". . . our stories are what make the difference, and if we can tell them honestly we can hope to help each other. In the end, we have nothing to offer each other but our stories." ~ Emma Lou Thayne

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weight Loss Roller-coaster... but I DO have the KNOWLEDGE... *sigh*

I've learned a LOT about this... I have worked with nutritionists in the past and have studied a LOT...  NOT that anyone would have a CLUE to LOOK at me... UGH! Genetics is NOT on my side HERE!! (The meds I take don't help, either...) But my motivation here ALSO CYCLES!! I should die of heart failure within the next decade at the rate I'm going... I reserve myself to the fact that maintaining where I am would be healthier than the yo yoing I put my body through... Then I get disgusted and mega motivated (aka OBSESSED) and go nutso in what I THINK AT THE TIME IS THE RIGHT DIRECTION... (perhaps it WOULD be if I actually made it a LIFELONG change... which is ALWAYS the intention at the moment...), that goes for a period of time until I get distracted and figure I'll get back on track after XXX... Then I get overwhelmed with how fast everything I was working towards gets undone and just GIVE up... Then I go back to the idea of maintaining... & the vicious cycle repeats... *sigh*


You HAVE to speed up your metabolism. You have to eat healthy & MOVE your body... 

~It is better to eat 6 small meals than 3 BIG ones... 

~DRINK LOTS of WATER!! 64 oz a day MINIMUM!! DROP the soda/carbonation! EXCLAMATION MARK!  ;p

~Here is my favorite place to track EVERYTHING when I'm in the "ON" mode... SparkPeople
They have great tips & recipes too! The recipes have all the nutritional information you need to keep track and you can tell if they're good by the comments and ratings. I haven't made anything from there we don't like YET.  ;D   Use their meal & activity trackers & you'll notice a BIG difference.  If you have any questions about navigating the site, just comment below and I'll get back to you.  <3   BTW, this site is TOTALLY FREE!

~Skipping meals and/or hardly eating puts your body in starvation mode and makes it want to hold on to everything, making your body expend energy from current sources instead of fat. So if you want to break into the fat storage, eat something healthy as a snack between meals. Space your meals/snacks somewhat evenly. Pay attention to Fat, Calories, Protein, & Carbs...  DON'T skip meals or eat LESS than is recommended. That is frequently where people shoot themselves in the foot. ;D

~Get more ACTIVE! Simple things make a BIG difference! Park further away, take the stairs... Find ways of working out that you can enjoy so you'll stick with it... ;D

You DON'T have to join a gym!! I have a GAZELLE TRAINER & I got mine through KSL.com real reasonable. It's great for keeping going for longer periods of time... like while watching a show... ;D Then I also have a ball & resistance bands... & little dumbells for strength training. I also have TONS of workout DVDs. If you live close, you're welcome to borrow some now and again!  I also have an AbLounge... Don't waste your money on that one, it's kind of useless... ;p

So, posting this again makes me feel kind of crappy... KNOWING the things I need to do and NOT doing them for the last few MONTHS... I have regained half of what I worked so hard to lose! It comes off SLOW, but returns with a VENGEANCE!!!

Hope this is helpful to someone!! Go to that CLICK and join SparkPeople !! (Just click on the word and it will take you there!) And click recipes for the great section on that!! And there's even an AWESOME recipe calculator that you can enter your owns recipe to get the nutrition information!!  You CAN'T go wrong!! They give you all the tools there for FREE that others make you pay a fortune for.  =D

Friday, April 23, 2010

This Old Tree... No MORE... :`(

OK, When I lived in Hooper, I drove by this tree ALL THE TIME!! When Rich and I were driving by it one day in 2005, we just happened to have the camera and thought, "That's a COOL DEAD TREE!" We stopped and took a picture... Just ONE...  and BELIEVE ME... with ALL our images, it's AMAZING that we FOUND this one. Rich took this one and I edited it. He also FOUND it. Now THAT'S an accomplishment.  =D
Monday evening I got a call from a friend that lives near it. She said that a farmer burned their field and a dead tree caught on fire... "It looks cool, you might want to take a picture!" I get there and LO and BEHOLD!! It's the SAME TREE!!! It's a SMALL WORLD after ALL!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wall Written has my wheels turning...

OK, I've been playing with their design & custom tools at their site and it's SO EASY!! I am getting ready to place an order, but still can't narrow it down enough. I guess I'll have to slow down and take it 1... ok... maybe 3  ;p  steps at a time! HAH!! I'm going to post some of my inner thoughts and if anyone reads this and cares to give me your opinions... I'm open to that, for SURE!  ;D

OK, my BIG IDEA... that I have to figure out WHERE it would go exactly... possibly the wall downstairs that isn't FINISHED yet... so that will give me a LITTLE time.  ;D  Hubby is BIG into FAMILY HISTORY! He has THOUSANDS of photos and they go back over a hundred years. And just between US, yours. mine, & ours make 10 kids and now 17 grandkids!! How cool would it be to have a WHOLE wall organized of family history images past to present and have THIS as the background???

So a little about this... LOL!! The tree is totally something she has predesigned and available. You can choose the color of the wall (to get an idea how it would look on YOUR wall) the color of the tree, and the color of the bird. (You can do this with all her predesigned items, you can EVEN create your OWN statement with color and font) The statement ABOVE is one that I would CREATE. 
(I'm the NUT... but I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm the only one... ;p  LOL!! ) 

This one I just chose the colors, but I want to see if she would alter it for me. (I just KNOW she WILL!) I want it to say, "I've held them in my arms." on the lower part There's a niche above our piano that has a collage of our granddaughter that passed away from NALD in 2007. I want to put the saying above the niche. Our grandson has the same disease and won't be with us long, but he seems to be doing so GOOD!! The collage will be recreated with images of both of these sweethearts. If our daughter likes it, I'll order one for her in the colors she likes... So this will be on hold for a little bit, too.

This one I want ON my headboard.  ;D  It's a maple, so the background color isn't quite right, but it gave a bit of an idea.

THIS is a MUST have for an area by our table!! We have a son that is SUCH a PICKY eater!! LOL!!

This one I want above our front door!  ;D

This one is for my hubby! He is my anchor, my TRUE NORTH, my HERO!! I want to put this above the towel ring to the side of his sink in our bathroom. He like lighthouses and nautical decorations, so this will coordinate with that.

This would be for ME on the wall above our jetted tub. Sometimes I need an escape... This seems like a perfect place.  ;D

Another one I LOVE and in MY colors!!  ;p  Haven't decided which spot this will go in for SURE yet, but there's many options!  ;D  ...and I'm still trying to LEARN... maybe this will help!

We have family photos GALORE!! I bought these black collage frames at Christmastime and STILL haven't gotten things organized and UP!! *sigh* I'm a MASTER PROCRASTINATOR... I DO think this would be a perfect saying to put in the middle or above them!

This one my 12 yr old swears he will want on his wall forever more. WE sahll SEE... He currently has a Spiderman theme. Even when he does away with the quilt and Spiderman clings around it, I think this is a GREAT statement!! ;D

...and BOTH of these would be great for my 11 yr old...
He LOVES to READ and he CAN be quite mischievous at times. ;p
(Imagine THAT! Mischief in an 11 yr old BOY!)
I'm thinking this one would make an AWESOME wedding gift!!

Now when I start thinking of GRANDKIDS... WOW!!! I think I better limit this for the moment... but BELIEVE ME... my wheels have turned PLENTY in that direction, TOO!!  =D

So.... WHAT do YOU think???

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wall Written has some CUTE STUFF!!

Emily is the designer for Wall Written and truly has some adorable designs! I have  linked her website in the links and her blog on the blog roll in the left column so they are always easily found. 
On her blog she sometimes does a contest giving away some of her cute designs!
This week there's actually 2 designs. The first and favorite to me is this:

My bipolar leans towards depression, which represents rain to me... However, I have to admit, I LOVE overcast and rainy days... Go figure.. ;p  Probably because of the headaches/migraines the bright light triggers...  But I'm always trying to function the best I can and do the things that need to be done to continue being a productive person. Some days are harder than others. So I know there will always be a storm around the corner or I'm in the middle of it... So I just have to continue to do the best I can with the support of a sweet and patient husband and the love and atonement of Christ.

Here is the other one, which I do like a lot, too! I've been doing a LOT more casseroles since hubby got me an AWESOME Corelle set for  Christmas. (THAT and throw in some SWEET things I got from Pampered Chef... WALLA... I'm cooking more again!...) These casseroles have been turning out pretty GREAT!! Even my 12 yr old eats most of them!! WOW!! THAT's saying SOMETHING! Some days I don't have all the right ingredients for a recipe, so I just start throwing things together that seem like they might work. The boys kind of laugh at me on these days. But one time it was so good that they keep asking for THAT ONE AGAIN and I can't remember WHAT I DID!! LOL!! So maybe I should do it more often, but write down the adjustments along the way JUST in case it turns out SPECTACULAR!! Hehehe!!  ;D

This week's is coming to an end, but have no FEAR, There will be more to come, I'm sure!  =D
Also, check out her website: Wall Written
She does a contest for customers that send it pictures of the finished products on their walls, too!

There is also a giveaway at Bargain Divas for a $50 giveaway to Wall Written that ends MONDAY! AWSOMENESS!!!  ((((HUGS)))

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome???

I was reading some things over at  Mormon Mommy Blogs  and was relating to something a lady was saying about her hubby and his sleep patterns. He has   Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome   and it seems like this may be what my problem is. Rich is very patient and just does his thing when I sleep.  I am lucky enough to have some flexibility in my mornings with Rich being retired. Although, sometimes I'm STILL awake when it's time to get them off. Rich is naturally early to bed and early to rise. I'm jealous. He is practically asleep before hitting the pillow!

My biggest problem is other people and how they judge it. The harder I try to be NORMAL, the further OFF it seems to GET. I can do what I have to do in the morning when necessary... I just DON'T SLEEP that day. I thought it was related to the bipolar; who knows, maybe it is... However, this is something to discuss with the doc, perhaps... I don't think I could do the "Light Therapy" with the headaches/migraines, though. Oh WOW!! I DRIVE ME CRAZY!!  ;p

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I have a friend/neighbor who's little black min pin got out of her yard through a gap in the fence yesterday due to someone else's negligence. The night before they had put her collar with the ID tags on the counter, so it wasn't on the dog. She and her family searched all day and didn't find her. OF COURSE it HAD to SNOW AGAIN through the night. HELLO! It's APRIL 13!! Can we PLEASE move on to the next SEASON!! *sigh*

KNOWING how I would be if it was one of my precious pups, I KNEW she MUST be FRANTIC!! So I hoped I could do something constructive with my insomnia. She had posted a photo on Facebook. (to the left... Speedy is the one on the right.) I gathered from the conversations there information I could use to create a flyer that could be posted on the mailboxes and local spots in hopes that someone has information. I pulled the image into Photoshop and did what I do!! Took the other dog out, sharpened the image slightly, put the information and a border around it. I printed 2 to a sheet of card-stock x10 to give her 20 to start. I'll gladly print more if she needs them!!! My prayers are with them and the safe return of their beloved pet!!

So WHY are our pets so important??? Well, for some people they are part of the family! That's how I consider mine. Mind you, there are members of our extended family that DON'T understand that. I can honestly say that MINE are a blessing to me and I know they improve my mental well-being. Call me kookie... WHATEVER!!! They are where I find unconditional love, acceptance, and devotion that DOES NOT come from ANYWHERE ELSE! I swear Jazzi can sense my moods. When I am down, she is by my side and trying to cheer me up. I would be FRANTIC if I couldn't find one of them! I know that Jake's time is short. He keeps trying to die on me... So I am trying to be prepared for when it REALLY happens. Though I know, it won't be easy.  *sniff*

I can't help but think of an incident that happened at Christmas when my sister came to visit with her family and their new dog. They had just adopted this adorable long haired dachshund/border collie mix pup. This pup is a little older but hadn't been trained by the previous owner. He ALSO was in the process of adjusting to a new family. And here they were at MY HOUSE... INSIDE... When our adult daughter came over they took a little longer coming in the door with a car seat and all... My sister and her husband saw Tucker (the dog) bolting for the door and yelled, "CLOSE THE DOOR!!" Well, those coming through the door didn't have a clue what was happening and it didn't quite register fast enough and OUT he RAN!! AND he RAN!! I took off in socks in the snow... Followed by my BAREFOOTED 13 yr old niece. She was FASTER than ME... Tucker was FASTER than HER!! She figured he'd wear out and kept running... There were some people walking and they had a dog with them that distracted Tucker. My initial thought was "Thank GOODNESS! I'm sure they'll help her!" Of course they're WAY down the street! Most of those walking just kept going and had said some things, then one of the kids seemed to try to block him off a little and FINALLY she was able to get him and return. FEET FROZEN and tears in her eyes and ROSY RED cheeks, she was clearly UPSET! Apparently they were telling her that she should have that dog on a leash and people that won't take care of their dogs shouldn't get them!  *Heart SINKS!*  WHAT the %^&(* were they THINKING??? That a young girl LIKES RUNNING around an unfamiliar neighborhood BAREFOOT in the SNOW??? SHE was the only one FAST enough to get out that door fast enough to have a CHANCE tat catching him and they totally RUINED her holiday! I WISH I KNEW WHO it was !!! I'd have probably gone ballistic on them! SO... I'll consider it a BLESSING that I don't know... So I didn't do or say something I'd later regret. But I was embarrassed for them being in my neighborhood. This is a sweet young gal that does good service to others. She just made Student Body PRESIDENT at her Jr High School. She was treated badly and scolded over something that she had NO FAULT in and was trying to HELP. I am so glad we were able to get Tucker back! They have been working with him and he's much better trained now. My sister now understands the connection I have with my dogs because that is the kind of bond she's getting with Tucker. I am grateful!

My prayer is for SPEEDY to be recovered to her loving family. The circumstances of Speedy getting out was not from their negligence and they miss her terribly! I totally UNDERSTAND that bond and THAT is why I felt compelled to help. I hope that someone saw her running about and could tell that she is well taken care of and loved... was able to get her to come and just didn't know who to call due to the missing collar. I know I have done that before and will watch for a flyer, call the shelter to see if anyone was looking, go to a local vet and have them scanned for a microchip, and put a notice in the paper. I know that the weather was a BIG concern for the family.

I don't know that ANYONE will read this... but if you DO and live in my neighborhood, please keep an eye out and spread the word!! Help Speedy get back home!

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Need Thee Every Hour

I'm trying to have the courage to share more; in hopes of finding a little understanding. I have kept so much bottled up and hidden. I've always had the motto "Fake it till ya' make it!" However, I've been failing miserably at the faking part more and more... Megan Dewey Clark has been an inspiration to me! I thank her for her courage to share and educate and giving me someone to relate to.

I was watching a Living Essentials episode on the BYU channel a while back during an insomnia night... ok, it was the wee hours of the morning... and there was a guest speaking about mental illness and the struggles that have passed down through generations in her family. I can't remember if she was a descendant of the woman who wrote it or what... but it brought this hymn more to the surface of my thoughts. The first verse speaks the most to me... but I notice how different verses can speak directly to people dealing with different trials in life. What a beautiful gift...

"I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord. No tender voice like thine, can peace afford.I need thee, oh I need thee. Every hour I need thee. Oh bless me now my Savior, I come to thee."  ~Annie S. Hawkes

Music has always spoken to my soul. My emotional strings are puppets to music. I find that there are different styles of music I appreciate in different moods. [OK, honestly, I can NEVER find an appreciation for hard rock or rap... but most everything else I can find something I like at different times... as long as it's not too loud when I have a headache. ;p ] I hear songs from decades past and they bring me back in time to a memory of something I was doing while hearing that song when it was new. Funny how many bring me back to the skating rink or trudging up water slides carrying my mat. And some take me to things that were not so FUN and bring sadness or fear from loss or abuse. Some bring me back to dancing as a cheerleader (LOL! Axel F, Michael Jackson, Foreigner...) Some remind me of the abandonment of some of those I thought were my friends when I didn't try out in high school.  Some to twirling my baton in high school, marching with the band, singing in the choirs (ESPECIALLY at CHRISTMAS), jazz band, pep band, concert band, playing in the school musicals or playing in the musical orchestra... I played the clarinet and oboe in concert band, the alto sax in pep/marching band, the Bari sax and flute in jazz band... I thought I would be a lifelong musician. I sang in all the choirs and played in all the bands. I could have gone to Weber on scholarship. I didn't... I married someone that was not good for me that went in the air force and I followed where he was sent. Totally disconnected from family and friends with a continual barrage of degrading demeanor, I slipped further down the slippery slope of lowering self esteem. I don't think I could even play those instruments anymore. Haven't SINCE high school. *sigh*

Maybe it's not so funny how I dreamed so big and then let those dreams die. Once I made a few bad choices, they changed the course I was on in spite of many trials that had been put upon me before. Perhaps I felt that since the more recent life altering were choices I made, so I must deserve what I ended up with and not good enough for the things I'd previously aspired to. The roller coaster got wilder as I began allowing depression to make my choices. I always had striven to stay close to the Lord, but I struggled greatly for several years when I didn't have a supportive spouse.

So what made him think it was OK to take me for granted so badly? Why was he so selfish that he didn't care what sacrifices I and the children had to make, as long as he got the things he wanted? He was good at promising things would get better; he never followed through. He was constantly ready to LEAVE us... then would change his mind and I'd take him back... My mother had many bad relationships, and in my mind, I was not going to get divorced... I would prove everyone that was against my choice that they were wrong and make it work even if I had to DO IT MYSELF. I learned the hard way that there are situations worse than divorce. Having constant belittling, cheating, etc... I was finally strong enough to not accept him back. I did give him a window of opportunity. He could go to counseling with me if he was serious about things being better. Well, that was not an acceptable option so it finally proceeded to a divorce. I believed life would end at that time. However, with the love and support of my ward members, I was able to get stronger and it ended up being a huge blessing. From the way he's carried on through life, his absence of paying child support, his canceling on the children at the last moment and leaving me to deal with the brunt of their disappointment repeatedly, I know he was not capable of being the man I needed him to be.

I had a wonderful visiting teacher, bishop, and relief society president and such great neighbors that buoyed me up and helped me gain more confidence and esteem. I was finally able to get to the temple. I couldn't do that before he left, because he was not supportive. The peace I found there! *sigh*

More trials came, but to jump ahead to ease your concerns... Decades have passed, I find that my depression was finally diagnosed so that I was aware of my additional trials. After several years, we discovered that I actually suffer from bipolar disorder and it leans more towards depression. Don't panic, I've never been uncontrollably aggressive or unable to control outbursts and such... It's amazing how many people imagine the worst possible scenarios whenever they hear "bipolar" or "mental illness"... The knowledge actually can help to cope... discovering things that trigger different reactions and avoiding them.

I am now married to a wonderful man that has a sense of humor, STRONG testimony of the gospel, and more patience in his little finger than I have in my WHOLE BODY!! And he loves me in spite of me and my many flaws! I don't know how he does it!! As I've gotten older, there are things that have been more difficult for me... Somehow, he doesn't seem to be phased. He is my miracle for enduring through things in my past. More will come out in future posts, I'm sure. But although I have various trials that I deal with, I am blessed and I KNOW that my Heavenly Father knows and loves ME!

... and as for the music, I acknowledge that it has always been important to me...  it speaks to me... I think since hubby and I don't have all the same appreciations in music style, I have abandoned it much of the time and I find I miss it. So some may tout the evils of an IPOD... well, I TRULY APPRECIATE MINE!  ;p

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