Saturday, February 1, 2014

Going on 16....

Our hearts broke today. Audibly. As in, everyone in the hair salon heard and witness both mine and Daniel's hearts breaking. They were there for the exact moment!

After a Target run and Chik Fil A lunch, we let Abigail run out a lot of energy on the "grass" with about 10 other kids up at North Hills today. She ran for about 30 minutes before we told her it was time to go. Suddenly, she piped up, "I wanna get my hair cut!" We sort of blew it off, since she says this sometimes and doesn't really seem to mean it. 

This time, though, she kept insisting. So, we took her by Mitchell's where my hair dresser, Shelley, works and takes kids 3 years old and up. Unfortunately, she was booked for the entire day but suggest we go with another woman there. So, we did. 

Daniel and I hovered as we helped Abigail select a shoulder length haircut then, she told me that I could go sit down. Fine, Dad will stand or sit with her. She said, "I don't need you to. I can do this by myself."

CRUSHED!!! We were CRUSHED! I looked at Daniel and just knew he was feeling the same thing: "Our baby doesn't need us anymore!!!"
We may or may not have snuck this photo. Also, yes I know it's sideways.

So we went and sat where we couldn't do anything but spy in mirrors. We heard her directing the hair woman, "Shorter!!" and "This way!"

About 20 minutes later, she came out and we were staring at our 16 year old daughter, instead of our almost 4 year old daughter. 

Words cannot explain how grown up she looked/looks and how proud we are of our little baby girl who isn't such a baby!!
Photo by Melissa Benson...see how grown up she looks now!!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Abigail has been on a roll lately with the witty comebacks and hilarious comebacks. I wish I could write them all down the second she says them. Here are a few we've heard lately:

- Abs: "Mom, you are nocturnal!"
Me: "Abigail, do you know what that means?"
Abs: "Yes, like bats."

- Abs: "I think I'm gonna start working and get a job so I can have some money to spend."
Me: "Have at it!"

- Abs: "Why are we on Earth?"
Us: *deer in headlights*
My response has been, "To be happy and love each other"
Dan's response has been, "Because our bodies can't live on any other planet."
We're obviously taking different approaches to this question

This girl really cracks me up...these are just a few funnies but I wanted to be sure I recorded them now, before I forgot them!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ringing in 2014

A new year. So overwhelming. I woke up this morning overly anxious and worried. I couldn't focus on any of the positive things the new year might hold for us. I was too worried about the possible negatives. I had a meltdown at 10 am...I finally pulled myself together enough to consider how great I felt yesterday and realized a few things that I'd done that helped me past my anxiety yesterday. Exercising was one of those things. I haven't been able to get back up to full walking speed when I exercise since I had bronchitis back at Thanksgiving until yesterday. It's taken me that long for my lungs to "fully heal" crazy! But hitting that goal yesterday and just exercising in general made me feel so good.

Sometimes this anxiety is just nearly debilitating. If I can't shake it with this steady exercise (which I have had to cut back on since being sick but and finally back up to par), then I think I'll have to go back to my doctor for help with things....but I really think the exercise can do it.

I'm excited to try to focus on the positives that could happen this year. There are a few things I'd like to work on:

-Being outside more in general
-Keeping up our healthier lifestyle. It went out the window at Christmas, which I enjoyed, but know my body needs the more healthful fuel it's had in the last few months to really do great things
-Being at church more frequently and asking more questions
-Be more patient and loving towards Daniel and Abigail. Not a doormat, but just in a more peaceful frame of mind
-Read at least one book a month
-Spend two evenings a month with Daniel as date night (don't have to go out) and one day or evening a month as a date with just Abigail....I crave time with her right now. She is getting so big so fast and I don't want to regret not spending time with her.
-Helping others and being more free with my time, at the same time, more protective over it. It's hard to explain this one but I think most mom's get it.
-Keep my mouth shut more often and just listen.
-Keep a written journal too....I love my journals from high school and college.

Just a few thoughts as this year is starting off....sorry it's sort of rambly.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Well, it's been about three months or so since I blogged. My apologies! Anyhow, now is the time of year to reflect and this is gonna be wordy...I'll try to throw in a few pics but be warned, there will be lots of words.

1) Joy: The other day, Daniel and I were talking on the way to my office and realized how happy we've felt this year. We finally realized why - this year we seem to have really focused on finding joy in the small things and what may seem like "mundane" moments. I'm not sure how much more out of debt we are...we still have a lot but we've been paying off some things slowly, meaning despite a slight pay increase, we are still finding ourselves "in" more than "out" and doing a lot to save pennies. In the past, this would sort of depress us. Now, we find such JOY in the quiet moments in the morning when Abigail has snuggled in bed with us at 5 am for just a little more sleep before we all have to get up and going. We find JOY in working out and improving ourselves and noticing those small changes. We have discovered real JOY in just being still and focusing on our sweet child singing a new song for us or in a debate about current events or political policies. We are HAPPY. Throughout our 8 1/2 year marriage, we've both experiences ups and downs due to depression and anxiety. It's been rare for both of us to be "up" at the same time. Yet, here we are. We've shifted our focus and that has been the game changer, you might say. I don't fool myself; at some point, the depression or anxiety will (and sometimes does) creep back; but it's less intense and we are better able to pull ourselves and each other out. I'm so thankful we've been able to find true joy in our lives.

2) Health: As you've read, this last summer, we joined the YMCA. We were offered a great deal that included childcare that we couldn't pass up. I was ready to be healthier for my breathing, allergy, and colitis issues. I knew losing weight would help. Daniel wanted to lose the LITTLE bit of weight he had/has to lose and really feel more confident in his body. We've really enjoyed this experience so far. We don't feel guilty for taking that 45 minutes or so for ourselves four days a week. In November, we were not able to go very often due to some issues I'll discuss in a minute and at the end of November I got a nasty little sinus infection/bronchitis and am just now recovered enough to go to the gym again. We are thrilled. I've lost a nice chunk of weight and looking forward to us both continuing to get healthier in the new year.

3) Little Blessings: We've had so many little and big blessings this year. I could never count them all. Most recently, our car was giving us some trouble - two issues. Thanks to friends, we were able to pinpoint one easily and the other we were unsure of. Also through friends we found a new mechanic who is very trustworthy and kind. One of our problems was fixed and the other seemed to have remedied itself?? Apparently a fuse (?) came unplugged (were told that can happen over the life of a car....just randomly due to car vibrations some grease had dripped around the plug and that may have helped things slip out. It was causing something in the engine to throw up some code saying the car should not stay on. Once cleaned up and plugged back in, things have been fine. What a blessing! What a blessing for family who graciously drove us around and let us use their car on weekends for a month!! And a blessing that a church friend allowed us to use their car over Thanksgiving while they were out of town. Other blessings include our wonderful trip to the beach, a gracious boss who has shown appreciation to his staff (something I'm not as used to) and an office environment, that while I've struggled to fit in, is more professional and gives me the challenge I craved. We are blessed with our child's amazing health and brightness. We are blessed that she goes to the most wonderful of preschools where she is showered with love and education. We are blessed with family that pulls together in hard times. I could go on and on. These blessings have made our year more positive.

4) Looking forward? I'm a planner. But this year, I've discovered that sometimes looking forward, or in some cases looking too forward, I've gotten myself in to trouble. By that I mean that in trying to anticipate every issue that could arise and plan for it I've actually caused myself anxiety. This year, I've tried really hard to not look too far forward. Sometimes I'm not always successful, but I'm glad I've noticed this problem and am trying to be satisfied with living in the present (see #1)!! I now see there is a fine line between planning and causing myself worry.

Well, these are just a few reflections for the end of the year...I hope 2014 will be an even more positive, happy year! I know we will face difficulties and struggle, I'm sure some of our own making and some not, but I'm hoping we can face them even more positively than ever!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

All Sorts of Goings On!

Well, it's been a couple weeks since I updated. Here are the brief updates:

1) My dad seems to be doing well since his heart attack. He says he is eating better but has not incorporated exercise. I cannot control any of that but sure hope it's true because I love him and want him around for the long haul! What a close call! To many of those with him lately!

2) I've had a severe flare up with colitis. I continue to press through  during the day but I find I'm a lot more exhausted, hurting, and just generally a bit depressed over it all. I haven't had the energy to get to the gym and other road blocks have come up in the past two weeks so I've probably gotten in a REAL walk or hike only 3 times in the past 2 weeks. I'm trying. More on that later. The flare up has been ver difficult for me and makes me remember a time I didn't have one for two years...when I was pregnant and post-delivery! I'll be seeing my doctor in October but in the meantime....

3)...I'm cutting gluten. I'm not 100% gluten free. But I'm saving any bit of gluten I do want to eat (I still crave something really gluten-y daily, like pretzels, a piece of brownie, toast with my eggs, etc.). There is also a lot of gluten in products you don't realize. I am probably 80% gluten free this week and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! I do not think I have Celiac's...from what I've read online, there's been some research done that shows that gluten products break down in the intestine in a certain way that can really irritate an already angry intestine. SO, my hope is that if I can get this flare to calm down (it is already WAYY better) and keep it calm for a few weeks, maybe I can slowly incorporate more gluten back in. However, if not, that's ok. I'll just reserve my gluten cravings to my at home/close to home meals in case anything goes wrong and go without otherwise. It's really worth it. I'm no where near ready to start looking at cooking baked goods and such without's intimidating so next week I'm going to hit Whole Foods and pick up some gluten free products for myself. They will be a little pricier but will last a lot longer with just me eating them. Like I said...I'm not totally gluten free because I don't have Celiac's....just need to cut way back on it.

4) Speaking of a diet revision....even though I haven't been able to work out much in the last two weeks, I've still lost weight. I know that's due to the drastic change in my eating, as well as an increase in my metabolism and being more active in general due to more exercise in general. I've now lost 9 pounds since starting this workout regime and 39-40 since my heaviest weight. I'm so proud. I really am. I'm sure it will be another 10 before others notice physical changes, but Daniel and I notice them.

5) New workout routine will begin this coming week, now that I've got my stomach under control. We are now shooting for Tues, Wed, Thurs and Saturdays with a family walk Sundays. We would prefer not to do this three days in a row but we've noticed that Mondays and Fridays are so hectic with other obligations and things popping up that we just can't handle it. So, we are going to see how this goes. We may throw in some weight training/toning exercises on that Wednesday in there to give your legs a break from walking/running...we'll just listen to our bodies and see what we need. I know how to use the weight machines so I can show Daniel...

6) Abigail is sick. Sick sick sick. She has a virus of some sort, sore throat, headache, lethargic, and a mild cough. No strep. We're pushing through it. We've eliminated almost everything this weekend except me taking Mom up to the Y to check things out, me teaching a lesson tomorrow in RS, and getting mom to Walmart for something. Don't get me started on that last item...seriously. Don't.

Anyhow....this is our wordy update for the past couple of weeks!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Pretty Rotten News...

I always have the least interesting titles. Whatevs.

Today was pretty exciting for most of the day. We are one day from the beach and I had quite a bit of work to do before I could leave work (and our office did NOT close early!) and feel like everything was where it needed to be. But, I got it done. I felt very at peace leaving my work for a week.

We got home and I ordered dinner (hate to do it, but I don't want anything in the house to go bad and honestly, Daniel and I are both exhausted and didn't feel like going by the store. Abigail was outside with Daniel playing with her friends while I cleaned out the litter box and vacuumed the upstairs. Can you tell I like the house clean when I leave for a trip?

Anyhow, I came downstairs and saw my dad had called. He doesn't usually call, and rarely before 730 pm. I usually call HIM twice a week around 750 so he can talk to Abigail. I knew it was bad news before I called back.

I got Cheryl (his girlfriend) on the phone and she started saying, "I yelled at your dad real bad today and I'm glad I did because it probably saved his life." Now, back story. Last night, he told me on the phone he had a pain on the left side of his chest up high towards his shoulder. He sounded pretty bad and I was worried based on his history but just encouraged him to go see the doctor and told him that it was probably just a pulled muscle. He promised to go.

SO, basically when he went downstairs at work (he works in a hospital) they ran some tests, including a blood test looking for an enzyme saying he was having or had had a heart attack. Well, he had a heart attack. The enzyme was there. They rushed him up to the cath lab and went through his wrist up to his stint that had been put in two years ago. Get this. The stint was 95% blocked. It is only two years old. When I heard that I went from scared to angry. It takes a lot of very bad habits to make that happen. Anyhow, they cleared everything out, put him on new blood thinners and said he can go home sometime this weekend.

He sounded so much better. I am so thankful for modern medicine sometimes!! But he is going to have to start taking better care of himself of he will die. It's so hard to type and say those words but it's the truth. I told him I needed him around a lot longer and so does my brother and Abigail. He said he'd try, but who knows. Only time will tell.

I asked if we needed to come to him and be with him for a couple days before heading to the beach and he said no. He wants us to go on our trip and says he truly feels much better. I believe him, he sounds a ton better. I just miss him and want to hug him in times like this.

And....this story is exactly why I decided to take control of my life at the start of August. I know there are plenty of awful things that can happen, but I'd prefer it to not be something I can control.

I've lost 5 pounds this month. My only goal in this next week is to maintain my weight and get through four workouts (walks) while on vacation. I'm just not into those unrealistic goals. 5 pounds wasn't quite what I hoped for but I DO think I've lost more inches, especially on my legs and butt. When we get back, Dan and I are going to measure (get your head out of the gutter!). He is only measuring his stomach but I'm going to measure chest, arms, waist, hips and thighs. Probably calves too. That way when I'm not seeing direct weight loss I can measure and look at inches lost and see that I'm still progressing.

Anyhow, that's today's not so wonderful update. I'll be back sometime later this week!! Enjoy your holiday.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Progress and Such

Well it's been three weeks since this adventure began and I've lost 4 pounds. I lost two pounds the first week, two the second, and this past week I maintained the weight loss. Here's why:

1) I got a mild stress fracture on my right foot last weekend at church. Of course I'd get one in high heels and not walking. But I remember the exact minute it happened...and was in pain a good amount of the week. I still went to the gym but only did the stationary bike. Even that hurt a little. SO I didn't push. By Saturday my foot was feeling good enough I was able to bike more intensely then walk for ten minutes. This week I'll try the elliptical. We have a beach trip coming up and I do NOT need to be hruting tha tbadly trying to walk on sand.

2) I was not as aware of my eating choices this past week. I gave into the temptation to eat some bad foods this week. I seriously mean bad.

I told Daniel it is frustrating that I have to work THIS HARD. He eats exactly the same and runs for 30 mins 4 times a week and you see a visible difference on him. Not me.

Actually, I notice a couple subtle changes, but no one else would notice these changes. I know things take time, and I'm so proud of the my 4 pound weight loss. I'm hoping to burn off two more this week before the beach and cross below a threshold I haven't been at in at least 4 or 5 years.

In general, between my foot problem, PMS and other stresses, you could say I wasn't as positive about things as I had been the last two weeks....but that's ok.

Still glad I'm doing this and doing it the right way.