Saturday, September 26, 2015


19 years ago today, I became the person I dreamed about all my life. I couldn't wait and it was Emma who made that happen. 3 was the magic number. 

Emma has been such a joy, a light, an amazing child full of life and determination. Ever since she was little she has been independent, and always doing things her own way. She's smart, talented, and beautiful. I still see her running around the house with pink bunny and her gaga's (pacifiers). She used to carry them everywhere. She believed in fairies, dreamed of being Cinderella, and pink was her favorite color. Her hair was thin and always a wispy mess, her cheeks were chubby and rosy, and she loved the PBS show Arthur. 

When she got a little older, she learned how to read at a young age and before we knew it, she was devouring the American Girl books. We bought her one doll (Samantha, her favorite), but that wasn't enough. Samantha needed friends so Emma worked hard to earn money and every year she had enough to buy another American Girl doll. 

Emma has always been such a hard worker, and one who makes goals and doesn't stray away from her mission to achieve. In high school, a talent awakened and she went with it. She tried out for community plays and always got the parts. Her talent grew even more when she preformed in her high school. 

In high school her eyes were opened to the injustice around her and she extended her hand to the outcast, the lonely and the abused. She is loved by so many. It was here she realized she could make a difference in the world. 

Now she's all grown up and working 2 jobs, plus she gets up at 5am to take some of her younger siblings to an early morning church class before school each day, then takes them on to school. She comes home showers for her jobs and then doesn't get home until after 10pm. She does this every weekday with never a complaint. This January, she leaves on a plane for college in Idaho. There she will begin her new journey and it will be there where she learns how she can make an impact in this world. I know she will. 

I can't even let myself think about the day we send her off. How I'll miss her cheerful chatter, our night visits about her day, and her little surprises she likes to give because she's thinking of us. Do I worry about Emma?, sure I worry because that's what mom's do, but it's nice having a peace in my heart that she's going to be just fine. What an amazing woman Emma has become. This next chapter in her life will surely rock the world as she spreads her wings. 

I love you, Emma! I'm proud of you! Happy Birthday my little Gert the Squirt! You make my heart sing!


Friday, June 19, 2015

The Dark Intruder of the Night

Last night I was woken by a tiny squeaky noise and the flapping of wings above my head. I reached over to wake my husband but he was gone. I quickly flipped on the light and, to my fright, something came swooping down at me. I made my escape to the bathroom where I cracked the door and watched the little creature circle my bedroom. I stressed about what to do for I knew I couldn't leave it the master of my chamber. Finally resolved, I climbed my through the messy adjoining bedrooms and down the back stairway and through the library, where our ghost resides. Mr. Ghost is an old man who smokes cigars and doesn't like visitors in the late hours. I somehow escaped his snare and the chill that follows you if you enter his room. I found my husband in the next room sound asleep in the game room with his prized toy glowing in the background. The X-Files music fit the mood. "Mike!" I whispered, and upon my voice he jumped up. I told him of my resent endeavor, which he replied, "only you, Carrie, only you. Now where is that worthless cat you love so much?"

I found Poppy outside eating a frog. She growled when I snatched her up and she continued to do the same as I ran her upstairs where I cracked open the door to make sure the coast was clear. Mike was know where to be found and I whispered out to him. "Turn out the light," he said. We crawled into bed and I pulled the covers tight to my chin. "I assure you I saw what I saw." I told him. Within seconds he too heard the noise and we both froze as Poppy made her decent on the creature. "No!" I cried, "you can't let her eat it!" I flipped on the light against Mike's instruction and Poppy darted from out of a corner and retreated to the other side of the room. "Worthless cat," Mike mumbled. We found the little intruder behind a nightstand all founded up and tucked in so tight. We wondered what to do next and if it might have rabies and if it's teeth were sharp. As Mike grabbed a legal pad to smash it, I grabbed a bucket (which happened to have skulls on it) to catch it. The next few minutes would have won us a slot on America's Funnies Videos but we caught the devil under the bucket and we used the legal pad to slide under it. "Can we keep it?" I begged. In my mind I remembered the most adorable vintage bird cage I had in the shed. It being a tiny square thing with turquoise details. I always pictured a little finch in it but the monster under the bucket was ten times better. I didn't have to hear Mike to know the look on his face told me, "Absolutely not!" We ran the thing downstairs and opened the outside door and released the monster into the night. We didn't even see it take off in flight as the night was so dark and rainy. When Mike and I went back to bed, I whispered to my husband, "thank you Dr. Van Helsing," which he replied, "You are very welcome, Lucy."      

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Year of Getting Back in Shape

Rarely, did I have a moment to myself. With my husband away at law school, and me at home being mother and father to seven children, you can only imagine what life was like at times. I won't go into details; just know time for me just wasn't happening. (This picture is of me at my largest).

This time last year, Mike started doing an online fitness program and when he suggested I start doing it too, I was offended. How dare he suggest I add one more something to my plate that was already overflowing with responsibilities. The last thing I wanted to do was exercise, even though I didn't like the way looked. I hated looking in the mirror. My petite frame of 5' was no longer so dainty. Still, the thought of exercising was exhausting. 

I'm the kind of person who is a bit reserved when it comes to a new task because once I put my mind to something, I don't usually stop. I tend to turn into a machine until it's finished. So when I'm truly on board with something, I'm doing it 100%. 

I will never forget the day I started. I opened up the link Mike had sent me months ago to the free online fitness program called Hasfit. There I listened and followed my personal trainer, Coach Kozak, as he got me started on this journey. For the first 30 days, I faithfully did as I was told, hoping to see an improvement and though I felt better and stronger, I lost no weight or inches. After that 30 days, I felt discouraged, yet I moved on to the Warrior 90 day workout plan and for 90 days I got my butt kicked but I hung in there and I faithfully worked hard. This is when I started to see the first pounds drop and the inches leave. For 120 days I had been working faithfully giving it my all.

When the weather started to warm up, I wanted to take to nature at times so I also took up jogging. I had been a runner in college and did 5k's for fun but after I got married and started a family, I stopped. Running was hard now, because I hate it. It's all mental for me. The entire time I would ask myself why I was doing this horrible torture, yet, I kept running. I started with a mile and then worked up to 2 then 5. I reluctantly agreed to race in a 5k with some lady friends and to my surprise, I did very well. This gave me a new motivation, to keep doing Hasfit and keep running. Soon my clothes were literally falling off of me. My size large tops just hung, and my size 10 jeans fell right off my hips. I couldn't believe I was fitting into size 6 dresses again! 

Now, nearly, a year ago from when I started, I weigh 105lbs because I've lost 40lbs! And wear a size 2 in jeans. Those dresses I bought while in the middle of this journey don't even fit anymore. That size 6 is too big. I now wear a 2 or extra small. 

People ask me how I did it, which is the reason for this blog entry. They ask what pill I took, what did I eliminate from my diet, heck, did I stop eating completely. Folks, this is the honest truth, I didn't take a pill or eliminate anything. I love sugar and I love bread and meat and creamy sauces. I love food. But I did teach myself that it's okay to not finish everything on my plate and to stop eating when your body tells you it's satisfied. Sure you want more of that pie or that other taco would be so tasty but your body doesn't need it. I cut my portions in half. I still ate what I normally did but not as much. I slowed down and I listened to my body. I never thought I would be satisfied with a 1/2 cup of ice cream but sometimes, that 1/2 cup is even too much. Sometimes all I need is a spoonful. And yes, I exercised.

It feels good to be healthy again. It feels good to have done something for me. I like to go shopping again. I love to pull on a size 2 in jeans and zip and button them with ease and for me to question if they are truly size 2's only to see they are! This was the best thing for me to do for myself. Being in my 40's was once depressing but not anymore. I like who I am. I liked finding myself again. 

Was this a hard journey? I'm not going to lie, you bet it was hard work. It should be and it still is. It took a year of dedication but it's been worth it. Next year will come, whether we are healthy or not. You might as well do it healthy and feel amazing in the end. 

Now on to that 10k! Who wants to do it with me!