The feeling is calm and peaceful. The warm, comforting presence of the Spirit is strong.

Our family was so excited when they began building the Snowflake Temple in 2000, on what is now known as Temple Hill (for obvious reasons).

Previously the nearest temple was in Mesa, 3 hours away. Snowflake is just a 30-minute drive from our house.

In August of 2000, Temple Hill was just that: a hill. Located in the middle of barren high desert, the top was sheared off and flattened prior to construction.

Mark and I took the kids there on August 16th to see where the new temple was to be built in the small rural town of Snowflake.

Here are the kids and me on top of Temple Hill more than 9 years ago. Just an empty space. Dylan was 3, Jacob was 9, and Sarah was 10. I was almost 46. That used to seem so old...

Here is the view today from the temple doors. The area has boomed with new homes.

(Note: Snowflake doesn't get that much snow. The town was actually named after two families who settled the area: the Snows and the Flakes.)

The boys are Jacob, Dylan, and two of Wyndie's sons, Evan and Derek, who rode with us.
A little bridge crosses over the fountain just outside the entrance. Many wedding pictures have been taken here, including some in my own photo albums! I think the fence is a new additon, though.

There is still ice in sections of the fountain. The fountain in the picture below is located at the bottom of the stairs leading down to the parking lot on a lower level.
See how the sky is becoming gray and threatening? Another storm system is rolling in.
The National Weather Service says our town (higher elevation than Snowflake) will have snow from Monday morning until next weekend. Predictions are for anywhere from one to eight feet of snow. We just never know.

Today, though, we had a beautiful afternoon in Snowflake.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

HCG: Mid-Way Through Maintenance

The first 3 weeks of our 6-week maintenance period are over, the period when we weren't to eat starches or sugars. We haven't been perfect and we haven't always liked the number on the scale. We've done "steak days" (eating nothing all day except a "huge" steak with an apple or raw tomato for dinner) once a week to keep our weight within the prescribed 2-lb range (up or down).
It's been a roller coaster ride.
In the end, I think we've mostly been successful.
The day we left for Mesa (New Years Eve), during the second week of maintenance, I was less than a pound above my target weight (what I weighed on my final day of the hCG drops). I was within the 2-lb plus or minus range, which is good. I had armed myself with sugar-free treats for the coming parties and dutifully packed up my bathroom scales for use in the hotel room, as prescribed by Dr. Simeons, but I was still nervous.
The next morning I was 2.2 lbs above my target weight! It may have been travel bloat, but it was worrisome. So I was extra-diligent in avoiding sugary treats and ordering my fast food burgers without a bun. By the time we returned home, I was actually half a pound lighter than the day we left! Since the next day was Fast Sunday in church anyway, I did a steak day and lost 1.2 lbs more, putting me almost a pound below my target weight.
Week 3 was back-to-work week. I figured it would be easier to maintain once I was back on a schedule. As if! The first 2 days were fine, but over the course of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I gained back 3 lbs! However, I tried not to panic. I was still less than 2 lbs over the target, I was eating right, and I reminded myself that stress contributes to weight gain, too, thanks to the stress hormone cortisol. It was a very stressful week at work. And who knows how my crazed menopausal hormones are affecting me? Relax...relax...
By Saturday morning, 1.4 lbs had dropped back off, and I did another steak day. As of this morning I am again 1.6 lbs below my target weight.
Actually, I think the whole concept of being required to maintain your new weight for a prescribed period of time is a great idea. And not simply because it gives your hypothalamus time to reset to your new weight. I think it's been emotionally healthy to accept the new weight and step back from the single-minded pursuit of weight loss.
I wish I had done this when I lost a lot of weight in the past. Then maybe I wouldn't have regained the weight so easily. When I would get within 20 lbs of my goal weight and hit a plateau, I would become so discouraged that I would eventually give up and the pounds would creep back on little by little over the next few years. How crazy is that? Instead, I should have accepted the new weight, given my body time to adjust, and waited awhile to work at weight loss again.
I think this concept is one of the best things I will have gained from Dr. Simeons's protocol.
Today I decided to celebrate my current size by trying on every blouse and every pair of pants in my closet. Mind you, I have a large walk-in closet with literally 25+ years' worth of various-sized wardrobes, so this task took about 4 hours. I threw away several shabby old biggy-sized pants and shirts (when you're fat and can't easily find clothes that fit, you hang on to everything). I also gave 3 pairs of pants and more than a dozen blouses to Sarah. They're now the right size for her new, smaller figure, but ridiculously baggy on me. I love it!
In the photo above are the many blouses that haven't fit me since about 5 years ago, and a few I bought but never wore because I never lost the weight I intended to lose at the time I bought them. It was so fun and exciting to find so many clothes that now fit perfectly!
Add to those the other pants and blouses I was able to start wearing 4 weeks ago, and I have a great wardrobe to enjoy now! (Not shown in this photo are 7 more blouses in the washer--clothes can get pretty dusty hanging in the closet for years! I sneezed a lot while modeling all these shirts.) For the past few years, I have typically had a selection of 6 blouses and 5 pairs of pants to rotate and wear to work each week. Now I can literally go a month without ever wearing the same blouse twice! And it didn't cost me a thing!
It's also fun to think that someday Sarah will be able to choose from these clothes as we both continue to decrease in size and I move into the next-smaller wardrobe in my closet...
As much as I'm enjoying the new me, I still greatly look forward to continuing to shrink. The blouses in the above photo are still too small, varying from slightly too snug (on the left side) to "Did I buy these in the children's department?!" on the right side. The smallest shirts are from the mid-1980s. I'll need to lose 45 more pounds to fit them. That's just 2 more hCG cycles away. It finally seems obtainable.
Finally, I thought it would be interesting to compare one of the smallest blouses in the closet to a shirt I was wearing to work only 2 months ago. That cute little blouse looks like it belongs to a child! Was I really that small once upon a time?

The dream remains alive!