Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


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This year and where we are headed…

This is the big year for us.  The year we head west.  So much has happened for us in the past six months…

Ivan is now training for his CDL License and the training should finish in about 7 weeks and then he should be looking to be hired with a trucking company.  We are hoping for a “on the road” company so that he can get paid pretty well.  We will see.  It will be quite an adjustment for us, as we are sort of glued at the hip.  We are always together.  However, we met online and we are both great with technology and this might be a revisit to our past where we are communicating through technology again.  It will be interesting.  We will see how it goes.  A means to an end, though… he and I are real good about things like that.

Christopher is doing amazingly well in his Senior Year.  He has put applications in at 9 different colleges/Universities for next fall and already is four for four for acceptances.  He’s had acceptances from Pitt, LeMoyne (with scholarship), Lycoming (with scholarship) and University of Sciences (with scholarship).  We are waiting to hear from USC, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, University of Washington and UC San Diego.  We probably won’t hear anything til the spring now.  Pitt is leading the pack.  He fell in love with Pittsburgh when he attended Carnegie Mellon for the PGSS (Pennsylvania Governor’s School of Sciences) last summer.

Chris was also placed third chair (for Baritone Horn) for the PMEA District 9 Band Concert, which will take place next week.  We are quite proud of him.  He’s been keeping quite busy with the Crystal Band, which has just wrapped up their Christmas Season of concerts. There will be many senior activities coming up for us to attend before his graduation in June.

His senior portrait that we picked for the yearbook is this… which I took myself.  I opted to take the portraits myself to save some money for us.

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We are going to start the downsizing next week pretty aggressively.  We must.  We’ll be looking at purchasing our RV around graduation time and there won’t be much room for anything, so operation DOWNSIZE is upon us.  Such a huge task and not one I’m looking forward to.  But, it must be done and I am looking forward to being DONE with it.

As for my parents (the reason for all of this)… Around Thanksgiving, my mother did not sound well.  I had made two phone calls where she just was NOT connecting with me over the phone.  She wasn’t able to get her words out, which has never happened before and it was very upsetting to me.  The first phone call, I was somehow able to offer her words and she was like “Yes” so I am still connected to her, but to hear her not be able to express what she wanted to say really was quite unsettling.  Our second phone call, that was actually ON Thanksgiving and we just weren’t connecting at all.  She was talking over me and so we weren’t sure if she just wasn’t waiting to hear me or couldn’t hear me, or what it was, but again, no real connection was made.  Since then, though, our phone calls have been better.  She has been talking to me as usual… knows our names, talks as she always has… these are never huge, thought filled conversations, they haven’t been… just basic things, like the weather and how are you, stuff like that.  The need I feel to get out there, though, is stronger than ever.  It’s a huge weight.

I’m starting to get rid of some of my anxiety over many things this year… things are starting to lift.  You’d think the closer I got, the worse I’d feel… but at the beginning of Christopher’s senior year, it was horrible.  Christopher was feeling it, I was feeling it.  I was crying almost daily.  I think that his acceptance (the first one) was a huge weight off his shoulders and when he felt better, then I started to feel better.  Leaving my son is no little thing.  It’s been weighing on my mind for years now… and yet, I knew it was coming.  I felt in my heart that he was an East Coast kid and that I was always going to go back to my parents to care for them.  I was taking this all too literally… I left my parents 18 yrs ago when I got pregnant to raise my son nearer his father and now I’m leaving my son to care for my parents.  When I need to just let go of the guilt.  That is hard!  You’ve NO IDEA!  My son is going to college.  I’ll always be there for him.  He is ready now to make his mark in this world.  He’s already achieved so much and I’m so very proud of him.  I know he’ll be fine and he do great, no matter where he goes.  I want to be there for my parents, I miss them so much.  I don’t feel obligated, I feel privileged! I am who I am in this world because of them.

Anyway, that is my update on this New Year’s day.

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Happy New Year – Where I stand with my weight now…

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This is my husband and I now (in Bryant Park, NYC at Christmas 2014)… we’ve both gained some weight back… He’s gained back more than I but I’ve gained back about 40 from my lowest weight here on SparkPeople

If I have to sum up the “WHY?” I’d simply say that I let myself get LAZY all over again.

I always loved food, but I don’t really want to blame it on that. I was eating great, healthy food when I was losing the weight before. Sure, I wasn’t eating all the junk I’m eating now… and that JUNK is addicting! Sugar is addicting! Now, I’m back to the point of having to basically get myself “off of it” all over again, like an addict, which is basically what I am.

But, the real culprit here is ME. It always was. It was ME who got me to near 400 lbs when I started my journey and it’s ME who is starting to derail myself again. I am and always did have a tendency for laziness. It is what it is. I actually have this HUGE desire to sit around and do NOTHING. Well, not nothing, exactly… but watch TV… watch MOVIES… do sedentary things… things that don’t exert any energy whatsoever. Things that go so much better with JUNK food!

Yes, I had a good pattern going before, when I woke up with tons of energy and came home from work, put my workout DVD (Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds) and made it a point to exercise before I then sat down to eat and watch tv… I even (gasp) ate less because who wants to eat tons of food when you just did a workout? Then, when you feel great, look great and feel all tone, you can actually get yourself out of bed on a weekend and go to the lake to take a brisk walk (3.5 miles) and come home feeling all good about yourself after getting your exercise in for the day and then you can do whatever you want, like watch DVD’s all day if you want to! LOL

But, really… The thing with exercise is that you are able to do more, you are able to feel better about EVERYTHING and you do start to eat healthier, it’s a product of feeling better and your body does start to get fit because of the exercise.

Once I stopped exercising, everything just fell apart. My body is soft again (and not in a good way!). I’m hungry ALL THE TIME! I’m basically too tired to cook a decent, healthy meal and do you see where I’m going with this?

So, this is what’s what for me in 2015… I’m not going to focus on the food for today, or even this week, what I will focus on is the exercise. I’m going to get that back into my life. I know for a fact that by inserting it back into my daily routine, the rest will fall into place and I can regain some control again. TV and movies will still be there, they will just have to wait for 30-60 minutes… that’s what videos and DVD players are for!

Pic of my son and I at Bryant Park in NYC where we went for Christmas this year.
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Hopes for our blog and how we want to live our life.

We took a look at an RV, this is just a preview, but this is giving us an image to dream on:

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It is so hard to continue to go to work everyday knowing the life we want to live isn’t exactly what it is now. We want to live one that is more on our terms. We always do have fun and make the most of what we have, but we desire more freedom. To cut our living expenses down is key to being able to bring things to a manageable level for us. When you are able to look for a job and not have the stress of needing the pay to be a certain amount but knowing that you can take a job that will make you happy and being confident that the paycheck you bring home will actually cover your expenses. Now, that is security!

I’m not sure about you but I’ve watched those tv shows like Cedar Cove or Haven (well, not Haven so much if you have actually WATCHED that show! LOL) but shows with beautiful landscapes and thought to myself… “now, I’d really like to LIVE in a place like that!” Well, with RV Living, I might just be able to! I can then relocate and move to another gorgeous place and try that out. How cool is that? That’s part of the dream. To experience an area, really experience it. Live and work in it, meet the people, KNOW it! That’s part of the dream.

Since we’ve lost a considerable amount of weight, we’ve both become more active. We used to just sit in front of the tv and not move… EVER! Well, now that we are more active, we’d like to take that and BE more active out in the world. That’s where the blog comes in. The direction I want to take the blog is to go into these communities and then write about our experiences… write about their hiking trails, their biking trails… the farmers markets (that’ll keep us healthy) and any other healthy type of thing I can think of.

My son was involved with local theater and that gave me a love for local talent and I’d like to explore local talent wherever I am, so I’d like to check out local theaters, free concerts, festivals and things like that.

We live in a town with the most amazing library. Actually two. A wonderful Children’s library and an Adult one with some amazing programs like Author lecture series and just some amazing things they offer the community for free. We’d like to explore other libraries in the country to see what they offer their community. My husband reads books constantly and will possibly give a review or two of books.

We are nerds and geeks and if there are science conventions out there or something like that, we’d find them and go to them as well.

I love photography and taking day trips to places that even the locals never seem to know about, so I tend to find those types of things to do.

We don’t drink and we would be living frugally, so we probably won’t be reviewing bars and restaurants that much… although Ivan does love coffee and I love Chai, so that may be on the agenda from time to time.

I’m looking forward to the kind of website/blog we’d be writing and the kind of life and explorations we’d be making! Do you see now why it’s so hard to go to work every day???


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Day 26 & 27 – 100 Day Challenge

Had an emotional day yesterday. Basically, I got a call that most women get at some point in their lives… the dreaded call back after a pap smear. I reacted poorly. 

First… a little history. 18 years ago, I had this happen to me. That led to a couple of conization procedures at a great hospital and doctors telling me “good news and bad news”. Good news “We got all the bad cells” Bad news “we cut away so much of your cervix that you won’t be able to carry a baby to term” which I heard as “you won’t ever have a baby”. 

Within a few months, I was pregnant. Very high risk, due to the fact that I had VERY little cervix left, therefore, hardly anything holding my baby inside. Let’s see… that led to a 6 month pregnancy, instead of 9… baby coming at 28 weeks to the day, and in NICU for 53 days, lots of issues with prematurity that have all corrected themselves (thank God!). Anyway, after my pregnancy, the visit you make the the OB/GYN to do a check up showed that the “good news” I got previously was incorrect news. They apparently “missed” a few cells… those cells, along with the pregnancy hormones grew and went cancerous and now I was told that I needed a hysterectomy. I ended up getting a partial one 17 yrs ago. Sooooo, bottom line, I have a total mistrust in diagnosis given by doctors when it comes to these sort of things…, now back to my story… 

Yesterday, I got a call. What was said to me was this. My pap came back with atypical cells, these cells were sent in to test for HPV, which came back negative, sooo, all is good, come back next year. 

To anyone else, that would be great news… however, I think you know what that news did to me. I was a mess. 

My game plan on this issue is this… on Monday, I’m going to talk to my doctor about this. Ask him if I can request we possibly do the test again, or see what he has to say, seeing as this has happened to me before. Not sure what that outcome will be, but if it’s a no-go, then I’m going to call the insurance company and ask for a 2nd opinion… I just do NOT feel comfortable about waiting an entire year. Not with my history and my nervousness. I just feel that I “got lucky” with cancer once before and I’m not sure that I’ll do it again. Also, a year when it comes to cancer could mean life or death… this is my life and I don’t want to just sit idly by. 

Soooo, with that said, today was a better day. 

My son and I went to visit a college today… Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA for their Math and Science Day. It was wonderful! Great faculty and students and really a great day, overall. They provided breakfast and lunch (I was good!) and the weather was great, too… although just a bit windy, but the sun was shining! 

I let my son drive there and back, as he’s got his permit and we are trying to get him alot of experience behind the wheel… he did a great job… Merging was the lesson for the day. 

Wanted to share something with all of you… I got this message from a friend of mine. It really lifted my spirits on Thursday! She has been exercising like a crazy fool and I wasn’t expecting this lovely message from her… this is what it said: 

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I know it’s been a long while…

If I make typos, forgive me… The setup for my pc isn’t quite right in my recovery…

I thought alot of things would be different after surgery. I thought I’d be like Wonder Woman! LOL WRONG! I thought I’d bounce back incredibly quickly and be online, writing a book, healing, walking, doing all kinds of amazing stuff. Instead… well, I’ve been lying around not doing much of anything.

I’ve been in pain. I’ve been swollen! and did I say SWOLLEN??? OMG! I mean, wow! I had NO IDEA! My leg is still SWOLLEN! It’s honestly thrown me for quite the loop. I wasn’t expecting it. It’s uncomfortable. It’s ANNOYING! It’s a pain in the well… TUSHIE! My leg has been rock hard at times, and just well… uncomfortable. Not at all fun. Thank GOD, I saved my big girl panties! LOL I’ve been wearing them and some of my bigger stretchie workout pants alot. Just for comfort. I can only lie on my back at night, so sleeping has been a huge trial. I am normally the BEST sleeper and there have been many a night where I just cry at about 3 am.. from sheer exhaustion and misery. But, I think those nights are starting to fade. I’m getting to bed around 1 am now, and it’s getting a bit better.

My leg is starting to get a bit less hard and softer, so the swelling is going down a bit. I’m going on four weeks after surgery and I’m still using the cane to walk around, but I’m getting up and down the stairs more often now and out of the house more. I’m trying to go to the store more and walk around. I do get tired very quickly but I’m trying to do more. each and every day. Tuesday was my first outpatient physical therapy day and tomorrow will be my 2nd. Next week, I’ll be back to Mon, Wed and Fri schedule.

As for eating… well, I did gain 10 lbs. I think it’s all in the leg, but I can’t say I have been eating perfect. Something about watching tv all day long and watching food commercials and wanting crap food. What can I say? Comfort eating? I am trying, though. I’m back to the lemon water first thing. The yogurts and the green tea at every meal. I stook for an hour yesterday prepping veggies for stir fry this week, which really tired my leg out, but I’m trying to get back to the healthy eating, so it’s a process! And, I’ll get there! I just need to get up more and away from the constant tv watching! LOL Seriously, that’s not a good thing, even though I do love my tv… I just can’t give in to the constant commercials of the bad food!!!

Drinking the water and the green tea is filling up my stomach, which is making me less interested in filling it up with any “extra” food, which is a plus! I just need to start getting more activiity in and then the right balance is back in my life and the weight should follow, even though, my therapists feel that alot of the 10 lbs IS in my leg! I don’t doubt alot of that… it’s still swollen, quite a bit. I am a bit more squishy in my middle, though… I have to start getting my “core” back into shape.

So, I DOOOOOO sooooo appreciate all of your comments and emails and just thoughts, as I know you have all been so kind to think of me while I’ve been away. I know you all know I’ve been recovering and have been missing me and that means so very much to me. I am here. My pc set up is on a table and I have to lie in bed, so my eyesight isn’t stellar, so I can’t really see what it is that I’m typing… luckily, I’m a fairly decent typer, so I may make some typos, but overall, I think this will be legible… although, not perfect, as I’m not really seeing what I’m typing. So, the postings won’t be as often, til I can comfortable sit back in front of the screen. Typing from my cell phone just isn’t feasible, as you can imagine. My finger would get so sore! LOL

So, til the healing is even better, I won’t be posting alot, but know that I’m getting better and I’m still here! Thank you all for supporting me! I can’t wait to be back here with you all!