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Staring down 50 down almost 50 lbs

Posted by Jim Rector on January 3, 2011

As I look towards Friday and my 50th birthday I catch myself looking back at the last year. Lot’s of cool things happened in my 50th year here on earth. A lot of them revolved around my kids and that’s ok with me. A quick run down:

February saw me helping my son Josh load up his things in a U-Haul trailer and move to California. I made the 1900+ mile trip with him and his not yet fiancée Katie Morse from College Station, Texas to Dixon, California in roughly 33 hours. It was tons of fun on the “quick” trip and really gave me some time to get to know Katie better as I had her as a “captive audience.” What was really nice was Josh and Katie did most of the driving while “pops” relaxed. I also enjoyed the scenery in New Mexico, Arizona, and California (It was dark during most of the drive through Texas.). One of these days were going to make that trip by car again and stop by some cool places such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and who knows where else.



In April I embarked on a plan to lose weight. Knowing how excess weight can really hamper your health in “mid-life” and beyond I really wanted to get healthy. You should know that I was taking medication for both blood pressure and cholesterol with co-pays adding up to almost $60/month. So that was another motivator. I started off at 232 lbs and lost 9lbs the first week! My waist size was 40 and probably should have been 42. I refused to get 42 waist pants!

May and June brought another trip to California to visit Josh and the Morse family. We decided to go Memorial Day weekend so that I could save at least one vacation day. What was really cool about this was that Josh proposed to Katie the week before we were to leave for the trip. So when we were there we could help with some of the wedding plans. It was so much fun! It was really cool witnessing Josh and Katie working on their budget along with her father Mike. This was a requirement of Mike’s before the date could be set. Alas, this was all worked out and after much negotiation they set a tentative date of Labor Day weekend. The trip was highlighted by Katie’s sister Shannon and I getting to take engagement pics of the happy couple at three different California scenic locations; the hills of Vacaville, San Francisco, and Napa Valley.


We also got to squeeze in a family trip to Mt. Diablo before heading back to Texas. I was down to around 215 lbs by this time.


August and September – California bound once again. This time for the wedding of Josh and Katie! We got there multiple days early to help with the preparation and to visit. Expecting the weather to be mild we found Dixon to be in the middle of a “heat wave” with temps in the mid 90’s most of the first week and on the wedding day. Fortunately for us Texans the low humidity made it bearable and not too terribly uncomfortable. The guys had a blast the day before the wedding out on the lake with the Morse’s boat and wave runners. The wedding was on September 5th in Vacaville, California and what a great day it was. Outdoors in the sun and then a smaller reception at the Vacaville Opera House. I really enjoyed watching Josh and Katie get married and it was a real treat getting to know her relatives on both sides of the family. A shout out to the Morse and Farley families!

One of my favorite shots from the wedding.


While there we took a trip the week after the wedding to Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake, and Lake Tahoe. In the highlands of Yosemite we actually experienced some snowfall at Tioga Pass. It was quite fun. One of my favorite spots in Yosemite is in the valley looking up at Half Dome and here’s one of my favorite shots of the scene.


That was pretty much it for September. By this time I had shrunk down to 197 lbs.

October was exciting because mid-month Josh and Katie and the Morse family came to Texas for a reception in honor of the new Bride and Groom. We held the reception in Tomball so that Carole’s parents who are in a nursing home could attend. My folks, thanks to a couple reward tickets on Southwest Airlines also got to fly down from New York. It was the first time they got to meet Katie and of course loved her as soon as they met.


It was a great time hanging out with family and on the weekend a bunch of us went to Austin to visit with some friends over there. It was sad when they all returned to California because we really didn’t know when we’d see them all again. By this time I was down to 190 lbs and no longer needed my monthly maintenance medicine.

Another great October event was the birth of our 5th grandchild Luke Samuel Rector on the 30th. Luke was born to Richard and Laura and was brought into the world with much prayer and thanksgiving. He’s such a miracle to Richard and Laura and the whole family. There’s almost nothing like the feeling of seeing a new child or grandchild being born into the world.


It was a tremendous blessing to “gramps” to be able to hold the newborn on his birthday.


November of course is Thanksgiving month. My grandma Rector is still alive and celebrated her 91st birthday in November! We also made a trip to Southern Illinois for the holiday and to visit Grandma. Carole, Jordan, and I loaded up and left at 3am on 11/24 and arrived at Marion, IL at around 4:30pm. My niece Melissa brought my parents down from New York and my brother Joe and his wife Wendy and family also made the trip up from Texas.

Grandma Rector.


It was a bittersweet trip. On one hand we got to visit with Grandma, Mom and Dad, and various Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. On the other hand it was also a time to see Grandma’s house for the last time as it was being sold. We spent a good part of the day after Thanksgiving at her house going through volumes and volumes of pictures, picking out those that were sentimental to us.


By this time my weight was down to 186 lbs.

December was Christmas and gathering with friends and family. We had a great time at the Kelley’s house Christmas day and got to see all the Texas family. It was our first Christmas away from Josh but we were blessed to know that he was in the company of such a great family in California.


So here I am a couple days away from my 50th birthday. My weight this morning was 183, one pound from a total weight loss of 50 lbs! My lovely wife Carole has also lost 30 lbs in 2010 and she looks great! Our goal in 2011 is to stay where we are and not gain any of the weight back. We’ll see how that goes. We move into a house after two years in an apartment on my birthday Friday. I guess I’m already starting with exciting events for my 51st year!


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