Friday, February 29, 2008

16 Years Ago Today...My greatest dream came true!

I married the love of my life and began my Happily Ever After. All of my life I had searched and longed for a man who would love me just for who I was and not how I looked, with weight as an issue, I just couldn't see the reality of it for my life.

Then one day (9-2-89), this beautiful cocky pain in the butt marine walked into my apartment with a blonde bimbo on his arm and my whole world tipped sideways. It has truly never been the same. That first year was lots of ups and downs, I was completely totally "smitten" and even stalked him for a while (according to him, I thought I was being a secret admirer) to no avail. There came a day when finally I chased him long enough that he caught me.

July 10, 1990 we began spending a lot of time together along with another couple that we each were friends with separately but hanging out with them gave us a great excuse to hang out together without him having to admit that he was falling for me.

We were engaged in July of 1991 and married on Leap Day in 1992. I can not imagine one day of my life without him being a part of it. I know that he hasn't always been there, but I don't look back and remember him not being there, he is part of me.

He has always loved me, respected me, showered me with affection and protected me. During a time of fiancial devestation he could have been angry and blamed me, instead he stood with me and we grew stronger. Most importantly during the walk through the fire of infertility and the war that raged inside of me as I went through all the hurt, disappointment and emotional upheaval, he was always there, always a shoulder to cry on, 2 arms to hold me and always a reminder that God is for me and not against me. This man that I proudly call my husband is an amazing wonderful gift and I am forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for bringing him into my life and showing me that I was worthy to be loved for who I am. I could list and name many things he's done for me and with me over the 18 years we've been together but mostly I just wanted to remind myself that on those days when the little quirks are what I see that those things are really so small compared to the BIG things that are important, like that he loves me like my dad loves my mom and that my friends is all this daddy's girl ever wanted.

We have this tradition, he told me on our wedding day that he was only going to have pictures made on our "real" anniversary because we took enough pictures on our wedding day to cover all the years in between. So we had our picture taken last week on the cruise by one of the photographers on board. I also discovered in looking back at the ones we've had done every four years that somehow we've worn red/blue in each one, never intentionally, of course now I'll have to just make that part of the tradition I guess.

The photo at the top of this post is the new one. The layout below is in our wedding album and it has all of the previous anniversary pictures. (It's not a great scan, but you can see the whole red/blue thing.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A few cruise pics......

It's a puppy dog!

Isn't he a cute elephant?

I know you saw the monkey already, but this is a close-up.

This is a chihuahua with my sunglasses on!

The fantail of the Carnival Fantasy in Progresso, Mexico.

Jeff, Bob, Vanya & Rocky dancing during dinner showtime.

Dawn, Paulette & I doing the macarena (I'm so behind) during dinner showtime.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bon Voyage to My Mickey's....

Only a few of you have known me long enough to know that in my junior and senior year of high school I was 150% obsessed with Mickey Mouse. All of my t-shirts were emblazoned with Mickey in some form or fashion. My clock on the wall was a huge wrist watch with Mickey on the face, my telephone was Mickey Mouse, I had lots of posters on the walls and more than enough plush Mickey's & Minnie's for several people to enjoy. I have a Mickey that talks to you and one that dances and of course there is a set of hand puppets to go with the rest. I have a set that were made for me for graduation and have my school and 1987 embroidered on their grad gown (I'll be keeping them). I was even Mickey Mouse for halloween one year and my picture is in lots of scrapbooks in Japan because all of the Japanese people walking up and down the strip on Waikiki beach that night wanted their picture taken with me, I think that was the year that they got a Disney World in Japan (if I remember correctly).

Yes, obsession was definitely the word to describe my collection of the cutest most adorably innocent mouse that was ever created. I loved him, he made me smile and but when I got married my husband was not quite so crazy about said mouse. In time I gave in and they were moved to the guest room on the daybed and eventually gave way and they have been stored in rubbermaid bins in the shed for quite some time now. I am having a yard sale with my mother-in-law in a few weeks and began thinking of things to place in the sale over the weekend. All those sweet unique faces popped into my mind and my first thought was no way I can't get rid of them. Then gradually the thought became a little easier to bear.

Why am I keeping them? The memories of them are ingrained in my brain and letting them go does not disrespect the people who bought them over 20 years ago. I am horrible about that, if somebody buys me something it has to be displayed forever before I feel like I can rotate and put something else in its place. I'm always afraid somebody will think I didn't appreciate their gift. I've been working on that, a thank you note really should be enough to say thank you I appreciate you, appreciation doesn't mean leaving things out for 20 years to save somebody's feelings. This is a new concept for me and it has actually been kind of freeing.

Dawn N. gave me a great idea and I don't know why I had not thought of it myself. I am going to get all the Mickey items I have and set them up and take several pictures and do a 2 page layout. This will be a great way to keep the memories for myself and future generations yet make it easier to let them go. Again why didn't I think of this...I mean I am a scrapbooker, sheesh. I think I just wasn't ready to let go of them and maybe now I am and maybe you don't even care but it was on my mind and I figured why not post about it, this is my blog right, and it can be about whatever I want and what is on my mind right?

So there ya have it, all about my high school obsession and how I'm choosing to let go (I think).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Home from Paradise....

....and boy it was hard to get off that boat. The cruise director "Butch" warns you the day before you get home that you will experience "cruise withdrawal" for up to 2 weeks after returning home. And he is so right, you get home and the bed isn't magically made, there isn't food ready to eat at every turn and the towels in the bathroom this morning were the same ones I hung on the rack yesterday...not to mention I didn't have a "towel critter" on my bed with 2 mints last night! One day we got a very cute surprise with a monkey hanging from the curtains.

Truly we had such a wonderful time and it was an honor and blessing to share that time with 2 of our dearest friends. Jeff is such a good sport and so much fun to be around, he is definitely the life of the party. They pulled him out of the audience and onto stage the very first night (we didn't have our cameras...shocking I know, but we thought we couldn't take pictures in the lounge during the shows). He had to do a little dance and was voted Mr. Carnival Fantasy -- needless to say he was famous for 5 days. Everywhere we went the people recognized him and talked about how great he was and truly he was fabulous. We did a lot of fun things on board and even went dancing one night...that was a lot of fun. Rocky and I had NEVER been dancing in 18 years together, so it was quite a fun time, I was totally surprised that he agreed and participated.

Our only disappointment on the cruise was that a taxi driver stole the only opportunity we were looking forward to in Progresso, Mexico. We had been told by several people that this particular port was pretty much just a small depressed town, but had read enough and done research to know that there was a Flamingo Reserve in this town. Dawn & I were ready to go get some great pictures. So we got off the boat headed out to the shuttle area and the taxi drivers are out there also. The guys went to talk to the taxi guys about going to see the flamingos, which is only a $6 fare. Well they told them that they had just been out there and that this was not the "season" for the flamingos, but they would love to take us to the ruins for $60. Well, we were only interested in meeting Paco & Rita Flamago (the flamingos). So, we got back on the boat and went to hang out at the pool for a while. Later that evening we met a gentleman and he was telling us about his day and the beautiful, bright, amazingly colored flamingos he had seen at the reserve. We were so sad and somewhat angry because then we realized the taxi driver just didn't want to take a $6 fare when there were people wanting to go on the trip to the ruins for the $60 fare. Sad, but its okay, we'll always remember the Flamagos that we didn't meet. In fact I then named the one no-show couple in the dining room Paco & Rita, since we never met them either. The next day we went to Cozumel and Dawn shopped while we window shopped. There was a nice breeze and it wasn't miserably hot, so it was a nice day to be shopping.

The meals in the dining room were awesome and dessert divine...warm melting chocolate cake w/vanilla ice cream...yes it was super fine! We had one other couple dining with us, they were from New York and after the first few nights warmed up nicely to us. It was much more enjoyable this year having a couple with us that we knew, since neither of us are overly comfortable with people we don't know. Our waitress Vanya and her assitant Rowena were amazing and saw to our every need and made sure nobody left the dining room hungry. The waitstaff is awesome and they do fun mini shows each night, with singing and dancing and even get us involved on occasion. One night even found the guys all dancing with the waitstaff and then the women doing the macarena...yes imagine me trying to do the was quite a sight.

We attempted to play miniature golf up on the top deck one evening, that lasted about 10 minutes. THE WIND WAS HORRIBLE. It was a great photo opportunity but Dawn has those photos and I haven't gotten copies yet, but it was pretty darn funny. You would think the guy checking out the balls and clubs would have said, hey its pretty windy up there I don't think this is going to be a good idea, but he didn't. It was fun anyways even if it was shortlived.

There are so many stories I could tell and write about but the most important thing is we had a great time and the 4 of us are already looking into when and where we'll be going next year, I think we already have a tentative plan, but we'll see how that works out.

I can not tell a lie....

...but I'm also not ready to share the bare with me till next Wednesday, March 5 for an update on the Fabulous by Forty campaign. It's not over, just took a short vacation with me on a cruise ship and well have had a rough start at getting back to it. So I'm opting out of weigh in this week and I think it will help me get back to my real world to focus on next Wednesday instead of freaking about the possibility of what it might say tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hanging my head...

...not really in shame cause well I knew that chances were the weigh in today was not going to be a good one. I was very lax and did not make any good choices since well pretty much this whole week. I gained 2 pounds. Which is not a good start to cruise week already going the wrong direction....confession is good for the soul right?? If so, then why does it feel so bad to expose to the world that I was weak and lazy and gave in to temptation yet again and paid for it? I know it is good because it keeps me accountable and keeps things in the forefront of my mind so that I don't lose control of the situation completely. I am determined that I will be focused as soon as I return from New Orleans.

This is my last day of work until February 25!! I am so ready for the break. I have a lot to do to fill my days until we leave and then of course we'll have a fun filled week and hopefully a good bit of relaxing to go along with it, but there are so many fun things to do, you don't really relax perse very much. But, we did sleep late most days and take a nap almost every afternoon last year. I can't wait...only 4 more days till we head south!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

5 days and counting....

...and well I am not doing so well with the eating, but I'm not focused and I'm busy and have a health issue that I'm dealing with and well when I don't feel great I eat, right wrong or indifferent it is the truth. So, there it is, me owning up to my downfalls, but at least I know my weaknesses and therefore I can work on them..later, ha. I promise to get right back on track on my way to being Fabulous by Forty when we get home from the cruise. I hope I don't do to much damage to my progress in the meantime, but I'll deal with it when I get back. I will never give up and I will be Fabulous by Forty.

For now, right this moment I'm ready to go home. It's been a long day with all the bad weather. I have 2 pages of trees down in Hinds County due to the straight line winds. It did make most of the afternoon pass very quickly. But now it seems like the clock has slowed way down.

My parents on the same cruise right now that we are going on next week. I've been thinking of them all day and wondering what fun they are having in Cozumel and makes it even harder to wait for us to get there next week!! They'll be home on Thursday just in time for my mom's valentine's birthday celebration!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Not giving up, but....

It's very hard to keep my focus right now. I have so much going on this week getting ready to go on the cruise and well I guess its hard to focus on losing weight when you know you are going on a cruise in a week and its all about the food??? Okay, I'm definitely not giving up, but have definitely been more lax than I should be...but I did check the scale this morning and it hasn't budged, so this is good. I haven't overeaten I just haven't been waiting for hunger to eat. So, I guess I'll try to at least keep with not overeating this week and then I'll be back totally on track when we get back from the cruise. The not eating till I'm hungry is very inconvenient for my schedule, so maybe when I get back I'll go back to eating 3 meals and just small portions and start working towards making healthier choices. I've been craving veggies and salad this weekend, this is a good sign also.

I got a good bit of packing done last night but there is just still so much to do. The house has to be cleaned, I have to have groceries in the house for our friend who is house/furbaby sitting and well it's just a lot to do but worth it! I can't wait!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Gotta love being human....

Well, after my last post I hate to even type this one and admit that things went down hill fast and I had 2 horrible days and again have had to hit my knees in repentence and hit the "restart" button again. I keep reminding myself that journeys often have little side roads that you get off on and it doesn't always mean you end up lost, for the most part they lead you back to the main road. So instead of writing a long post of self pity and posting all of my "food indiscretions" in the past 48 hours, I will just say...I'm back on the main path and once again grateful and feeling victorious. In the past this little rabbit trail would have caused me to throw my hands in the air with despair and just chunk all the good that has been done in the past 6 weeks.

I do wish that I could find the "source" of my need to self sabotage. I am so close to reaching that 20 pound mark, with the reality of it being I could weigh in on Wednesday and be there, but yet, what did I do? And with no good reason? Nothing emotional, nothing stressful...nothing other than "want to". So, there it is, me and all my glory...I just wanted it and well so I blew it. No excuses and I'm forgiven....moving forward not looking backwards.

New me...I will be FABULOUS BY FORTY!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I've Been Tagged!
By my friend Wanda from ASF & this is her blog:


1. I hate things with no feet.
2. Milk is meant to be drank by only one person out of one glass and not to be shared...ick..and never is anybody to drink out of the carton....floaties are GROSS
3. We got married on leap we are fixing to have our 4th anniversary even though we've been married for almost 16 years.
4. I drove a 1968 Mustang in High School till my dad sold it cause I kept cutting school and bought me an Orange VW Bug.
5. I love a foot rub.
6. I despise mustard.
7. My closets are disaster areas, but you'd never know it looking at the rest of my house.
8. I used to be a girl scout leader and I miss them, they all grew up. (am i really that old?)
9. I can not remember lyrics to songs to save my life...drives me crazy.
10. I get my right and left mixed up constantly.

My Bucket List.......things I want to do before I kick the bucket. ooooh, this is not anything I really want to be thinking about, but it's all in good fun, right?

1. Go to New York
2. Cruise to Alaska
3. Take some photography classes and have a nice camera.
4. Be debt free.
5. Own a MONTE CARLO!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Anybody know what today is?

That's right it is weigh in day! I am very thankful to be able to say that I lost 2 pounds this week. I am down 19 pounds, if I pull off 1 more this coming week I'll have made it to 20 before the cruise.

Okay, but now on to confession...I'll say again that this accountability thing is tough, but it is also good for me. So, here goes, I have been wanting fried chicken for about a week now, but it just hadn't fit into our schedule to get out and go to the KFC in Pearl. Rocky wanted to go there because they have a buffet. This word in itself should have sent a big red flag for me to be on guard because the enemy was setting his sites on my wide rearend. Anyways, so after our meeting at church last night he says lets go get some chicken. My every intent was to go in and order the 2 piece meal and a drink. Got there and it was only a little bit cheaper than the buffet. So, I begin rationalizing that I have done great, I have not blown it and been overstuffed in 6 weeks, and that if I eat the buffet I can get the veggies and they are good for me. So within 45 seconds I convince myself that "I" can do it and Rocky had gone to the restroom and given me the money to order while he was gone, so he wasn't there to say "are you sure?". I immediately get 2 pieces of chicken, they were small thighs and I only ate the skin off of one, but I also put creamed corn, black eye peas, biscuit w/gravy, tetrazzini and chicken & dumplins on this plate. Very small portions of each but still when I sat down realized that even with small portions there was tooo much food on this plate. I tasted each thing, decided the only one worth actually eating was the chicken & dumplins and the chicken itself, even the biscuit was not fabulous and I only ate half of it. Because I only got a small spoonful of the dumplins, once I was done they were so good, that I justified that since I didn't really eat the other stuff it wouldn't hurt to get a little more of the dumplins. I did and then as I was sitting there looking at the last bit on my plate, this came to mind (thank You Holy Spirit) "do not forsake the work of God for the sake of food" (Romans 14:20). At this point I was able to stop before I lost control of the situation and I am thankful for a God who never leaves or forsakes me. I praise Him for leading me to victory and not destruction.

Apparently I had a bad case of "I-itis" and I should know by now, that "I" can do nothing without Him and though I did not involve Him in the decision that could cause me to stumble I am thankful that He was involved in the escape plan.

Note: That scripture reference is one that God brought to my attention a long time ago when I was seeking Him in the past for help on this same journey. Though in context it doesn't deal with weight loss, those words in themselves have been a strong tower for me in times past and He used them again last night to keep from falling when I stumbled.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Food 2-5-08

7:30 a.m. - just over half sausage cheese biscuit & low fat yogurt w/strawberries

2:30 - can of campbell's chicken & dumplins soup, 5 saltines and 100 calorie pack of oreo candy bites

7:30 p.m. - 2 pieces of fried chicken (small thighs, only skin off of one) 1/2 biscuit, 2 bites of black eye peas, about 1 cup of chicken and dumplins, 2 bites of tetrazinni, 1 bite cream corn (KFC)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blue Jeans Baby!!

I am wearing a pair of blue jeans today that I haven't been able to get into comfortably since before Thanksgiving!! I'm so very excited!! Just had to make note of this exciting NSV!!!!!

Food 2-4-08

7:30 a.m. - 3/4 of chicken biscuit

12:15 p.m. - frozen dinner enchiladas w/rice, 2 squares dove dark chocolate

6:45 p.m. - 3 pcs french toast, small piece of deer sausage

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Purpose? What's Mine?

The new challenge at ASF is from Wanda - "Okay, I've thought about this a lot. I want to really challenge you this time. Take you out of your comfort zone, if you'll allow me. There are some scrappers out there who are really "raw" scrappers. They scrap the really emotional stuff, the intense stuff. They don't shy away from anything, and they don't just scrap cute pictures of their kids and pets (like me). Even if you have a "book of me" you're working on, you probably never thought about scrapping your painful moments, or embarrassing faults, or searing self-doubts. I challenge you to do that this week. Scrap something you thought you would NEVER scrap. Never put to paper. Never post for public consumption. "

It was harder than I thought to put something so personal on paper, but I'm actually thankful for this challenge because it is something I probably never would have considered doing a scrapbook page about. And one day in the future if somebody down the line were to wonder if I had grieved my whole life for the children I never had, then they can look and see that though that place in my heart still longs for those children, I have found peace and am truly no longer at war with infertility.

So here is my take on this challenge:

Purpose? What's Mine?
Up to this time in my life my heart has been
convinced that my reason for being was to have kids and
raise them in a Godly home and serve Him all the days of their life.
Though hope will live in me as long as I have breath,
I am no longer at war with infertility.
I have found God's peace.
But, now what is my purpose?
Lord - please show me and then equip me.

Food 2/3/08

11:45 a.m. - about 3/4 of roast beef sandwich, 12-15 tortilla chips with rotel dip

9:35 p.m. - bologna and cheese sandwich and some pringles (been scrappin' forgot to eat when i got hungry)

Food 2/2/08

2:15 p.m. - 2 chicken fingers, handful of french fries, half piece of texas toast

9:15 p.m. - 2 eggs, 2 sausage links, tiny portion of hashbrowns, part of a piece of stuffed french toast (wasn't good) at IHOP.

Friday, February 1, 2008


For those of you who don't know one of the greatest perks of my job is that my dungeon is directly below the biggest library in our county. So I have my very own key to the elevator that leads into the "bookcave"...its so wonderful.
I don't usually reread books so I prefer to check them out and not spend a lot of money on something that I read in just a few days (sometimes just 1 day) time. So it really is a luxury to be downstairs from the library. Last week I requested 2 books and lo and behold they were both already in today.
I mostly read christian authors. There are a few secular authors that I enjoy that aren't horrible and I really enjoy their books so I read them unless I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit leading me to put it down and move on to something else, that has happened a few times.
My favorites are:
I love a good mystery with a wonderful romance story mixed in with it. I get that from Dee Henderson and Terri Blackstock.
Beverly Lewis satisfies my intrigue about the Amish/Menonite lifestyle, I just can't get enough of her books....and I'm patientley (or not) waiting on the new one in her latest series.
Karen Kingsbury is very much a dramatic author that has God directly in the middle of all her stories of love and family. (You've got to read the Baxter Family Dramas!!)
Iris Johansen is definitely mystery and kind of CSI like. Lots of dark, drama, action, adventure type of writing. (She sometimes gets a little on the supernatural [not in a Godly way] and I've had to put a few of hers down.)
Fern Michaels writes about women who are women of all types and walks of life, lots of fun and adventure (with a tad bit more language and sex than is my preference but not extreme).
And well I'm sure everybody knows that Nicholas Sparks is just all that and a bag of chips. I mean who hasn't read "The Wedding" and known that it was the most romantic book in the whole world. Not to mention its predecessor "The Notebook". Oh how he makes me cry, but oh how I just keep reading. Can't wait to jump into the one I picked up today..."The Choice".
There are probably many more that I could name, but these are the ones that I'm drawn to on a regular basis. I'd love if some of you can suggest some other good authors that might write along these same lines. I'm always open to trying somebody new.
Well I guess I was in the mood for another random post on a Fine Friday afternoon, with less than one hour till going home time. Hurry up clock.

Is it really February?

I can't hardly believe that January flew by. It was like a wind from the south that just whipped in and right back out again. I wanted it to hurry so that the time for our cruise would get here quickly. And well it is getting here quickly, only 17 more days will we sail.

It sure is hard to come back to work on Friday after being out for 3 days. Not fun at all, and I really don't have anything to be doing either, that makes it that much more difficult.

No big plans for this weekend, in fact at this point no plans at all other than possibly going grocery shopping tomorrow evening, which is definitely not my idea of Saturday night fun, but for some odd reason hubby loves to go grocery shopping with me. I wish I could just send him with a list and let him do it himself since he loves it so much. But chances are that he would end up with more junk that he would what was on my list. Oh well at least if he goes I have help loading and unloading and that does make the whole process less miserable.

This morning has been dragging by, why does the month fly by but the days seem to last forever? Where is the logic in that? Yeah, I know you don't know either.

I am in the mood to scrapbook but not really in a place to spend any money on scrapbooking right now, which means holding off until I have some pictures printed and disposable cash to buy pretty papers with!! I love papers! Love them, all of them!

Do I have any Paula Deen fans out there? I just finished reading her memoirs "It Ain't All About the Cookin" and it was really good. She is so real and down to earth in my opinion. The book is written just like she talks so you pretty much feel like she is sitting there with you as you are reading it. Definitely a good read.

I am headed to the library right this moment to pick up the lastest Nicholas Sparks book and the latest Karen Kingsburgy book. Can't wait to get started on them.

Food 2-1-08

I was awol for a few days....but didn't eat much so I'll just go from here instead of trying to rethink the past 3 days.

7:45 a.m. - instant oatmeal

12:15 p.m. - frozen entree - mac n cheez

9:15 p.m. - 3/4 order of chicken fett alfredo 1/2 piece garlic bread