Saturday, May 4, 2013

Super super super super super super super super Senior

Today is my graduation day. This is outline of how it took me 12 years to get a Bachelor's degree. I'm embarrassed and proud at the same time. Mostly I'm sad Mom's not here.

  • August 2001- moved in to the dorms at KU and began college. Joined a sorority. Met amazing people. 9/11 happened and the world seemed to fall apart. Panic attacks came back. 
  • January 2002-Winter break is over and I’ve been in Aspen with the family. I’m not going back to KU. I can’t do another semester. Dad and I drive from Aspen to Lawrence to pack up my dorm and move out. We drive back to Aspen with all my crap.  I get a job Roots clothing store. I enroll in Rocky Mountain Community College and keep taking some gen ed classes like math and English.
  • May 2002- I start looking at schools in Colorado. University of Northern Colorado has a chapter of my sorority. I am in touch with the president and then I go down to visit.
  • August 2002- moved from Aspen to Greeley. Instantly happier than KU. Love my sisters and get super involved.
  • March 2003- I hate school again. One of my sorority sisters is in cosmetology school in Denver. That sounds fun. I go visit.
  • May 2003- My best friend is graduating and moving to Denver with another friend. I enroll in cosmetology school and move to Denver as well.  Living in Denver gets increasingly difficult.
  • November 2003- Graduate cosmetology school. Decide to move back to Aspen and leave Denver. Roommates and I not talking due to my wanting to leave.  I get my Colorado Esthetics license.
  • December 2003-Haven’t found an esthetics job in Aspen. Start working at Starbucks. Having an absolute blast. Start looking in to jobs on cruise ships in the spas.
  • March 2004- Mom is going in for a routine colonoscopy. She’s admitted to the hospital for an obstruction. 24 hours later, she’s in surgery having a nerf football sized tumor removed from her pelvic floor that has crushed her right kidney and has been pressing on her colon. It’s cancer.
  • April 2004- Instead of going to Seattle, WA to get cleared by the Coast Guard to work on a cruise ship, I am helping dad pack up the apartment in Aspen. Mom has decided she wants to do her treatment in Kansas. I will be going with her.
  • June 2004. 1st of the month. Mom’s 50th birthday. She starts chemo today.
  • July 2004-October 2006- 2 blurry years of working part time at 2 different salons and as a nanny for the sweetest family. taking classes again at KU, mom in and out of hospitals. Cancer has come and gone twice.
  • July 2006- I meet Josh.
  • October 2006- I MEET Josh and come to Ohio for a weekend. Friday, October 13th. October 29- Mom’s last day.
  • November 2006- Mom’s funeral on the 4th. Josh comes. Thanksgiving-Josh comes back to Kansas.
  • December 2006-Christmas with Josh’s family in Kentucky.
  • January 2007-Decision to move to Ohio.
  • February 2007-Move to Ohio. Get a job as a nanny for 2 doctors, 1 is an oncologist. I work crazy hours and love this little girl to pieces.
  • April 2008-Josh proposes.
  • April 2009- My time with the family I nanny for has come to an end.
  • May 2009- I start working at ESM.
  • September 2009- Josh and I get married in Kansas.
  • January 2010-I start at Columbus State Community College to get my AAS in Paralegal Studies.
  • January 2011-ESM job over. Start internship with Judge Hale.
  • August 2011-Graduate Columbus state.
  • September 2011-Start degree completion program with Ohio University. Start working for adoption law attorney.
  • April 2012-Start job at MDK
  • May 2013- Graduate Ohio University-BS in Criminal Justice. New position internally for 2 of the Chicago Attorneys.

A numerical breakdown:

Number of cities: 7, 2 of them twice at different times
Number of schools: 5 + 1 cosmetology school and 1 of them twice at different times
Number of apartments/dorms/houses: 9
Number of states: 3
Number of jobs: 8

So...what next? LSAT in October? Babies? Josh starting grad school?
I think I'm looking forward to reading books, keeping up with things around the house, working on crafts, and getting back on track to lose weight and get healthy until that damn stork brings me a baby. 

It wasn't traditional or conventional at all, but I finally did it. I hope you're proud mama.

I wonder how crazy the next 12 years will be...

Monday, February 4, 2013

I'm a Phan

Well, the 30th birthday has come and gone. It was a really nice week. My friends, family, and co-workers are awesome. Each day was something fun.

Friday the 25th, I took a half day and HusBear and I drove to Philadelphia. Neither of us had been there before, and it's not too bad of a drive, so he planned a weekend for us. We stayed at a wonderful hotel that had the best room ever and looked out over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Seriously recommend Penn's View Hotel if you are going to be visiting Philly. 

Our trip wasn't without some bumps though. The drive in on Friday was awful because it snowed the entire 400 miles. It took 2.5 hours longer than we anticipated. Not fun. We arrived to the hotel at 9:45 and were starving. Part of the room package was that it came with an $80 credit to their restaurant. It was open until 11:30 so we put our crap in the room and headed back down. We sat down to find out that it was Restaurant Week in town, so a lot of restaurants were doing 3 course meals for $35. BONUS. We had an awesome dinner and then headed to our room to rest up so we could spend all day Saturday being tourists.

My stomach had other plans. I was in and out of bed from 4-8 am. I was so tired when the alarm clock actually went off and my guts were in knots. I was not in anyway hungry for breakfast, so I send Mr. downstairs while I took a shower. Suddenly, I knew that whatever was going on was about to get worse...Let's just say that the last time I threw up in a hotel room was after prom and I was totally wasted. This was not the same. So that pretty much had me in tears because I was ruining our morning.

Bear brought me tea and ginger ale after I called him from the bathroom floor and told him things weren't going so well. I managed to rally a little bit, and I decided to be a trooper and head out. We took a cab to City Hall and the JFK Plaza which is where the LOVE statue is. Something I really wanted to see!

Once we saw the love statue, we started walking towards Reading Terminal Market, which we had heard lots of great things about. My stomach was still kind of doing flip flops, but I was trying to suck it up. Also, it was FREEZING that day. Holy moly. I'll be going back to Philadelphia, but NEVER AGAIN in January. 

So we got to the Market and took 2 steps inside and all the smells hit me and I looked at Bear and said "I can't do this." He was pretty bummed out, which made me feel bad, but it was still only about 10:30ish am. I think I was just so tired from all the up and down. I really just wanted to sleep a little bit. We headed back to the hotel and I convinced Bear to go have lunch at a pub we had heard about and I would sleep for an hour. It was exactly what I needed! I woke up feeling soooo much better and it was only 1pm!

We spent the entire afternoon getting to see all of the historical sites. I cried at just about everything. I had the same reaction in Washington, D.C. I love the history and incredible stories of our country. It's surreal being in the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed!
The National Parks Ranger that led the tour was super informative and it was really neat seeing everything. Next door to Independence Hall is the building where the very first US Congress was held. This is my favorite picture of the weekend--me sitting at the desk of one of the first colonies' senator's desk!
That night we had a light dinner because I still wasn't really in the mood for food. We also got our bottle of champagne and hung out in the hotel room. I enjoying relaxing in a gigantic jacuzzi tub and then curling up in the fluffliest bed with a fireplace next to it. I love staying in hotels!! 

We got up on Sunday morning and went out for coffee and bagels. I had to have Philadelphia cream cheese! Then we made it back to the Reading Terminal Market since I made us bail out the day before. It's a really neat place. All the food and shops were incredible. We then got our Cheesesteaks from Jim's and got on the road. The drive back was clear and didn't take as long so we got home at a decent hour Sunday night to a very excited puppy dog. He had been checked on by our friends, but was happy we were home.

All in all, Philadelphia was awesome and I really do plan on visiting again! 

Since then things have been kinda crazy. It's now week 4 of my last semester of classes at Ohio University. I have applied for graduation and 1. I have to pass my classes and 2. prepare for graduation ceremonies on May 4th! Still on the fence of whether or not I want to go to Athens to participate. I did all my classes online and have only been there one other time before. I don't feel like any family will come, but at the same time...I'M FINALLY GRADUATING COLLEGE. The person who motivated me to do it can't even be there to see it....I'm missing my momma a lot. I think the birthday/school/baby fever has really made me miss having my mom to talk to. We were so close and I think I'm such a different WOMAN than the girl I was when she died...Anyway... 

Work is insane. I worked crazy overtime hours last week. Today wasn't as bad, but I just feel like the rest of the week will now just get worse. Ugh. 

I have no clue what was going on with getting sick. I've been having some issues for a few months now, but when I got the flu at the beginning of January, the test I was supposed to have got pushed to February 26th. So I'm still nervous about getting that done. Maybe I just had a little bug that was exaggerated with the rich foods...

I'm basically completely off the Optifast diet. Mr. transitioned to real food a while ago, but I was going to stick it out and try to lose more weight fast. I've gotten to the 70 pound mark and I still am determined to lose those last 30, but the products were just getting to be too much. On the flip side, I've also started eating totally shitty again and since I have been so stressed out I'm back to my routine of chocolate and chips and not going to the gym....I'm TERRIFIED of getting fat again. Please please please let me have the strength to at least not blow all the time, money, and hard work I put in these past 6 months. This ain't over yet...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Less than 30 days to 30...

I don't even know where to start. I've been totally MIA and I have 3 draft posts that I never got to. So bad. Quick catch up:

  • Holidays were great. 
  • I sucked at staying on diet yet I've managed to keep losing. 
  • Total weight loss as of Thursday is 69.8 pounds in 23 weeks. 
  • Despite having a flu shot I got the flu and am finally feeling a little better. 

Oh no. No no no no no. How did it get to less than 30 days to my 30th birthday?! This list to 30 is not looking so good....

1. Renew my passport and get Josh his first.  It's on the to-do list. Seriously.
2. Use passports to go somewhere they are needed.
3. Lose weight. FOR REAL. Obviously from my previous posts we know that I'm going pretty hardcore on this one. Even if it's the ONLY thing I accomplish before 30, I'll be happy. 
4. Sign up for a 5k. One were walking is allowed. I can easily walk. Every fiber of my being refuses to be a runner though. I'm thinking about the Color Run. It looks really fun! Not a lot of opportunities in January...I'm working out more though which is way impressive!
5. Finish the quilt I started 2 and a half years ago.
6. Get my next tattoo. Thinking about doing it ON my birthday!
7. Go to a state I've never been to. I actually got 2--West Virginia and North Carolina! 
8.Work the election polls again in November. Didn't happen
9. Go see Scott Rolen play with the Cincinnati Reds. Didn't happen
10. Plant a garden/landscape the yard/hire a landscaper. Kind of in progress, but have to wait for spring!
11. Read the Lord of the Rings books. Uhm, I saw the hobbit. 
12. Visit a National Park. I think I drove through one in NC. 
13. Take piano lessons. This is FOREVER on my bucket list. 
14. Visit my sister in Colorado. Sigh. Saddest about this not happening. 
15. Organize a girls only trip. Who's in?! I could get 2 done if we go to Vegas or Florida or somewhere requiring a passport! I didn't organize, but the trip to North Carolina was a great girls trip!
16. Spend a week with my grandparents, and interview them, make a memory book, something I got 48 hours with them in October. Not enough, but the hugs were worth it. 
17. Cook a gourmet meal. Can't cook when you're eating 800 calories of diet food all day. 
18. Hire a personal shopper that can dress me in things that look cute. This is getting transferred to my "goal weight to-do list."
19. Organize all my digital photos. (Folders! Names!)
20. Have an awesome Halloween costume
21. Learn how to braid my own hair
22. Help during work week or recruitment at a nearby school that has a Sigma Kappa chapter. Didn't happen.
23. Figure out how to start a non-profit or scholarship in mom's memory
24. Host a baby or bridal shower for a friend. No one has really announced either of these things. Instead I add pictures to pinterest boards. 
25. Make a new friend 
26. Clear out my phone and contacts of people I will never, ever talk to again 
27. Track down someone I have lost touch with
28. Try stand-up comedy or improv
29. Keep applying for my "dream job" Applied, interviewed, got turned down. :( Trying again...
30. Forgive.* (there are a lot of things/people I'm thinking about when I write this. It will also be the hardest. I should also probably make it "forgive and let go" or "forgive and move on")

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Before and After

I'm so proud of us!

September 2010

November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Since I have some time on my hands...

Hi there. It's only been 8 (make that 9 because I started this yesterday, which will now be the end of this post) days since I posted last, and yet it feels like it's been an eternity. We'll start at Thanksgiving...

Thursday morning, we got up and were getting ready to drive down to Kentucky to my in-laws. While showering, I nearly fainted because the pain got so bad and I started having a panic attack at the same time. Awesome combination, let me tell ya. I took a xanax and laid back down and tried to breathe. I didn't want to ruin the holiday and stay home. After some rest, I finished getting ready and we got on the road. Hubby drove and I slept pretty much the entire 4 hour drive.

We got to our southeastern Kentucky destination mid-afternoon. We had a really wonderful time. There were probably 35+ people there from Josh's family. At least 10 of those were kids under the age of 10. Bison had the best day of his life. He was getting chased by kids and I think by the end of the day, people had fed him half of an entire ham. Not even joking. We decided we were going to eat...just make good decisions about it. I stuck to a small scoop of mashed potatoes, green beans (I gave all the bacon in them to the dog), and a palmful of white meat turkey that i carefully cut up in to teeny tiny pieces to make everything last long. I also may have eaten like 5 deviled eggs-but hey-protein. Didn't even touch dessert. So we got to participate in Thanksgiving eats. We both  laughed because I think we were so full off of the little amount we had, that even if we wanted to eat more, it was physically impossible.

Friday we got up and Josh's mom brought our niece and came over to the hotel we were staying at and we swam for an hour before checking out. We were on our way to his mom's house when Josh got paged by work. He was on-call at the time, and of course something major had to happen. The plan was to help his mom decorate for Christmas, but instead it turned in to me helping decorate while Josh had to get out his computer and be on a call for 2 hours. We got back home Friday evening.

Saturday we participated in some "Small Business Saturday" shopping and got probably half of our Christmas shopping done. It was nice to walk around downtown, and I forgot I was in pain for a while.

Fast forward to Tuesday (I can't remember what happened Sunday/Monday--put up our Christmas decorations? Yeah.) I woke up feeling a little uneasy. Oh, Monday I did call and ask the doctor's office why the hell I was still waiting on getting my test scheduled since I still hadn't gotten the phone call after seeing her on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I finally got an appointment scheduled for Wednesday at 8 am....Tuesday I went to work and was there for about 4.5 hours when I started to feel REALLY bad. I told my managers that I was going to get to 5 hours and then flex my time and just go home for the day. I contemplated the ER. I even drove there but didn't want to pay to park. (It would have been validated-- I got talked out of going when I called my doctor again and Josh.) So I came home and slept for a few hours.

Tuesday night, we went ahead and went to our normal weekly weigh-in. I felt awful, but the doctors there know what's going on, and I leaned on Josh the whole time. It was good we went. Even with Thanksgiving, I lost 7.2 pounds in the week! YEA! Granted, I think it just evened out from the .4 the week before. That put me at 213.8. I was happy--at least with this.

Wednesday morning was the ultrasound. It wasn't too bad until the tech would press exactly where it hurts and then make me hold my breath. I told her I was kind of bummed because I always thought my first ultrasound would be for a baby. Silly, I know. I came home and showered, but couldn't handle the thought of going to sit all day again.

I called off Thursday as well. Still didn't feel too hot, and I wanted to answer the phone on the first ring with any results. That phone call came at about 1 pm yesterday. Ultrasound didn't show gallstones, just "sludge." Gross. Additionally, my doctor now thinks it could be something else-a hiatal hernia. According to the interwebz, hiatal hernias and gallbladder things can be very similar. I was told that they want me to see a specialist. This is when I start crying. A specialist is going to take forever to get in to and no one seems to care that I'm missing work because I'm in pain.

 **Time to clarify pain--This is not the worst pain I've ever felt. This pain is stabbing and comes and goes. What makes it particularly awful is that it hurts to SIT. Laying down or reclined is fine. Standing for a while isn't even that bad. But sitting--hunched over at a computer monitor for 8 hours--is unbearable--hence, missing work.

I got them to fax a note to my boss to at least give him a timeline of what's going on and that I'm not lying. I don't have any paid time off left, and my company isn't just like "oh, we just won't pay you, have a good day at home." It's "oh, we're not going to pay you AND when you get back, you'll get written up." The last thing I should be worried about is losing my job because the health care system takes an eternity to give answers.  Two hours ago, I got a text from my boss saying he didn't get the fax. I had to call and leave another message saying to fax the damn thing. ANGRY.

Josh conveniently had his yearly physical yesterday with our primary care doctor yesterday an hour after I got the phone call about the results. He was a champ and used his visit to ask our doctor a little bit more about me. She asked as well how I was doing...She told him that she was going to go ahead and order a CT scan as well while I wait for the specialist appointment...

At about 5 last night, I got another phone call. This time from the person doing the scheduling for the CT scan. In the middle of the conversation about scheduling, she says "I'm sorry, your insurance is going to have to pre-approve this, so I have to send this back to your doctor." MORE CRYING. I told her that I had just had the ultrasound yesterday, Tuesday I had the pre-approval, I get that it's a different test, but I CAN'T WAIT ANYMORE. So she compromises and schedules it for Monday. I still haven't gotten a called from the gastrointerologist specialist. Surprise, surprise.

What does one do after crying for 4 hours? One watches Steel Magnolias. And cries for 2 more. Then takes a lavender bath. And sleeps decently for the first time in a week. Albeit with crazy dreams...

So here we are. Friday morning. Today is one of those days were it's not so bad. But since the fax that my boss is SUPPOSED to have says I'm excused through the week, I'm home again. Shopping for iPhone cases and taking naps. (Merry Christmas from hubby--my iPhone 5 64gb should be here Monday!!) I have been looking for 3 days and can't find what I want. I'm terrified about breaking the screen. But the protective cases are the ugly cases. Can't I have cute AND functional? I've sent emails and posted on facebook and twitter different cases, but as soon as someone says "that one!" I find something else. My inability to decide seems to be much like the time frame in doctors and insurance companies treating patients.

Monday I HAVE to go back to work, after the CT scan. I already am planning on tears and xanax being involved. And that I will walk in with a pillow to squeeze while I'm chained to my cubicle.

So, what are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

4 months?!

It's week 16 y'all. 4 MONTHS since beginning the Goal to Lose 100 Pounds. This week, we went one night early, on Monday, for the weigh in. Normally I come home and put on a t shirt and yoga pants and whatever weighs as little as possible so I can get the most out of the scale. Monday we went straight there and I was wearing jeans, which I know were a little heavier than normal. But I didn't think it would THAT bad...I weighed in at 221.0. -.4 pounds for the week. -.4 has been my DAILY average loss.(For those doing the math, that's 53.6 pounds that I've lost. In 4 months. This makes me happy.) I sulked back to the waiting room angry. I haven't cheated, I'm drinking all my water, I'm exercising (and enjoying it!)...there was NO REASON why I shouldn't have lost more.

Then I told the doctor about this pain I've been having in my abdomen. I thought I was sore from crunches, but this pain is in a very specific spot. It's actually happened a few other times the past few months, but again, I thought it was muscular and it tended to go away. He pressed around and we talked about other symptoms and he said he was really concerned it's my gallbladder. The only real side effect or "risk" the doctor told us about when we started the plan was that we would have to take pills to prevent gallstones. I've been taking these as prescribed the whole 4 months. Well, apparently it's still possible to get them...

So I woke up yesterday morning and was still in pain and I called my primary doctor. I got in to see her, and she agreed. However, she didn't seem to think it was as urgent of a matter. I was told to take tylenol, rest, and wait for the hospital to call to schedule the ultrasound to check it out. Thanks to this being a holiday week, she said it could be next week before they call. Ugh. Here I am, feeling like I've done crunches on only the upper right side of my abs for 4 days straight, or I've had someone sticking their elbow in my gut, and I get to wait it out. It's not too terrible. I told her on a scale of 1-10, my pain is a 3.5. I just don't want to GET to a 10. If my pain does get to a 10, or I start vomiting and can't keep anything down, THEN I should go to the ER. 

It's interesting to hear about how many people have had their gallbladder taken out. I don't know what's going on with mine, or if that is even the culprit of my aches--we'll find out eventually. 

Tomorrow is a whole other beast. Thanksgiving. The Superbowl of Food. And I'm on an 800 calorie a day, liquid diet. Hubs is going to eat dinner. We are committed to losing the weight, and while eating a small Thanksgiving meal *might* impact things in the short term, it's not going to derail all the progress. Me? I still can't decide. I've got enough product to get through the day. I also am flirting with the idea of a handful of white turkey meat. What I REALLY want is the mashed potatoes. Comfort food. But only losing the .4 this week, makes me want to not risk anything for next week. Or I find out it's all water retention because I have an organ that is going rogue. Sigh. 

I think what I'll be thankful for tomorrow is that I have the time to reflect on everything that has happened the past 4 months; the past year. I'll be thinking of all my friends and family. Thinking about how we each have our own little battles, and heart aches, but that hopefully we all have some sort of happiness to be thankful for. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

100 Days + Half-way There

Today, November 8, 2012, marks 100 days of being on this life changing, hard as hell, "diet." 100 days of shakes, jello, soup, and drinking a lake of water every day. I finally got to chew something other than gum starting 3 weeks ago with the introduction of bars. I've watched my clothes get bigger, my body morph, and my brain continue to struggle with what I *want* versus what I *need*. Surprisingly, when I think back, this actually is not the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It's been quite a blessing; a wake-up call; a mission that I've never wanted to complete so badly.

Tuesday was the official weekly weigh in, where I dropped another 2.8 pounds. That made my grand total go to 50.6 pounds lost. HALF WAY THERE. At every 50 pound increment, the doctor's office does an updated EKG to make sure nothing funny is going on with your heart, takes pictures, and takes new measurements. I didn't write down all the measurements, but I'll ask next week. I'm pretty sure it was 3 inches of my chest (boobs have shrunk a bit, but they're still there!), 4.5" off my waist, and I know for sure the last number she said was 3 inches off my thighs. Being that most of my bulk is all in the middle, it's still taking a while for that to go away. The inches don't really seem to go with 50 pounds, but it's all in the distribution I guess.

Also, I suck at math, but 50 pounds in 100 days means I'm averaging out to losing half a pound a day. YEAH.