Monday, December 22, 2014

Something Missing

You may or may not have noticed a certain silence from me.  This is officially my second blog of the year and we're just a few days away from next year.  If you did notice and have reached out to me, thank you.  I can't tell you how much your care and concern means to me.  If you didn't notice, no big.  I get it, really...we're all busy.  

And even on my Facebook page, you may have noticed something strange about my posts and pictures.  Sure, I'm keeping you updated about the kids, work, my Jamberry business, selfies galore and general funnies but there is distinctly something missing...

If you guessed that it's been my husband, Don, that's been missing, you're right.  That's because I moved out in August.  The details of our separation are just that - ours.  Here's a short list of suggested do's and don't's for you.

Don't alienate - we need you.
Don't assume - ask.  Seriously.
Don't judge - until you've walked a mile...

Do blame us both
Do forgive us both
Do love us both
Do support us both
Do pray for us both

I ask for you to do these things for both of us because no part of marriage, including separation and/or divorce is a one sided thing.  

Above all though, please join us in praying for our children as we navigate this separation as Christ like as possible.  

To try to end on a positive note, here are some of my favorite snaps of the kids over the past year for you to enjoy:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Love always,

PS - I lost sight of weight loss and gained since August.  I'm back on track and maintaining a total loss of 167 pounds since my surgery in June of 2013.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Most Epic Throwback Thursday Ever

One Year

12 Months

52 Weeks

365 Days

8,760 Hours

525,600 Minutes

31,536,000 Seconds

Countless opportunities pass us by.  Opportunities to reach out.  To make the right choice.  To do something that will last.  To do something that will change your life forever.

A year ago today, I underwent gastric bypass surgery.  After a very long process to become approved by insurance, the day had finally come.  I was nervous.  I was excited.  I was prepared.  Most of all – I was desperate for a change in my lifestyle to become a better, healthier example for my children.  The surgery went smoothly, the worst complaint I have about the hospital was the chest pain I had when I woke up and then the taste of the blue dye.  I went home to begin healing and learning how to cope with this new stomach that I so lovingly call, “my pouch”.

The first few days were hell.  I’d gone from consuming 2,000+ calories a day to less than 500 on my clear liquid diet that all tasted like crud.  I was miserable, but in good spirits knowing that “full liquids” were right around the corner.  When full liquids came, I was able to deal a little better, but still struggled to get in my protein and fluids with my new 2 oz. processor.    After a full week of that, I graduated to soft foods.  People loves, let me tell you that “soft foods” is just a really nice term for “bane of my existence”.  Sure, scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes are super in their respective times and places, but when that’s really all you can eat and in small portions with protein powder mixed in…ugh.  Then after a few weeks of that nonsense, I was finally able to start consuming REAL food again.  In moderation.  Since then, I’ve grown to know what I can and can’t eat.  What causes my pouch to get grumpy and exactly how much my pouch can handle.  Me & my pouch, we’re getting along just fine.

On top of that, I work out 3 – 5 times per week.  In the beginning, I started walking ASAP per Dr’s orders.  I even did an obstacle 5k about 8 weeks post-op.  I didn’t run at all, but I completed it.  Since then, I’ve completed another 2 5k’s.  The Turkey Trot in November and then the Run for Your Luck in March.  Also, I started going to the gym.  I found a class or three that I liked (Splash, Body Pump & Kickboxing) and I started fitting them into my schedule.  I was doing Splash every Monday and then BP or KB every Saturday.  Then, Mondays didn’t work, so I started doing a double feature of BP & KB back to back every Saturday.  Also, 8 weeks ago, I started the Couch to 5k program.  I run 3 times a week and LOVE this program b/c it builds up your endurance.  I’m now running about 2.5 miles without stopping.  The important thing here isn’t what I can do now, it’s the fact that I’ve worked up to it.  Small changes here and there to fit these priorities into my schedule. 

So, I bet you’re all wondering – HOW MUCH HAVE YOU LOST?!  Well…I had a goal.  With a starting weight of 390.2, I wanted to lose a cool 200 pounds by my 1 year check-up.  At my 9 (more like 10) month check-up, I realized that the 200 lb goal was unreasonable.  I was down 164 pounds and had my 1 year check-up less than 2 months away.  My new goal was to lose a total of 175 pounds by my 1 year.  Well…I had my check up with my doctor on Tuesday and literally stripped down to my skivvies practically in the lobby (there was no one there but the nurse and receptionist!) to step on that scale ever so nervously.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only had I met my goal, I SURPASSED IT!!  In the red corner, measuring 6 foot and a half inch tall and weighing in at 213.1 pounds, I demolished that goal and then some by 2.1 pounds!  That’s right my sweet friends, this past week I lost another 5.9 pounds for a grand total of 177.1 pounds lost in a year!  GOSH, what a journey full of encouraging friends and family this has been.

Dang, it feels good to be a gangster!
Can I tell you a secret though?  The best part has nothing to do with me.  The absolute best part is when a dear friend messages me and confides in me that they’ve been struggling with their weight and I’m able to speak into a life.  God, may Your wisdom always speak through me.

Love always,

PS - Here are some amazing photos done by the one and only Antoni Hanlon to help me commemorate the occasion.  Hair by Mother Nature.  Make up by the beautiful Shalisha Kerr.

Look Ma!  I can tie my RUNNING shoes!

25 minutes straight at 5 mph?!  No problem...

This is my, "I'm going to hit goal" face.
I'm not excited at all, hmm?

I may have a ways to go, but I have come SO far!

From a 26/28 to a 12/14...

Plenty of room in these bad boys that used to be TIGHT on me!

And she even let me play a model for the evening!

I was threatened not to cry after seeing some of these on site.

Shalisha is THE best at make up!

Feeling every bit as glowy on the inside too...

Know of anyone who needs a plus size model?!  :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I’m 7 days late, I leave in 7 weeks & I need 700 dollars…

***Just to clarify…I am 7 days late in my mind in posting this blog.  In no other terms am I late.***  

You see, our internet at home has been malfunctioning.  In order to post this, I’ve had to type out my thoughts and prayers into a word document on the way to work and upload it while sitting in the car in front of Don's office because the computer auto connected to his work internet.  This message will self-destruct.  Wait, no it won’t.  It’s the internet!

Anywho – HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I still can’t believe that it’s 2014.  Like…whoa.  I feel like this past year has flown by in an array of love, laughter and life.  So, for the New Year update on the family:
  • Don is great.  His job is awesome and he has stepped up within our church to lead the weekly men’s group.  He has had no resurfacing of his skin cancer and will be following up for his yearly scan in the coming months.
  • EJ IS POTTY TRAINED!  OMG – I can’t even.  This boy amazes me.  ERRBODY said that he would do it when he was ready and at almost 4 ½ years of age (ripe, I know…) he did!  Other than that, he is hilarious.  He has a comedic bone in his body that I hope he is able to hone and refine over the years, because honestly…you just can’t help but laugh at some of the stuff he comes up with.
  • Evie is 2.  2 ½ to be exact.  She ACTS like a pre-teen with the angst of the world on her shoulders.  While most of the time she is sweet, funny and a blessing to be around…she has such the dramatic dark side.  We’re working on loving discipline tactics with her.  Any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

As for me, well, most of you know that I just celebrated my 6 month surgiversary (anniversary of my gastric bypass surgery) on December 26.  As of this past Monday, I weighed in at 268.2 – a cool 122 pounds down from my starting weight of 390.2.  I’ll take it and run with it!  Here’s a before and after shot of what that looks like:

Every New Year brings a sense of peace and hope about it for me.  I hope that this year brings greater things for His kingdom than last.  As you may or may not know, I went to Nicaragua last year on a mission’s trip.  Here’s the blog announcing that I was going and here’s the team’s trip blog if you’d like to get some back story.  The minute I set foot back on American soil last year, I committed to returning to Nicaragua this year.  The trip is March 1 – 8 with the same team as last year and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am.  Don and I have been saving for the past year, but I need some help again closing the gap.  The t-shirts last year were SO popular, so this year we’re doing it again!  Here’s this year’s design:

All credit for the catchy verbiage goes to Gary Recher!

So that the net is a little more, we’ve decided to charge a little more.  Brace yourselves:  We’ve raised the price from $25 each to $30 each.  We’ll be taking pre-orders throughout the next month so that we can place 1 big bulk order and then deliver them all before I leave on my trip in the hopes that while I’m gone, you’ll maybe wear your shirt one of those days and lift up the team in prayer when you do.

What do you say?  Want to buy a t-shirt?!  Please?!   Please make checks payable to Hub City Vineyard if you would like a portion of your donation to be tax deductible.

Again, I’d prefer your prayers over your money, but sure would appreciate your help again in reaching my goal.

Praying that this finds you well and full of hope for this year!

Love always,