Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Katie and Adam's Wedding 3-27-2010

Oh, I had a lovely weekend. . .my cousin Katie got married to Adam and it was a blast! From Friday morning through Sunday night we had nothing but fun! Hungover, chaotic fun but still fun! I don't really know what to write about (believe it or not!) because I can't really focus so I am just going to post some of my favorite pictures from the weekend and write some commentary. Some of these were taken by me and some by my cousin and aunt. When the real ones from the photographer come maybe I will refer back to this weekend.

On Friday afternoon us ladies went get pedicures and manicures (I just got a pedicure). This is a rare indulgence for me so I gladly joined the fun. That is me and my pal Kate. She was my personal attendant in my wedding! If you look beyond that screen and the end of the row, you might see what looks like cash registers. That is because we were in the nail salon in Walmart! Hahaha! It was actually not a bad place.

I love this photo. My aunt turned and snapped it as we were walking to the rehearsal dinner. Katie is leading the way followed by Bree, her lontime roommate and bridesmaid, and myself.

That is me with my mom and my aunt at Chubs Pub. Strangely, we all wore leopard print cardigans without any prior discussion or plan. I guess they just have good taste!

Aww, me and the bride! That is the groom giving us the side eye on the left!

Here is Katie, being entertained by girlish nonsense, before the ceremony when everyone was being seated upstairs.

We have been tight with these cousins (Katie and Brenna) since my earliest memories. It is probably because our moms are sisters and have a high level of familial entanglement that has continued with us. Also, we went on many family vacations (Big Sky!) when we were growing up and all have the shared experience of attending NDSU. We all know each other's business and if one of us tells another anything the others will all know in no time.

There are the "mothers" (my mom, my aunt Kris, the mother of the bride, and my aunt Jenny). They are standing with their mother. The photographer took one of Andrea, Katie, Brenna, and I (sorry Pete! You're the odd boy out, as usual!) so hopefully it turns out. The candid I have isn't very good. Also, I should mention that I have two younger girl cousins and one younger boy cousin who were not present.

There is Justin and I! It is one of the only. . .or the ONLY. . .picture of just the two of us from the weekend. I'm glad I insisted that we take it!

Oh, there is the beautiful bride! Such a patriotic shot. . .She is wearing my moms pearls that came from the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea (can't remember which.)

There is the whole wedding party! (Not bad for a candid!) I love the flowers and dresses!

The new Mrs. Riesen ready to bar hop and head to her party! Her dress was beautiful.

Very cute picture!

The party bus stopped at the Turf and the wedding party had the chance to take a few pictures at the gate of NDSU! It was a nice day but colder than it appears!

This is a great picture that I think looks professional! I believe Brenna took it, however!

The dance was a blast and there were friends and relatives to see everywhere I turned. I hardly slept all weekend and on Monday at work I had a rare problem of almost falling asleep at my computer (that never happens to me!) and I had to resort to drinking a nasty 16 oz. energy drink from the vending machine that had 60 grams of sugar and 80 mg. of caffeine and who knows what else contained in its jittery logo decorated can. It was all worth it! I can't wait for the next wedding (Laura, on May 1st)!

The only downfall of the weekend is that Katie is moving to Northern Minnesota to join Adam. Fargo seems strange without her around. She used to work at West Acres Mall and it will be strange going there without thinking "I'm going to stop and see Katie!" It would be we fun if we could all live in the same town but chances are it won't happen. . .at least we are all in the same "region" unlike my mom and her siblings.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lady in White (or Ivory, or Pink. . .)

In honor of my cousin Katie's wedding this weekend, and in response to my recent photo scanning, this post will be dedicated to some of the bridal fashions of women I know (and even my own lovely wedding dress!)

I have to start with my mom's dress. An interesting fact about it is that the dress was designed by Alfred Angelo for the wedding of Rocky Balboa and Adrian in the movie "Rocky II"! I found a picture of Adrian and Rocky online.

It's kind of hard to see the details, but it was the best still photo I could find. I didn't know this, but when I was searching for this picture I learned that the actress who played Adrian also played Constanzia Corleone in the Godfather (the mother of the baby in my baptism post a last week!) Crazy coincidence. I've never seen Rocky before.

I haven't scanned my parents' wedding album and for some reason the only picture I had of their wedding has my grandparents in it. . .I was too lazy to crop them out. They were married on June 28, 1980, and their wedding fashions were pretty understated compared to the styles of the 70's and the wild, puffy sleeved styles of the later 80's. That dress was quite a splurge, I gather, but hey, she deserved it after making her own prom dresses, sewing dresses for college formals and even sewing her bridesmaids their dresses! Of course it still fits too. . .she is a freak of nature! It was kind of tight for me when I tried it on as a 14 year old. . .blah!

Next will move on to my Grandma Dorothy and myself. I am combining our paragraphs because of these two cool pictures! We were married in the same church. I think it is crazy that we have a photo of ourselves in the exact same place!

That's me and Tim walking down the aisle.

This is my grandma and her dad walking down the aisle in June of 1954! It's a multi-generation tradition! Tim and his grandpa both have the same look on their face! Grandma's dress was also worn by her older sisters. It has a cool seam at the waist.

That is me in my lovely dress! It is ivory and I knew it was my favorite as soon as I tried it on. I pulled it off the rack and my mom kind of raised her eyebrows. She wasn't crazy about the sight of it in its plastic dress bag. Once it was on she said "Hmm! You should get that one!" I didn't commit right away, mostly because I didn't want to stop trying on dresses after one day. I love the pintuck seams in the skirt and the cap sleeves. Also, it has a corset back so it will fit for awhile!

That is my mom's parents at their wedding. You may have seen another photo of their wedding in my previous post. I love that wedding dress! It's so cute! The details. . .the rolled sleeves, the belt! The corsage instead of a bouquet! Also, she had some pretty sweet shoes on (you can see them in the previous photo.) I would definitely wear this dress if it would fit over one of my thighs (which it wouldn't) and if it hadn't been lost when it was used in a community fashion show during my mom's high school days. (Sad. . .) You can't see the color in the photo, but the dress was a light pink, not white. I have a feeling this wedding was done on a budget and they didn't have a professional photographer or alot of fancy flowers. (However, this didn't diminish the marriage!) They each had one attendant and the woman with her back to the camera is Grandma's sister, Gloria, the maid of honor. Her dress is at my grandparents' house still and it is so tiny that it was already too small for me and my cousins by the time we were old enough to know it existed. It is light blue and very cute as well. Oh, I should mention that my sister and I both wore her garter when we got married! It was "something blue"!

Awww, there is my sister Andrea and her husband Kirk. They were married in September of 2008. Her dress was by the same designer as mine but they are pretty different! It is kind of hard to see the details here as well, but it has lace overlay and had the occasional sequin to add sparkle. Very pretty. Our cousin Katie's dress is by the same designer too! You'll have to stay tuned for pictures of that one!

Now that I'm on a roll I wish I had more pictures and had included bridesmaid dresses as well. I wish I had a photo of Justin's parents wedding, which was (I believe?) in 1972. The bridesmaid dresses were the epitome of 1970's fashion with a pink bodice and a colorful pucci inspired print skirt! I haven't dug into his family photos with my scanner yet though! Also, I wish I had scanned a photo of my great-grandmothers dress from the 1920s which was a beautiful and expensive looking beaded sheath. So pretty! Once again, I would wear it if it would fit me!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mom, don't read this at work. . .

I recently had a scan fest with my scanner involving pictures from both of my grandmothers' collections and I was about to gear up for a very fun wedding dress related post in honor of my cousin Katie's wedding this weekend. However, I found myself instead thinking about my late grandfather, Harold, my mom's dad, who died around this time in 2006. I remember reading letters to the editor in Newsweek magazine a few years ago in response to an article about grief and the various ways people deal with it. One man wrote something about how his wife had died of cancer several years before, and he often felt like he was the only one who still missed her. It was so sad. Well, no one is going to forget any relative of mine! So I am writing this post in memory of my grandpa so my family can have a moment of reflection and those of you who never met him can get an idea of what he was like.

When he died it was new territory for me. I was 23 years old and no one except for my great grandparents and a few great aunts and uncles had died. (I know I'm really fortunate that I knew all four of my grandparents and they were around until I was 23.) It was kind of a relief, as sad as that sounds, because he had faded into oblivion over the two preceding years as Alzheimers took over. Seriously, he was completely out of it and had no idea who anyone was or where he was. He spent his final year in a Alzheimers ward that had a TV playing Laurence Welk reruns on a constant loop with a neigbor who enjoyed laying on the floor of his room and a bunch of other nutjobs in the same situation. The last time I visited him was on Thanksgiving and he seemed completely confused by the room full of people that surrounded him. It really is a tragic way to end but at least they don't seem to know what is going on anyway. He started acting wierd at my sister's high school graduation party in 2003 and it escalated pretty fast into crazy behavior such as yelling at the mirror, swearing at my grandma (unheard of when he was still in his right mind) and going into the kitchen at night and messing with food. Some of the things he did were so outlandish we would laugh hysterically for lack of a better reaction.

This is what he was really like and how we remember him. . .

This picture is a good portrayal of how he was during my childhood. He was a teacher and coach of several sports for 36 years with Red Lake Falls being the longest and final place. He was the athletic director and taught social studies and government. RLF attire was a wardrobe staple for him and e always wore his winter hats that way!

I don't know much about his childhood in Duluth, MN, and my grandma didn't have any pictures. He was the 2nd youngest of 6. He was nicknamed "Subby" (not sure why) and when his neices told thier father, his brother Eugene (who was too old to travel at the time) about Harold dying they said he looked sad, shook his head, and said "Subby. . ." He went to a big high school in Duluth and was on the basketball team and there is a picture of him in action in his high school yearbook. I'm not sure if the photo above is from high school or college.

I love this photo and I wonder who took it! loved to be outdoors and was a lifeguard during the summer in Red Lake Falls when the river that ran through the town had a swimming beach. My mom remembers him leaping through the water and snatching little kids caught in the current with his long gangly arms. On the last day the beach was open he would pile as many kids as would fit into their station wagon and drive them home so they could stay as long as they wanted.

This photo is either a graduation photo or a high school yearbook photo. He looks kind of like my brother! Well, a dark eyed, straight haired version anyway!
He was involved with my mom and her siblings and didn't hesitate to help with babies or change diapers. (This was quite enlightened behavior for the times, I'm told!) He also used to iron his own clothes (I don't even to that!) I think that baby is my uncle Steve, the oldest kid.

This is my grandparents' wedding day on July 3, 1954. They look like they had endless possibilities!

As I mentioned, he loved outdoor activities and when my mom was growing up they camped all the time in the summer. It looks like they had some good food for a camping trip! Unless this is a picture of a picnic. . .I love Phyllis's kerchieff (so retro!) and how the person in the corner is smoking at the table! This picture could be in a vintage Coleman advertisement!

This is one hilarious family picture. Why isn't anyone looking? Harold looks kind of exhasperated with the famly!

Grandpa and "Phyllis Ann" (he would always address cards to my grandma to "Phyllis Ann" instead of just "Phyllis"!)

Aww, look who it is! It's me, his first (and favorite!) grandchild. . .I'm told he could spend hours doing childish things to entertain me and had endless tolerance for reading me Little Golden Books. There was this stupid one about barnyard animals and I would always slam it shut when the page about horses came along (don't ask me why. I don't have anything against horses!) and he would repeat the book over and over and laugh each time I slammed it shut. I'm sure this only encouraged my behavior.

This was taken at my cousin Sam's baptism and by the looks of our country looking flowered dresses, it was sometime in the mid 90's (YUCK!). One more baby came after him, and it's a shame that those three youngest didn't get to know Grandpa the way we older kids did.
A few more things that don't have a corresponding picture. . .
This one really gets to me. . .Grandpa always loved dogs (and dogs loved him!). The family always had a dog and I remember a sheltie mutt named Kipi and a different variety of sheltie mutt named Maggie. When my family first moved to our farm we adopted a dog from the Humane Society. I still am annoyed that my family went to get a dog without me! (I think I was at a birthday party or maybe school). Cleo was a yellow lab that was timid and scared (thats why they picked her!). She had clearly come from an abusive home and was terrified of men and protective of my mom and us kids. I don't want to know what she saw in her previous life. A strange man (probably an insurance man) came to the yard once and Cleo ran circles around my mom and little Pete while barking frantically as though she were trying to protect them. She eventually became accustomed to my dad and other familiar men but it took time. However, there was one man who she was never afraid of. The first time my grandparents visited after she came to our house Grandpa set up a lawn chair and sat down in front of the house with Maggie on a leash. Cleo went to his side without hesitation. I am fascinated by animals' instincts and what she was sensing at that moment.
The last thing I will add was that in the days after Grandpa died, the obituary guestbook was filled with condolences from former students with fond memories. This will sound kind of idealistic, but these accounts are from people outside the family so I guess there is something to them. What stands out to me is the accounts of strictness but also fairness and kindness and how students from rough families or poor families who weren't always taken seriously or given a chance were treated the same as the others (even the over achieving daughter Cynthia!). I have encountered several teachers and coaches who could not overcome that challenge (and it is a challenge. . .I even faced myself when I used to work with young children.)
Sorry, that got out of control and hopefully it wasn't too sickening for non-relatives. It's hard to reign in your thoughts when they are from the heart, I guess! Stay tuned for a more universally appealing wedding dress post soon!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Eggs and Baskets

I am at home in Bismarck this weekend and I have been doing alot of cleaning (Justin keeps everything tidy, but not necessarily clean. . .there were dust bunnies taking over the place!) These nasty bunnies reminded me that Easter (and my birthday!) are fast approaching and I decided to get out our Easter decorations. Last year they never saw the light of day because they were buried in a storage unit and we were too lazy to find them.
I am embarassed to admit that our outdoor Christmas decorations are still on display and they look really sad and dejected. The ornaments on the tree are so faded you can't tell what color they are and, as you can see, the lights have fallen out of their hooks and are dangling from the roof. Very sad. I don't feel too bad, however, because the people who live across the street have even more decorations still out. I almost took a picture of their yard but didn't want them calling the police to report me as a stalker.

I love Easter and when I was growing up we had alot of Easter decorations around our house. We would find a tree branch with ample twigs, shove it in pot with an already potted plant, and decorate it with miniature ornaments and eggs. When I was baby, someone, most likely my collectible-loving Grandma Dorothy, decided that I would collect bunny rabbit figurines. By the time elementary school was over I had many on display in my room. It got kind of out of control, but whatev. . .(Andrea was given cat and kitten figurines.) Hopefully I have a baby daughter one day so I can display the bunnies in her room. Or a baby son. . .at least until they can form their own opinions about what they want in their room! Otherwise they will remain at my parents house with all of my other crap from childhood

I realized that I should take some of the Easter decorations from home because our supply is very sad. We have this cheap and country looking door hanging item,

this cheap egg platter and matching candy dishes I got from Target's $ aisle,

And this basket Justin gave me during law school. That yellow blob is a stuffed Peep chick (like the marshmallow candy) that I bought on clearance a few years ago.

And thats it! We also had some plastic Easter eggs that I had completely forgotten about in the box. I'm having a flood of Easter memories right now, so maybe I'll save those for another day closer to Easter. . .

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let His Little Child Come In

I had just had a crazy weekend. . .I'm still tired! I travelled between Grand Forks and Fargo to see family and attend various showers. The dissapointing thing about the weekend was that my camera had a dead battery and I left my charger in Bismarck so I don't have any photos of all the fun! I am very dissapointed because Justin's sister and her husband own an old house near downtown Grand Forks and just did a big renovation project that could have given me several days of material but neither of us had a camera there this weekend! I don't think describing it would be the same without pictures, so I will save that for another day.

On Sunday morning, our newest nephew, Cayson Reid, was baptized in Grand Forks. I haven't gone to church on a regular basis since high school due to the fact that I spend the whole time daydreaming, regardless of the religion, charisma of the clergy, traditional or contemporary nature of the service or season of the church calender. The only thing that really impacts me is music (and not the crummy music we used to perform once a month as Sunday school students. I appologize to anyone who had to listen to that. I know we really were not that cute to look at and not pleasant at all to hear! We did not do anything worthwhile for "Give Me Oil in My Lamp" or "Jesus Loves the Little Children). Another thing that stands out to me is baptisms. Although baptims are a happy occasion I always find myself getting caught off guard by emotion due to the combination of the innocence and beauty of the baby just starting its life surrounded by love and the fact that the ceremony is often preceded or followed by the song "Jesus Loves Me". Although it is a simple song associated with childhood, sunday school and beginners' piano lessons, it makes me emotional because that song is also played often at funeral services and the last verse, "Jesus loves me, he who died, Heaven's gates to open wide, he will wash away my sin, let his little child come in," applies perfectly to celebrating the beginning and ending of life. On that verse, the organist always combines the organ's stops to make a loud and joyful sound, in contrast to the somber tone of the previous verses, and it makes me feel emotional every time. It can be pretty intense, and I'm sure other people will relate when reading this.

I know I'm not alone in feeling this impact from a baptism. There are examples of the feelings they can conjure in famous TV shows and movies. I immediately think of the show "Sex and the City", and the episode where the skeptical and cynical (and hilarious) character Miranda agrees to have her baby baptised even though she isn't religious in order to please her future husband and the baby's father. She and the other women are caught off guard when they are all moved by the ritual. And who can leave out the famous baptism scene in the movie "The Godfather" when the diabolical Michael Corleone stands up as his nephew's godfather. The scene alternates between images of the baby in a white lace outfit being baptised while Michael vows to renounce evil and images of a murderous rampage of revenge instigated by Michael and the Corleone family, empasizing the way that every person has multiple sides to their personality (although "The Godfather" is a pretty extreme example!)

I don't really know what the point of this was. . .I guess to say congratulations to my new little nephew! He's a sweet baby and he has alot of people behind him!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm a Cat Burglar!

For my job I had to get fingerprinted at the police station as part of my background check . Also we will eventually be using a fingerprint sensor to open the door to the room where we work. I went last week after my first day. The officer wasn't very happy with the way the prints turned out because they were hard to see and the ridges were not very defined. Today at work I found out that my prints were not clear enough to use (I think for the purpose of the door scanner).

Back to the police station I went, where an office clerk and an officer tried to get a good reading and they still weren't sure if some of the fingers were clear enough! So weird. . .maybe I should think about a life of crime!

I changed the color of the background in honor of St. Patrick's Day. It makes some of the font kind of hard to read, I realize now. I will try to improve the situation.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Bar

No not Chubs, not the Turf, not the Stadium, not the drink burning Comfort Inn. I'm referring to Kirk and Andrea's basement. I blogged about this last fall when I was visiting. It was still a work in progress. Over the weekend Kirk and our friend Jacob (Bailey, as he is known!) finally finished it by grouting the tiles that cover the surface. It looked pretty fun. I have had ambitions to do projects with tile. I kind of want to make some kind of tray or other decorative object with the sea glass I have collected on my various trips to Mexico but I haven't done it yet! (Shocking, I know.)

Baily has experience with grouting.

I think this one was taken before they started. . .

This is a photo of Justin's basement work bench after he finished painting it. He also hung that shelf above it. Very nice.

No post is complete without a picture of the kitten! Allan loves to find clean clothing and whenever I have something on a hanger he finds it and lays on it. That is a dress that I tossed from the extra bedroom excess clothes closet (which is also stuffed, by the way, with little worn dress clothes and piles of my sweatshirts that didn't fit in the other closet) onto the bed. I went to continue my packing and returned to find this. He's lucky I love him (and that he doesn't shed that much!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

So I Kind of Live in Fargo Right Now. . .

Anyone who knows me knows I haven't had a job for a long time and two weeks ago I saw an advertisement for temporary attorneys online. The project lasted for 10-12 weeks, had a casual dress code and a flexible schedule that allowed four ten hour days if I wanted. The only problem was that it was in Fargo! So I didn't apply right away. Then I thought about it and realized that for the next 10-12 weeks we would be in Eastern ND almost every weekend anyway for weddings, showers, Easter, graduations, etc. And I could live in my sisters basement. So I sent my resume, they called me back and I started last Wednesday! I review documents all day and its not very exciting but I'm glad to be working.

So now I am a married woman who lives in my sister's basement! How wonderful is that? So there might be some posts related to her house and her dog instead of my house and cat! (Oh, I miss him! I hope Allan doesn't forget me! I won't see him until the weekend of March 20!)

I was shopping this afternoon and when I got back Andrea was watering her plants and she had a housewarming gift for my room!

It's a spider plant baby in a Chubs mug! That's so cute. . .the room needs help. It is chaotic because I live out of luggage. When I was unpacking a duffel bag the night I arrived I found a very cute surprise . One of Allan's favorite little mouse toys was hidden at the bottom! He likes to hide in any sort of bag so he must have left it in there when he crawled in when I was packing! It was so cute and I wish I could see him!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


During the last few months something has come over my parents. . .well I guess it's been brewing. It might have started the summer of my wedding (2007) when my mom insisted on getting a treadmill even though my dad said she'd never use it (about 800 miles on the odometer later, she's still using it! It is right by the laundry room, so it also gets used for the classic "clothes hanger" purpose sometimes. . .) It could have started when my dad started exercising after work and started dropping pounds. I didn't know about this until after the fact, but a few weeks ago those two crazy old folks called me one Saturday morning and said "We ran this morning!" I said "So? What about it?" Well, they did some "Frozen Feet" charity run in Grand Forks. Cindy did a 5K and Tim did a 10K!

Now, I have never been a big runner myself. I was always one of the slowest runners in my class during that elementary school torture tactic, the Presidential Physical Fitness Test (shudder). I was in track in middle school, and enjoyed it, but mostly I enjoyed being around my friends and all of the fooling around we did at track meets and at track practice. During college, I dutifully pounded out a mile or so on the treadmill a few times a week at the Wellness Center on campus and spent the whole time staring at the timer, waiting for it to end! Music and TV helps a little, but not much.

Well, now those two announced that they are going to participate in the Fargo Marathon. No, not the full 26 miles. BUT. . .Tim has signed up for the half and Cindy has signed up for the 10K! Now other family members are considering this event. There is NO WAY I would do 13 miles, not only because of the pain but also because of the boredom. But I have been considering the 10K for the reasons at the root of most competition. . .if they can, why can't I? So for the past week I have been alternating my favorite workout, swimming laps, with a return to the treadmill. I guess its not SO bad. I was on there for 30 minutes today and it wasn't horrible. So we'll see about this.

So anyway, I am very impressed with Tim for doing this! I know it will be done because he didn't really have a hard time with the 10K and his knees are good (I'm told knee issues are a main distance running drawback). He has really got his health under control these last few years to the benefit of his history of back problems and snoring! It's for real, with bags of old XXL clothes going to the homeless shelter in the last few years and new XLs replacing them. Very impressive!
This reminds me of the TV show "the Biggest Loser" which is on tonight! One of my faves! Dad was a football lineman in college and they are a population known for size and strength and also eating. (I've heard Tim's tales about the players lining up glasses of milk and juice all across their trays at the dining center!) Now, before he gets annoyed, I am going to say that he was never even close to the ridiculous obesity of Biggest Loser contestants (those people are big fat messes, and I don't feel bad saying so because they admit it themselves), but he is similar to some of them because EVERY season there are a few BIG guys who have a similar story: "I played college football as a lineman and I was told to eat all the time and encouraged to gain weight. When I graduated I kept eating but stopped working out." On seasons where people come with a partner, there have been former teammates on the show toghether. (They were the brown team, and they were among the biggest losers.) They are always huge, many in the 300s and even low 400s in poundage. It never fails. As soon as they quit eating their former diet (which is always horrifying! I sometimes joke that I like to eat junk food but this goes beyond going to the Pizza Hut lunch buffet once a wee. Seriously, they admit to eating several fast food double cheeseburgers a day, drinking about 40 oz. of pop regularly, and are generally pigs) and start exercising again, the former athletes that they were emerge again and they drop ALOT of weight. Like 10-20 pounds a week. One guy last season, Rudy, lost 1oo pounds in 6 weeks. It is like there bodies are saying "Oh thank you! Finally!" If I ever (god forbid) found myself on that show I would want one of them as my partner because no one can compete with them once they get going!

This is the guy who lost 100 lbs. in 6 weeks. I can't imagine how good he feels. People criticize the show as being "unhealthy" because we've always been told you should only lose 2 lbs. a week. Well, I think that is the talk of people who can't lose weight themselves. Of course its healthy. . . they weigh like 400 pounds and need to lose 200! Its not the same as someone who needs to lose 30 pounds. . .and they eat all the time on the show. It's not about starvation, its about fueling the burn! And most of the contestants start the show on multiple medications for diabetes, blood pressure, and many other ailments. By the time the season is half over they are able to stop taking them! That seems healthy to me! But whatever. . .these people really impress me (actually, the women do even more than the men because they usually have different reasons for the gain, not just remnants of excessive college football eating habits). They even finish with flat stomachs and muscular arms and legs, not the flab that is left when people have gastric bypass.

This is Dane and below is Mo, two other lineman from different seasons. They also succeeded and lost over 100 pounds. Mo got sent home right away and lost most of his weight at home.

Where is this going, you ask? Well, at the end of the season, the remaining contestants always run a marathon. (the full, not the half!) It takes them a long time, and they are trailed by medical and camera crews, but they do it!

So anyay, way to go Tim (and mother, of course)! Maybe I'll join you, maybe I'll be lining University Dr. drinking a diet coke. Who knows. The website has blogs of people who keep track of their training adventures. I'd like to follow theirs!