Monday, November 11, 2013

Coffee in Heaven???

Do you think there is coffee in heaven???

This was the question of the day from Young Sir on Saturday.

Saturday was the first day off I've had in what seems like forever. My Mom had been visiting with us for the past week. We were all relaxing, enjoying a lazy Saturday morning before taking her home when my phone rang. I knew with my sister-in-law's first breath that my father-in-law was gone... I'm pretty sure I would've known without her saying a word. There was just that feel to it in the silence as I answered the phone. Mr. Husband knew before I even handed him the phone.

Young Sir has had a very hard time understanding. He was concerned about coffee in heaven because he knows his Papa loves his coffee in the mornings. He knows the meaning of death and that Papa won't be there when he visits the farm anymore. He keeps telling Mr. Husband "I'm sorry about your Dad, Dad." But somehow he seems to miss that its his loss too. I guess this is another blessing and curse of Autism.

Mr. Husband is doing better than I thought he would. He says he feels empty and like a lost little boy. But at the same time he is so glad his Dad isn't suffering anymore. Watching that was soooo hard for him and he absolutely didn't ever want to see his Dad in a hospital hooked up to machines again. He was at peace with his decision not to rush home this time... and I think people have to respect that decision.

This is hitting me so much harder than I ever thought possible. I mean I've known for a long time it was coming... just a matter of time. Watching this man suffer over the last couple of years I've prayed that the suffering would end.. not in a cruel way... just its so painful to watch someone suffer in agony when you know they are tired and have fought a brave battle.

Part of why its hitting me so hard I'm sure has to do with the memories it brings back of losing my own Dad. Plus, since I didn't have a living Dad when I got married... this man became my only Dad figure... and after almost 20 years you get attached to someone.

As sad as I am... I know we are so blessed.

I was blessed with the opportunity for a "goodbye moment" with him when we were there in June. That's something I never got with my own Dad. That day, back in June, I knew in my heart that was our final goodbye... and I have treasured its significance.

We spent 24 hours planning how Mr. Husband would get home for the funeral and such. There was no way for me and Young Sir to go with him... between my new job, finances and school.

Then, in the span of 15 minutes everything changed...

A family member offered to pay for my ticket there, my boss assured me it would be okay to have someone else cover my shifts, the neighbor agreed to take care of my dog, and my Mom said Young Sir could stay with her (he doesn't want to go... says its too sad). It all came together in a way that makes me feel incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

There's so much to do before we leave... but I wanted to share with all of you since I know many of you have been there with your support and encouragement during our "emergency trips" to North Dakota over the last couple of years. That support has meant so much. <3

The final picture of Mr. Husband and Young Sir with Papa... notice the coffee cup. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

BFF Weekend & The ABCs

I'm a tired Redheaded Chick tonight... just got home a little bit ago from a much needed BFF weekend with my bestie. :)

The weekend started with me breaking my phone. :( 

Thank goodness for insurance... I at least have a loaner phone and will not have to pay for a new phone. That's the good news. On the not so good side, nothing from my old phone could be saved (think irreplaceable pictures here) and I lost about 90% of my contact info. In the event that I had your contact info... just assume I don't anymore, grrr. Guess I'll find out who actually wants to talk to me, lol. Definitely not how I wanted to start the weekend... but life goes on. 

BFF weekend had two very important components... one part Bon Jovi Concert and one part shopping. I'm not sure which I was most excited about... okay, it was the concert. He may not be a "young" man anymore... but there is still a serious amount of yum there.

Here's a few pics...

The bestie and I waiting in line. 

Sunday was the shopping part of the weekend. We wandered a mall we hadn't been to before, hit a Marshall's (one of my favorite stores... I totally blame Chicago) and a craft store. Oh, and lunch at the Olive Garden. I found some boots that make me really happy... always a major shopping challenge for me... and they were even on sale! Bra shopping did not go nearly as well. I had them refit me today and still couldn't find one that actually fit me correctly... after trying on a dozen different ones I gave up. This was supposed to be a fun shopping weekend and it was quickly turning into misery in the fitting room. That search will have to resume another day.

It was a pretty great weekend... so my current state of exhaustion is pleasant. I'll sleep well tonight though.

Week one of the ABCs and counting to 100 also ended today. I had two days of B (butt work - squats), two days of C (core - crunches), and approximately 50 minutes of cardio. I feel like I could have done better... I didn't get to the A (arms) at all and only made half of the cardio goal. But considering that prior to this week I was doing essentially nothing... I'm not going to be too hard on myself. 

Tomorrow begins a new week. Job training is officially complete so I'm on my own there this week. I have a daily plan outlined for most days - both for work and home. It will be a good week. :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"A" is for...

Hey! Its me again... and look... it hasn't been weeks (or months) since my last post! :)

I've spent a few days thinking about what might be realistic goals/challenges and evaluating where I'm at.

Here it is in a nutshell: My overall eating isn't too terrible; it could naturally be better, but I've still been focusing on eating healthy foods most of the time (even if not in healthy amounts). My water consumption has become almost nonexistent. The same is true for exercise... though I did get out for some good "test" hikes/walks later in the summer its been far from routine. 

Since exercise seems to be the big issue that I'm struggling with... that's going to be my focus for the next month. Let's call it going  back to kindergarten or maybe even preschool... I'm going to focus on my ABCs and counting to 100!

In my world of exercise...

A is for Arms 
B is for Butt
C is for Core 


I will be counting to 100 minutes of cardio each week. 

More specifically... 

* Free weights and other arm strengthening exercises.
* Working up to 100 squats... I think I can do around 50 right now.
* Working up to 100 crunches... right now I'm pretty spent after about 30.  
* Completing 100 minutes of cardio each week... either in the gym or walking outdoors depending on the weather.

And because I'm going back to kindergarten I must have a reward system, lol. One star/sticker per item, per day... 50 stars/stickers earns me a pedicure (yes, I used to get them religiously but I haven't been making the time for them in the last year. I miss them.). 100 stars/stickers earns me a new piece for my fairy collection. 

I'll also be working on drinking more some water. I would imagine that increasing my activity level will help the water become a natural part of my days... at least that's the way it used to work for me. 

This will be challenging for me and I will definitely need to be held accountable... DAILY. 
But, I think it is a challenge I can handle... especially since I can do the ABCs even if my ankle is having fits and 100 minutes of cardio isn't that much. Really, I think the challenge will be more in my head than in my body on this... getting my mind to prioritize this as it should and to make the time for me will be the true challenge. I've gotten so used to putting myself on the back burner... its definitely time to change that... AGAIN!

I'm looking forward to making progress in this lovely fall month of October! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


In the last year, how many times have I decided that I wanted to get back to a place of consistency with blogging only to write a post (or two) and then end up on a "break" again? More times than I can count. 

This seems to be the story of my life the last year or so... especially since leaving the shop. My ability to get stuff done and maintain any sort of consistency has suffered greatly. Stuff gets done when it critically has to... not a moment sooner. I've always worked better under a degree of pressure - with a deadline - but this is something different altogether. I just haven't had the drive or motivation to do much of anything. I do well with whatever I set my mind to for a day - maybe two or three - and then its right back to the state of inconsistency. Its not a feeling or state of being that I enjoy in the slightest... yet its where I've found myself for months. 

Part of the issue is clearly all of the things I have coming at me in life... its difficult to focus on myself and my needs when there are SOOOOO many other things that demand my attention and pull me in a dozen different directions. But that's something I've always had to deal with (and I think everyone does to an extent) and have handled successfully in the past. But over the last year I just haven't had it in me to work around those things. The uncertainty over the future hasn't helped that's for sure. Maybe I just haven't wanted it badly enough. 

Beyond that I've come to the conclusion that I need help learning to set realistic goals for where I'm at... physically and emotionally. In my head, I want to set crazy ambitious goals... like being back under 200 pounds by the end of the year. The relatively healthy, injury free me could quite possibly turn it up in the gym and fine tune my eating to achieve that goal. That version of me would tackle it with every ounce of energy and determination I could muster. The problem is I'm not that person anymore. And, try as hard as I might, I still feel defeated... deflated. I simply cannot do the things I could before... the things that allowed me to be successful when I lost weight before. 

I honestly do not have a clue how to set goals for the person I am today. I have no idea how hard I dare to push myself realistically. Some days my ankle can take quite the beating... other days its all I can do to putter around the house without needing a painkiller and ice every few hours. I don't know what to do with me. And it makes me crazy... because I know I thrive on goals and deadlines.... and because I know beyond a doubt the last thing I need is to set yet another goal (or set of goals) that are unattainable. 

After much thought, I still don't know how to handle the goal issue... but I'm working on it. But something has happened that should help with consistency and having some order to my chaotic life. 

I have a new job! 

Its just part time and nothing to get too excited about. But, it is the first real job I've had since before Young Sir was born. I wasn't really looking for a job, which I think may have helped because I didn't feel super pressured. The schedule is fairly family friendly as far as needing days or parts of days off and its really enjoyable to be out interacting with the community again. 

My hope is the routine that having a job provides will translate to other parts of my life. That the new start in the realm of employment will lead to a fresh start and renewed perspective in other areas of life - like taking care of myself, getting my house together (ie ready for the probable move to a new house in the near future), etc. 

For now... I'm taking it bit by bit and doing my best to be kind to myself. I'm also going to catch up on some of my favorite blogs... and I'm betting there are a few out there that I've been missing out on... so if you've got a must read blog (one you're loving) please share. :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day One

Monday was Day One of my 21 Day Challenge (from my previous post). It was relatively easy... mostly because there isn't much from the list of "no's" in the house and because I stayed home all day. Lol

I did think to myself part way through the evening that crackers and frozen meals/snacks should have been on the list. Next time perhaps.

I'm writing this on my phone so I'm not exactly sure where my pics will end up, but I wanted to share my lunch and dinner with you. Salad topped with shrimp for lunch and salad topped with chicken for dinner.  I love this time of year... everything seems so much fresher!

Tomorrow will be a bigger test of my resolve. I have physical therapy with my torturer and a bunch of errands to run.  Its just the kind of day that so often finds me in a drive thru line.

What kind of snacks do you pack along to help you avoid temptation?

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Last 21 Days and The Next 21 Days

The last 21 days have been a crazy whirl wind of activity. 

21 days ago we were making our way back to Washington from my in-laws house. I had witnessed precious moments of playful banter between Young Sir and his Papa (something that I feared we would never see again). We had packed our things (soooo much more than we started the trip with, lol) and said our goodbyes. The drive home was incredibly HOT with temperatures well above 100 degrees until we hit Western Washington. You would think that I would have sweated off a few pounds just from the heat, lol. 

We arrived home and I was quickly reunited with my Bella. She has recovered amazingly well from her surgery. Both of her tumors were benign and they say there is no reason to think there will be ongoing problems. The minute she crawled up on my lap and looked at me with her trusting little eyes I knew without a doubt it was worth every penny to save her! She currently follows me EVERYWHERE - I think just to be sure I don't get away from her again! 

In the time we've been home... we've unpacked (mostly), had a yard sale, been to a wedding, had my Mom stay for nearly a week, I've resumed physical therapy, there have been gym visits, friends and clients to connect with, a birthday party for my BFF's daughter (she's eight now and thinks she's the queen of everything under the sun), I tried my hand a a new craft, and have adopted a new hair color (not sure I like it yet). 

I faced the scale the morning after we arrived home. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty... afterall the food choices while we were gone weren't ideal by any stretch of the imagination. I wasn't fully prepared though. The scale told me how much I had gained... I don't remember the amount honestly. I flipped it over to the guest setting so I could see the number... and it was THE BIGGEST NUMBER I HAVE EVER SEEN ON A SCALE (other than in the doctor's office fully clothed, but I don't ever count that). I was momentarily devastated. There was no shred of my previous success to cling to... it was all erased. Like it had never happened. Then I realized... maybe that's not such a bad thing!

This is the perfect chance to dust myself off and start anew!

Over the first sixteen days we were home I lost 6lbs! 

I wasn't super well behaved during those sixteen days. There were a couple of trips to Mexican food and several other restaurant meals! Exercise is still very minimal - but I'm slowly able to do a little more. So... I'm totally happy with 6lbs in sixteen days!!! 

I haven't been on the scale since... but I've been being conscious of my food choices and being as active as my ankle will allow. 

Tomorrow I will see what the scale has to say... and it will be day one of a 21 Day Challenge for me. I saw something similar on a FB page... but I made my own because there are certain things I'm not crazy enough to try to go without (ie chocolate).

Here it is...

If I complete the challenge successfully... well I think I might just have to have me a date with a certain handbag store or maybe a jewelry counter (though that's not quite as fun when you design and make jewelry). :)

Here's to the next 21 days! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When Will It Be My Time?

Hello Blog Friends (Are any of you out there still?)

Holy cow! Almost two months without a single post... again! I don't like this pattern... every time I feel like I'm in a goo place and its finally "my time" to focus on me something happens. I feel like my life isn't my own. Life throws me for a loop.... or ten.

Here's where those loops have sent me over the last seven weeks...

  • We had family night at the drive-in - where I made a new friend, Amy! She goes the gym where I have a membership and decided to "help" me get back in the gym... new ankle injury and all. For three weeks she pedaled next to me on a bike religously every single day of the week... even though she could easily do more challenging things. The bike is all I'm clear to do on my ankle... so that's what she did to. If I was more than two minutes late getting to our appointment with the bike she was on the phone to make sure I was en route. Absolutely what I NEEDED! The scale even started moving in the right direction! :)

  • I spent the next week in "how to be a civilian" class with Mr. Husband. He is retiring about a year ahead of schedule due to some ongoing health issues. I'm more than a little bit freaked out by the whole prospect. It feels like its coming so quickly and we are far from prepared. My plan was to hit the gym a little later than normal because the class ran so late. I was so tired when we got home at night that the gym was the furthest thing from my mind. At least I was making decent food choices and packing a lunch to class... which I felt good about.

  • During the week of "how to be a civilian"class my FIL was hospitalized with a bad case of the flu. By the fourth day of the class he was in the ICU and there was a Red Cross message for Mr. Husband to get home ASAP. We missed the last day of "how to be a civilian"class as I hurried to pack for an indefinite time away from home, sold my plants because there was no time to find someone to care for them on such short notice, and was blessed with a friend who was willing to take my precious puppy on a moment's notice.

  • So for nearly the last three weeks... we have been on emergency leave here in the ever so lovely North Dakota. The FIL is once again considered the miracle man - surviving after they didn't hold out much hope. The doctor's determined that he had bacterial menengitis and were able to start treatment quickly enough that there is minimal brain damage. He is extremely weak, but was well enough to leave the hospital for a nursing home facility yesterday! If things continue to go well, we should be headed home on Sunday. Fingers crossed.... for many reasons.

  • One of Mr. Husband's childhood friends passed away on Saturday. She was my age! They have no idea what happened... she just didn't wake up that morning. Sad no matter what... but extra emotional for the family as they were selling her mother's estate that day. Scary for me when I think of her - at my age - just gone. Life is so short. I MUST find ways to take better care of myself regardless of what life throws my direction.

  • My precious puppy - not really a puppy - but I call her one still - the one I left in Washington with a friend - got really sick a few days ago. I was so scared to leave her  there, but I knew bringing her along would be very difficult so I reluctantly agreed. When the vet called to say that she needed emergency surgery or would probably die... well lets just say I lost it a bit. So much emotion around here and that was the one thing more than I could deal with. All of our resources were spent to get here in an emergency.... leaving no money for expensive animal surgery. I was so heartbroken I couldn't even speak. Thank God for my Mom and good friends... my Mom took care of the financial part (we will pay her back of course), one of my best childhood friends took her the vet clinic to do the paperwork and my other friend brought my puppy for the surgery. It took some coordination but they got it done! SO INCREDIBLY THANKFUL and BLESSED for these people in my life. The puppy seems to be recovering well from the surgery - they removed all her girlie bits along with two large masses - we are waiting on pathology. Praying for good news... but not really expecting it. Either way, I can't wait to get home to her!

  • It hasn't been all doom and gloom here... we have a precious new baby girl in the family. My first great-niece. She was a month old yesterday. I've been getting lots of baby time and taking tons of pictures. There has also been quality time with the other nieces and nephews. Even though we had to come back for a sad reason... I'm determined to fill as much time as possible with happiness and good things. Its the only way to survive.

Back to the original question of "When will it be my time?"

I've come to the conclusion that life may never calm down enough for it to truly feel like its my time. Therefore, I must make "my moments" in the midst of a crazy, chaotic life. If that means I have to do  a few sets of squats in the bathroom stall of a hospital restroom... so be it. And, yes, I did! If it means I have to do my PT exercises in an ICU waiting room... that works too. I'm pretty sure everyone else there had better things to do than watch me. Yes, I did that too! If it means that I eat alone - or in a cafeteria with strangers - so I can have salad while everyone else in the family goes to some greasy fast food restuarant... I can do that. I've learned to do a lot of things solo as a Navy wife... what's one more?!?

Much like my "book of happy" I think I'm going to make a "list of moments."

In the meantime... the "fatscapades" are a plenty!

I will try not to be such a stranger!