Middle Life Moments

This last year and a half has brought about many changes in my life that were unexpected and frightening. Lately, however, I’ve been much more focused on the future than I have been over that time of sadness and stress. It’s such a relief to feel more positive again. More like myself again. 

I’ve been trying desperately to get some extra weight off but my brain and body simply don’t jive at times. I have managed to get rid of 10 pounds successfully but, me being me, I want more gone and I want it gone now already. 

My husband is half heartedly losing and when he tries just a little bit, his success is incredible. My success is so slow and the task seems so arduous at times. I know in order to be a success at anything you must plod along and never give up, so plod along I must.  But ice cream…

It’s the worst downfall I have. That rich, sweet, delectable treat I crave after dinner. I’ve learned to give up a lot just to have my ice cream. But I think we are going to have to break up. I love sweets, but ice cream has become my go to treat. What’s a girl to do?

After having 2 surgeries within 8 months of each other, my stamina has been put to the test. To put it mildly, at first, I got winded walking through my house. I’m getting stronger every day and with that strength, I will be adding some new exercise to my weight loss journey. I walk at lunch when I’m working now, but I’ve slowly build up a little speed. And I mean slow. Next, I’ll be walking my dogs and hopefully adding weights to that soon.

Later this week, you will find me basking in the sun and swimming to my heart’s content. I’ll be leaving my dreary home for some sunny, hot weather. It’s time to pick up dad and drive the snowbird home for the summer. The perk is, swimming in the pool and ocean for me first for a week. The downside is 3 days of driving home but with a great copilot. 

Life is never dull or boring around here. Just a little chaotic sometimes, so I can’t wait to read, relax in the sun and hang out with the world’s greatest dad, mine. See ya’ll soon!

It’s Been A While…


I haven’t written in quite a long time.  In fact, it’s been months.  It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, but I was in a dark place for the last few months.  Depression is a terrible disease that haunts my life from time to time.  Luckily, there is medication that truly helps me but needs to be adjusted from time to time.  It was past time this particular time.

I have been in the darkness before, but this was the darkest of times.  Never have I contemplated my purpose on this earth or lack thereof.  This time was different. I looked at my family and thought they would be much better without me around.  Still, luckily, I was able to dig my way out and not take any action on these negative and dark thoughts.

The fact that I cried every day just goes along with the depression.  I couldn’t find any joy in life.  I just went through the motions of life without actually living for months.  I found myself trying to find a reason to get out of bed and not being able to most days.  Even leaving my bed to go to the kitchen to find something to eat was more than I could bear some days.  I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone.

Somehow, by the grace of God, I knew what I had to do, although I had so much self doubt that I didn’t believe anything could draw me out of such a state of despair.  My physician is amazing and luckily, I responded well to the increase in medication.  Some people aren’t so lucky.  Some don’t look for help.  Some take their lives.  I understand now.

 I managed to go to work. My co-workers were not privy to the inner workings of my darkened mind. In fact, I felt better there. I felt more whole and needed but it was so hard to get there each day. 

Depression hurts not only the person suffering from it, but their loved ones too. I know my family were at a loss as to what to do about me. I didn’t know at times. If someone you know suffers from depression,  get them the help they need. Call a doctor. Call a counselor. Call a hot line. Get help before it’s too late. We often won’t tell you how bad it really is.

Day 2 of the Big Journey

This is exciting but difficult. Change is hard whatever it may be, and for me that change is my love for food and making it quick and easy. I know it’s only the second day and it will take time to make my changes a habit. I’m not depriving myself either. I believe in the weight watcher’s approach to a new me. 

If you deprive yourself, you just focus more on what you can not have and that stinks, but having a little bit in moderation at certain times always helps me. Tonight, I was craving Mongolian beef. I had a small portion of beef and smaller portion of rice, but it was enough to satisfy my longing. I had budgeted calories in my day for this dinner, too, so that I had enough in my bank, so to speak, to enjoy my dinner and not have to worry about ruining my diet on the second day.

It’s so difficult to want to trim down my calories each day while wanting to boost calories for my kids who are still growing and in need of them. While they enjoy earing healthy, they also enjoy comfort foods, too. I guess I’ll have to learn how to make those a bit healthier and more calorie friendly since hubs is joining me this time around. It won’t hurt the kids either to have those comfort foods in a healthier version. Granted, most of our homemade food is already fairly healthy, but could use some tweaking. Another experiment for hubs and I. 

Our greatest challenge is always what t of eat first dinner. I see that we will finally be planning out our menus like I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time now, but the challenge will be adding the healthy aspect to our recipes. Any ideas? We love our crock pot and I see some ideas meandering around in my brain with ingredients and the like to attempt. I’ll be sure to share my creations if they are tasty. 

Thus endeth day 2 of our journey. So far, so good, but I can tell you, I could really go for some ice cream right about now. Too bad I won’t be having any. 😣

Peace and love guys!

Deirdre

New Me in 17

It’s the new year and I’m starting it with changes as many people do. My hubs turns the big 5-0 this year and we have both been wanting to get healthy and lose weight. It’s been a long time coming.  Now with his big birthday approaching, we are finally getting serious about making the necessary changes for our health.

I always hear about people who want or need to lose 10 or 20 pounds and I can tell you that I remember those days. In 2012-13, I lost 80 pounds. Unfortunately, after my mom died, I gained 40 of those precious lost pounds back over the next year. I really wasn’t finished losing weight. I was still fat, but not as big as I had been. Thank the good Lord above!  

I’ve been contemplating many things over the last few months. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of having pain in my knees. I’m tired of having no energy. Guess what! I made the decision over this time, part of my weight loss process, to really do something about it. It’s time to get serious.

Hubs must be on the same wavelength these days with the big birthday coming up on July. Granted, he is not anywhere as overweight as me, but he could lose some and his health would be exponentially improved. He is hypertensive and a non-insulin diabetic for the last few years. Losing just 20-30 pounds could conceivably eliminate his need for medications. Turning 50 seems to finally have him serious about his health. You can’t imagine how happy that makes me. I’ve been wanting him to make some of these lifestyle changes for the last 10 years. I love him and want him around for a long time.

Today is the new beginning, the new dawn for our new life. Surprisingly, it went very well. I’ve made my chart, another part of my process, and I plotted out my weeks and goals. This time, I added hubs to my chart. Woo-hoo! 

My overall goal is staggering, but in small increments I shall conquer each new goal. Hubs has it easy in comparison. I not only have to lose the 40 that I regained but also another 50 to make my final goal. I’ll be left with a tummy that will sag and have to be tucked in, thanks to having 4 kids, but the rest of my skin is still in good shape. If and when I succeed, that will bring my total weight loss to 125 pounds. 

I know most people can’t imagine having to lose this, but I love this and I’m coming clean. I’ve never published my weight loss journey before, but this time is different. This time I am a blogger and I figured that maybe some of you will appreciate the struggles and successes of this journey. 

This is my story. This is the beginning of my transformation.  If you’d like to join me please feel free to tell me your story. We can support each other. Below are my before pictures taken this evening. 

Love and peace!

Deirdre 

241.6

1/7/17

And So We Begin Again…

2017 is here at last! We always start our new year with resolutions that seem to dwindle over time. This year I just want to make some small changes to myself that wikl make big changes over time. I know I can accomplish this, as I have achieved big things in the past and stuck with them. 

My biggest hope for the new year is to have a better year than the last 2 years. We need some good health and cheer around here. Each and every day is a blessing and if I can simply remember that each day, I’ll be doing alright.

The End of Another Year

As we age, the years tend to fly faster and faster. This year has been like that in some ways but has dragged on in other ways. It’s hard to think that these last few months have flown by already and we are nearly at the end of 2016!

Last year at this time, we buried my wonderful mother. It seems like yesterday that I was chatting with her but at the same time it seems like it was years ago. How is that possible that life continues like this? God helps us through these times of sorrow and our family and friends get us through as we come together and create a community of love and hope to make it through the tough times and come out on the other side refreshed and smiling once again. 

Earlier this year, I had surgery that turned ugly. I ended up having a life threatening infection following the removal of my spleen and partial pancreas removal. What a whirlwind! There were days I thought and wondered if I would ever make it through that and see my children grow up. Here I am thanks to the incredible love, again, of my family and friends. Without them, I am not sure I would have had the strength to go on. 

I sent my second daughter off to university which was hard, but not as hard as sending my first one off emotionally. I knew she would be home often enough but it is still another thing to have to get used to. Another change for our entire family just to make things interesting! She loves her school and has made so many friends already. Now she is home for a month a I’m so excited to have her home. 

My oldest has moved out of the house for good which is another change but I’m so proud of the young woman she has become. My oldest has grown up so much over the last year. She got a job and bought her first car. She has made herself a place in yhis world and is making her own roots. She will always be my baby girl though. 

Hubs and I have only 2 at home now. Very strange how that family dynamic changes so much. Usually this is alright with a few exceptions. Our exception is when my youngest has homework time.  My youngest has ADHD which makes the end of the day… well… interesting when I’m working. Luckily we have the best 4th grade teacher this year. She is a tough cookie but very fair and loving with our little guy. She expects his best and he fights tooth and nail! This little man will get through the fourth grade and it will be thanks to his marvelous teacher. 

This year has been one heck of a year and one that I would like to mostly put in the past. There have been bright parts to it as well, and those moments have gotten me through the tough times. 

Looking forward to the new year, I am looking forward to a year of great relationships with family and friends. I look forward to a healthier me in 2017 with hubs and I working on healthy choices for healthier bodies in the new year. I believe that 2017 will be a much better year than the last 2 years have been. So I say, so long 2016 and bring on 2017!

Christmas Crafting

What is more fun than decorating for the holidays? Creating new items to make your spaces look even more beautiful. I am a Pinterest junkie. There, I’ve said it. They say admitting it is the first step to recovery but I don’t want to recover! I LOVE Pinterest! When I can’t think of a project to do or how I want to proceed with a new project, I check out all the fun and exciting things on Pinterest and get inspired. 

I have created gobs of projects from home decor and home renovation to new recipes based on my Pinterest addiction. Yes  it most definitely is an addiction. Lately though, it’s like about the holidays. 

I love decorating for the holidays but I love creating new decorations even more! Last year we made giant lollipops for the yard from pool noodles and colorful duct tape. So cute! This year my hot glue gun and I are all about wreaths. I’ve made several and I love them. 

Such a neat idea, right? Believe me they have to be simple for me to try them. It’s a Styrofoam wreath form covered with about 100 different sized shatterproof ornaments. I especially even have the burned fingers and a blister to prove I made these. 

I absolutely adore these wreaths. I’ve made 4 so far and have at least 1 more to go. I also love hanging home creations on canvas up for something a little different for this time of year. I created a “oh holy  night” picture that didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted it to, but I sort of rushed it. I could redo it but I think I’m just being tough on myself. The artist is always the one to see the biggest flaws in their wi r just after all. For the most part though, I like it. It’s canvas that’s painted then I used Gabriel glue to do the rest. Overall, I’m satisfied with the results and would love to do this again with another song. Maybe for Valentines day…

I’ve also been busy repainting my dresser and now painting a brick wall in my kitchen. I have way too much brick in this house and want to update my house to bring it into the 21st century. There is never a time when a project isn’t being done around here. Maybe someday though… Then what will I do with my time? Just  bake? Nah, there will always be something that needs to be painted. Of that, I’m sure. Till my next project is completed I bid you peace. 

Ciao!

Deirdre

Can I Please Have Another One?

“She’s so perfect. I’d go through it all again right now to have another one just like her,” I said to my then husband while still laying on the surgical table right after seeing my first born daughter. I had a very hard time having that child, but seeing her, here, in the flesh, made everything right. She was perfect. Blond hair and blue eyes. Eight pounds and 12 ounces of absolute love all wrapped up in a tiny bundle for me to love for the rest of my life. How could life be better? I wanted a second baby and I wanted one soon. 

Life with our newborn was blissful. She was the perfect baby. She wasn’t fussy and rarely cried. She was such a happy girl. I loved being a mom more than anything in the world. She was my world. I wanted more and I wanted more now. Unfortunately,  my now ex-husband was very happy with one. would he come.around? Ever?

One year after having our first daughter, I finally got the begrudging okay to start trying for number 2. It took several months to get pregnant. At one point I knew I was pregnant but the pregnancy didn’t take. All the symptoms were there. But if I had been, I wouldn’t have the daughter I have now. And I wouldn’t want anyone besides her. She’s special. 

I got away with having baby number two despite his misgivings about another baby but she has been such a joy I can’t imagine life with our her. She wasn’t the easy baby her sister was. In fact, she wanted what she wanted and would make it known until you figured it out! 

As she grew into herself over the years, she has been nothing but joy. she is such a diligent worker. she’s always ready to conquer the impossible with grace and hard work. My life has been so blessed by this child and she continues to bless those having the pleasure of knowing her. 

Recently, she started her pre-med/sociology studies at St. Louis University. She loves it there and works very hard. She is very involved with a service program called Camp Kesem which provides a week of camp to children whose parents are suffering from cancer. She has been on the fundraising trail so that these kids are really able to attend such are really great experience are able to just be kids for a week, leaving the problems and worries of cancer and home for a week. She’s still trying to raise money. The cost of camp is free to these kids so all the money must be raised by others. if you would like to help her and these wonderful kids, just click the link, https://donate.kesem.org/fundraise?fcid=791355

I’ve never been prouder than  I am of my children. I often thank God for allowing me to have such amazing kids, but it could have ended with just one. Thankfully, I persisted and got number two. They will all do great things, but I got away with having number 2, my mini-me.
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This has been a Finish the sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence was “I got away with…”

So Many Projects, So Little Time…

I’ve been so busy getting things done around the house lately and working. It just seems like there is never enough time to do everything I’d like to do. Lately, Hubs and I have been working on our bedroom. One of these days it will be the Oasis I dream of, but for now, it is, like me, a work in progress. 

We recently painted our room a beautiful, restful shade of gray which has given it new life. Our room had previously been blue which was a great color, but it was time for a new updated coat of paint. Along with the coat of paint, Hubs found a door at our local Habitat for Humanity resale store for $9.00. We painted it white and hung it leading into our master bathroom. The old door was a bifold door that was in serious need of replacement. Going to our local home improvement store, we found door handles that matched each other and replaced each for under $40 total. So far our room was looking great but it needed some finishing touches. 

I had the idea to take our old slatted headboard and revamp it into a covered headboard. I already had material on hand and a dear friend had the wood needed to attach the material. All we needed was some foam, batting and our trusty staple gun to complete it and the drill to attach it to the existing headboard. Voila! 

Next, to go with our new decor, I decided to do an art piece. I brought home a bunch of paint chips and cut them into pieces. I had a scrap of 25 inch square material and attached it to a 24 inch canvas with my hot glue gun making sure it was stretched completely. Then, starting from the corner, I glued my paint chip pieces in place to form a flower shape with the center formed at the corner of the material. It looks awesome and matches the new color scheme of the room well. 

We aren’t done yet. I’m painting my old dresser to match in white and gray. our nightstands are white already. I also purchased an inexpensive but beautiful duvet cover from Amazon to go in my retreat before all this great retreat reimagining took place. 

The soft gray and bright white play off each other well for a beautiful contrast. Gray is a color that can be cool or warm in time and I chose a warm gray that is inviting and has an inviting feel to it. We used Sherwin Williams HGTV color called Materialistic Gray. It’s beautiful. Grays have undertones of many colors like purple, blue, brown, yellow and green. I find its important to know which undertone you have chosen , but if you hold different gray swatches next to each other you can see the differences easily. 

Next up is the floating shelf for our wall. I can’t edit to stain it a rich expresso color. It will add not only a focal point but also a contrast from the whites and grays in yhe room and a did a functional space to place artwork.  

All in all, I’m so pleased with how everything looks. We have so many home improvement projects that we are working on. There is never a dull moment or time to just relax for long before I get another bee in my bonnet to work on something else. I’m so lucky to have Hubs to help me, even when he would much rather do anything but home improvement projects. One day we will sit and relax in our beautiful home. Unfortunately, that time isn’t for a long time just yet. Thanks Hubs for putting up with me!

The Sunshine and Dad

I have spent the last week and a half with my beloved dad. It’s the time of year when mom and dad become snow birds and migrate to sunny Florida. This year it is just dad though since we lost mom last November. Today would have been her birthday. She would have been a very young 87. 

Traveling with just dad has been a wonderful experience and a treasured one at that. sitting amiably in the car chatting or sitting quietly, he is a man of few words, we just get along well. We took our time and enjoyed our trip driving south through several states enjoying the changing scenery that makes up our beautiful land. We even stopped and shared a pecan waffle at the Wafflehouse in honor of mom, because no trip would be complete without a pecan waffle and a cup of tea in her humble opinion. 

Since arriving in the beautiful southwest part of the sunshine state, I’ve shopped and dad has taken care of things he needed to. I’ve helped him with all his technical issues and we have gotten him settled. We have eaten so well that when I get home, I probably shouldn’t eat for a month!  Life here is on a different pace. It’s as if everyone is on a permanent vacation where he lives. I suppose they are. It’s a slower, more relaxed pace where people have time for one another.

I’ve gone to the beach, of course, but I prefer the pool. Going to the pool each afternoon I find the same group of characters. I call it social hour. Everyone catches up with the latest goings-on in the community. It’s truly an amazing place to be and they have made me feel so welcome. Just today, I had a glass of wine by the pool with these fabulous people. Such fun. And boy was it good!

The shopping is always good here but I was hoping to find a few more things at my usual stores which I didn’t. Had I gone to my other usual stores I may have but I don’t want to spend all my money. I look for bargains only. That I found. There are loads of high end stores but I don’t want to spend everything when I don’t have to. 

There is nothing better than the sound of the waves hitting the shore, in my opinion. Stress melts away instantly while just sitting there listening to the lapping waves and the sounds of the sea birds. I went only one day this time to the beach, but my stress from the long drive instantly disappeared as I sat there enjoying the sights and sounds for an hour. It was a cloudy day so I had the beach pretty much to myself. What a joy and spectacle to behold. 

Soon it will be back to the Midwest for me. Not that it’s a bad thing to go home but I miss this place when I leave it. This is my favorite place on earth. The sun shines so brightly here and the temperature is always warm and delightful. Knowing that I’m going home is like a double edged sword. I miss my husband and kids, I miss my own bed, but I don’t miss the weather. I especially don’t look forward to the winter. But life is what it is and maybe someday I’ll get a chance to love a life down here. It is my dream. Someday.