Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm just sayin'

All the children are on pre-pay phones. 

Not one of them earned money this month to cover the cost of the plan.

All of them currently have phones that are not working.

No one is freaking out.

Will someone please tell me why we have paid this bill for so long if the children obviously don't really CARE about the phone service??

One successful step on the road to "un-entitling" the children. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


For the first time in my life I went to counseling this week.  I discovered two things:

1.  It is normal for women in their mid-thirties to feel like they are losing their minds.

2.  It is normal for someone who has been through a lot to finally get to a good place in life and then fall apart.

So... if I am normal... do I need counseling?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Because I am a loser...

I did the firm Express for one week...

I skipped last week (there was a holiday.... does that buy my an excuse?)

And somehow I have yet to get back on track.

ugh.  I am a loser!  :)

oh! But I went three days with NO candy.  I rock!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Piece by Piece

All the children have been removed from our cell plan and put on their own pre-pay plan.  They don't really get what just happened to them... I am certain of it.  Well... perhaps one or two understand. 

I created a spreadsheet entitled... "Chores For Hire".  I want them to have everything they want in life.   I just want them to learn that they just have to work to have it!

One step closer to ending the entitlement attitude!

:)  Happy Day!

Monday, November 21, 2011


I have been on a bit of a soap box lately... kinda.  One morning last week, I was at my last straw with the kids.  It has been said time and time again that this generation is Entitled.  I am sick of it!  My job is NOT to be at your beck and call whenever you want to go somewhere or do something!

I went to work and my mind reflected on a book I had seen advertised as "coming soon" a few months ago. I hopped on and typed in... The Entitlement Trap  The book I had remembered came up and I decided there was no way I was just going to place an order.  In my own... must have it now kind of way... I wanted to know NOW how to make this stop!  So, I downloaded Kindle for computer and bought the book.  I am HOOKED!!  I highly recommend it.  My husband is still a little shell shocked as I have insisted that we cancel all the kids' cell phones and cease immediately to ever hand over cash or accept "I'll pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" type metality.  I want to create a family mission statement, laws, economy and immerse the children in service.

Read the book.  Really.  It is changing my view in a big big way!

Friday, November 4, 2011


2 day since my last post.  Ask me what I have done differently.  No. Don't ask.  You don't want to know the answer.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


When I lost my job in January, I was energized with the thought that NOW I would be able to exercise and focus on my body.  I was certain the pounds would just fall off of me.  Of course, that didn't happen, in fact I now weigh MORE than I did when I left work.  I am back to working and frustrated by the fact that most of my clothes don't really fit anymore (and NOT because they are too big).  I am sure that is common for many of us... we REALLY think THIS time we are going to lose the weight.  I just can't believe it when I think back at how many times I was certain I was going to lose it - but never did.

I really hope now is my time.  I have learned a few things.  It is not just about how much I eat - it is more about what I eat.  I need to really reduce and work towards eliminating sugar.  I love it... candy, desserts... I love it.  I need to reduce my carb intake and increase my vegetables and protein.  I need a food diary to keep myself honest.

I just bought The Firm Express.  I did the firm workouts years ago - and they were great.  This is much shorter and hopefully still as effective.  I heard about them at 3am a couple days ago when I couldn't sleep.

Speaking of sleep... that is the other huge one on my list.  I think it is a huge factor in weight loss... So, 10:30pm is my goal to be in bed every night.

It's time... really it is.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I said from the beginning that part of the purpose of this blog would be for me to find the way.  To figure out how to get out of the rut and start thriving.

I found a piece yesterday.  I was talking with a co-worker.  A woman, who like so many, was a single mom for years raising three kids.  She was headed out on a trip and as we talked I realized a key to thriving.  It is knowing who we are.  What I can tell you I have learned from that is who we are BEFORE we started just surviving and who we are AFTER when we are trying to thrive are not the same person.  Our experiences in life change us.  It is a constant discovery to know who we are.  What we stand for.  What we like.

I remember when I started to really feel that.  I am grateful I noticed it early on and that I craved to figure it out.  There are some who go years and their identity is 100% survival.  But, what I do know is that as I started to discover it - there was a new light in me - because I would take time to go see a musical and do other things that brought me joy. 

When I was in my discover mode and I would think about Who I Am... I would play this song, and turn the radio up and SING IT!!

Who I Am  by:  Jessica Andrews
If I live to be a hundred
And never see the seven wonders
That'll be alright
If I don't make it to the big leagues
If I never win a Grammy
I'm gonna be just fine
'Cause I know exactly who I am

I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan
Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends who love me
And they know just where I stand
It's all a part of me
And that's who I am

So when I make big mistake
When I fall flat on my face
I know I'll be alright
Should my tender heart be broken
I will cry those teardrops knowin'
I will be just fine
'Cause nothin' changes who I am

I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan
Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends who love me
And they know just where I stand
It's all a part of me
And that's who I am

I'm a saint and I'm a sinner
I'm a loser, I'm a winner
I'm am steady and unstable
I am young but I'm able

I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan
Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends who love me
And they know just where I stand
It's all a part of me
And that's who I am

I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan
Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends who love me
And they know just where I stand
It's all a part of me
And that's who I am

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I have come to realize, that no matter what, if you want to feel like you are thriving.... you can't take yourself too seriously.

I stopped by the Social Security office a couple days ago so I could request a new card with my new married name.  I went in, completed my business and then went to quickly leave so I could make it home for a quick bite to eat.  As I exited the office I looked down at my folder I was carrying containing my list of things to do.  The doors as you exit the office are automatic... but I failed to take into account my pace with the speed of the opening doors.  The whole right side of my body slammed into the slowly opening door.  It hurt.  I hobbled to my car.  When I got in my car I took a deep breath and attempted to move all the body parts I had just smashed to ensure they were all still working.  As I sat there I looked up and noticed the security guard from the Social Security office shaking her head as she attempted to put the door I ran into back on its tracks.  oops.

Yesterday during my lunch break (yes! lunch break... I am back to work... at least for a little while) I stopped at WalMart to pick up my contacts.  I have been out of contacts for months now.  I really hate wearing my glasses, so I have no idea what has taken me so long to order my contacts, except that the eye drops I take for my eye pressure don't seem to mix well with contacts.... at least any contact I have worn longer than eight hours.  So, I did what makes sense and went with daily contacts. I went to WalMart last week and ordered a year supply - a deal that seemed the best considering the rebate and lower cost per box with such a move.

As I walked swiftly into the store and headed for the eye center, I hit a slippery patch on the floor and my right foot slid way ahead of me and my left foot rolled onto its side.  As my left foot rolled, my shoe came off and the rest of my body lunged forward in an attempt to keep up with my sliding right foot.  By the time I stopped stumbling and got back on my two feet, I had to walk back ten feet to find my lost shoe.  I am certain all who were watching enjoyed the short comedy show as they stood in line to check out. 

I arrived at the vision center and went through all the steps for them to look me up and find my order.  The gentleman then got up and walked over to the closet and returned with a very large box.  I had not given much thought to what a year supply of daily contacts looks like... but, it is a big box.  I am certain it was in an effort to make the bulky box easier to carry that he placed the box in a standard size plastic bag.  I am not sure that simplified anything as the box stuck out of the bag so much it was difficult to hold both handles of the bag.

I took my bulky bag and headed for my car in the parking lot.  I had made it just out of the building and halfway across the lane of traffic when the bag ripped a little causing me to loose my grip.  The box tumbled out of the bag, landing no other way then upside down, knocking the lid open and causing the boxes of contact lenses to scatter across the black top.

Really, I will never thrive if I take myself too seriously!

And I don't think I will every thrive if I don't stop eating candy.... I gotta loose this weight!  But I also think I need to learn how to thrive despite the fact that things are not perfect in my world.  If it takes perfection in all areas of my life... I will never thrive for long, because that is just not realistic.

Here's to thriving!  Make it a great day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This last weekend I was careful to spend some fun time with the kids.  I also had a good spiritual weekend.  I have been working hard at creating order in the home... the long long process of blending our families and our homes.....

But... where S.M has lost 30 pounds... I have gained 10.  Ten!! I just can't believe it.  It is 10 since I started this blog.  Which there was a time that I gained 10 before that and 10 before that.  When does it stop? When do I stop gaining 10 pounds and go back to who I used to be.  I still see myself as the thinner me.  I want to be that again. 

So, as I strive the thrive... I make strides in areas but suffer in other.  Why does it have to be that way?  why can't I get it all in balance.

I am happy for the little steps though.  I just want some more balance.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Work Work Work...

I have been unemployed for over nine months... I have relished this time, but lately have really felt that it is time to go back to work. I have been applying for positions all along - but haven't heard anything from anyone.. almost.  There have been a couple that I have maintained contact with, but that is it, just contact - no job.

Last week that all started to change.  I moved through an interview process with a particular job and was given a job offer.  My reaction was to accept it.  Isn't that what you do?  Accept jobs when you don't have one?  So, I did.  After I did I had this horrible cloud around me that I couldn't seem to shake.  I was so emotional about it and seemed to be having my own personal pitty party.  I couldn't put my finger on the "why".  Was it the fact that I found the guy I would be an assistant to to be a bit annoying and rubbed me the wrong way?  Was it the lack of career in this position?  Was it the pay?  I didn't know... but I just knew it felt awful.

I finally was able to spend some time talking to my hubby about it and we did conclude that financially there was not a lot of benefit to the position. In fact I realized that I could cut the pay rate in half and have a position with benefits and the financial gain would be better.

So, I asked for more money... they turned me down and I declined the position.  I felt a huge relief.

I need to work... but I need to find work that I can thrive in.  This experience has given me a boost there.  I am less financially motivated and more motivated to finding something fun, or in a good environment... (with benefits of course).

If I could start my own business what would it be?

Monday, October 10, 2011


So very much has happened... I have married.  :)  A true blessing in my life... but it adds to my challenge of everyday thriving.  I have SIX kiddos around now... my three plus three part-time.  I am not their mom.  I am their dad's support.  They have a mom. A good mom.  Blending is a huge challenge because we are the same and we are different.

And the reality of it is... none of us are used to it... and not being used to things is sometimes hard!

Today... I have three here.  School is off.  The house needs attention. The husband is sick. I had a small procedure on my neck.   The weather is beautiful and I just need to be a mom for a little while.

I am back. And I plan to be back almost every day!  I need to thrive.  I am in some ways... I want to in all.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to thrive and still have time to blog....

Not sure if this can actually happen within the context of my life... I would love to share every moment of what has been keeping me busy these days...but there is not enough time. I do want to share that I have lost over 30 pounds since this journey has begun and am run/walking and/or riding my bike almost every day. I have been made a permanent employee at the school I was subbing at, and even had the circular driveway I had dreamed of put in my front yard this year. I am thriving in many areas of my life. Where are my shortfalls lately? Definitely in my relationship with the Lord.... the engine blew up in my van back in June which made us a family without a vehicle that could fit all of us at once. This became a convenient excuse not to make it up to our church (which is about 40 minutes away) regularly. I know you don't have to go to a church service to worship but it really helps me stay connected. My worship time has consisted of YouTube Praise and Worship sessions posted to my FB on occasional Sunday mornings. I love the Lord but long for intimacy that is currently lacking. I am reminded of the fact that He does not change,so I know what I need to do.

So bottom line for now is this: I am thriving in many areas, lacking in the spiritual side and finding myself too busy to blog about any of it. The truth is at this point, I have absolutely no idea how to thrive and still have time to blog about it.

By the way...KJ has some serious explaining/catching up to do right here!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I didn't have much to say...

So, my life really has been on an upswing. As I was telling KJ how awesome everything in my life has been going the other day she asked me, "So,are you thriving?". Hmmm,am I thriving?I was afraid to commit. While everything had been going quite well, my health, my job, the kids, relationship with the Lord,I knew there was still a little bit out of balance. Currently that is the relationship with my husband. He seems to be preoccupied at the least. Although we had an enjoyable Mother's Day with our girls and some friends at church and then after,my husband and I could not seem to communicate in any way that was positive. Anyway,it makes me there ever a time this side of heaven that we will indeed thrive in all areas of our life or not?

Why is it that when all was good I didn't have much to say? Now,as things are a little tougher I take the time to do so.

Down just mere ounces under 24 pounds.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Love and Responsibility is the title of chapter 12 of Dr. Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages of Teenagers.The chapter highlights a few principles on responsibility.
  • Responsibility require boundaries
  • Your teenager needs to be a part of forming rules and setting consequences
  • The process of independence and responsibility must be lubricated with love
  • Rules that existed when your teen was a child cannot be arbitrarily carried into the teenage years
  • Rules about rules:
    • Have as few as possible
    • Make them clear
    • They need to be fair
  • Rules without consequences are less than worthless; they are confusing
    • Consequences should be determined before a violation
    • Consequences mush be administered with love
    • They must be consistent
  • Rules should exist in the following areas
    • Household opportunities (he says opportunities sounds more positive than duties - reminds me of my friend Kate)
    • Schoolwork
    • Use of Automobiles
    • Money Management
    • Dating
    • Alcohol and Drugs
I tell you this, because even though I am still sorting out for sure what my oldest's love language is (although I am pretty sure it is the same from his youth - Words of Affirmation... now need to be spoken with a different dialect then before) I need to jump ahead in my process a bit.

My son had a bit of a breakdown last night... we had a fight the other night as he was up at 11pm looking for a phone charger.  I repeatedly requested that he go to his room and be quiet.  It was late.. he had school the next day, and we all pay the price when he wanders the house all night.  He persisted and refused to go to bed.  It was creating a stir and I informed him that if he did not have a cell phone he would not have a problem - so perhaps the best solution is for him to not have the phone... as you can predict, I am sure, I turned off the phone.  As the evening progressed to after midnight more events transpired and he also lost his ipad (a toy he saved long for).

Quite frankly, I think these two things pushed him over the edge.  He is feeling tremendous pressure at school as he is failing his four main classes.  This is as a result of him putting forth a lack of effort since September.  Intellectually he does not struggle.

Last night he laid it all out to me... how horrible his life is.  He went into some detail about all the things that are bothering him.  He told me very simply that I was crazy to think he had the responsibility to get good grades.  He felt that should be optional and should not hold up the rest of his life.

From my reading I was armed and prepared with the eloquent statement that every freedom in life is tied to a responsibility.  He complained he had nothing.  Only a bed and clothing.  I reminded him he also had heat, food and shelter... things he should be grateful for as he may someday not experience those luxuries.. and they are indeed blessings.  I talked to him about the enormous amount of 'stuff' in our home.  The couch he was sitting on, the TV, the dishes, the silverware... everything we had provided us with a feeling of freedom.  But, EACH of those items was obtained as a result of responsibility by either me or his father.  Without being responsible, we could not have obtained these things.

I felt like over all the evening was handled well - I didn't flip out or say anything negative when he insisted he should not be accountable for school, home or church stuff.  I just listened.  I made sure I understood and I invited him to dinner tonight with me and my significant other.  I asked him to give some thought as to what he felt his responsibilities should be.  He is older now. 16.  He should be entrusted with more responsibility than a two year old or ten year old.  As we age our responsibility increases into adulthood.  I sent him to bed with some words of affirmation.

I woke up this morning feeling grateful.  A situation / conversation that could have driven a wedge... I hope has started to create understanding.

We'll see how dinner goes tonight.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

put on that smile!!!

I'm looking forward to reading more about KJ's revelations on raising children. I may even get to borrow the book she read if we bump into one another. I do have to say that as my mood has improved my relationship with my eldest daughter has improved as well. So much of what we have to deal with is better handled with a smile. I am thankful to be choosing joy daily and it is showing to all those around me.

Ta Ta for now.
19 pounds down. :)
I ate a turkey sandwich on rye with a little mayo yesterday. Divine!!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I spent a lot of time lounging by the pool while I was on vacation... and some of that time was spent reading "The Five Love Languages of Teenagers".  I know very clearly as a mother that when my oldest son is acting out, what he really needs is to feel loved.  I am also a believer that we all feel loved in different ways - the theory behind The Five Love Languages.

It was a very insightful read.  I have come away with a realization that in order to thrive as a parent, I have a lot of work to do.  First on that order of business is to determine individually for each of my children, how they feel love.  There are five "languages" that Dr. Chapman talks about in his book.
#1 - Words of Affirmation
#2 - Physical Touch
#3 - Quality Time
#4 - Acts of Service
#5 - Gifts

Although is is important to express our love in all of these ways - one of these will be the primary way in which our child feels loved. 

When the kids were younger I had read "The Five Love Languages of Children".  I will say that will all my 'surviving' I did not do a very good job at loving them effectively.  One of the most important take-aways I have from this last book is to realize that even if I thought I had figured out how to love them before, it all changes once they are teenagers.

Once I get passed step one... I need to learn about how to deal with my anger, my kids anger, teaching independence and responsibility, effectively loving them when they fail and the special challenges associated with Single Parenting.

It will be a process... but a process worth enduring, as I strive to THRIVE!!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Lesson One in Thriving... it is hard when you are busy.

Although I can not say I have been too busy the last ten days - just unconnected.  I was on vacation and turned off all electronics for the duration.  It was great.

For more info on my 'unconnectedness' it is probably easier if you read it here (www.diaryofawidow) rather than me re-write it here.

I have lots to share on Thriving though... that is one thing I worked on a lot.  For now I wanted to poke in and say hi.  I am back on the diet.  Excited to lose weight.  And have a lot of "to-do's" for thriving as a mom that I will share with you through the week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It is Holy Week for Christians around the world. This past Sunday was Palm Sunday and at my church like many we were handed palms as we walked through the doors. As I worshiped with hands holding palms raised in the air I so felt the presence of the Lord. It was as though He were riding past me on the donkey in His triumphant entrance. Wow! This is at the very least is the way to start Holy week. But even more than that, His presence should be felt like that quite often in our lives, like always! I reflect on my life and the many mistakes I have made along the way and remember that without Jesus to reconcile all things heaven would not be an option for me. I could not make it there without Him. I have a grateful heart. I am so thankful for the plan that allows a sinner like me to repent and turn from my evil ways and be made new. So, as Easter approaches I just am reminding those around me that heaven is real, and there is NO other way to get there except by the blood of Jesus Christ. Hosanna!! Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

feeling compelled...

I feel compelled to write. KJ has been rather busy with different areas of her life therefore has not had much blogging time available. I have also been quite busy. The school is utilizing my talents almost daily so me time is a little rarer these days. What amazing timing God has, to bring me out of the bit of depression in time to springboard into the next season of my life. I feel that I am beginning to find my own, and enter thrive mode. I am a little nervous. I don't want to get a head of myself here but rather take it as it comes. So, I had a minute or two and thought I'd share that with you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't Forget the Hershey's Kisses

Well, today I had my first mammogram. It was a bit unnerving after being called back into the room for the 3rd time. I was actually in the procedure area for 2.25 hours!!! My mom who was patiently waiting for me in the outer waiting area was a wreck by the time I walked through the door . She was actually glad to have T with her, who we had been forced to retrieve from school on our way to the appointment for suspected pink eye, as she had to keep her composure and not let her nerves get the best of her. I had found a small lump a few weeks back and my doctor's office said it was probably nothing but let's be sure. So, it wasn't until the last 15 minutes sitting there today I finally realized how long I had been in there and how many women had come and gone while I was there. I silently prayed to God, "Lord whatever the results are I will praise Your name, Nothing to worry about, I'll praise You, Cancer, I'll praise You." I then finally got the go ahead to get dressed and head to the waiting area to talk with the doctor. A quick 2 minute wait and a 3 minute consultation later and I was sent away with a "nothing to really worry about, there is one area we noted but it's probably just a lymph node, and we'll follow up in 6 months." So, I praise the Lord for it being nothing to really worry about right now and will continue seeking His name as I journey toward thriving more and more. If you need to get a mammogram, I highly recommend Windsong Radiology. They were very professional and the atmosphere was very clean and quite comfortable. Oh yeah, don't forget the Hershey's kisses on the way out. I forgot to grab a few. No, I wasn't going to eat them but I had planned on surprising T with one or two. :( Down 12 pounds, feeling good. Continuing to work out for a little bit each day and got a quick walk in with the dog before the rain blew in this morning.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I like to work...hmmm...who knew...

So, I subbed 4 out of 5 days this week at school. I REALLY enjoyed it. I was in special ed, pre-k, and the office. It was fun getting up, and dressed for the day right away each morning. I loved the faces of the little kids greeting me with Hi T and B's mom, or Hi Mrs. K. But, indeed the best part was seeing my children's faces throughout the day.

The office in particular was a rewarding job. I got to make people happy all day long. I lent kids money so they could eat, I allowed children to be picked up by their parents, I reunited projects that were left at home and lost items with the children who needed them. Making people smile is something that brings me great pleasure.

I have been a mostly stay at home mom for 6 1/2 years now and have loved it but am realizing that working in my children's school is even better than staying home once your kids are school age. My husband has been telling me for years that I should get a job at their school and I must admit he was right. I really like to work....who knew? For now I'll continue to sub and get experience in all areas and enjoy the simple pleasure of working on my own schedule, touching the lives of kids, and seeing the precious faces that God entrusted me with throughout the days.

Starting Day 17 of the first cycle of my 17 Day Diet. I am down 11.5 pounds. If I lose another .5 pounds tonight I will have met my goal for this cycle. I have discovered Chobani Pineapple Yogurt. This is like "my cheesecake" on this diet...mmm...mmm! I am enjoying eating a healthier diet but do have to admit that yesterday was the first day I was absolutely craving food that I am not allowed. Change is tough, but it is part of the process. Resisiting temptation, believeing getting to a healthier weight is top priority, and not having to worry about joint pain beacuse of the extra pounds is all part of what is allowing me to succeed. Of course I also must thank God, because it is by His strength that I am doing it all.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Big Dig

I have mentioned before that I tend to live in clutter. This is not just in my home but in all aspects of my life. My inboxes for various e-mail accounts have between 300-2500 messages in them, I am constantly being prompted to empty my text messages, the interior of my van, though clean right now, is usually a source of embarrassment and the room that is going to be my office someday is always cluttered. I Hate it! We spent Sunday afternoon and Monday evening cleaning the upstairs. My bedroom looks amazing. Of course you have to ignore the ceiling that needs to be replaced and the two spots where the plaster has fallen on the walls. The clutter is gone and it feels almost like a sanctuary to me. Truly this is what I want my whole house to feel like. A sanctuary, a refuge, a place that is welcoming to those who stop by and for us as a family. As I journey toward thriving I am sure that my home becoming a sanctuary is part of the process. I look forward to continuing the big dig out of clutter. On a side note, I interviewed last Thursday to begin subbing at my children's school and have been called in the last two days. It has been both tiring and fulfilling. I have also continued to push on in my 17 Day diet. I am on day 12 and have lost just under 9 pounds. I am thrilled!

Monday, April 4, 2011


My house looks like a storm has hit it.  I need to get moving today and get it cleaned.  I have lots of little things on my to-do list today.  I am hoping for a productive day.

Rough "mom" evening last night.  Had a bowl of ice cream to console myself. Other than that I am full-speed ahead on the diet. Artichokes with pasta sauce taste like a dream.  Yep... the diet is going that well.

I need to start a new exercise program.  I have not been back on the treadmilll - cause my foot still hurts.  But I am wanting to still do toning and stretching exercises.

Emotional - I need to do some writing in my personal journal...

Otherwise I feel ok... and all is well. Just need to get on a solid track.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


It is 8pm on a Saturday night... I am driving home from the grocery store with scores of lettuce and carrots and all kinds of veges and ice cream... for the kids.  I am starving and I can't wait for the 2 minute drive to pass so I can make myself something yummy.  I was at the grocery store and saw my favorite spaghetti sauce was on sale.  I can't afford to buy it unless it is a BOGO deal... and it was.  The ingredients are all things I can eat on my diet and I love it.  But, pasta is a no-no right now... so I found some artichokes.  Artichokes with pasta sauce HAS to taste like pasta??  My mouth was watering.  Yes, the diet is going that well.  The good news is, except for my daily cheats (a few french fries today) I am actually sticking to it - which is huge for me.

It was a long day today.  I didn't get accomplished anything I wanted to.  By 2pm I was frustrated to the point of tears.  I had the thought that it was essentially the result of putting everyone else first above me.  It was true.  My first reaction was that I need to do better at saying no and putting me first... but then when I thought one by one of the things I had done, I changed my attitude.  I don't regret any of it and there is time for my things later.

So, I am tired tonight... long day.  I am going to curl up on the couch and watch Revenge of the Bridesmaids with the kids... while I eat artichokes and pasta sauce.


I had a few bites of bread and 3 hot tamales that were not on the diet yesterday.  The scale seems down some... but a little questionable.  Really the number showing is the number I saw on this day.  But it has been there for two days now (previously it was only there for one day).  My calorie intake for yesterday was 1224.

I am facing some "work" obstacles in my mind... as I look toward going back to work.  Can I work in a job that I don't find fulfilling and still find myself thriving?  Hmmmm... I believe there has to be a way.  We can not always be in our dream situation at all times... but that should not stop us from feeling that sense of thriving internally.  I am troubled by this today and will certainly be spending some more time on it.

Today and tomorrow will be days of spiritual renewal.... We have a church conference - so I have 8 hours of inspiration on the way.  I am looking forward to it and I am looking forward to setting some goals in my life in this area.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


OK... so I didn't eat any pumpkin today... but I did cheat.  I am trying... but I am weak. 

I drank a glass of diet pop.  It was a conscious decision... and I think it kept me from the hot tamales.  :)  AND the one I feel badly about is the bite of ice cream cake I took.  I know, I know.. I sit hear asking myself... Do you not want this time to be successful? Yes, I do.  I will be stronger.  I passed on a lot of temptation today and I really think I am getting stronger.  Tomorrow will be difficult as I am not going to be home all day.  I have already packed me a bunch of food to eat.  Perhaps it will be easier... but I guess I just worry about trying to find healthy food if I am starving and not home.

Overall I really am proud of myself.  I really did quite well for me.  Calorie intake for the day was 1120 (typically I have been around 1800 for the past few months). My general attitude toward losing weight is that I will continue to eat what I want (within reason) and just exercise more.  Well... I have been burning about 2700-3000 calories a day as my target and it wasn't doing it for me.  Different times.... different ways I suppose.  I have not been on the treadmill now for a week.  But I am still active during the day (in fact my average calorie burn is only down 100 or so) AND also important to my goal is I am sleeping ~ 7hrs. 13mins. last night (Sixth day in a row I did over seven hours!! Can you tell I wear a Bodymedia??).

I feel good about other aspects of my life for the most part... I have the slightest unsettled feeling in one area... I need to focus there and find out what is up.  I am still job hunting, and feel fine about not having anything yet.  I had an interview on Monday and have a follow-up scheduled with the company in a week and a half.  I have been focusing better as a mother.  My house is in semi-order but I need to attack some hot spots.

I am on a good track.. I just need to stay on track.  THRIVING here I come!!!

new season and attempting a clean sweep

I have been feeling great this week. Had another doctor's appointment, have run errands, had at least one child home sick all week, and in between her eating bits of many things she did not want, KJ helped me update my resume. My job interview for next week got moved up to today. I haven't gone on a real honest to goodness job interview in YEARS so I am a little bit nervous. I feel like I am embarking on a new season of my life...I have embraced the return of joy in my daily life. I still have a ways to go until I reach thrive but I indeed am moving in that direction.

Along with my interview, on my agenda for the day is the continued sorting of junk. I am a cluttered freak! I have clutter all around and I know this is one of the BIGGEST hindrances keeping me from thriving. Have you ever watched the show Clean Sweep? I don't know if it is on anymore but it was on either TLC or HGTV and a team of people came into a family's home and helped them sort, throw out, sell, and then organize what was left of the clutter to makeover the room. I would love to Clean Sweep my whole house!

Got to get started now, heading off to drink my hot lemon water!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Come on KJ!!!!! It's one thing to do it but to post about it and taunt me in print, that is just too much. Hope that Coldstone was good! :)

Day 6 Total weight loss so far 5.5lbs
yogurt for breakfast
2 baby carrots
blueberry Chobani
6 strawberries
hard boiled egg
yummy salad with chicken and a tiny bit of feta
oops another yogurt, forgot I had one for breakfast

PS Yes, I may be older, but the grey hair you are going to incur with your 16 year old driving may soon make you look the senior. LOL


My son turned 16 today... but just for the record.... I am younger than S.M. :)

I decided to start the diet today.  I have discipline in a lot of areas of my life... but controlling my food wants is not one.  I had about 10 Hot Tamales (a favorite), some Chinese food (not a favorite - but I couldn't control myself), and a sliver of Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream cake(ohhh so good).

Tomorrow I will do better.  I know I will not lose any weight until I really shake up my eating habits.  I need to quit messing around and do it now.  I have been talking about it for YEARS.  Enough.  It is one of two areas that is really hampering my ability to feel as though I am thriving.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I really swore I was not going to go on a diet.  I just wanted to change my eating habits... well change as I may I have not gotten anywhere.  So, I am relinquishing... I am joining S.M. and heading for the diet.  Really, I think the diet may break me out of my bad habits of candy in the afternoon and too many carbs.  But, this will require me to stay devoted to it for two weeks (that is my goal).  Of course I am really not even sure I can make it one day.  I thought I would start today - but since I started with something not on the diet.. even though S.M. told me I could start half-way through a day the lunch choice of Mexican food was way off as well... so tomorrow.  I promise.  I think.  Another thing for two weeks.... SLEEP.  They even had a report on the news this morning that it aids in weight-loss.  So... here I go.

Working on another project today that has been sitting in my garage since August.  Painting a coffee table I picked up at a yard sale.  I also fixed the wreath I had on my front door.  It was starting to look a little un-loved and homeless.  It is better now. :0)  Really love getting these things done.

AND.... had a voicemail today from the doctor's office.  Ummmm... blood work. good.  xray. good.  CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY MY FOOT HURTS AND WHY MY DOCTOR IS NOT CONCERNED?? Pain seems like a bad thing to me.  It is like the body telling me to stop.  ???  So, I guess I better hit the treadmill today.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ta dah!

I have finally completed all coursework for my Associates Degree. It has taken me 20 years. I wish I had taken college just a bit more seriously as a young adult but since I did not I only managed to earn a minimal amount of credit hours in my first semesters. I then withdrew and worked and played for several years. When Terry and I were first married I took a few classes here and there and did well. Then years later, in order to take time off from my full time job so I could open my own business, I went back to school full time and once again did well. I always thought, wow, it would be great if I could get paid to go to school. :) So finally about 2 or so years ago I went back to finish what I thought were the final few credits I needed which turned out to be 30 more credit hours. It took me longer than the average student but I finally finished all of my coursework for the final class in early February. Today I received my notification that my final grade was an A and all I am waiting for now is my degree to be mailed to me. I finished my degree through SUNY Empire State College and I am so thankful. An Associates Degree does not mean a lot on the job market nowadays but it means a lot to me. For one thing there is personal satisfaction, for another my children will know that I earned a degree, the big one is that I completed something- this tends to be an area I struggle greatly in, and finally it fills in the gap on what I feel is a rather impressive resume. As of right now I have a job interview next week. I LOVE being a mostly stay at home mom but financially the family needs my help, so I am believing that God is going to lead me into a great job that will allow me to work creatively in an environment where I impact the lives of young children and their families. I'll keep you posted! Day 5 of my current diet and I have lost 2.5 lbs and I feel fantastic!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

making the most of the day

T lost her first tooth yesterday. She is the older of my twins and has waited paitiently 2 weeks longer than her twin for her first tooth to fall out. I realized yesterday this is the last of my children to experience losing her first tooth. So sweet. Time flies so quickly as we age and I believe that once children enter our life it goes even faster. Don't want to waste any moments at all.

The sun has been shining all weekend. As I type the sun is warming my neck beautifully. We are heading out to worship and then hit the zoo on this sunny but cold day. Yesterday we spent half the day at the science museum. It was a wonderful day. Life is good!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I finished paining in the basement.  It looks good... I feel good.  Today I am baking dozens and dozens of cookies for a benefit being held in honor of my cousin. 

Feeling a bit disconnected from one important relationship in life.  Between he and I... too busy to connect during an hour that fosters any real conversation without a half dozen children asking for our attention.  Somehow that has been the way it has been for a few weeks.  Need to break that cycle.

Friday, March 25, 2011

and the results are in...

I have to snap out of this. My follow up to my doctor's visit was yesterday and my bloodwork revealed that everything appears normal. Hmmmm....I guess that rules out a medical reason for my extreme weight gain, fatigue, lack of ambition, and irritibility.

I believe that for the first time in my life I have been suffering from a bit of depression. We had an amazing dream family vacation in December. It was a gift from my parents. While visiting the happiest place on earth I was compared to the energizer bunny. If a park opened early I was there, if another one closed late we headed there, too. Almost every night, I fell sound asleep in the bathtub at our resort. But every morning we were back at it. We had an incredible time but I came home exhausted. With one weekend between me and Christmas I found it incredibly difficult to fit in all the baking I normally do each year. I only made 5 types of cookies instead of the usual 10-12. No caramel corn was made this year. Just the bare minimum of cheesecakes and carrot cakes were baked. I did not get my Christmas jam done until 2 days after Christmas. And, unless I saw you in person or you are my friend on FB you got no christmas card or photos in fact my annual Christmas letter is still half written. Reflecting back I see exactly how tired I was. January arrived and it was cold and dreary. We got tons of snow which made my husband happy. He is in charge of snow removal for the factory he works at. He actually gets so excited that he can't sleep when they are predicitng snow. This makes me crazy because if it does snow he has to be at his workplace by 3 AM so I worry about his health. It seemed to me that it was an exceptionally sunless January (I have looked for data to confirm this but have not been able to find anything.) I found myself falling back asleep in front of my fireplace after I put the kids on the bus almost daily. This is something that I probably only did a handful of times in the 8 years I've had any kids in school. It continued to be cold in February and my trend continued. Blah! That is how I felt. I am still tired all of the time!!! I believe my exhaustion segwayed into depression. I am making no excuses but through reflection I believe I can move forward. I have a feeling God wanted me to slow down a bit but also to teach me empathy for people suffering from depression. I am going to go back to words of wisdom that can be helpful in all of life's situations. I am going to get on my face and pray, read the Word of God and turn on the worship music. I choose to be joyful and overcome.

Day 2 of diet, I accidentally took a bite of toast as I was making it for my daughter this morning but I am about to sit down with a lovely salad. :)

Doctor Doctor

S.M. went to the doctor this week and so did I. I then went and got blood work done and an xray on my foot.

I tell you this only because it is part of the physical you. It is part of thriving. I have had my eye appointments, dental appointments, pap, and mammogram. I feel on top of my health.. and THAT is a good thing.

Going to paint today and check that off my list of things to do.

Thursday, March 24, 2011



A declaration

As a child I do not remember planning on what I was going to be when I grew up. I had a vivid imagination but planning my future was something I truly have no recollection of. Perhaps this was a good thing as I believe above all that we may plan it is what God wills for our life that counts. So, right now I declare, I am open to what you have for me Lord.

Day 1 of a new diet

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I got on the scale yesterday morning and the beautiful number staring back at me was a number I had not seen in a couple months.  Although, a couple months ago when I saw it I was appalled... yesterday I was thrilled.  I lost my job the first of the year and was looking forward to some "time-off".  I was hoping it would allow me to get a handle on my life... get my house in order, connect with friends I had not had time to see in years, and lose the weight I had gained in the last five years.  You can imagine my frustration when the scale started climbing up and up and up.  How could that happen?  I was going from sitting at a desk all day to being on the move.  How does that make you gain weight??  But, it did.  So, yesterday when I saw that number I was thrilled.  I was hoping it was the sign that I was headed back down.  Today is a different story as I am back up two. 

My foot is killing me.  I need to go to the doctor.  I find it frustrating.  How can I exercise.. and get in shape and lose weight when my foot hurts?  I have been pushing through the pain... and now the pain is getting worse.  It is 11:30am and I have been dressed for the treadmill for four hours.  I think I need to call the doctor, shower, and move on. I have been laying around thinking about it... and not doing anything.

I did decide on a paint color to paint my family room that needs to be painted (and by decide I mean I realized I would be crazy not to listen to my sister who is an interior designer).  I feel motivated to get those projects done... but hampered by my commitment to myself to finish another project I don't feel like facing first.

Really - life has been good.  I have been getting things done and the more I get in order the more empowered I feel.  I think sometimes being tired is just my internal way of crawling up in the fetal position so I don't have to face what the day holds. If only OJ was the secret to getting me 'out' there.

I have discovered one truth about thriving in my journey so far. It is really hard to feel as though you are thriving if you are barely surviving, or even drowning in ONE area of your life. Surviving requires balance. You have to find fulfillment in all areas of your life in order to feel as though you are thriving.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Looking toward the other side of the rainbow

I pretty much ate all carbs all yesterday!!! Two pieces of white toast with butter as a late breakfast, 6 pieces of white toast with butter for lunch, and 4 cookies for a snack. I visited the doctor yesterday morning. I have been feeling extremely tired for months now. I have gained a lot of weight and have struggled with depression for the first time in my life. And my poor husband and daughters have been dealing with way crazy emotions at PMS time so I was hoping the doctor might be able to give me some clarity. As with all doctor visits we started at the scale. How is it that this practice catches me off guard every time? Well once again the scale proved it was either not my friend or a friend that believed in straight tough love because according to this scale I now weigh more than I weighed when I was 38 weeks pregnant with my twins!!!! Ugh!!! The doctor ordered bloodwork and I was on my way. I can only hope that there is some reason for these changes in my health but regardless of reasons there are no excuses...I have to get a move on in changing my health. I have always been very active but there have only ever been seasons of my life where I have been dilligent in a healthy lifestyle that included exercise specifically. Funny thing, I feel great when I exercise daily. I love to sweat and feel the burn of progress as I push myself, but I usually get distracted by busyness and get off track. I believe wholeheartedly that a lifestyle of healthful eating and daily exercise is part of the key to thriving. I have to get motivated!! I have to not eat all carbs when I am feeling discouraged.

Thought for the day: (since you already saw my diet)

A diet of carbs can lead to survival while a diet rich in a rainbow of color just may be the pathway to thriving.

And I don't mean eating candy!!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

From K.J.

I have been exercising twice a day.  I am hoping that may help give me the edge to shedding these unwanted pounds.  Of course my body is rebelling.  My foot is killing me -but I am not sure why. 

I have spent some time with friends, have not spent enough time cleaning my house or looking for a job.  And I feel like I have been a horrible mother.  I feel drained.  Spiritually I need a boost.  Perhaps I  have not had enough focus there either.  I have not touched my journal.  What else should I be doing? 

I did see one of my best friends that I haven't seen since Christmas.  And got another "to-do" off my list.  I created a video for church.  It wasn't a huge project - just took a few hours... but it has been out there in the back of my mind.  One more thing gone from my cluttered mind.

This is not going to be easy.  What needs to change so that I can change?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm trying.....

This morning I was helping a friend and reflecting on the slow pace my life transformation seems to be on. It seems to be one step forward, you know I eat well and exercise for 2 days, and then 3 steps backward, I celebrate my accomplishment by making a long weekend of no exercise and indulging in less than healthy foods. It is frustrating!!! I want to thrive!!! When will surviving not be the norm? How long will it take for my norm to be to wake up and thrive? This is not an easy transformation. My friend, K.J., challenged me with the question, "How long does it take to make a change?". I answered "well 21 days of course", thinking Gosh that sounds like a long time when I can't make it more than 3 days of being healthy and she says, "no, not just make a habit but live by new habits without even thinking about it...they say it takes a month for every year you are old." What?!?! All I could think of at that moment was wow, am I thankful I am 2 months away from my next birthday therefore I only have 38 months and not 39 to make this change!!!! I want to change. I believe that we are created to live a life that is amazing. That in the face of tragedy and turmoil, I should not only be at peace but actually thriving. Surviving should be at most for a season, not a lifestyle. I am committed. I know it will not be easy but I'm trying.

Today wound up being an incredible day. By the time my kids got off the bus the sun was shining and it actually hit above 50 degrees for the first time in months. I felt great!

Eating Log

4 M and M Peanuts
Reuben with chips and pickle
Irish Beef Stew
5 Small Cookies
1 Pistachio Cupcake
5 glasses of water
From K.J.

Going crazy... how do you create the life you want... REALLY? Not just for a moment? For good!

I am failing miserably. My waist is the same size (if not larger) it was a week ago. The house is a mess... I have the same piles sitting around.  I want to read a couple books... but have not even read a page.

On a positive note,  I do think I have handled some things as a mom better. And I have completed two things off my 'to-do' list. Of course one of those things was to paint the basement. It is the most awful color. I hate it. Ugh. I am going to sit and look at it for a day or two, then decide what to do. It may make it back on my 'to-do' list. It does feel good to get those things done.

The other 'big' item I accomplished was 'ordering' a book I started casually working on about a year ago. My cousin is finishing chemo in two weeks and I want to give it to her as a gift when she is done. I may actually meet that deadline. It is a compilation of quotes and scriptures that focus on dealing with trials.

Changing your life is hard... and yet that is what I am trying to do. I just need to focus and work hard. This will not be easy.

I am trying making my list of things to do every day after morning prayer.  I guess that means I need to have a more meditative prayer if I want that to be successful.

Monday, March 14, 2011

From K.J.

Friday I took care of the relationship side of life. Had breakfast with one friend and lunch with another... than moved on to the service side as I spent the evening at a sleepover with 12 and 13 year old girls from church. I ate horrible.. so the physical side of me was crying.

Saturday I was busy with the service side of me - at an activity with girls 12-18 all day. I didn't take care of any other parts of me.

Sunday I went to church - taking care of my spiritual side. My diet was pizza and cereal for the day. ugh.

Today I slept in. I have eaten Fiber One with skim milk, so I am off to a great start... just not sure it will last. I haven't really accomplished anything yet. I think I am going to prayerfully consider what should be put on my to-do list today. I am dressed for the treadmill... assuming that is next.

Not enough focus on being a good mom. Not enough focus on my physical well-being. Not enough focus on emotional (I need to be journaling). Not enough focus on work (I need to find a job).

Looking for the balance still.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From K.J.

Good day today. I hit the treadmill twice and made some serious strides towards cleaning the disaster I call my bedroom. It has been a process trying to clean out all my hot spots. Today felt really good. If only I didn't eat gummy bears, brownies, fuit loops, chocolate and chinese take out I would feel super about the day. I was a nice mom today. Let my kids do things I normally would say no to. I struggle with S1 (son #1). I have decided the healing road of our relationship may be service. You love those you serve. I need to love him... more than I do. Perhaps by serving him (beyong the normal mom ways of providing food and shelter) I will grow to love him.. which will take me off 'edge' all the time. I cleaned his bedroom today. It took me hours. I feel good... I feel on track.
From S.M.

Sometimes I feel like a failure as a mom. How did my cute little toddler grow into a 'tween who shows abolutely no respect for any member of her family? When did I become the enemy? How loud can I actually yell and still be ignored? Why is it that my first reaction to stress is eating? Why is it I have to be a grown up and not take the family out for comfort food because they are behaving badly and don't deserve it? I didn't do anything wrong to not deserve it. Or did I? Perhaps there is more to this then just a child's bad behavior, perhaps this is a symptom of a bigger problem...perhaps this is where I have to admit, I am just surviving, trying to parent to the best and sometimes not best of my ability. There has got to be something do I get to the place where I and then my family in turn begin to thrive? This is the beginning of a journey, one that I pray is life changing.

Diet log for the day:
mandarin orange
1/3 slice of turkey breast
1 glass of water
1 plate of whole wheat pasta with pesto and steamed veggies. (Which tasted nothing like the chicken wings would have that I almost headed out to eat.)

It is noteworthy to mention that to much of the outside world I am Supermom...this is the real me...when the cape is off!