Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

My beautiful Niece, at Wild Animal Park in California....

Thanks to Angie over at 7 clown circus for wordful Wednesday.... If you'd like to visit her, please click here

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Customized 5x7 Mother's Day Card

I saw this deal and thought I'd pass it along......

Hallmark offers a Free Customized (paper) 5x7 Mother's Day Card .

Create an account, if you don't already have one.

Choose and customize a card.

Proceed to checkout, enter promo code CARD4MOM.

It will discount the price of the card, plus the postage!

Don't forget to complete your order.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Peer Inspiration

So, I gave a speech at my weight loss center last night. It's the 2nd time they have asked me and although I was nervous about speaking in public, I felt proud. Proud of my accomplishments, proud of the center, and proud of my family. Below is the speech along with my before and after pictures. Be warned... it's very long!

Peer Inspiration
23 April 2009
Metabolic Research Center, CO

Hi! My name is Denise and I walked through the doors of Metabolic Research Center (MRC) on October 27, 2007 weighing 355lbs. Today I weigh 170lbs and have lost 185lbs. I am completing my final week of stabilization and am heading into maintenance. Thank you all for being here today, and celebrating this journey with me! I have my life back and I look forward to seeing you all achieve your goals as well.

The thoughts and experiences I’m about to share with you today are very close to my heart. Although I have shared them publicly before, they are still very raw. They aren’t my exercise routine, or my food choices, or how much water I drink. These are the issues at my core. They are the issues that I have had with food my entire life and the reasons that I am standing before you here today. I don’t have all of the answers but I hope to be able to give you some insight on what has helped me along the way.

I had a normal childhood. I was born and raised in California so I spent a lot of time outdoors. I was on the swim team. I played soccer. I spent a lot of time at the beach and we did a lot of outdoor activities…. My parents fed us healthy foods. We had fresh homemade whole grain breads, fresh veggies from our garden, natural peanut butter, all of it….

So, one of the questions I have often asked myself through all of this is how did I get to be obese? I realize now, that there have been several contributors and I’ve been lucky enough to work through many of them. Today, I’ll share just a few… I had horrible self esteem; I had negative self talk. I was extremely shy and I was often scared. When I say scared, I can’t say I was necessarily scared of my parents (I believe we all have moments of being scared of our parents)… but I was scared of a lot of things. I was scared of fitting in, of not fitting in, scared of talking, and when I did venture out of my comfort zone to talk, I was scared of saying the wrong thing. I was terrified of dying….. Basically, I was scared of everything. Oh….and, I stuck out… I was tall. I was the tallest girl in school. So, I took being the tallest as being the biggest which was very scary to me. I was the “biggest”. I just remember feeling really, really BIG. This kind of negative self talk just snowballed through my childhood; into adolescence, and accompanied me into adulthood. And in time, I became what I put out…. I became a person with low self worth, a drug addict, a controlled partner in an abusive relationship and finally…. I became Obese. Obese then became Morbidly Obese.

When my son was born in 2000, I decided it was time for a change. I started a program and did well. I lost quite a bit of weight on the program but I never changed my perception of food. I didn’t attempt to understand my issues around food. My week was spent contemplating what I was going to eat for my “cheat meal” after weigh in. As important as I believed this weight loss was too me, food took priority over it all. I gained it all back within a year (plus some). I’m sure several of you can relate to this. I wanted to be smaller, and “less” obese but not as much as I wanted to eat. My priorities weren’t clear at that point. I hadn’t hit my “rock bottom”.

I tried other “diets” along the way, but none with any true success. Then… something amazing happened. I gave up. I threw in the towel. And in doing so, it started me on the journey into discovering the most amazing person I've ever met.... that person, was me. This journey wasn’t for the weak at heart. It was a dark, cold, lonely, and sad place for a very long time…. but on the other side was my life. The life I was destined to lead. The life we all can have if we decide it’s worth the effort.

When I gave up, I saw someone I have never met. I have never been the type of person who shuts down and makes a conscious decision to give up; to quit. However, this time…. I was done; completely over it. I needed to accept my role in the world and embrace it. I was now morbidly obese and that's just the way it was. This was me; all of me. “Love it and leave it”! I would eat what I want, hide out in my room, and publicly put a smile on my face. It would be the new me. I would not continue to compete with food; it could win…. I was too weak. I was just a victim to food. This would be my new outlook.

Unfortunately, the person who couldn't accept this new outlook was me. How was I going to look in the mirror everyday, and see the real me trapped inside and not do everything humanly possible to save her. But for an entire year, that's exactly what I did. And, as I got bigger… my world got smaller. My knees hurt, my migraines became unbearable, my blood pressure was higher than ever. I couldn’t walk more than a block without being completely winded and asthmatic. But even worse than the physical pain, there was the emotional pain. My heart ached. I would lie on my couch or in my bed for hours at a time. I cried constantly. I made excuses when friends would want to meet up (because honestly, who would want me around?) and I refused to be out in public anymore than necessary. I repeatedly asked my husband how he could be with someone that looked like me; I gave him permission to leave me to find someone else, someone that wasn’t so miserable. At times I begged him to go and take my son away to a more “normal life” (by the way I am married to the kindest, most supportive man in the entire world. He would just hug me, and comfort me, wipe my tears and tell me that he wasn’t going anywhere). Finally, I secretly wept and apologized to my son for not being the Mom he deserved to have. The kind of Mom that rode bikes with him, went to the park, took long walks, and played outside with him; the Mom that was ALL HIS. I felt weak, depressed, anxious, lonely, and powerless. This was not the person I used to know. I didn't recognize her and she was not me.

Then, one day it happened. I can’t truly explain to you what did it; it could have been the sadness or the depression. It could have been the support of my family. I think it was everything combined; you know, the whole “being tired or being tired.” It was something big. Something very strong…. And powerful; it was the real me; deep down in my core…. Forcing its way out; fighting. I was finally stepping up and saying “enough is enough”. I was taking my life back. This was not the life I was meant to lead. This was not my destiny. I was not living my authentic life, or being my authentic self. I had allowed those feelings to have power over me for quite some time, but no longer. I felt empowered to take my life back. Above all else, I wanted to reclaim the person inside the body. In that moment, I held her close, and made sure she knew that she was loved. She would always be cared for, and that I would never abuse or neglect her again. I also agreed to forgive myself. I was moving forward; without baggage, or anger. And I would not hold any resentment over the past; only forgiveness and understanding. I would allow myself to learn; to love, to embrace every moment leading up to today and going forward. I would not go through life, not living, anymore. And I had not been living at all. I had merely been existing. And in doing so, I had been doing a disservice to myself and to my family and friends by not being the person I knew I was… inside. That day my world opened up and I began my journey. There was a quote that means so much to me.... it says "I took a vow of non violence and that includes my body". First and foremost, I refuse to do any harm to myself. I am not at war with my body; we are together in this and it can work wonderfully when I treat it with respect.

That same day, I started a list of things I wanted back. Things that I could not have from being the weight I was. My first entry…..

My wedding ring.

This wedding ring is actually the ring my Dad gave my Mom when they got married. This ring is very special. To me, it holds a lot of symbolism. My parents were young; their love was innocent and new. My father was going off to Vietnam, and my Mom was entering womanhood. It was the beginning of everything. It was the beginning of their journey which resulted in the start my journey and my Sister’s journey and in turn, the beginning of our children’s journey. My parents are no longer together, but their path has linked us forever and that ring still holds all of that symbolism for me. So when I was married, it became my wedding band. My husband added a band in the middle to complete our circle; to begin our journey together. This ring, that obviously meant so much to me, didn’t fit. It hadn’t fit in years. This first entry began my list and it was and is still pertinent to my journey. I truly hope that you all have an opportunity to sit down and write your own list. I can’t tell you how much I’ve used this list. It keeps me focused and helps me to keep my priorities straight. When values are clear, decisions are made easy.

I had been looking at a couple of different programs, and had heard great things about a center nearby. Metabolic research center sounded appealing based on the information I had discovered and through feedback I had found from clients posted online. I had also located this great “external” forum for people that attended various MRC center’s that seemed to be a good fit for me. I was ready to go in and see what kind of connection we had. I knew that I would need a connection with the people I would be working with. I really felt strongly that this would be the place for me. I just knew that this center was going to assist me in my journey. When I called, they had an appointment available that evening and by the end of my consultation, I was ready. I weighed in at the center at 355lbs (I didn’t even know my current weight because my scale at home wouldn’t go that high). This was my all time highest weight. There was no question; this was my place. This was the missing link. For me, it was exactly what I needed; one on one consulting, classes, food instruction, weigh-ins, exercise, and so much more. I am an amazing student; just ask any of the consultants ;) I am able to have someone tell me what to eat, how much to eat and I will follow that instruction..... My issue has always been the heart issues and the head issues. I needed to understand why I do what I do and what I can do to change my perception about food. One of the main reasons I chose this program was because of the classes. PLEASE!!! If you haven’t attended the classes, do so. You’ll be so glad you did. It’s hard work but so totally worth it. Sometimes it’s just about sitting quietly and listening, allowing the information to absorb and then processing it later. Other times, you might want to be more interactive. It’s up to you. There’s no pressure. Please, the classes are for you. They are for your success. Use them. I love the classes if you can’t tell. I love this center. I love these people. These “people” are “my” people. They have shared in my highs and lows, in my joys and my sorrows, they are patient and understanding… and they are just as committed to my success as I am. When I walk through those doors, I feel like I’m with family. I know I’m with family.

I began MRC on October 27th. Before Halloween and more importantly, before Halloween candy! For me, this was a great time to start; what’s the point in delaying something that is so very important especially when you have taken a vow to no longer harm yourself! And come on, there can always be a reason to hold off…. But let’s remember, when values are clear, decisions are easy. By the way I should add, Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday.... and it went off without a hitch. I was on plan, and moving forward gracefully. Several holidays, and events followed..... For me, the most powerful and emotional issue that occurred was that my Father in Law (and I don’t even like to call him my Father in Law… he was my Dad. I am lucky enough to have had two Dads) was diagnosed and then passed away from Lung Cancer. He suffered immensely, and we miss him more than I can put into words here today. When he died, we didn’t know how we would continue on without him. Fortunately, we had no regrets. We spent some amazing times together, laughing; lots of laughing. We still hear him and his advice all the time. He was always the best person at kicking us in our butts and getting us back on track. There was no time for pity parties. This man knew of great loss, and sadness, and could have been quite bitter. But he wasn’t. He was strong. He was a fighter. He found out he had cancer one year to the date after he had been given a kidney transplant that he waited 7 years on dialysis for. When we asked him how he felt about his latest hurdle? His response was quick found. It was a classic. “It is what it is” Now remember, this is from my Dad of few (but powerful) words…. Ask my husband and he’ll tell you; I am the complete opposite. I have to dissect everything. So, “it is what it is….” As bad as things are or can be, you move forward. You don’t waste time on things you can’t change. You do what needs to be done, and you fight. It is what it is. You can’t change it. Life happens, death happens, we have to continue. And in relation to our situation here; there can always be an excuse or a reason to take a side road (to misstep); to eat off plan, to feel like giving up…. But what’s the point? Life is constantly happening, no matter how much we try to stop it. It is what it is. So we move forward, and move on. I could have used any or all of those life events as a reason to misstep, but I had a choice and my choice was clear. "I took a vow of non violence, and that includes my body". I also had my list.... and let’s never forget the "list". I had now named it my "freedom list" and it was growing by the day. Growing my the minute! Sometimes even by the second. It was full of all of the wonderful things I would get back (my freedoms) as I lost weight. So, when someone would say "Would you like a piece of cake"?

I would think of my list..... Here's how it went....

“Hey Denise, we’re having cake over here…. Come grab a piece”

Riding a bike with my son?

That decision was so easy to make..... It was almost ridiculous to even think about.

Cake or my son? Seriously, that was a no-brainer.

Sometimes there wasn’t any physical temptation in front of me…. Sometimes it was just me and my thoughts….. wondering if I could continue? Could I handle it? So, then out came the list. And, then I would realize that I absolutely could do it. I was strong and powerful. There was no question.

Now I don’t want you to think I am just the almighty woman; hear me roar… I also have a great team behind me. I have the most amazing support system. My husband and son are just beautiful. They have always been my foundation. I can have a bad day or feel weak, and they hold me up. They tell me how strong I am and motivate me in the most wonderful ways. I hope to return that gift to them. Someday, I know I will.

This is my husband. He is amazing. He’s my best friend. He is my heart and soul and the one person that knows me better than anyone else. I have been blessed to have this man with me on my journey. I’d like to spend a little more time telling you about my husband…. and his heart. It’s his most attractive quality. Within that lovely heart of his;
He is kind and gentle, sincere and caring, non judgmental and sweet; SO, SO sweet. He wakes up at 1am to take the dogs and my son to the bathroom. He goes out on snow mornings and cleans off my car (and warms it up) so I can drive in comfort. He cooks my meat for me, just because it grosses me out and that way I don't have to deal with it. He's the best snuggler ever and he rubs my back when I can't sleep. He listens to me ramble with a kind face and gives a gentle laugh when I catch myself. He has driven over 60 miles to pick me up from work because I didn't feel well; this man and his heart. He buys me flowers for no special occasion... just because. He laughs at my jokes, even when I can't get them right (and most of the time can't remember them). He completes my sentences and knows exactly what I'm thinking. He adores me and is my very best friend. He is the closest I've met to perfect, and I can't breathe quite right when I think that we are together in this experience of life; this man and his big, full, wonderful heart. He has a way of talking to me that just calms me. He helps me rationalize things (and for me, that can sometimes be a struggle). After our Dad passed away, we were coming home from Ohio and I was tired, emotionally and physically; and when I get tired I lose a lot of my fight. While we were there, I had made it through every kind of temptation possible. I had been strong, and made it through all 9 days. We were home free, driving back to Colorado but I couldn’t do it anymore. Each time we stopped on the way home, I would want something… one time it was French Fries, then Mozzarella Sticks…. It went on and on. I wanted to feed my sadness. Each time, my loving husband would say the most supportive thing. He would say… “When we get home, if you REALLY want “it”, you can have it”. And so, when we got home, something magical happened. I didn’t want any of that “stuff” anymore. I was back in my own routine and I was just fine. He is my best friend, and as I said before the person who knows me better than anyone; often times, better than I know myself. I came away from that experience realizing that if you truly want something (food, clothes, etc) badly enough, you are willing to wait for it.

This is my Son. If you’ve been in on Saturday or come to the cooking classes, you’ve probably seen him. My son is the love of my life….. I can’t even begin to tell you all of the things he does that make me smile. He drives me crazy sometimes too, but that’s just par for the course. I never knew just how much I could love someone until I held him in my arms. Our bond is unbreakable; it’s a forever connection. He is kind and gentle, like his Dad; determined and strong willed like me, and just amazing. He is sincere and supportive, generous and compassionate, captivating and hysterical, adorable and delightful, talented and confident, thoughtful and sweet. Most of all he is lovable and loved. I am so proud to be this little mans mom and I can’t wait to see what an amazing man he becomes. He is already so much more than I could have ever asked for. When I would get home from the center, he would always ask how much weight I lost and give me high fives and sometimes he would even add a special success dance in there for me. That’s just part of it though…. He is Eight now and although he understands pounds lost, that was always irrelevant to him(except of course, when I lost 60 lbs then 120 lbs, then 180lbs because then I could say I had lost 1 of him, then 2, now 3). But really, what matters to him the most are hugs….. big bear hugs. And before we started this whole process, my son would of course hug me but his hands didn’t touch…. So, he started measuring my loss by how close his fingers were when he hugged me. After each hug he would say “Momma, you are losing a lot”! Now, his hands overlap and it’s very exciting. I love getting those measurements.

I've gone through every emotion there is. There is a finding the connections class surrounding grief and it really held true for me. This experience has been loaded with self discovery, and where I normally would take these emotions and feed them… I consciously decided that this time, when each emotion came up, I would really take a look at it. I would take the steps (the really powerful steps) needed to overcome my issues with food. These emotions changed at different levels of weight loss. Sometimes the emotions would pop up and seem to overwhelm me.... Other times, they just would flow in and out like the tide. In the beginning, I was really inquisitive. I needed to know so desperately why? What shaped my behaviors as a child? What created my control issues with food? When did my self image change? Was I born with a negative self image or was it learned? Was it influenced by my parents? Or was it society? Could it have been influenced by my peers? Maybe it had all been in my head? I’m sure my parents loved the random phone calls with the even more “random” questions (or so they thought) that would come up. But, even they were ready to share and it was good. Later I became very angry with myself. I didn’t understand how I could let myself get to this point. How could anyone have gotten so out of control? Why didn’t I stop myself at 200lbs? or at 250lbs? Why not 300lbs? or 350lbs? Why had I just kept going when I knew it was such an issue? The anger (or guilt) didn’t last long because I realized it didn’t serve any purpose. It is what it is. It was time to move forward and jump out of the circle of blame. It didn’t matter. I remember when I came to the hope and acceptance phase. It was so much calmer; so much easier. I just felt like I had arrived. There are so many classes that just worked so well for me; I was relieved and thankful to have them here at all of these different moments because it really helped me to understand my feelings, and put a name to it all. It also helped when it came to understanding my old, self destructive behavior. I was able to really evaluate these feelings in a safe, friendly environment. And when I felt like I needed to talk about things, the consultants were there. They were a neutral party, and could provide a sounding board when I needed it. I could and still can talk to them about anything. I’m still discovering things about myself and what got me here. It’s such an amazing process. One of my latest discoveries has played a large part in my success. I’m still very excited about it! I had seen a special on addiction and they were talking about the pyramid of addiction. The explanation was that if you don’t deal with your initial addiction (and in turn what drove you to that addiction originally) then you will ascend the pyramid. You’ll just swap one addiction for another. So, I had this realization and of course then, had to talk about it in Behavior Mod because hello; that’s what I do! Anyway, when I was 20, I left home and moved away because I was a drug addict. I had (and still have) this wonderful best friend who had come home with her Air Force husband to visit and invited me to move to Ohio with them. I was in an abusive relationship, likely heading for jail or the morgue, and heavily addicted so, I went. It worked or so I thought. I quit cold turkey. I decided to stay in Ohio, and start my new life. I smoke and drank a lot. I went out nightly. I met my husband and eventually, I ate a lot. Guess what? I traded one addiction for another. The difference with me was that I started in the middle of the pyramid and yet, managed to touch on all three corners. In my eyes, all addiction is equal. It’s all self destructive and non productive. So, here I am. I’m an addict. I’m dealing with issues from a lifetime ago in order to not trade one addiction for another.

I will always be an addict and that will never change. But what I realized is how much I’ve learned from all of these things…and when you’re perfect, you don’t learn a thing. It’s ok to slip, or make a wrong turn. It’s what you do with it that matters. Did you learn from it? I’d like to share an analogy with you. Picture yourself driving down the freeway heading home to the ones you love. You can’t wait to get there. You miss the exit. What do you do? Do you continue to drive on, screaming and yelling at yourself, never to arrive at your destination…? Never again to see the ones you love? Or, do you acknowledge the error, get off on the next exit and make the correction? I choose to make the U turn. If I never made mistakes, I would not be the person standing before you. From the negative self talk of my childhood, to the addiction, to meeting the most amazing man ever, to having my son…. Not one of these things could have happened without the other. And you know what? I don’t have my mind figured out quite yet. I am a work in progress and always will be. But isn't that the most amazing part of being a human being? We are always learning, and growing.

As of today, I have lost 185lbs and look forward to living. I have lost over ½ of the weight I started at. My freedom list is still growing day by day. I had my wedding re-sized from a 9 ½ to a 6 a few months ago so that I could wear it without it falling off. Through this journey, I have met many beautiful new friends. I have grown in ways I could never have imagined. And I have had the pleasure of meeting the most incredible person. She is loving, kind, and caring. She is strong, determined, and intelligent.... She is amazing and I am that woman.

The Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body
2. You will learn lessons
3. There are no mistakes
4. A lesson is repeated until learned
5. Learning lessons does not end
6. "There" is no better than "here"
7. Others are merely mirrors of you
8. What you make of life is up to you
9. The answers to life's questions lie inside of you
10. You will forget all of this

What rule for being human would you add?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordful/less Wednesday

Two of my favorite things....
The beach in California and my beautiful son.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I'm so sorry I've been missing in action for so long. I have been extremely busy at work (there are many layoffs and more pending), and then we (my son and I) went to California for Spring Break. It was a wonderful trip. I was so happy to be back home and visit my family and friends. It was just great. I'm ready to go home. It may be a while, but we'll see if we can't figure out a way to get there.
Below are pictures of me, my Son, my Nieces and my Dad.... great time!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Me! Monday.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I DID NOT have parent teacher conferences last week, and found myself loving that the teacher said that the kid was the most intelligent child in her class this year and in several years, but when she said he is very social was somewhat understanding as at work, I tend to be the one that everyone likes to chat with... how is that our issue? Ok, we are NOT social butterflies who need to clip our wings a bit. I also DID NOT realize that he needs to be more challenged at home and at school but really would rather he just chill out for awhile as Momma is in need of less challenging from him lately.

I DID NOT get to pick up my wedding rings on Monday, sized down from a 9 1/2 to a 6! They were NOT totally beautiful, and my husband DID NOT ask me to marry him all over again and put the rings on my finger. I DO NOT have the most amazing husband in the world.

I DID NOT invite the neighbor kid with us on Saturday to go to the thrift store, thinking that the kid might not be soooo quick to want to leave once we got there and I could possibly just marvel in all of the great deals. I DID NOT realize that they would both be ready to go in approx 10 minutes and after 30 minutes my son would actually NOT start crying because he couldn't believe how I could take soooo long. HE may actually NOT be my son at all. I know I physically gave birth to him, but he was removed from my room for a short period of time.... I know that they put those cute matching hospital bands on.... I know that he carries many of my (and the husbands) characteristics however.... I have questions here.

I DID NOT tell the husband that he could totally go hang out with the boys at BW3 and watch the UFC fights then when he decided to stay home, get kind of bummed out because I was hoping for some alone time to watch my shows, or scrapbook, or just stare at the wall.... maybe next time.

I DID NOT make monkey bread, and really f'ing hot salsa with the kid (totally don't go together and I have no idea why we would make the monkey bread and then decide to make salsa, but I think Amiri had so much fun in the kitchen we just kept going). I DID NOT totally let him wear his "baker in training" apron and chef hat, and act like a total dork.... just because he really is my son and therefore totally me.

I DID NOT ask my husband if "if I wake up at 4:30am tomorrow morning, I'm REALLY waking up at 3:30am right?" to which he DID NOT respond..... "again? how many years have you done this?" to which I DID NOT respond...."I just want to be sure that I am aware of how totally screwed I'm getting in this deal and by the way..... jerk" He is totally NOT funny and does NOT make me laugh every day. That little jerk.

I DID NOT wake up at 4:30am (really 3:30am) to a dream in which my son was totally jamming out at a southern baptist church where his Grandmother was in the choir (ok, let me just inform you.... we haven't been to my MIL's church and she is not on the choir), and he was dancing like crazy and I couldn't stop laughing hysterically. All I kept thinking in the dream was that even though he was into it, he was going to get in trouble.... or I was going to get in trouble for enjoying it too much. I DID NOT then wake up and start tell the husband about it (of course, I DID NOT wake him up to enjoy the time change with me), then he let me know that his stepmother (not the MIL from the dream) had just gotten saved the day before to which my son DID NOT walk into the room and exclaim "GRANDMA GOT SAVED? FROM WHAT?" Shall I remind you again that this is 4:30 (3:30) and I am really the only one that is required to be awake right now? I then DID NOT have to explain what being saved means, to which he asked is it like if you found jesus, then found buddha, then found jesus? This conversation will need to go on when I am more awake I think.... anyway I DID NOT just let him know since he hasn't lost Jesus, he's good. He seemed pretty happy with that because he let out a big "wheeew" and then went back to bed.

I HAVE NOT had a really weird morning.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not Me! Monday.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did NOT get up on Saturday, wash my face and throw on my sweats.... with the goal of running into my weight loss center for a quick check in only to NOT find the center preparing for our (and my) stabilization celebration (yes, because we made it to our goals) and was NOT totally in shock at the screams of "CONGRATULATIONS" "WHOA" "WAY TO GO" and the champagne popper thingy's going off when I walked in the door. Not at all! I did NOT then excuse myself to run back home, change and apply makeup quickly, grab the kid, and fly on back to the center to properly NOT thoroughly enjoy the party! I did NOT re-enter the room shouting "WHOA!!!! Where's the PARTY!!!!" like I'd not just been there 20 minutes before and the room did NOT break into full blown laughter at me because I'm just silly that way... I did NOT thoroughly embarrass my kiddo by offering him some fake champagne in a champagne glass, asking him if we should partake in the festivities and "get our party on" then tell him he might need to drive home if I had a little too much. He did NOT just shake his head and wonder if I'd ever grow up. Geez, Mom's.... I'll tell ya. We DID not celebrate each and every weight loss goal, from 15lbs to 178lbs (mine!) with the same jubilation and excitement. We did NOT give each other the best hugs at the end and release balloons into the sky to represent the things we have chosen to let go of along this journey. I did NOT offer the suggestion to my son that he let his bad attitude go with one of the balloons, and he did NOT suggest the same of me.

We did NOT laugh our butts off for the whole day because we are too much alike.

I did NOT have yet another wonderful weekend, even though the husband and I have colds because bad attitudes and feeling crappy are only for when you're at work!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless/ful Wednesday

My son.... deep in thought. Or is he? He could just be eyeing some candy, or contemplating his next evil move. But who cares. Look at that little angel of mine. I fall in love all over again, every single time I look in those eyes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Button me up, Coraline

So, have any of you seen that great new movie Coraline?

It's the whole "be careful what you wish for" kind of movie.

Little girl finds a secret door in her house, to discover an "alternate" version of her current life. Everything in this alternate life, is just soooo much better.


You know how the story goes. Nothing is ever how it seems.

Her new "better" parents decide they want to keep her forever. And it's up to her to get herself back home.

Well, if you've seen the previews the imposter parents have buttons for eyes.... CREEPY! And just up my alley!!

So, of course I was alerted through my creepy connections of a cool site that allows you to upload your own photo into a great "Coralinesque" self portrait with wonderful shiny, button eyes!

I've joined Coraline in her parallel world along with my son.... will you?

I'll see you on the other side!

Not Me! Monday.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
I most certainly did NOT take a nap on Saturday and again on Sunday.... just because.... and no, I did NOT enjoy EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of
TJ and I did NOT watch old black and white movies in bed on Saturday night with the dogs and the boys all snuggled up with us. Nope.
I did NOT spill the beans to Amiri that we are planning two trips; I did not ask him if he'd like to go to California with me on a little spring break, break.... and then go to the timeshare in Arizona in the summer. I did NOT watch him spaz out, knowing that now that he's been let in on the secret... he will have no concentration for the next month until the first trip (awful huh? we usually don't tell him about trips until like a week before because he gets so excited)
I did NOT have just the most relaxing, calm, lovely weekend with my family.... Not in the least.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Aloha Friday!

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that everyone takes it easy and looks forward to the weekend. So Kailani over at island life thought that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting, too. It's all the rage..... So, here's the breakdown.... I ask a simple question and you post a comment with your answer. It's the island way. Head on over to her blog and check out the other participants in Aloha Friday!

What was your greatest accomplishment in 2008?
I'll start. In late Oct 2007, I decided enough was enough and it was time for me to take my life back. So, for the year of rest of 2007, and through 2008 I worked on me and my weight. I'm at my goal, and have lost 177 lbs now meaning that I currently weigh 1/2 of what I started at (I started at 354lbs... and I'm 5'11"). If you want to read more about it.... here is a speech I gave that gives more detail.
But... that was my greatest accomplishment. Falling in love with myself!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Thousand Word Thursday

Cheaper Than Therapy

Our family is great a Wii Bowling.... especially from the chair! This is my husband, at our neighbors house on New Years Eve.... fitness is not the goal here..... we are SOOO lazy!

Writers Workshop

The Prompts:

1.) If you were starring on American Idol TONIGHT and HAD to sing, what song would you choose and why.

Oh gosh, I would never be starring on American Idol.... wouldn't happen. I couldn't even make it to the auditions; you know... with the "bad" singers! But, a song.... hmmm. I lOVE "a change is gonna come" by Sam Cooke. So, I thoroughly enjoy butchering that one whenever given the opportunity... in the privacy of my home of course!

2.) Take a picture of yourself right this minute without primping and explain to us why it is you have not washed your hair today.

Ok, so here I am. I didn't wash my hair but since it was straight (it's naturally curly), I didn't need to so... lucky me! I worked from home today because I was the lucky winner of a trip to the Dr for a colposcopy because of a abnormal pap. WhOa! It was joyous, let me tell you. This was my first one, and I'm not looking forward to doing it again soon. Anyway, this is me.... before my appointment; when life was "less crampy"! lol.

3.) I just asked Pat to help me with a writing prompt so here's his: "What do you think about the NBA All Star game"...blech.

Ummm, yikes. I didn't watch it. I did however watch the slam dunk contest because I think that's pretty damn cool to see. I like that it's fun, and no stress and my husband isn't cussing at the tv while it's going on. Plus the kid thinks it's cool, therefore... I think it's cool. I'm just a follower.

4.) What's your number one pet peeve? Develop a punishment for anyone caught in the act.

I can't tell you my number one pet peeve; they change often. I do have issues however with people that say "couple, three". Like "So, a couple three years ago...." It's not a big deal, it just always makes me translate in my head "So, six years ago...." Where does it come from? Can't you just say "a few years ago"? I'm just confused..... I have no punishment, I just want to understand. lol

5.) Write about something mean you did to a sibling growing up.
I'm sorry Sis. But, I still hear about it from you all the time, so sometimes I'm not that sorry.... cuz' I'm kind of over it really. I'm just like "seriously? we were like tiny kids and you just weren't that bright to fall for it". Moving on to my confession.... When we were little we had one of those spring rocking horses. We loved it. We played and played and played on it. But here's the thing. I couldn't figure out (while I was jumping and rocking away) exactly which springs caused the horse to rock and move. It puzzled me often. So, I asked if my lovely little sister would put her finger between one set of springs so we could figure it out. Of course, I had to promise not to jump. Ummmm. So.... I jumped. Guess what? It was that spring that made the horse move. Actually, it was all of the springs. Ummmm. Since I'm sharing. Her finger nail eventually fell off. It grew back though. And, I got in a ton of trouble. For the 18,000 time.... I am sorry. Really. But.... We had to determine how it worked. Didn't we?

Wordful/less Wednesday

I present to you, my wonderful Tulips from Valentine's Day. From my wonderful family.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not call my husband when I got to work at 6:45am and wake him up only because he and my son are off of school and work today for Presidents Day and I was not feeling the least bit jealous. I would never do something so immature; NEVER. ;)

I did not get the most beautiful tulips delivered to me at work from my husband and my son with the following message for Valentine's Day:

We love you soooo much!! You give us sooo much support and love!! (And without YOU, we'd probably kill each other)! ;)
P.S: We've got hugs and Kisses waiting for you at home!!
Love, The Worlds BIGGEST Momma's Boy and Bouja (my husbands nickname)

I did not become overjoyed with this letter because he is the worlds biggest Momma's boy and better not ever ever grow up!

I did not book our vacation to our timeshare in Arizona this weekend for the last week in May/first week in June. I did not get super super excited because we really need a vacation together after our last year of family loss and grief.

I did not laugh when my son was talking in his sleep and called whomever he was speaking to an asshole. I did not try to get him to tell who this said person was, hoping it wasn't me but thinking.... it just may have been!

I did not promise my son that I would only run in and out of the thrift store on Saturday, then proceed to not spend an hour crusin' the aisles.

I did not totally neglect my blog this last week because I was busy with work projects and still attempting to spend more quality time with family when I get home. It did not totally bother me that my work is getting in the way of my blog friends!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by the fabulous MckMama. If you'd like to participate, feel free to head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have "not" been doing this week.

I did not bribe my son with one of the candy bars I bought my husband, just for some peace and quiet.

I did not bath the puppy in the sink with the other two dogs looking at me like I was about to cook said puppy for dinner. Puppy did not procede to run around the house like he was chasing rabbits for the next two hours. Why do dogs do this after baths? Is it like air drying?

My husband and I did not spend an hour last night attempting to figure out why every morning and every evening there is strange condensation on the walk up to the front door, only to discover it's from the ice melt that we put out over 1 week ago. We did not in this hour, run ever faucet in the house attempting to duplicate the "issue". I am not thanking my neighbor Melanie for offering up the "ice melt" theory. Why has this never happened before? Soooo weird.

I did not contemplate trading in my current vehicle because of a loose ignition switch that cost less than $100 to fix. I did not really want a xterra or a bug and was dreaming that this would be my way out of the envoy. So close....

I did not stay off of my computer for over 24 hours this weekend in an attempt to get some "real" work done at home and allow my family to have some time with just me.... and not me and my laptop.

I did not wonder in those 24 hours what my bloggy neighbors were up to and hope they all had a great weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tara and the car

Oh Mama Kat and your writer's workshop prompts.... just pull things out that have been sitting in safe keeping for years, untouched. Then, you ask a question and it sprouts wings and we are off reliving them all over again.

Tell us about a lie you later regretted.

When I was twenty, I moved away from warm and sunny, beautiful Southern California. I had made a big decision that the life I was leading was not the best.... ok, it was destructive and I probably wouldn't be here typing this to you now if I had not left. My best friend, Mon and her husband (who I also grew up with) Cha, had come home on a visit from Ohio (he was in the Air Force and recently stationed at Wright Patt). They saw my life unwinding into full tilt chaos and asked if I would like to come back with them. I saw it as a great little adventure, some time away to clear my head. I said yes. So, away we went.
I lived with them a short amount of time, until the couch got a little too lumpy and the company a little to cramped..... then moved into a tiny (and I mean TINY) room in a house - I know this isn't about me and that room, but oh my gosh.... I have pics somewhere and I WILL find them... but it was a converted side porch that could only fit a chair; and when I say chair, I mean a dinner table chair, a bed that was the width of a toddler bed but longer (what are those called), a nightstand behind my head and a wardrobe closet in the corner. That was it. There was no other room for anything else. Oh, this house is a whole 'nother story in itself! I had a job at a music store, which just happened to be 1/2 block from my house and life was good. Life was as good as it could be I should say, when you don't have a car. I couldn't even afford the gas if I did have a car so it was probably good that I didn't have one. I survived on eggs, and rice with my 'extra money'. I should explain, that there were priorities. I had no phone, no tv, etc... so the priorities went like this.... rent, beer/liquor/cigarettes, food. I was always broke but it was so much fun. Now, everyone at this music store was great. We were all friends, and hung out every night. We had a blast. We were young and out of control. Here's the difference between me, and "them".... They all lived at home, with their parents. They all had cars. So, when they were at work, they would allow me to borrow their cars to do my grocery shopping, or laundry, go buy their dinners while they were at work, etc... It was a great deal. We were like a little family there and it just all worked out well. Tara and I were best friends (at work). She was a Air Force "brat" and lived on base in one of those nice houses officers live in. Her family was all from Texas, and they definitely had southern charm. They were very kind and very sweet to me. I'm sure they thought I was a bad influence on Tara because I lived on my own and liked to party (so did she) but they never let on. On night, I had finished my grocery shopping and was on my way back to my house, then heading over to pick Tara up from work. I was driving along, minding my own business and I heard this SMACK! Let's try this again.... SMACK! I couldn't figure out what the heck had happened, until I went to look in the side mirror (passenger side) and... IT WAS GONE. I had hit - with the side mirror - one of those big orange traffic cones that are weighted down with sand - going 40 mph. I killed that mirror. It wasn't shattered, it was gone. It was no more, no mas', nient'altro, nao mais. Just gone. There was no fixing this. My thoughts at this point were "shit, shit, shit, shit, shit". Oh, did I mention that she had only had this car about 2 months at this point? Ummm, yeah. Ok, back to my thoughts "shit, shit, shit, what am I gonna do, shit, shit, shit". I went home, unloaded my groceries and called my best best friend, Mon. She would have a solution. She knew I was ass broke and couldn't fix this. She would help me fix this. She had no answers. Honestly, I can't remember what she even said; that's how helpful it was to me and my situation. I'm sure that it was something morally ethical and correct. She was and is moral and ethical. However, she wasn't me, and I was freaking the heck out. So, the lie came. I drove over to pick Tara up from work and explained the series of events that caused there to be an apparent missing side mirror. I went in to shop, and when I came out.... the mirror was gone! Someone must have hit it in the parking lot; you know how crazy people get driving through there. And I didn't notice until I started driving away but my gosh, can you believe it? Yes. She did. She believed me. And I felt like dirt. I felt like a dead worm, under the dirt. I lied, but I didn't know what else to do. I was barely making it as it was, and now? Replace a side mirror? I didn't even know how much that would cost. I couldn't chance it. So, that's how it went. Her Dad was mad but how could they blame me? I wasn't even there when it happened. And so, we continued on. Her mirror got replaced, we continued to go out, then slowly.... snail slowly.... our friendship faded away. I know these things sometimes happen. It's life. She was going to college, had met new friends, things change. That probably wasn't what bothered me the most though. My confidant, my best friend.... Mon. We shared everything with each other. But now, she started to fade away. She stopped returning my calls, stopped taking my calls (was conveniently never home), then they moved back to California. Gone. Left. No goodbyes. I was without my best friend. The best friend I had since 7th grade. She and I were gone. Like that mirror. Just gone. Shattered. I was confused and lost, but moved on. I had lots of friends, and those two were no longer around so off I went. I talked to Tara months after our friendship had ended, just out of the blue. She told me that Mon and her had become close friends and that Mon had told her what had really happened with the car. I tried to explain where I was at during that time, but she didn't want to hear it. She just wanted me to know, that she knew. Done. I wished her luck in life, and left it at that. But I still missed my best friend. A year later (when I was 24) Mon called me from California. Just like Tara, but so different. With love, and happiness. With forgiveness and understanding. She was pregnant with her first baby. She and I talked. It was like we had never been apart. I went home to visit her. And that baby? I'm that baby's Godmother. Mon and I are still best friends. But I almost lost her. All over a car, a mirror, and a bad decision.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wonderful Mom Award!

I have met so many lovely bloggy friends here... and I treasure them all. I consider them my "neighbors" because I share my life with them, just as I would my own physical neighbors. So, when I get an award from one of them, it's just like getting a big hug. Today, I got an award from my neighbor, Freeul. Thank you, my friend. I'm honored and appreciate it so much. I'm sending you a huge hug.

This award originally was started by "Wibeche" from Norway.

"This is an award for being a wonderful Mom. You do fantastic work. Be proud of your accomplishments."

I in turn, would like to pass this lovely award on to some of my favorite neighbors. Since I can't pass it back to you Freeul, I'll get you on the next one!

Here we go.....

To my bloggy Moms/Friends/Neighbors:

Diane @ Dianes Addled Ramblings

Doot @ A Nut in a Nutshell

Sandra @ An Italian Mama Gone Crazy

Jennifer @ Rundpinne

Diane @ Good Mourning, Glory!

Deb @ Dirty Socks and Pizza

Melanie @ The Smith Family

And please know, this award is for every one of you beautiful and caring Mom's out there in my bloggy neighborhood. This list could go on and on..... so if you're here, and you're a Mom? This award is also for you (even if you're not specifically listed) because.... YOU are a wonderful MOM!

Wordful Wednesday

Do you know the story of "Flat Stanley"? This poor guy was a normal kid, who woke up one day... FLAT! Apparently, he was crushed by a bulletin board. Can you believe it? He's good though, and begins to realize all the great things he can do by being flat.... slide under doors, saves his Mom's ring by dropping through a metal grating to retrieve it and, the coolest part.... travel is CHEAP! He can fit comfortably into an envelope and travel anywhere.

Well, my son read this wonderful book in school and his class sent flat stanleys of themselves to relatives last month. My profile-challenged kid went to California to visit his Auntie, Cousins and Grandma.

The other day, we received this envelope from California and I of course thought it was my son, coming home but it wasn't. It was my neice, Flat Ke-Ke coming to visit us! So far, she has been visiting with my dogs, played on the trampoline and in the snow, watched the superbowl (in 3D) and now, she's at work with me.

She's having fun.... I think. Well, ummm.... ok.... I'm having fun!

Thanks to Angie over at 7 clown circus for wordful Wednesday.... If you'd like to visit her, please click here!

My Blog Awards!

My Blog Awards!