Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving this Year

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was dangit hard. In more ways than one.

This was my last Thanksgiving with my Paige where I knew she was going with us to her Nana's. Next year, she may have a boyfriend who will whisk her away to spend the holiday with his people. College sucks. I want her to grow up but on my terms, Internets. Yes, I know this is impossible and improbable, but I can think whatever I want in my head, thankyouverymuch.

I got a small taste of the future this Thanksgiving. She has a very close friend from childhood (Wait..she's still still a child, right? So they've been friends since they were 11 and 12 years old.) who was home from college for the week. They simply adore each other and always try to see each other when in the same area. She asked to go with A. on Wednesday evening to see one of his friends perform somewhere. I said sure and told her to be home (at Nana's) by midnight. I love A. He had her home and she was in the door by 11:34. *snort* Not me. I would have made it in the door at 11:59:59. The next day, Thanksgiving, I was making my list for Black Friday and checking it twice, when I received a phone call from A. He politely asked if Paige could accompany him and his mother and Aunts shopping that night. *sigh* This was to be the first year she was to go with us. Family rule states you have to be sixteen to go Black Friday shopping and we didn't go last year. I was looking so forward to having her go with us this year. (Family rule was just made last year. It's our family and our rules, man.) I told him sure she could go and have a blast. And she did. She hung out with A. and friend N. and they did massive people watching and laughing. I wasn't worried because we were all in the same area shopping and I even ran into her around 3 a.m. She made it home by 5:30 and we weren't far behind at 7:30 a.m. Some of you may think that's alot of freedom to give a teenager. She's a good kid. A. is a good kid. She doesn't go and do much because she hates high school. I loved high school and find this sad. I want her to love high school like I did, but she's an old soul. Always has been. High school is just a chore that has to be done in her mind. She's so excited for college and I can't really blame her. I think that's when she'll bloom and blossom and become even more fabulous than what she is now. (Is that possible??)

Now, we are starting to do early admissions for college. Graduation announcements have been ordered and her page in the yearbook in school has been designed by yours truly. I have to order her cap and gown this week and I already know who is catering her graduation reception here at the house.

Life is here. It doesn't matter if I'm ready or not. That kid of mine is sprouting wings and it won't be long before she spreads them and jumps from my nest.

Side note on me personally now. Thanksgiving was hard with the food. I won't lie to you. There was a lot I couldn't eat because carbs are not my friend at all. My sis-in-law and Mama made the sweet potato casserole with splenda, God bless 'em, but I still couldn't eat it. It's really hard to explain, but when you take a small bite, you'll know within minutes if you can handle it. I took two small bites and my system told me "Yeah, not now, girl." So, I listen. I was able to enjoy a piece of ham with giblet gravy on top so I was happy. My awesome husband wouldn't eat red velvet cake in front of me. How cute is that? All in all, I lost 2 pounds last week because food and I aren't the greatest of friends right now. Maybe next year I can have a taste of all that I missed out on this year. I am loving having more energy and being able to walk. Black Friday shopping was flippin' great because I could stand in line without my back breaking. I could walk and look as long as I wanted without desperately seeking out a bench to sit upon. So, all in all, Thanksgiving was great. Just the food part was hard.

I didn't take pictures like I intended to do because...well, it just didn't happen. I snapped a few with my camera phone but haven't put them on the laptop yet. I have a few games on my phone for the kids, especially The Boy. His favorite is a states game. (Stack the States on that little "i" phone thing.) Who would have thought that  a trivia game about the United States would be a seven year old's obsession? Anyway, I let him play from time to time and the Thursday before Thanksgiving he asked to play with my phone. I said sure. Little did I know he was going to take it to the bathroom with him and try to pee and play the game at the same time. Yep. It fell right on into the toilet. I didn't lose my mind. No need and because I didn't want a mouth full of fever blisters from stress. I put it in rice and did all the suggestions that was given to me on the book of faces. When it wasn't working again by Saturday evening, my husband ordered another one because we pay an obscene amount of insurance on that piece of technology and an even bigger obscene amount to replace it. I had it by Monday before we left out on Tuesday but many things were lost because Miss Hope didn't sync like she should. (She does now.) Hey! You should all go one day without your phone. Seriously. Monday, the kids were already out of school for the holiday and I had a dental cleaning. Afterwards, I met Neighbor Debbie and Sherry-Do for lunch. I had to run get some makeup from MaySee's when we were done. After that was done, I decided to wander around the store a little bit. I didn't buy anything, but just wanted to look. It was kind of nice not having my phone go off every few minutes from kids wanting/needing something or the hubby checking in. Don't get me wrong, I feel all naked without my phone and really hate to be without it but I did find out that I can survive and do well without it. Side note: We were all sitting around chatting at Mama's last week and I made the comment to my Daddy that I don't know how on Earth he let me out the house as a teenager without a phone. His reply? "I don't know how I did it either!!" Ahhh...the advances of technology!

Look how my explanation for not putting a picture on this post turned into some long rambling paragraph. Methinks I may have had just a tad bit too much coffee to drink this morning.

I am in the process of decking my halls. There will be pictures. I promise. Just a piece of useless information to put out there. Last year my whole budget went to the fabulous 12 ft. tree that graces my living room. I wasn't able to decorate my banisters and such but this year? Miss Hope pretty much spent as much in decorations as I did the tree last year. The Man is still recovering from me taking decorating classes and HAVING to have certain things to deck my halls. My mantle is giving me fits. I want elegant and gorgeous and it's not heading that way at the moment. Inspiration is eluding me right now with my mantle. Hopefully, it will all be done in the next day or two so I can share with you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Easy Way Out?

How many of you out there have no addictions? Absolutely none whatsoever. If you don't have one single solitary addiction to claim, I am in complete awe of you and want to be like you when I grow up.

I have an addiction. It's called a food addiction. I love it. I want to eat when I am sad, happy, mad, unhappy, and any other emotion you can come up with to feel. I absolutely adore food, especially a sugar laden dessert. Oh my, how I love a good dessert with a cup of coffee. Heaven on Earth, my friends, is that for me.

I used to think that having weight loss surgery was the easy way out. I would smirk and know that diet and exercise were just as easy because I, myself, lost 107 lbs around the age of 25 to be an awesomely healthy woman.

I was such an ass.

For those of you who haven't discovered this widely known fact: The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight.

Especially when you're fighting food addiction, too.

(I am trying so hard here to write a good and decent post. I've already stopped twice and can't seem to gather my thoughts the way I want them to come across to you. I may just give up and write it real.)

I hit forty back in May. Good ol' forty. As much as I dreaded it, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it wasn't so bad. I didn't automatically feel old. I did feel unhealthy. Do you know what my daily prayer became each day? "Dear Lord, please let me live long enough to raise my children. Anything after that is gravy." I KNEW how bad my health was getting. I had just been put on cholesterol medication and my blood pressure was creeping its way up the scale.

How do you stop a train that's out of control?? That's how I felt with my weight. I couldn't even stand at the washing machine to do clothes without my back hurting so badly, I would feel crippled. I definitely couldn't stand at the sink and wash dishes without bending over in agony. Going to the mall? Out of the question. I wasn't going to be one of those obese people riding a scooter or sitting down every 50 feet. My pride would keep me plodding along when I would have to go shop at that torture chamber. How shameful is that, I ask you?

I would look in the mirror and my face was so distorted. It was puffy and the chins were reproducing at an alarming rate. I would talk to my reflection and ask it how in the heck did it get that bad?? My husband has always called me "Beautiful" and I truly believe he means it but I truly didn't feel like it when I would see myself looking back at me.

Everyone has a breaking point. Mine came when I finally realized what I was praying for each day. I was only forty. And all I was asking for was to live long enough to raise my children. Really?? REALLY???

I feel for any type of addict. Drug addicts. Alcoholics. I have alcoholics in my family. My Grandaddy was a recovered alcoholic. He drank until I was six and a heart attack had him making the choice: alcohol and death or his grandchildren. So blessed was my brother and me that he chose us. So blessed because that gave us almost 25 more years with him. I've watched the show Intervention many times and just ached for those suffering from the grips of addiction. Ached for the families that love the addicts.

I've been jealous of those drug addicts and alcoholics in a way. They can go to rehab and be weaned from their addictions. They are told to stay away from old haunts that have those addictions. Stay away from the old crowds so you're not pulled into that black hole again.

So what does a food addict do? Think about it. We can't avoid it. We have to have it to live. It's there in our faces. Every.Single.Day.Of.Our.Lives.  I have to deal with my addiction every single meal. If you think it's easy, then you're wrong.

I have had to scare myself silly to do this. If I don't eat right, I get to experience a dumping syndrome. (Yeah, click on those two words to see what I'm talking about.) I am scared to death of dumping and will avoid sweets like the plague. And I miss them. I miss pasta and its carb goodness. I miss rice and the comfort it brings this Southern girl. I think one day I can eat a tiny bit of that stuff again, but I don't anticipate it for another year. Dude. I can't have chocolate when I PMS. I get to enjoy (insert sarcasm) a sugar free chocolate pudding. Yay me. Even chewing gum is something I will never enjoy again. If gum is swallowed (and I'm guilty of doing that on occasion), then it can clog up the tiny hole between the pouch and the intestines. I just can't take the chance so no more gum for me.

I still go out with my friends to eat supper on the weekend. There are a few things I can eat like soup and chicken fingers (maybe a whole one!), some steamed veggies, or fish. Keep in mind that I can only have 1/4-1/2 cup of food. I've just worked up to the half cup and feel like I've gorged myself when I'm done. Oh, and I have to take 30 minutes to eat my meal. And I can't drink one sip of beverage during my meal and for 30 minutes afterwards.

I don't want you to feel sorry for me at all. No, Sir or Ma'am. I'm just giving you an idea of my personal food addiction rehab. It's not easy and it's not fun. I watch my friends eat burgers and I miss bread with every fiber of my being in that moment. I want to grab a piece and just stuff my mouth, consequences thrown out of the window.

If you still think weight loss surgery is an easy way out? Then you're an ass. It's a final effort to find a way to gain control over our minds and bodies. Sure, there are some people out there who go in with the wrong attitude and the thought that this will be an easy way for them to lose weight. Can you imagine the reality slap across the face they have after surgery?? I know the slap I got was life changing . I *knew* what was expected afterwards, but walking the walk is a totally different road. Many people who have the surgery replace their food addiction with drugs or alcohol. It's the nature or genetic makeup of the beast. I have always avoided drinking alot of alcohol because of my Grandaddy. I know I have potential because I love the taste of a good beer, glass of wine, or mixed drink.( I am totally guilty of tasting a friend's beverage!!) I may have had my share of fun in college, but those days are over and Miss Hope don't play with that fire. I also am scared to pieces with drugs. Remember now, I was the one who asked for the morphine pump to be taken off after surgery because I didn't like how it made me feel.

Makes me wonder exactly which addictive behavior is going to take over now that food isn't an option. I have to laugh because I would love obsession over cleaning house to really grab me. Yeah, not so much yet.

I promise you from the bottom of my heart that weight loss surgery isn't an easy way out. I hope this post would change your mind a little bit if you did think that way. If you know someone who has taken this road, please give them a boost if you can. An "Atta Boy" or "Atta Girl". A "You look amazing!". Maybe throw in "Wow, you are one incredibly strong person to committ to this new journey!".

Trust me, it'll make a world of difference in their lives. And Miss Hope will love you for it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Edge Decoratin' for 2011

I've done a tad bit decorating for the Fall season around The Edge this year. There is this fabulous store that gives occasional classes and I try to take them when they're offered. This year the store had Fall Decorating classes and a few friends and I took a Saturday afternoon with just the gals and had a blast. We went to the class, out to lunch, and shopping for supplies to make our homes welcome the Fall season.

I should have posted this a week or so ago, but things have been really busy around The Edge. I went to a Christmas decorating class this past weekend and when I showed them the pictures of what I did for the Fall (on my phone), they asked that I put them on the book of faces and tag them. I hung my head in shame and said my first loyalty is to The Blog and all pictures go here first. Surprisingly, they seemed to appear as if they understood and so here I am catching up yet again.

Time for show and tell!

I made this all by myself! It was actually quite easy and you can bet your fanny I'm going to store it so it stays all pretty. Next year I foresee that it may be a centerpiece on a table.

 I kept my mantle pretty simple. Don't you LOVE those pumpkins I found in a florist shop? In one of the classes I've taken, we were told to use use use books. Use them to keep things slightly elevated. A couple of books on the right side makes a slightly more interesting look that I really liked.

Set up for making my grapevine wreath. We were told to take the spiral piece of vine that holds it together off. (Do this outside because it gets messy quick!) Then,  you pull and yank and "fluff" it up. It makes it more three dimensional and better looking. By golly, they were right! You take a zip tie to the top to keep it all together and that is covered up with the decorating. I am using my daughter's easel as it makes it much easier. Also, location is by the stove because I use a certain type of glue and it's in the little frying pan on the stove ready to go. (How about that Pampered Chef stone that is older than my 12 year old? Love it!)

 I bought a plain wooden "T" from either Michael's or Joann's and a seventy something cents thing of paint. I wanted an antique color that would scream Fall. Two coats later and I liked how it turned out. I used cheetah print ribbon with a gold color mixed in and picks with different things on them. The "T" is glued on and I also used florist wire just for insurance. I really love how this turned out.

 This is what I had left over. Literally. I got this stuff and really didn't "feel" it for the mantle or wreath. Oh, man, I must have went through four or fives vases I had before finally settling on this simple cylinder shaped vase (from Ikea). It's not glamorous or fancy like professional decorators , but it doesn't look half bad on the dining room table. Next year I'll focus on a more fancy centerpiece for that table.

That's my Fall decorating. I've enjoyed having this stuff around in my home. I find that I'm enjoying decorating more and more now that I know how to make some stuff that I've admired and never wanted to pay the high dollar they cost.

Last year, my full on intent was to get my tree. My beautiful 12 foot amazing tree. The class I attended this past weekend for Christmas opened another door for me decorating wise and I may have purchased many things for the upcoming season. Alas, I had to promise my middle daughter that I would not put up anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving. She has a valid point and I will respect her wish.  

Got a couple of busy busy weeks coming up. The 18th will by my 3 month Surgiversary. I plan on taking a picture so you can see some of the progress I've made. Happy Fall, Ya'll!!