Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reverb 14-Appreciate

What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

My canasta ladies. These girls are the light of my life. We are all so completely different on many levels, but when we get together, it's the highlight of my week.
I express gratitude for it by reminding them how much I love them from time to time.

Reverb 13-Action

When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

Focus on being kind to myself. Lose 60 more lbs. Be kind to myself while losing 60 lbs.

Reverb 12-Body Integration

This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

I guess it still comes back to the snorkeling trip when all I could think to do was practice my breathing so that I knew I was alive. I was totally focused on counting my breaths and remember thinking, "If I'm breathing, I'm alive" over and over again.
Who knew such a tiny little moment in my life could have such a huge impact?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Reverb-11 things

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

1) 60 lbs
2) books that I don't read/have already read
3) clothes that I haven't worn in over a year
4) extra jackets
5) clothes that belonged to my toddler
6) snide comments made to my husband
7) the amount owed on my car
8) guilt
9) hours spent watching TV
10)my current computer
11)the clutter in my bedroom

I'll eliminate most of this by giving it away. What I can't give away, I'll pay off, and in the case of my computer, I'll buy. Guilt is a hard thing to get rid of but I need to learn to say no and be ok with that.

I already feel lighter just by writing all of this down. I can't imagine how I'll feel once I actually eliminate some of this.

Reverb 10-Wisdom

What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

The wisest decision I made this year was deciding to back off. Not everyone needs me to fix them. What they need is support for the decisions they do make.

Reverb 10-Party

Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans

Well it's kinda hard to narrow it down to just one get together. I had a fabulous time on my birthday, on the night I went to Neptune's, and when I went to see Vampire Weekend. Almost all of these involved dancing, all of these involved Karla. I just had a good time having fun in general this year. If feels good to go out dancing even though my body doesn't recover like it used to.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why you wish my BFF was yours....but she ain't

a) She is fierce
b) She is loyal to a fault
c) She can rock all hair colors
d) She has the biggest heart of anyone I know and isn't ashamed of it being on her sleeve
e) She doles out the best nicknames
f) She is a good travel buddy
g) You are guaranteed to have a good time in her presence
h) I can spend the day with her doing absolutely nothing and that is a great day
i) In a past life she was a Rockette
j) She gives great music
k) She is a numismatist (look it up!)
l) She is flawed and not afraid to admit it
m) My kid adores her
n) She is super freaking creative
o) She is the one that gets the dance party started
p) She pushes me out of my comfort zone
q) She is a soft place to land
r) We have laughed so hard together that I've had to pull over and stop driving
s) We think we are brilliant and you should too
t) She writes me beautiful prose
u) She points things out to me about myself that I would have never noticed. Things that should be noticed. Things that should have been noticed and pointed out a long time ago.
v) She would give you the coat off her back if you really needed it
w) She lifts people up way higher than they lift her
x) If you don't have anything nice to say, she'll come sit by you
y) She makes terrific french toast
z) She is an astounding player of the "Six degrees of U2" game we created
1) She has a beautiful singing voice
2) She should be on stage-I keep hoping she'll make this happen
3) She's crafty
4) She is always up for a road trip
5) Take her to Vegas
6) She would help me move a body
7) I don't think she's ever judged me but she's probably judging you
8) She is a great conversationalist
9) I love taking her to musicals
10) She is all about social justice as a lifestyle
11) She is a big believer in forgiveness
12) Sometimes I think that she purposely has hooker nails because she knows how much I hate them
13) She is nothing, but if consistent
14) All you need is love and she has plenty to go around

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rever 10-Beautifully Different

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

My laugh is huge. Really huge. There is no stifling it.

I suffered from strabismus when I was a toddler. It took me years to be able to look people in the eye w/o being self-conscious. Now I think that my eyes are one of the most beautiful things about me.

I can clap louder than most people

I also have mad rhythm

Reverb 10-Community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

On my birthday I looked around at the women surrounding me and realized that I have never felt more love for a group of friends. I love each of them differently and dearly and my life is better for having them in it. It's been a long time since I've felt that way and it feels really good to know that there are people out there that would help me when I need it.

I would love to meet up with a frugal, fun loving community. I would also enjoy finding a religious community that believed more in social justice and less about rules.

Rever 10-Make

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I suppose the last thing I made was banana butterscotch muffins. I'm really into baking now that it's cold. Last artistic thing I made was earlier this year when I made a necklace charm that started out as a sheet of metal.

I suppose I should add that I did make a blog for my niece where I teach her about music. I have to post one entry a week for at least a year.

I want to make orgami and I want to take a beading class. Just waiting for the right one to come along.

Reverb 10-Let Go

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

I let go of 40 lbs because I decided it was time to do so. It was time to start living healthier. It was time to get ready to ride a bike with my kid. Now I'm signed up to rappel down a building next year. I've got to get ready for that too.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb 10- Wonder

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I learned to let the universe love me and to show others that the universe loved them. I took a few e-courses over the year that taught me a lot about myself & about what I wanted out of life. I learned to see the world as a place full of love and kindness and I am determined to put those two things out into the world. I find that the more I give, the more I open myself up to receive.

Reverb 10-Moment

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

It would have to be the moment that I regained control of my thoughts, actions, and breath while trying to snorkel. I just remember being so scared in that moment. When I suffered my congestive heart failure after the birth of my child, the most vivid detail in my mind to this day is feeling like I was drowning. The moment I hit the water with the fins and mask on I flashed back to that. In my head I was screaming, "I'm drowning!" "I can't breathe!" "I'm going to die!" I completely lost it to the point that I was kicking sea turtles and fighting my way back to the boat. I remember clutching the side of the boat with all my might and my legs were being swept under and no matter what I did I couldn't keep my head up. My child was asking "What's wrong Mommy!" and in that moment Karla told me I was having a panic attack. As soon as I could put a name on it I snapped out of it. I knew that I couldn't let my child see me like that and that I had to regain control. I grabbed onto the emergency flotation device that the dive master was holding, put my mask back on, and let him pull me around. I remember thinking "as long as I'm breathing, I'm alive" "as long as I'm breathing, I'm alive". I kept counting my breaths. Inhale for 10, exhale for 10, over and over. Being in the water and watching the fish and turtles was amazing. It looked like the reef was breathing under the water and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I wouldn't do it again but I am so proud of myself for being able to push through it.

Reverb 10-Writing

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
I'm not really a writer so I'm just going to say that life happens.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reverb '10-One Word

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you're choosing that word. Now, imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the world to be that captures 2011?

My word of the year back in January was beyond. I think I have done a great job pushing myself beyond what I'm used to. I've lost 40 lbs since April 5. I took a fantastic trip to Belize where I snorkeled & worked myself through a panic attack (thanks for identifying that for me Karla). I held a very large snake so that my child could pet it. I signed up to rappel down the Wachovia building downtown next year. I bought and now faithfully wear black boots. I embraced being a soccer mom. The list could seriously go on and on.

I'm currently working on my 2011 word. I can't decide if I want it to be transcendent which means extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience or if I want it to be balance because I could really use some of that as well. I still have 21 days to think about it.

I'm late by 10 days beginning these writing prompts but I'm going to try to answer as many of these as I can. You can read more about the idea here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage And Bananas

2 cn (15 1/2 ounce) black beans
1 Onion, coarsely chopped
3 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 tb Olive oil (or more)
2 c Chicken broth
1/2 ts Ground cumin
1/2 ts Curry powder
1/8 ts Dried oregano
1 Jalapeno, minced
2 c Long-grain rice
2 tb Chopped cilantro
2 c Canned tomatoes, coarsely
1 pk (10 ounce) frozen peas
1 lb Smoked sausage, sliced
3 Underripe bananas
2 tb Unsalted butter

Saute onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until softened; add to beans along with broth, cumin, curry, oregano, jalapeno, rice, cilantro and tomatoes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until rice is barely tender, about 15 minutes. Add peas, cover, and set aside. Brown sausage slices in a skillet, adding a tiny bit of olive oil if necessary. Remove from pan and mix into rice. Slice bananas; and saute in butter until lightly browned. Serve rice and beans surrounded by bananas. Serves 6

Linking this up to Eat at Home today.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What brings me joy

*messy bed head that actually looks good
*laughing with my son
*a good, long hot shower
*front porch conversations
*writing lists
*a long yoga class
*an hour and a half massage
*dancing like a fool
*reading a really really good book
*watching a great live music show
*napping in a hammock
*windows down, music blaring, singing at the top of my lungs in the car
*checking things off my lists
*my son waking me up every morning with a kiss
*30 minutes on the elliptical
*making something that tastes so good my hubby smiles
*hearing my hubby laugh like a little girl
*good music
*pregnant bellies
*walking on the beach
*coloring in a coloring book
*baking with butterscotch chips
*mixed tapes
*drum circles
*life changing conversations
*Natasha Wescoat's art
*listen to someone talk about their passion
*witty banter
*solving a word jumble
*belly laughs
*playing the piano (and oh how i miss it)
*tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
*dining by candlelight

I could keep this up all night but I'll stop for now

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Her Morning Elegance

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This makes me beyond happy

Monday, October 4, 2010

37 before I'm 38

37 before I'm 38:
1. Write a 100+ Things I'd Like to Do Before I Go list
2. Make orgami of some sort
3. Take a jewelry making/beading class
4. Pay off car May 2011
5. Lose 100 lbs from where I originally started
6. Own a pair of black boots October 2010
7. wear heels
8. Go to a movie alone
9. Wear a dress October 2010
10. Visit an accupuncturist
11. Walk a 5k May 2011
12. Take Monkeyface to an aquarium
13. Do a Miranda July project
14. Send out 12 surprise packages to the unsuspecting
15. take a solo trip to the beach
16. Wear my hair in pigtails
17. Teach Monkeyface to fly a kite
18. Run a mile without stopping
19. Read one classic novel per month
a) Their Eyes Were Watching God
b) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
c) Love in the Time of Cholera
20. Visit Ikea again
21. Wear my hair straight once
22. Have a family portrait taken
23. Take Monkeyface to the beach for the day
24. Take Monkeyface to a drum circle
25. Have a great conversation with a complete stranger
26. Get a new camera (October '10)
27. Take a photography class
28. sneak away for the weekend with the hubby
29. get rid of treadmill
30. Plant something in my yard
31. Get a bed for the guest bedroom
32. Get a bookshelf for Monkeyface's room
33. Do a headstand
34. Buy a piece of Natasha Wescoat art
35. Rappel down Wachovia building
36. Entertain a group of friends at my house
37. Skydive with hubby

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hello old friend

I love autumn. It's when I feel most alive. It's when I want to be outside looking at all the colors. It's when I feel my most creative.
I read something recently that won't get out of my head.
Those nagging ideas that won’t leave us alone, the places where we feel jealous, the urges we have to create something we have no business creating, they are all there to guide us, to take us somewhere interesting.
This is one of my biggest truths. Right now my creativity has to do with activity. Normally I feel the need to create something. This year I'm feeling the need to recreate me. I want to be outside walking, jumping in big puddles, jumping out of planes. I want to create a home where I feel alive and not stifled by the things I've accumulated over the years. Things that no longer have anything to do with the person I'm becoming. Things that make me angry b/c I don't have the storage for them. Clothes that are becoming too big, art that just doesn't suit me, toys that no longer work for my child. I need to get my hands dirty & I need to plant something.
I'm ready to go somewhere interesting. I'm ready to stop being jealous and start doing.
Now if I could find somewhere to dance outside by a big 'ol bonfire, I think the hippie in me would explode.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Balsamic Black Bean Salsa

This is some of the best salsa I've ever made. It's delicious on chips and by itself. Every time I make it people ask for the recipe

Black eyed pea casserole

You should totally try this

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wow! Sitting here pondering...

I think this pretty much sums up my largest fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

~ Maryanne Williamson

Monday, August 30, 2010

What I believe about love.

I've been thinking a lot about love and how loving affects our lives ever since I returned from Belize.
I believe that love makes us kinder.
I am constantly doing things behind the scenes for the people I love. They may or may not know it is me but I try to bring a little magic to everyone's life. I am also trying my best to extend this to strangers. Everyone can use a smile and you never know if that is the exact moment when they needed it most. I don't ever want to say or do anything that will disappoint my husband or child.
I believe that love makes us more patient than we ever thought possible
I easily answer 100 questions per day. I don't necessarily enjoy it but I know that it helps with growth and development. I can also take a deep breath and easily ride out a tantrum or anger riddled conversation. I never knew patience until I knew the love for a child.
I believe that love makes us brilliant
My best friend is currently doing on of the most brilliant things I've ever heard about all in the name of love. We should all love so much that we are able to put aside our fears and do something brilliant.
I believe that love makes us creative
Whether it be an inexpensive date night, a creative postcard, or a sexy text, love takes creativity. It's easy to be distracted by the day to day tasks but I think it is essential to a relationship that you creatively love. I enjoy painting with my son. I enjoy listening to the jokes that my husband comes up with just so he can tell me. I enjoy creating items for others and if I actually had any follow through people would be amazed.
Love makes you an advocate
I am a judger. I can't help it. I size up every situation and proceed with caution. I judge people based on their decisions and how it affects my life. However, I am learning to keep most of my opinions to myself because everyone deserves to live the life they need to live without me constantly correcting them. I will fight for you and what you want. I will also have your back.
Love makes you a better person
Our relationships are a mirror. They reflect back to us exactly what we put into them. If you make love your choice then love is reflected back. I am a better person because of those I love.
I believe more and more every day that love makes us brave.
I did a couple of things that I consider amazing there all because I love my son and I promised myself that this year would be about moving beyond my comfort zone.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


sit down,
i have bad news.
i am not always right.
i do not always have the answers,
i can not always fix things.
i may not always know what to do.
but here is the good news: i will always try.
i will try because i want your way
to be simple.
i want your world to be safe.
i want your life to be filled with
goodness and grace.

all mothers want these things for their sons,
but mothers are not in charge.
so we fight however we can:
with our voices,
our votes,
our valor.
our ammunition
is love;
our inspiration
is you.

--jayne jaudon ferrer

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Belize did something to me

It mellowed me out or something.
When the a/c died again yesterday I didn't freak out for the first time ever. I just thought...well it's no worse than being at Chaa Creek...too bad I don't have a pool. Normally I would have gotten angry & would have taken it out on my hubby. I know it's completely irrational but I hate being hot. I hate sweating and I hate feeling like I'm melting.
It really wasn't bad last night & was actually kinda refreshing to sit around with the windows open and listen to the rain.

Woo-Hoo from my cardiologist!

When my 4 year old son was born I experienced congestive heart failure a few days later. That's another blog I have posted earlier if you would like to read about the experience. Yesterday I went it for my yearly follow-up and my cardiologist actually shouted "woo-hoo!" My cholosterol has dropped from 232 to 190(no longer high). My triglycerides from 195-144 (lowest it's ever been since I've had it tested), my LDL has dropped 30 points as well.
So the scale is not dropping as quickly as I would like for it too but now I know I'm doing something right.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

20 things I believe

1. I believe that most people in the world are generally good, and that those who aren't are hurting or damaged or have been badly mistreated at some point in their lives. But I believe they can heal. I believe we all can.

2. I believe that everyone -- everyone -- is wildly, uncommonly beautiful. I believe that while it's usually extremely easy to see this in the people we love, it's often very difficult to see it in ourselves. But the beauty's there, man. It's definitely there.

3. I believe that dancing is the only activity we do for complete happiness.

4. I believe that goat cheese combined with figs is sublime.

5. I believe that all the major religions are really just different points of view on the same subject.

6. I believe in smiling at as many people as I can in a day.

7. I believe in planning menus and cooking at home. When my child tells me that lunchboxes come from the lunchbox store, clothes come from the clothes store, & food comes from home then I feel like I've won 1,000 times.

8. I believe there are few sounds more awesome than friends collapsed in helpless laughter -- especially if one of them snorts.

9. I believe that everyone has a theme song.

10. I believe in karma. I believe that you get back exactly what you put out there.

11. I believe in miracles. I am living proof.

12. I don't believe in voodoo. I feel too protected to be affected by it.

13. I believe in strolling.

14. I believe life is full of hilarious random occurrences.

15. I believe in long, eye opening, jaw dropping, life altering conversations.

16. I believe in comfortable silences.

17. I believe in traveling out of your comfort zone whether that be through literal travel or forcing yourself to go beyond your own expectations.

18. I believe in asking questions and listening when the questionee responds.

19. I believe you're stronger, smarter, kinder and more beautiful than you think.

20. I believe love always wins.

I have found a new blog that is making me fall in love with life. This list is borrowed from here and some things she writes are much more eloquent than what I can say. The italics are hers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Too hot outside

It's going to be breaking 100 this weekend so I've come up with some ideas to keep the little one and me entertained:

a) Flower Math
b) Gumball Run
c) Pick blueberries
d) gather pinecones to make bird feeders
e) "wash" windows with paintbrushes and water
f) run through the sprinkler
g) slip 'n' slide
h) spray painting (spray bottle from the dollar store, 2 pieces of paper, some water, & washable paint. Mix the paint in with the water, and let him loose.)
i) giant bubbles
j) Sidewalk Chalk Paint: Simply mix 2 Tbsp Cornstarch, 2 Tbsp Water and 5 drops of food coloring. Paint with craft sponges or those paint brushes with sponge tips
k) Make blueberry muffins
l) Solar powered lunch
m) make crayons

Crayola giveaway

Go here for a Crayola giveaway. If you win, invite me over for a playdate.

Monday, July 19, 2010

still looking

Still looking for some laughs
Still looking for some balance
Still looking for some energry
Still looking for some time at the gym
Still looking for some motivation
Still looking for the excuses to disappear

Where is it? I know it is within me but I'm so tired. I'm tired of listening to everyone else. I'm tired of helping everyone else. I'm physically exhausted.
Sometimes I need to be lifted up. Sometimes I need to be asked about my day. Sometimes I need to be listened to. Sometimes I need someone to go out of their way for me.

Sometimes I need to be put back together.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What is needed...

Ok universe I'm putting it out there. I'm tired and out of balance. I'm feeling like I'm empty at the end of the day. A kind of wrung out feeling like I have used up all my reserves.

It's time that I get to have some fun. It's time that I get to hear my laugh again surrounded by the laughter of those I love. It's time that I get to relax for a bit and enjoy myself. It's time that I get back to taking care of me.

I need some laughs this weekend and I need some silence. I need some me time and I need some fun.

Come on me what you got!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sometimes it's nice to remind him

Reasons to love my husband:

I love how he gets on the floor and wrestles with our son and then chases him all around the house
I love hearing him read a book to our child every night
I love that he still surprises me by his generosity after all these years
I love that he knows what I need sometimes before I even know
I love that he picks me up a Diet Mt Dew sometimes just b/c he knows I love them
I love him on vacation
I love that he will go on vacation and spend hours building sandcastles with our child
I love that he will also spend hours catching him as he jumps in and out of the pool
I love that he loves me so passionately
I love that our little family means everything to him
I love that he kisses me every time he leaves the house
I love that he lets our little one snuggle between us when he'd rather be sleeping
I love great big family kisses
I love that he can cook anything I can dream up
I love that he is the best griller I have ever met
I love watching my boys mow grass together
I love how he fixes my side of the bed every night before he goes to sleep so all I have to do is slide under the covers.
I love it when he gets a hair cut
I love the way he is still rocking my world
I love that he fixed our neighbor's basketball goal and that he then played basketball with a teenager
I think it's sexy when I catch him reading
I love that he will pitch in and do exactly what I need
I love that he jokes with my best friend and makes her laugh
I love that he randomly calls me to ask me about my day
I love that he can enjoy silence with me
I love that he is a smart ass and can dish it out as well as take it
I love that he can raise one eyebrow
I love that he is happy to let me have a girl's night every week
I love when he catches me looking at him
I love how we can communicate when others are around w/o having to say a word
I love that I get to spend my life getting to know him

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Living whole body...

This is a good way to live.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


There is a special place in my heart for soap nuts. There is also a giveaway. Go sign up and if you win, could you share the love?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

- EE Cummings, poet

Friday, June 4, 2010


Today is a bittersweet day for me. It is a day of rebirth but it is also a day of awakening. Four years ago yesterday I was released from the hospital after having a c-section. My child was perfect in so many ways and I was feeling a love I had never felt before. I was also having a hard time breathing. I told my husband, my mom, the nurses, and the doctor that my chest felt tight. The dr. dismissed it as anxiety even after I explained that I am not an anxious person. I had to be weighed before I left the hospital and I pointed out to the dr. that I hadn't lost any weight since giving birth and shouldn't I have at least lost the weight of my son? The dr. dismissed it as fluid retention and that I would be ok after a few days.
So I went home, I still felt weird and I still kept telling people. I took a shower, I laid around with my son and then went to bed. As soon as my head hit the pillow I felt like I was drowning. I tried to go to the bathroom but couldn't. I told my husband that I needed to go to the hospital but he took me outside to talk me out of my anxiety. I knew something wasn't right. I finally looked at him and said "NO! You need to take me to the hospital now. I can't breathe".
In the 10 minutes that it took to get dressed and get me to the hospital, I was coughing up foam and felt like I couldn't exhale. I was begging him to run stop lights b/c I just knew I was dying. We got to the hospital, I jumped out, and ran into the emergency room. I told the woman at the desk that I couldn't breathe and she tries to tell me to "fill out these forms". I slam my hand down on the desk and say "No! I can't breathe!" My husband came in and told her that I just had a baby and that I was released from the hospital earlier that day. Well she hit some button and people came running. I was thrown into a wheelchair and a kid's oxygen mask was put on my face. For some odd reason I had it in my brain that this tiny mask was the reason I couldn't breathe and I kept trying to pull it off. Someone was in my ear telling me that I had to keep it on and that I needed to calm down. Last thing I remember is being thrown onto a gurney, my clothes are being cut off me, I'm bargaining with the nurse that I will calm down if she will take the oxygen mask off, and I saw my husband holding my purse as they shut the door. That was June 3, 2006. I woke up June 5, 2006.
I lost an entire day, which has its anniversary today. I remember nothing about it except I know that my mom told me my older brother was there and I remember thinking "Oh God it must be bad if he is here" so I opened my eyes, looked at him, and passed back out.
(Now I must interject here to let you know that I have always been a sassy "told you so" kind of woman. I used to love to be right.)
Next thing I remember is that I woke up and I couldn't talk b/c I had a tube in my throat. I asked for a pen and I wrote "what happened?" I listened and then I said "I told you I didn't feel good." Then I passed back out. Everyone that I know that was there for this says that this was the moment when they knew I was going to be ok. I woke up a second time and did the same thing. I don't remember waking up the first time but my mom kept the paper that I wrote on and that is the only way I know that I did. I was in the ICU for a week after that while my husband's family took care of my newborn. I would get to see him for about 30 minutes a day but that 30 minutes was the best part of my day and gave me the strength and will to get better.
I remember barely being able to walk up and down the halls of the cardiac unit. I was the youngest person there and all the nurses fawned over me b/c I had a newborn. When I got home I couldn't walk up the stairs without getting winded. I had to force myself to walk around the block and I would have to stop several times before I could make it home. I would push the stroller while someone walked next to us. I was and still am determined to get healthy for my child.
Apparently what had been going on behind my back was that the doctors were telling my family that I may have to have a transplant. I may end up at another hospital if the medicine didn't work. They were preparing my family for the worst. There was a whole lot of praying going on. My guess is that some 10,000 people were praying for me. My uncle knew of someone hosting a 5,000 person revival and they were going to pray for me and I figure that if each of those people just told one person then that was easily 10,000 praying for me. This does not count family and friends that actually know me.
So this now explains why I get so excited when I can do a 13, 14 , or 15 minute mile on the elliptical. I started out not being able to walk around the block. I had over 50 lbs of fluid drained out of my body while I was in the ICU. I weigh less than that now but I'm still nowhere near where I want to be.
My attitude about life has changed too. I have no time or tolerance for drama. Life is too short and if someone is toxic then I do not want them in my life. I have tons more patience than I ever thought possible. I am less inclined to judge and more inclined to listen. I find joy in my everday existence and try my best to find at least one reason to laugh every day.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I was supposed to pay God back for saving my life. I finally figured out that he doesn't want me to pay him back. My time here was not done & I just needed a giant kick in the pants to realize that I am awesome, my life is awesome, & the people I have surrounded myself with are awesome. I needed to shut up and enjoy it. I still struggle to have it make sense but just typing this I realize that I have come leaps and bounds since 4 years ago. I am taking better care of fact better care than I have ever taken. I am so proud of how far I have come even though I have so far to go.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Current journey

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet." - James Oppenheim, short-story writer, novelist, poet

The secret to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you already have. If you think about it, most discontent grows from want. We want more stuff, more excitement, more pleasure. When we don't get those things, we're resentful and unsatisfied. Take away the want, and you take away the unhappiness. When your quality of life is tied to your desires, fulfillment is a shadow that escapes your view. Like trying to imagine a new color, the harder you look, the harder it is to see. Does this mean you stop setting goals and striving for a healthy lifestyle and better life? No. It means you can appreciate life regardless of the outcome. It means you can relish the pursuit while accepting the possibility of failure. It means you can still enjoy the ride. Happiness is not a destination--it's a way of life.

I read this this morning and it completely sums up the journey I am currently on. It's a hard one, to be sure, but I'm tired of looking outside of myself for solutions to my weight issues or even my happiness. I know that I already have everything I need. Seriously...have you met my family? My boys are both awesome, kind, supportive, loving...I could go on and on. When I'm having a bad day I only have to think of them to know how lucky I am. I keep saying that they deserve the best me possible. I'm working on it, I am.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Journey

The Journey {by Mary Oliver}

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The beauty of innocence

My 3 year old son went with me to the gym last Thursday. As we were leaving he asked me why I went to the gym. Not wanting him to see my weight or "being fat" in a negative light I told him the following: I go to the gym to get stronger. I go there to build strong muscles and to be healthy. I told him that he would be riding a bike very soon and I wanted to keep up with him.
He answers me from the backseat with "but Mama, you have big muscles. You are strong. You can pick me up."
I then explained to him that very soon he would be riding a bike and I know that he will be very fast. I explained that I wanted to be able to keep up with him so that he wouldn't have to slow down because of me.
He's had my butt in the gym almost every day since then and reminds me constantly why I am doing this and why I am here.
I think I am awesome, my son thinks I am beautiful, and my husband lets me know every day that he loves me. Why would I not take care of myself and grow old with them?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Excerpt from an interview with Karen Miller

We are so good at telling ourselves the story of what we can't do, of what's not going to happen in our lives, the places we'll never go. We like to go on and on about our limitations.

But what if all of this expertly leads us to the way out? Our very seeking, our feelings of discouragement, our lack of fulfillment, is nothing other than a tug towards the way out. We have to listen. We have to take the next step. We only ever get anywhere one step at a time, little by little. If we don't heed that, what we might do, what we are conditioned to do, is to numb that feeling. Drown it, cover it up, in whatever way we do this. We might shop more, exercise more, change relationships, seek a different car, or house, or job. Whatever it is, we ignore our own internal GPS which keeps trying to get us to turn towards truth.

You just have to proceed, to listen, step by step. And trust that that uncomfortable feeling, your unhappiness, is actually a life-saving feeling. Your life crashing around you is actually a life-saving event. You have to pay attention.

Monday, April 12, 2010


This weekend my child looked at me and said, "Mama, you're beautiful. Can I give you a kiss?" Seriously did my heart a heap of good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Holy Cow Batman!

Want to stay awake all day w/o caffeine of B Vitamins? Try having your child wake you up at 3am screaming "Daddy!" at the top of his lungs b/c he has the worst nose bleed you've ever seen. I'm still jacked up from the sight. Blood was everywhere. On hands, feet, legs, underwear, shirt, face, sheets, pillows. It looked like he had fought a wild animal. I was screaming for the hubby but he didn't hear me so I had to run downstairs and wake him up and we both took off running upstairs. Then after everything was cleaned up I was back downstairs washing the brand new Spiderman sheets that were on the full size bed we just upgraded the litte one to. There was no way that I could let the stains set. My brain is still reeling and I cannot focus today.

Btw...All detergent is awesome. I could pour it on the stain and watch it disappear.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who knew I would ever quote Salma Hayek...

The biggest thing brought into my life was this peacefulness. I still get passionate about things, but my passion is not so scattered and it's not needy. It's a lot more powerful because it comes with this groundedness and peacefulness. That it's about the process, not about the results.
Salma Hayek, Conversation with Salma Hayek, 2002


"The life we are most devoted to is the life we don’t have" -Karen Mazen Miller

I read this a few weeks ago and it has stuck with me. It resonates in my soul. Often I am asked, "tell me something exciting". I am then forced to search my brain for something I have done that would be considered exciting. More often than not I find nothing.
I find immense pleasure in couponing and meal planning. It is not exciting but it is necessary to keep me in my budget. I find immense pleasure in laundry and the immediate gratification its completion brings. Again...not exciting but necessary. I find pleasure in playing with my son or making my husband smile. Not exciting but completely necessary.

I spend a good deal of my time learning to be a better person. Getting back to who I am. I sit and I think a lot. I monitor my anger all the time. I don't do this because I am a better person, I do it because I will never be anyone else. I hate it when I wake up in a bad mood and take it out on my child, my husband, or a close friend. I don't wake up happy and refreshed but I do make a concious effort every day to watch my actions so that those I love don't suffer because of me.

It took me years to learn and practice with complete honesty the art of sympathetic joy. I am truly happy for people when they get what they have worked for. I am happy when luck appears to be on their side and they have won something. I am no longer jealous because someone I know drives a better car than me or lives in a better house or even appears to have a better life. I do have a problem with someone getting everything they say they wanted but then still not being fulfilled. I am slowly finding peace and happiness within myself but it is hard work.

Every day is a battle. Most days are spent fighting off apathy because the things that used to excite me just don't excite me anymore. I feel suffocated by it and the only thing that seems to alleviate it is finding joy in the simplicity of life. Sometimes I feel like I've lost my passion. I don't like to debate anymore. I don't like to party. I perfer small intimate groups to large ones and I don't like being the center of attention. I don't necessarily have an opinion about everything. These are all things that used to make me, So I feel a little lost and not quite sure where I fit in sometimes. So I am on a journey to find the spark that ignites the flames of an authentic, passionate life. It's fun and it's frustrating but I know that it will be worth it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


The following is an excerpt from Pema Chodron's book, The Wisdom of
No Escape:

When people start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual
discipline, they often think they are going to improve. But
loving-kindness or maitri toward ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of
anything. The point is not to change ourselves. It's about befriending
who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever you
are right now, just as we are. The idea isn't to get rid of ego but
actually to begin to take an interest in ourselves, to investigate, and
be inquisitive about ourselves.

One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually
run away from the present moment, how we avoid being here just as we
are. The magic is willing to be fully awake to that. You do all those
things for which you criticize people you don't like, all the people
you judge. Making friends with yourself is making friends with all those
people, too.

Sitting meditation, working, bathing, eating and other every day things
are all we need to be fully awake, fully alive, fully human. The body,
emotions, and mind that we have now are exactly what we need to be fully
human, fully awake, and fully alive.

Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic
goodness of what we have and who we are. Our wisdom is all mixed up
with our neuroses, therefore, it doesn't do any good to try to get rid
of our negative aspects, because in that process, we also get rid of our
basic wonderfulness.

From my other online journal Nov 2005

So I've been thinking about some of the crazy things I did as a kid:

1) I grew up in the country so we had a HUGE backyard. My parents had beach sand hauled in so that we could have a sand pile to play in. My brother and I used to dig holes to China.

2) I climbed up on the clothes line pole one time (this pole is only about 5 ft tall) and I knocked the ladder over on my way up. I proceeded to sit up there for over an hour until I had the courage to jump down. My mom just stared out the window at me and told me that I had gotten myself up there so I had to get myself down.

3) I have always been the kind of person that likes to push the shiny red button. When I was about 4 years old I climbed under my dad's truck when he first got home and grabbed the shiny silver thing under there. Yes, I scalded my hand on the muffler.

4) Same truck...different day. I was playing gymnastics by jumping off the side of the truck and twirling on the way down. Well I judged wrong one time and ending up scraping my chin down the side of the truck. I still have the scar from that one.

5) We were eating foot long hot dogs one time and I choked. My dad had to give me the Heimlich maneuver and everything. Reason I choked? I was taking bites and swallowing them whole in an attempt to see just how big of a bite I could take w/o choking. That worked out well...

6) Every time my parents let me drive the riding lawnmower, I wrecked it. Now we have a 3 acre back yard and I still managed to run into things. I am no longer allowed to drive it.

7) I used to have a hobby horse. One of those ones that they definitely don't make anymore b/c it was suspended on a metal frame by 4 springs. I used to love to build up my momentum and get it going across the floor. I have broken more of these toys than I can remember.

8) I can remember sitting on the floor at the age of 3 watching Captain Kangaroo with a patch over one eye. I can also remember going in for eye surgery and going under the anesthesia.

9) My only fight was in fifth grade. I slapped a girl in the face with a baseball glove b/c she called me a fished eye fool. My guy friends then proceeded to hit her with baseball bats. We all had to spend the next week in detention copying the dictionary.

10) I used to love to fish with my dad. Still do. To this day I prefer to use a cane pole over a rod-n-reel b/c I like the simplicity of the cane pole. Makes me feel like Huckleberry Finn.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Dear North Carolina weather,

Why was I out all weekend playing in the park with my son while it was almost 60 degrees only to find myself driving to work in the snow today?
Can you please explain?


Monday, February 22, 2010

The power of writing it down

On Feb 8, 2010 I wrote down in my notebook at work that I need to pay $800/month towards my car payment in order to have my car paid off by October 2010. Right now I already try to pay $675/month but was looking to see what I could do without in order to find an extra $125/month. My intention was to go back to that blank page in my notebook and rework my budget when there was a lull at work. There has been no such lull. Nine days after writing down that I need extra money, I got a raise. One that more than covers what I need in order to pay off the car. A raise that I did not ask for, had no idea I was getting, but have totally worked hard for.
So how is this year going for me? Where is "beyond" taking me? It's opening me up to new possibilities. I have never had sales as large as I'm having this year. I'm flying through the books that I want to read. I am becoming a better steward of my money. I have no problem asking for what I need. I am learning to accept with gratitude. I have opened myself up a little more and have shared my thought process with someone I love dearly. I keep thinking that I need to create a "Mondo Beyondo" list. A list so big and outrageous of things I want in this life. A list that couldn't possibly be accomplished but by putting my energy out there, it just might.
I need to take up writing again. I'm not very good at it, but that's ok b/c I'm the only one that ever reads it. I think I'm off right now to start a new journal. I keep feeling like I need to and so I am. Don't believe in the power of writing it down? Well you should.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frugal Food Challenge-Week 4

Jan 16-22, 2010

Saturday, January 16

toast with homemade strawberry jam
Birthday party
We ordered pizza b/c I was just too exhausted to do any cooking

January 17, 2010
Fruit and Veggie Corn Dogs from the freezer
"fried" chicken, collards from the freezer, Mac & cheese

January 18, 2010
Smoked sausage and butter beans

January 19, 2010
Ham Breakfast Casserole

January 20, 2010
Crockpot Angel Chicken with pasta

January 21, 2010

Creamy Chicken breasts, corn bread casserole (see below), and Maple Brown Sugar Baby Carrots

January 22, 2010

Mama out

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frugal Food Challenge-Week 3

Jan 9-15, 2010

Saturday, January 9

Link sausage from the freezer
instant grits from pantry

random fruit & yogurt from the house
popcorn from pantry

Tex Mex Pasta

January 10, 2010

Amish Oatmeal

Fruit and Veggie Corn Dogs from the freezer

Dinner with family. I'm bringing Broccoli Casserole

January 11, 2010

Porkchops, rice, broccoli & cheese

January 12, 2010
Farmhouse chicken with green beans

January 13, 2010
Ham & Cheesy noodle casserole with green peas

January 14, 2010

Creamy Chicken breasts, corn bread casserole (see below), and Maple Brown Sugar Baby Carrots

Corn bread casserole:

heat oven to 350degrees

mix in a bowl,
2 eggs(or 3 egg whites)
1 can of reguler sweet corn, strained
1 can of creamed corn, as is
1/2 stick of butter(although i've made it without butter on accident and its still really good), you'll have to melt it first.
4 ounces of sour cream(i get light)
1 box of jiffy cornbread muffin mix.

put all ingredients into a medium sized casserole dish, grease the bottom.

bake in the oven for about 1 hour, stick a toothpick in it, its okay if its a little gooey.
i usually cook it for about an hour to hour and 20 mintues.

January 15, 2010

Mama out, boys on their own

Total spent on groceries $16.40

Friday, January 1, 2010

Word of the year

So the word of 2010 is going to be BEYOND.
I am going to push myself beyond my comfort zone and beyond my limits. I am going to go beyond what I think my strengths are. I am going to look beyond my weaknesses. I am going to take chances and accept change. I am opening myself up to no resolutions and plenty of possibility.