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This past Saturday, my hubby and youngest son, Andrew, went to spend the night on the USS Alabama with the Boy Scouts. It is an annual sleepover to plan their activities for the upcoming year. This left me with the house all to myself. I told my mother earlier in the week I’d be home alone, and she invited herself to my house for a sleepover. Fun! We don’t get to see each other very often, so this was an unexpected happiness boost.

Saturday arrived. I kissed my two guys good-bye and set out to retrieve my mother from her home. She lives an hour away from me. We only had one stop before heading back to my house. I had to buy two pairs of running shoes, one for everyday wear and the other for actual running.  Our drive home consisted of conversation, laughter, more conversation, and a giggling fit so severe I almost had to pull over and regain composure. A giggling fit and operating a vehicle at 70 mph are not a good combination.

We eventually made it back to my house. After my mother unloaded all of her stuff out of the car, we sat around the kitchen table talking and cutting up some more. She drinking a cup of coffee. Me drinking a Whey Protein drink with unsweetened Almond Milk. The topic of conversation soon came around to where we would be dining for the evening. This was going to be my first treat meal since I started eating clean. I was a little apprehensive because I wanted to enjoy my treat meal, but not undo all of my hard work leading to this weekend. I let my mother decide since she had eaten a fried shrimp po-boy earlier for lunch. I figured she’d pick something to balance her obvious treat meal for the day. We got out the phone book and perused the various restaurants. The only food I did not want to indulge in tonight was pizza. I absolutely LOVE pepperoni pizza. And, I’m an absolute piggie when pepperoni pizza is involved. After some discussion, we mutually agreed to eat at Great Wall (a Chinese and Japanese SUPER Buffet). HA! It literally advertises 10 buffet tables (largest buffet in Tangipahoa Parish) and ALL you can eat. Dangerous, you say! Oh, YES, indeed. However, I was going to prove to myself I could indulge without going overboard.

Jackie Warner has in her book a “good, bad, and ugly” list for eating out at restaurants. My mother and I looked over the list for Asian restaurants to get an idea of what to avoid. I had already made up my mind to avoid two of the uglies: fried rice and lo mein of any kind. There was only one item on the bad list I knew I would eat….the infamous egg roll. I figured at about 190 calories, I’d be okay if I only ate one. 

Once at the buffet, I walked around and looked everything over while my mother was loading up her plate. I had a total of 4 plates of food. I know you gasped, but chill. My plates were divided into food groups. I approached the buffet as a chance to sample instead of gorge. My first plate consisted of 8-10 pieces of different sushi rolls. My second plate contained 4 large boiled shrimp, 3 pieces of pepper steak, two pieces of sesame chicken, two pieces of another style of chicken, and a spoonful (serving spoon size) of crab meat. My third plate involved fruit and veggies: spinach, sautéed green beans, marinated artichoke and tomatoes, broccoli, 3 slices of watermelon, as well as my egg roll. My fourth and final plate should be NO surprise. It was the dessert plate. It held 3 cubes of red jello, 1 spoonful (serving spoon size) of banana pudding with 1 vanilla wafer on top, and 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream. Oh, and I drank water throughout the meal. Overall, I felt I did pretty well considering what I’ve eaten at Chinese/Japanese buffets in the past.  I even bypassed the wontons filled with cream cheese. If I could redo the experience, I would not have gotten so many pieces of sushi. I felt bloated from eating too much rice.

Afterwards, my mother and I went home. We both felt roly-poly, so we decided to play some Wii games. At first we considered Just Dance; however, we both quickly agreed the food we just ate would not taste as good coming up as it did going down. Instead, we played Wii Sports and Wii Play. I discovered I’m a decent bowler, but a terrible baseball player. Actually, neither one of us was very good at baseball; however, my mother managed to beat me 1-0. Luck had everything to do with it. Now, the Wii Play had us laughing often. After some trial and error, we figured out how to actually play the games advertised as “quick and easy.” Quick maybe, but not all easy. We still don’t know what the “Pose Mii” is all about. We stopped playing about 10:30pm. I went to bed. No telling what my mother was up to the rest of the night; however, I spotted her sleeping on the sofa the next morning when I snuck out for my morning walk. Maybe the next time my guys are away, I’ll have a slumber party.

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

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