Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today I Salute You, Subway Sandwich Artist

I hate doing new things. It once took me weeks upon weeks to work up the courage to take the bus into work. What if I didn’t have the right change? What if I got off at the wrong stop? What if this bus didn’t go to downtown Milwaukee at all – even though it said “Downtown – Water Street” on the windshield? And I’m not just talking about big things (or what I would consider “big” things) like taking the bus for the first time or starting a new job or asking a new friend if she’d like to go for lunch. I’m talking any new thing, including getting my Subway sandwich at a new Subway.

There is a Subway about 5 minutes from our house; it is on the way home from just about anything we would go to. So, 90% of the time if we stop at Subway, this is the store we choose. When I’m running errands over lunch I will go out of my way to pick up a sub at this store, 100% of the time. Today however my errands took me nowhere in the vicinity of this Subway. And, luck would have it; there was a store right across the street from my last stop. I have to admit, I considered driving 15 min. out of the way to go to my Subway, but even I knew that was ludicrous. So I took a deep breath and went to a new store.

When I walked in there was a line 7 deep, but much to my surprise, the transaction went rather smoothly. As I walked out I was breathing a sigh of relief - I didn’t even get yelled at by the Sandwich Artist, which is what happened the last time I tried a new Subway.

Sandwich Artist: What kind of veggies would you like on your turkey/ham?
Me: Everything except for cucumbers and jalapeƱos.
SA: Do you want banana peppers?
Me: Yes.
SA: Okay, just so you know, banana peppers don’t come on The Works. So don’t ask for The Works if you want banana peppers.
Me (In my head): Dude, I didn’t fucking say The Works. I said EVERYTHING EXCEPT FOR CUCUMBERS AND JALAPENOS.
Me (out loud): uh……okay, thanks!

Ever since that little encounter every time we are at Subway and the SA asks what I would like on my turkey/ham Collin gives me a little nudge. I really have no idea what the hell that nudge is supposed to mean, but I have a feeling it is something along the lines of this: hurry up women and oh dear God don’t let anybody I know walk in here, my wife doesn’t know how to order her veggies.

After getting my lunch I went back to my car to head to work. As I was driving out of the parking lot waiting to get back onto Hwy 10 I sipped my coke and watched the cars pass, just waiting for a break in traffic to make my move. I noticed a couple of drivers in the passing cars giving me an odd look, but didn’t think all that much about it. I saw a break in traffic and I committed to the turn. I had one tire down before I realized it…..I wasn’t in the nice sloped entrance/exit area at all. No, I was driving straight off the curb. Oh Shit! I exclaimed, but it was too late, I was too far into the turn. I had to just finish it out now….BA BOOM! my car went as it hit the road and bottomed out. It wobbled back and forth a bit before getting its bearings.

Lucky of me, immediately following my graceful entrance onto the Hwy I got stopped at a red light. A red light surrounded by the cars that had just seen my dumb ass drive straight off the curb. I hate trying new things.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Project: Den/Office

Last summer I said my project for the fall (of 2007) was going to be to get the our den organized and painted. My deadline was Thanksgiving. Around the beginning of October, after looking at our calendar for the coming months, I told Collin that I was stressing out a little about getting the den done in time. He agreed that it was going to be hard to accomplish and said "let's not give ourselves a deadline." I thought that sounded like the best idea I'd ever heard.

Fast forward almost 6 months and guess what? Then den still looked like a natural disaster site. Not giving ourselves a deadline was a great stress reliever but it didn't actually get the room cleaned or painted. I'd been dreading starting this task because I was just sure it was going to take FOREVER to complete.

Finally a couple of weekends ago we decided to just do it already and we cleaned the room. And the task I thought was going to take weeks on end took a total of 2 hours. Yes. 2. As in 120 minutes.

Shortly after that we bought the paint and yesterday I tackled painting the room. My original plan was to blog the progress giving updates every couple of hours, but when I didn't wake up and get started until 10 am I decided if I wanted to get this done I couldn't be on the computer half the day. But I did take progress pictures and I thought I'd go ahead and post them anyway.

This is the den at 10 am, just before I started. See how all the furniture/crap in the room has been strategically placed in the center? Yeah, actually there was no stra-te-gery (remember that clip from SNL??) in that at all, it was more like shove the shit to the center and get it out of the way. Except it wasn't out of the way. Not at all, and I swore at the pile of crap in the middle of the room more times then I'd like to admit yesterday. Also, like how our shredder decided to stop working mid-shred. WTH?

At noon Collin came home from running errands so I took at break to eat lunch. By that time I had gotten the first wall done and had started working around the door. For some reason that first wall felt like it took a really long time. By the time I finally finished it I had decided that I was only going to do half the room yesterday....this was too much work for one day...

After lunch Collin had to run back to the duplexes so I said I was going to work until he got back. The second half of the room went WAY faster than the first and by the time he got back at 3 pm I had all but one wall painted.

Our original plan was to paint three of the walls this tan/brown color called Mocha Suede and the window wall blue. We looked at a bunch of different blues and decided on one called Picasso's Blue Period. I'm not sure what we were smoking the night we decided on this blue but it was the most hideous, obnoxious blue I've ever seen. I knew as soon as Collin opened the can that I wasn't going to like it. But we decided to put some on the wall anyway, just to be positive. One swipe and I told Collin to STOP! I hate it. Yuck. No way. But he insisted we needed to put more to really see it. A minute or two later I was in the kitchen and I could still hear him painting blue on the wall and I yelled at him again STOP IT! And he yelled back I NEED TO SEE IT!! When I came back into the room this is what I saw:

AHHH!!! I know, shield your eyes! Isn't that horrid??
So, I finished the room because there was no way I was going to stare at that for even another 24 hours. Here's the final picture I took.

Over all I'm really happy with the color but this morning I woke up and noticed that when I was finishing the last window wall I got some paint on the first wall (the one to the left in the picture above) and the paint must not have been mixed good enough or maybe it was just that it was from a different bucket.....I'm not sure what but I can see roller marks on the first wall. And I don't like it. So I need to do some touch-up work and I'm afraid I might end up having to redo wall #1. Which wouldn't be the worst case scenario, but still kind of a bummer. We also need to do some ceiling touch-ups and put the trim on and order curtains. And we're still waiting from a couple more pieces of furniture to be delivered, so we're definitely not done, but it feels so good to have finally gotten this project started. Some day, hopefully before the shower in June, I'll be able to show you the room completely finished.
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
[Edited to Add: Dude, sometimes I can be such an ass. It just dawned on me that, hello!, maybe your house is painted in Picasso's Blue Period. I didn't mean it was hideous and obnoxious in your room, it just did not look good in mine. I like it in yours :) ]

Thursday, April 24, 2008

100 Things to Do Before I Go (# 1 - 25)

Inspired by some friends and others, I've started my own "100 Things to do" list. I'm not completely done with it yet, in fact I only have about 30 things written down, but already this exercise has been very enlightening and I highly suggest you do it too. I'm excited to finish my list and share it with you here and if you decide to do it, I'd love to hear yours. For now here is my first installment, numbers 1 - 25.

1. Visit all 50 states.
2. Learn how to speak French fluently. Speak it with my Mom and my children.
3. Return to Tahiti and this time dive there.
4. Go spelunkering
5. Ride a bike (with a front basket) through the countryside of France.
6. Go on a mission trip with our church.
7. Visit Memphis with my Mom and her friends.
8. Go saneing again with my Dad. Also, take my kids saneing with my Dad.
9. Visit an orphanage to read to, play with, or just visit the children.
10. Do the same at a Children’s hospital.
11. Go to Istanbul, Turkey.
12. Own my own business.
13. Grow asparagus in our garden. Also, garlic.
14. Plant and maintain an herb garden for a full year. Only use herbs from that garden.
15. Go on a safari.
16. Get my hunting license.
17. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
18. Grow grapes and make my own wine.
19. Become certified as a personal trainer.
20. Get our wedding pictures developed. Display some in our house.
21. Embrace my naturally curly hair.
22. Compete in a sprint triathlon.
23. Run a 5K with Collin.
24. Spend a week backpacking/canoeing in the Boundary Waters.
25. Own a vacation cottage. Spend summers relaxing there.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Coming straight to your Inbox

A few of you have asked if I had anything on this blog that would notify you if a new entry was posted. Guess what?! After much sweat, tears, and hard work I finally have one up and running!

Okay, I didn't really sweat, or cry, or work that hard....but there was alot of swearing - trust me on that. Damn it, this one isn't working either? What the eff? Piece of Sh......

It took me three trial runs before I finally found a service that, you know, actually notified me when I posted a new entry. Which, I don't know, was kinda key in this whole deal....

So Thank you Feedblitz for stepping up and doing your job!

If you are interested in subscribing to posts via email all you have to do is enter your email address in the Notify Me! box at the right. You'll then have to complete an image verification and you should be set. Simple as that.

Notices of new entries are sent out each evening, so they may be a few (or sometimes several) hours delayed, but again at least they seem to actually be working. Emails will be addressed from Feedblitz and will have "My Merlot" in the subject line. You will want to make sure that your spam folder doesn't pick them up - I did have that problem once at the beginning.

Just doing my job to clutter up your inbox :)


Now, on to a hypothetical question in which I'm looking for hypothetical advice.

There are a couple of people in this household who may or may not be throwing a bridal shower in June. These people may or may not be having a discussion regarding shower favors. One of these people may or may not feel like you should have favors to give to your attendees while the other person may or may not think this is insane.

What do you think? Have you given favors at showers you have thrown? Have you received them at showers you have attended? Do you like this idea or is it a waste of money? I may or may not need your help!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy Birthday CaS!

Nature, lover of

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Things Maia has taught me

With the recent (yet still sporadic) temperature warm-up I’ve been trying to make a point of taking Maia on walks in the evenings that I don’t have other obligations. I love being outside and these walks give me a chance to clear my head and let the creative thoughts flow. But the reason I take her has nothing to do with releasing stress or coming up with my next idea for a business venture. Very simply, it is because she loves to go. She starts to get excited as soon as I mention the word and by the time the leash comes out I’m sometimes worried she might actually pee her pants. I’m not going to lie and say she walks well on a leash, because she doesn’t. She’s a 100+ lb puppy that was bred for pulling carts in the mountains, a task I’m certain she would be good at. She hunkers down, bulges her muscles and pulls. And when she sees a bird flying over there or a twig blowing across the road over there, she darts to it. There have been times where I was certain I was going to return home with skinned knees or a broken ankle. But those moments are always overshadowed by the joy I see in her eyes when she climbs up big on a snow bank or looks out into the field and lets the wind blow in her face. And when we get home and she looks up at me with the big brown eyes as if to say “Thank You”, I promise her we’ll go again soon.

On a recent walk I started thinking back to a year ago. She was just three months old and the furthest we’d get on our “walks” was down to the end of the road. And often times I’d have to carry her up and down the driveway because she was so scared of the puddles that had formed after the snow melted and the rain started. I can’t believe she has been with us for over a year already. I can’t believe how much she has grown in that year. And I can’t believe how much I have learned in the last year.

1) You will have pee, poop, and puke all over your house. Including on your new off-white carpeting. Some stains will come out, others won’t. In the end, as long as it doesn’t smell, you don’t care.

2) Your puppy may piddle 7 times within an hour after you return home from work. You will tell her if she does it one more time she is being shipped back to Iowa. On the 8th time you scream NO! but love her anyway.

3) After catching her pooping inside the house you will yell Get Out! Get Out! Get Out! She will take you very literally and bust through the screen door. 9 months later that screen will still be flapping in the wind and when you see it you will smile.

4) Pet hair will invade your house. It will be on the floor, furniture, and your clothing. You will not be able to keep up with it and often times you will see big balls of hair hording in the corners. As long as they don’t ask to join you at the table for dinner, you will leave them in peace.

5) Furniture will get scratched. You can either place something over the scratch to hide it, or leave it visible as a character mark.

6) Knick-knacks, pictures, books, paper towels, and other assorted items will be chewed up and strewn throughout your house. Yes, even the figurine you got in Tahiti. It’s all stuff. Most of it can be replaced. What can’t is still stuff and you realize you’re life continues to move forward without it.

7) Socks can be swallowed whole. They can also be puked up or pooped out whole.

8) When your puppy cries at 1 am from her kennel you will get out of bed immediately to take her to potty or calm her down. When she does it again at 3am and 5am the routine is the same.

9) A left-over Thanksgiving turkey carcass should not be consumed by a puppy.

10) If consumed your puppy will have the worst diarrhea you could ever possibly imagine. This will happen on your living room floor and all over the kitchen. Let me repeat, ALL OVER the kitchen. Your husband will find it and for the first time in his life clean up poop without gagging. Okay… he will gag, but he’ll still clean it up. Also, 5 months later you’ll still find poop splatters on the kitchen wall.

11) When your tired puppy climbs up on the couch with you and curls up into a ball, you will find yourself scooting over to make sure she has enough room.

12) The homemade shortcake with filling cookie treats found at the front of Petco taste good. Really good.

13) The teddy graham looking treats do not.

14) Every morning your heart will break as you see her standing at the window begging you not to go.

15) Every night when you come home her snout pressed up against that same window will wash away all the stress of the day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No postage necessary if mailed in US

Dear Resident of Clark Street,

Today is April 16th. This means it is:

  • 1 day past Tax day
  • 24 days past Easter
  • 62 days past Valentine's Day
  • 113 days past Christmas

It would be completely appropriate at this point to take down the 3-foot plastic manger scene, blow-up Santa, and other miscellaneous decorations adorning your front yard.

Just sayin'.

Love always,



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Doctor Appointment Recap

When I walked into the clinic a week and a half ago something instantly told me that things were going to go well. I'm not sure if it was because the sun was shining and it was feeling like spring, or if it was because the clinic was separate from the hospital (unlike my last doctor's office), or if it was because the receptionist was exceptionally nice, but I had a good feeling. That of course didn't stop me from almost coming to tears as I looked at the parenting magazines and the nerves set it.

After the nurse called us back and took my blood pressure she left with a smile saying the doctor would be right in. That's when Collin noticed the stirrups and started to panic. "You don't have to get in those, do you??" I laughed, but honestly I didn't know. The last time I did, so I really wasn't sure what to expect.

A couple of minutes later Dr. A walked in and immediately I knew I was going to like him. He asked why I was there and I said I was looking for a second opinion because I was frustrated with my current doctor. Then I told him that I hadn't had a period since August. Since August? He asked. We need to give you an ovulation pill. And that's when I wanted to jump up and throw my arms around him. That is exactly what I was hoping he'd say and it happened so easily - no prodding, no begging, no asking of questions. Within 45 seconds of being there my hopes were coming true.

But it gets better....he has a plan for us for the next four months and I'm so excited because I finally feel like we are doing something! Like we might actually make some progress.

So the evening of my appointment I started taking my second round of progesterone. I took this back in January - it is taken to induce a period. I'm now done with my prescription and sitting here twiddling my thumbs hoping I'll actually start in the next couple of days. Once I start, on CD5 I'll starting taking Clomid - which is used to induce ovulation. For those that read Ember you may be thinking...hmmm...this all sounds so familiar. You would be right.

My first round of Clomid will be 50 milligrams. If it doesn't work this month, next month we'll step up to 100mg, followed by 150 mg.

If in four months we are not yet pregnant, we'll step back and do some additional testing. Specifically, a sperm analysis and dye test, where they check to make sure my tubes aren't blocked. I shouldn't even say this, I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but because of my surgery for endo 5 1/2 years ago I've always been worried about my tubes being blocked. So the thought of that test scares me a little.

But, we're not going to worry about that right now. Right now I'm looking forward to the next four months. I'm looking forward to maybe, just maybe, getting a chance to actually try. And that makes me really excited!

I never thought I'd be saying this, but I CAN. NOT. WAIT. for my period to start!

Monday, April 14, 2008

No time to write....too busy shaking my fist at April 15th

I know I told you on Saturday that when we got home last night I'd write to tell you all about my doctor's appointment. Unfortunately, last night I had another minor tax crisis to deal with. This one was actually a little more warranted than the first one and it has ended with me needing to file an amended state return for my parents. It's my own fault, I got trigger happy and filed without having all the details. But still, right now I'd like to give April 15th a big 'ol middle finger. I'm hoping tomorrow night I'll have some time to write. So, until then....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two reminders that people are good

1) Awww, you guys....awhile back I told you that I had an appointment with a new doctor on April 4th and all week long you have been calling and emailing and asking how it went. Your care and concern has floored me and I am once again reminded how lucky I am to have such great family and friends! The appointment went really really well and when we get back from our first wedding of the season tomorrow, I'll tell you all about it!

2) I was south of Oshkosh last night when Kira told me that it was snowing pretty heavily at home. I got all the way to Amherst, less than 20 minutes from our house, before I saw any signs of it. Gradually the sprinkles of rain turned to sleet and then to big white flakes. The first time my car fishtailed I knew I better slow down; it was obviously slicker than I thought. The second time it happened, within an instant, I knew it was too late. My car slid across the lanes, spun backwards, and careened into the ditch. It all happened within seconds and as I gripped the steering wheel and braced myself I was certain that the I was going to roll. Instead, about half way down my tires hit a groove and it spun me back around. The trip felt so long that I was afraid when I opened my eyes I was going to have crossed the median and ended up on the other side of the highway, facing oncoming traffic. Instead, luckily, I hit a soft spot and lurched to a stop, safely, in a foot of mud, in the very center of the median. My brother was on duty and came immediately, tow truck in hand. As I waited a nice gentleman in a white truck pulled up to make sure I was okay and had a phone to call help. People are so good.

They pulled me out pretty easily and as I sat in the back of the squad listening to all of the reports of rolled cars and people in the ditches I thanked God he kept me safe and thanked him for the policemen and tow truck drivers, who venture out in these awful and dangerous conditions simply to help others in need.

Cheers to very Happy Birthday!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Weekend Travels

Although it feels like light years ago now (my word, is it seriously already Wednesday??), this past weekend kicked off our 2008 "summer schedule". It seems like it starts earlier and earlier each year. At dinner last Friday night our friend was joking about how we spend 95% of our summer weekends traveling to weddings/baptisms/birthday parties/graduations/bar mitzvahs/etc./etc. He was half joking....we've never been to a bar mitzvah.

This past weekend we had a 1st Communion to attend and since we were going to be out and about anyway, we decided to make a weekend of it and head south first to visit some family and friends.

We met April & Josh for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and it was so delicious I could not stop thinking about it the rest of the weekend and was SO happy to get home on Sunday evening so I could dig into my left overs. The only thing better than the food was the company. I seriously could have sat there all day long talking; it has been so long since we've been together, just the 4 of us. But, the evil eye we were getting from our waitress said we better get our butts in gear. Dude, can't you see I'm still sipping my coffee? By the way, I am addicted to coffee after a good meal these days...I have no idea where that came from but when the waitress asks dessert or coffee? I'm all over the coffee. Actually, I'd like some right now....

We then headed over to my cousins to meet our newest nephew. (okay, technically he is not our nephew, he's our second cousin, but that sounds so dumb and it is so much easier to say niece and nephew, so I'm going to say it. I could clarify with pseudo-nephew, but that's alot of letters. )

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, we headed over to Andrea & Clint's to see the kids and meet Baby M.

I realize I may be a partial, but is he not precious? He slept almost the entire time we were there and I couldn't get enough of him. M. is currently weighing in at just a over 8 lbs and I couldn't get over how tiny he seemed. It's been almost a year since I've been around a baby this small; I wanted to gobble up his wee little hands. Oh, so cute!

After our visit we headed a couple of hours north to spend time with Collin's cousin Jenny and her family. On Sunday morning our nephew, I., (again, no technicalities here) received his 1st Communion. I will never forget the look on his face as he climbed back into the pew and gave his Uncle Marc a knuckle knock. At just 8 years old he was filled with such pride and joy, and it illuminated on his face. I want to bottle up his innocence and enthusiasm. We can learn so much from children; their feelings are so pure, so true. I mean, when was the last time you smiled so unabashedly?

I always love being with Jenny's family. She has 5 siblings who collectively have 8 children all very close in age. When they are all together there is always so much commotion and every time we are with them I'm reminded of why I would love to have a big family some day.
The other highlight of the weekend was seeing these blue eyes. This is our nephew A. Isn't he a cutie?

On a completely unrelated note, yesterday morning at 7:30, as we were getting ready to walk out the door for work, Maia decided it would be a good time to find a dead carcus out in the woods and roll in it. She had it ALL over her and proceeded to come in the house and roll all over our bed! She must have also eaten it because in the afternoon she puked in the dining room, saturating both the rug and the curtain. Collin tried giving her a bath last night, but she was scared to death to get in the tub and he couldn't get all the smell out. So tonight she went to Petco for a bath. And now our puppy smells like a puppy again, which might not sound too appetizing to you, but let me tell you, it's much better than laying in bed with a port-a-john. (Yes, our 105 lb dog still sleeps in our bed...I know, you don't even have to say it....)

Friday, April 4, 2008

March Winner Announcement

Congratulations Ember!!

A big congrats goes out to Ember, who is our March Fitness Challenge winner! Ember beat her average and earned her bonus points in all four weeks of the month of March. Congratulations Em! Send me an email with your prize choice from the list below.
  1. Tae Bo Amped- Core Express - I know I've expressed my love for Tae Bo on here before, so I won't spend the time telling you again that I LOVE Billy!! But I will just say that I LOVE Billy!! Not only do all of his work outs kick my butt, but he motivates and inspires me at the same time. At the end of these Amped tapes he gives a little pep talk and in one of them he says "In order to reach your goals, you must engage in them." That gets me every time. Not just about working out, but other goals in my life. This is a story for another time but some of you probably know that one of my dreams is to own my own business someday. Every morning that he tells me that it reminds me that if I want this to come true, all I have to do is make it come true. I'm including the Core Express tape this month because it is an "express" 30-minute work-out for the time crunched and I thought it fit in nicely with our "kick it up a notch (add 30 min)" challenge.

  2. 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones! - My criteria for judging work out videos is very simple. If they make me swear, they're a keeper. When I was using this tape one blissful Tuesday evening and suddenly found myself giving Amy a big 'ol F@#! You! I knew I'd hold onto this one. Collin, who was in the next room over heard me and threw in a "Yah, shove that green thing up your ass!" I hate to include two videos in one prize list, but this one again just fits in so nicely with our March challenge. This video has five segments, arms/shoulders, butt/thighs, abs, total body, and stretching. Each is 10 minutes long and you can design your work-out by mixing and matching which ever segments you choose. This is again great for those that are time crunched. If you only have 20 min, no problem, choose two segments and your set. But, in my opinion, the best thing about this tape is that the body band provides enough resistance to tone and is especially perfect for anyone that doesn't particularly care for lifting weights.

  3. Women's Health 2008 Training Guide - Unfortunately I can't find specific information about this training guide online, so I've linked you to the Women's Health Magazine website. I've been eyeing this up for the past couple of months and finally caved and bought it this week when I saw that it is only going to be on the news stands until May 6th. I haven't had a chance to read through this in detail yet, but I've flipped through a few times and it looks like it's filled with some good strength training moves and cardio programs. And in the back there is a bonus slim-down cookbook section. What I'm most excited about is the 8-week Ultimate Fitness Plan that is included. I love plans and I find that I am more likely to stick to a work-out when I have something to follow. I have a plan from my M&F Hers magazine that I've been using on and off for about 5 years now. Because this says it is new for 2008 and that it will be on the stands until the beginning of May, I'm not sure if there will be a new one that comes out in May or not. But in case this is the last month to purchase it, I wanted to give you the heads up that it is out there.

And of course, there is always the option of a $10 gift certificate to either MC Sports or Dunham's.

I just want to say Congratulations again to all of you. You guys really did great this past month! Keep up the good work and if you have any fitness items or stories to share, please do!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Challenge!

Ahhh! What happened to the month of March? Wasn't it just like St. Patrick's Day?? Here we are already at April 1st....actually, nearly April 2nd, and I haven't yet announced the March Fitness Challenge winner or given you your new monthly challenge. Forgive me for the delay.

Unfortunately we are only at 75% reporting and because I don't want any of you demanding a recount, I'm giving those that have not yet sent in their final week's points just a day or two more. So get your points in and I promise the big announcement will be coming soon!

What I can give you now is your challenge for the month of April. Since everyone did really great with the last challenge (you all beat your average for at least two out of the four weeks! Good job!) I'm going to take the focus slightly off of exercise for this month. I have to be honest, I'm being a little selfish with this challenge because it is something that I personally need to work on. But because it is still in the name of being healthy, we're going to give it a whorl! So, without further ado...I present to you April's Challenge: Hydration Station.

Wow, you know I'm tired when I name a challenge "Hydration Station." I'm going to reread this in the morning and just shake my head.....

Anyway, I think we all know staying hydrated is extremely important, but if you are anything like me, getting those recommended daily cups is pretty tough. I've read alot of differing opinions on how much water we should be drinking each day; the most recent thing I read said 1/2 of your body weight in ounces and more on work-out days. But, for this month's challenge bonus points are going to be awarded as follows:

6 cups (48 oz) = 2 bp
8 cups (64 oz) or more = 3 bp

Bonus points will be awarded each day, so you have the opportunity to earn up to 21 bp in any given week. (Note, for week one we'll start tomorrow, April 2nd)

I know this means more keeping track of things and good God woman are we keeping track of enough?? I know. I'm sorry. But I really think this is a good time to do this, to get in the habit of staying hydrated before we enter the hot and humid summer months and risk injury from dehydration.

Because I know some of you might be wondering if your Gatorade will count towards your water intake I'm going to tell you to use your discretion. I know there are also many differing opinions on alternatives to water for staying hydrated. For purposes of this challenge caffeinated and alcoholic beverages will not count. For other alternatives, again, use your discretion.

And lastly, I'm going to leave you with two articles on how to drink more water and how to make drinking water more enjoyable, because I know some of you are totally dreading this month. If anyone else has any tips, please leave them in the comments or send me an email!

Good luck to you all!

How to Drink More Water Every Day
How to Make Drinking Water More Enjoyable