Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Life has a not-so funny way of throwing lemons at you, know what I mean? 
But as the saying goes -
"When life throws you lemons, make lemonade!"
Or in my case, make sweet tea because we are in Alabama and that's what we drink down here!
So that what we are doing.

One year to the day of my relapse last year, I relapsed again. 
It wasn't quite so bad this time. I haven't even felt sick.
I've been back in the hospital for six weeks today. 
If the bone marrow biopsy results look good,
I will go home this week.

But the BEST news is that the spinal and brain fluid shows remission 
after just four weeks of treatment!

I hope to be back to regularly blogging within a week.
Til then, we are continuing to give God the glory for these lemons He blessed us with.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why I've Been Absent

This happened last Thursday.
Took little JC to the doctor - and she was admitted into the hospital.
A case of pneumonia, good medicine, and lots of snuggles later - we came home on Sunday.

These are the sweetest girls, I tell ya'll what. Sara was so concerned with making sure her little sissy was taken care of. She read to her, played blocks with her,
 and was there as much as her daddy would let her.

This is entirely too cold for my liking. This was a couple days ago - and today we have the AC on.

 I'm off to stand in front of the freezer.
 Excuse me while I sweat giant balls of fluid off my body.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WLW, Week 7

Starting: 220
Week 1: 181
Week 2: 177.6
Week 3: 176.2
Week 4: ?
Week 5: 174.8
Week 6: 174.0

I lost .8 pounds this week for a total of 46 pounds!
I'm so close to that 50 pound mark I can taste it.
I know .8 isn't a big loss, but I'll take what I can get and just keep on keeping on.

I ate better this week (as in, no junk, less carbs, more fruits & veggies) but exercise is still at a minimum for me. I do have a pretty hard 45 minute session of therapy twice a week, and I walk about 1/2 mile every day, but it's a slow go. I'll get there, though, I have no doubt!

The germs have invaded our house again.
For the past two nights, June has woke up at 2 or 2:30 with a 100.5 fever & crying.
Doctors office says it's a virus & has to run its course, but I feel so bad for my sweet girl.
Last night she told us
"It o-tay, mama and dad-dy.God make me all bet-ter! Rara (Sara) be so hap=py for me!"
We could all use a little faith like that.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

November Favorites!

A little late - but better late than never!

Up first is this VS aSweet Almond Oil lotion.
It's amazing. The smell isn't the same since my transplant, but before, it was heavenly.
About $14 for the bottle, and this is my second one.

This is a long-time favorite of mine & has been in more than one favorites post!
It's about $4 at any drugstore & I have not found anything affordable that is comparable.
I just picked up the Grapeseed mask in this line & hate it. I'll stick to Mint Julep!

A new favorite, the EOS shave cream is incomparable to anything I've ever tried.
It's about $4, so a little high for shave cream - but definitely worth the price tag!

I picked this Shea Moisture oil up from Target a couple weeks ago & can't stop using it. 
It takes very little and is SO moisturizing. 
I think this would especially be good in the summer, if you lay out and the sun dries you out.

I haven't made this ina  couple years, but the homemade laundry detergent is a hit in this house!
1 cup washing soda, 1 cup Borax, 1 bar Fels Naptha soap = cheap, clean clothes!

Christmas decorations are going up over here! I'll share the full reveal later this week, but we've been slowly getting them up & going!

My last favorite is something I just discovered this week.
 Ebates is something I've always heard about but never signed up for - and I regret it now!
Free money for ordering things online? I"ll take that!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Recap & Meal Plan Monday!

Hey ya'll! We had a really great weekend - and I hope you did, too! We left out Friday afternoon for my hometown, and we stayed there until Sunday evening. Mike went hunting (didn't catch anything, unfortunately), we attended a graduation party (congratulations to my brother-in-law for graduating college! And of course I did not get one single good picture!), a birthday party and lots of good times with family. I was whooped when I got out of bed this morning. Matter of fact, we overslept. I woke up at 6:35 and Sara had to be out the door at 6:55. We made it with the mercy of God! :)

Like I said, Friday evening we attended a graduation party. My brother-in-law Kyle graduated college after working at it for 9 years - between enlisting in the USAF, basic, tech school, moving internationally twice, within the States too many times to count, and moving house too many times to count. And retiring from the USAF as well. We are all very proud of him and he is an inspiration to us!

Saturday morning the girls & I woke up to realize...it was the Christmas parade day! So we bundled up and headed downtown to the square for the parade. 

Waiting on all the fun to begin!
The little police station beside the river.

I love this view. This is the Tallapoosa river, and located on this river are several dams. This is the one that separates our town into the east and west sides. The bridge is about a mile long and curved. I've heard that at one time, it was the longest curved bridge in the US. I don't have anything to back that up, though, but I don't care - it's still beautiful! Also, legend has it that when the bridge/dam was built in the 30's or 40's, that a man fell off into the wet concrete and was swallowed up alive. Legend also has it that there are fish as big as cows and school buses down there - hence the movie Big Fish, which was filmed about this river - and parts were also filmed in this town.

Can you get any more nostalgic? Fire engine, American flag, police department.

Notice the tiger on the water tower? Go Tallassee Tigers!

How and why they need Segways in this town, I have no idea!

If there's anybody reading this that works for the city, next year you should have these guys LEADING the parade! What better way to open up with than with these two flags?

If you live in the area - check out A Dash of Fashion! I LOVE the owner - she's a wonderful Christian woman who has prayed many times for me and I for her. Such a great business to support!

A long time favorite -the old cars!

This was just about the end of the parade, and the girls were freezing so we headed back to the car to check out the loot they got:

Sara decided she wanted to try a Warhead.
These pictures explain themselves.
Be sure you have a Kleenex handy - you'll laugh so hard you'll cry!

One of the funniest things I've ever seen!

Sunday, it was freezing and foggy. We headed to little Owen Adler's second birthday party, and this was the scene that awaited us. I thought it was so pretty!

Owen was born while I was in the hospital in Atlanta the first go around. I remember my mama telling me he was here, and I remember praying his mama hadn't had too much of a hard time.
Owen is the spunkiest little fellow around! 
And he is giving his mama payback for her shenanigans as a child! 


The weekend ended with supper (thanks mama!) and some quality family time. 
I think they're excited, don't you?!

Now on to Meal Plan Monday.

Monday: cheese manicotti with salad and garlic bread
Tuesday: sun-dried tomato chicken sausage sauteed with onions and potatoes, mixed veggies 
Wednesday: chicken spaghetti (pulled from the freezer) and green beans
Thursday: bean soup with diced ham, cornbread
Friday: fish fillets (don't judge), fries, peas
Sunday: Christmas with my dad!

I stayed on plan last week and I am SO proud of myself. The week went exactly according to schedule, but the weekend variated just a bit. I made the meatballs Friday night like I'd planned, and since I was at my moms (ie - limited groceries in her pantry!) I used a pack of mushroom onion gravy mix, a pack of Lipton onion soup mix, and water. They turend out SO good! Saturday night I made taco casserole, which consisted of shell pasta, ground beef, taco seasoning, a jar of salsa, a can of crushed tomatoes, shredded cheese and crushed tortillas on top. Served with chopped green onion & sour cream - so delicious! Sunday my mama made chili. 

As usual, I'm linking up over at Organizing Junkie
I always get lots of great ideas from those ladies!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Show Us Your Life - Favorite Holiday recipes!

This week over at Kelly's Korner is the Show Us Your Life - Holiday Recipes edition! Go on over to link up & read all the awesome recipes. I know what I'm going to be doing after the girls go to bed tonight! :)

The very first thing that comes to my mind when I think of my favorite holiday recipes is...drum roll please....the classic green bean casserole. 

Fancy? Nope. Hearty? Yes. Delicious? YES MA'AM! We don't wait until Christmas to cook it around here - it's made all through the year in our home, but especially always at every given holiday. Pretty much any reason to cook it, I'll take it. :) It's super easy, too, which makes it even better! All you need to whip this baby up is:

- 2 can whole cut green beans
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tin french fried onions

Mix the first two ingredients with the seasonings together and place in a greased 16x9 baking dish.
Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes.
Remove and place french fried onions on top.
Bake at 400F for another 10 minutes or so until golden and crispy on top.

My next favorite thing (and my most favorite pie EVER, aside from lemon pie) is the buttermilk pie.
Oh dear heavens, this looks amazing!
My mama always makes them for Thanksgiving and I have memories of them being at nearly every Thanksgiving I've ever attended.

I found this image on Google and it linked to the blog The Byrd House - her recipe is exactly the same as the one my mama uses - at least, it looks like it's the same to me. 

- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 unbaked 9" pie crust
- Nutmeg to taste

Beat the eggs in a mixer. 
Mix the flour & sugar together - this is important as it prevents them from lumping together when you add the eggs. Add the eggs, and mix until creamy. 
Add melted butter and mix well.
Add buttermilk and vanilla extract.
Pour into pie shell amd bake at 325F for about an hour, depending on your oven.

Since I was little, I can remember hearing my mama holler out - "Hey ya'll! Don't slam that door! Don't run through the house! Stay out of the kitchen! My cake/pie will fall!" Sometimes it will not set in the middle, so just pop it back int he oven for a few more minutes. But it will stay pretty jiggly - it won't set up hard like an apple pie might. 

I hope ya'll enjoy these two super easy recipes. They are probably my top two favoritet hings to eat, ever, but especially at the holidays. 
I hope you & your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday + PT Update!

I missed last weeks Weigh In Wednesday because we had bronchitus, two types of the flu and were dog sick we were feeling slightly under the weather, but I'm back this week! First of all, here's what you all want to know - the stats!

Starting: 220
Weeik 1: 181
Week 2: 177.6
Week 3: 176.2
Week 4: ?
Week 5: 174.8

In the past two weeks I lost 1.4 lbs.
Since I started tracking my progress, I've lost 6.2 lbs in 5 weeks.
Since I started my journey, I've lost 45.2 lbs.

Honestly, things have been so crazy that I wasn't expecting a loss at all. I couldn't walk because I was sick, or the kids were sick, or I fell and was hurting more than usual (I'm okay - just a slip down the wheelchair ramp!) but I have been doing two hard PT sessions a week. 
Which brings me to another thing.
Physical Therapy is hard, ya'll.
I knew it wouldn't be easy. I went through 3 months of it at the beginning of 2012. 
But goodness gracious, this hurts.
I can tell my strength is slowly getting better, though,
 and because of that I'm determined to keep on keeping on.

I'm glad I'm tracking my weight. I'm sure there will come a time when I don't use the scale anymore and rely on how my body feels and looks, but for now - I like it. I have been discouraged about the past two weeks, but seeing that I did lose SOMETHING inspires me.
Every little bit counts.

I thought I'd share these - the first was taken in June 2013 at 220 pounds. The second was in October 2013 at around 185 pounds. Look what a difference just 35 pounds makes!