Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Stats

If you want to see pics you can click here, but do so at your own risk!

As of yesterday:

Weight: 312
BMI: 51.9 (Obese)

Measurements: (I'm only going to update this once a month)

Waist: 53"
Hip: 55"
Thigh: 19"
Arm: 18"

Interestingly enough, I looked back at my OLD myspace blog and compared my measurements when I was 313 lbs. back in June '08. They are exactly the same except my thigh was two inches bigger back then. I wonder what that's all about?

Oh well! I had a great day today. Ate all of my points and spent 45 minutes on the eliptical machine. Feels good!

#1

In the education field, we are taught to "Begin with the end in mind". So, we know that by the end of the year, each one of our students are to have mastered the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for that particular grade level.

My first year of teaching, I had to complete a project within the first few weeks of the school year using backwards design. I had to take the TEKS and plan out the ENTIRE year. If the students were going to have to be able to do long division by the end of the year, what did I need to teach first, next, and so on. It was an incredible undertaking, but it actually made my life SO much easier. I didn't have to focus on what they had to do in the end, I could focus on this week, this day.

So, last night at my WW meeting, we were talking about goals and my leader used this acronym:

S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Attainable
R- Realistic
T- Timely

And I started to really relate my personal goals to what I did as a teacher and making goals for my students.

So, goal #1 from my 30-before-30 list is to lose 100 pounds by my 30th birthday. Let's check it out to see if it's a good goal or not:

1. Is it specific? Yes.
2. Is it measurable? Yes.
3. Is it attainable? Well, this is where it starts to kind of get questionable. So, let's break it down. I have 47 weeks (almost 48) until my 30th birthday. If I divide 100 by 47, that's 2.13 pounds per week. Plus, I usually lose over 5 pounds a week for the first month or so that actually brings it down to below 2 pounds a week after that. So, it is attainable- Yes.
4. Is it realistic? Hmmm, I really don't know. Keep reading as I break this question down.
5. Is it timely? Yes.

Now as for realistic... My first gut instinct is to say no, but I think that's because I'm looking at 100 pounds and feeling the stress of such a big goal.

So, that brings me back to the topic of the WW meeting. We used the analogy of taking a trip, and it really hit home for me.

Just this past weekend, I made the long drive from Corpus Christi, TX to the little bitty town of Spur, TX (ESE of Lubbock). It's a 7.5-8 hour drive, but I can't think about it as an 8 hour drive or I just don't want to do it. Instead, I think of it as a series of goals:


First, I just have to make it to San Antonio (Boerne to be exact) and that's only 2.5 hours. We get out and stretch, walk the dogs, and generally take our time before we get back on the road.

Then our next goal is to make it to Eden, TX. It's another 2 hours and they have places to eat lunch, so once again we take our time and take a break before we hop in the car for the next leg of the trip.

Our next stop is in Sweetwater, TX and then the last leg of the trip until we get to Spur. And that last leg of the trip can take the longest just because we know that we're getting close, so eventhough we don't stop again, we have all of these little landmarks that we look for as we got along (call them mini-goals if you'd like). The other thing that I do during the whole trip is think about what's at the end of the trip, which is my family. And isn't that the REAL goal? It's not just to land in Spur, TX. It's to be with the people that I love.

SO...

What if I take this big goal, and break it down into pieces that feel manageable to me. Like, can I lose 2 pounds this week? Yes, I feel very confident that I can.

Is it realistic for me to think that I can lose 2 pounds this week? Yes, it is.

So, there you go. And later on, as it gets tougher, I may have to adjust my goal, but that's ok. If I drove all the way to Sweetwater and got a flat, would I turn all the way around and go back home? No. I would have to take some time and deal with the situation and then continue forward. (AND THAT RIGHT THERE FOLKS HAS BEEN MY BIGGEST ISSUE)

Life is going to happen and get in the way and I've got to give myself some slack. This does not have to be a perfect process. Because in the end, is the 100 pounds my REAL goal? No. I want to be healthier and happier, I want to have a family, I want to treat my body as a temple. Those are the real goals and they are so much more important than the number.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2 Down, 28 to Go!

A few weeks ago (ok, so almost a month ago) I shared my 30-before-30 list with the whole world- embarassing #30 and all. (Hey, I'm nothing if not honest, right? ... Right?)



And then I seem to have pretty much fallen off the face of the planet. Ok, so that isn't exactly true. (hmmm, maybe not as honest as I thought.)



The truth is that the last month has been incredible, and I've just been so busy going through it that I haven't stopped to document it. Which really, is kind of a bad idea.



So, this is my attempt today! I have some triumphant news to share with you! I can officially check off two items from my checklist!





But first I must interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this special announcement:



I know what you're thinking! She cheated! She put those two things on the list knowing that she was about to do them! I know how you think. How dare you judge my list lest your list be judged. Um, you have a list, right? Right.



You will have to stand corrected though because this list was started quite a while before my birthday and both items were on there LONG before the trip to Salt Lake City and items #28 and 29 are totally unrelated. Yes, you are right, Mormons do not drink coffee or tea (herbal tea is ok), but no they do not have anything against sodas in moderation.



I on the other hand do have something against them. For a while now, caffeine has made me feel bad. It makes me swell up and my kidneys hurt, so I don't drink it anymore. Ok, so I had two slip ups since my birthday with Coke Zero, but I didn't finish them and they were while I was weening off. I can tell you today that I am officially OVER caffeine. Seriously.



As for #29, we are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The baptism and confirmation were amazing ceremonies, and I cried many tears of joy. I feel so incredibly blessed. I also received a very specific message about what God wants from me which is very exciting. I don't think I could effectively describe what has happened without diminishing it, so I'll just leave it at that.

As for all of the other goals, I'm getting back on track and making a plan of action. Those details are soon to come!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Comes Next?

I wish my life were like this-



But it's a lot more like this-
I've got to stop repeating this pattern. I've got to be able to hit stumbling blocks without it becoming a catastrophe. I've got to be able to move forward, but truly to do that I've got to forgive myself for being human and imperfect. I've got to stop telling myself what I've got to do.
Let it go, Brandi. Accept yourself. Love yourself. It's ok.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fire Drill

If you wanna know what this is all about you can go back and read this blog or just check out FlyLady's Beginner BabySteps.


Day 6: Hot Spots!


- Getting Dressed to lace up shoes
- Keeping our sink shining
- Going to Big Tent and reading messages
- Looking at our posted reminders in the kitchen and bathroom
- Recognizing the negative voices when you hear them and changing the words to be nice to you. That is what FLYing (Finally Loving Yourself) is all about.

Today we are going to learn about Hot Spots. We all have them. Here is a link on our website to read the definition of a Hot Spot.

http://flylady.net/pages/FLYFaq.asp#hotspot

Now I want you to set your timer for 2 minutes and lets practice putting out your Hot Spot. You don’t have to work till you have finished; just do what you can in 2 minutes. Put your bills in one place. This will keep you from having to search for them.


This is one of our worst hot spots:


Our coffee table is like the epicenter of our home. We eat here (no dining table), we use our laptops here, and we drop all of our junk here! And it's really hard to do all of those things there when it is usually covered with junk. So, we set the timer (yes, I said we because the hubs wanted to help) and two minutes later, this is what we had:
Seriously. Two minutes. For real.


Granted, it wasn't that bad to begin with, but it just goes to show that you don't need a lot of time to make a big impact. It is an area that is constantly going to be a hot spot, but I know I'll just need to spend 2 minutes and it'll be clean and clutter free!

P.S. Did you see that blue thing in the first picture? That's where I keep all of our bills/important info. like our monthly budget.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Big News

I have some big news that I want to share today. I'm a little bit nervous about sharing this information just because I'm not sure how it will be received, but I want you to know that I am full of joy and hopefully that will be enough.

So, it all started with a little trip to Salt Lake City...

On the last night of our visit, we finally made time to go visit Temple Square. If you are not familiar with the Temple Square, it is basically the epicenter of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormon or LDS Church). We had driven around the square several times and were taken by the beauty, but we kept putting a visit off. It is all open to the public (except for the Temple itself). We really didn't know what to expect and just planned to walk around a bit and then go back and pack up to leave the next morning.

We ended up talking to two of the sisters for a while and Havie shared with him that he had grown up in the Mormon church. His mother was Catholic and his father was Mormon, so they switched back and forth every weekend growing up. When his mom passed from Cancer, he basically lost all of his faith. However, he had a feeling that night that he was supposed to return to the church. He asked the sisters to send missionaries to visit with him. They walked us over to the auditorium where we got to listen to the organist practicing. I have to admit that I was curious. I felt a presence and peace that I couldn't deny.
Havie asked me if I would be willing to look into the church with him, and I told him that I would. I had never seen my husband like this before, how could I not be open to learning more? I have to admit though, that I was very skeptical. I thought that I knew what the Mormon church was about and I couldn't imagine that I would be able to buy into it.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we were visited by two of the local missionaries. They brought such a message of love into our home. They dispelled some of my biggest misconceptions that night, but the biggest thing that happened was they asked us to pray. To ask God to let us know that the words they were saying to us were true. And they promised that if we asked with sincere hearts, we would receive a message. And we did.

The last few weeks, we have been immersed in the word of God. We have been meeting with the missionaries several times a week for lessons as well as going to church on Sunday. I've had moments of serious doubt- of fear. But I've also had moments of pure love. I've realized that this is my path, and we have set a date of baptism for the 19th of December.

I don't want you to think that I'm going to become some brainwashed ultra-religious person. I am still going to be me. I just have the greater purpose and path that I've always been seeking. I will be sharing some of this spiritual journey from time to time, but I will continue to mostly blog about the same things I have been.

If you have questions, I would love to answer them or at least find the answer if I don't know it yet. Regardless of your own personal religious inclinations, I hope that you can respect that faith is a personal journey, as I do for you.

Do you Hear What I Hear?

I was exhausted yesterday afternoon for some reason, and wound up taking a SUPER long nap. I woke up in a panic later than evening because I almost slept through the night without shining the sink/doing a bunch of other stuff I needed to do, but I walked into the kitchen and what did I see?


Well, a shiny sink! The hubs so sweetly decided to take it upon himself to do it since I was resting. Truly Awww inducing. I didn't even know he had noticed anything different was going on other than me asking him to keep his dishes loaded throughout the day and to dry out the sink when he was done. FlyLady said that it would rub off on the other people in our homes, and she was RIGHT! And now for yesterday's babystep-

Day 5- Write Down What You Hear

- Getting Dressed to lace up shoes
- Keeping our sink shining
- Going to Big Tent and reading messages
- Looking at our posted reminders in the kitchen and bathroom

Are you hearing any of those nagging negative voices popping into your head? I want you to take a piece of paper and write down what you hear then I want you to turn those ugly words around and say something nice to yourself to negate the ugly words that they said.

So, since I was actually looking for it, it was amazing how often I had those negative voices going on. I had every reason to be proud of myself yesterday. First of all, I showered Friday night and dried my hair which was an accomplishment in itself because I'm ALWAYS procrastinating eventhough I prefer to do it this way. My hair is easier to style the next day and I sleep better.

I got up early, for a Saturday, and had time to do my entire sticky-note list including make-up! I even had my hair completely down and it looked great! I should have had the hubs snap a shot, but I was running a tight schedule at that point and had to run out the door to be on time to the pageant. And that's where the negative thoughts began.

I ended up being a judge because no one else came through for my boss. I was super scared. I thought that I was totally unqualified for the job and my insecurities started up. As we were walking out to conduct the interviews, I caught the eyes of one of the Women contestants and her mother. They gave me a funny look and I immediately thought the worst. "They probably think that I'm too fat. How am I going to judge them?" Ay yay yay...

As we were walking I said to myself, "Brandi. Stop that. You look very put together and professional today. They are probably just nervous and wondering what you're thinking. Hold your head up high and be confident." And you know what? It actually worked!

So, fast forward a few hours after I woke up from the nap, and they started up again, but this time it was about the house. I got a reaming from my mind for sleeping all afternoon when I could have been getting everything on my list done. "Once again, here I am procrastinating when I know there's a bazillion things that need to be done."

This one was harder to squash, but I told myself over and over that I've made alot of progress in just five days and that while the house isn't spic and span, it is pretty clean. Most of the laundry is done, and everything else can wait. It will be ok. I don't have to be perfect overnight as long as I keep trying and moving in the right direction. Eventually, it worked and I was able to just go back to bed.

Keep your eyes out for another blog tonight as I have a very special announcement to make!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Write it Down

Today was an easy day! Not just because my FlyLady babystep was easy, but because it is already becoming easier to follow the steps that have been laid out so far. I know it may seem so simple to others, but for me, it's always been a struggle. This is exactly the kind of structure and love guidance that I've always needed. And I know I'm not alone because thousands of people are following this program too! Maybe it will help you too.

Day 4: Write These Things Down

So far we are;

- Getting Dressed to lace up shoes
- Keeping our sink shining
- Going to Big Tent and reading messages

Your next thing is to write these things down on a sticky note and post them on your bathroom mirror and above your kitchen sink. This is the beginning of your Control Journal. The little notes help us to remember the habits we are trying to establish.

I don't really need a reminder to check BigTent because I have it set up that everything is emailed to me and I make it a point to read the emails as they come. Sometimes if I don't have time, I go ahead and delete some of them. I do this because FlyLady says it is ok. I can pick them back up where I left off!

So, here's some pics of my sticky note reminders:
One in the kitchen

And one in the bathroom

And that's me in my bathrobe... ;) I guess you got more than you bargained for! LOL

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Day

And Another Shiny Sink!

Day 3: Do What We Have Already Done

Today you are doing what we have already done.
-Getting up and dressing to lace up shoes
-Keeping your sink shining

Now is the time to start exploring Big Tent. Be sure and read the NEWS. This is where you will find the Daily Flight Plan, the essays and the testimonials.

https://www.bigtent.com/groups/flylady


Dressed to the Shoes! Still didn't get to the makeup and the hair is questionable, but it's still a big step in the right direction.

And I just can't get enough of the shiny sink. We are keeping it under control by staying on top of it, so it really isn't a big deal at all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

To the Shoes

I'm continuing to blog daily about my progress on my 30 before 30 list as well as Flylady's Beginner Baby Steps.

Day 2: Get dressed to "Lace-up" Shoes

"Today I want you get up and get dressed to lace up shoes when you first get up in the morning. This means fix your hair and face too. Shine your sink before you go to bed."
So, here's the deal. The whole "lace-up" shoes is more about SAHM's who are more prone to throw on flip flops, or slippers as opposed to "real" shoes. You can read the whole reasoning here. For me, this isn't about wearing "lace-up" shoes. It's about caring enough about myself and my presentation to put my best foot forward.

I have to make a painful admission right here and right now. I don't take very good care of myself. I don't bathe enough, I hardly ever style my hair, and I usually just throw on whatever is clean with a pair of flip flops. I'm sloppy eventhough that's not the way I want to be. I've just kind of given up on trying.

So, I woke up determined to complete this babystep. And it didn't come easy. First of all, I spent way too much time in the shower (which reminded me that I've always preferred to shower at night instead). So I felt rushed to fix my hair which led to a big hair meltdown- and I ended up pulling it half back with my bangs swept off my face, but I think it still counts as "fixed". Then I started getting dressed, only to find that my sweater was missing a button. Not to be deterred, I quickly whipped out the replacement button and sewed it on. That didn't leave my any time to fix my face, but the fact that it was clean was good enough for me. I was so relieved that I had Havie snap a picture before I ran out the door.

So, I had the nerve to be embarrassed about this picture for about two seconds when my brain said "Hold UP." This is a million times better than I look most days. Sure, I could look better, but I've got to stop beating myself up so much! I love this sweater that I got before my trip to Utah. I was so excited to get to wear is in SOUTH TEXAS and it matches my gray shoes! I honestly felt great and I think it showed because I got lots of compliments.

The hubs made dinner tonight because we had missionaries coming over for a lesson at 7pm. So, when I got home, I got to work on straightening the house. Dinner was ready by 6pm and we were done eating by 6:30pm... And this is what the kitchen looked like:



The hubs doesn't believe in cleaning as he cooks- lol. That's ok because clean-up was a breeze! I had the dishes loaded and the sink shined in record time. By 6:45, I was sitting down and relaxing waiting for the Elders to show!

I didn't have to do the whole shiny sink ritual again, just cleaned the sink out with the remaining dish soap on the sponge and rinsed it well. Then dried it with the towel we had been using all day. Then I Windexed the whole thing and voila! Shiny Sink!

I've gotta say- having a clean kitchen makes me really happy. I don't want to make myself seem shallow. It's not like that. It's more about feeling a sense of accomplishment. For so long, I couldn't figure out how to make any part of my home presentable. I still have a long way to go, but this is a really good start for me.

P.S. I listened to music for over an hour today in bits and pieces and I've gotta say that it made me really happy. I need to remember this! The not watching tv for more than an hour is going to be harder simply because the hubs ALWAYS has it on. Going to have to work on that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reflections

If you haven't read my birthday blog yet, you can check it out here. As you can see #10 on my list was to follow FlyLady's daily routines. So, in an effort to meet that goal, I am started today with her 31 day Beginner BabySteps. It works out perfectly to finish out 2009 and be ready to Rock out 2010! I thought I'd share my progress with you!

Day 1: Go Shine Your Sink

"Your very first BabyStep is to go shine your sink. Dont listen to those voices that tell you that its not going to help your messy house. This is exactly where I started and this little habit has changed my life! Take this BabyStep in faith and go do it. Here are the directions for shining your kitchen sink."
So, what's in a Shiny Sink?


Here are FlyLady's full Shiny Sink Instructions, or you can just read my run-down!


These are all the products I used to shine my sink.

1. Fill the sink with hot water and 1C. of bleach and let it sit for a while to disinfect.

2. Rinse the sink thoroughly and use Ajax, Comet, etc. with scrubby sponge to scrub every inch of the sink to get rid of stains and bits. I also use the toothbrush at this time around cracks and crevaces.

3. Again, I rinse well, and then because I have an old Stainless Steel sink, I pull out a S.O.S. pad and buff the sink. It is necessary for me to get any shine at all out of it.

4. Finally, after I've finished it really well again, I dry it and then pull out the windex to put that final shine on the sink.

5. Lay out a clean towel to dry the sink with tomorrow.

It didn't take long (once the dishes were loaded), and it's not like you have to do all of these steps every day. It really put a smile on my face this morning to walk in to a CLEAN kitchen to make breakfast. The great thing is that once the sink is shined, all you have to do is keep a towel by the sink to dry it out all day and your sink always looks great. Plus it completely motivated me to get the dishes taken care of after breakfast.

I'm sorry I forgot to take a before picture, but here are my after shots for your viewing pleasure!


For a crappy little apartment sink, I think it looks pretty good! Don't you think? So, do you think you'll try to shine your sink?

Friday, November 27, 2009

30 before 30

A few months ago, I came across this blog post from Emma Bradshaw, and I immediately fell in love with the idea of making a list of things you'd like to accomplish in the next year before your next birthday. So, I set off making a list of realistic and measurable goals for me to work on, but I got about 10 goals and was stuck. So, I did some google searching and discovered that lots of people make a 30 before 30 list (often when they are like 25 with crazy stuff like travel the world, etc.)

So, before I introduce my list, I just want to make 2 things clear:

1. I do not see 30 as this looming date with disaster. I'm not trying to complete a list before my life ends or anything crazy like that. I am looking forward to my 30's! My 20's were rough. I am grateful for the life experiences and all that jazz, but truly I am finally comfortable with who I am and know where I'm going. So now I'm just excited to start the trip!

2. This list isn't a contract by any means! I'm not going to freak out if I can't accomplish it all. Those items will just move on to the next years list! Some of the goals are things I really WANT to do and some of them are things I really NEED to do. Either way, they are simply goals!

So, without further adieu:

1. Get Pregnant- yep, just gonna get it right out there. We are officially going to start trying to have a baby, but probably not until closer to the end of the year.
2. Lose 100 pounds- one of the reasons pregnancy probably won't come until the end of the year (lol)
3. Learn how to crochet so I can make this for the nursery.
4. Go skinny dipping because I never have before.
5. Go to at least 3 live music events. I love live music, but never seem to justify going anymore!
6. Complete 30 hours of community service.
7. Write 30 letters- like actual letters and mail them to different people because it will make them happy.
8. Read 30 books.
9. Repair my credit with this book that has been sitting on my shelf for 2 years.
10. Follow FlyLady's daily routines.
11. Conquer our paper clutter and do something with all of my teaching stuff.
12. Take a trip to somewhere we've never been before.
13. Pray, Journal and Meditate Daily.
14. Walk the Bayfront at least once a week.
15. Schedule all of my needed Dr. appointments!!! I am so bad about that!
16. Learn a new dance- I'm thinking belly dancing and maybe Salsa!
17. Go camping- yet another thing I love to do but haven't been able to justify a trip in forever!
18. Make a wedding photobook.
19. Find a creative outlet- maybe rekindle my love of photography.
20. Watch no more than 1 hour of television a day. I'm just tired of wasting so much time.
21. Try Al-Anon
22. Listen to music at least 1 hr./day because it will make me happy.
23. Make a new friend.
24. Reconnect with an old friend.
25. Try Yoga.
26. Call family and friends on a regular basis- another thing I am REALLY bad about!
27. Make a fool of myself singing karaoke.
28. Give up caffeine. It just makes me feel bad.
29. Find a church home.
30. Try 5 new things in the bedroom. (I was hoping if I put it at the end of the list you wouldn't notice!)

WISH ME LUCK!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Better Late than Never!


So, I know... You've been dying for an update! :) And I must apologize immensely for my lack of desire to do so. I've been stuck in my own little world lately- thanks to a crazy couple of weeks- and I've quite enjoyed it, thank you! But it's time to come back out and live in the real world with my real friends who have been quite patient with me. What a lucky gal I am!

By the way, aren't we cute? That's my "mother-in-law" and I at her grandfather's 80th birthday party. Yes, we are about the same age. Long story.

Anyway. I will be posting a blog about my trip up North and some other stuff very soon, but first I need to return to these blog roots and tell you all about how my personal journey is coming.

First of all, therapy is amazing. I am working with someone that I've really connected with. We are really getting down to the nitty gritty and eventhough it gets really tough at times, I can feel the progress. So, I want to share two things I've learned in the past few months:

1. I am an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. My therapist gave me that book at our very first session and I've had to digest it slowly because I am having my mind blown with each and every page. I would recommend it to anyone who delt with substance abusing parents growing up (no matter how functional or not).

2. I have a Dissociate Disorder. There are 4 of them, but I clearly fall into one category. Now, I don't know if I have been formally diagnosed, but it has been mentioned more than once by my therapist. So, I decided to check it out, and this is what I read on the wikipedia-

"Depersonalization disorder (DSM-IV Codes 300.6[2]) - periods of detachment
from self or surrounding which may be experienced as "unreal" (lacking in
control of or "outside of" self) while retaining awareness that this is only a
feeling and not a reality."

This so perfectly describes how I feel most of the time that I don't need to be formally diagnosed to know that's exactly what is going on with me. In laments terms, I basically live in la la land. It's a defense mechanism that started a LONG time ago to protect me from all of the stress.

So, what does that all mean? I have some work to do. I am going to start attending Al-Anon meetings. I am going to continue therapy. I am going to stop being so hard on myself (a typical trait for ACOAs). I am going to work on being present, aware, purposeful, conscious, etc. That includes starting to recognize when I am in the present and when I'm not- which is really hard for me right now, but I discovered one thing:

When I'm driving and it's sunny and quiet, I sort of "wake up" and realize all of a sudden that everything is real. I've even said to Havie before, "Wow. You're really real?" And then I have to touch him just to make sure. I know he's real, but most of the time it doesn't feel like he's real. Can you wrap your head around this? LOL...

I know... I'm crazy. But knowing is the first step.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"By The Sea"
* For imperfections.

I love the fact that hand made items are back in style. With the emergence of websites like Etsy and the blog realm, it is becoming easier and easier to find quality handmade and even custom made items.

Handmade items are naturally flawed in a way that make them charming, unique, irreplaceable, and eventually more valuable. They are special.

Lets say for example a woven tapestry. If it is made by hand it is going to have many flaws. It may not be as intricate. You could purchase one made by a computer and it is going to be perfect, but it will also be boring. Safe, mundane, replaceable- unvaluable. Not special at all. It may still be aesthetically pleasing, but it won't mean anything to the owner.

If I look at my life as a tapestry, with each run a portion of my life, it will undoubtedly be affected by the incidents in my life. These incidents could create a ripple within my tapestry that takes time and hard work to over come, but they can be smoothed, however that flaw will always be a part of my fabric. That imperfection is what makes me valuable, interesting, charming, and loveable.

I have bumps, lumps, and sometimes my threads have been snipped. I will never be perfect, but my tapestry (a work in progress) is beautiful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gaining Ground

This scale is hilarious! So, am I a duck today or a buffalo?
I had successfully avoided weighing in two weeks in a row, but I bit the bullet last night and went to my WW meeting. I was absolutely expecting to gain weight- lots of it in fact. As I previously reported, the last three weeks have been totally off the grid. I got back on the wagon just this Sunday, but the past 3 days must have done some good because last night, when I stepped on the scale...
Are you ready for this?
I had only gained .6 lbs!!! I wish I hadn't gained at all, but it could have been MUCH worse! It only reinforces my determination. Imagine how much weight could be off by now if I had been on track!
Today is going to be tricky. We are celebrating at my office and lunch is being provided and dessert too... I'm planning to stick to my lean cuisine and have some pudding! Wish me luck! Die evil lunch, die!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Back on the Wagon!


I am just so excited that I had to go ahead and blog about it! I am officially back on the wagon. I am ready to re-commit to my weight loss/health goals. (Not that I ever gave up, just had to take a moment to focus on other aspects of my life for a bit)
I figured something out this weekend that is crucial to my success daily- I have to have breakfast! If I start out the day with a good breakfast, it is MUCH easier for me to stay on track for the rest of the day. To take it a step further, I have to have my breakfast planned the night before because I am NOT a morning person. If I don't have something planned and something easy, I won't eat.
I am sure that I gained some weight during the last 3 weeks. I am not going to worry about it. If I get too upset or put too much pressure on myself, I will just want to give up. I have to make it okay for myself to "mess up" from time to time. I will know for sure when I weigh in Tuesday.
You have all been so encouraging, and I really appreciate it! I am excited to be back on my journey and feel so hopeful for what's to come!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Whatever Cayce Wants, Cayce Gets!


I was totally imagining that song "Whatever Lola Wants" as I typed the title... lol. But seriously, thanks for calling me out Cayce- an update is WAY overdue! So, here we go!

First and foremost- things are looking up. I just want to get that out there right off the bat because eventhough my life isn't where I want it to be, I have to remember that it's so much better and I am truly blessed.

Before I delve into a relationship update, I want to give you a personal update. I started counseling about a month ago, and I am working super hard and it shows. I've had therapy in the past successfully, so it's really allowing me to get in there deep. I am finally dealing with some deeper issues and it gives me hope that I won't be stuck here forever.

What comes with doing that hard work is that it stirs up alot of emotion within me that I've had swept into the corners. The way I deal with uncomfortable emotions is by eating- so needless to say, I've been "off the wagon" for about two weeks now. I am getting back on, but I'm also allowing myself to go through this right now because I'm tired of beating myself up. I'm not gaining and I'm not binge eating.

I really have to stop right here and explain something before I move on. I worry that it may come across that I'm being self-centered right now and that I'm only concerned with myself. And maybe for now that is the case, but I've come to realize that I HAVE to put myself first. I have to be ok in order for me to care for anyone else. My grandmother used to always tell me, "Take care of yourself because no one else will." I'd like to change that last word to can. We are all trying to find someone to take care of us, but the truth is that they will always fail because we are the only ones who can care for ourselves. (stepping off the soapbox now)

So, as for the husband and I... We are making it. I am flying in less than two weeks to visit him for about 5 days for our 3rd Anniversary. I am excited, nervous, scared, and about a million other things. I haven't seen him in about 3 months and I feel like there is a lot riding on this visit. That is too much pressure, so I'm just trying to focus on each day as it comes and be purposeful about the goals I want to achieve. Plus, it is going to be COLD up there... Like 0 degrees... lol

Then he will turn around and be here for about 5 days for Thanksgiving. It's hard to tell right now, but it's looking like we will be apart for Christmas. I am not happy about it, but I am just praying that something else comes along. The jobs are few and far between these days folks. For me, no amount of money is worth all of this loneliness and pain, but he doesn't feel the same way.

I don't know where this road is leading, and only time will tell. But I am devoted to myself and to my marriage. I will do whatever it takes. This is a defining moment for me. I can feel it with every fiber of my being. Life will never be the same from this point forward, and that's a good thing.

P.S. I know this is random, but as much as I love the Fall, I have to wonder how I ended up living somewhere that only has two seasons: hot and hotter... What's with the 112 heat indexes this week? Sheesh!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why?

Today is Riley's funeral. He was only 19 months old last week when he died of blunt force trauma to his abdomen. He would have just been another faceless victim to me (for which I would still have mourned), but my sister photographed him months ago for his first birthday. I had admired his smile, the sparkle in his eyes, his cute little teeth. I was devastated to learn of his death, especially knowing that his own mother was arrested in connection with his death. It is heartbreaking, madening, and confusing.




Dear God,

I just can't understand.

Why does this happen? How could ANYONE hurt a child? Why are there so many blessed with children who can't even take care of them- when there are so many who could and can't have them.

I know there is a reason for everything. But I can't honestly fathom it.

Brandi

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Come Home

This is what I need to say today, and this song says it perfectly. Just putting it out there to the world and maybe, just maybe. Providing the video so you can hear the song and the words so you can get the message.



Come Home by One Republic

Hello world, hope you're listening
Forgive me if I'm young, speaking out of turn
There's someone I've been missing
I think that they could be, the better half of me
They're in the wrong place trying to make it right
And I'm tired of justifying,
So I say to you-

(Chorus)
Come home, come home
Cause I've been waiting for you
For so long, for so long
And right now there's a war between the vanities,
But all I see is you and me
The fight for you is all I've ever known,
So come home.

I get lost in the beauty of everything I see
The world ain't half as bad as they paint it to be
If all the sons and all the daughters stopped to take it in
Well hopefully the hate subsides and the love can begin
It might start now.... Yeah
Or maybe I'm just dreamin' out loud
But until then-

(Chorus)
Come home, come home
Cause I've been waiting for you
For so long, for so long
Right now there's a war between the vanities
but all I see is you and me
The fight for you is all I've ever known
So come home

Everything I can't be
Is everything you should be
And that's why I need you here
Everything I can't be
Is everything you should be
And that's why I need you here
So hear me now-

(Chorus)
Come home, come home
Cause I've been waiting for you
For so long, for so long
Right now there's a war between the vanities
But all I see is you and me
The fight for you is all I've ever known
Even known
So come home
Come home

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Losing for Winning


I've been sharing my weight loss successes (and sometimes failures) online for quite a while now. It has been an amazing experience over the years. I have shared my victories and struggles, and I have had so much support from so many. This week, when I reported my weight loss through my Facebook status, I was asked by an old friend how I was managing to do it. I told him that I was doing Weight Watchers, but that I was just eating the stuff we know is healthy (whole grains, lean meats, veggies, fruits, etc.) and staying away from the stuff we know is unhealthy. He then remarked that it sounded so simple. He had always thought losing weight was tough to do. And I wasn't sure what to say about that.

On the one hand, it is simple. Just eat what is good for you, in an appropriate portion and exercise. It really is just that simple.

On the other hand, it is so complicated and emotional and hard. There are so many aspects of ourselves and our lives that are wrapped up in what we eat. Eventhough food is meant to just nourish our bodies and give them the fuel they need, it means so much more to us emotionally. That's the hard part to deal with.

I think first and foremost, I have to say that my own personal weight loss is not driven by a desire to be "skinny." At one point in time, that was something I was deeply concerned with, but just isn't important anymore. I am being driven by a desire to be healthy- emotionally and physically. Eventhough I have not yet faced any serious physical issues related to being obese, I have had enough to know that I don't want to continue down this road. I want to be able to run around the yard with little ones. I want to be able to bend over without feeling like I'm going to pass out. I want energy. Those are the goals that motivate me now, and it has made all the difference in the world.

Basically I've decided to start sharing the details of this journey with you. I will blog once a week about my progress and let you in on what's working for me.

I am by no means a professional and what's working for me may or may not have any relevance to you, but I've come a long way and if my story can help someone else make this journey- it will all be worth it!

So, here are my current stats:

Current weight: 305.6 lbs.
Current weight loss: -13 pounds in 3 weeks

Please check out these links to past blogs about my weight loss/weight issues:

I am satisfied today, not because I had a Snickers, and not because I didn't have a Snickers. I am satisfied because what I am eating is nourishing me. I am not hungry. I am not in pain. I am not feeling guilty and ashamed. Instead I feel energy, I feel comfortable, I feel satisfied.

Thankful Thursday

I know that I've already shared this on Facebook yesterday, and Brandy shared it on her blog today, but I love this video and I feel that it's message is so profound and so simple. I hope that you will be blessed by it's message today.



* For today

* For me. Yes, me. I have something to contribute to this world. I am worthy of my own admiration and affection. I'm not there yet, but I'll fake it til I make it.

* For you. Yes, you. You have something to contribute to this world. You are worthy of your own admiration and affection. You may or may not be there yet, but I pray you find your way.

* For awareness/consciousness/intent- I prefer to live in my dream world, but I'm finding happiness in trying these on for size.

* For finding a good fit. Grandma Moses was probably a wonderful therapist, but she just wasn't what I needed. "Wow, you have ALOT of history!" lol

* For nourishment- in so many areas of my life.

* For satisfaction. You aren't going to believe me when I tell you that I am satisfied while dieting. I am. It really is possible.

* For Wednesday night dinners with family. If you only knew how much I am getting out of spending time with you, you'd understand why I won't accept your money.

* For friends. I am so glad that I've reconnected with you. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me think, and you make me feel ok. I really am so blessed.

* For music. It truly speaks directly to my soul. Any genre, any form, any voice...

* For unconditional love. I don't deserve it and yet it is given to me. I can/must give it away as well.

* For hope. You're like that spot of sun peeking through the clouds, so bright that I can't ignore your presence, can't deny your warmth- and though you are so small and the clouds are so great- you fill the dark sky with light.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday on Wednesday


*For figurative language- makes life so colorful... I can't quite bring myself to call us "Metaphor Whores," so I think we'll stick with Crayola's of Communication... LOL, oh dear...

* For the fact that I couldn't wait until tomorrow to write my list, and having so much to say that I'm debating on what should come next!

* For amazing friends- I don't have a bunch of them, but I'll take quality over quantity anyday.

* For conversations and questions that open my eyes. That honesty and safety to say what needs to be said.

* For something feeling like home. It is a feeling that you can't really describe, but you just know it when you feel it.

* For the happiness and satisfaction I have right now as I watch the lives of three of my closest friends grow and blossom before my very eyes. It brings me so much joy and pride.

* For history, familiarity, comfort... I wasn't expecting those things to mean so much to me, but they feel so good.

* For a rainy weekend that ended with sun peaking out and God supplying the most fantastic rainbow I've ever seen.

* For these in-between times... I know they are necessary... Just don't like 'em... one bit

* For motivation... It really is the key

* For clarity and consciousness... working on both, and it feels good

* For this mess we're in... yes, I am thankful for it. Maybe it will push us to make all of those changes we've wanted to make but were too- scared, lazy, in denial, procrastinating...

* For the fact that I will be 29 soon, and that doesn't seem to bother me one bit. I'm ready to have the 20's over with- they sucked!

* For love.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Journey

By: Mary Oliver


One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting their bad advice-
though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
"Mend my life!" each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with it's stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy was terrible.


It was already late enough,
and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do-
determined to save the only life that you could save.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday



"You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies are too few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can get and make the most of it.


Darius, who doesn’t like school, who is sometimes stupid and mostly a fool, said something wise today, though most days he says nothing. Darius, who chases girls with firecrackers or a stick that touched a rat and thinks he’s tough, today pointed up because the world was full of clouds, the kind like pillows.


You all see that cloud, that fat one there? Darius said, See that? Where? That one next to the one that looks like popcorn. That one there. See that. That’s God, Darius said. God? somebody little asked. God, he said, and made it simple."


From House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Just wanted to share my favorite passage from my favorite book. That's all I've got to say today!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Update


Oh, I crack myself up sometimes...
So, it's been 10 days since my life turned sideways, and much has happened since my last blog, but I just haven't been ready to share because I'm still processing it myself.
About a week ago, my husband had yet another change of heart. He decided that he loved me and he missed me and he wanted to work things out, but he still wasn't coming home. And I have come to understand why he is unwilling to leave this job. For one, there just isn't work going on in his field right now. Two, this is turning out to be a great opportunity for him professionally. They have already discussed promotion with him. They are installing a state-of-the-art system that is the first of it's kind. If it goes well, they are going to be doing the same thing all around the country. This might revolutionize the oil refining industry, which will be great knowledge when he starts working on his engineering degree.
So, we are basically in this "in-between" state. There isn't much we can do right now other than work on ourselves. I can't worry about what he's doing or not doing. I can only focus on what I am doing or not doing. I really don't know what is going to happen or where this is going to go. I love my husband, and I believe in our marriage. We are both imperfect humans and we have spent too much time just settling back into what is comfortable instead of really dealing with our issues.
But I am refusing to just settle back in this time. I have lost some of my momentum over the weekend. It was difficult for me- very lonely. I felt myself starting to slip into depression territory. Which makes it that much more important for me to stay focused on my goals.
I leave for Denver early Saturday morning. I'm praying that the weekend together will provide us an opportunity to regain our footing. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday


For Dark Times- "When it is dark enough, men see stars." Ralph Waldo Emerson

For in-between times- boy do the suck, but they are necessary. :)

For having someone to process this with. You've always been there with open arms and I am once again blessed to have you to guide me through this time.

For so many friends and family members who are truly concerned. I am overwhelmed by your support and attention.

For baby steps. One at a time, day by day. I can handle anything one step at a time.

For this crisis. It brought about a determination, motivation, mission to do what I really should have been doing all along- taking care of myself and loving myself.

For him. Yes, for him. Eventhough, Still, Always

For adrenaline rushes that make me feel like I'm on top of the world. If I'd have known you felt so good, I woulda coulda shoulda...

For being conscious of a need for boundaries and signs that I'm losing my resolve

For you making a decision knowing that it would show me what I needed to see... Putting me before work. It's a first and I see it and I know what it means.

For finding help for others like me, knowing that I'm not alone and that there's hope yet.

For music that speaks to the very depths of my soul and pulls me to stand and sing

For all the gifts God has given me. I didn't deserve them, but He loved me anyway and gave them to me.

For forgiveness.

and finally,

For the fact that this is my longest thankful list ever, on a week when some might think I'd have nothing to be grateful for.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Struggles to butter(fly)ing


Almost 10 years ago, during my college years, I was enduring a different kind of crisis when a new friend, Brandy, gave me a book to encourage me. In it, she had bookmarked and hilighted a particular story. It opened my eyes, and started me down a path that led me to peace and freedom. Somehow over the past few years, I have completely lost my way. As I was doing an image search yesterday for the word "change," I came across the image of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. It all came flooding back to me. I'd like to share that story with you today. Some of you know it already, but it is a great reminder. It is long, but worth the read.

Struggles
Retold by Alice Gray

When he was a small boy, he had loved butterflies. Oh, not to net and mount them, but to wonder at their designs and habits.
Now a grown man with his first son to be born in a few weeks, he found himself once again fascinated with a cocoon. He had found it at the side of the park path. Somehow the twig had been knocked from the tree and the cocoon had survived undamaged and still woven to the branch.
As he had seen his mother do, he gently protected it by wrapping it in his handkerchief and carried it home. The cocoon found a temporary home in a wide-top mason jar with holes in the lid. The jar was placed on the mantle for easy viewing and protection from their curious cat who would delight in volleying the sticky silk between her paws.
The man watched. His wife's interest lasted only a moment, but he studied the silky envelope. Almost imperceptibly at first, the cocoon moved. He watched more closely and soon the cocoon was trembling with activity. Nothing else happened. The cocoon remained tightly glued to the twig and there was no sign of wings.
Finally the shaking became so intense, the man thought the butterfly would die from the struggle. He removed the lid on the jar, took a sharp pen knife from his desk drawer, and carefully made a tiny slit in the side of the cocoon. Almost immediately, one wing appeared and then out stretched the other. The butterfly was free!
It seemed to enjoy its freedom and walked along the edge of the mason jar and along the edge of the mantle. But it didn't fly. At first the man thought the wings needed time to dry, but time passed and still the butterfly did not take off.
The man was worried and called up his neighbor who taught high school science. He told the neighbor how he had found the cocoon, placed it in the mason jar, and the terrible trembling as the butterfly struggled to get out. When he described how he had carefully made a small slit in the cocoon, the teacher stopped him. "Oh, that is the reason. You see, the struggle is what gives the butterfly the strength to fly."
And so it is with us. Sometimes it's the struggles in life that strengthen our faith the most.


The struggles in life are what make flying so sweet. If it were all perfect, we wouldn't be able to appreciate it! I think that this story also offers a lesson from the point of the view of the man. We often feel like we have to save others from their struggles. In the end, our help can only keep them from reaching their natural potential. I can only help myself, and allow the other people in my life to do the same for themselves.

So, why is this blog called butter(fly)ing?

I recently came across a website that is helping me get myself in gear. Flylady.net is all about helping individuals eliminate CHAOS from their lives and to Finally Love Yourself. I know it's super cheesy, but it's my biggest problem. It is going to be a process, but the wheels are in motion. I'm taking babysteps towards my goal.

I want you to come on this journey with me!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where I Am...


The title of this image is: Change of Heart


Boy, if that doesn't appropriately describe my life right now, I don't know what does. Many of you reading this blog already know the details of my current events. There are still many, who only know vague details from Facebook status messages. I unfortunately only have enough steam to tell the story one more time, so here we go.


My husband, Xavier (or Havie), is currently working in Wyoming. He is a structural pipefitter and does construction at Oil Refineries. The economy has really hit his industry hard which is why for the first time, he has had to take jobs outside of Corpus Christi this year. He had a lull here recently between a job in Louisiana and this job in Wyoming due in part to an injury to his ankle. He left for Wyoming just 11 days ago, but that's all it takes for life to completely change.

This past weekend I accidentally discovered that he was having an inappropriate relationship with more than one woman for the second time in our relationship. It is not my intention to smear his name or to divulge the intimate details for the entire world to read, so I hope you will understand that I don't care to be more specific.

When I confronted my husband, he initially lied but eventually confessed to the details that I provided proof for. Once he enumerated his reasons which included a long list of my failures, that he was feeling down about not working and his injury, and also that he had not forgiven me for an indescretion months earlier. If you want to know more about that you can check out my other blog.

I immediately asked him to come home so we could get some help and try to rescue our marriage. He immediately let me know that wasn't an option. He continued to tell me that he "didn't want to put in all the hard work for it to not work out anyway." Eventually it was decided that we would separate.

Of course this is a condensed version of the events. As I stated before, it is not my desire to smear my husband's name. It is my truest hope that we can find a way through this situation and come out on the other end stronger and better. Unfortunately, I cannot control him or his decisions. The only person I can control is me. Which is where a new found desire and determination has emerged.

I would be a fool to sit back and pretend that I did not play a part in this mess. (Eventhough I truly believe there are no excuses for what he has done). I have many faults and have been in serious need of change for a long time. Somehow these events have lit a fire within. I am on a mission to walk through this with grace and find myself on the other side healthier and happier without regrets.

I don't know what's going to happen, and I don't need to. I am taking each day as it comes and focusing on the positive. I am taking care of myself, for myself.. I know that I will survive.

It's funny... I thought the change of heart was his, but maybe it's mine...


P.S. Don't worry, there's more to come- What is butter(fly)ing?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Five Years!

Five years ago, today, I met my husband. It was an instant connection, eventhough I love to tell the hilarious story about his fear to ask me on a real date. I'll save that for another time...

That first year of dating, was spent mostly long distance, which is interesting because here we are in that same situation once again. I had only been dating him a short period when he had a job offer to return to Beaufort, SC. There was no way I was going to hold him back from what he had already expressed as his "dream job". So, nine months came and went... We only got to see each other once during that time which is when that picture was taken.

It was hard. We barely knew each other. We talked for hours and hours and we broke up. Correction, I broke up with him. Several times. I was scared and feeling like what was I doing, falling in love with someone who was so far away. There was no indication he would come back. But he did. Our first time to see each other was exactly one year after we met.

Once we were back in the same town, everything seemed to fast forward. We were so in love. Living together by the end of September... Engaged by the first of November... and then married a year later.

We've had our ups and downs during marriage, but as we close in on our 3rd Anniversary, I'd like to report that we are closer, more in love, and more solid than we even realized were possible. I'd venture to say that neither one of us knew what unconditional love was when we married, but the last year helped us learn that lesson. I know that my entire view of marriage has changed and I am so much more grateful for what I have.

At one point, I didn't think we would make it, but now I know we will.

We have gotten a lot of flack for our most recent decision. I've been honestly shocked by the judgment that has come our way. I will not understand why some think it is their place to determine the validity of our choices, but I really don't need to understand it. I really don't need to even worry about it. I am reminded of the love dare... we are our own unit and must make the choices that are best for us- disregarding the influence of others outside of our marriage. It simply isn't anyone else's business.

So, I'm not going to be sad that this occasion will be spent alone. In two weeks, I will be meeting my husband in Denver, Colorado! I bought my tickets and reserved a hotel room today! I haven't been further West than Ruidoso, NM or that far North before! I am stoked! Check out our funky hotel!

Since we will be staying downtown, we will be right smack dab in the middle of the Taste of Colorado festival. We will also be visiting the Denver Art Museum. ALL FOR FREE! I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Tuesday- A Dedication...


...to me, from you. I finally got the message, but it took a while. I get it now. I know that I will forget it later, but you'll be there to remind me. Thank you.

Let it Be Me
by Ray LaMontagne

There may come a time,
a time in everyone's life
where nothing seems to go your way
where nothing seems to turn out right

There may come a time,
you just cant seem to find your way
for every door you walk in to,
seems like they get slammed in your face

That's when you need someone,
someone that you can call
and when all your faith is gone
feels like you can't go on

let it be me
let it be me
if its a friend that you need
let it be me
let it be me

Feels like your always coming on home
pockets full of nothin and you got no cash
no matter where you turn you aint got no place to stand
reach out for something and they slap your hand

Now I remember all to well
just how it feels to be all alone
you feel like you'd give anything
for just a little place you can call your own

Thats when you need someone,
someone that you can call
and when all your faith is gone
feels like you cant go on

let it be me
let it be me
if its a friend you need
let it be me
let it be me

Friday, August 14, 2009

Finally talking

Well, this week has been another opportunity for me to show those true blue colors of mine. It's been one of those really introverted weeks. I always think a LOT before I talk (well not always, but I always regret when I don't). I haven't even been sure of what I was thinking so hard on. It's hard to describe, but I had an unexplained emotion and just had to ponder on it for a bit and in the mean time I just didn't have it in me to "talk".

I am past it now and gonna use this blog to catch up a bit!



First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude for this girl right here. My baby sister, Sienna, just isn't a baby anymore. In fact, she is 15 years old today. She is officially older than I was when she was born. I remember rocking you to sleep. You loved for me to sing to you. She is beautiful (inside and out), intelligent, caring, and wise beyond her years. She's everything I wish I could have been at her age, and maybe I was a little bit. I am so proud of her. I pray that she will see these things within herself and continues to hope for a brighter future. I love you, Sienna! Happy Birthday!

Switching gears... Many of you may have read on Facebook that my husband leaves tomorrow morning for Wyoming. The economy has really hit his line of work hard and the jobs are few and far between. He was going to start school in the Fall, but he wasn't comfortable with our "buffer". I can support his decision for a number of reasons-

1. He is simply unhappy when he isn't working. His self-worth (like many men) comes largely from his ability to provide for us.
2. This job is going to pay well and we've been able to reduce our budget, so this will be an opportunity for us to sack away a significant chunk of change to pay for college, debts, etc.
3. He is my husband and I promised to support him.

Am I happy about it? No. I'm sad and I'm worried, but I have faith. I may not know what this year is going to bring. I am surely going to miss him like crazy. It's going to be hard, but not impossible. What is right usually doesn't feel good right now, but has the best results in the long run!

And switching gears on more time- I HAVE A CONTEST WINNER TO ANNOUNCE!

Since there were only two comments, I am just going to flip a coin. Heads is Leslie and tails is Cayce............. tails it is! Cayce you are the winner of the Financial Peace University Kit! I will message you privately to get your address!

Just one more update- I am going to post a blog this weekend on the progress of my organization mission! I have pictures and lots of details, so stay tuned!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Freedom Friday- Financial Peace Giveaway!


* This is going to be a giveaway blog, so be sure to post a comment! I will be using a random number generator to pick the winner! *

I know, I know- I'm supposed to be sharing my progress on clearing out the dining room today... BUT it's not quite done and I need to find a new home for our extra Financial Peace University kit- so I'm killing two birds with one stone!

Back in 2003, I started listening to the Dave Ramsey Show everyday at work. At the time, I was in a BIG financial mess. I took my first FPU class in early 2005 when Havie and were still dating. I was determined to fix my mess before we potentially got married. I got a 2nd job selling fine Jewelry at Foley's evenings and weekends. My mess was just too big to make an impact. Or so I thought at the time.

When we got engaged, I found out pretty quickly that Havie had his own mess. It wasn't as big as mine and it was totally different. He has never had a credit card (and never will!) or student loans (and never will), but he had a leased vehicle that went bad and tons of medical bills. I didn't feel as bad knowing that he had bad credit along with me.

So, happily we ignored our debt together. For three years! We were making a decent living between the two of us, and we were spending it all! We had some "stuff" to show for it, but mostly we were always left wondering where it went. It makes me ashamed to admit that we were constantly behind on our bills. There was no excuse for it! Just utter immaturity on our parts. Sure, we were paying cash for everything, but our electric was about to be cut off... duh!

Anyway, about a year ago, we decided to take action. We signed up for a FPU class as a couple, finally. I had been trying to convince Havie for years, and he reluctantly decided to go with me. All it took was the first class and he was hooked. Dave's no-nonsense style is just what he needed! We were so far behind on everything that we couldn't even thing about getting to babystep 1! It took us the entire class to just get our monthly bills on time and get on a working budget.

We've been on a monthly budget ever since and it is our biggest lifesaver. Money is something we simply DON'T fight over anymore. We both know where our money is going before the month even starts. We've also accomplished baby step #1- $1,000 in Savings for an Emergency Fund, and I'm proud to tell you that we still haven't had to touch it even with Havie not working! We were starting our Debt Snowball (babystep #2) this summer when everything got turned upside down.

We are REALLY looking forward to tackling our debt when Havie gets back to work soon. To get ourselves back in gear, we are reading Total Money Makeover. I would recommend it to anyone- whether you are in a good financial state or not. It is full of hope and inspiration and real life stories of people who have found financial peace.

We already are one of those couples who have found financial peace eventhough we have a way to go. We are changing our family tree. It is amazing! All it takes is living like no one else so later we can LIVE like no one else! Normal is broke- we wanna be wierd!

***** You could have your very own FPU kit! Just comment below to be entered into the giveaway!***** (Ends Friday, August 14, 2009)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday


* For unconditional love... something I'm still wrapping my head around, but I'm starting to feel like it's everything

* For family- however dysfunctional.

* For knowing when to make amends and knowing when to swallow my pride.

* For knowing when to stand up for myself.

* For being able to make it through this time. I know you're going crazy, but I'm not. Let me remind you that it's going to be okay.

* For motivation- moving towards action. It's not about the outward appearance, even if it seems that way. It's about the freedom of health and feeling well.

* For friends with open hearts and minds who counsel, encourage, and kick me in the butt when I need it. You're amazing and I am blessed!

* For taking a little mental break this week to slow down a bit and recharge.

* For ladies with such positive attitudes that you just can't help joining in! I'm a bit more on the melancholy side, so it's a welcome change!

* For understanding myself more and more each day.

* For our future plans- they are so real and we have worked so hard to get here. We are going to make it! We're living like no one else today so later we can LIVE like no one else.

* For blog readers who don't leave comments... LOL, yes I'm thankful for you- Gives me a goal and makes me strive to be a better writer.

* Por mi vida loca... gracias

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Winning Wednesday- Today is the Day

** WARNING **
This blog contains pictures that are incredibly embarrassing and potentially disgusting. Proceed with caution.







Ugh...


Today's Weight: 317.6 lbs.
Measurements: TBD (Couldn't find my little measuring tape)
BMI: 51.3 (Obese)

This time last year I had lost over 20 pounds with WW, Wii Fit and swimming all summer. I was feeling amazing! Then the school year started, my stress level went to an all time high, and I threw it all to the wayside. In January, I was proud that I had only gained back 5 pounds and was determined to turn it around again. We joined a gym, restarted our diet, and were doing great until school kicked back into stress mode for me. (Are you sensing a pattern?)

My first goals are:

1. Lose 20 lbs. to get under 300

2. Find a better way to deal with stress


I am going to start WW again this weekend. I just need the structure to keep me on track. I have joined a WW support group on Facebook- Chunky Monkeys NO More! It's made up of some girls from back home and they have already been very inspiring and positive.

I also have a workout buddy lined up! Thank you Michelle! I am really looking forward to being active again. I really do have more energy and feel better when I'm exercising.

I am so excited!

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