Wednesday, November 16, 2016

RECON - the REFIT® convention

The annual REFIT instructor convention, RECON, happened just under a month after my certification. That was pretty exciting stuff, and I'm so thankful I was able to raise some extra money to be able to go. Thankfully it is held nearby in Addison, so I didn't have to fly anywhere. I rode over with Debbie, who was one of my 2 roomies for the weekend.
 We stayed at the Springhill Suites near the convention center. Jessica joined us the next day for the first day of the convention. She had to work on Thursday.
 That evening Debbie and I had a little girl date night and ate at Taco Diner, grabbed some Nothing Bundt cakelets for dessert, and then went back to the room so I could spend 2 hours painting my nails. I'm so not a nail tech! But they turned out pretty cute...even if it did take me forever.
 Friday was registration and festivities began! We were able to have headshots taken, shop for new swag in the merch shop, and then I changed for the workouts to begin. We did a lot of working out and calorie burning over the course of the weekend, since we were learning new choreography. IT was intense and exhausting.
 That evening was Rockstar night, so we had a fiesta at April and Jennie's place for all the Fort Worth girls and changed over there for the rockstar party.
 Saturday morning began around 9, thankfully not too early, and we had a full day or working out, learning, and plenty more selfies.
 That night was the White Out Party, and we got to throw color powder on each other for the white out experience. It was pretty fun! We had custom #fwrefitrockstar shirts make for white out night, with our hashtag down the back.
 The weekend was amazing, and ended on a great note too. I had helped organize a group of ladies who wanted the ultimate bonding experience of getting tattoos together, so after a big brunch at Ida Claire's (which was DELICIOUS!) we met up at Iron Dagger Tattoo and 12 of us got tattoos together and a couple of ladies got their noses pierced. I got an arrow, which for me signifies this amazing journey of health and self-discovery over the past year...a journey that I'm not ready to end, so I wanted a constant reminder to keep going forward. So it ended up on my arm where I can always see it. I love it, whether anyone else does or not is not important. :)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Birthday Girl!

This year my birthday party planning skills were on point - Dreamworks released Trolls on November 4th, just in time for Kate's birthday on the 5th. Boom - instant birthday idea. She invited several little friends from various aspects of her life, and off to the movies we went. Will, Heather and Olivia even came up from Mount Pleasant and spent the night with us, so Kate and Olivia got to have a little sleepover as well.
 Everyone got some popcorn, a drink, and candy along with their movie ticket, which for less than $9 per person is a pretty sweet deal. The movie was super cute and they all loved it, which made it worthwhile.  We followed the movie with lunch at In and Out Burger, since it's one of Kate's favorite places and it was super close to the theater.
 The following day Kate was surprised with an awesome git from Aunt Karyn and Uncle Gerald - a Nerf car complete with Nerf guns for the whole family. Score!
She claimed it was her best birthday EVER. Score one for Mom.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Some pics from Halloween Night

 Our carving crew this year: Me, Nick, Grace, Nana (she fed us), Ian, Kate, Vickie, and Bill sporting our fancy new t-shirts that I designed based off a pumpkin I carved last year.
The crowds were great as usual, although I think they died down a bit earlier than in the past couple of years. I am sure that is due to Halloween being on a week night this year, and the past 2 years it has fallen on a weekend. I sort of wish Halloween was the same day of the week each year, rather than the 31st. It would help us pumpkin carvers out, for sure.
This year we had lots of exclamations about the Pokemon pumpkins, and people enjoyed the Johnny Depp grouping we did. I got several chuckles about the presidential Trumpkin, and the oak tree I carved was very popular. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Carving Day 4, aka HALLOWEEN!!

The big day had arrived and because of our amazing helpers, we were left with only 3 pumpkins to carve, and all three were difficult ones and mine. Well, technically one of them wasn't very difficult, but because the pumpkin had been scraped so thin on the inside we needed to wait until the last minute to carve it. So I took the opportunity after I took Kate school and came home to take a nap for a bit (a glorious hour and a half) before going back to Yiayia's to get started.

Here's what I carved:
 We began setting the pumpkins out earlier than usual, since it was a school night. I knew people would be out a little bit sooner than normal, and it always stresses me out to have people standing on the sidewalk watching us put everything out. I just want to yell at them to go away until we are ready! I guess people like to watch the process, but I prefer that tey wait and see everything once it is all lit and perfect. The wind normally dies down as soon as the sun sets on Halloween - we have this issue almost every year - but this year it was a bit peskier and we dealt with wind issues all evening. Certain pumpkins just did not want to stay lit.
 We had great crowds as usual, and lots of our friends came by to see our pumpkins. It really means a lot when people you know personally take the time to come support and ooh and aah over your creations, but we love all the strangers who come just as much.

Only 364 days until we do it all again.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Carving, day 3

Day three saw the beginning of some more difficult pumpkins. I think Ian and Grace were a little bit overwhelmed at the day three pumpkin choices - they both took their time determining which one to do and Ian was very selective, choosing the easiest ones he could find. Grace did a great job with some of the difficult ones that she selected though!

Nick began his hydration ritual and started giving the earlier carved pumpkins a dip in the spa. We began to notice that a couple of them were becoming questionable already, and by the end of day 3 we had 2 pumpkins that we had to go ahead and trash. This is why it's so important that we get that first photo of it as soon as they're carved - sometimes, they don't make it to Halloween night, which is unfortunate.

By Ian:
 By Grace:
 By Vickie:
By Bill:
By Nick:
By Brandi:
One hour, 7 minutes carving time