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Friday, October 21, 2016

Boogie

We adopted Sox aka Boogie from the Humane Society when he was just 8 weeks old.  That was in March of 2003, just one month after Garrett and I were married.  I remember when we first got him.  He was the softest dog I had ever touched in my entire life.  That never changed.  Garrett was in the Navy and we were living in Connecticut at the time.  We thought it would be good to name him after our home state of Texas so we first called him Rio.  We quickly realized that name did not fit him at all.  He was tan with all white paws so we thought Sox was a much better fit.  How we came to call him Boogie I do not recall. I just know that was his name for the last 13 years.


We had to put our sweet Boogie down yesterday.  He had been suffering from kidney failure for a while and in those final stages we could not bear to have him suffer.  I had been praying for confirmation for a week.  I needed God to give me a sign that it was time.  When I spoke with the vet she literally said, "It's time".  And as hard as it was to spend that final night and morning with him I never once regretted our decision.  That morning the boys and I said our goodbyes and prayed over him.  When I left our neighborhood to drive them to school we drove through a really thick fog.  My heart felt heavy and thick just like that fog.  I was praying for comfort and peace.  Within a few seconds the fog completely lifted and I saw the sun shining through.  It was one of the most peaceful moments I have ever experienced.  
My husband, my ROCK, took him and stayed with him during his final moments.  I could not bear the thought of remembering my sweet Boogie like that. I wanted to remember him as I knew him best - following me around from room to room, snuggled up next to me on the couch or in bed.  

Boogie was always there to provide comfort.  He just knew when I was sick, sad or in pain.  He was my guard dog and my best friend, especially during those first couple of years when Garrett was gone on deployments in the beginning of our marriage.  He loved us unconditionally.  Even in the final days when I think he knew his time was nearing he was giving us kisses to comfort us while we were crying over him.  He was truly the most selfless creature I have ever known.  

"The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog."  - M.K. Clinton

I wanted to share some pictures of our sweet Boogie over the last 13 years.  


The day Garrett brought him home

They really did have a special bond
 


He LOVED the water!  This was on a beach in Rhode Island.

And a lake in Connecticut

 Snow in Connecticut...I'm surprised he was able to stay above it! 

Boogie and Tex checking out the view from our new house in Virginia Beach.  He just loved chasing the ducks around the pond out back.  He would jump our 6' fence regularly to chase those ducks!

He was so good with the boys.  Garrison loved to feed him from his high chair.


Always nearby for protection



When Ethan came along Boogie was so excited to have another little one in the house!

Sweet hugs!

Just a boy and his dog

They loved Christmas morning!

Snow!!!! In Texas!!! I think he felt like a puppy again!


I think Stoic described him well.

This was the day before he went to be with Jesus.  I miss him so much but I am incredibly grateful he is not suffering.

Brothers.  Tex just doesn't know what to do with himself.  I think he is confused and slowly realizing Boogie is not coming home.

I was able to get a picture of the boys with Boogie on his last day with us.  We all miss him terribly but know he is in a better place.


Thank you for teaching me how to love completely and selflessly, Boogie.  Until we meet again my precious boy. ~Mama


Monday, October 3, 2016

Health Journey, Week 5

I don't have a great update today, unfortunately.  I stayed the same weight as last Monday.  The weird thing is I weighed in Saturday morning out of curiosity and was down 2 lbs from last week.  I guess I gained those 2 lbs back in the last two days though.  Ha!  

We did go to Dripping Springs for a baseball tournament so there was definitely more eating out than normal.  I did the best I could but did splurge a little Saturday night when we had Mexican food.  My body has always been a bit odd though and I can gain or lose 3 lbs in a day just from water weight or bloating.  Probably TMI but I don't have periods anymore (take my birth control continuously to help control endometriosis).  But I think my body still goes through PMS and I have been a little more emotional and quite a bit more hungry the last several days.  So I'm going to blame it on that too.  As women we have the ability to do that, right?! 

I did not take my BLOCK every day last week.  I think I only did it 3 days.  It is hard for me to remember since it is not a daily habit.  But I am committed to taking it every evening this week to see if that helps.  I also need to up my water intake.  I've been doing pretty good but definitely not sticking to the 100 oz plus per day like I was doing before.

Here is a great recipe I tried last week and we loved it!

Garlic and Paprika Chicken

Ingredients
6 chicken drumsticks
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Clean and dry the drumsticks and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
3.  In a small skillet heat the olive oil.  Add the garlic, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and herbs.  Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat.  (Careful not to burn the garlic.)
4.  Place the drumsticks in a 9X13 baking dish and pour the olive oil mixture over the drumsticks.  Make sure they are coated thoroughly.  
5.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until chicken legs are cooked through.  

Before Baking


Tada!



~Jewels*


Friday, September 30, 2016

Garrison's 11th Birthday Weekend (Family, Paintball and Baseball)

Garrison's birthday was last Friday and we were so excited Nana and PawPaw (Garrett's parents) were able to come in town.  We had such a good visit with them!  And I'll tell you in advance all photo credit in this post goes to my father-in-law.

Friday night Garrett grilled out steak (Garrison's fav) and I made a cookie cake.  Garrison loved opening his gifts!

"Happy Birthday to you!"...Ethan's face - bahahaha!


Love these sweet brothers!


I had to include this one because it cracked me up that Garrison held the shirt right in front of his brother completely blocking him out of the picture.


I think he was slightly excited about his gift from Nana and PawPaw...


...a guitar!!!  This boy is seriously talented and I can't wait for him to learn to play!


He thought that was all but then we told him we had another gift for him in Daddy's truck.  We opened the tail gate and there was his ping pong table!  He loved it!



The next day we had his birthday party with his entire baseball team.  Every kid except one came.  That made this mama heart SO happy!  (I later learned the kid who didn't come was too scared because his cousin told him how much paintball hurts.  Poor thing.)

He was SO excited!


I took this one and my heart about exploded when I did.  


STOP growing!


This sweet boy...I love him so!


I think they're ready!


I love this shot of Ethan!


I think Garret may have been more excited than Garrison was.


Where's Ethan?!  Bahahaha!


Ethan and Nana...how sweet is this?!


Dirty face...check
Dirty hands...check
Cupcake...check



As if the weekend wasn't eventful enough Garrison had a double header on Sunday.  I am SO glad we found this team!  The kids and parents are incredible and seeing Garrison happy is SO worth the hour and 15 minute drive to practice twice a week.  Yes, for real.  
I love these shots of him doing what he loves!




I also had to add these photos my father-in-law took while he and my hubby were dove hunting a couple weeks ago.  We grilled the dove earlier this week and they were DE.LICIOUS! 


When we started dating I wondered if he would always make me feel the way I did then.  Ya' know, the butterflies in the stomach, the mmm mmm mmm factor.  (I'm sure our family is gagging right now as they read this.)  But he is SO much better than he was 17 years ago!  


~Jewels*

Monday, September 26, 2016

Health Journey, Week 4

I had my weigh in this morning and here is my update:
I lost 3.4 lbs last week!
I am down 12.6 lbs total!

I am pretty happy with the progress I made last week.  And I realized that having ONE cheat meal through the week has actually helped me lose a little more.  I'm not talking a Snuffer's loaded cheese fries downed in ranch followed by a cheeseburger with more fries (not sure where that came from but dang, it sounds good!) cheat meal.  I'm talking about pasta at our local Italian restaurant cheat meal.

Of course I am still on my Plexus Triplex.  This week I am going to add in my Plexus Block.  I have not taken it since I started my new health journey a few weeks ago.  This stuff is amazing - it actually BLOCKS 48% of carbs and sugars.  That being said, my plan is to take it in the evening before I have a little wine and what is usually my biggest meal of the day.
Check it out at www.jewelsplexus.com and then click on Products and Block.

Now, for the recipe.  I made this last week and it was a pretty big hit!  If you have read my blog for any length of time you will notice I don't tend to follow recipes exactly.  I have included my comments/substitutions in the recipe.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

INGREDIENTS:
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I used 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
16 oz baby red potatoes, halved (yep, forgot to half these)
16 oz baby carrots
16 oz green beans, trimmed (I bought the packaged, already washed and trimmed green beans at HEB)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves (didn't have this so didn't use it)

FOR THE SAUCE:
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey (Yeah, so I forgot to buy honey and after a quick Google search I decided to use brown sugar and water)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I used cayenne pepper instead)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  After looking back over this recipe I realized I did not read the directions clearly because instead of mixing the sauce first and then waiting until the last 30 minutes to add the green beans I literally dumped it all in the crockpot together (below is my before picture).  Hey, it cooked just fine!




















So, here are my recommended, non-complicated directions.  Dump it all in the crockpot, cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  BOOM!

Final Result:
















~Jewels*

Monday, September 19, 2016

Health Journey, Week 3

Happy Monday!

For those of you who missed my video post on Facebook last week, here it is.

https://www.facebook.com/juliana.t.gerber/videos/vb.575945942/10154352513480943/?type=3&theater

As promised I am going to start blogging on the progress of my health journey.  My goal is to get a post up every week to share my progress and a recipe or two along with any other tips/tricks I am finding to be helpful.

For those of you who could care less about my health journey, no offense taken.  I will still blog about other random happenings in life.

I know it is odd I am starting with Week 3 but it is what it is.

Let me rewind a few weeks.  I was sitting on the couch...ahem, IN my workout clothes, watching Fixer Upper, and just finished some nachos for lunch. Yeah.

I sent this picture to my cousin and sister asking them if they wanted to try to get healthy together and hold each other accountable.  They were both all in.  


I realized, as mentioned in my video, that I was no longer using Plexus (www.jewelsplexus.com) as a tool in my weight loss journey.  I lost quite a bit of weight and inches when I first got on it because it reduced my sugar cravings and curbed my hunger.  For the last 15 months I have taken it consistently and I am still finding amazing relief from endometriosis, plantar fasciitis and allergies but after our move to Bandera I started eating and drinking more due to extra downtime.  Plexus is not a diet.  It's not a magic pill.  It's a TOOL on your weight loss journey.  And I have decided to make changes with my diet to allow Plexus to do everything it can for me.  I will eventually get back into an exercise routine but this girl likes to take baby steps.

Update
After just TWO WEEKS I am down a total of 9.2 lbs!  Wooohoooo!  I have a looooooong way to go but I'll get there.  Again, as mentioned in my video, I have never lost that much weight in such a short time, especially in a healthy way.  I know I started eating healthier and drinking more water but I have done this many times before and I certainly give the credit to my Plexus products!

What am I doing? 
I am on the Plexus Triplex which includes three products, Pink Slim, Pro Bio 5 and Bio Cleanse.  Here are some videos I made (a few of which include my adorable little E man) a while back to help explain these better.  (Click on the words below to take you to the videos.)
Plexus Triplex Overview
Plexus Slim aka Pink Drink
Pro Bio 5
Bio Cleanse

I am also eating less and healthier and cut back a little on my wine drinking at night.  Notice I didn't say I cut out all of my wine or all of anything.  It's about balance.  That's seriously all I'm doing, y'all.  No exercise...yet.

Recipe
I wanted to share this ridiculously easy and yummy breakfast recipe with y'all.  It will fill you up but is super low in calories.

Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:
Light Whole Wheat English Muffin
1/4 cup egg beaters
1/2 slice of cheese (I use gouda)
1 slice canadian bacon

Directions:
Toast the english muffin
Heat the egg beater in a coffee cup (I grease mine with PAM spray with olive oil) for about 45 seconds in the microwave
Heat the canadian bacon for about 15 seconds in the microwave
Slap it all together and you've got a breakfast sandwich ready in less than 3 minutes!

*Forgive my man hands in this picture.  I seriously thought I had feminine hands until I saw this.  Ha!*



I'll be back next week for another update and recipe.  I am an incredibly open book so if you have questions for me about my journey or Plexus products I am here to answer them!

~Jewels*

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Port A, Round 2

This past weekend we went to Port A with my parents.  We have been to Port A with my parents before but this time seemed to be a little more special now that we live six hours from them.  It was truly a weekend full of laughter (as always) and joy of being able to enjoy each others' company.

I would list out what all we did but honestly we did what we always do when we go to Port A...we go to the beach and RELAX!!! It was heavenly!

Garrett grilled steaks the first night.  Due to a lack of steak knives Mama decided to use a butcher knife.  Only this woman could still look proper and graceful holding a butcher knife.  Ha!


Ethan "playing chess" with Papa.  He has his own rules.


Okay, normally all of my goofy pictures are of Daddy but this was too good not to share.  She CRACKS me up!

Have y'all seen Notting Hill?  Remember the guy with the goggles?


Mama and I thought of him every time we saw Ethan in these goggles.


So glad my mom got all of these adorable close ups of E playing in the sand.  I mean...bestill my heart!!!



And this guy...sheesh!  No wonder he already has about 7 girls at school that like him.  He is starting to get annoyed with this by the way.  I told him I am more than happy to buy him a shirt that says "I'm unavailable, ladies.  School comes first.  If you have a problem with it take it up with my Mama."...or something to that effect.  



My guys in the waves...I know they look like little dots but this was just such a great view!


I love how they love each other!


Sigh... <3 


This boy has a huge chunk of my heart....HUGE!!!


My man!


So, this brave boy tried oysters and he actually liked them (despite the fourth picture).  He even ate two!  GROSS!



Port A sunset...no filter.  No words for this beauty!


This mama is missing the beach already...until next time, Port A!



~Jewels*