Friday, December 23, 2011

New Year, New Adventures

We will be moving back to Henderson Jan. 1st.

We told everyone over a yr ago that Don was applying for jobs to transfer within the State. About Thanksgiving the State finally got around to offering a job on an app he submitted last Feb.

So while it does seem sudden it really isn't that sudden.

SOOO if you are interested in my new address please email me at and I will email it to you.

ALSO -- If you are in Vegas we welcome you to help us unload and unpack! :)

And if you are in Vegas to visit email me and we will catch up!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

it's back

My GAD that is. I can't seem to shake this feeling of funk and anxiety. My normal tricks haven't worked, immersed in service last week and still having the anxiety attack stuff.
I need to make time for the gym. that's it. I need it. My ass needs it.
Sources of anxiety are quite irrelevant, school is a big one, the fact that I gained 3 lbs this semester has me freakin-the-eff-out! I need to make time for myself.
Our finances are stressing me more than normal. Everything basically is stressing me out.

Anywho - if you have chatted w/ me in the last 7 weeks or so - or intend to anytime soon - just know that I am not myself. I will be fine - just need to get my head right. Only 3 more weeks of school that should help.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

a whole lotta this or that

We are busy. No shock.
Don is starting his same job new location new boss in Sparks in 2 weeks, cuts the drive from 63+ miles each way (to Fallon) to 29 miles each way. Only 7 1/2 more yrs w/ the State. He is still in the Masters program to get his MFT. He is pretty busy all the time w/ work and school. I hope being closer to home will free up some free time. Don still is looking for other jobs that may fit our family better. He has a few applications open still some in Vegas and some here, we shall see. If we are going to move to Vegas it needs to happen this summer to give Brooklyn a chance to make friends before high school. Neither choice has a solid winner, staying here in Carson has many plusses but moving to Vegas has many plusses also.

I am enrolled in 7 1/2 credits this semester, filling my final pre-req to apply to nursing school, and I will have my AA at the end of this semester also. IF I want to only get my Associates of Nursing right now I can apply this March, but if I want to go to UNR to get my BSN I have to wait to apply. I need to have my BSN - for my long term goals but don't know if it is better for me to just finish and start generating some income in the mean time. I will re-take my TEAS (nursing admission test) in March, I great in the math section scoring 100 and english and reading I did avg, but I bombed the science so I need to retake it. I honestly don't think I will have a hard time this time around. I had all of our laundry caught up last week...not so much this week.
I try to get to the gym 4 times a week sometimes I get there more sometimes not.

Brooklyn is insanely busy. She is a straight A student - her lowest grade has been 97% all year, she is taking 2 online classes in addition to the 7 at school so she can take choir and band, which means she isn't taking health and computers at school, so she has to take them online.
She is in the Honor Band for this area and ranked 3rd chair from all the jr high kids that tried out from 5 schools. She is in the marching band and the choir. Of course her plays, she just got cast as Kim in Bye Bye Birdie! It is her first big lead role. She juggles so much and still manages to stay social and pull straight A's. She still loves to read. She finished the Hunger Game series in less than 3 weeks and is not so patiently waiting for the new Maximum Ride book to come out on Valentines day.

Ava is a toot. She is so funny, she loves to sing. She has such an imagination! She loves to play pretend w/ anyone who will sit long enough to play with her. She is really starting to mellow out a bit. She is still Ava, but she is more enjoyable then she used to be.

We spent our Christmas break in Disneyland and it was soo awesome to see how magical it was for Ava. She loved it. We are thinking this summer we are going to head to Salt Lake for a few days, hit Lagoon and then head south to visit my folks and Grandma.

Should be fun.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

before and after pics

So the pictures below are my latest before and afters! The top is our SF trip June 2008, then Nov. 2008, then May 2009.... then TODAY!! NOV. 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

fat update

I haven't done a fat update in a while. The reason is, because there hasn't been much of a change. I need to do some more pics so I can compare myself.
If you see me and say, "you look great" and I say "oh gee...thanks" I am not digging for more compliments. I really don't know how to feel yet in this body. I still feel fat - the fat I have left is still proportioned the same as it was before - so my stomach is still flabb-a-licious, my thighs still cheesey.

I am not going to knock my success either - I look HOT with clothes on! haha

So here are some numbers for you - effective this morning.

Since I started this journey Jan. 2009 - I have lost 117 lbs. only 10 since March buuut I have been dealing w/ my back too.

I have lost 18 inches around my belly button.
17 in my bust - I love that I can see the bones of my upper sternum/ribcage area. (yeah I am a nursing student and I can't remember what it's called)
7 inches - per thigh
4 per arm
15 inches in my hips - i wish they would go down another 15! : )
and at least 15 across my muffin top - that was a measurement that i didn't start from the beginning.

I am excited to fly to Chicago Friday, I am flying there to drive back with Stacie. She is coming here for Don's birthday. But the last time I flew to Chicago I was at my fattest and was wearing compression pantyhose underneath my spanx just to get my hips skinny enough that I wouldn't be over flowing into the seats next to me.
When, already when I flew to Vegas last August(09) to be with Linda I didn't have that problem.

About my Chicago trip. It should be fun. I will be there Friday night, we are leaving early Sat. am, driving to North Platte, NE. Sunday we will arrive in Salt Lake City, and Monday back here! Should be pretty awesome! Stacie will get to see me all kinds of medicated sitting for that long! : )

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


So Saturday we drove to Vegas and it was Hecka HOT! We left Sunday afternoon and it was 109 according to Kelly's (Jennifer's sister)outdoor thermometer. So imagine our shock by the time we got to Hawthorne that we had wished we brought a sweater to wear!

Yesterday was like the perfect fall day! It was breezy and cool mid70's most of the day. I love the fall. I love the crispness in the air! There isn't much about the fall that I don't love, the smells, the tastes...all of it! And I look great in fall clothes! So paying no mind to that we were supposed to be back into the 90's by Wednesday, I decided to try a recipe I had never made before and I kinda toyed w/ 2 recipes and made my own combination of Butternut Squash Soup! Yum! Who knew squash could be soooo yummy!! I have never had it before and neither have my kids and Don doesn't remember having it. We rang in the unofficial start to fall with a delicious hearty soup! It was soo yummy that I am going to share the recipe!

Butternut Squash Soup

1- 2or3 lb butternut squash (peeled, cleaned and diced)
1- granny smith apple (peeled and diced)
3- stalks celery - chopped
2- carrots - chopped
1 - medium onion chopped

you don't have to chop them pretty - they will be blended at the end so don't waste too much time chopping!!

2 - tablespoons butter
4- cups chicken broth
1- 8oz heavy cream
Nutmeg & Cinnamon
Brown Sugar
olive oil
and Salt and Pepper

I found and easy way to peel the squash was just to use my veggie peeler I went over it about 3 times until it was all clean. Then cut the bottom off and clean out the guts (kinda like a pumpkin). Dice the squash into cubes and put into a casserole dish.
add the granny smith apple
add 1/2 the chopped onion
drizzle w/ olive oil
season w/ salt and pepper
sprinkle w/ nutmeg
sprinkle w/ brown sugar (about 1/4 cup)

Place this in your oven at 350 stir once or twice during the roasting process. Roast until squash is soft.

In a large pot melt butter w/ the remaining onion, celery and carrots. Add the soft roasted squash, apple onion combo to the pot.

Pour the chicken broth in the pot along w/ the heavy cream. I started w/
1/4 tsp cayenne but did add more towards the end when I thought it needed it.
Season again with salt and pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Let this simmer until all the veggies are super soft.

This soup gave me a good excuse to by a handheld immersion blender from Walmart it was less the $20.00 but if you don't have one -
you will need to scoop the soup out into a blender and puree. Continue this until all veggies have been pulverized!
If you have an immersion blender just let it do it's magic!
Blend until soup is velvety smooth.

We served this with a spinach salad, roasted chicken (store bought), and dutch crunch crusty bread (the soup needs a hearty bread). Although it is a meal on it's own.

Happy Autumn Everyone!!!!

I will share another super easy recipe

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken

2 - 3 lbs chicken thighs, drumsticks or chicken breasts (we use frozen chicken breasts)
1 - 16oz can whole cranberry sauce
2 - tablespoons dry onion soup mix
2 - tablespoons quick cook tapioca

Put your chicken in the crock pot. In a bowl mix everything else together and pour over the chicken.

Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or High for 2-3.
Serve the chicken w/ Brown Rice and the sauce is super YUMMY!!

don't let the cranberry part scare you.... I almost did....and we would be missing out! try'll like it!!!!!

Want one more new one I tried this summer that we love?

Summer Chicken and Mushroom Pasta

1 box Penne or ziti pasta (I use the Barilla plus b/c it is not made from white flour)
12 oz chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
Italian seasoning
olive oil
4 garlic cloves - minced or sliced
3 cups fresh sliced white mushroom
1 - med onion diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine (i bought whatever was white and less then $5.00 as I won't be drinking it)
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
1/4 cup fresh basil - shredded
3 tbsp fresh oregano (i couldn't find this and used dried)
1/2 cup shaved parm cheese
(i also added) 1/2 grated romano
more pepper

Cook pasta to Al dente - leave in pot

season chicken w/ Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, In a skillet heat about 1 tbl olive oil - add chicken and garlic to skillet. cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink. remove from skillet

Add another tblspoon olive oil to skillet - add mushrooms and onions to the skillet. Cook until they are tender. Carefully add chicken broth and wine to skillet, bring to boil, reduce heat. boil uncovered about 2 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half. (i had to run an errand during this phase and when I got back my sauce had reduced too much so I just brought the heat back up - added another 1/2 cup broth and 1/4 cup wine -basically started over)
Remove skillet from heat it has reduced by 1/2
Add chicken to the pasta followed by the mushroom sauce, add the cherry tomatoes, basil and oregano. Toss to coat.
Add 1/2 the cheese and toss.
Top w/ remaining 1/2 cheese and more pepper to taste. Yummy yummy!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

good news bad news

So last Friday I met with my Neurosurgeon. It was not without a fight. His office called at noon and wanted to cancel to my 2 o'clock appt. and reschedule me for 2 weeks later. I cried. I am not going to lie. I eventually called back and told them I didn't think I should be punished because the doctor was running over an hour behind and I scheduled my appt 2 months ago, and I can't get my back surgery scheduled until the doc reads my newest MRI and I didn't want to have to wait an additional two weeks for that. So I went in for my 2 o'clock appt at 3:30 and was seen.

So the Doc asked if I had received a copy of the MRI and of course I had not. He went to make me a copy. He asked what had brought me back in since my last appt was in Oct and he STRONGLY recommended me for a Lumbar Discectomy ASAP, which I was going to postpone until Christmas break and have never gotten around to doing it....
so I told him. blah blah blah...I am having another flare up....yadda yadda yadda I need to get this operated on stat....
He asked what I had been doing since he last saw me to moderate my disc herniations - I said Yoga and losing weight. He said, " The disc herniation between l4-5 has improved 90% since August 2009" and therefore he can not justify surgery - however - the herniation between l5s1 has gotten a little worse and he can definately see where it is pressing directly back on my sciatic nerve and would cause me a great deal of nerve pain in my legs.
So.....groovy!!! I don't NEED surgery!! but shit....I don't need surgery!
I should be so thrilled that I don't have to have back surgery - but my leg hurts sooo flippin bad it is unreal! So I have a new anti-inflamitory to take and looks like I will be doing more epidural cortisone injections.

The Doc was super impressed with me though - so I should be impressed w/ me too. He said that he didn't think I would be walking on my own w/o surgery because my previous herniations were so bad and if I got those to chill out then I should be able to get this new one to chill out too.

He asked if he could use my MRIs in a speech and case study he was doing about if it is possible for people to heal themselves.
He did say I needed new shoes and new inserts mine are pretty broken down. So yay me! I wonder if my yoga can be a tax write off if it for medical purposes?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So I am employed - as of right now - I am not sure how long that will last.

I am a grave yard cage cashier at the Carson Nugget. It pays not very well, I haven't made this little since I was pregnant with Brooklyn but it is a job. I am not sure they are going to want me when I tell them about my back.

I am going to have my back surgery. I thought I was going to wait until December and Christmas break and do it then - but my docs all say I need to do it NOW - and by now they mean - eh, when they can do it. So it will be like Sept. or Oct. I will know more like the end of July? I am very nervous about it. I wish I would have done it last December because I am in soo much pain - like Becky said, there will never be a good or convient time for back surgery, I will be outta commission for so long after this surgery and let's face it - it's not a c-section or gall bladder surgery. It is freaking me out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Do you ever feel like you can't catch a freaking break?

I swear! My next surgery 2 surgeries ago was supposed to be for new boobs, slimmer thighs and a tummy tuck....not that I can afford it, but my personal theory is that being put general anesthesia can't be good for ones body - so I wanted to limit my time spent under for something awesome like having my boobs put back to where God wanted them originally.

I got more bad news today about my back. As you may remember - I was supposed to have back surgery last December but bailed on it because of money and I wasn't currently having a terrible flare up. I am back "on" with the terrible flare up.
A flare up happens when my already severely herniated disc gets squished more between the vertebrae and presses even more on my nerve which in this case is my sciatic nerve. It is being pressed between L4-L5 and L5-S1. before it was mostly my left side - this summer my right side has been added to the party.

So now during a flare up from my butt to my calf I have a burning charlie horse. It is not fun! Certain life style choices I have made increase my risk of flare ups, they are:

Wearing flip flops...who wants to wear their orthopedic tennis shoes in the summer? Me I guess

Gardening....I should be allowed to use a shovel to dig out weeds and plant flowers with out pain.

Walking, lifting, bending, sitting - sitting has become so bad because your sciatic nerve exits your pelvis into your buttocks - so when I sit it immediately puts more pressure on that nerve and I lose sensation in my legs and feet - they immediately fall asleep.

So, on a normal day my toes are always tingley - on a bad day I am not sure how many toes I have.

So I have continue my drug therapy for the moment. I have been on:
Flexaril, Ultram, Vicodin, Loratab, Lyrica and now I am on Topomax - Lyrica made me gain 3 lbs and I can't be having that! I freaked out w/ the Dr. today. He said a lot of people lose weight on Topomax. I am eager! I hope it helps dull the nerve pain!

So the bad news is: The nerve is being pressed harder on both sides now. My pain management Dr. agreed that the cortisone epidurals are no longer effective in treating the pain. He said I need to do whatever it takes to get my surgery asap. He re-refered me to the Neurologist. It is sad when your pain mgmt Dr. says you need surgery. BLAH.... he said that I likely have permanent nerve damage and that my toes may always be tingley even after they fix my back. That is so scary because I am only 32!! So anyways I will prepare myself for yet ANOTHER surgery that I can't afford. I owe so many frickin people money - it is not even funny! I don't know what I am going to do! Have to spend our Spain money on back surgery?

mustard seeds

Mustard seeds are really small. And if one little one gets in your shoe over a period of time it will eventually wear you down and annoy you. Now add several other equally small mustard seeds to that shoe over a period of time and you have the recipe for a delicious family stew.

It is amazing that we let little small indiscrections/ hurt feelings jeopardize family relations threatening them for generations. Are you going to allow hurt feelings to compile one on top of another for decades? Do you even know where it all began? If they were dealt with one at a time would it be such a big deal now? Were they such a big deal then? I have had a ton of mustard seeds that I have discarded because, well it is what you do with family. Forgive the retarded stuff. Recently I have decided to hang on to a few...just a few, I like the color of mustard....and I have heard when I am angry my face is a beautiful shade of red.

Rather then dealing with that mustard seed when it was first bothering us by taking our shoe off and shaking it out we left it in there to fester, almost like we want to be annoyed by something. But what good has come of it?

It is time that we all take our shoes off and shake out those mustard seeds.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kinda, I am done

Every family has their baggage. I have first cousins on my Dad's side of the family I never met until my Grandma died in 2001. As a matter of fact one of the cousins I had never met had never even met his own brother until that same time - it had been nearly 40 yrs. So I know what a little mustard seed of hurt feelings can do to a family.
I have tried to keep my family relationships tight. I always wanted my kids to know their cousins like best friends and to have relationships with their extended cousins as well.
But now it seems that we are at a cross roads of sorts. I am kinda done doing the leg work. I understand now, that I am an adult, the reason I didn't have as close of relationships with my family from Alabama and most of my cousins is because my family didn't think it was important while I was growing up. We never traveled to visit my Alabama family, I have as an adult. And for the most part most of my cousins despite all living in the Las Vegas/ Henderson area were Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter family. It is sad. I know. I didn't want that for my kids. Even being so far away I have tried very hard to be more then that.
Frustrated in May by my own family I decided to impose a break - I haven't talked to anyone in my family since May 28th, 2010. My frustration didn't all arise from me being butt hurt about my feelings but I also thought that people weren't being as supportive of other changes as I thought, so ok - I took a break, I didn't intend on it to last this long originally, but it has. And the funny thing is I am not sure anyone but my sister knows I am ignoring them! haha My brother probably hasn't even realized that I am not talking to them. Awesome! I mean, I deleted every one's numbers from my cell phone as not to accidentally text them in a moment of weakness! haha Although, I miss my sister, I am still not sure I am over being over looked. I know it is that mustard seed. Starts out so small.

That moment of weakness nearly came this weekend. I almost had to call Holly. She would have been the first person that I called in this situation normally.
Don's family doesn't escape the crazy family drama loop. Nope, not at all! He has family who live in the area. We haven't seen them since Christmas. I have invited them to school functions and dinners and such and I used to just think it was their busy and opposite work schedules which kept them from coming by. But alas, I have had an eye opening weekend! Apparently, I have done something so criminal that they will not return phone calls, texts or emails which I have inquired if there has been a problem between them and me, since I have noticed things to be stale. They didn't respond, so I didn't think of it. Well, this weekend Don had other family in town an the CC area family had a big cookout w/ their entire family (who are all locals) and then the out of town family and then invited Don's step daughter and her family....and not us! Could we get a bigger F-U! What a slap in the face. If you are going to be upset at me for something that I have said or done, real or imaginary - shouldn't you give me the courtesy of telling me what it was so I could at least defend myself. Perhaps, they are pissed at Don...perhaps. I really wished we could all clear the air! I want to be able to apologize or defend myself - but I don't know what or who or why I would be apologizing at this point.
So we have a mustard seed growing among Don's family. They are offended by something and need to distance their selves from us - and at this point, I actually think they owe me an apology for being so rude~ fine don't invite me to your shin dig ~ it is your house and you don't have to invite anyone you don't want to. But I am not making excuses for you anymore either, so when Brooklyn asked me, "Why didn't we go to their house to have homemade ice cream sandwiches?" I said, "I am not sure - we weren't invited - why don't you call them and ask". I can't even tell her why we weren't invited. What a load of shit, honestly. So my kids won't know you and you won't know my kids? Is that what we want from this? The line has clearly been drawn in the sand. And at this point without a meeting of the minds, which doesn't seem like it will happen - my kids are in Carson City with NO Stepro Family. It is hard to say, but I feel like that is the way they want it. Be pissed off at me or Don all you want - but why are you taking it out on my kids? So needless to say, I have deleted phone numbers from my phone - don't want to text people who don't like me. and the same w/ Facebook - not going to be facebook friends with people who don't want to be friends in real life.

Ok, so any ways... I guess I am just kinda done for now - I am done investing more into people then I am seeing returned. The peacemaker side of me wants everyone to just be happy an to get along and I want to be able to call my sister again. But the other part of me thinks, I am too busy, I have my own family to worry about - and if I can go over a month not talking to my own family I can surely go years not talking to my husbands. My Aunt on my Dad's side got offended back in the 70's and I didn't meet my cousin until 2001. It sucks. I never thought my family would splinter - I know my family will be fine - we will start talking again as if nothing happened - but I don't know about Don's. This seems pretty final.

I guess even Job would have to raise the white flag eventually. No one can be that patient and long suffering for ever...right? I guess it is time for me to foster a relationship of family within my own kids and pray they are better at it then my own family and Don's have been. It doesn't matter what happens you are family, right?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

how do I?

How do I make my friends list do the thing where it tells me which people have posted new blogs?


Dang! Facebook really has killed my blog!


A little update on what we have been doing.

I am at a weightloss plateau. I am only 19lbs away from being my half. Half of what I was when I started to lose weight. I hope to get back to the gym this summer. Have again been sidelined due to my crappy back and my crappy galbladder!

I finished w/ school in May - another 4.0 semester. Nervously anticipating the fall, my good friend and study buddy Laura had to succome to the economy and get a job. And my other study partner Robert is taking the class in Fallon. So I don't have a study partner at this time. I am nervous because last semester I was totally having an "off" semester and they literally carried me.

My computer crashed in May and I lost all of my pictures. The only pictures I have are what I have posted on Facebook and my blog. That is a little sad.
I have friends from Bosnia who are going to be in NYC in Sept I was really hoping to be able to go visit them - but it doesn't look promising. I will be flying to Chicago in Sept to drive back to Carson w/ Stacie. She is coming out to help me for a week or so to help w/ Don's 40th birthday party. Then she is embarking on a drive from Carson to Vegas, to Phoenix, to San Antonio and then back to Chicago! Kinda glad I am only doing one leg of that!!

Don is still in school. He is getting his masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. He could make a fortune just off of friends and family! haha He works for Rural Regional Center in Fallon. We are hopeful and prayerful that he will get to transfer to Carson City soon. He has been making that 70mile drive since Oct. But at least now he has the weekends and holidays off! That is so awesome! But the Carson office is only 5 minutes and 3 miles from our house! He is turning 40 in September and due to budget concerns I have had to downsize the sit down dinner party w/ bounce house to probably a lunch or appetizer party at a local park so I don't have to rent a bounce house. Like us most of Don's family who is coming have young kiddos so I need to make sure they are entertained. Is a park party for a 40 yr old man ghetto??

Brooklyn is kicking butt and taking names!! She is awesome! A great kid! She is still doing plays through the Brewery Arts Center. They just finished A Midsummer Night's Dream. After taking the year off of soccer she is going to play in a rec league in the fall. Competitive just is too much of a time commitment for her.
She tried track and field last spring and hated it cause of the I laughed my butt off when she said she wanted to try cross country in the fall! I said, you know it's all running right? No shot put in cross country. I think she changed her mind. She just scored a perfect 500/500 on the English/Reading CRT (standardized testing) and 432 on math (still above avg). We are in the process of filling out the paper work to apply to the Davidson Academy. It is a charter school for academically superior kids, they meets at the UNR campus, and once they have completed all of the required stuff for high school they go on to take college classes until their graduation date. It is an amazing school! We are prayerful that she gets in!

Ava is Ava. She is fiesty. My friend Laura said that she was like babysitting twins. Nice. She is super cute and has an amazing vocabulary. The least of which is, "WhAT??" "Because I said why not!" and she sings everything! I think that is the coolest thing about her. She sings songs that she learned at school or church or saw on Nick Jr. She will sing for hours. She love to swim and has little fear of anything!

Don and I are trying to plan a getaway this summer for the 2 of us - we need a break. but finding someone who is willing to watch Ava or close enough to watch the girls is hard to find. So we are hoping Don's mom will be able to watch the girls for a weekend in July. She is nice to have around...
As far as summer vacations go I have instituted another ban of travelling to visit families (his and mine). It's no vacation! I am tired of doing all of the traveling to see people who don't care enough to come visit us. It is a waste of a vacation day. Our next vacation will be a vacation. I do this every few years or so. I know times are tough all around but we are not exempt from that either and we still manage to make our families a priority to see. Which usually means I don't grocery shop for 2-3 weeks before and we just scrape by with what we have in the house.

The weather here has been very nice! It was a long wet winter and therefore a mild summer. Today was the hottest day so far and I don't think we broke 100. It is funny cause Don had the opportunity to transfer to Vegas, which we declined at this time until we see if Brooklyn gets into Davidson, but he was soo whiney about the heat yesterday! haha it was 96! I was dying! And he was the one that wanted to move down to Vegas! He wouldn't last a summer there!!

So find me on Facebook - I have lot of pics posted there! And if you miss us - come and visit! Where our house is small we would rearrange to accomodate you!