Inspirational Weekend

Holy Mama was that long weekend needed for me!  The extra stuff on my plate last week felt like I was spinning plates and they were all starting to bobble!  But Friday finally came, and I put my kids on the bus, their little bags packed for Grandma's house, dropped the dog at the doggie hotel and before I knew it, my husband and I were zipping across the state headed to Minneappolis.  We were crowded in a van for about 5 hours each way, and boy were my hips, knees and back feeling it!  Still, we were the youngest people there, so I counted my blessings that even though it wasn't my favorite thing, my joints bounced back fairly well. 
Our hotel was nice.  We met with some of our group in the lounge to have a few drinks before dinner.  It's been a hot long while since I've done that!  I'm that fish out of water that knows very little about alcohol or mixed drinks so I end up getting the boring rum and Diet Coke.  It was happy hour so they were watered down.  Since it was a big event for Shriners, the hotel was filled with Shriners from multiple states.  We were with a guy who's 74, and has been a Shriners clown for 23 years and is the comlete perfect person for it.  All weekend he was talking to everyone and making everyone laugh.  It was awesome to be around someone so comfortable in his skin; someone who just wants to make people happy.  He is also the one who has donated countless hours and supplies to the hospital, and he also repairs and donates sewing machines to people in need in Nicaragua.  In general, the Shriners are a really great group of people that come together to change people's lives. 
After drinks we headed to dinner at a brewery/restaurant.  I had a huge beer with my dinner but amazingly felt fine after.  After returning back to the hotel, my husband and I decided to have one more drink in the lounge.  I had a White Russian (yes, I am a fan of the Big Lebowski) and it might have been the first drink all night that actually tasted like it had alcohol in it! 
Saturday, we got up early and I ate my leftovers from the previous night's dinner.  Here is my public service announcement: Margarita flatbread does not taste good the second day no matter how awesome it was the night before!  It was a soggy mess.  At the hospital, we went behind the scenes to see how prosthetic limbs are made, see the physical therapy areas, and the super high-tech machines they use to get imaging, especially on Scoliosis patients.  Near the end of our visit, awards were given away to some of the children that have been helped.  One of the recipients was a 15 year old boy who has had two prosthetic legs since he was 5.  It was our local chapter who sponsored him and he wanted us to be there to thank us in person.  He has done so much to give back, he's just an absolute inspiration, and there wasn't a dry eye in the room.  Even though my husband is new to the Shriners, it really made us proud to be a part of that experience. 
We left for home straight from the hospital.  It was a long, rainy, squished ride.  Along the way we saw a horrible accident, one that looked like there couldn't have been a survivor, and I was flooded with emotions from that and the whole experience. 
It felt so good to get home and pick up my kids.  We hadn't stopped for food on the way home and the kids weren't hungry so my husband and I went to a Mexican restaurant for " one last crazy meal".  My eating was weird and I sure took in a bunch of liquid calories that were not needed, but we don't get the opportunity to unwind that often.  I didn't feel bad about any of it.  I even ate dessert (free with dinner) and a cookie over the weekend.  No regrets.  Now, I will say, especially with having yesterday off all by myself, it is hard to switch my eating around even though I am not particularly craving anything, but Ma Monthly is about to knock and wow do I want to keep eating tastey things like french fries and Uncrustables!  Being around those older people, most of whom had cholesterol and blood pressure issues, really made me think about all that tied in with age, and how much harder those things are to get under control at that age.  Add to that, arthritis which makes exercise tricky and painful... ugh.  I know I need to do better but I'm creating my own roadblock with my mind.  I am pleasure-seeking by way of the mouth.  I sure hope this passes once my hormones shift in a few days.  I know summer is going to feel like it's only a few weeks long and I feel like one of the best ways to really feel and enjoy it is to be outside more.  And what better thing to do outside than go for a walk?  It's not for weight loss, did you ever see a chart that tells you how much you would have to walk each week in order to lose weight?  Mine says I would have to walk 37 miles per week in order to lose one pound!  I would do it to help keep my blood sugars in a better place, and to boost my good cholesterol, which tends to run a little low, and to give my heart a good workout.  I know what I should/have to do, I just feel so lazy and unmotivated right now.  What's a girl to do? 
Leave a cliff-hanger on this blog for today, that's what, because my lunch break is over.  To be continued, perhaps!


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