Sunday, August 31, 2008

Finally! Photos!

We finally did pics today!

First off, The Brit hated my new hair self portrait from the other night, so he insisted a new one had to go up, so please excuse the indulgance:

I still hate my neck.  How soon before that shrinks more?

I want to show progression in the After photos, so we'll start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.  When you read you begin with A, B, C, when you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi...sorry.  Anyway:

The night before surgery.  Do I look uncomfortable or what?  And yeah, my neck is much better now.

And two month post op, down about 45 pounds:

And now my four month post op, taken today at 70 pounds lost:

And side views of the same:

I think the differences are more subtle this time, but I can still see them.

Now, The Brit is coming unveiled, whether he likes it or not!

This was his day before surgery and he was being all goofy.

And today, 70 pounds lighter in three months:

And side views:

I can see it all over him but especially in his chest and lower belly.  Surgery is amazing!

So amazing, that I have signed up the next patient:

Everyone have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Today was a nice day albeit a painful day.  My slumber last night was sporadic as I had to get up and soak again at 2:30 am to get the pain manageable.  But overall, today, it is moderately better than yesterday though still sucking the life out of me.

The Brit shopped with me today!  Now, those of you who don't know us, don't realize what a monumental thing that really is!  The man does not shop!  But we went to breakfast this morning and then to the outlets!  He got some clothes on sale and then even went with me while I got some clothes on sale.  I actually got the best bras!  I have been hurting for decent ones since losing weight.  The girls are still holding their own, but they needed a bit more support and when you are buying bras in boxes, you take a chance on not liking it when you get home.  So, today at Lane Bryant I found a brand of underwire that is so comfy and it "lifts and separates" as it is supposed to.  Looks like I got a boob job!  Loved them so much, I got three and they were on sale as everyone was having Labor Day sales.  (Don't you all love how open I am about my boobs and my ass?)

Tomorrow we go to a late lunch/early dinner with Kelly and Robyn and looks like I'll be trying Thai food.  New experience for me!  But other than fatty/sugary, I'm not that picky. 

Before and Afters tomorrow, promise!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another TMI Post

My ass is falling off again.

OMG, is there any worse pain than a freakin' "roid"??  And what makes these things flare up?  I have no more pooping issues; I'm taking medication that is ensuring that. So why am I in horrible pain?  It is just an energy sucking pain as well; I just want to go curl up, if I can find a comfortable position, and sleep until this little bastard shrinks back down to pea-size! 

I have a great fear of having these things taken off too.  I'm thinking if they take off something that is painful, the place it was is still going to be painful while it heals.  I can deal with that....providing they can stop me from pooping while the healing takes place and I'm fairly certain that will be a no go.  In the last ten years, I have had occasional flare ups...we're talking like maybe 2-3 in ten years, until I had surgery and the iron decided to piss off my bowels and ever since then, all anyone has to do is look at these things wrong and they blow up like little balloons.  Not that any of friends are looking at my butt, yet alone in a wrong way, but you know what I mean.  HURTS!

The Brit finally got his bicycle tonight!  I would have been all up for a ride tomorrow, if my butt would just cooperate, but I'm not looking for things to clear up that quickly.

I also had Before and After photos of both of us, but I honestly hated what I was wearing and The Brit needed a better photographer than I was last night.  We'll see if I can't get them up for ya'll tomorrow.

ETA: Did you notice I finally hit the 70 pounds lost today!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Flat and Sassy

Before I could get to the much looked forward to hair and nail appointment today, I had to undergo the dreaded mammogram.  It's part of the joy of being over forty and I had managed to put it off last year, but now it was time to face the music.  My gyno didn't find anything during my yearly exam, so this was just a screening, but having had one in the past due to fibrocystic breasts, having one was not something I cherished.  I had forgotten exactly how much I didn't cherish it actually.

I went into work to print out the bulletins for the lady who runs them off, and then headed back out to the medical center.  I was called back promptly, given a changing room and a locker and told to don the gown, opening in the front and then lock up my stuff, come out and have a seat.  I was already uncomfortable as I do not make it a habit to leave my home without deodorant and some other sweet smelling spray, both of which were now in my purse for when my boobie time was over. 

So, I put on the gown, which I would have described more as a cape with arm holes.  Having larger breasts (though thankfully shrinking some) I felt like I was playing some kind of game to not let the girls escape as I headed out to the waiting room, took a seat and made sure I was adequately covered.  I then waited forever until I was called back, but while I waited, I spent time trying to read the faces of the other women in the room.  Were they all routine?  Were some of them here because their doctor had felt something suspicious?  I was nervous, so I knew if anyone was there to rule out breast cancer, they had to three times as scared.

They finally called me and I went back and the tech asked me the usual questions.  Any history of family breast cancer?  Was this just a screening?  Had I ever had cancer?  Once those were finished we walked up the Tower of Terror and she slipped my gown off my right shoulder and had me step forward, reach up with my right hand to grab the bar to the back of the machine, turn my head to the right, and then she said, "Now, I'm just going to lift your breast up onto the platform.." 

I giggled.  Because I am five years old apparently.

But c'mon!  My husband doesn't tell me what he is going to do with my breast, so a complete female stranger giving me a narrative was just too bizarre!  Just do it already!  Don't talk about it!

So, she, and then the Tower of Terror tried to smush my ample boobage into an LP.  For those of you who have never had a mammogram....this is more than slightly uncomfortable.  But I did it, held my breath and all.  Then we repeated the process on Lefty, including her narrative (just shoot me now, honey).  Then we needed a side view of Lefty.  When she didn't request a side shot of Righty, I questioned this, because I didn't want Righty to feel slighted or not as good as Lefty.  Both the girls are overachievers after all.

The tech could have just said no, but that would not have given her the opportunity to discuss my boobs again, so I found out that Lefty has a bit more girth to her than Righty and was able to fit all on one shot.  Peachy.  Sorry I asked.  It may be a fact of life for women, but mammograms are embarrassing to me for some reason.

Anyway, it was finally over and I was again clothed, this time with deodorant and sweet smelling stuff and headed back to work.

This afternoon, I had the hair and nails done.  I like the hair, but it is taking some getting used to and not because it is way shorter.  Because it is straight!  I don't think I have been without a perm in eight or nine years.  I think the summer after The Brit and I got married, I had it short and straight as I remember seeing a pic of me in Florida around that time. 

The picture doesn't do it justice as natural lighting would be better, but it is ugly and raining out today.  I'm considering highlights at some point if I decide to keep it straight.  The cut is similar to #1 but I had no perm left after it was cut, but I can mousse it or curl it if I want.

I don't think I take a good picture.  Period.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Solemnly Swear...

Today I got back on the eating right bandwagon.

But you know what?  It's kind of funny.  My eating habits the last two weeks, five months ago, I would not have classified them as "bad".  Instead of eating sugar-laden crap, I've eaten pretzels, and some chips and salsa.  Go figure.

Anyway, I was thinking today about what I needed to recommit myself to.  Not buying pretzels was one from yesterday, but I need to have reminders of others too.  So, Meg will be happy...bullet points!

  • Drinking more.  I am not always getting in my 64 ounces a day.

  • Protein, protein, protein.

  • To constantly challenge myself in my workouts; to do more, to do my cardio faster or steeper or longer.

  • To do some form of exercise 5 days a week.

  • To only weigh in once a week.  This daily nonsense has got to go.  It's making me crazy.

Surgery is not a cure all.  You still have to constantly work on your mind to do the right things and not fall back into old habits.  This is a TOOL.  I cannot stress that enough.  You have to work with your tool; it isn't going to do the work all by itself.

I wanted to say a special hello to reader, Susan!  She will having her WLS on November 11th, using the same facility (different doc) as The Brit and I did.  I didn't know Susan was here until last week when she came out of lurk-mode to say hello.  Susan, I hope you keep me up to date on your surgery, both before and after!

Also, I need to get new "AFter" photos taken.  I think I need to see them for my own peace of mind as well.  When the scale is moving slow, it is still moving, but sometimes a reminder of where I started out is just what I need.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Overturned Diagnosis

I'm still struggling with honey wheat pretzel twists.  What I am finding is that when The Brit is late getting home for dinner at 6:00, I start nibbling.  Not sure of how to remedy this problem, but I think I'll try to make sure I just keep drinking while waiting for dinner to ensue.  Better yet, dumb ass, quit buying the stupid pretzels!

So, as of this next week's grocery shop, I vow to not purchase anymore pretzels to snack on! 

The other problem is not being able to find my Kashi Pumpkin Spice bars, which I LOVE!  They are the only protein bar I like, and the last two boxes I found were at Target and I bought their last two boxes.  They are gone.  So when the urge for crunchy or munchy comes around, there is little to reach for at the moment.

Took both boys today for their yearly check ups.  I love our doctor, though I travel a little bit further to see him.  There is a Children's doctor here in town, but I hate them.  When the kids are actually sick, I take them there because it is close, but the girl who works the front desk, acts like Attila the Hun and you never know what doc you are going to get.  Their other office is about twenty minutes down the road, but Dr. S is well worth it. 

Both boys are doing well and I had a chat with Dr. S about JJ.  I told him that members of my family had wanted to diagnose him with ADD but I asked him "Wouldn't that show up in school?"  The answer is absolutely.  I told him that JJ was very active and a bit high strung and he told me that being extremely active and high strung was not a diagnosis for medication.  He said if I was getting notes from the school about him constantly being out of his seat, talking out of turn or other behavior problems, then there could very well be an issue.  JJ has none of these.  His behavior rubic score 98%of the time is a 4, which is the highest.  I explained how each year, I would speak to his teacher and tell her how JJ's brother is ADHD and does his teacher see any symptoms.  The answer is always "No.  None whatsoever."  So, I'm hoping I can put this diagnosis to rest with my family.  Heaven forbid if every overly active kid was medicated; we'd have a real mess.

So, there was my day.  The appointments were for 1:15 and we were out of there at 3:00.  I like the fact that he is so thorough and that he takes the time to listen and answer questions and to ask some.  They both had shots, and were quite brave; no one cried.  Not even me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Todays Stats


1/2 cup Special K Protein Plus with enough milk to wet it, topped with a banana.


1/2 chicken and cheese wrap with tomato and lettuce


7 honey wheat twisted pretzels (dammit!) which is the equivalent of 110 calories and 2 grams of protein.

Dinner (will be; haven't eaten it yet)

1/2 pork chopped with Splenda sweetened apple pie filling
corn on the cob with "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" spray butter.

If there is an evening snack, I don't know what it will be yet.

Went to the gym and did all weight machines and walked a mile.  I did the Elliptical for a minute and a half which as I see it is triple my last attempt.  That is some hard work!  I'm going to have to work up to it apparently in thirty second increases! 

Okay, now a question for any of you who have ever sold on eBay (*cough, cough* Kelly!).  I'm starting to accumulate clothing that is far too big for me, so it is time to start clearing some stuff out so that when fall and winter roll around, I'll have a little money to buy some fall and winter clothes.  Here is what screwed me up the one time I sold on eBay:  The shipping and handling.  What is the best way to judge what that cost will be?  I shortchanged myself last time and had to eat a little bit of my profit because I listed the S&H too low.  How do I resolve this?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

I think that every other year, the weekends should be five days long and the work week two days long though we get paid the same amount.  Because, dang, where do those weekends go?  At least next weekend is a three dayer!

Nothing major today.  Church, my BFFF went back to school, we swam at the YMCA and went to dinner.  I mopped the kitchen floor and that pretty much brings you up to date.

My scale is still moving at a snail's pace and I wonder if it is because I have started working out with weights.  Maybe my body is just rearranging itself.  I know that it is not even close to rational to think what every other WLS patient has thought when hitting a dreaded and long plateau: "OMG, I am going to be the one person this surgery doesn't work for!"  I know in my heart, that is not the case.  I am simply stalled at the moment and the love affair I've been having with some carbs needs to be curbed.  They aren't "bad" carbs, but they are just full of nothing beneficial to me, such as chips and salsa and honey wheat twist pretzels and heaven knows, I can't eat but a few at a time (and those are actually my only two carb sins).  But they hold very little protein, so I need to not eat them (grrr).  I need to get my inner rockstar going again and start rocking the weight loss again.

Tomorrow will be busy.  Work, gym, vitamin store for calcium and then Walmart.  Then home and dinner and pass out.  The Brit and the eldest child are going to the gym in the evening for the parent/middle schooler gym time. 

Oh and guess what?  I think we will be going to London in 2012 for the Olympics!  How cool is that?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Awesome, Amazing Day

Today was awesome.  Just one of those days that doesn't happen nearly often enough.  I got together with my girlfriends and then met up with the Brit for dinner this evening.

We met at Lisa's and spent a delightful afternoon knitting, chatting and nibbling on all healthy snacks.  I love chatting with these girls and it was all so relaxing, even when I was watching Lisa, Kelly and Robyn trying to catch grasshoppers for Kelly's turtles (I don't touch anything that is of the bug family).  We were surrounded by kitties and easy acceptance and laughter.

Then we met up with The Brit to check out a new Asian restaurant in town and found out two of our buddies from a chinese place in town that sold out to becoming a buffet now work at this new place!  So we got to catch up with Yvonne, who was our waitress and found out she is working also for a dermatologist and I have skin tags I want removed, so I will be scheduling an appointment!

Another bit of news I forgot to tell everyone is that my friend, Andie, I've asked you all to pray for is PREGNANT!  Possibly with twins!  Please keep her in your prayers as her pregnancy is still high risk and she is trying so hard to be guardedly optimistic. 

And does anyone know how to shrink the size of those webring banners on my sidebar???  I managed to shrink other stuff but can't work those out! 

Don't forget to vote on my hair! Not that it is a requirement but I'm taking what y'all say as what I will do.   So far #1 is winning!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Please Cast Your Vote and help me out

So one of the things I really wanted to do after losing a chunk of weight was to get my hair cut shorter.  Well, this Thursday is the day, so that means I have to decide what I want done. It's not long now by any means, but I want to go shorter. 

Things you need to know before looking at these photos:

My hair is permed and it is pretty straight when it is not permed.  Due to how much of it is falling out in the shower right now, I don't really want to perm it yet.  So, with a cut, there will be some perm left on the ends, maybe. 

I want a short cut that is still feminine but easy and maybe even, dare I say, spunky?

Now, please excuse my horrible photo tonight.  I'm tired and there is no makeup left, but I suppose you need to see my current style.

Blech.  Anyway, there ya go.  Again, the curl is all perm.

Now, style #1

Please pardon the cheesy model.

Style #2

I would not do the two toned hair color thingy. Looking at cuts only.

And finally, style #3

Tell me what ya think, okaythanks!

Friday Cop Out

I so want to just relax tonight after dinner, so you get one of those survey thingys today.  But first, I worked out twice at the YMCA this week.  It would have been three times, but they were closed today for an annual cleaning or something (not the whole Y but the fitness center).  So, since I could not go there today, I put my beloved bicyle in my car last night and after work today, drove to the fairground park, which has a bike path.  I rode all over the place for about an hour.  It was fun!  I took one small break when my girly bits were not acting too happy, but then I was off again.  I think I am going to do that more often.  The park is not as hilly as the park across the road from us, so today was a great experience for just getting comfortable with biking.

Okay, now the survey, taken from blogger, Through Thick n Thin:

Today’s topics:

one - 5 things your good at.
1.being adventureous
2. writing
3. theater
4. letting stuff roll off my back (most of the time)
5. being relatively amusing

two- 5 things you wish you could say to someone.
1. So why did you suddenly fall off the face of the earth?
2. grow up
3. stop your whining
4. shut up already
5. How's that working for ya?

three - 5 times you cant help but smile.
1. when the hubby and I are teasing around
2. when my kitties come for some lovins
3. when my kids are being funny but don't know they are being funny
4. when the scale drops another pound
5. when Kirk calls me his BFFF

four - 5 things you do for fun.
1. write fiction
2. read
3. travel
4. spend time with my galpals
5. shop and not for groceries!

five - 5 CDs you own.
1. alanis morrisette - jagged little pill
2. Unsearchable Riches
3. Les Miserables
4. Rent
5. John Denver Wildlife concert

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What Gives People the Right.... try to assassinate someone on their own blog? 

My blogger friend, Kim, had some woman jump all over her today on her blog because Kim made mention of a job offer with someone whose insurance plan included weight loss surgery.  Kim's hubby wants to have the surgery eventually, and as most of us don't have $30,000 just sitting around, they need it to be covered if he is going to have it. 

Apparently, Ms. Commenter has lost 100 pounds all by herself.  Well, bully for her.  Apparently, the solution is to just put down the fork.  Yeah. okay.  I've done that more times than I can count, sweetheart, and sure, I lost weight.  Lots of it.  All came back again over time and more.  Sweet cheeks, why don't you report back in a year and let's see how you're doing then.  Hey, I hope you keep it off, but the statistics aren't in your favor.

Yes, we all get it.  We all understand that some folks out there are totally against WLS.  Some people are against smoking.  Some are against alcohol.  But does being against something mean that the right to express an opinion about it on space we pay for should be taken away?  I think not.  If you want to disagree with me, do it in a polite, civilized way. thank you very much.  You can keep your snarky comments and opinions for your own blog. 

I don't get it.  I have been reading blogs for a LONG time now and NEVER have I come across as a rude bitch to any other blogger by expressing my opinion in a cruel and hateful way.  That takes a special kind of nerve I don't have, thank the LORD!  I am all about discussing anything with anyone, providing you are being respectful to me. 

But guess what? 

What works for one person, doesn't work for everyone.  Hmmmm.  Why is this?  Maybe because we are all different.  Maybe because we have different bodies and different triggers and different metabolisms and the list goes on and on.  Trust me, O opinionated harlot of the internets, I wish I could have lost weight without undergoing MAJOR SURGERY.  But something went wrong.  "Put the fork down" did not work for me.  This must make me a failure of a human being.  If I could have just stopped sitting on my ass on the sofa all day watching soap operas and stuffing bonbons in my face, this could have all been alleviated.

Yeah right.

Just for the record, I don't watch much television, I don't like soaps and I hate bonbons.  I do have two kids who keep me extremely busy, a part time job on top of the mother/house full time job (and my house is always clean because I clean it daily) am active in church and used to do lots of musical theater.  Before surgery, I would often skip breakfast and lunch many days, so that blows that "put the fork down" theory once more.

Did I eat wrong stuff?  Yeah, I did.  Being busy and forgetting to eat causes that sometimes.  I don't forget anymore however as surgery changed that for me.  I need to get in enough protein a day.  I love sweet stuff but surgery has changed that too.  I still love it, but more than a bite or two will probably make me barf and I prefer to avoid that.  And you know what?  If those things help me lose weight than so be it.

I am down 67 pounds and am working out several times a week and feel better than I have in my entire life.  And I guess if someone wants to begrudge me that, so be it.  I hope it makes you feel better, as after all, that is what is most important.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Small Continuation from Yesterday

I love discussing religion and hearing what other people think.  I don't call it debating or even disagreeing; just discussing.  There are probably as many different views of God, Jesus and heaven as there are people on the earth, so I always find it interesting to hear how other folks think or imagine things to be.  We all have questions and I, for one, look forward to the day when I ask my Creator all of mine.  As I said yesterday, I don't profess to know the answers, but some thoughts just feel more comfortable to me than others.

Jaime asked:

If God will accept into Heaven every person, regardless of whether they believe in Christ as their savior, then why did Christ have to come and die for our sins in the first place?

I'm not trying to start a debate or anything... I'm just curious as to your thoughts on this. What was the point of God becoming man and taking upon Himself the wrath of the Father for all the sins of humanity, if He's going to allow everyone into Heaven in the first place?

I sent her an email reply that said:

I totally see your point; I do.  What I just can't reconcile is God as a loving father who would condemn any of his children to pain and suffering for all eternity.  As a parent of a difficult child, I know that no matter how much Aaron tries me and defies me sometimes, I could never do that to him, so how can I imagine God doing any less than what I can do?  If He loves even the ones who do not or do not yet believe in him, how could he ever want pain for them?  And then what about the people who are good but don't know Christ?  What about the people who live in remote places who are never taught about Jesus?  Do they go to hell?
I don't profess to know the answers, but I just can't see God as anything that cruel.   Why did Jesus come?  Maybe because without him, we wouldn't ever have the opportunity to meet God as Jesus is the only way to God.  I'm sure I am simplifying it, as only human beings can do and I look forward to knowing the answers one day.

I can't really answer Jaime's question and while I can't do that, I also can't reconcile a father condemning any of his children.

Then Laura said:

I could never understand how "God knows what your going to do before you do it" and "Free Will" fit together. IMO is was a contradiction - if He knows, then it's not free will, your life is all planned out. I then came across a website one time that explained it.

He said put yourself at a fork in the road. You can go left and solve the problem God's way or right and solve it your way - you'll notice God's way is a straight path, but your way is a lot of twists and turns - decide how you want to get to the conclusion. The conclusion doesn't change, just the way you choose to get there.

Though I don't know if I picture Hell as a pit of fire...I see it more as separation from God forever. I *do* believe that you must accept Jesus as your savior NOW, it's too late after death. We're all sinners, sinners will get into heaven...but it's by *who* you know, not by what you do.

My feelings on the first part of this is that God knowing what we are going to do doesn't make it not our free will.  I don't think he is a puppeteer pulling our strings, but he is all knowing.  Whether we make the right decision or the wrong decision, He knows what that decision will be and He works it for good somewhere.

The last paragraph, again, what about people who are never introduced to Jesus in this life?  What if their first introduction is once they die here?  So because they never were told about Him here, then they have to spend eternity separated from God.  That doesn't seem fair.  Again, I fully believe that God is going to sort all this out and He already knows the answer.

Maybe having the relationship with Him in this life, that Christians do, helps us get through this life.  Because we know there is something more.  Maybe those that don't know Him struggle and fear life as well as death because they don't know of anything else.  I can't imagine not knowing Jesus, yet there are millions who don't.  My faith is always what soothes my soul and ceases my fears.  I can't imagine not having that.

My thoughts on these things are kind of new to me.  When these thoughts were presented to me (again, by people stating they didn't know these things for sure, but it was their "hope") I was flabbergasted.  No fiery pit of hell?  No one willing to accept Jesus after death is turned away?  No way, not for me, thank you very much.  But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about the prodigal son/loving, waiting, forgiving father, the more it made sense to me. 

Again, only to me.  I'm not trying to change anyone's views, but I do love discussing them.  What really matters to me right now is that I have Jesus in my heart and have an ongoing relationship with Him.  The afterlife stuff is going to take care of itself when I get there.

But I still love hearing what y'all have to say.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I May Be Stoned

So I was reading a post today by a blogger I really like and it had to do with Christianity vs atheism.  The blogger once was a believer but isn't any longer and she was stating her reasons why she found that she simply couldn't believe any longer.  I'd like to quote her directly but I didn't ask her permission (I'm a new reader to her blog and she doesn't know me from Adam) but I would like to use some of her thoughts to state my views against.  The reason is because sadly, I think there are many people out there who look at Christianity in the same negative light because of the way it was presented to them.

As many of you know, I wound up in a situation at church a couple of years back, where anyone from the outside looking in, would probably have sworn off Christianity forever, it was that ugly.  So how on earth can I blame people for deciding that they just can't believe?  Christians can be scary, condescending, judgmental, narrow-minded people, and that is just to name a few things we can be.  I've known many who are; I hopefully have not been one of them, but I'm sure there have been times I've slipped before my beliefs became more ingrained.

I have been blessed to have had several people pass through my life in the last few years, who have opened my eyes to spiritual possibilities that just make so much sense to me.  There are going to be people who read this, who are not going to agree with what I believe, so please take note that I am not saying that what I believe is "the Gospel truth".  It is simply what makes sense to me.

Here is part of what I know:


  • God does not control us.

  • God does not NEED our money.  Churches, however, do need money if we want to keep worshiping there as there are bills to pay.  In many ways, church is like a home or a business; there is still a mortgage, electric and gas bills and those bulletins need paper on which to be printed.  So, if you chose to worship in a church, the money piece is helpful to the church to keep it running.  God doesn't need it.  We do.

  • Though we are supposed to tell people about Jesus, there is not a one of us who can bring people to him on our own.  We do not have that power, only He does.

  • We have free will and since the fall of man, we live in an imperfect world.  There is disease, there is poverty, there is crime.  God does not cause these things.  Could He stop them?  Yep.  But these things are simply the results of our using our free will.  We create pollution and chemicals and all the other things that are not healthy for us, that cause us to be unhealthy.  God can't give us free will in some instances and take it away in others. 

Okay, so that seems harmless enough, right?  Now stay with me because this next one may be a stretch for many.  Again, it just makes sense to me.

I do not believe that people who do not believe in God are going to be plunged into the fiery furnace and burn in hot oil for the rest of eternity.  I don't believe it.  I CAN'T believe it.


Remember the story of the prodigal son?  The father who has two sons and gives them money and junior runs off and spends his share on wine and women and parties?  Then when he is so broke and destitute, he returns to dad to beg his forgiveness. 

For years, I thought this story was about returning to God.  I thought it was about turning our backs on things that are fun and return to our Creator.  But thanks to some amazing teachers in the last few years, I don't see that story in the same light anymore.

What I see instead is a story about a loving, waiting and forgiving father.  Before this runaway son could even repent for what he had done, his father ran to him and embraced him and then threw this huge party for him, because he had come home. 

What if the parable is about God the father?

If we are all His children, every single one of us, whether we believe in Him or not, would He want any of us to burn in hot oil for eternity?  What if you had ten children and two of them gave you all sorts of trouble?  Could you banish them to live the rest of eternity in pain and suffering?  Of course not.

And I don't think God would do that to any of His children either.  No loving Father would.  And I believe that God is love and that He loves us unconditionally. We've gone astray.  We lie, cheat, steal and kill, but I believe he still loves every single one of us.  He doesn't care what our sexual orientation is or how far off the path of goodness we have strayed.  We're His kids!  Would he like to see us do better?  I'd imagine he would but you know what?  He already knows what we are going to do before we ever do it. 

And you know what else?  He can take that thing that He knows we are going to do before we even do it and turn it into something wonderful.  We may not see it.  The wonderful  may not be for us, but maybe for someone else we don't even know who heard about this thing we did.

I am often asked in those silly little surveys that float through the internet and Myspace "what is your biggest regret?"  My answer is always that I don't have any regrets because from every experience, I have learned something.  If I can learn something from my own experiences, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God can use something I have done wrong to teach someone else or show them something. 

Now, I also think that a person can deny God even when this life is over.  I think that they can come face to face with Him and decide that they didn't need Him in life so they don't need Him in death.  And I think this breaks God's heart.  He wants a relationship with all his kids.  But not accepting Him after this life doesn't mean you go to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200 either.  It may mean that you are separated from Him, but you are not burning in a fiery pit either.  He wouldn't want that for His kids.  Those who didn't believe in this life and then come face to face with Him in the next life, are met much like the father with his lost son; with hope and arms wide open.  Welcome Home. Please stay.  Then the choice is ours, even in that moment. 

I don't know if I'm right and none of us are going to know if we are right until our time on this earth is over.  I just know these things make sense to me in this life.

These are the reasons I have so much trouble with Christians who say they can't tolerate certain acts or sins.  God tolerates all of it with us and loves us at least as much as the person who loves us the most.  So what right do I have to pass judgment on anyone else?  What right does anyone have?  I don't believe that God holds certain sins in higher contempt...I don't think He holds any of them in contempt because if He did, then what was Jesus for?  Jesus washed it all away.  He didn't just die for people who stole things or killed people.  He died for the sins of the world.

There is this little spoken piece in a Casting Crowns song that I love and wanted to share as a final thought.  I just love what it says.

"People aren't confused by the Gospel; they're confused by us.

Jesus is the only way to God, but we are not the only way to Jesus.

This world doesn't need my tie, my hoodie, my denomination or my translation of the Bible.

They just need Jesus.

We can be passionate about what we believe,

but we can't strap ourselves to the gospels,

because we're slowing it down.

Jesus is going to save the world,

and maybe the best thing we can do is just get out of the way."

How true is that?  It's not about us and about our way.  I wish more Christians would remember that and stop fighting about God and what He wants.  We just need to do the best we can and know that we are very much loved. 


Monday, August 18, 2008


We've been doing it all wrong; this is really the correct way to weigh ourselves!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another One Slipping Through My Fingers

Where do the weekends disappear to?

For anyone curious or considering WLS, please let me say, for the record, that what you hear about hair loss prior to surgery is true.  Thankfully, I have a very thick head of hair, as I am losing bunches in the shower every morning.  I'll condition my hair, and pull a hair covered hand away and this has been going on for about a month now.  It feels thinner to me, but again, it was so thick before that I am not too alarmed.  However, I've had to unclog the bathtub drain twice now.  As far as I know, there is nothing I can do to stop it but I hear it will stop on its own eventually and hopefully before I am bald.

Went to the YMCA today and I managed one more lap then I did last Sunday, so that is a plus.  I'd almost find it beneficial to take a refresher swimming class.  Not a beginner's class, mind you, but just one to improve on the skills I already know. I may have to see if they offer one, but chances are if they do, it will be at a time I cannot make it.  I want to pick up a class there, but am debating over what to take.  I'm not sure my ass or my "girly bits" as Meg says,  can yet endure a spinning class.  Yoga is also a possibility as are aerobics, both out of the water and in it.  I'm just not sure of what to do yet and need to check the schedule to see what is even within my time constraints.  I shall review the situation and report back.  In the meantime, feel free to throw in your two cents.

Hopefully, with the kids going back to school this week, I can back to some better quality blogging.  The summer has been hectic and often, like tonight, I find myself a half hour from bedtime and needing something, ANYTHING to write about.  Though earlier today, I had thoughts on a quality post, now time is no longer my friend tonight and there just isn't time. Forgive me, dear readers, but normalcy will ensue shortly!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Washington Anniversary

So yesterday after work, I headed to Washington DC.  The Brit had been there all week (Yup, I was on my own all week and it was busy but lovely) for training and we had arranged for an extra night at his hotel so we could celebrate our anniversary (Ten years on the 21st of this month).

I came to the decision that I love Washington DC.  I'd never want to live there, but I love the activity of the city. I love watching the people walking and biking all over the city, and watching the cabs and buses and looking at all the different shops and restaurants.

I took the Metro in and unfortunately trusted the front desk clerk at the hotel with directions.  She told me that when I got off the Metro to go right on K Street and then left on Vermont.  It should have been two lefts.  So after walking about four blocks and not seeing Vermont, I asked someone only to find out Vermont was in the opposite direction.  But I don't panic about being lost in the city as there is always someone to ask.

Once arriving at the hotel, we went for a late lunch at Mccormick and Schmicks.  It was wonderful.  We then walked back to the hotel to collect the camera and then went to Union Station to get tickets for the Twilight Tour of the monuments.  We did this tour years ago in the winter and it was lovely both times.  We are given time to get off the tourmobile and go spend time at each monument before returning and going to the next one. 

Everything in DC is lit up so beautifully and elegantly.  I did get some pics, but without the tripod, it is hard to get good shots at night.

Across the street from Union Station.

Columbus monument in front of Union Station.

View of the Capitol.

One of the prettiest monuments: FDR Monument. This is one of my favorites because there are several parts to it, most involving water.

The gettin' skinny Brit in front of part of the FDR monument.

The newest monument is the WWII Memorial.  It is again a water monument and is quite breathtaking.

Me, a little blurry underneath Maryland at the WWII Memorial.

Okay, heading to bed!  Happy Sunday to everyone!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Wow.  The final weekend before school starts!  Can you believe it?  It's a beautiful thing. 

My friend, Andie, has been undergoing infertility treatments for the past many months and she is currently waiting for the results of her last IVF before she and her hubby take a break from it for a while.  Several years ago, the Brit and I started down this same path, undergoing IUIs in the hopes of conceiving.  I would have the procedure, and then my body would fake itself into thinking it was pregnant.   It was so weird; I would have nausea and several other symptoms and would be convinced that the procedure had worked, before reality would come crashing down on me when we found out it had failed again.  I would then spend the next two days crying and feeling like a complete failure for not being able to conceive a child.

I remember the heartache of the whole thing so vividly and I know that Andie will have her results on Monday.  Though it is not me going through it this time, when she told me what day her pregnancy test was, I immediately felt myself being on pins and needles for her.  Though I was never able to achieve pregnancy for myself, I so want this for her.  I know how desperately she wants to be a mother and knowing what I know of her, she would make an incredible mom. 

I have always thought that the reason God allowed some women to not be able to conceive was so that there would be be mothers for the children whose biological parents either didn't want them or couldn't care for them.  But even believing that doesn't make it any easier for a woman who wants to conceive her own child.  Eventually, I came to terms with that fact and had to ask myself the hard question of "what is most important?  That I am pregnant or that I am a mother?"  Some may say that is not a difficult question, but yet on so many levels, it is.

I hope you would join with me in praying for Andie and her husband over the next few days; that this time will be the miracle they have been praying for.

I leave you with a bit of amusement.  I have mentioned before that our local paper does a "Mail Call" where anyone can call in and leave their two cents about anything they want, whether it be personal or something that is going on in our country or in the world.  I add this with a little embarrassment because this comes straight out of my town, but yet it is too funny not to share:

"I seen this story in the paper about the Russian troops invading Georgia, and I just want to say that you liberals that believe in gun control better do a rethink, because Georgia ain't all that far from Maryland. That's all I got to say."

Yup, that's all I have to say too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Glimpses of 315

I've realized this week that I still don't completely accept the fact that I am, indeed, shrinking.

Yes, I get delighted over being able to purchase smaller sizes and my energy level is usually through the roof, but there are times I still that 315 pound girl that I was for several years.  I was bored yesterday and wandered back to the yard sale room at church (Anyone who likes a good yard sale, head to Christ Lutheran tomorrow and Saturday.  We have two whole rooms full of stuff to sell and all proceeds go to local charities) to see if I had overlooked any good clothing.  I have been a bit wistful in what I have purchased thus far; anything from a size 1x down to a very ambitious size 12.  But yesterday in looking through the clothing racks, I had a moment of complete excitement over finding several tops in size 3x. 

I am no longer a 3x in a shirt.  More like a 1x at the moment.  Now a year ago, finding 3x tops in good condition would have been wonderful but surprisingly, I had the same reaction yesterday that I would have had at 315 pounds, before my new reality settled in with me.  It was just the oddest thing because in every other aspect of my life, I am very aware of how much weight I have lost and I have resolved that I am not going to be the girl who always feels fat, even if I get to a size 10.

Okay, gotta go.  Youth gathering at my place this evening and I still have stuff to do.  This has been one insane week!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just thinkin'

So this morning, I woke up at 4:30.  WTF?  Not a clue why my sleeping habits are suddenly wonky.

I did get to the Y though and worked out.  I discovered when I started the weight training today that I was sore from yesterday, though I didn't feel it until I was actually working the machines and hand weights.  I worked the living daylights out of my arms as I do don't want batwings.  I want to be able to wear sleeveless things and not have my upper arm fat flopping around in the breeze.  I'm praying there is some hope of being able to tighten that stuff up without surgery.

I have thought about the possibility of having plastic surgery when my weight loss is finished but I so don't want to have to have it.  It looks painful on "Big Medicine" and I was one of the lucky folks who had almost zero pain after my RNY.   My worst pain was the headache the day after surgery.  I don't have a need or desire to look like a 42 year old model; I just want to be comfy in my own skin, but until I actually get all the weight off, I don't know how I'll feel as far as comfy goes. 

Right now though, I am enjoying all my newfound energy.  It really is amazing how much I get accomplished in a day, even after waking up at 4:30am. 

Okay, I'm going to go finish putting JJ's room back together before bed as alll his sheets and stuff are  now dry.  I'm in the home stretch.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good Night

I am tired right down to my toes.

After getting to bed a little later last night due to being at Paula's killing their iTunes, for some odd reason, I woke up at like 6:00 this morning (my alarm is set for 7:15).  I tried to go back to sleep, but after thirty minutes, I gave up and got up and showered.  Once I was dressed and downstairs, I started my coffee and fed the felines, then ran a vacuum cleaner. 

I went to work for my four hours and then met Paula and Dane at the YMCA for a workout.  Did plenty of weight training and walked a mile on the treadmill, then we went to lunch.  After leaving lunch, the real fun began:  The Cleaning of the Pit of Hell, aka JJ's room.

I started about 2:30 and didn't stop until 6:15, when I had to load up my car with the stuff of his that was going to the yard sale (stuff he no longer played with that was buried in the back of his closet).  But when I quit, I still wasn't done.  I had to quit to go to a meeting at church.  Before I left, I also took out THREE HUGE OUTDOOR BAGS full of trash from his closet and toy box.  The kid saves everything.

When I came home, around 8:30, I resumed the cleaning and now am in the home stretch; washing the sheets and comforters from both bunks as well as the load of clothing that was heaped in the back of the closet.  I am absolutely amazed by the sheer magnitude of cleaning that room.

And the fun continues tomorrow; gynecologist at 8:00am when it is that time of the month (sorry, TMI), then work, then back to the YMCA, then finishing the pit of hell cleaning.  Why on earth did I think I was going to relax this week?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lovely Day

Huge thanks and love to my internet friend,Jil , who is mailing me a swimsuit!  I love my WLS internet buddies as they always rock my world and never cease to be amazingly supportive!

I had a great day today.  The kids are away on one last outing for the summer, so I took advantage of that to go to lunch with Paula, Kirk, Dane and PK.  Of course, lots of laughs and afterwards, the girls went to the mall to do a little shopping.  Not much, just a little.  I dropped the gals back off at Paula's car and then went to Walmart for school supplies and found everything but 6 one subject notebooks and JJ's backpack he wants.  From there it was home to unload, and put stuff away and then back out again to Paula's for dinner.  I stopped at the fresh fruits and veggies stand and got myself a dozen ears of corn and a cantalope.

Dinner was wonderful and the company delightful, though we did have some computer issues The Brit now has to fix.  See, Paula got an ipod two years ago as a gift from her hubby and no one has ever helped her hook this thing up or shown her how to get music on it, so Kirk and I decided tonight was the night.  Well, when we plugged the thing and registered on iTunes, it all went wonky.  iTunes refused to speak with her Nano no matter what we tried and by the time we were finished (after many calls to The Brit) we had uninstalled iTunes and couldn't get it back on the computer.  Not good.  So now The Brit is going to have to go over there and fix the issues as iTunes MIA impacts Kirk and Dane.  Ugh!  But he can fix anything, or so I assured Dane, so honey, you have to get them working again soon!

Tomorrow after work, I am heading to the Y with Paula and Dane, who is going to put us both on programs.  I told him to go semi-easy on me as I hadn't done any weight work in a long time, but I'm a little afraid.  After all, I killed his iTunes.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The dreaded swimming costume

So though this is not a favorite topic of mine, I need a new swimsuit.

We went to the Y today for family/fitness swim and I donned my regular swimsuit.  Well, that was a laugh!  It was baggy and sagging everywhere and had anyone been in front of me in the water while I was swimming laps, they'd have gotten their eyes full!

So, as this will never do, I have turned once again to eBay to try to find something cheap as heaven knows, it may only last a month or two before I need a smaller one again.  I'm watching a couple of one piece suits to see where the bidding goes as I am one of these folks who likes to wait until there is a minute left in the auction to sweep in and win.  There are two suits I genuinely like and 3 I would settle for if I had to, so we'll see what happens.

Other than that, not much going on today.  It's been quiet and a little laid back.  I'm looking forward to getting to the gym this week, plus I need to go out and buy school supplies.  After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


So today I elected to go shopping.  We were kidless for the afternoon and evening, and even though The Brit did not want to go, I headed out the door.  It was a beautiful day!  70-something degrees, minimal humidity; I was in heaven!

With gearing up to start working out at the Y this coming week, I needed some workout shorts.  Now, one would not think this would be a difficult outing, but thoughts can be deceiving.  I headed to the mall and though it goes against everything I believe in, I went to Fashion Bug.  I hate ours; always have and always will.  That stupid store has been my only option for years when searching for clothing and it is over crowded (yeah, big girls really want to try to squeeze through racks that are so close together we have to hold our breath and pray we don't take half the clothes off the rack with us), and filled with overpriced, unattractive clothing.  For 4 years in a row I have been in that shop trying to find a deep green dress for Christmas and you would think I was trying to find a swimsuit in November.  Red was usually not even an option and Lord knows, all the dresses must have sequins and a sequin gal I am not.

But the mall was apparently on sale, so I headed into the store from hell.  Nothing. Nada. Zip.  I found one pair of long workout pants in my new size and decided they were not worth standing in line for.  So, I headed out to Shenk and Title, the sporting goods store.  Okay, I knew it was a longshot and it was, because apparently, their policy is that fat girls don't work out, ergo, they don't need shorts in their size.

So, I headed up to my second most dreaded store: Lane Bryant.  They are more overpriced than Fashion Bug and our LB is very urban.  Everything is low cut, and either lime green, orange, black or brown or some design that I don't go for.  Now, don't get me wrong; I see many African Americans wearing their stuff and they look fabulous, but this white chick can't pull it off.  But I walk inside with the hopes of some shorts.  A heavyset woman asks me if she can help me as soon as I walk in and I ask her if she has any athletic shorts.

"Athletic shorts?"  She sounded confused as if such a phrase had never crossed her ears before.

"Yeah, you know, like shorts to work out in."

"Work out?" (I am so not making this up)

So I gave a detailed description of what I wanted and she told me what I already knew; that they could not help me.

Headed to Sears and they had moved the Women's section.  I  used to know where it was but now Petites is there.  Turns out, I had apparently blinked and missed the handful of racks of women's clothing.  Again, nothing.

So, after stopping for a protein shake (why can the mall make a sugar free protein shake that tastes wonderful, but I can't??) and getting a great bargain on a summer sweater and tank to go under it for the lump sum of $14.98 at CJ Banks, I headed to Kohls.  There, I did find two black pairs of workout gear...a pair of shorts and a pair of just above the ankle pants on sale for $15 each, in a smaller size than I would have bought three months ago.  I also picked up a tee shirt for each of the boys (Tony Hawks for Aaron and something Orange for JJ as he is a Dukes of Hazzard fanatic) as well as a pair of Speedos googles for me.  I'm hoping with swimming at the Y they may allow me to keep my contacts in my eyeballs.

This evening, The Brit and I went out for sushi and it was so good!  I couldn't eat much as the rice is so filling and I even did without the rice with my Kani Krab, but still brought some home.  We spent a whopping $28, where before surgery, we could have easily eaten $50-$60 worth of sushi.  Amazing.

Then tonight, I got a headstart on cleaning JJ's room before school starts.  The dresser, desk, bookshelf and nightstand are finished.  He's a total packrat, so I already have one bag full for the yardsale at church and another full bag of trash.  I haven't even touched the toy box or the closet yet (the closets are HUGE cedar closets, so this is no small undertaking.) but it is on my list for this week. 

School starts in TEN days!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Emotions are Taking Me Over

Days like today make me really wonder if I will be signing up for Blog365 again next year.  I just don't know if I have it in me. 

I'm having a back door problem again, at least with hinges that I'd really like to get rid of.  I'm wondering if I strained myself lifting the furniture two days ago, because yesterday and huge flare up started.  OMG, the pain is horrible.  It is slightly better today after a sitz bath, but still a bit agonizing.  I'm actually more comfortable in the computer chair than on the sofa!  Does it make sense that this kind of pain is EXHAUSTING?  I am so tired!

I finished this book today and cried like a baby.  Why do animal stories always have to be so sad??  It's like Old Yeller revisited!  Once I finished the book, I headed into the computer for more comfortable seating.  Due to being bored and not being able to eat, I instead located a buttload of horse blogs for my reading pleasure.  Apparently, I am a blog addict and when many of my favorite bloggers are busy and not updating, I go in seach of additional reading material. 

We ate at a favorite restaurant tonight for the first time since our surgeries.  The Brit and I have split many an entree since surgery because we just don't have the room in our stomachs to put one each.  When perusing the menu, I noticed a note that said for any meal sharing, there would be a $3 plate charge.  This annoyed us as though it is their perogative, this is the first restaurant we have encountered with such a charge, thankfully.  So instead of ordering an entree, The Brit got soup and I ordered an appetizer as my meal.  Aaron ordered off the adult menu and JJ off the kids menu.  The restuarant would have made more money off our table had we split an entree, but I wasn't going to pay the $3 charge.  I did however, leave the manager a polite note, explaining the situation.  I was very nice, told him how he would have made more off us did he not have that extra charge in place and I ended it with "Though you don't have to change your policy for us, we will have to change where we eat due to you."

I guess today I am just a bear with a sore ass.  Literally.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bartender, a Double Shot of Zoloft, Please!

I am ready for summer to be over, at least as far as the kids being out of school goes.  They are bored and bickering with each other and I came home to find the skin from grapes on my living room walls.  Nice.  I am also PMSing, I think.  Yeah, just did the math...due in a couple of days.  The bitch is in the house.  I think I need a second zoloft.

As much as I hate cold weather, I am just ready for everyone to have their respective schedules back, including me.  I'm looking forward to getting to the Y to work out and to getting my house fall cleaned.  There is just no sense in doing this until the kids are back in school and not as available to...well, make a mess (see grape skins on the wall)!  They are often just insane, especially this late in the summer.  Summer is good and they need the break from school, but it's just too much at one time.  If they divided it up, like a month in the summer, a month at Christmas and a month at Easter, not only would there not be as much time for them to be bored and parents to be insane, but families could travel at different times of the year when flight prices would be a little cheaper and not have to fight taking their own children out of school. Sign me up!  I'm all for it!

I have to go to a viewing tonight as a member of our church, who had been battling cancer, died this week.  He was only 64.  He used to razz me about keeping my hands in my pockets when I was up front singing even though I had explained to him that my hands were cold and that was the reason why.  He would even make the motion of having his hands in his pockets, from the back row where he sat, when I was singing during the service.  I'd try to make a point of taking my hands out of my pockets just to play along. 

I'll think of Charlie every time my hands are cold now and I'm trying to keep them warm in church.

Oh!  Guess what??  This morning, I tried on a size 18-20 top and it FIT! It fit nicely!  I didn't wear it because it is red and I don't wear dark colors much during the summer.  Maybe by fall it will be too big.  Wouldn't that be a catastrophe?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Extremely Busy Day

Today was the day that I thought was never going to end.  Started out with work, of course, and I didn't leave till 1:00 due to getting into a discussion with the pastor.  Once I left, I rode out to the new gym in town to see what they were all about and though it was a nice facility, it really wasn't what I was looking for. 

So, I headed home to collect the kids as we needed to stop over at Aaron's school to get his school supply list.  Once that was done, it was to his meds doctor's office, but we got there early, so as JJ had a coupon for a free smoothie, we stopped in the convenience store so he could get it, and I bought Aaron and I drinks.  Then to the doctor.  After leaving there, on a whim, I stopped in the used furniture store to try to find Aaron a bookshelf and desk (the boys shared a room until after the first of the year, and we had not gotten around to getting these things for his room. He had a small desk, but it was time for something bigger).  Found both, paid for them and loaded them into the Highlander.  Stopped at the pharmacist to drop off Aaron's prescription and then came home.  We disassembled the old desk and carted it down to the basement, then the three of us unloaded the new stuff and got it upstairs and cleaned.  We searched for Aaron's books and got them on the shelf.

Then it was time for the boys to round up the tools we would need that evening to set up the security camera at the church.  Once that was done we had exactly 15 minutes to chill out before it was out the door to meet The Brit for dinner.  Had dinner and hurried to the YMCA to get a family membership (YAY us!), then to the church to meet Dane who would be helping hook up the system.  While the guys did that, I went back to the yard sale room to help Sandy and Ronnie sticker and price items until Dane needed me to drive home so he could drop off the curio cabinet I had bought.  I got home first in time to move the corner table so the new cabinet could go there.  Once Dane left, *pant, pant* JJ and I cleaned up the new cabinet and placed the glass shelves back inside.

I don't even have the energy tonight to put anything in it.  Tomorrow is another day, Scarlet.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Shack

What am amazing book. 

I have just finished it, Monday night, though this post will not hit until Tuesday morning.  I so encourage Christians to read it.  Though a work of fiction, the way the author explains things just makes me think and many times, I found myself nodding my head, mentally saying "Yes!"

Just a quote or two to intrigue you:

"I don't want to be the first among a list of values; I want to be at the center of everything.  When I live in you, then together, we can live through everything that happens to you."

"but rules will never give you answers to the deep questions of the heart and they will never love you."

There are so many more quotes.  I spent my time reading the second half of this book with a highlighter in my hand.  I'll be rereading it again with my Sunday School class in September.  It's THAT good and I want to share it.

Click on the link to visit the site or your local bookstore should have it, but please, read it.  Even if you hate it, I promise you will think about it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I love my WLS friends!

I have had the worst hankering lately for cereal, despite the fact that I was never a big cereal eater before surgery.  But now and then, I would buy a box of Special K, Honey Nut Cheerios, or Golden Grahams, or on a PMS day, Lucky Charms and enjoy it until one of my kids discovered it and polished off the box. 

But since surgery, I have been steering clear of it, simply because I have been trying so hard to fit protein in everywhere.  But thanks to Meg, I had a yummy bowl of Special K Protein Plus with skim milk for lunch today and was in heaven!  I added a pack of Splenda as I like it with a touch of sweetness and I'm now sorry I didn't buy any bananas today because they would rock this cereal as well (though there are peaches in the fridge.  Yum).  A craving satisified in a good way!

I had to take my mother to the doctor's today because she is having dizzy spells.  Doc thinks she has vertigo and is sending her to have a neck ultrasound done and then next week wants her to see an ear, nose and throat doc.  He gave her some meds today that will hopefully take care of her dizziness, though it may make her sleepy.

So by the time I got to the grocery store today, it was already late and I had been on the go since 7:15.  So dinner tonight is salad with shrimp and veggies and corn on the cob, which my husband may be getting sick of, but the days of locally grown corn are nearly over for the summer and I plan on enjoying them to the fullest until they are over. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Stuff you didn't want to know

I'm sleepy and lazy today, so I stole this from Meg:

What time did you get up this morning? 6:15.  I have to be at church by 7:30

Diamonds or pearls? Either really, though I prefer other stones.

What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Mama Mia and loved it!

What is your favorite TV show? Brothers & Sisters. LOVE IT.

What do you usually have for breakfast? I suck at breakfast but Meg has Special K Protien Plus so it is now on my grocery list for tomorrow!

What is your middle name? Ann

What food do you dislike? Brussel Sprouts

What is your favorite CD at the moment? This would be better phrased as "What is your favorite album downloaded from iTunes to your ipod?  I'd have to say 33 Miles

What kind of car do you drive? A Toyota Highlander and I love it

Favorite sandwich? I love a good cheeseburger.  I miss them

What characteristic do you despise? Judgemental people

Favorite item of clothing? Like Meg, most of my stuff right now is either KMart cuz it's cheap or hand me downs due to WLS.  I don't think I have a favorite right now.

If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? An ocean where you can see through the water

Where would you retire to? someplace warm and I'd have a farm...cats, dogs, horses, you get the picture

What was your most recent memorable birthday? I don't think I have had a memorable birthday since I was a kid.

Furthest place you are sending this? The Web.

When is your birthday? July 24

Morning person or a night person? Night by nature, morning by child default

What is your shoe size? 8.5

Pets? 6 cats, 6 fish, a guinea pig and a hermit crab

Any exciting news you’d like to share with us? VBS is over

What did you want to be when you were little? An actress

What is your favorite flower? daisies and sunflowers

What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to seeing? August 20-the kids go back to school

What are you listening to right now? The tv in the next room and the locusts outside

What was the last thing you ate? a handful of almonds

Do you wish on stars? I prefer to pray to God

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? purple

How is the weather right now? beautiful today!  Not too hot, low humidity.

Last person you spoke to on the phone? mother maybe?

Favorite soft drink? I was a Coke Zero fan, but can't have it anymore

Favorite restaurant? lots of them now

Favorite color? Pink

What was your favorite toy as a child? A white teddy bear named Kimba

Summer or winter? summer

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

Coffee or tea? coffee

When was the last time you cried? Last week when Jane died

What is under your bed? dust bunnies

What did you do last night? went to dinner and came home and chilled

What are you afraid of? dying before achieving all my goals

Salty or sweet? sweet

How many keys on your key ring? Too many..prolly 12 or more

How many years at your current job? 3

Favorite day of the week? Saturday

Do you make friends easily? I've been told I never meet a stranger.

Your turn!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Birthdays and other thoughts

Hard to believe but my oldest son became a teenager today.  Summer birthdays are hard, and I know because I have one, as friends are often out of touch for the summer.  Aaron had a swim party last year, but due to surgeries, we didn't get the pool up this year.  So, the family went to lunch and then after a stop for new shoes, we picked up Aaron's new bike he wanted as well as a bike rack for the back of the car (as we are soon to be a four bicycle family).  After that, we drove to Frederick to order The Brit's bike and then we went for an early dinner at Olive Garden, which was the birthday boy's choice.

Hard to believe this kid is 13 and has been with us for five years now.  He has been doing really well, after a rough start to the summer.  When Aaron first came to us, he wasn't the happiest of kids and who could blame him after living about five different places before us.  Now, however, everyone remarks on how happy he is and how polite.  I know we are going to face challenges in the teenage years as they are such a whirlwind of emotions, but we'll get through them.  After all, God is on our side.  The youth group at church is transitioning with him as he will soon be old enough to be a part of them.  Aaron helped out with VBS this year, along with the other teens, and got his feelings hurt one night.  Our teens tease each other constantly; it is a part of who they are, and Aaron is still a little sensitive.  He got ribbed a little bit about something he said and went away to sulk, but the kids came after him and one of our teen leaders told him, "Aaron, you are one us now and we all tease each other.  Don't get upset about it.  Suck it up."  That was all it took and he was right back in the thick of things again.  I'm letting the kids teach him, because 13 is a hard age.  Too young for high school kids in many venues and too old for younger kids, so he is working on finding his place and learning how to act with the older kids and they are helping with that.  These kids are such positive influences in so many ways and though he doesn't know it now, Aaron is very fortunate to have them as role models.

I'm still feeling a little draggy today, probably from VBS and from not having time to exercise the past week.  I'm hoping to get back on that wagon tomorrow.

So, Happy Birthday, Aaron!  May your 13th year be filled with God's love and new discoveries!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Finally Finished

Another year of VBS has come to a close.  Praise God.  It went well; about twenty kids this year, which while way down from last year, we were competing with two other local churches who had their VBS this week too.  Tonight was our closing, with a skit, a slide show (parents are invited the last night), pizza for all, and then water games outside.  The water was a huge hit.  We had Slip N Slides, water balloons, wet sponge tag and wading pools for the smaller kids.  Everyone went home wet, tired and happy.

My scale moved today...Hooray!  Only a pound but movement is movement.  In celebration of this event, my pouch got bitchy today and nothing made it happy.  In turn, it made me feel sluggish and rather yucky but that could be combined with just being tired after such an insane week.

My friend, Kim, came through her gallbladder surgery like the rockstar that she is!  She is home and back to blogging already.  So glad that God hears our prayers.

And speaking of God, I am telling you guys to go read The Shack.  It is different from any Christian fiction book I have ever read; so much to think about!  It just makes me think about things a little bit differently and is a quick and fascinating read!  Go! Get. The. Book. Now!