What Christmas Means

As I was on my way into work yesterday morning, the coolest Christmas song came on the radio.  B 98.5 here in Arkansas plays Christmas music the entire month of December!  It’s a Christmas party in my car, on my way to work, everyday!  :)

Anyway, the song.  I believe it is by this group called Panatonics and the name of it is, That’s What Christmas Means to Me.  I love it!   It reminded me of the reasons I love this time of the year! 

Aaaaaaand, I wanted to share them with you!

 

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  • Baking.  I mean who doesn’t like to bake during the holidays.  I love to bake all year round but there is something about this time of the year that makes me want to try new recipes.  I think the next thing I want to try is a cheesecake!

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  • Candles lit.  I love love love candles.  I love turning my light off in my bedroom and just lighting a candle while I watch a Christmas movie this time of year. So cozy!
  • Presents under the tree.  Okay.  I am not about getting a bunch of presents but there is just something about them being under the tree. 
  • The smells.  I love the smell of the holidays.  Sounds weird but things seem to smell better.
  • Snow.  There’s always a chance for a white Christmas
  • Christmas movies!! 
  • Family
  • Friends

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  • Hot chocolate

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  • Hugs and cuddles from my niece and nephew

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  • The Birth of Jesus.  “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:7

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Last Christmas 2013

 

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I got my first workout in since my procedure!!  All that I have to say is that it hurt.  A lot.   My doctor told me to wait at least 4 to 5 days before I get in a workout.  I waited 7.  Before that, it had been a while since I consistently worked out. 

Did I mention that it hurt?

Oh my goodness!  I had to modify the modifications and there were a couple of times that I thought I might puke! Its so amazing how much strength you lose when you don’t consistently stick to it. 

My entire body was shaking!!

:)

 

That’s about it!  Going to work this morning and then coming home to chill out before next week!  Have a lovely day!

Say What?

I am probably going to be a little frank in this post but I encourage you to hang in there with me.  This is not going to be an end of the year post of “what happened in 2014” but I do want to be frank with some of the things that I have struggled with this past year.  Mainly with my health and trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

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Last October (2013) I started feeling very fatigued and just all around not good.  I started having issues with my period (sorry fella’s) which is something that has never been an issue with me, however there is a history of things like that in my family.  I was very unmotivated to do anything, especially when it came to eating right and working out. 

I would try to “start over” on Monday to have a fresh week but it never failed something would always happen or I would wake up feeling very tired.  My body would just hurt and ache. 

I started having issues sleeping or the lack of sleep.  I would wake up in the middle of the night, mostly around 2:30 or 3, and I would be wide awake.  I would end up just staying awake and usually eat something.  Not good.

My periods worsened.

No sleep.

Eating way off.

These are a bad combination.

From December 2013, to March 2014, I had one long period.  This sent me straight to my gynecologist to get things checked out.  There were many birth control trial and errors and many back and forth visits to my doctors. 

I can honestly tell you that by this point I felt like I was going to lose my mind.  I could already feel the weight creeping back on and felt helpless to do anything about it. 

I had my vitamin D tested.  Very low.

I had my thyroid tested.  Not functioning normal.

Birth control was not working.

I was a mess.

I remember looking at my file that my gynecologist has on me and I saw the word, “perimenopause”.  The definition of the word means, around menopause.  I wanted to cry.  I did.  Many times.  Just seeing the word made me feel old.  Pushed aside. 

Everything about me seemed so different.  Like I was screaming and no one could hear me.

The lack of interest in doing anything was an understatement.    I got up.  I went to work.  I came home.  I went to bed.

During all of this my doctor retired and I had to get my files transferred to someone else, fortunately it was in the same building.  This time around I have a female and she is the one that tested my Vitamin D and Thyroid levels.   Something I was so glad for!

She also gave me some options for my period, never discussing a hysterectomy.  

Might I just add that this was a very humbling experience and conversation.  Never did I imagine it. 

After having a consultation with my doctor, we decided to go with the Endometrial Ablation procedure.  This is a procedure that destroys (ablates) the uterine lining.  Destroys.  Ablates.  Ugh.

Its funny, I love children and I love my niece and nephew to the moon and back.  I have never really had a huge desire to have children but I always thought that I would be a mom.  In an instant, that was taken away.  This procedure is not a form of birth control, however, you cannot carry a child after having it done.  Never will I know what it’s like to have a baby growing inside of me.  On one hand, this does make me sad.  Not only will I never carry a child, I won’t make my parents grandparents again.  Unless I marry someone with children. 

On the other, I am trusting God that this is the best thing for me.  He loves me and He wants the very best and if not having children is part of that, then I will be at peace with that.  It doesn’t mean I can’t love on children.  There are a lot of kids that go to bed at night never being told that they are loved.  I can do that.

Back to the surgery…..

I took off work this past Friday to have the procedure done and I am five days post op.  So far, things that I am experiencing post surgery are normal. 

 

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Post op

 

Part of the reason that I wanted to share this with you is because everyone’s healthy living journey is different.  There are ups and there are downs and sometimes the downs are really down.  I have spent months trying to figure out what would work for me and balance out some of the changes that I was experiencing only to figure out nothing.  I will have days where I don’t want to eat anything and then there are days that I could make a meal out of jelly beans and reese’s cups.  There are days that I get up and I am so tired that the thought of working out makes me feel nothing but dread.  Which made me feel worse because I love working out!  I miss it!  I miss being consistent with it! 

I have tried really hard to cut myself some slack but it’s very difficult for a perfectionist to do that.  So the only thing that I can do right now is take it day by day.  I am allowing myself to heal before I start an exercise program but I do want to continue using Piyo and the 21 Day Fix DVD’s. 

 

Through all of this I am figuring out the person that I am right now not who I was.  Does that sentence make sense?  I hope so :).

 

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This is Sophie giving me cuddles the night of my surgery.  :)  Sweet lil girl!

 

 

I got bored and wanted to come up with a “healthier” version of some hot chocolate.

  • 1 cup of almond/coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of baking cocoa
  • pinch of sweetener (your choice)
  • cool whip and cinnamon for garnish

Put all ingredients (minus the garnish items) and bring to a boil stirring constantly. 

Pour in a cup and garnish with the cool whip and cinnamon

Drink!

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Christmas Cookies!

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Thank you guys for letting me share this with you.  :)

Resting :)

Good Morning and Happy Sunday!

 

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I am still recovering from a slight procedure that I had on Friday (will share more on that later) but I am just popping in to say that I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

 

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I ventured out yesterday to finish up some Christmas shopping with my mom and I think that I kind of over did it.  So I will be resting today and watching Christmas movies. 

 

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Have a beautiful day!  :)

My Favorite Christmas Songs

Tonight I wanted to share with you my favorite Christmas songs!

 

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Those songs that, when they come on, it takes you to a place that is Christmas for you.  Oh don’t get me wrong I love the tree, the lights, the cookies….all of it.  But there is just something about a good Christmas song.

 

My Favorite Christmas Songs

 

1.   Where are you Christmas by Faith Hill.  (from the Grinch movie)

 

2.   The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire)  by Nat King Cole

 

3.   Joseph’s Lullaby by Mercy Me.   (this is probably my favorite. If you haven’t heard it, go check it out!)

 

4.   I’ll be Home for Christmas  by Michael Buble’

 

5.   Blue Christmas by Elvis  When my nephew was a baby, I would get him and set him in my lap where he was facing me and sing this song to him.  In my Elvis voice.  Don’t judge. You know you’ve done it.  :p

 

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6.   Here comes Santa Claus

 

7.  Have yourself a Merry little Christmas  by Michael Buble’

 

8.   If you just Believe by Josh Groban  (from the movie Polar Express)

 

9.   What Child is this (The first Noel) by Franesca Battistelli (LOVE this version!)

 

10.  White Christmas  by Bing Crosby

 

11. I Heard the bells on Christmas Day by Casting Crowns

 

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12. Jingle Bells by the cas of Glee

 

13. Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) by Amy Grant

 

14. Stille Nacht (Silent Night)  by Mannheim Steamroller

 

15.  Silent Night by Boyz II Men

 

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What about you?  What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Birthday boy and a Party

You know, God working in our lives is serious business.  He is always working and He is always looking out for our best interest whether we like it or not.  There will be times where we don’t recognize the good but in the end it is always good and it will always bring us closer to Him. 

We just have to have faith.

 

Since we spoke last, we celebrated my nephews birthday and here’s proof….

 

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Everybody needs a light saber

 

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My neph-cat was not pleased at all that I forced him to take a selfie with me.

 

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So let me tell you about the gift story.

Let me preface the story by saying that I grew up on Atari and Nintendo, the first Nintendo that is and I mainly played Mario Brothers.  So all of these X-box, Wii, Wii U’s, Play Stations, and DS’s are too much for me.  You have to get certain games to play on certain machines.  No exceptions. 

When “black Friday” rolled around and my best friend and I found ourselves at a local department store shopping. 

When I saw the game that my nephew has been wanting, Skylander, for only $35.  I picked that sucker up and couldn’t wait to give it to him for his birthday.

The night came that we were going to celebrate his big day and I was pretty excited to see his face when he opened his gift.  (by the way, I didn’t wrap it….fail!)

He opened it and he was so excited that he asked his papa (my dad) to hold it because he was going to pass out!  Lol!

One of the other little boys was asking, “you have a Wii U? You have a Wii U? You have a Wii U?” 

What? 

It has to be played on a Wii U? 

My mind starts rolling of course thinking that the game is NOT GOING TO WORK.

And it won’t.

We tell my nephew that he is going to have to wait until I can exchange the game and get the correct one that is compatible. 

His life as he knew it was over. 

 

I take it to the store to just exchange it thinking that I will only have to pay maybe $20 to $25 more.  Oh no!  Try a total of $80!  I luckily received the $35 to apply to it but good lord that’s high!  I guess since I was never really into playing video games, I don’t remember how much they cost when I was younger.  I am sure they were still high though.

My mom decided to go in half with me so I can at least get him something for a Christmas gift.  :)

 

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I think he’s happy.

 

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My life in a cubicle!

 

 

We have our Christmas tree up!!  We were pretty excited about the new decorations that we were going to put out this year.  :)

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I love Christmas.

 

This past Sunday a good friend that I work with and I went to a nearby church’s Sunday School class.  Going in we weren’t sure what to expect but as soon as we walked into the church, we knew we would love it.  We were really welcomed and the class was great!

We are doing the study of Esther.

After church we went to have some lunch and I was so hungry that I think I may have inhaled my food!  It was Mongolian.  So good. 

We also got our toes done for Christmas!

 

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To be honest, I wouldn’t mind if my toes didn’t even get painted.  I just love the clean up and the massage.  So nice!!  Thank you Ms. Tina!

 

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See my new Tablet 4 in the background?  I love it!!  It’s so much more convenient to get out and look at my favorite blogs!

 

Well I think that’s about it for now!  I hope you have had a great Wednesday!  I left work early to head to a dentist appointment.  Fun!!

A little bit of Piyo

(Post from Friday)

 

Oh my word Happy Friday!!!!   I can not be more happy to see this day!

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We are celebrating this lil mans birthday tonight!  I can’t wait for him to see what I got him!  And of course the cake.  I love cake.  :)

I just love this kid.

 

This morning when I got up I felt really good!  This getting older stuff I want to do gracefully so I’ll take it when I can get it. 

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For my workout this morning, I did Piyo Buns and holy buns!!  There were a couple of times that I thought, “you know, my legs are going to collapse underneath me!”  lol!

But I really love the Piyo workouts and so I’m gonna stick with it.

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I cannot promote this program enough.  Piyo helps you strengthen your muscles and flexibility all the while you are just using your body weight.  I have to admit that when I finish a workout, I feel bad-A.  ;)

 

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Another reason that I am so excited that the weekend is here?  Finally getting the decorations out tomorrow and putting up the tree!!

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I might even bake these!

Or this…

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From Crazy for Crust

 

Healthy living:

If you have been living the healthy lifestyle for a long time or just now making some healthy decisions, you know that having others around you that make similar decisions is a wonderful feeling.  A really good friend of mine that I work with is making some healthy eating decisions and it helps me so much while I am at work to make better decisions.  She loves Rachel Ray and she loves to cook and she has made some pretty amazing things lately!  It makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook!  Not just bake.  ;)

One of the things that I want to try cooking is a whole chicken.  Something that I have never even attempted to cook.  I want to make some cauliflower mash, Brussels sprout salad with cranberries,  roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary.  Doesn’t that sound good?!

Something else that I have never attempted to make….lasagna, the healthy version. 

 

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It’s been cloudy and rainy for about a week now……. I need sunshine!! :)

 

I hope your Friday was wonderful!

Chocolate Pie, Best Friends and Imperfection

Well hello there!  How’s your week going so far?  It’s Wednesday but it’s been a long week so far. Working at a financial institution and it being the first of the month is always a busy week.   In fact, its kind of been a twilight zone week.   Everybody in the world received a paycheck this week.  Everybody.

My braces have also been bothering me this week.  Wearing braces as an adult is not really all that fun and I can’t wait to get them off however, I know I will love the results!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Sorry for being MIA but I wanted to have some down time with family and my best friend that flew in for the holiday. 

 

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I miss her!!

The first thing that we did was head to Starbucks and get some coffee and chatting in.

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So so good!  Peppermint Mocha please!

It was so amazing to see her and just do friend things.  I can’t wait to go see her in a few months!

 

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Her Grandma’s dog Bo.  He’s awesome. 

 

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Of course there were cookies involved.  Chocolate fudge cookies with chocolate chunks and peppermint bits.  Recipe coming soon!

 

I only took two pictures of out Thanksgiving eats but it was a really great relaxing day…

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My mom made a new pie recipe and it turned out really great! 

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My brother getting his plate all fixed up!

 

So I have started reading this new book. 

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Dove chocolate not included.

 

Reading:

I am really not a huge fan of “self-help” books and I wouldn’t even categorize this book in that field.  With that said, so far this is such a great book!  The author of this book touches on some things that I have always struggled with.

  • Imperfection
  • Love/relationships
  • Belonging
  • Being enough
  • Connection
  • Self-Compassion
  • Gratitude and Joy

Everyone is different and everyone deals with things differently but the one thing I believe that we all have in common is that we all want to be loved and to love.  We all want to feel connected to something or someone.  We all want to be shown compassion but we also want to give it. 

We all want to know that being our dorky selves is okay.  And it is. 

There is a difference between “fitting in” and actually “belonging”.

 

This is the author definition of Connection:

 

The energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.

 

This is also how she leads in with the introduction of the book:

Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.  It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

 

I really love that last one.

I believe that it’s important to our health to cultivate good relationships and self-worth.  It’s also important to be who we are and who Christ created us to be.  No one else.

:)

 

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Piyo sweat!

 

I hope you have had a great day!