Monday, January 30, 2012

Our Weekend.

Of course, keeping to our blog description of the not-so-exciting life of the Gibson's, our weekend was not that exciting.

You know what it was?

It was time together. And that, that is the most exciting thing I can think of .

Let's start with Thursday. I got home from work, and this naked-as-a-jaybird baby was waddling around the house.

She is teething - 4 (FOUR) teeth are coming in top, front. So that causes a nasty rash - also made worse by some moron feeding my child clementines over the weekend before. DUH! Most babies cannot handle citrus fruits and my daughter is one of them. So, besides Desitin and Butt Paste, hangin' out nakey seems to help immensely with my girl's rash. Isn't that one of the cutest bums you have ever seen?

Avery gave her mama the wonderful gift of sleep on Friday - as in she slept, I got stuff done. I am thinking this goes along with the teething thing. So we just rolled with it. She slept until 8:45am (normally a 7:30 riser). There was not a morning nap because we had our chiropractor appointment at 10:30. By the time we got home, it was lunch. So she ate and then was almost asking for a nap. I laid her down on the couch in the living room and it wasn't happening. I work from home on Fridays so I needed her to sleep. After a few "Lie down, Avery!" "Nap time, Avery!", I brought her up to her room, laid her in her crib, covered her up, turned on her music and fan and shut the door. I heard a couple wimpers and then she was out!

This girl slept for almost 3 hours! Hecks to the yeah!

We met Daddy for dinner at the restaurant my little brother works at. Avery loves to see her Uncle Pickle.

Saturday was chock full of to-do-lists. I got about 1/2 of them done.

While Mama did laundry and straightened up her room, Avery was occupied with Toilet Paper.
Taken with iPhone, using Gifrus app.

We went for a walk to the playground with one of my best friends and her sons - it was nice out but that wind was cold!

Aunt Amanda came over and we took a little trip to Target where I found the perfect pillow for my bed.

I'm in love. May have to buy another. 

We hung at home the rest of the afternoon and evening. I got some cleaning done, Ryan did the food shopping for the week, and Avery kept us laughing.
And a bath:
Sunday -

I got up and went to a local church with my aunt. I have to say, I really liked it. I liked the pastor and his sermon. I will be back. 

I spent the rest of the day depugging the couch and chair in the kitchen. It is amazing how much better it looks/smells. A little rearranging and POOF! A new room! 

Now, just to teach the pugs NOT to get on the couch they have basically lived on the past 2.5 years.

All in all, it was a nice weekend. I got to spend a lot of time with my girl and husband, which to me, is the most important.

Here is to a great week!


Week 4 and January totals

I cannot believe I have been doing this for a month.

Yes, that would be sticking to Weight Watchers. (And blogging consistently)

It really isn't hard to follow, it's true it gets easier every day.

And after a month, I feel like I am getting the hang of what is working and what doesn't (even though I think I knew that all along).

So here are the numbers:

I am down 5.5lbs since 1/1/12 (-1.5 for Week 4)

In one month, I have lost 8.5 inches! The majority on my waist, bust, and hips.

Could I have lost more lbs & inches? Probably.

But I am not focusing on what I could have lost. Instead, I need to recognize that I LOST. And that is always much, much better then gaining. I also have to remember that I didn't put this weight on in a month. And while I would like to lose at least 2lbs a week = 8lbs a month = 32lbs in 4months/ half my weight goal, I know that each week will be different and I just have to keep at it!

As part of my "No Excuses" motto for 2012, I have to confess my transgressions for this week.

I had an Eve moment.

I succumbed to temptation.

In the form of the big, yellow M.

And I felt horrible afterwards.

**On a TMI note - my body does not handle fast, processed food very well, so it came out almost as fast as I put it in.** 

There it is. One month down.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Meant to be.

*an apology to my Instagram friends who may read this blog, I posted these shoes earlier this morning but I am SO excited I HAVE to share!

A few months ago, I saw these red shoes at my local Target. I did not buy them then but continued to obsess about them (as I normally do) for the next week.

So I went back.

And, OF COURSE, they were not there! Not one single pair - in any size!

Which drove my obsession to a new level. I went home and looked online but being too impatient to buy through the Target website and wait for said shoes to be delivered, AND pay shipping, I searched the stores they were available in.

And I found them at a Target about 18-20 miles away - mind you there are 2 Targets within a mile of my house, I swear!

Off Avery and I went - to soothe my obsession.

We walked out, red shoes in hand and the customary $50+ spent.

Then I felt guilty. Guilty for driving and wasting gas to get shoes that I do not need and pay full price ($19.99) for them.

A few days later, the guilt got the better of me and I returned the shoes, convincing myself I would  really never wear them. Don't worry, I returned them to one of my local Targets, I did NOT drive back to the one I bought them at.

It was hard to do, but I felt better after I let them go. We made peace with each other. It was just not meant to be at that time and I did not need them.

Apparently God thought I did and a lesson for me to learn.

Last night, Avery and I ran to Target to get formula (I cannot wait til the day I do not have to buy formula - or diapers for that matter) and of course, I had to stroll sprint through the clothing/shoe sections.

And there they were.

MY red shoes. The ONLY pair there. And my size.

I swear to you, I heard angels singing.

And then I saw the amazing red clearance sticker...$11.98!!! Almost 50% off!!! BOOYAH!

 I snatched those suckers up {and maybe gasped and scared some teenage girls in the same aisle).

A weird (?) thing I always do at Target is check the price on the randomly-placed-throughout-the-store price checkers.

When I scanned that tiny, little barcode and waited for the confirming BEEP that it had read correctly...then the price pops up:


I may have said a "Thank you, Jesus and baby Jesus" a little too loud, kissed Avery and skipped over to the formula section. Good thing she is too little to be embarrassed by her mama.

The lessson of the story: I waited. I had patience. I listened to God and in turn, he blessed me with a sweet gift. He knew how much I loved them. Whenever these kind of blessings are bestowed on me, I can't help but thinking "Why me? I do not deserve this". Even for something as simple as shoes. As sinners, we probably do not "deserve" a lot of what God has blessed us with. But His unconditional and never ending love is His gift to us undeserving sinners. And all he wants from us is a relationship and to glorify Him.

So, no matter what it is you may need or want, the Lord will give you what you need and want in His time. Which is what I believe He was showing me by providing these shoes. And I did not even have to pray about ! I am trusting in Him.

Thursday! My favorite day!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My 11 Point Lunch

While eating lunch today, I felt inspired to share. I eat this same lunch almost every day.


Because it is easy. There are a lot of low-point foods. I feel full when I am done. And good about myself for making the right eating choices.

Here is the breakdown:

1. Progresso Light soup - today was Vegetable                 1pt
2. water                                                                            0pt
3. baby carrots (10)                                                          0pt
4. Laughing Cow cheese - garlic & herb                            1pt
5. Reduced fat Triscuits (7)                                               3pts
6. Boars Head EverRoast chicken (4 rolls = 2oz)              1pt
7. String Cheese                                                               2pts
8. Fiber One PB Brownie                                                 2pts
9. Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt                                            1pt

Although I generally eat the same thing, I switch up the flavor - of soup, yogurt, and/or "dessert".

Shout out to Susan @ The Life of Susan and Katie @ Loves of Life, not only for your inspiration but for the excellent snack of Triscuits and LC cheese - DELISH! Sometimes I even spread the cheese on my lunch meat. (Ew, after I reread this, it sounds kind of gross - excuse my mind)

And as for the omission of bread - I really don't miss it. I'm not a big bread person anyway so it wasn't that hard to let go. And the Boars Head EverRoast chicken is AMAZING! Seriously! It does not go from the shopping bag to the fridge without me "tasting" it. I believe there is little to no sodium in it also {but I will have to have my fact checker look into that one}And I think I may have a slight allergy to wheat because since I have stopped eating bread, my stomach issues have been almost nonexistent. Weird.

I could eat these things throughout the day, or all at once. Depends on my hunger. I eat breakfast (a banana (0pts) on the way to work - I usually wait until I get to the back roads to down it because there are some creepies out and about at 5am, of which I do not want to see me eating a banana - and then some oatmeal when I get to work (3pts).)

Dinners are a little trickier and i am still working on them. When I come up with something good I will try to remember to share.

Happy Weight Watching!


Midweek Confessions

Wow - if feels like I just did has already been a week?!?!?!

Maybe this time I will get it right - here we go....

~ I ordered a personalized license plate. I still can't believe I did it. I always thought people who did that were kind of corny. Well, add me to the list.

~ On our road trip to Pittsburgh this weekend, I sat in the back with Avery and Malcolm (our oldest pug) rode shotgun. Again, I always thought it was lame when moms rode in the backseat with the babies (like you always see on the baby shows on TLC). But I figured it was either at the beginning or halfway there, pulled over on the turnpike.

~ I have switched from listening to obnoxious radio shows in the morning on my commute to interesting, educating, and thought provoking sermons via podcasts on my iPhone. Jon Courson has an excellent lecture called "Its Not About You!". And Chris Swanson from Calvary Chapel Chester Springs is quite an amazing preacher. I started with Genesis and it seems he has a podcast for the books of the Bible. If it is of interest to you, check them out. It really helps me keep my attitude in check and start my work day on a better note when I have God's word to reflect on and remind me of His glory I am responsible to show to others. Even when I get frustrated and depressed about not being able to stay at home with baby.

~ I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind on Avery's monthly pictures and updates. It makes me feel a little overwhelmed. She is 9 months old today and I haven't even started her blog post! Shame on me!

~ I have already started fretting over her 1st birthday party. Thank God for Pinterest!

~ I have considered camping out at our local grocery store to find out who it is that is buying ALL the Fiber One brownies that are on sale 2 for $5!!! Come on, leave at least 1 box for the rest of us! I am "stuck" with the peanut butter ones. Off to Target tonight to suck it up and pay $2.79 for a box (or 3) But, a brownie for 2 points - yes, please!

~ I am shamelessly addicted to stats. I can't help it - why does it matter so much? And does it really? Am I getting self assurance from how many people view my blog? I don't know. Maybe that needs to be another blog post all in itself.

So, after checking out a few Midweek Confessions from other bloggers, I believe I may have done it right this week.Thanks for reading!

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 3

I debated writing about week 3 or not...

It was not quite as successful as the week before.

I gained .5lb BUT I LOST 6 inches!! WOWZA!

2" off my bust, 2.5" off my waist, and 1.5" off my wonder my clothes were fitting different.

I did not track very good Friday-Sunday. We went to Pittsburgh for the weekend to visit  my uncle and his family. My uncle is a phenomenal cook so of course he fed us well. Because I couldn't count points exactly, I just watched my portions.

So this week, back to the tracker.


Thursday, January 19, 2012


Something that has been bugging me lately, I just want to vent about it.

Facebook. And people who use it as their soapbox and/or obituaries.

First I will start with the soapbox. I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. It is not for me to judge whether it is right or wrong. I'll leave that one up to The Big Guy. So when I check out my news feed and see numerous links and rants about organic this, and medication free that, it really erks my baderk. Is Facebook really the platform that these opinions need to be shared? Can't you start a group with like minded individuals who may appreciate your posts a little more then this insecticide fruit, plastic diaper, formula feeding, epidural birthing mama does? Or here's a thought...start a blog. Then people who want to read it will. Yeah, yeah - there is a HIDE button, so not to offend those by "unfriending" them (and frankly, I used that button a lot, but that is another post all in itself) but what I am saying is I wish people would recognize that the audience they are speaking to or may see their continued posts on these subjects a bit judgey. <yes, I know that is not a real word>

Don't get me wrong - I give you mamas who give birth naturally, cloth diaper, breastfeed, eat only organic, a high five {and a low five and maybe a chest bump, definitely a fist bump}. Just as you chose to do those things, I chose not to.

side note: I did not choose NOT to breastfeed - Avery chose that for us because she wanted way more and way faster then I could give. And yes we tried, she did great for a few days, then nothing. We saw a lactation consultant and everything. It just was not for us. I did, in fact, pump for 4 months so she was fed breast milk for the first 4+ months. 

 It's not right or wrong. Yes, I understand the benefits, and believe me I agree for the most part but it just was not for us at this time. My husband I do the best we can to take care of and raise our daughter the best way possible and what works for our family. I am a huge reader and I feel that I do a lot of reading and research on particular topics that I question myself. So, although some may think they are, our choices are not based on ignorance. I do not get on Facebook because I wonder what you think about this or that. If I did I would ask you.

Second. I find it so tacky and even insensitive when people announce deaths on Facebook. Really? Would you want that if you died? Why do people feel the need to post that kind of stuff in their status updates. Have some respect for not only the deceased but for their friends and families. I actually know a guy who found out his sister had been killed in a car accident on Facebook before he was told by his own family because some jackass gets a thrill from announcing other's sorrow. A private message may be a tad more appropriate. But then again, Facebook seems to be teeming with inappropriateness.


I will end this on a positive note with an adorable picture.

Happy Thursday! My favorite day of the week!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Midweek Confessions

This is my first "link up" so please forgive me if I do not do everything properly.  I'm still learning!!!

So my new friend, e - over at e, myself and I, confessed her mom realness and I felt inspired because Lord knows I am juggling one (or 10) too many balls at the moment. I know I already posted today but I am not aware of a posting limit - albeit it may annoy those that don't like my blog, but then again, why would you waste time reading something you don't like?

What I am going to be real about? Well, I don't think there is much I am NOT real about....but being new to the blog world, I believe I still have a LOT to share. So I am going to be real about how my house is pretty crusty and messy. If it wasn't for my husband, it would probably be condemned. 

First off - the pugs eating area. Just thinking about it gags me. We (read Ryan) can clean their bowls and placemats every day, and they will still be gross by the next day. I do not know what those three do - all I can hear is a lot of snorting, chewing, and some gagging now and then. 

Behold the pug dining area:
 Next is the hallway upstairs:
Yes, those are our Christmas boxes - they have been there for 2 weeks now and are waiting to be stowed away in the attic until this year's yuletide. We walk by these It's starting to disappear from my view, which is a bad thing because then they could sit there for 2 more MONTHS!

And finally our guest room:
It is pretty much our catch-all. It actually looked worst this weekend but I had to go through stuff to find something so in the process, I tried to organize.

Be thankful I didn't show you my bathrooms - although they have not reached Veteran's Stadium level of grossness (as my kind husband refers to them when they get really gnarly) - so I guess I have a few more weeks....

Please feel free to leave any constructive criticism - it will be greatly appreciated.

And now thinking about it - this post could have probably been saved for a "Messy Monday"...oh well.

I'm not perfect - and that's keeping it real!

To my 16-year-old self...

I, by NO means think I know everything (although I believe my husband may disagree on that one). But there are a few things that, if I could, I would LOVE to pass along to myself when I was 16, heck sometimes even 6.

Here are a few:

1. Do (a lot) better in school. Make it more of a priority. Definitely more then those loser "friends" you were so worried about hanging out with.

2. Complete college in the allotted time of age18-21/22 because then, then you have little to no responsibilities. I understand there are people who could not start and/or finish college in the "normal" time because of other circumstances. But I was not one of those. And I am not, by any means, saying this conceitedly. I guess I was not mature enough to understand and grasp the importance of higher education. Many other things were put ahead on my priority list which left school hanging on the bottom. So now I am working full time, taking classes to finish my degree all while trying to be the best mama and wife I can. (and I always feel like I am failing miserably) It's not easy. But I am doing it. And I will be that much the wiser when I done. HA! Yeah right. I wish.

3. That totally cool, hot, BAD punk-ass kid you were infatuated with (that totally will break your heart) is a LOSER! Like in and out of jail, illegitimate kids with multiple (even stupider) girls (then myself), doesn't hold a job, still thinks he is the cool kid in high school LOSER. Don't waste your time - you can (and WILL) do much, much better.

4. You are not fat. Just because you don't look as thin as the "hot girl" in school, does not mean you are fat. She was just way.too.skinny. And if you could see yourself after many years of bad eating and laziness and a baby...well you just don't want to know.

I am sure I will have a few more of these to post. There are many not-so-great things in my life that made me a better person and although they totally and completely SUCKED to go through, I appreciate what I learned.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 2 = Success!

Most posts (all 17 of them) I mull over, debate with myself about what to and what not to write, change my mind, and then change it back again.

Not today.

Today I am way too excited to even think twice about that I write about. I almost posted yesterday but chasing a new walker, Sunday lunch with my MiL, food shopping, laundry, and getting ready for the week ahead of us kind of got in the way. But I would have otherwise.

Why so excited???

Weight Watchers works! (I am in no way being paid by Weight Watchers  to say any of this)  It does! I know, I know...duh! But really I am just amazed. I lost 3.5lbs last week! YAHOO! THIS week I almost picked up my scale and kissed it, as opposed to to flinging it out the window, but honestly, it's kind of crusty from being on my bathroom floor (that I may or may not clean regularly).

So that is a weight loss of 4.5lbs since I started 1/1/12. ALMOST 5lbs!!! And I am only 8.1lbs away from meeting my first goal! In all the times I have attempts WW, I don't think I even got to that.

You know why?

Because as soon as I see a loss, I "treat" myself with some high points food. This time?

I am keepin' at it because the closer I follow, the more results I will see! (Yes, another "duh!" moment)

And it all may be in my head, but I can totally feel a difference in my clothes. They don't feel like they are begging to be removed. Or shrieking in agony from being stuffed to the thread with my fat. I did not measure myself again, I am thinking I may do that every other week...

A new great tool WW has is the scanner app. All you do is scan the barcode on whatever food you would like (I have found that store brand stuff does Not scan) and POOF! It gives you the points! If you do scan an item that does not come up, it gives you the option to add the fat,fiber,carbs, & protien. Also, it sends it right to your weekly tracker, even though that is a different app. Awesome. I had a little too much fun at the grocery store last night.

I really feel like it is getting easier and easier every day. I think I may be driving my husband crazy with all my Points talk, but he will probably forget about it in a few months when he starts to see the girl he started dating emerge from the layer of bad, unhealthy eating, laziness, excuses, and fat!

Here is to another successful week! It will be a little crazy in our house this week as I start school (ugh, 4 classes Mon-Thur) so organization and meal planning is a Must.


Friday, January 13, 2012

She is Officially on the Loose! Watch out!

At 8.5 months, she did it!

I was sitting in the Living room with her and she just stood up and walked over to me! I was shocked!


He came in and we let her walk back and forth between us.

I have never been prouder!

I had a feeling she would be walking very soon - she has been pulling herself up and crawling for months now. I guess, she just found her confidence.

Here is another quick video:
It really is funny to see her walk - she is so small! She is SO proud of herself!

Have a fabulous weekend!

This proud mama will be chasing after her girl.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I remember before I had Avery, I insisted I did NOT want to stay home. I really like my job and most of the people I work with. I make decent money and have a flexible schedule.

But then she was here...and I was able to take 4 months off of work to stay home with her. I went back to work, full-time in September, and I have to say I was looking forward to it. As I may have mentioned before, my lovely sister graciously offered to watch Avery while Ryan and I work. She is there Monday through Thursday from 8-3. We do pay her, a fair rate I believe from all the research I did. We have an agreement I typed up before I went back to work that we all agreed upon. I am so grateful that Avery is able to stay in our home with her Auntie opposed to having to drag her out every morning and sit in day care being watched by a stranger. (and please do not take that as I am judging anyone who does send their child to day care - most people do not have any other option, I am just trying to say how thankful I am that I DO have another option and for my sister.) And my sister sends me videos and pictures of the baby all day long which is awesome but it does not take away the longing I have to be there and be the one taking the pictures myself.

Some of the many pictures I receive throughout the day from Avery & Aunt Amanda

Over Christmas I took off for about 12 days and being home with my girl was heaven! She is just so much fun. I think I was more sad to come back after Christmas and my 12 day break then I was when I came back in September after my 4 months off!

Financially, it is just not possible for me to stay home. Ryan and I both equally contribute to our household and would not be able to get by on just his salary. (Believe me, I have tried to figure out some way, but those numbers just do not change!)

So I have been praying. Because it is out of our control and I know that God will work out what he knows is best for our family. I have to learn to accept that sometimes what I want and what He wants may not always be the same or may not be in the timely manner I think it should be. So for anyone (anyone?) reading this, please pray for this for us also! I do believe in the power of prayer!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

One week down...

Yesterday was the end of my first official week of following the Weight watchers online plan.

My weigh in day is Mondays. I weigh myself first thing in the morning, stripped down buck naked (one of the benefits of doing WW online vs. meetings) - sorry for the scary visual.

I was excited.I knew I had eaten like I was supposed to, heck, I even had extra weekly points left over. I had not had any sugar drinks - water only...all week. I was conscience of my portion sizes. So I get on the scale.

Standing there, daring to look down to see my success for the week...ONE measly pound!!! I wanted to throw that scale out the window and jump up and down and cry. I felt like I did ALL THAT WORK and all I have to show is only losing one pound.

Before, I would get totally discouraged and through in the towel.

Not this time.

This time I am going to be happy that I LOST. Much better then gaining, right?

I have to remember my body is different. I have not taken care of it the way I should have for the past, oh, I don't know - 10 years. I have to have patience. I have to STICK TO THE PLAN. I am the ONLY one that can do this for ME.

Weight Watchers is my new friend and like any other friend I have, I will stick with it through thick and thin.

So here is to losing it instead of gaining it (however much "it" may be)!

I'm gonna do this damn thang.

<pep talk over>


Monday, January 9, 2012

What a is really January?

We had such a nice weekend...made possible by the very unseasonable weather on Saturday. It was close to 60 degrees out! So we made the most of it and headed to the park so this girl could swing!
And man, does she LOVE to swing! Talking and shrieking the whole time...and had this face! What made our park visit even better is that daddy showed up to give her a few pushes and catch her at the bottom of the slide.

We had an early bird dinner (with all the senior citizens) at Olive Garden. I had water with lemon, salad, 1 bread stick, and the Mediterranean Grilled chicken. This is a new item so it was not on my WW tracker - I had to guess, here's to hoping!

After Avery went to bed, I began the dreaded chore of taking down and putting away everything Christmas, including undressing our tree. It felt good to get everything boxed up and our house back to normal. There seems to be so much more room since that tree is out of there - and it really wasn't that big. Now I can begin my research to have hardwood floors installed in our living/dining room. CAN.NOT.WAIT!!!

I have to say, Sunday was pretty awesome. We went to breakfast (and I kind of broke my WW points bank and inhaled some eggs Benedict - I did not eat it all though....) Avery entertained all those that sat near us. When we got home, she and I went up to the guest room so she could nap while I folded laundry. Ryan was downstairs vacuuming up all the pine needles with his awesome Christmas gift from his wonderful wife - his shop vac!
He did a fabulous job, I must say.

Shout out to Showtime for their free weekend! I wish I would have known before late Saturday night :-(

We met my mom and Great Aunt Iris for dinner and I tried to eat well - chicken chili and grilled chicken salad?

The day ended with Avery's bath, some more laundry, a little TV time and then B.E.D.!

Hope you had a nice weekend also!


8 Months! How can it be? (a little late)

Avery turned 8 months old on Christmas day! Because of the holiday craziness, then the get-back-to-work craziness, I did not get to post til now.

What an 8th month she has had! I'd have to say the most monumental was celebrating her first Christmas. We celebrated Christmas morning at my mom's where Avery got spoiled by her Auntie A. - cool toys and cute clothes! Then we went home to relax and nap for the afternoon. Dinner was with Ryan's family where Avery was spoiled by her other Auntie D. She got Avery a walker! (to practice her pug terrorizing)
Speaking of walking - she is SO close. Over the past month Avery has perfected her crawling and can pull herself up on anything that does not move - including pugs!

We are all learning the ranges of Avery's voice, as she likes to test it regularly. Her favorite is dadadadadadada....I'm trying for mama but nothing yet.

She loves to give the pugs...
Unfortunately, kisses usually result in a face full of drool.

All in all, she is a sweet, sweet girl. I could never have imagined how much I would love her.

Avery - your mama and daddy love you so very much. You are the light of our lives. You make every day worth getting up for and coming home from work is the best when you are sitting there smiling and waving. Your laughter makes my heart melt and you LOVE to laugh. You make us laugh a lot as well. You love your puppies and they love you - although I think your growing movement scares them a little. I knew you would be smart - but didn't realize you would be this smart. And SO adorable! We can rarely go anywhere without someone stopping us to tell us/you how cute you are! Your eyes are amazing and the window to your sweet soul. And those lashes! Oh my!

You are our little dream!

Your very proud mama.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My sister Lauren.

I've been meaning to get this out on paper screen because my sister's story is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself.

I am the oldest of 5. I was born in May 1980. My parents were married November 1979. You can figure that one out...

When I was 2, my mom had my sister Lauren. She and my dad did not bring Lauren home after she was born in the hospital.

They did not bring her home because Lauren has Down Syndrome.

Maybe I should restate that. They did not bring her home because Lauren has Down Syndrome and my mom did not want her. My dad did. Thus, the beginning of the end of their marriage.

I know most people do not remember back far into their childhood. But I can remember when Lauren was born. I remember going to the hospital to see her and my mom. They brought Lauren in and she just cried and cried. I remember going home and asking "Where's that baby?" I remember getting at least 5 Strawberry Shortcake dolls from relatives who felt so bad that I was not getting my baby sister that I had so wanted. I remember going to the Social Services office and playing with a wood child-size kitchen - I can even remember how it smelled - all while my mom discussed Lauren's adoption.

As I got older, we did not talk about Lauren very much. A year after she was born, my parents had my 2nd sister, Amanda who was followed by Zach and then 3 years after Zach, Eric was here and I was 8.

I knew that Lauren was adopted and that my grandmother (my dad's mom) would go to see her every year for her birthday. I never saw a picture or anything.

My parents never got along, for as long as I can remember. My dad finally left when I was 11. He left my mom - who did not work - and four small kids. It was at that time that my mom was saved. One of the things she had to reconcile with was Lauren. So when I was 12, we went to the local farmer's market where Lauren's adoptive parents had a store, and we got to meet our sister.

Lauren was adopted, through an open adoption - the only way my dad would agree to it - by an older Mennonite couple. Amanda and Amos. They had 5 children of their own who were my parents age - grown and out of the house. Amanda and Amos were foster parents and they had been praying for a Down Syndrome baby to adopt. And they got Lauren!
This is myself, Lauren (on my lap), my youngest brother Eric, Amanda - Lauren's mom, and my sister Amanda.

When Lauren was one, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. She went through three rounds of chemo (each time she lost her hair, and each time it came back a different color!) During her last bout of it, her outlook was very grim. The doctors told her mom to stay with her as they did not believe she would make it to the morning. I do not know the specifics but from what I understand her counts were very, very low, and most people do not come back from it. So Amanda, stayed with Lauren in her room and prayed over that little baby all night long.

The next morning, CHOP had some very baffled doctors. Lauren's counts were up to normal levels.

She is now 29 years old.

She still lives with Amanda and Amos. She works. She is funny. There is not much that gets by her. We see her regularly. She is a blessed lady and we are all blessed for knowing her.

A lot of people say she and I could be twins....
I love my sisters.


One of those days...

Today was just one of those days...I should be in bed now, but here I am, spilling my guts to no one.

Monday through Thursday I am up at 5am to be at work by 6am so I can leave and get home by 3pm. Fridays I work at home but am up by 6 so that I can get some work in before Avery is up. Needless to say, by Thursday afternoon, I am beat. Avery will usually take a nap with me when I get home. Then I feed her, the pugs, and make dinner. (I do have to say I am very grateful that I work for a company that is flexible and works with MY schedule)

Today was not one of those nap days. From the time my sister left, about 3:30, and I am so very fortunate and grateful that my sister is able to watch Avery while Ryan and I work. I don't know what I would do without her. Anyway, from the time she left, Avery screamed for 2 straight hours! I almost lost my mind. There was NOTHING I could do to console her. It was just horrible.

I have a sneaking suspicion that her 2 top teeth are breaking through...I am praying that they come through fast and her pain is minimal.

It is not easy being 8.5 months old :-(


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I've been wanting to start a blog for sometime now but just never got around to it. It has taken me 2 months to get my first post on here published. But that is not to say I have not thought about it. I have about 5 blog topics running through my mind at any given moment. What I am struggling with is where do you draw the line? How much do you really share? Maybe I will have to wait for that answer if I ever get any readers.

I am an over sharer by default. Sometimes that filter that so many are equipped with totally. fails. me. And as the word vomit is dripping off my lips, I realized I should not have said what I said out loud. So I talk more to cover it up, like laying paper towels over said word vomit....but layering them on top over and over, like babbling on after you shove your foot in your mouth accomplishes about the same thing.

You said it. Own up to it. And apologize, if necessary.

Where the eff am I going with this? I think what I am trying to say write, is that when I put my thoughts out here in blog world, is there any room for error? It is like the original Super Mario brothers game how the screen just keeps moving you forward, no chance to grab that lone coin or bump the question block you KNOW has a feather that will help you fly.

I do not know what I even expect from this blog. Definitely not fame or fortune. A "friend" or two? Maybe. If someone would just read this thing. And not get offended by my bluntness or opinions. But I guess that is one of the beauties of blogs - if you don't like it, don't read it. And keep your mean, judgmental comments to yourself. I already judge myself harsher then anyone else could.

On my way home from work yesterday, I was thinking a lot about this blog. I kept coming back to "why am  I doing this?" "Should I really put myself out there?" But then I thought "I have a lot to say, a lot of the time, and whether anyone reads this or not, at least I am getting it out of my head". It is a good place to hold myself accountable. If I type it, I need to own up to it.

I am inspired by some of my favorite blogger - you can see them over there on the side bar -->.
These woman make my lunch time. I look forward to reading their blogs everyday while I shove food into my face. They have made me cry and laugh with them. I feel like we are friends. And at this point in my life, I feel like I need some friends. Don't get me wrong - I do have friends - some great girl friends that I love dearly and have been friends with since elementary, middle, and high school . But it seems like we are all in different places in our lives and we don't always time for one another. Ahhhh, such is life I guess.

Back to blog expectations. I guess I have to find my way through this. Figure out by trial and error. So for anyone reading this - thank you! And I hope you stay long enough to read the next post.


Mind.Body.Soul. 2012

I have been thinking about what to write for this post for the past couple of days.

Do I recap Christmas? Nah.

New Years? Definitely not, as we were in bed by 11pm!

What has gotten in my way of writing is reflecting. On how I want to change for this new year. I'm talking total overhaul of mind, body, and soul.

That is it! I'll break it down to 3 categories...Mind - Body - Soul.

Mind - I would like to make a conscience effort to be more positive and stop letting my negativity get me down. Having the "glass is half empty" attitude is not doing anything for me - for my family, friends and definitely not the attitude I want to impress upon my daughter. (insert cute baby picture)

Body - 60 pounds. My body needs to be rid of 60 extra pounds that are also bringing me down. I am currently doing Weight watchers online and making my best effort to track every. single. thing. I put in my mouth. Also portion size is something I am working on, as it is one of my biggest downfalls and changes I need to make. I need to keep in mind that this will not happen overnight. It will take months. But if I stick to it, I will succeed. I will be happier and most importantly healthier. Again, I do not want to pass along my bad habits to my daughter. She has to be my biggest inspiration. Tonight, I will take measurements and Before pictures. I may not post them just yet but I would like to post progress for every 10lbs I lose.

Soul - To begin to attempt to change either of the above - I need to get my soul right. I know I am not capable of doing it on my own, I rely heavily on the Lord to get me through those negative thoughts or food cravings. And I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. This year I will work hard to walk closer with God. And find a church. That will probably be the hardest but I have to let go of my previous experiences and forgive. So, if anyone does read this and can recommend a good, bible teaching church - please let me know!

A few other changes I need to make in 2012:

1- Pay more attention to my husband. Since this (not-so) little baby came into our lives, it has been ALL. ABOUT. HER! And I know that is typical but she wouldn't be here without Ryan.
2- Stay more organized. In ALL aspects of my life. It makes me saner when there is order. When I get overwhelmed, I drift and lose interest.
3- Take better care of my house, car and pugs. All 3 are a major part of my life and I need to treat them all with the respect they deserve.

I am sure there will be many more items I can add to this list as the year progresses but I am not trying to overwhelm myself (refer back to #2). I am praying that if I can stick to these 6 goals, all the other "stuff" will fall into place. I am trusting Jesus.