Friday, October 2, 2015

Soda Makes You Fat- Or So This One Guy Told Me

I have been battling to get myself together and get these last pesky 50 pounds off. I have lacked motivation for a while. Between busy 40-50 hour work weeks, school, kids, dinner, house chores, family time, etc...I could make countless excuses...I have neglected myself yet again. I stopped working out, but I have done my best to keep my eating in check. Essentially I have been maintaining for the last 8-12 months.

All of that changed dramatically on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

This is my restart date. And there is a very rude man I want to thank for that.

I have always been overly critical of myself. There aren't many women that don't judge themselves on a daily basis. I have always battled with my lack of positive self image, even though I've never had a reason to be so hard on myself. My parents taught us to love ourselves no matter what, and Dustin has never done anything to make me feel less than beautiful.

My body has done some amazing things in the last 4 years, and it has also betrayed me in the last 4 years. I have had two pregnancies that both resulted in weight gain; as well as the stress of life, and a terrible relationship with food, that has all lead to where I am now.

I read the other day in the Farmer's Almanac that September 29th and 30th were good days to start a new health regimen...I decided to test that theory. The Almanac dates were spot on for training the kids for the bathroom, bottle breaking...all kinds of great tips! So I figured it was worth a shot for getting healthier!


Back to my recent kick in the gut.

On Wednesday I went to the Dollar Tree to pick up a cheap set of headphones (I forgot mine) when I was on my way to the gym. While I was there I decided to grab a bottle of water (forgot that too!). In the Dollar Tree their drinks are all in one isle, and the water is smack in the middle of the soda and juice. I was standing there, minding my own business, trying to decide if I wanted a one liter bottle or sixteen ounce bottle of water. I decided on the one liter, since I was going to pay a dollar either way.

As I was reaching for a BOTTLE OF WATER, a young man that was pretty fit assumed I was going for the soda. He then proceeded to step towards me and tell me the following....

"You know that soda is the reason you're fat right..?"




After I put the water in my basket and the reality of what he said sank in, I flipped out. I proceeded to tell him that while I may be fat, at least I didn't have an A$$ for a face or a dark hole for a heart, and a few other choice things. Not my best moment but I have always reacted impulsively and with no filter. It is a flaw I acknowledge. The cashier came down the isle to make sure everything was okay, because I guess I was yelling at him pretty loudly. After she came around the corner he made a quick and cowardly get away.

After I explained to the young cashier what happened, she got a manger and they apologized profusely. I made it clear I was not upset with them, but the rude jerk who felt it was his job to criticize someone he did not know a thing about.

Photo Courtesy of

I know what size I am, a 16...average for a woman my age now days. I know what got me this way. And it most definitely was not soda. I don't drink it hardly, and haven't had one in weeks. But thanks for the helpful advice anyways! Not to mention... thanks for judging me!

Women have enough pressure from society to look a certain way and wear a certain size. It is enough to make the most self confident women feel bad about themselves. The last thing women need is the critical judgement of complete strangers, especially if those strangers are MEN. Did he think his comment would incite tears? Anger? Motivate me? If he wanted to do that he could have just offered some weight loss advice. I would have been more than willing to talk with him. He looked to be in good health. But honestly...what kind of person says something like that?

Either way, once I calmed down and left the store, I went to the gym and kicked butt! So in a way,  I could thank him for the anger that incited one hell of a workout, but he most definitely did not motivate me. If anything he caused me to go into the bathroom and look at myself. Try to figure out what it was that he saw that was so awful, he felt the need to make comments to me about my appearance. I will never understand his motives, don't really care to.

People need to know that is never okay to judge people based on their size. While I may not have a medical condition that causes weight gain...someone else may, or any other problems that result in weight gain. You never know what battle people are fighting. Words like that are words that could send many people to their breaking point and cause them to harm themselves. Constructive criticism is great...if it is constructive...but his behavior was destructive. If his goal was to make me feel worse about myself...he succeeded for about 24 hours.

All of this being said, I have decided that I will not let it bring me down anymore. Instead I will use his meanness to motivate others and tell everyone that we are all beautiful no matter what any one else says or thinks.

It really is what you think of yourself that matters most, even if that is hard to remember sometimes.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Men In My Life: Evan

I recently wrote a post about how I have changed since having a son, but what I didn't talk about was the amazing person my little guy is growing up to be.

Evan will be 2 years old in a couple of weeks.

I don't even know where the time has gone. All I know is that it flew by...way too quickly.

And I also know that is one of the most over used cliches by every parent in the world, that times fly. But it honestly does.

I feel like we were just trying to get pregnant with Evan; that we had just decided that Scarlett needed a sibling, and we wanted to try, our last try, for a boy. Thankfully that is who we got, because boy or girl...this was it.

I hope that as my son grows, he will grow to be a good man like his father and grandfather before him. You can read about those amazing men here and here! They have been exemplary in teaching Evan what a good man is and how one conducts himself. Even if he is only two, I hope that some of the things they are showing him are sinking in.

Evan is a third of my heart, his sister and daddy being the balance. He is a vibrant and wild little boy with lots of things to climb on and tear apart. He likes to turn off the burner when I am trying to cook dinner. He likes to peek out at me from behind the kitchen counter while trying to sneak some cheese from the refrigerator. He especially loves when we have tickle time after bath and pajamas. I have never known a more cooperative and happy child. He is totally content with just hanging out and snuggling. I really hit the jackpot on sweet little boys. Guess he isn't made of gross snips and snails and puppy dog tails like the rest, at least not when Mommy is around.

I want Evan to achieve all of his dreams, and I will do whatever I have to in order to help him do that. He and Scarlett deserve nothing but the best, and I won't let them settle for less. My hope is that he will be the man that his Daddy is raising him to be, and one day he will make some woman (or man) as happy as Dustin has made me. I want nothing less than everything for my little man, and it scares me to think he may not have all he seeks in life. Joys of being a mom I guess!

Having a son (and daughter) completely turned my world upside down. I went from worrying about myself to constantly worrying about them. Evan is definitely going to give me a run for my money when it comes to patience, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

What fun is life if you don't have a little adventure every now and then? And that's what parenthood is...and adventure. And with a boy it is a gross, snotty, bug ridden, dirt filled, slimy, ewe-gooey adventure!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Men In My Life: Dustin

Like I mentioned the other day, I am spoiled.

Completely and utterly so.

I can be smelled for miles around.

There are a select few men in my life that can be held accountable for it all.

The other day I wrote to tell you about one of the greatest men in my life: my dad. He was the perfect example to my sisters and I, in how we should expect a man to treat us. He has always loved and respected my mother, and taught us to expect nothing less from other men in our lives. He made a point to make sure that we were raised to be independent and head strong women, that could also accept the kindness of men.

When I brought Dustin home to meet my father for the first time almost nine years ago, I was more nervous than he was, I think. My dad is a good judge of character, and he usually pegged our boyfriends for whom they were, whether it was good or bad. The couple of guys I brought home prior to Dustin were not well received by dad, and while his opinion didn't make my decision for me, I also took it very much into consideration.

They hit it off, thankfully! Turns out that my dad knew his family through the farming business, even though they had never met. One of the first pieces of wisdom my dad imparted upon Dustin went something like this...
                "The women in my family are very spoiled. She is your problem now. Good luck."

And then there was something to the effect of castrating a cow being similar to castrating a man...Gee, thanks Dad!

But he was right, and he knew he was to blame. But figured it was now Dustin's turn to assume the responsibility. Dustin stepped up to the plate, and now...nine years later I am still a very spoiled and happy woman.

Dustin has many of the characteristics my dad has. He is a hard worker, willing to do whatever it takes to take care of our family, all while supporting me in everything I do. He is intelligent. Kind. Caring. Passionate. Loving. But most of all devoted to the kids and myself. He has gone without so they have what they need. He loves me even when I act crazy (ladies will understand me here). He holds me close every night and tells me so. I could not have found a better man. I know everyone likes to think that they hit the partner lottery, but I definitely did!

There are never enough words to tell Dustin how much he means to the kids and myself. I try to show him everyday just how much he is appreciated. Life has thrown us more than our fair share of curve balls, but we seems to dodge them most of the time...and we still come out of it stronger.

Good man doesn't even begin to describe Dustin either, but it really is the best description.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Men In My Life: Dad

I am spoiled.


Completely and entirely loved and doted on by the men in my life.

I am lucky.

I know this without a doubt.

Every girl loves their father in ways that no one can ever understand but you and your father. He is the first love of your life. He gave you life. He is there to protect you. Provide for you. Support you. Punish you. Congratulate you. Push you. But most of all...LOVE YOU. My father has and does all of these things, even now that I am an adult.

He showed me what I should expect from a man in the way that he treated my mother. He taught me how to be one of the guys (he has 3 daughters, no sons), while being his girly girl. He made sure that I was tough and could take care of myself, all while being able to let others in to help me take care of myself. He loved me even when I was doing everything in my power to drive him insane. He was always there when it mattered most. But most of all...I have always known his love for me.

He's never said the words out loud, that is how he was show as little affection as possible. And while he never was the touchy feely kind, I could always count on his strong calloused hands to catch me when I fell. It might have been a ride on the tractor versus a hug and soft words...but I knew...without an ounce of doubt that he was there for me. If a boy broke my heart, I could count on Daddy needing me to ride along with him in the truck with the windows down listening to AC/DC, as a means to mend what he couldn't fix. Even if I wasn't really needed as a tag along.

Good man doesn't begin to describe my father.

A good man loves his wife and family...but my father is devoted to my mother and his family, even more so now that he has grand-kids. After 31 years of marriage, there is no lesser a gleam in his eye when he looks at her, then there was on any day I can remember back to. He does what he can to make sure she has all she needs, and what she wants when he can. He has gone without, on countless occasions, to make sure our family was provided for. He worked day and night, hard back-breaking labor, to give us the necessary comforts in life. And now his body is turning on him for it. And it kills us to see him hurt.

As I sit and watch he and my mother grow older, I have started to realize just how amazing of parents they were. As children we take for granted all they do, because it is their job, and children are selfish. But as an adult, and as a mother, I know what he sacrificed for us. He sacrificed his body to years of hard work, to give us a home. He sacrificed his alone time, to spend time with us. He sacrificed things he wanted, for things we needed. He sacrificed his heart, to give us all his love. 

That is a good man.

I could sit here all day and tell you of all the amazing things he did, but to me the most important thing he did was show me the love that I deserve from a man, not only for myself, but my children as well. I found that love. I found the good man that he lead by example to teach me to find.

I could sit here all day and tell him how much I love him, and appreciate all of the things he has done for our family, but I will never find the right words or enough words to say what he deserves to hear.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nurses: I Stand United With You

So on Monday, September 14th my sister gave birth to her first child, a little boy. I was blessed to be a part of his delivery into this world, and I am so proud of the hard work she put into getting him here.

John William. A good strong name, for a beautiful little man.

That is the newest man in our lives. He is chunky, and gorgeous, and pink, and smells like baby heaven. I could snuggle and love on him all day.

My baby, Evan, is officially a toddler. He is my last baby. We decided on sterilization after he was born, because it was the right choice for our family. I don't regret it, but I have recently had to come to terms with the fact that I won't have another "baby". Ever again. So, with that being said, I am going to hoard all the baby loving I can while John is tiny, because we all know they really do grow up too quickly.

Now the reason I am here isn't just to gush about John, even though I could all day, but instead to praise all of the amazing people that helped to get him here!

My sister had a tough pregnancy, she battled terrible illness as well as gestational diabetes. She went to countless doctors appointments, saw countless medical professionals. And for all the countless times she went to see them, she was always treated well and respected.

The people that took such great care of her and John, have recently been horribly disrespected by the women on The View, a daytime talk show. I do not care to go into specifics but you can see for yourself here, what was said. It disgusts me that nurses were spoken of in such poor light.

These people stand on their feet day in and day out taking care of the sick and dying.

They are being screamed at; puked on, pissed on, shit on, bled on, and any other bodily function I didn't list, they have probably wore at one point or another. They go for hours without eating. They go for hours without sitting down. They listen to hours of people complaining and crying. They work long hard shifts day in and day out. They hold your hand when you are sick. They comfort you when in need. 

Nurses are the backbone of the medical field.

They are the fundamental building blocks to caring for those in need. And they do so selflessly. All that they ask for in return is respect, and the women on The View ripped that away from them, and they should be ashamed. Even if they do issue some public "apology" it will not mean anything. All it will be is a means to end the backlash they are now facing for opening their mouths without considering that they are on a national TV show.

Now to the amazing people that helped bring John into this world, THANK YOU!

And to all of the other amazing nurses who have been waiting 6 hours just to have a bite to eat, THANK YOU!

The ladies that were there for my sister's delivery were amazing. They were all incredibly patient and kind, even when things were at their craziest! They answered all of our questions, made her as comfortable as possible, took great care of her, and even cried with us when John arrived! There are never enough ways to thank them for all they did. And it makes me sad that it has taken this kind of issue to bring attention to how amazing nurses are! They should be thanked regularly for all the hard work they do, and never criticized for being proud of their profession, no one should.

So once again, THANK YOU, not only to nurses but all medical professionals!

And as for the women on The View, you have started a movement, and I hope they cancel your show!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scarlett Baby Gone

My sweet little Scarlett Rose turned four a couple of weeks ago.

My sweet little Scarlett Rose started Pre-K on Monday.

My sweet little Scarlett Rose started showering all by herself.

My sweet little Scarlett Rose now puts herself to bed at night.

My sweet little Scarlett Rose...please so are growing up way too fast! Mommy can't pick up the pieces of my heart quick enough to keep up anymore.

Becoming a parent is amazing. But being a parent sucks... a lot. It is like we go from holding these beautiful little bundles of baby goodness that rely on you for every. single. tiny. BOOM!...little persons all their own that don't require your services anymore. Tossed to the trash like a used tissue. But I love that feeling.

Confusing, right?

I know. You should...or in my shoes.

I love seeing her blossom into this amazing person. I love that she is hard headed and independent. Those things will take her so far in this life. I love that she doesn't back down from challenge, and is fearless in all she does. But what I love most of all is when she asks for my help.

The night she told me she wanted to take a shower by herself, with the door closed, AND she would wash her own hair...I sat on the couch listening...and crying. I was hit with the sudden realization that I was no longer needed. She really is a big girl now.


This morning we were getting ready for work and school, and she was dragging butt. Just not in the mood to dress herself. So she ask me if I would do it. How could I refuse and invitation to do something for her, when she always tells me she will do it "herwelff "?

I couldn't. I didn't.

I basked in the glory of my baby needing mommy!

I pulled her out of her jammies. Put her in her school clothes. Put her toothpaste on her toothbrush. Pulled her hair back. Slid her sneakers on. And walked her to the neighbor for carpool. I was almost lightheaded from the "baby needs mommy" high!

So as hard as it is to watch her grow up...and eventually away...I will take every opportunity presented to be the hero Mommy!

To do one more thing for her.

To hold her close and let her be tiny and dependent on me one last time.

But it breaks my heart every time I do.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Mother's Guilt

I am a mother. I have two absolutely beautiful, amazing, full of life and wonder...toddlers.

Scarlett is vivacious. She is a red-headed spitfire with a daily goal of trying to argue her father and I into oblivion. And Evan...well he is a person all his own too. He spends his days climbing, toddling, falling, yelling, hitting, playing, eating...and well...he is just a very busy little man.

After a 10 hour work day, I come home to these marvelous little creatures., and I look forward to it all day. But once I am actually home, and chasing those little tyrants...I often have selfish thoughts.

I have seen and heard enough to assume that most parents do. It is only natural to want to do things, or have things just for yourself. Yet, being a mother, when I do want to do things, or have things (even just alone time)...I feel incredibly guilty for it.

You are taught from a young age that when you "grow up" and have children, that you are supposed to sacrifice and do without so that they can flourish and have success in life. What no one bothers to mention is that this leads to an insurmountable level of guilt when you do.

Here are some things that I find myself feeling guilty about as a mother:

Hiding Yummy Food From the Kids for After Bedtime.
I don't indulge in many things sweet. Just not my thing. But I loooove ice cream. And I haaaate having to share it. I don't even like sharing my bowl of ice cream with Dustin. And lord help me if I even open the freezer and the kids see my tub of Edy's Sundae Cone ice cream. They will bug the every loving daylights out of me to get some. Every. Single. Day. until there isn't any left. Call me selfish, but I want to indulge myself a little at night. After a long days work, and then coming home to chase little people; feed them, wash them, wrangle them into bed after about a million trips out of their rooms...I just want to sit down and devour the entire tub. Alone. Watching Netflix. In my house coat. But every time I do I feel absolutely horrible. I feel like I need to wake the kids and share. But I don't. Ring my selfish bell please.

Going To The Grocery Store Alone.
Whenever we need something from the store, Dustin and I will have a formal duel to see who gets to go. He tends to draw faster. Or run out the door faster. I haven't figured it out yet. Either way...whether it is a quick 10 minute trip or day long event...I relish the idea of going to the store alone. And when I do, I always leave one kid or the other standing at the door bawling their eyes out. It absolutely devastates me. I just try not to look back, and stick ear plugs in so I can't hear the heartache at the door. Going to the store and not having to say "No" a million and one times is so luxurious. Going to the store without looking like a crazy person screaming at her kids to be still is so grand. But the guilt of a crying baby can practically eat you alive. No joke.

Taking A Shower Alone And Locking The Door
{GASP} I know. The absolute horror of showering alone, AND locking the door. Who does that? Well I get the joy of this occasion, every now and then. And when I do I will sneak a glass of wine and 3 pieces of dark chocolate in there with me as well...then I turn the music on my phone up to drown out the pleas to be let in. I would love to let them shower with me every time I go in, but in all honesty we are getting old enough to take baths by ourselves. And sometimes mommy just needs the 30 minutes alone especially when I need to shave. Shaving and toddlers...bad idea. They are little recorders and Scarlett loves to be just like Mommy. I'd have heart failure if I caught her with a razor in her hands. But either way, I hate locking them out...even for 30 minutes. It feels like I am telling them that they aren't welcome, and they are. Once I get out of the shower.

Shutting Them Out For Sexy Time
If you are a couple with young just nodded when you read that statement. I can't even tell you how many times Dustin and I have sat the kids down to a movie and popcorn, and locked the doors, just so we can sneak off to our bedroom for some "alone" time. I can't tell you how many of our friends with children, have shamefully admitted to the same thing. Guilty as charged. One of the key ingredients to a happy marriage is having sex, and lots of it. That is so very hard to do when you have kids. And just isolating that time for bedtime isn't going to work either. You need spontaneity and fun, or else its just routine. A Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Ma'am on a Saturday afternoon while the kids are busy can reduce stress and friction. I always feel bad, especially if one of the kids discovers our indiscretion, and yells through the door the whole time. Busted. But we know they will be okay until we are done. Even if we feel fleetingly guilty.

Losing Your Patience and Yelling
Being a parent is so hard, but so rewarding. You may think you know what you are signing up for when you have kids...but TRUST have no idea the task at hand. Toddlers are demanding, evil little creatures. They have a mind all their own. And you are always wrong. And you are always a meany-poopy head when you are wrong, which is always. And the word no...oh boy...don't even think about it. And when you do say no, you tend to lose your mind after you have said it a million times in the last two minutes after they have begged you relentlessly for gummies while you are cooking their dinner. And you yell. And then they run away in fear crying. Because you look like an absolute maniac...with sharp razor teeth and glowing red eyes. Just accept it now that you will yell. And you will feel like the worlds biggest chump when you do. It comes with the territory.

Leaving Them With Grammy For The Night
I love when I get to spend time with Dustin all alone, it doesn't happen often in this crazy busy life we have. I love it even more when we get to go away for more than a couple of hours. Like go away all night. It's exciting knowing we can do whatever we want and stay out as late as we want. We usually go out for dinner, shoot some pool, go to Wal-Mart, and then go home and pass out. We sleep like the dead knowing that we don't have to worry about anyone waking up in the middle of the night because of bad dreams or needing a drink. And we know we will get to "sleep-in". But the whole time we are out and about sans children, all we do is talk about them. Or talk about how much they would love what we are eating, doing, seeing, etc. They really do consume your a good way of course. We always make a point to get them something special or do something special with them to compensate for our guilt. 

I love being a mom, more than anything in this world. I love my babies. I love our life. I love my husband. But I have to take time to stop and love myself. It is hard to do that when you feel guilty for it. I know I shouldn't, and neither should you. Sacrificing for our children, doesn't mean we have to sacrifice who we are as individuals. And it also doesn't mean that we aren't entitled to be a little selfish sometimes.