Friday, July 31, 2009

A Few Pics

This is the best pic I could get of Raina swimming - she's actually under water. I am still amazed she taught herself.

These pics of Salem and Salem and I were taken by Jeff Emery of Emery's Memories.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Ready for Vacation

Getting ready for vacation is stressful! But I SO can't wait to get away for a few days. We leave tomorrow for Dallas. I have a Council Coordinator's MOPS Retreat tomorrow night and Sat til 3. Brian will stay with the girls at the hotel and hang out and spoil them rotten. I hope we get to go to PF Changs Saturday night.

Sunday I take Brian to Spinks to fly and then drive to Dallas LOVE to get Korie then back to Spinks to get Brian. Yeah I didn't plan that too well. I hope Raina deals well. I think we may go to the Circus that night. The Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus is in Dallas.

We fly out EARLY Monday am for Miami and are staying at the Newport Beachside Resort. It was an INCREDIBLE steal. Less than $300 per person INCLUDING air. So don't be afraid to search for deals. I spent HOURS searching but it paid off.

We fly back Friday night LATE. We're going to stay at the Westin at DFW for only $48! :) Another steal!!! Cheap got that deal for me.

So between now and tomorrow morning I have to finish packing, getting billing done (SIGH whose idea was this to go at the end of the month - my busiest time) and get stuff lined out for Larrah who will house sit and pet sit for us. Oh and file my first worker's comp claim :( and do payroll. Yeah I could have picked a better weekend or week but this was the cheapest.

Raina keeps saying she wants to go to the hotel. LOL. She loves to go to hotels. She actually gets VERY upset when we leave. Salem is VERY excited about the beach. We all love the beach. The best part about the trip is Korie will be with us. With her in college at NM State University we seldom see her. She turns 19 on Saturday. Brian and I got married when she was 7.

BTW I bought a GREAT new swimsuit. :) 2 piece tankini no less - boy style shorts and a top. I am SO excited. I have NEVER worn a 2 piece - even a tankini. I also picked up one for Raina at Old Navy for 3.49. :) She's decided she doesn't need the life vest suits and you know what - she can swim. FAINT. She literally taught herself. I am amazed.

I will post pics on Facebook from the beach and try to cross post some. :) So I will end this with the name of the winner of the Superman Syndrome Book.....

Drumroll - Artie. CONGRATS and thanks for commenting. I love you all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Being able to say goodbye is a necessary life skill that I am still working on developing. It's better. In the past I've relationally isolated myself to an extreme. If I only connected on a superficial level then a goodbye wouldn't hurt right? Well I've grown a lot and learned how to escape my isolation. Now goodbyes hurt. But it's a skill I'm learning.

Today was my last session with Ty. Yes I will have sessions with him in Lubbock a couple of times a month starting in about 3 weeks or so but I have seen him every week since November aside from Christmas break. Sometimes twice a week. It's not him really - well it is in part. I truly believe that our clinical relationship was truly orchestrated by God. There are just TOO many coincidences. But it's also the safety and comfort I felt in those sessions - of truly being able to be transparent even with my ugliest "stuff". There is a comfort in that - that I will surely miss. Yes I will still go to Lubbock but it will be different. But today I am missing knowing that I will not be going back to ACU for our sessions. I felt such a peace there as I walked past Jacob's Dream to my sessions. I remember setting outside and listening to my meditations or praying or simply breathing in the air and feeling good about life.

One day I won't need my sessions with Ty. I look forward to that on many levels. But a part of me already is sad about that. Bittersweet. But in the meantime I'll go to Lubbock when I can. And it will be different. But I know my work in this season is not done - so different is uncomfortable but I am choosing to embrace it. That in a of itself is a huge journey for me.

And in turn feeling all of these emotions about this last Abilene session with Ty made me miss Julia and Judy even more. I am so happy they are happy where they are. They deserve that. But know I miss them all - they've each played such an integral part in my emotional connecting and healing. I simply miss them.

Julia and Judy will always be there for me. I know that. And eventually my time with Ty will come to a close but this scripture brings me peace. "Be strong & courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9.

Monday, July 27, 2009

HUGE Smiles Today

I weigh 154.4 today. :) That means I have less than 20 pounds to go until I reach my goal. Holy cow. :) I am SO not the same person in so many ways - this journey has been holistic encompassing my mind, spirit and body.

But my vanity says - heck yea!!!!! :) I am simply amazed.

Thank your Lord for giving me the love to exercise and helping me fuel my body well. I cheat some but I really don't miss the sodas, carbs and fried junk I used to eat.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Learning To Love To Read Again

I used to be a voracious reader. I read Stephen King, Anne Rice Vampire Novels, Dean Koontz, Jonathon Kellerman, and a TON of romance novels.

Then somehow after I became a Christian in 1995 I decided I didn't want to waste time on novels. Hmmm...not sure that was grounded decision as reading is GREAT for your mind and your relaxation but I agree that for me I need to stop escaping into books as it really circumvented my life to where I didn't do anything else. It's how I avoided life.

So then I became a Christian, got married, got busy, had kids and never missed my books. Or if I did I didn't let myself acknowledge it. I didn't have time to read. But reality is I do. I spend a lot of time online. We have therapy appointments where I just sit and wait... There is ALWAYS time. Then lately that love has been coming back. Since being in therapy since November, Ty has recommended several books. Many I couldn't get through. Sigh. LOL. I tell him too many brain cells have died. For instance I couldn't get through the Mindful Way Through Depression but I liked the concept so I found 10-12 minute meditations by Stin Hansen that I downloaded for free on iTunes.

OK Back to books...Now I am realizing I missed reading. :)I mainly do my Beth Moore Bible study each day and I just started the Sacred Marriage Devotional on Sundays and Sacred Parenting Devotional on Mondays. Then I went shopping and that pic totally represents what I want to read. My current bible, old bible from when I first became a Christian, journal and dream book are also in that pic. Now my biggest choice is which book to read first...they all greatly interest me.

Like everything else I tend to get involved and can be a tad over-zealous and I need to not buy anymore books! LOL. But here is what is on my list for now.

The Superman Syndrome (Written by my pastor by the way!!!)

Receiving Love - Transforming Your Relationship By Letting Yourself Be Loved

Becoming Attached

Survivor Prayers

Sacred Influence - How God Uses Wives To Shape The Souls of Their Husbands

Sacred Marriage

Sacred Marriage Devotional

Abba's Child

Ragamuffin Gospel

Sacred Parenting

Sacred Parenting Devotional

Your Scars Are Beautiful To God

Getting The Love Your Want

And there is more...take some time and check on at least one link and see what you think!!!

***NOTE - Comment on this post for a chance to win The Superman Syndrome by Chad Mitchell.

Salem & Raina

Aren't they cute? My nephew took these.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Raina Update

Very exciting news - Raina is interacting with kids. But it's all big kids Salem's age. That is good for Raina cause it's an amazing model language and behavior wise. But it drives Salem crazy that Raina grabs them and says play with me and they leave her to play with Raina. Sigh. It's such a positive step forward for Raina but Salem is SO frustrated. What do I do? It's happened three times in a week.

Raina hasn't ever had friends her own age. She plays well enough with LaRae and Julia's little boys but Tristan is now gone. Cruz is her age but she never played with him. I will try to setup a playdate with just them and see how she does. She needs her own friends definitely.

Behavior wise she's doing better. Still melting down and hiding. A lot of anxiety type stuff. But she's quicker to get out of it I think. We're finding that routine really does help a lot.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Help Me Be Ecstatic In My Faith

I am just starting week three of Beth Moore's stud - When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. It's really ministering to me deeply and I wanted to share a bit.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-25.

1. He is happy in his faith: I have a hard time with this. I am not unhappy with God but I let the cares of this world weaken my faith. Today is a new day Lord. I ask that you help me see your word and your will in my daily life even on tough days. I will rejoice always. (Rejoice in the lord always and again I say rejoice).

2. She abstains from evil: If we are happy in our faith that gives us the power to abstain from every evil. Certainly other things can give us happiness but they are safe and non toxic when our primary source of happiness is Jesus. Without happiness in Christ every other source of happiness can become a tool for the enemy.

3. She is unceasing in prayer - I don't think this means a repetitive rote prayer. It means a spirit of prayer - a spirit of communion with our father. A continual open line of communication. Basically it means seeing everything against a backdrop of God's presence.

4. She is thankful and gives thanks. I want to live in active gratitude. In all things give thanks. I may have something hard and dark working in my life but in this situation if I am abstaining from evil, being unceasing in prayer and happy in my faith - I can give thanks in all situations. IN all things - not for all things. I thank you Lord that in this season of darkness that I have been in that you have not forgotten me. You have been beside me all of the way. Thank you for the people you have brought into my life to help heal me, save me and deliver me.

5. She doesn't quench the spirit. Half filled is still half empty. Without the full empowerment of the holy spirit we have no defense against the enemy. The NIV translation says - don't put out the spirits fire. Think about Moses and the burning bush. Moses was amazed that the bush didn't burn up. That fire was unusual because the flames didn't destroy. God's fire is the only fire that consume and not destroy. Anger destroys. Lust destroys. Gossip destroys. God's fire isn't destructive. He doesn't feed off all of us. He is the I am, the self-existent One. No other fiery passion in our souls will ever guard us against being burned.

Lord in what of the above areas am I weak in? Help me discern that. Thank you for bringing me this far. For helping me get past this hurdle in my life and move forward. I am actively grateful for the direction in which you are leading my life. Thank you Lord for your grace and your mercy and your never ending love and compassion. Please help me develop a grateful spirit. I want to listen to the Holy Spirit's call and guidance. Help me be ecstatic in my faith.

Thank you Lord.

I feel so good...

There is such a release with living in the light and out of the darkness the enemy tries to keep us cornered in. Even the littlest sliver of light penetrates the darkness.

We had a great family weekend. We drove to Dallas on Sat to go to a wedding. The girls love staying in hotels. LOL. Even though we have a pool they love the indoor pools and hot tubs and staying somewhere new. :) Sunday Brian started his flight lessons. :) In 40 flight hours he will have his private lesson.

Today I weighed 156. :) A total of 76 pounds lost. I feel amazing.

Otherwise we are doing well. We don't have any camps or anything this week. So it's a laid back week. Just gotta get my work outs in.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Authentic & Transparent

I don't know about you but it's hard for me to be transparent. I am fairly authentic. To me that means I am real, I love people and I care about people but sometimes I should be more transparent. Transparent meaning really sharing my heart with people. Sharing my day to day struggles - helping those who are going through something similar. There are many ways to be both authentic and transparent. Ironically enough, the people that have touched me the most deeply are the ones that have shared the most with me. So you would think that would teach me to be more transparent in return right?

But I still struggle. What if they knew this about my past? What if they knew this about what I struggle with now? What if...the what if's strangle me at times.

But the past is what it is. The past. The struggles I face today are definitely struggles but they don't definite.

I know that.

But I still struggle.

Today on my weight loss surgery group we were talking about therapy. For some reason therapy is fairly taboo. Even in Christian circles. I get the sense that many people feel like failures if they need therapy. I find the opposite to be true. It takes enormous strength and preseverance to start and continue through therapy.

As someone who has been in therapy since November 08 I can say it's really changed my life. And yep I'm still going and probably will for a while. I go to ACU's Marriage and Family Living Center. When I first checked into therapy I found out quickly I couldn't afford it as we didn't have insurance. I was quoted any where from $50-$80 a session. Who can afford that? We still have unpaid medical bills. But I started calling around and found ACU. They based it on our income. Step 1 complete. Then I became really nervous about going. What was this person going to think of me? They were grad students - yes supervised - but grad students. What could they know? Mistake - I prejudged. Don't I dislike it when someone prejudges me? Isn't that what I am afraid of when I think of people knowing about my past?

I went - and met T. My first impression was he had a great smile, was pretty cute, not as young as a typical grad student but I still wondered - ok God really? What can he know?

I was wrong. And thankfully so. T has an amazing sense of knowing what I need to hear and God just uses him to effortlessly pull information from me. He does his job well. He listens, he cares, he encourages - he provides me that safe place of where I can be who I really am. There are days I go thinking I don't need or want to talk about anything and yet I find myself pouring out. He gives me practical ideas, he listens and more importantly he encourages me through some dark moments. The darkness seems so impenetratable but it only takes a sliver of light to break the seal the darkness has.

So now it's 8 months later and therapy is progressing. I can truthfully say therapy is the best thing I 've done for myself with my sleeve (weight loss surgery) barely 2nd. I say it's the best because it's healing my emotions and mind from the trauma of the past. With the sleeve I've only healed my body but with the two together I am healing my soul.

So that brings me back to transparency. I have to be honest and say for now I am not ready to shout to the world about my struggles and pain. Yet I know God is leading me that direction thus I am coming to peace with it. But I am ready to share in the right settings. That is transparency. I am ready to share how therapy and surgery changed my life. If I meet someone with similar struggles I think I could be open and share with them what helped me. That's transparency. I don't want to hide behind pretty words and cliches and platitudes. I've worked hard at making my life special. I deserve that. It's exciting for me to believe that and I really do believe that. And if you're reading this - know you deserve that.

So my friend - where are you today? Do you need to strive to be more authentic and transparent daily life? In Christianity today it's so often so easy just to be "fine" and not be real and keeping drudging along lonely and even more sad and confused. Fine - the Christian F word. Are you fine? Are you willing to be set in your current pattern by not willing to be able to step out from behind the mask and show a glimpse of who you really are and what your needs really are?

Maybe you just need to talk to a friend. Or your spouse. Or a mentor or a pastor. Or even a therapist. But I hope something today encourages you to be real. Encourages you to embrace yourself and realize how beautiful and special you are and to walk in that beauty.

In closing I want to share something that I often repeat out loud when I am feeling despicable and want to hide from the world. These words are so very true. Repeat them outloud. Several times in fact. I've printed them and keep them where I can see them as a constant remember. Say it until you believe it.

I am a unique and glorious creation of infinite worth & potential. I am valued and loved beyond my comprehension. (Repeated from a meditation by Stin Hansen).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Odds & Ends

We drove the girls to Snyder on Sunday to spend a couple of days with Brian's dad and stepmom. The girls LOVE them and Salem loves spending the night so we thought this would be great. We were worried about Raina but figured it would be ok. Well when it came time to leave Salem SO over reacted. We talked about her fears etc and we asked her to try and if she didn't like it we would come get her on Monday. When we talked to her that night she told her daddy she was going to be a big girl and enjoy it. The next day the plan was to go to the Science Spectrum in Lubbock. Well that night I got a phone call and Salem was hysterical and crying and wanted to come home. It was almost 10. So I calmed her down and we told her she could come home today rather than on Wed. My sweet inlaws ended up driving them home. I feel bad she just wasn't ready for it yet. But good news is Raina adjusted and did fine. She didn't really "attach" but did well enough. Not major tantrums.

So all our plans for today got waylaid by this and a friend's emergency. We had planned to have the bathroom completely painted and finished in time for Julia's going away party. Yeah her last day in Abilene is Thursday morning. Sigh.

And I hit 6 months since my weight loss surgery on Sunday. I am doing AWESOME if I do say so! :) I am in 12 bottoms and a medium top and at 158.8. I feel AMAZING.

Brian starts flight school on July 18th! :) He's very excited and I am excited for him. It's been a long time coming.

We had a great 4th. Very laid back. We went to see Ice Age with the Bagleys and then swam and relaxed with Judy and Family, LaRae & Family, Julia & Family and a few of my family. It was a great time.

And we're going here for vacation in August. We got an amazing deal for less than $300 per person including air fare. I can't wait. We need a family vacation!

Here are a few pics of me at 6 months post WLS, me and Julia, Julia and Salem and the girls wanting their pics taken.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I'm in a weird non place. How's that for a term? I got it from Jon Gosselin! LOL. Seriously though - two of my closest friends are moving, my therapist is moving (and yes I will be driving to Lubbock twice a month for therapy) and so on. It's weird. These three people have become an integral part of my life for quite a while and I feel like I am losing them all. Yes we can text and email and FB and I'll see my therapist but it won't be that continual thing that it is now.


Weight wise I am doing great. I am 15 pounds away from the highest healthy BMI. I want to get to 135. I am at 159.4 and feeling great. I am exercising a ton and Brian and I started doing free weights together. I do feel amazing.

Salem is a wonderful mess. She's experimenting with her mouth and finding herself in trouble for being a smart aleck. Sigh. But she's seriously the sweetest most lovable thing every. We don't have any camps this week or next week and then has Kids Quest camp.

Raina is coming a long way. Still having the behavioral outbursts but they are better.

I am blessed to have them. They are my life.

I am also doing 2 Beth Moore studies and just really trying to redefine who I am. before WLS I would have said - I am not going to change. But that didn't happen. I am more laid back and definitely happier and willing to move outside of my comfort zone the way I haven't ever before.