Tuesday, January 11

Braggity, braggity - photos I took

Yes, I am totally bragging, as I am thrilled with how these turned out. I feel like I finally GET it. I know what to do to get the shot I want. When I first decided to really 'understand' photography, I had NO idea how complex it is. While it's frustrating at times, it's also fun, because there is always, always, always more to learn about photography. It truly can be a life-long hobby.

Enough of my babbling, though, here they are - my BFF's engagement photos, shot by yours truly! (Click any photo to make it larger.)

Back from the frozen tundra with the biggest NSV yet!


Did ya miss me?

I'm back, and whoa boy, have I got a story for you. In case I didn't mention it, I used to live in WI, so I know all about WI's fine dining choices. Of course, I don't get back very often anymore, so when I do, I like to hit all my favorites. The top of the list is, and has always been, Kopp's. Frozen custard heaven. Butter burger bonanza. Burgers are kinda out right now, but let's face it, frozen custard is like a bandster's dream come true.

Can you believe I planned this trip for almost two months, flew 2.5 hours to WI, and was in WI for 8 hours before BFF said, "Hey, do you want Kopp's?". And until she said that, it never once crossed my mind. Not even once.

Did you all feel that? It was the earth tipping off its axis. As that has never, ever, ever happened before. I did proceed to eat it twice, though. I'm not that much of an angel!

The trip was tons of fun - I will certainly share photos once I edit them. We went running twice - 3 miles and 5 miles. The half-marathon is in just under 8 weeks, and while I'm not yet prepared, I'm feeling good about where I am with it. We made our tutus and bought princess tiaras. I ate rather well and am looking forward to tomorrow's weigh in.

The break from the kids was great. The break from being MOM was great. The chance to relax and unwind was great. All in all, it was a fun five days. But I am glad to be home and look forward to getting back into a routine, since we've been wacky with guests and holidays and trips for more than two months now.

Alright, off to see what you guys have been up to! Smooches!

Thursday, January 6

New Low!

Finally got my new scale battery, and while I was a bit scared, I'm glad I stepped on - 247.6! What a way to start my mini-vacation at BFF's in WI. Be good until I can check in again, probably Tues morning.
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Sunday, January 2

Exhausted but exhilarating...

I'm too tired to blog much about my weekend, because I spent it with three amazing women - Heidi, Stephanie, and Maria - doing amazing things. Like riding roller coasters. Yep, me, I fit on every roller coaster with no problem! And here's the proof:

Saturday, January 1

Make it a hurricane...

...before I go insane!
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My 2011 motto is...


I am ready to push my limits, stretch my boundaries, create new healthy routines, and live the life I was meant to live. A life that was made much more possible because of weight loss surgery, but a life that does not revolve just around my weight loss. It's about giving back, dreaming big, nurturing relationships, and most of all, pushing beyond who I was.

I would consider 2010 my "staging year". I did a lot of work to position myself (and my family) to have a fantastic 2011. I am ready to discover who I really am and what I really love. I am ready to live a life that is authentic, that at times pushes my limits while other times leaving me feeling content, that makes me feel good about who I am and what I contribute to my family, friends, and the world.

I am challenging myself to accomplish 111 things in 2011. Some are small, some are BIG, some are mundane, some are necessary, some are fantastical, some are very personal (I'm not sharing with anyone IRL except you guys), and some are just plain boring. Each has a purpose, though, the purpose of pushing me beyond myself.

Without further adieu, here is my list of "111 Things to Accomplish in 2011":

1. Go on 3 month-long spending hiatuses.
2. Make bed daily.
3. Scoop litter boxes daily.
4. Establish a house-cleaning routine.
5. Leave the kitchen clean nightly.
6. Brush the cats weekly.
7. Create 7 easy dinners.
8. Create 7 crockpot dinners.
9. Create 7 cheap dinners.
10. Create 7 meatless dinners.
11. Create 6 week-long dinner menus.
12. Try 12 new recipes.
13. Send my Christmas Cards by 12/1/11.
14. Declutter each room once.
15. Have 12 no-food-waste weeks.
16. Swap out kids' toys weekly.
17. Swap out kids' books weekly.

18. Make Elise's baby book.
19. Make Beckett's baby book.
20. Make 2009 family album.
21. Make 2010 family album.
22. Make 2011 family album.
23. Organize and back-up all photos.
24. Scan all photos.
25. Scan all mom's photos.
26. Organize and back-up all videos.
27. Upload all cd's to iTunes.
28. Scan Elise's artwork weekly.
29. Scan Beckett's artwork weekly.

30. Complete a Project 365.
31. Learn how to use off-camera flash.
32. Complete Besties project.
33. Do 12 portfolio building shoots.
34. Launch amycooperphotography.com.
35. Host 3 mini-sessions.

36. Floss daily.
37. Run 365 miles.
38. Track my miles run.
39. Post 3x/week on babblesofabandster.
40. Eat 2 different veggies daily.
41. Eat 2 different fruits daily.
42. Brush Beckett's teeth 2x/day
43. Brush Elise's teeth 2x/day.
44. Drink 2 liters of water daily.
45. Prepare one meatless dinner per week.
46. Eat completely meatless one day per week.
47. Prep one cold vegetable salad weekly.
48. Take Juice+ daily.
49. Give Beckett Juice+ daily.
50. Give Elise Juice+ daily.
51. Ensure Elise eats 2 fruits daily.
52. Ensure Beckett eats 2 fruits daily.
53. Ensure Elise eats 2 veggies daily.
54. Ensure Beckett eats 2 veggies daily.
55. Have cut-up veggies in fridge at all times.
56. Have cut-up fruit in fridge at all times.
57. Get my moles checked twice.
58. See the dentist twice.
59. Get a complete physical.

Mental Health
60. Post 3x/week on amytoldyouso.
61. Read 52 books.
62. Read 13 non-fiction books.
63. Read 13 "classics".
64. Turn the tv and computer off simultaneously for one hour daily.
65. Establish a morning routine.
66. Respond to emails within 24 hours.
67. Respond to phone calls within 24 hours.
68. Go 3 days (individually) with no phone, internet, or tv.
69. Join a local women's social group.
70. Post 1x/week to wowthatsyummy.

71. Apply for 20 jobs/week as necessary.
72. Write 3 grants for pay.
73. Find the right job for me.

Giving Back
74. Find volunteer work.
75. Do 12 random acts of kindness.
76. Donate blood six times.
77. Join the bone marrow registry.

78. Send 24 cards to friends & family.
79. Implement "Xtreme Niceness" week once/month.
80. Have cuddle night with Travis 1x/week.
81. Write 24 love notes to Travis.
82. Plan a surprise weekend away for Travis and me.
83. Have 12 date nights with Travis.
84. Write to 6 friends and tell them how much they mean to me.
85. Surprise Travis at work with homemade peanut butter cookies.
86. Write my mom a letter telling her how much she means to me.
87. Contact Ben 1x/week.
88. Celebrate our five-year anniversary meaningfully.

89. Start Daddy & Daughter time.
90. Start Mommy & Daughter time.
91. Start Mommy & Son time.
92. Start Daddy & Son time.
93. Start a Family Fun Night tradition.
94. Walk 3x/week in the evenings with the kids.
95. Teach Beckett to swim underwater.
96. Read 3 books to Elise daily.
97. Read 3 books to Beckett daily.
98. Take kids to the library weekly.
99. Teach Elise to read.
100. Do a family photo shoot.

Dream BIG!
101. Lose 50 lbs in the first 111 days of 2011.
102. Exercise every day of January.
103. Complete a half-marathon.
104. Apply for Wheel of Fortune.
105. See the Packers play.
106. Fire a gun.
107. Run a 7-minute mile.
108. Get a tattoo in honor of the kids.
109. Do a pull-up.
110. Get hypnotized.
111. Hit my goal weight!