Fun Fourth of July (Beware, long posting!)

Well, I did it. I made it through the Fourth of July holiday with not much overeating and I even got some exercise in.

Every Fourth of July, my husband’s college buddies come and stay at our house. Most of the time, there’s at least seven to eight extra people staying at our house and most of the time, they always come on Friday and stay until Sunday or sometimes, Monday. This year, however, it was different. As the kids get older, all are teenagers now, our group seems to get smaller and smaller. 

On Friday, the one buddy and his wife and their two kids came, along my husband’s long-time friend who he grew up with and also went to college with. We made a deliciously healthy supper. We had steaks on the grill (but not big huge pieces; each steak was probably between four and six ounces), baked sweet potatoes, salad and baked beans. An interesting tidbit is that every single dressing on the table was either fat-free or light and not one single person complained and I think every single person had salad. I thought that was cool. It was also interesting that when I asked everyone before we ate if they liked sweet potatoes I got a lot of not-so-sure looks and some iffy, kind of puzzled looks. The answers were leaning more toward "not really" than "Yes, I love them!" 

Amazingly enough, everyone loved them and wished that I had made more. There was leftover steak, leftover salad and leftover beans, but not one piece of a sweet potato left. See, I make them different than what people are used to having. I think when most people think of sweet potatoes, they think of the mushy kind oozing with butter and brown sugar and all gooped up with marshmellows. EWW! GROSS! At least to me, anyway.

I scrub up my sweet potatoes like regular potatoes and then cut them into cubes and put them on a cookie sheet sprayed with butter-flavored Pam and then spray them again once they are all on the pan and sprinkle them with sea salt. I bake them in a 375-400 degree oven for about 45 minutes. At the end, I usually turn the broiler on and brown the tops of them. To me, they taste like candy. Yes, they are that good. Everyone…and I mean everyone…oohed and ahhed over my sweet potatoes. Yep, it was pretty cool.

Anyway, we didn’t do much Friday night…just sat around outside and talked. They all drank, but I didn’t. For some reason and really, I am not sure why, but I don’t drink when they are all here. I did have two small glasses of wine with my meal, but that was it. I kind of like to watch them get all stupid. I also like to wake up feeling great and not all hung over. Which, I have to say, I loved because on Saturday morning, I got up and ran four miles! Well, I guess it wasn’t morning, it was mid-morning. I made it out around 11 a.m. It was not the best four miles I have ever done, but considering it was hot, humid and windy, I didn’t do too bad. That was by far the worst weather I have ran in. It was terrible. Awful, really. But I did it and I was happy and proud.

After everyone got ready, we all went to Subway and grabbed a bite to eat. It’s tradition and I kind of like it. We then headed out to the lake place where the 25th annual Edenloff Fourth of July celebration took place. It was so much fun. Sad, too, because this is the first year my in-laws weren’t at the party. We all miss them very much. We lit some fireworks off in their honor and there were many toasts to them throughout the night. I think every single person there knew my in-laws and were touched by them in one way or another. They were definitely missed.

Yes, there was tons of food, but I did so good. I was so proud of myself. I had one piece of veggie pizza and two plates full of fruit and then one and a half bars that were like seven-layer bars but without the coconut. OMG, they were so good. Typically, I would have probably, and honestly, eaten at least four or five bars. I only ate one and a half and I was so happy with myself. I also was happy that I didn’t eat any of the deliciously good lookin’ brownies that were on the table. I also didn’t drink any alcohol…I was the designated driver for some in our group, as was my son and the other licensed teenage driver in our group. I really, really, don’t mind and I love, love, love waking up feeling great!

For the first time in about four or five years, I actually joined in on the volleyball games. We play every year and I normally don’t play, but this year I did and I am so glad because it was so much fun and great exercise. We played five games. Our team only won two! But we were okay with it. We had five players on each team and again, it was so much fun!

On Sunday, we ended up going back out to the lake and if I would have known it was going to be so gorgeous out there, I would have brought my swimsuit (yes, I did finally buy one!). When we left to go out there, our plan was to just go and make sure everything was picked up and bring some of the garbage back with us. The weather was overcast and kind of crummy. But, after a few minutes after we arrived, the sun came out and it was absolutely gorgeous out there. We stayed a lot longer than planned because we couldn’t leave, it was too nice. 

Sunday was probably my worst day for eating and I think it’s because when I woke up, I weighed myself and had actually lost a pound. For some reason, I think that made me think it was okay to indulge in stupid food. We ate at Bennigan’s for lunch I had a plain hamburger on a wheat bun and sweet potato fries. Well, at that restaurant, you can get a second helping of your side dish, like fries or salad, for free. So, yes, I had two helpings of sweet potato fries and yes, they were so good! It didn’t even bother me that I ate that many. I really didn’t even care.

At the lake, there were E.L. Fudge cookies on the counter and I indulged in them as well. I think I ate six. Yes, six friggin’ cookies. Stupid? Yes. Did I really regret it? No. They were delicious. 

Well, today is Monday and I am in the midst of doing a dozen loads of laundry. I will be heading out for a run later this evening and we might even head out to the lake later this afternoon, just for a bit. Tomorrow, it’s back to normal and I can’t wait!

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