Just a quick post to say Merry Christmas to everyone!!!
I've been running around like a crazy person, as I'm sure you all have too. On top of normal Christmas "stuff" my uncle passed away last Friday. He was my dad older and only brother. We had his funeral yesterday afternoon, on Christmas Eve and as horrible as it could have been, the day actually turned into something special for my family. We shed tears, and shared laughs, hugs and memories. It was Christmas Eve I'll never forget.

The kids opened their gifts this a.m. and were very happy to recieve the Nintendo DSes they had asked for. :) Gabe got a drum set last night from Mom and LOVES it. It is so cute watching him beat them to death and it actually isn't too loud so it's all good. ;)

I made my traditional pancake breakfast this a.m. I've been doing it since I was 10 yrs old. :D Now we are all taking our time showering and getting dressed to go to DJ's parents, and then to my Grams.

It's a good day. :)



So I think I'm safe on the smoking issue now... I haven't had one since yesterday morning. As I stood, shivering in the garage, smoking, I realized that it wasn't making me feel any better. I hated the smell and I hated sneaking around and I decided that it wasn't worth it. I dunno. I'm weird like that I guess. All the sudden I just was turned off to it and decided I was done.
I think partially it was due to the fact that my tiny tummy has been hurting the last few days... in a weird sort of way. A, something's just not right, kind of way. It isn't sharp pain or bad pain even, or even pain at all really... it's just a weird feeling and when I eat or drink, it doesn't feel good.
So... it may just be that I'm crazy and all the talk of bleeding ulcers caused by smoking has turned me into a hypocondriac OR something is going on and I should be careful.
At any rate, I'm done for now. I laugh at times b/c this blog really does make me sound crazy at times. When I put my thought processes down on paper, it makes me see how quirky I am at times. I blame it on the artist in me. ;) All musicians, artists, etc are "weird"... right? hehe.
I have had the last two days off work and while I like having days off, I do get stir crazy at the same time. I used to LOVE staying home all. the. time. When I was a stay at home mom and really had no reason to leave the house, I'd stay in for weeks at a time. Or at least from Sunday to Wednesday and then Wednesday to Sunday, only leaving to go to church on those days. How pathetic! The sad thing was that I liked it and didn't want to go out. I was hiding obviously.
While I was in my early 20's and less than 200 lbs. I was the life of the party and constantly on the go, but once I started popping out babies and getting fat, all I wanted to do was stay home and take care of my kids, clean and cook. Which, isn't bad... those are good things and I was/am a darn good wife/mom BUT now I see that I was hiding and avoiding. Now, that the weight is gone, I can do all those things AND work and have my own identity. It's wonderful!
Speaking of that, the LPN test was cancelled Monday due to a snowstorm so it will be sometime after the first of year before I get a chance to take a makeup exam. That is ok though. I am believeing that everything happens for a reason.
I weighed 166 this a.m. Dang it. I can tell you what it is... Too much junk and zero exercise! Blah! I'm all, "When Jan. 1st comes, it's on!!!" and I know that it will be and I will hit my goal, but these couple weeks here of Christmas are so freaking hard and I do not want to see anymore gain. Bah humbug.
Now someone go eat those chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen so I don't have to. Please and thank you. ;)


8 months!

I still managed to lose 10 lbs. this month again. Yay!

I must confess though that holiday treats are driving me crazy!!! UGH!

So I *think* I finished most of my shopping today. Now to sort it and wrap it.

While shopping today I stopped into Pac Sun and bought the CUTEST hoodie and some cute little (YES I SAID LITTLE!!!) tanks to go under and to also go with a few other shirts/sweaters I have.

The highlight of the day?

When DJ and I were in the dressing room (hehe) and he said to me, "See honey, you aren't fat anymore". It felt amazing...and to know that I'm only going to keep getting smaller. It's wonderful. So wonderful in fact, that I've vowed to get up in the a.m. and do my aerobics DVD.

I bought a stepper at Goodwill a few weeks ago and haven't used it yet. I really would like to see about toning some of this flab/skin up before goal and before deciding on PS. Hopefully it isn't too late. We'll see. There may be no hope, but exercise never hurt anyone. Well, I take that back. Exercise hurts, but it's worth it. ???? LOL

So... let's see... what else???

OH! Addiction transfer. I've been struggling with that. I've been smoking. I know. I know. It's nasty and smelly, not to mention dangerous and overall, a bad idea. And yet, when I was stressed out (beyond belief) and couldn't reach for food, a cigarette was the next best thing. Iy yi yi.

I made a pack last about two weeks, so that goes to show how (not) often I was doing it, but now, I'm craving... and I'm sneaking and I dunno... I just don't like that. Obviously I'm ashamed and I know that I shouldn't be doing it and yet, omg if I don't CRAVE those little buggers.

Why?? Why did I do this?? I was a smoker 7 years ago. Yep... 7 years smoke free... and now here I am working on pack two. Hating it. Hating the smell, the taste it leaves in my mouth, hating the fact that I have to stand outside and FREEZE in this blizzard subzero weather, and yet... why am I still doing it???

I keep telling myself, carbon monoxide, bleeding ulcers, lung cancer, or worse...but for some reason my thick head isn't getting it.

It's just like the old days of mindless eating. I would stand in front of the dozen, or two, of cookies and know that if I ate all those I'd be fat... That I was risking heart disease, thunder thighs, a fat omentum (thanks Dr. Oz) and yet I'd eat those cookies, chase them with some chocolate milk and be on my way. I would eat until I was sick! Why couldn't I stop?

Am I a mental case or what???

At any rate, I'm fighting the urge to go out and have one right now. DJ keeps begging me to quit. If not for me, then do it for him and the kids. He doesn't understand the battle in my mind isn't that easy of a choice. It isn't cut and dry like that.

So I guess I'll vow to do better. The 20 degree weather is a nice deterent for the most part. If any of ya'll have struggled with being on the verge of trading one vise for another, how did you stop it??


I want a tat...

I have NEVER wanted a tattoo before... Honestly intentional pain just sounds stupid to me, but now I want a tattoo. A small one, on my lower back, a tramp stamp if you will.
I also want a belly button ring (once I lose another 30 lbs.).
I'm 28... Am I too old?


His job

is safe but suffice it to say that DJ will be on the look out from now on. They really wanted to fire him, but the union saved his butt this time. Jerks. He really did nothing wrong. :(
So new plan.... I am taking the entrance exam for nursing school next Monday. I had thinking about it for months, (and procrastinating...afterall, what am I better at than that??) but after all this hoopla figured I need to just get a career and be done with it.
DJ doesn't want to be a steel worker for the rest of his life, and I do not want to be a waitress for the rest of mine. So... we are going to make some changes.
I will get through LPN school in 10 months. It starts July 2008, so I'll be done by May 2009. Then after that DJ will decide what he wants to do and will go to school.
I have been in college two times before. The first time, was right out of high school and I took nothing seriously, spent most of my time partying and flunked out. Later, in 2002, after having Abby I went back to Ohio State and got about two quarters done before I let my mom talk me into quitting. Yes, you read that right... My MOTHER talked me into quitting college. Well, her and the people we were going to church with at the time. Looking back, that was the DUMBEST thing ever.
Long story short, my mom is one who believes a mother should home with her children 24/7 and is constantly fighting me on wanting to do more. I realize I need to take care of my kids, and I DO. And I resent the fact that she tries to make me feel like a bad mother when I work or want to finish school. It's rediculous.
At any rate, this afternoon, as DJ and I had lunch, following his hearing at work, and he said to me... Here we are, no further along than before, b/c we have listened to everyone elses opinions far too long. No more. You ARE going to nursing school and when you are done, I'm going to school and we are going to do what we want with our lives. I wanted to kiss him right there. He is such a great man and we are in this thing together, for the long haul, and we will work hard and we will become what we want to be. On our own. No more listening to the naysayers.
The last month has been one attack after another. People trying to destroy our lives, our name, our integrity. Often, I have said, "I can't take anymore", but honestly, I have realized I can take a whole lot more than I ever imagined. And honestly, I'm only stronger and more determined to prove people wrong and make myself and my family happy.
I know who I am. I know who DJ is. I know we are good people and we will reach our goals.
Seven months ago, I rolled into an operating room, scared, fat, depressed, angry and staring death in the face, I took my life back and now I'm going to live it.


Can't Stop Staring...

I took that picture last night. The one, over there, ----> in front of the door, in the black sweater set and jeans. I was wearing cute heels too (darn you D.J. for cutting those off). Anyway, I keep staring at it. I opening paint, and put the before and current picture side by side and I stare. For a long time. I study every line, every detail. I don't remember being "that big", but I know I was. The pictures don't lie. On the other hand, can I really be this "small" now? Do I really look that slim in person? And why does my head look so big? Do I really have a large head??? I look at my legs, and my stomach and my chest, my arms, legs, and chin even. Who is this person? Is this what everyone else is seeing? And why does she look so different from what I see in the mirror staring back at me each day?

So many questions!

When I downloaded this picture of me last night and it popped up on the screen, I froze. I didn't recognize me. I didn't know that woman looking back at me. Everything looks different and yet how had I missed that when I see me all the time???

I've called DJ into the computer room different times today and asked the same question... Do I really look like that? I mean REALLY??? Am I really normal sized??

It's so much all the sudden. I still feel BIG. As big as before honestly and when I look in the full length mirror I see imperfection and yet, last night as my mom and I went into the bathroom at the restaurant to touch up our makeup I saw something I never thought I'd see. Me, standing side by side w/ my (skinny) mother and I was smaller. She even commented, "Amber, look at us... you are smaller than me!"

I have been bigger than my mom since I was in 5th grade. I remember I weighed 135 and she weighed 130. That's 17 years, that I've been bigger and now suddenly, I'm smaller?!?!?

And so today, I've spent, staring at me. I realize how rediculous that sounds, but I'm really trying to "SEE" me. I still have 35 lbs. to lose and I still am facing PS BUT, I think I may have reached a point where I can feel ok about me and how I look.

Just maybe.


I'm an AUNT!

DJ's sister had her baby last night. :)
Miley Taylor L*******
8 lbs. 7 oz.
20 in. long
She has the fattest cheeks I've ever seen. She is beautiful!! <3


I forgot to mention...

more bad news.

I forgot to tell ya'll about DJ getting hurt at work early Monday morning. He was hit by a crowbar in the chest (he works in a steel mill) and thank god only suffered minor injuries and had some stitches. His company is being rude about the whole thing, (of course...workman's comp crap). This morning he headed over to see the company doctor so he could be released to return to work. The ER doc said he was not to return until he saw the company doctor today. The boss called Monday afternoon and told him that he had to return on midnights that night. Of course he said no b/c he had a doctors excuse and didn't go in. This a.m. he went to see the company doctor and his boss came in and told him that he has 5 days off with no pay for insubordination for not coming in when they told him to. Jerks. Now he has to go through a hearing and fight it and hope to get paid for these, now 7 days off. :( At Christmas. Omg. Seriously what the heck is going on???

Talk about stressing out. I. Am. So. There.


So I have zero Christmas spirit this year. We have no decorations up yet, no tree, and I've only purchased about 4 things for the kids so far. Everytime I think about Christmas coming, I feel ill. Our bills are piled up right now. I mean seriously piled up. I am working my butt off and we seem to be further behind than when I stayed home with the kids and didn't work. Ugh!!! Not to mention our $600 cell phone bill. Yes, that is not a typo. Six hundred dollars...$610.49 to be exact. I could throw up.
How'd it get that high you ask? Two words. Text Messaging. DJ somehow managed to send out 4000 last month thinking he had unlimited txting. He obviously did not.
And so, a $600 cell bill at Christmas time is bad, but also regular bills, (our first heating bills are starting to come in) and braces pymts., car pymts, groceries, etc.... And once again I have no clothes that fit. I'm serious. Last night at work, I had to tie my apron around my belt loops in order to keep my pants up. Don't get me wrong. I like shrinking, but I need to be able to walk without my pants falling to my ankles. I work at a family restaurant, afterall.
And so, here I sit, looking out the window, staring at falling snow, wishing, hoping and praying that everythign works out and that by some miracle we get enough cash to pay all of our bills and clothe my small(er) butt.
I told DJ that if it wasn't for early termination fees and credit reports I'd say screw the cell phone bill, but we (him) really put ourselves in a bad spot. Ugh.
I hate even talking about it here b/c normally we have what we need and don't sacrifice too much, but the timing on this just sucks.
Oh yeah, AND when I was driving home last night, I noticed my wheel shaking when I went around a curve in my Expedition. A car repair on top of all of this is not what I need right now!!!


I'm better...

Thank God I have support. This week was a rough one, but I'm going to make it and I'm a better person because of it.