Reflections of a Wife, Mom & Weightloss Surgery Patient!

What you do and don't do to manage your life does not only affect you. It affects everyone around you!- Author Elizabeth George

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Not so dandy Day # 1

Yesterday was a bust!!

Or so I thought until I stepped on the scale and it is down TWO POUNDS ( now reading 226)!!!!

I was excited with the number on the scale but I still felt as if I should have done better yesterday!!
The day started out well:
-1 Starbucks Coffee Drink
-1 Protein Shake
-1 16 oz bottle of water
And that was all before 10am!!

I took my B-12 supplements, and Konnor & I dance around the living room for about 20 minutes or so. Next, is where I fell off the wagon. I was on my way to the grocery store when I began to sweat profusely! Despite the air conditioner in the care blowing right in my face, I felt really hot yet my skin felt cold & clammy. As I stopped at the stop sign, the road began to spin! I pulled off to the side of the road, and tried to calm my self down to figure out what was occurring. Then it hit me, it was my blood sugar!! I was having a low blood sugar reaction due to the increase in activity and the decrease of sugar/carbs.

Putting the car in gear, I drove to the closest place where I could get something sweet to avoid from blacking out completely, and by the time I hit the Drive Thru at my favorite local coffee shoppe, I had began to shake! I ordered a large frozen coffee and a chocolate chip muffin. I knew that the muffin had sugar sprinkled on top of it, so it should definitely help! I really just ordered the coffee drink out of bad habit!

After my snack loaded with fat, calories and a ton of sugar I felt better physically but mentally I began kicking myself for lack of preplanning!

I continued on to the store to pick up some peanut free treats for the 1st grade class who won a local shoe drive. The sponsors bought the ice cream of the winning class but I was a little concerned with reading the ingredient list. So I went to the store to buy some of our favorite, trust peanut free items. I would want someone to do it for my child, so I had no problem doing it for someone else's. I was astonished to find out that there were THREE kids with nut allergies in this class. The newest statistics say that 1 in 12 kids have a nut allergy. In a class room of 24, that is 2 kids per classroom! It made me realize that my son IS NOT the only one I am fighting for to make our school safe for kids with food allergies!

Konnor & I walked to the school with our treats in hand, and I had another 16 oz bottle of water.

Several trips up & down the stairs for laundry and then later it was a 2 1/2 baseball game where my little three year old keeps me literally on my toes while Korbin is one my field. At the ball field I had another protein drink and another bottle of water ( for a total of 3-16 oz bottle of water) and I was happy for the end of the game to come to head to the bathroom!!!

Korb's team won their game 12-5 and then we found out the Korbin was nominated to be apart of the ALL STAR team!! He was over the moon excited! More importantly, he got to see that all his hard work & determination DOES pay off!! With the win & the announcement, the baseball team went to the local ice cream shop to celebrate. Konnor & I shared a large slushy.( I had to celebrate with the kids, right?)

I tried to keep to the liquid portion of the 5 day pouch test, even if it was higher in calories and sugar that I would have liked!

It appears that the extra liquid and the continual exercise throughout the day has paid off!! I have extra energy today too that I have not had it a while!!

Today so far I have has 1 protein drink, 1-16 oz bottle of water and one coffee drink. I walked around the neighborhood at 9 o'clock this morning with my cute little shadow and I think this afternoon we are going to do some gardening/lawn work.

I had forgotten how hard the liquid diet is/was and how on top of your food you need to be, especially is you are prone to low blood sugar reactions like me. Like I said, weight loss is not the goal of the 5dpt, but it is a welcomed side effect! I am optimistic that I will have enough energy to chase after these boys this summer and reach my goal weight.

Remember: A healthy momma makes a healthy family!!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tomorrow is Day # 1

Today has been such a nice day!!

It's been one of those amazing days where you feel thankful so much! God has truly blessed me in so many ways and I simply could not thankful Him enough for loving & providing for me!!

One of my goals this week is the 5 Day Pouch Test. I have talked about this before, and it is basically a week long test to get your "pouch" back on track. It mimics the diet I was on right after surgery just in a shorter amount of time. It helps to retrain your pouch to hold smaller amount of food, and helps you to focus on following the rules again.

For those of you that have not have a gastric bypass, your "pouch" the smaller stomach your surgeon has made from your larger stomach and parts of intestines. Immediately after surgery my pouch could hold 2-3 ounces of food/ liquid at a time. After about a year or so, my pouch was said to hold 6 to 8 ounces of food at a time, and now I estimate that it holds about 12 ounces at a time. I would like to get back to that 8 ounce mark, but without the pouch test and retraining my pouch to hold smaller amounts of food. Again.

With that being said the 5 Day Pouch Test goes like this:
  • Day 1 & 2 Full Liquids – low-carb protein shakes, broth, clear or cream soups, sugar-free gelatin and pudding
  • Day 3 Soft Proteins – canned fish (tuna or salmon) eggs, fresh soft fish (tilapia, sole, orange roughy.
  • Day 4 Firm Protein – ground meat (turkey, beef, chicken, lamb), shellfish, scallops, lobster, fresh salmon or halibut.
  • Day 5  Solid Protein – white meat poultry, beef steak, pork, lamb, wild game
***Add in 64 ounces of Liquid (Water) per day as well)***

For the entire description, recipes and tips visit the official website here: 5 Day Pouch Test

The rules I spoke about earlier, I got from Kaye Bailey author of Living after WLS blog. I found it after I had my surgery and credit a lot of my success to the neighborhood; an online support group for people pre & post weight loss surgery. They have a TON of great tips from exercise to eating right.

"The Four Rules we must follow in order to achieve the best results with weight loss surgery - any procedure. Those rules (with minor variations from one bariatric surgeon to the next) are:
    * Protein First
    * Lots of Water
    * No Snacking
    * Daily Exercise

The Four Rules are for life. In order to maintain weight loss and keep the obesity from which we suffer in remission we must follow these rules for life. When we meet patients who have maintained a healthy body weight for several years with weight loss surgery we learn that in most cases they live by the Four Rules. " , Bailey writes on her blog.

The unwritten rule # 5 is to take your daily vitamin's/supplements.

Tomorrow will be Day # 1 for me.

I must admit I am a little scared! It has been along time since I have followed a lot of these rules or any of the others, like no drinking with your meal because you remain fuller longer or eating every 2-3 hours.

Traditionally, I have had very favorable results & I am looking forward to that! Yet, the weight loss it just a welcomed side effect to the 5dpt. The main goal is too get back on track. Since reaching my goals and better health is very attainable for me, getting back on track is a MUST!

I will log my results and, attempt to do so daily. Daily accountability has also given me favorable results as well. What I look forward to the most is the control that I feel when I plan out my meals, know when & what I am eating and have accountability for my actions.

Even if your not doing the 5dpt per say, you can apply many of its rules to your week as well.
-Hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE!!
-Portion Control and small, frequent meal instead of 3 large meals
-Preplan your meals & snacks
-Accountability. Here or Facebook page, The Daily Plate or another friend/family member.


The bible says, "Where 2 or 3 are gathered together I [Jesus Christ] am there also"  and "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"

If Jesus/The bible says it,
I believe it,
And that's enough for me!

This includes taking better care of the only body we get!!

Are you ready????

Hhherrreeee weeeeee gooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you at the end of Day #1!!!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

DUH Moments

I stepped on the scale this morning and to my surprise it read 228.4!! As I began 2013, I was over 250 and today I am 20+ pounds lighter!!

I am super excited!!!!

As I sat as my Mamaw's yesterday ( as you may recall, Konnor & I have been going over a couple times a week to help out since she was in the hospital with a fractured vertebrae during her last hospital stay) on the front porch where Kon & I typically go while Mamaw try's to take a mid-morning nap, I pulled up an e-book I down loaded on my kindle that I have been wanting to read. No Excuses; a busy Mom's Guide to Fitness is an e-book I downloaded for free with Amazon Prime. This short little book is chalked full of common sense idea's that I needed to remember and they really have helped me to get back on track!

This morning I got up ready and focused to get the fitness ball rolling and to achieve one of the goals I put on my 2013 list!

The book specifically states that you should begin you new changes on a Monday. "As a general rule," the author states "we are more successful if we begin something at the beginning of the week". Today is Thursday. It is also the end of the Month, I personally never begin things at the end of the month either. To me, its like starting at the end of a book & reading backward. Monday, June 3 is the day!

In this book, the Author Kimberly Brockway, gives you some steps and rules to follow to make getting started easy especially is your day is crazy busy like mine! I am 3/4 the way through the book, and I have Decided on my Goals for the next week:
  1. I will drink 6-8 classes of water every day
  2. I will cut back on the soda ( for some stupid reason I have been on this soda kick recently! ugh!)
  3. I will do the 5 Day Pouch Test to get back on track
  4. I will eat stop eating 2 hours before I go to bed
  5. I will make healthy meals instead of drive thru meals on sports nights
  6. I will walk my neighborhood at least once per day
  7. I will loose 2-3 pounds in the next 10 days/two weeks!
If you are unsure of the types of goals you should be making, then this book is really good at giving you some suggestions where to start!

"Write down your goals and post them on the bedroom door or bathroom mirror, where you will see it several times a day. Read it OUT LOUD every time you pass it!" Kimberly Brockway writes. This is something I have always done. It is usually scripture verses I am trying to memorize but writing out your goals is also a good thing to do. Just be careful that you do not take over the mirror and your husband grabs your index card & throws them away just so he can shave...not that my husband has ever done that or anything!

Like I said, this book has a ton of common sense idea's! That is why I kept reading, because it was like a "duh" moment. So many of these things I use to do and life go busy with two little boys, so I stopped doing them.

The Author gives some idea for healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options. They are also quick to make and most seem reasonable in price as well.

Last night I read the Rules as I drifted off to sleep and that maybe why I jumped up ready to go because it was the last thing on my mind before I went to sleep.

Rule # 1 Drink lots of water ( DUH moment # 1)
Rule # 2 Eat Breakfast ( DUH moment # 2)
Rule # 3 Eat Your Veggies ( Ok so this one was not a DUH moment bc as a gastric bypass patient I             was taught to eat protein first & everything else 2nd)
Rule # 4 Plan your Snacks ( DUH moment # 3)
Rule # 5 Avoid sugary drinks ( DUH DUH DUH moment # 4)
Rule # 6 Stop beating yourself up ( DUH! moment # 5)

The reason these are DUH moments is because theses are ALL things I use to do!!

My goal by the end of the summer is to get back down to under 200 where I was before I got pregnant with Konnor. "Your body frame and muscle structure," my surgeon told Rod & I "Will not allow you to be super thin like you might be dreaming of" at my one year check up in 2009 at the 198 mark. " But I think you look amazing and HEALTHY!!" he said Healthy has always been the goal. To live a long life and to grow old gracefully.

So, whose with me?? Can you implement these Steps and Rules for the next TWO WEEKS??? Change up the goals to fit you & your needs and come along with me and in two weeks, 14 days, will begin our journey to feeling better. Who doesn't want that???

Are you ready??? LETS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Tale of Terrible Tuesday's

I opened Facebook yesterday to see this quote posted from a friend, " If you want something you've never been, you have to do something you've never done".


I thought about this ALL DAY! Usually its scripture verses or song lyrics that get stuck in my head like this, and I write them on an index card & put them on the mirror. To read, reread and encourage me. I like to believe that it is God speaking to my heart because it is usually something pertaining to Him. The more I thought about this, the more I realized this had to go on the mirror!! And so it did ( pictured above)!

"Do something you've never done," seemed to nag at me. What is it you want me to do, Lord? I asked audibly which had my husband & kids looking at me weirdly! Today, fearfully I think I may know but still shutter at the thought of what this "do" may require!

The last 2 Tuesdays have brought immense heartache into my life, and so much more into the lives of others that my feelings are on overload! Two weeks ago, the first Tuesday, I received word that a young boy in my sons school lost his battle with brain cancer. Just a 4th grader! That is too young! He fought incredibly hard for 9 months and touched the hearts of thousands of people through his brave battle. He touched my heart, and that morning just as so many mornings before as I pulled by Relentless T-shirt over my head I prayed for Austin & his family. The Lord must have placed this dear family on my heart that day, their is no consciencedences with God. Next year, my boy will be a 4th grader, and not only did Austin touch my life with his amazing outlook on things and brave capacity to handle the challenge of cancer at such a young age, but his mom & dad forever changed me as a parent. I will never again take what I have with my boys for granted ever again!

Korbins elementary school did a "Life Strong" Day dedicated to Austin to encourage him to keep fighting!

One week ago Tuesday, the second Tuesday, just as I was beginning my day I learned that God had called one of the most influential, inspirational women in my life home to be with Jesus at 6 am that very morning. Taira fought with amazing zeal Triple Negative Breast Cancer, and lost her battle that very morning. Taira's sister-in-law, Karen, is one of my very best friends and this hit very close to home. Although Taira & her family lived in Tennessee, via Facebook, Taira encouraged me about my blogging on occasion and on a specific occasion someone offered to give her so much money towards her never ending medical bills if we did fun pictures in support of Taira's fight against Breast Cancer, so the boys & I did a couple photo's to help out. After posting the pictures, I asked my friend if there was anything I could do that day for her and her selfless response was, "Please pray for my husband & kids". She went on to give me a few specifics and this past week, I realized that this is a request I plan to honor in her memory for the rest of my life. I sat down to blog several times of the past week and couldn't with the painful realization that the blog that touched my heart and did so much for my walk with Christ, would no longer be written. I thought for certain that if God was going to heal anyone, it would be her!! At the end of the day, I will not question the will of the Father. His book says, "My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts" and with that I know that He has a plan in mind, it hurts nonetheless  My friend Karen, mentioned on a specifically hard day that she was expected to see a blog about how amazing Heaven is!! As much as my heart hurts, it is so much more for her husband & kids. I know what its like to loose your mother w a y too early in life and I have seen what kind a pain it causes a husband to loose his best friend.

 My last fb message to this huge inspiration to me says it all: "I had really hoped, believed & prayed that if God was going to heal anyone it would be Taira.. I met Taira & her family many, many times throughout my life. But the memory that stands out the most is when Rob began preaching at **** Taira sang & played the piano. She had an amazing voice! I sat in the pew just behind her and their 3 kids one Sunday Night and I watched as she loved on them & disciplined them & have fun with them while never letting them be disrespectful or disruptive. This was my first encounter with this type of parenting. I KNEW I had to be a mom like that!! When Robs sermon was over, he came over to the red pew's and put his arms around his wife, and they looked at each other like no one else was there!! He whispered something & she laughed. They were magical to watch!! They imitated what I envisions my grandparents being like, before Jesus called him home. Much too early. Today, God called another amazing person home much too early!! Taira lost her battle with Cancer today and my heart is forever grateful for those moments, all those years ago, because without that I would not have known what time of mom to strive to be!! Through this horrible tragedy, Taira touched lives in amazing ways!!Although God had chose not to answer my prayers, He answered hers for healing because she now hurts no more. Through her cancer ministry &Taira living out her faith before other's this taught them about Jesus. Her Jesus. Other's she encouraged their faith. Taira allowed Jesus to work through her life, to help heal others of so much pain when she herself found no physical healing. Today, the Lord gave her a glorified body, with complete healing. Now, I pray for the healing of broken hearts that Taira leaves behind. She will be missed greatly!! Please pray for those closest to this brave women who hurts the most right now!! ".

If you want to read Taira's story click here.

This is one of the photo's we took to help with Taira's picture fundraiser

So, yesterday I was prepared for something painful to happen and it did not fail me. I say "prepared" but you never really are "prepared" for terrible things are you? Although yesterdays events were not as final as the two Tuesdays prior, it lead to that if we are not careful. I spent all day yesterday lamenting on the phone or emailing Korbins school district regarding his peanut allergy.

Let me say I simply detest being that parent. Ya know, the one that has to give her two sense about everything because nothing is done quite right. We had put into place a 504 plan our allergist suggested to avoid me being that parent. But despite our very diligent attempts, it did not work as we envisioned or hoped for. I feel that need to stop here and say I KNOW my son(s)  is not the only ones with food allergies, as someone so rudely pointed out. 1 in 13 kids have a food allergy. That's 2 in a 26 person classroom. In a grade of 48 students, that is FOUR! That is ALOT! But my boys are NOT their FOOD ALLERGIES! They are boys with food allergies. Their dad and I want to empower them to work past their eating restrictions and do the same things other kids enjoy and most often take for granted.

Food allergies are not something these kids have a choice in having. They are born with some level of allergen in their systems and it usually manifest is self in different ways at different times in each persons life. Some food allergies are severe, like Korbin's and some are less than, like Konnor. But anaphylaxis is nothing to mess with!! Yet choosing to abstain from peanuts. treenuts, eggs, dairy, and shell fish, soy and wheat (  these are the top allergies in this country) for a short period of time, IS a choice. And honestly, what I can not understand is that if it were your child or someone you loved, would you want people to have the same courtesy for you? OF COURSE  YOU WOULD!!

I feel as if I am constantly repeating myself to no avail. What it comes down to and it pains me greatly to bottom line it like this but its really life or death. I carry an epi pen with me everywhere I go. Actually 4 of them. Two for each boy. I carry Benadryl also. I know the quickest route to every local hospital and I am a nervous wreck before every function we attend because of the overwhelming possibilities of cross contamination. Nothing is safe! Yet, I must conquer this reoccurring fear and let my boys venture outside for the walls of my home and attempt to be normal.

I want them to experience everything they can because the people like Austin & Taira fought so hard just to live, why would I hide? That is why I continue to talk and be that parent. Living life to the fullest honor their memories the best way we can. Also, They are not their food allergies! Food allergies are apart of this life for us to deal with. It is by God's grace and mercy we deal with it one day at a time, one event at a time and I have to try & find away to trust that people do what they say that are going to do. It's true what they say, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. Once one person betrays your trust in keeping your child safe, its hard to trust anyone in that capacity to do it again.

Back to the "doing".

This week on several local TV stations we have seen things about kids who are allergic to peanut finally eating them safely. On the way home from church Sunday, I asked Korb if they was a way out of your allergy no matter how hard it may be, would you want to try it. Its his allergy. We are teaching him to manage it, little by little.

His answer was an astounding, ABSOLUTLELY.

Peanut Desensitization is a new therapy that allows people with severe food allergies to began eating the food that they are allergic too microscopic bite by bite until larger quantities can be consumed safely. It takes months or possibly years to do this, and some allergist, like ours believe that this is a form of child abuse. Yet, it is a very real possibility. If you can afford it or if your insurance pays for it.

Today, I am left wondering if this is the thing that I need to do since it is something I have never done. Or at a certain point and time, would have ever even entertained. It is a HUGE risk!! Although you would be doing this in a very structured medical environment, there is always risk. We deal with huge risk every day just leaving the house. I pray daily, most days multiple times for God to cover my boys with a edge of protection that maybe tall and wide, and that no one nor nothing may enter in except for Him.

Is the risk worth it reward?

This Family said the risk WAS worth the reward.

What would you do?


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Weekend 2013

Friday, May  10th in 1998 was just another day for me & my family. Nothing special or extraordinary, another day to be crossed off on the calendar. In 1999 just shortly after the world grieved the death of Princess Diana, my world fell apart as I grieved the death of our families Princess; my mom.

I never really thought of my mom as a princess until I began scanning pictures of my mom on  May 10th, the anniversary of her death, to try & focus on some positive memories rather than the intense pain I felt welling up inside my heart. Pain this intense is often very physical for me as well as emotional. In the beginning, I often thought I was having a heart attack it hurt so much!! So as I scanned the photo's, I ran across this picture:

As I laid on the bed snuggling with the boys after Korbbie got home from school, I showed them the pictures of my mom. At first Korbin reminded me of how much Konnor looked like my mom in this picture (above).
Then Korb said, " I think Mamaw Cann looks like a princess". My mom's love for people and random acts of kindness definitely made her the Princess Di of Downriver, so I would accept that!!

It is hard to believe that 14 years has slipped through my fingers like granules of sand. It has gone to fast! It is hard to believe that Rod & I have been married 10 years this August, that Korbin will be 9 in November, that Konnor will be going to Preschool this fall and that I am a stay-at-home mom. All things my mom has missed.

Rod called from work one day last week, and asked me if I was free to go out on a date that Friday. It was sweet that he asked the way he use to when we first began dating 12 years ago and that he was determined to help me not to cry for three days ( from the 10th thru mother's day on the 12th) which has been the norm for many years. He said he had found a funny movie and wanted to know if I was available??? I called our babysitter & arranged to pick her up. Because of how the day had gone, with my Mamaw Collins being in the hospital all week and due to going to the hospital and going to sports/practices the house had been let go. On top of it all, the traffic was a nightmare. I am lucky because Rach knows I am generally late picking her up and she does not get alarmed if I am a few minutes ( or hours) late. We went to the movie first, and shared a tub of ooey-gooey-buttery popcorn and laughed for almost two hours. Just what I needed!!

I kicked my shoes off in the darkness of theater and propped my legs up on top of Rod's as he made a funny face then grabbed my hand to tell me he was teasing. Just as I began to relax a bit, one of the lead actresses filled the screen in a purple 70's style dress and I felt as if the wind had just been knocked out of me!!

The actress looked almost identical as the picture I had scanned of my mom earlier in the day wearing this dress, except she was age appropriate to the age my mom would have been if she were alive today;  58. The reality of someone appearing so similar to what I imagined my mom would like if she would have lived & wearing a dress similar to the one I had seen my mom wear in this photo earlier in the day, took my breathe away!! Its a good thing it was dark in the theatre because I would have scared Rod with how pale I knew I had become as the tears streamed down my face. "I HATE THIS," I screamed inside my mind!!

"I can not even watch a simple movie without seeing her! When I want to see her, I can't! But when I do not want to see her my mind &memories are flooded with her images!" I was angry with myself for feeling like this and annoyed that I was going to ruin our date night Rod has worked to hard to arrange in addition to them being few & far between during sports seasons. I was thankful that at just that particular moment something funny happened in the movie and the entire theatre erupted into laughter.

After a fabulous steak dinner at Outback, our date night had come to an end, and Rod went to take Rach back to her dad's in Brownstown, 20 minutes away. I was thankful for the 20 minutes alone to get my thoughts together and equally as thankful that Rach managed the impossible & got Kon to sleep. That was a well needed and welcomed break; fighting with him over bedtime. As I went to changed from my flirty shirt into my comfy sweats ( the joy's of marriage!) I found this picture laying innocently on my bed.

Almost as if my mom had come into my bedroom to kiss me good night as she has done a thousand times before and that I had taken for granted all of those times. Tonight, I would not take even the thought for granted...
I missed my moms hugs & kisses, even as a 35 year old woman.
Saturday, was an action packed day which began at 2am with Konnor wobbling down the hallway saying his tummy hurt, then suddenly the hard wood floor covered with the remainder of his
 undigested dinner. The smell was pungent and the look was fowl even with unfocused eyes of an overtired mommy. Rod sprung to life to help clean up before the smell over took the adjacent rooms which would lead to further cleaning if the smell continued to permeate the air.
Finally at something after 3, everything had been cleaned without further incident and Daddy was headed to the couch with his pillow & blanket while Kon was cuddled up next to me with his "uh-ah" and a prayer that I would not wake up covered in something gross. The morning came all too early with a plop on my bed by a bright eyed 8 year old whose request for breakfast with thankfully something simple: Donuts.
Rod pulled on a ball cap and his tennis shoes without socks, which completely grosses me out and crabbed his eyes to head to one of the few donut stores we use. Despite the fact that Korb has a peanut allergy and donuts are a biggie on the NO NO list, before we knew he has this allergy we had always gone to this particular donut store and never had a problem ( THANK YOU,JESUS!) so the dr who initially tested Korbin told us if it is not broken, do not fix it. Since we are regulars; once every 6 or 8 week regulars, the Saturday morning girls typically know our requests about washing hands and grabbing the wax paper from a new box, and grabbing a donut box & donuts from the back to name a few we feel as comfortable as we can anytime we take the chance to eat in anyone's kitchen that is not mine.
Not even to the stop sign at the end of our street, Rod heard the most horrific sound coming from underneath our car to find out that the muffler had fallen off the car!! Thankfully there is a muffler repair shop about 5 blocks away and they were open on Saturday. After Rod returned home he got into his work car and ran to the donut store then he returned home and took the other car to the muffler repair shop. At this point, it was midmorning and our dream of a stress free day was long gone. With both soccer & baseball games that day, is was already busy enough. And by midafternoon, the wind had picked up and the rain threatened the sky but I was content believing it would hold off until after 8 or 9. BOY, WAS I WRONG!!
Minutes into the first inning of the 6:30 baseball game, Korbin and his teammates and their spectators were drenched. Thankfully, the young umpire had the wisdom  to call the game in the 4th inning, even with the score being 0-0, no one care except getting packed up &dry quickly. Then my amazing guys, after getting cleaned up & dried off, were off to do some mothers day shopping. My wonderful husband works so hard to make the day nice for me, knowing how painful it is. I can honestly say, he has never disappointment me!!
Over the years, I have worked hard on separating my emotion of grieving on mothers day and celebrating the blessing God has given to me by allowing me to be a mother myself. As I get older, I get better at doing it. Especially with the 10th and Mothers Day are on separate days.
I got to take my annual mothers day nap and we also took our annual mothers day trip for ice cream. I look forward to these "annual" events and the new surprise Rod & the boys think/dream up for me! Rod works hard to try & impress upon the boys to honor and respect me and I adore that about him because it makes my job easy to help them understand how to treat a girl/lady when their dad puts it into practice. I am not putting Rod upon a pedestal, there are lots of area's he ( and each of us, I dare say) have to work on.
I am not now, nor have I ever been trying to act pretentious when I say in public how wonderful my husband is and in private we have our disagreements, which I typically only let a select few know about, but it is in attempt to look past his faults and encourage him in the manor that he understands/ responds too. If you do not know your spouses love language then I encourage you to read the book, the  5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It has really helped me understand in a different manor how to show my love & respect to my husband. 
My husband & I are far from having the perfect marriage but we try hard each day to love each other & try  to treat each other well. Sad to say, we both often fail. The nice thing about our relationship is that we do not have on rose colored glasses about how relationship or love. We know it is not always fun, pretty or happy. There are days when our commitment to our marriage & our family has far exceeded our "love" for each other that day. On those days & times, it has been to have those people in our lives who have encouraged us to stay strong rather than those who throw up their hands and tell us to "end it all & get it over with".
God has really challenged my heart who I confide in with my "ugly" moments. "Anyone can handle the pretty stuff," and article I recently read was saying " But only certain people can handle the ugly moments. Everyone has them, and if someone says that don't, then they are lying. Either to you, themselves or both". I honestly, try not to hide my ugly moments, which sometimes puts people off. But I have found that so much growth comes from those ugly moments, and if someone can learn from my pain rather than experience it for themselves, wouldn't that make more sense?? Not everyone needs to break their arm or leg to know that it hurts and take along time to heal, right?!?!?!
Rod handles my pretty moments, ugly moments and all those moments in between. Despite our ups & downs, and a million other emotions Rod has never left me. So many people have claimed that they would be around forever, but when push came to shove, for one reason or another they have left. Rod has never left. Ever. Even when he could lay the blame of this, that or the other thing at my feet & walk away, he never has. It takes a strong person to do that. I hope at the end of the day, I am equally as strong for him as he is for me, even during his "ugly" moments.
Mother's Day week-end, May 10th and those days in between are always so insightful for me! They are so painful, yet they help me to realize what blessings I have & how short life really is. God gives us pain for a reason but often takes us several of lives season to see why!
I hope you had a amazing Mother's Day Week-End!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A&F's "Fat chick"

Have you heard the latest discrimination again "fat" people where CEO of Ambercombie & Fitch believes its ok to discrimination against people based solely on the size of his or her jeans.

As I mom, I try to teach my kids that they are more than just a number. Thier IQ number, the number on thier scale, thier grade point average number, the number of times they do good things verses the number of times they do bad things. They are more than any of those things.

And for anyone to reduce them, or me to such is deplorable!!

I, like te author of this article I am going to repost can remember the exact day I was reduced to the number on the inside of my jeans. I was in 7th grade, in Mr. K's social studies class. It was 4th hour and he was the teacher that looked the character "Mario". He was a mean spirited educator, and got enjoyment out of embrassing his students.

My mom's cousin, Kathy, often sent her clothes & other items from Tennessee, since she & Kathy were almost the same size and very close as cousins very being seperated by so many states. I remember opening the box and seeing the denim overall shorts with a purple flower pattern stamped onto the fabric. I knew when I seen them, I HAD to have them!!

The next day, I wore the demin overall's to short with a brilliantly white scoop next t-shirt. I knew why my mom gave me mixed reviews of my attire with the comments I recieve about the bib's accenting my curves, if you will. In Mr. K's class we sat in alphabetic order and I sat right behind Bobby George. He was a brown haired boy who had braces, like I did, and was nice to talk too. Across the isle was a dark skinned boy named Thomas. Thomas was equally as nice of a guy, the sound of his voice I found gravelly and I did not care its sound and we did not talk much. On this particular day, Thomas did not comment on what so many of the others had, but instead the size of my thighs. He said, "Holy s**t!! Look at the size of your thighs! They are HUGE! Do you run track or sumthin? I have never seen thigh's like that on a white girl before. EVER!"

My face turned scarlet red and I wanted to turn into Alice & Wonderland and fall down a hole, quickly. I shrank down in my desk and tried to tuck my gaint thighs underneath me. I went from feeling very stylish to wanting to die that very instant. For the rest of the day, I wrapped my coat around my waist, and did my best to try not to cry in school. I was completely embrassed and I took the shorts off when I got homand put them back into the box that Kathy had sent for my mom to pass on what did not fit or she did not like onto my Aunt.

This was one of the major catelists that began my struggle with my self and body image for 20 years!!

My sister use to buy the perfume from Ambercombie & Fitch,and when I would go to Grand Rapids to visit her in college I would salivate over the clothes in this store and when I lost my initial 100 pounds after my weightloss surgery one of my first clothing purchases was very this store. I felt accomplised to reach my goal of being able to wear something from A& F.

Now, I am sad that I wasted my money & my dreams on a store that believes its ok to make fun of peope that they do not think should be in thier clothes!! I will never buy anything from this store again, even if the CEO publically apologizes. Like what Thomas did that day, the damage is already been done.

Read this open letter that has floating around FB entitled An Open Letter from a “Fat Chick” to Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie + Fitch (by clicking on the link you can read the orginal letter & make a comment if you wish):

I remember the moment as though it were yesterday (which is saying a lot, because it was nearly two decades ago…) Last week of 8th grade. One of the “popular girls” walked over to me in gym class and asked if she could write in my yearbook. When she handed my book back, I excitedly turned the cover, only to discover that she had written (in beautiful penmanship) the following:
Have a great summer. Stay thin.
Except the word “thin” had been crossed out with a single line. 
I have always struggled with my weight. Big-boned. Plus-size. Thick. Curvy. Voluptuous. Padded. Pick your adjective. Over the years I learned to deal with it in different ways. I learned to ignore it. Compensate for it. Deny it. Dress it up. Cover it over. Like everyone who struggles with something physical, I wear my battle on the outside for the world to see. There’s no running from it, because there is no hiding it.
According to Elite Daily, Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercombie + Fitch, has allegedly commented on everything from why he hates fat chicks to why he doesn’t want “not-so-cool” kids shopping in his stores.
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While I was initially outraged by the story, by the time I reached the end of the article, I felt more of a sense of overwhelming pity for the Abercrombie CEO than anything. A man blessed with unimaginable success proudly spouting off soundbites reminiscent of a cruel little girl I knew in eight grade? It would seem Mike Jeffries is a deeply unhappy man.
Mean-spiritedness aside, Mr. Jeffries’ comments raise a flag about a bigger, more troubling cultural issue. Pretend, for one moment, that instead of fat chicks, unattractive people or “not-so-cool” kids Mr. Jeffries had said “African Americans” or “homosexuals” or “single moms.” As a society, we would rise up and crucify any brand that flaunted that kind of exclusionary business plan.
I’m not slamming Abercrombie, proposing that they start carrying larger sizes or suggesting they welcome everyone into their stores. What I am questioning is why, in a country where two out of every three adults are considered overweight, is it acceptable for anyone, let alone the CEO of a major company, to proudly and publicly sling what could be considered by some to teeter on hate speech?
With each brand that joins arms with companies like Dove, TOMS and Anytime Fitness, opting to lead with their values in order to drive new, important conversations, a positive change is happening. Who do you think will thrive? I’m willing to bet at least two out of three Americans can answer that question…and they’ll do so with their dollars.
Now on to the letter.


Dear Mr. Jeffries,
Hi there. It’s me, Amy. We’ve never met, but since it seems we won’t be sitting at the same lunch table (or crossing paths in your stores) anytime soon, I thought it was important that you get to know me if you’re going to hate me. I’m one of the two out of three Americans you can’t stand and don’t want in your stores. I’m your neighbor. Your doctor. The young woman working behind the hotel check-in desk. I’m your child’s third grade teacher. Your sister’s best friend. I’m the veterinarian who saved your dog’s life…twice. And the lady sitting next to you on the flight to Los Angeles. I’m the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I’m the housewife with one heck of an expendable income. I’m the 13-year-old teetering on the verge of an eating disorder. And the 22-year-old battling depression and low self-esteem. I’m the employee working in your office, living in fear that two pounds are the difference between my paycheck and the unemployment line. I’m the American Woman…and I’ve got something to say to you.
Mike (can I call you Mike?), I’m not only a fat chick, I’m also a “not-so-cool” kid. Always have been, always will be. I’ve had 31.5 years to come to terms with that. Along the way I have been bullied, tortured, teased and harassed. Somehow I came out the other end better for it. In case you haven’t noticed, those not-so-cool kids are the ones who are passing people like you by–and doing some pretty amazing things. (You can read about a couple of them here and here and here.) Funny thing about wearing your struggle on the outside: it makes you stronger. It teaches you how to adapt. It forces you to dig deep and do more. And while people like you are sitting at the cool kids table intent on holding others down, the ragtag team of not-so-cool kids is busy pulling others up…and we’ve become an unstoppable force driving the world forward.
You got me, Mike! I don’t wear a size 4. You should probably also know that my middle fingers curve ever-so-slightly outward and I have a Morton’s toe. I’m terrible at long division and I’m not that great at parallel parking. But I’m a good person. I have an awesome job, great friends and a family that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I have mentors with brains as big as their giant hearts, and a rescue dog who is always happy to see me at the end of the day. Like everyone (size 4 or size 24), I have wants and hopes and dreams. I dream of writing a children’s book and inheriting a large sum of money so I can open a rescue retirement home for all the old shelter dogs that nobody wants. I’d like to pay for the person behind me at the toll booth sometime, and it’d be nice to get around to taking the “Great American Road Trip” one day. Overall I’m a pretty happy person. I’m a loyal friend and I strive to make the world better whenever and however I can. I love my community and I’m proud to call Columbus home. Although Abercrombie is headquartered here, you don’t represent the voice or the spirit of the place I know and love. When people think of this city, it is my hope they’ll choose to forget your name and instead think of people like Jeni Britton Bauer and Christian Long and Liz Lessner; doers and thinkers giving Columbus (and humankind) a good name.
As a marketer, I understand where you’re coming from on some level, Mike. I really do. When you say “a lot of people don’t belong in our clothes–they can’t belong,” I get it. For consumers, every purchase is a declaration. With each dollar a consumer spends, they are saying, “I am part of this brand and this brand is a part of me. I believe what this brand believes. I support what this brand supports.” As I sit here wrapping up this letter, I am proud to say that I may be a not-so-cool kid and the extra pounds I carry may not be a thing of beauty, but I am nothing like you or your brand–and that, Mr. Jeffries, is a beautiful thing."

WOW!! She totally nailed it and I hope that this CEO reads this and feels the effects of his carless words & actions have caused and I hope for once, the his business feels the effects too!!

So many times people find causes to rally around that is completely right wing or left wing bais opinions all the way. This however, effects ALL people, fat or thin, because what's next? He will not see selling to people with certains types of hair or eye color? Or people that bring children into the store? Or handicap people? Or people of a certain age or race?

Where does it STOP??

I hoping through the spread of this article, it will stop right here and right now!!!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Break

I took a break from blogging for a bit because I did not want to write or post something that I would later regret.

I use Facebook and my blog to get my frustrations out as well as journal, and recently something was posted that someone thought was about them ( and it wasn't) and I wanted/needed to take a break to pray about what I was posting.

God has shown me area's to improve upon while also giving me great peace about things I have done that others may precieve as something different other than the way I was intending.

As I have grown older I have become aware how short life really is! This week every year is always a great time of reflection for me as the anniversary of my moms death is either on Mothers Day or Mothers Day Week-end. It has been harder this year than I anticipated because my mom's mom, my mamaw, is in the hospital with a freactured vertebrea. In addition, the loss of friends this year, through death & otherwise, have placed a very heavy ache in my heart that I had not thought would occur since it has been 14 years since my mom passed.

The reality is, it never gets easier. I just find more ways to get through the pain.

As I sat in a lighthouse themed cottage with my friend, Stephanie, on our girls get-a-way I said
to her " I have suddenly become more ok with me and who I am, faults & all, than I ever have before in my life. I know who I am and what I need to work on, and I realize; Its ok to be me!" She smiled kindly and told me it shows. I needed to hear that! So many times I try to twist & turn my personality, faults and character flaws to fit what other people want me to be. Since January, I have been on a very painful journey that has brought me to that conclusion: It's ok to be me.

And as my mom use to say, "And if they don't like me for who I am, then they do not know what they are missing!"

In am in no way saying I am perfect, you understand. I am saying God has done a work in my heart that I never anticipated and I have began to try to see myself through His eyes. Its is amazing what you see when you do that!! I have forgiven myself for my failures and others for thiers because God has shown me how many times He has given me grace when I needed it & had not realized. So, why can I not extend that grace to myself &others ?

The other day for the first time I planted some flowers, in pots and in the yard, and immensley enjoyed doing so! More than I thought I would to be honest! I have began to love life and enjoy it, from sunrise to sunset, the day is filled with so much that even when the heart ache creeps in I can find something to love & enjoy!

Just because I am making new life choices and living more, does not erase yesterday and all the pain that came with that. But by giving myself grace, I have also given my self permission to feel and work through those feelings. "It does not happen over night," I told a friend recentlly. " But I am trying".

My new favorite verse as of late is: Create in me a Clean Heart O Lord and Renew a Right Spirit in Me-Psalm 51:10.

As I pray this verse, the Lord has brought SO much into light! The biggest "take away"  is the realization that I have made myself responsible for how other people feel about me and carried that around  with me like a back pack. A very heavy one at that! The longer I prayed, the more I realized is that they only person I am responsible for is me. I can not be held accountable for how people precieve me or what they take away from my actions, attitudes or life experiences. If I have unknowingly hurt someone, then they have to do what the bible commands & bring it to my attention. Without knowing, there is no way fix the problem. Moreso, walking around with unforgiveness is taking up space in thier hearts & lives that God has intended for something else. I can say with great certainity, that is much better than bitterness & hurt! Equally, as I prayed for a clean heart and asked the Lord to bring people to mind that this may be the case, He showed me no one.

I always have been the type of person that if I have a disagreement with you, you will know it. Or if I suspect we have a disagreement, I will ask you. Just as I am not responsible for peoples preceptions of me, I am concerned for thier feelings.Which is such a fine line for me to walk! I try to do the right thing whenever possible, and believe me. The right thing is NOT always the easy thing!

The point of this entire post is this: Life is too short!! No one is perfect, but through Christ Jesus we have ALL been extended Grace and Mercy and we ( I am talking to myself here!) should all be more willing to extend it to others just as easily as God extends it to us. Whether we [they] ask for it or not!

I am thankful for what God has done in my heart & life, and I am thankful for the break He has provided for me but I am looking forward to blogging more often again!

God is Good folks!!