I've been spending the day cleaning, doing laundry, and more cleaning. Other than that, I went on a lovely walk with my husband (this morning), did yoga (this afternoon) and am still working on laundry. Also, we are getting the last minute things done for our youngest to start college on Monday.
While it will be nice to get back into a routine, we didn't really get to enjoy the summer, due to the wildfires. So, there's that. Also, I will miss my kids being at home. My oldest won't be living at home, so he will be sorely missed. Our little family is just such a team and we enjoy each other's company.
However, I will be picking up my oldest from school (only 20 minutes away) for a monthly haircut and may drop in for at least a monthly lunch. Plus, he will come home for Sunday dinner every few Sundays. It's just strange to me that my kids are old enough to be away from home, finding their own way. I think it's awesome, the people that they are becoming. I just feel weird about how fast their childhood went by.
There is a big chunk of my children's childhood that I was not super available for because of having late-stage Lyme disease. They are lucky to have such an amazing father who was willing to do the job of both father and mother for a lot of years. They are also lucky to have great grandparents who were willing to help out. We could not have done it without our support system.
This afternoon, after my hubby is done working (he gets to work from home on Fridays), he will be taking my youngest on his route via train to school, and via bus to get to the right place on campus. I think they will be running around that again tomorrow as well. Gotta get them in the best position to start the best year yet.
To get more information on this cook book or on Nina's other healthy lifestyle resources, click here, or on any of the pictures in this post.
I am so excited for my kids and their futures. They are making such great decisions and are maturing and developing, becoming wonderful young men. They have been the BEST kids anyone could ever want. So patient during our issues with health and with unemployment. So kind. So caring.
I want my kids to always know that we will love them no matter what their decisions may be, no matter, where they live, no matter what they choose as a profession, no matter how they dress or style their hair, no matter anything. We will always love them and will always be proud to call them ours. AND, I will never stop bragging about them being my kids;) I hope that I get to always talk to them at least once a day for the rest of my life. I think they know that I will always be up for a good online game too;)
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I was so lost and frustrated with my life that I couldn't breathe. So, I went out with my work family and started to create a new support system. Having fun was what I needed. I needed to laugh. I needed to have stuff to do. I needed to feel like I belonged somewhere.
My work family and I were out for happy hour when I tried my first bit of wine. It felt good. I was finally getting some relaxation. I needed something to calm my anxiety and being with my friends and having a drink (or often many) was what my nervous system needed.(until later on)
I was living on the small chain of lakes and was right by Lake Michigan. There was always something to do. I'd reunited with some of my friends from high school and hung out with them as well.
We regularly got involved in beach volleyball leagues, dart leagues, going to concerts, going to events (mostly in downtown Chicago), and more.
I had some of the best times I've ever had with these people. They didn't seem to judge me at all. A judgement free zone. Plus, no drama, at least no undesirable drama. However, there was always romantic drama, and that was (at times) desirable.
I really started to feel like I wanted to get to know who I was. I always wanted to be like my mom (exactly like her) and always wanted the approval of my parents. Now, I needed to approve of myself and find out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become. I never really explored that before.
I found myself settling into my life in Chicagoland, as a single female. My job was going great! My social life was going wonderfully. My health? Not so much.
Starting when I was a junior in high school, I had a bout of mono. I had another bout of it when I was in college. That happened again (for a 3rd time) when I was 21. This time, I was not able to go to work, and like college, had to take care of myself. I've not been good at taking care of myself. I was always better at taking care of everyone else, putting my needs dead last. At this point, I don't think I realized that life had just been taking its toll in so many ways. I was exhausted. My body AND my mind AND my emotional center were all run down.
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I am so blessed. My husband works so hard and has a good job with good health insurance. It's so amazing how dedicated he is! He does everything for us and just loves us. What a huge blessing health insurance is. Without it, I think we would be quite miserable and bankrupt because of the price for healthcare.
You know, I think I my neurologist is a miracle doctor. She works magic. I mean, I have had disabling migraines so bad for years and here she was, along with Botox for Migraine, ready to work her magic. We just had not found each other yet.
I had an appointment with her today as a follow up from my past few sessions of Botox for Migraine. She is always happy to see all I am doing for better health, which makes me even more motivated. Of course, since it is close to when I get my shots (37 of them) again, she was analyzing my pain levels and we discussed my headache pain levels from Botox appointment to Botox appointment.
Dealing with headache pain is still a daily thing for me, but they are not debilitating like they were. I guess there is a type of brain that is a "migraine brain". Some things that work for allergies and other OTCs for other people will actually cause problems for migraine brains. I had no idea.
Also, there is a new medication that is a once a month medication (a self injection) that should take care of all other headache issues I have during the month. What? Yes! The doctor's office is sending them a form to try to get me a couple of free shots and to get them to work with my insurance, so we shall see what happens with this. It is pretty much brand new! I am super excited because I still have headaches everyday.
In addition to talking about the above, she wondered why I had not been given a pharmaceutical for my migraine-ish headaches I get as I inch closer to my next Botox treatment. I have just been dealing with it. She was really surprised. So, we got that taken care of as well, which I am relieved about. Yay! See...miracle worker!! Migraines are a real headache;)
The picture above is the Scentwist fragrance subscription box. It's a monthly adventure in fragrance. They send you a new fragrance on the 10th of each month and they are super yummy! Click on the picture for more information.
So, this morning, I started out with refreshing yoga, from Yoga With Adriene on YouTube, which seems to be a religion of mine. I cannot go a day without yoga or my body does not like me. Lyme.
After my doctor's appointment, I came home and doctored my oldest who is in hip pain, and my youngest who has an upset stomach. A mother's job is never done and I love my job security.
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There are angels among us. I wonder how we get the cue to be an angel for someone else. It's definitely spiritual and not physical. People are more attuned than they think they are.
My mother left and I was now living in a friend's place, who was mostly living with her boyfriend. She worked with me. Again, an angel. She was about 10 years older than me and was really trying to mother me a little. She knew I was a mess. She knew a bit about what I was going through. I will forever love her for her generosity and her laughter...her constant laughter. What a joy Denise was when I was around her. I still keep in touch via social media and truly enjoy her still.
The death threats in my car (from my father) would continue. The phone calls from my mother. My stress levels. You might say that the zit was about to pop. I was anxious and depressed. All of my life (other than college) was filled with taking care of my siblings and watching out for my family's well being. I am a fixer and a nurturer. That's what I do. Now, I needed distance and it was painful.
The phone calls from my mother started to spread out as she got settled states away from me. However, then came the threatening phone calls from my "home teacher" from my LDS ward. This church that I had grown up in had also turned my life upside down. It wasn't the church itself (I am still a member and love it), but it was the people. My home teacher, who was friends with my father, was calling me and telling me that if I didn't get back with him he would call the police. What? I called him back and he wasn't home so I gave his wife a full ear of information about how inappropriate it was and that he better never contact me again.
That was it. I needed to totally distance myself from anything that was related to my father. That now included church. I didn't go back for years after that. It was a necessary step at that point. I was drowning and no one was going to throw me a life jacket. The water was infinitely deep and I was starting to choke.
To be continued in the next post...
Question: What is your favorite music?
Answer: Anything with a good beat...okay not anything...I don't like music that has swear words or too much rap. I love Svircina, Evanescence, Imagine Dragons, you get the idea. I love music. Period.
I am exhausted.
Some days are just exhausting physically, mentally, emotionally. That would be today.
I started the day out right, getting up early, doing yoga, working, getting ready to do a photo shoot, doing said photo shoot, driving north about 30 minutes away to go visit my parents. My youngest and I wanted to be sure they were doing okay after my step dad came home from surgery. He had MAJOR surgery last week, where he was in the ICU for a few days. They seem to be doing fine and he seems to be healing.
It is really hard to see people in pain or discomfort. When my husband and I visited him in the ICU, it was very uncomfortable to see. I am an empath and feel other people's stuff really easily. I feel the energy that people give off. Hospitals are a tough one for everyone though.
The above picture is the Peachi Exfoliating Sock. It is serious pampering for your feet. Click on the picture for more information.
Then, my oldest son had to last minute be taken to the doctor because his hip (he has had hip problems for years and no doctor has given definitive diagnoses or treatment that works. He couldn't even put any weight on that leg, could not have the doctor lift it without feeling like passing out, and it was radiating down to his knee.
The doctor thinks that it is impingement syndrome. So, we have to go to another specialist. I am worried about him being able to get around in college if this does not get resolved. I am having serious anxiety issues about it.
So I feel like I am so overwhelmed right now from both of my children's anxiety and pain. I look forward to bed tonight and to do yoga tomorrow morning. Coping 101. Sleep and exercise, along with meditation.
Continued story from last blog post....
Because of custody issues and restraining order issues, it was more safe for my mother to move out of the house nearly in the middle of the night. I was going to stay in Chicagoland so that I could keep my job, and partly so that I would not have to follow the drama that my body and mind could no longer handle on a daily basis.
In order to move, things had to be considered. My dog of 15 years was not going to be able to survive a move from one dramatic climate to another dramatic climate. This little guy, named "dirty", had been around for most of my life. I could always sit and talk to him and he would be happily listening. He was sweet. He was my friend. He had to be put down. He was already mostly blind and really could not hear. He was getting quite old. However, the trauma of saying goodbye for the last time caused me so much grief. I cried for 2 weeks. Anytime I thought about him for years after that I cried. The BEST dog ever!
My mother had her parents come out to help with the move. When we got things all loaded up, there was an old metal school desk in the middle of this huge driveway of ours. I sat and was just grieving. My dog was dead. My mom and my siblings that were like my own children were leaving. I was lost. I was broken. And up the driveway came Joe Walsh, one of my great friends that I had at Antioch High School. He was super special. It was like he appeared out of nowhere to console me. I had not seen him since I left for college. When he came closer, I just got out of the seat of this desk and ran over to him and he just held me while I bawled my eyes out. There are people in your life that are your ministering angels and I swear that he was the one for that day. He just felt like he should come over that day for no apparent reason, so he acted on it. Amazing!
I have tried to find Joe since and have not had any luck finding him. It's like he just disappeared off the face of the earth. I miss my friend. He was respectful. He listened. He joked with me. He was a great young man. Sometimes you just wonder what happened to people who touched your life and he is one that I hope has had everything he has ever wanted and more.
To be continued...
Featured & One College Ready
I love empowering companies. The picture above is from a website called Best You By HTS. They put me on their header! Can you believe it? I feel so blessed!
"Curvy & Confident" is a statement that describes me fully. Love the body you have. Treat it kindly. I am blessed with a body that houses my soul so I take care of that temple and am proud to be wearing it. That may sound weird, but I think you get my point. I think people are beautiful if they feel beautiful, if they don't try to be like everyone else, if they love themselves and that overflows into others, if they smile, if they laugh, if they show gratitude.
The above picture is featuring No33 beauty products. These are high quality products that are NOT tested on animals. Click on the picture for more information.
Today, my youngest son and I went to his college campus to run through all of his classes, buy books, and take care of some other details. We walked 2.3 miles down there. Plus, the college is built on a hill, so there are a ton of stairs. Now I have blisters, but it was worth it. He feels much more comfortable and confident with his schedule now.
Later this week, my husband will take my son on the train and the buses to get to and around campus and the surrounding area. I will likely be taking him to the train station every morning until my oldest is moved in at his college in a few weeks. They don't start at the same time and my oldest still needs a vehicle to get to and from work until he is back at school.
Busy times indeed, but enjoyable.
The above picture is the Peachi Exfoliating Sock. It works wonders on your feet. It makes them soft, like buttery soft. I am losing all of the dead skin and my feet feel like they can breathe again, like they are brand spankin' new! Click on the picture for more information.
So, I was taking care of my sibling, among other things and was so much less worried about myself. However, I should have been worried. I was being terribly affected by my parents' divorce and by my father's behavior towards me.
No parent should ever do or say the things my father did. He left me death threats in my car while I was at work. I have no idea how he managed to get into it, other than that he maybe had the spare key, since it was the family's car prior.
The things that I witnessed growing up did not compare to this experience.
I was willing to testify against my own father. I sat in court and had to see his face, intimidating me from his seat. All he had to do was look at me. But I was still willing to truly go against this monster of a man.
Because of things that happened, I was a mess at work. But I was so blessed. They truly cared for me and understood that I was going through a trying time.
My mother would call me quite often with things that had happened. I would listen and then have to excuse myself from work for a bit to get composed. My work acquaintances became my family. They were there when I needed them and they were my social environment as well. Amazing people! Amazing experiences! I still miss them.
One example of a conversation from my mother calling me at work was when she found out that my father had gone to Kentucky and married the woman he had the affair with...all prior to the divorce being final! (the marriage had to be redone to be legit). How does one deal with that kind of information at age 20 and as the child of this feuding couple? Me? I consoled my mother and just listened. Then, I would go and practically (or often actually) vomit and bawl my eyes out in the bathroom and go back to work. I was holding on to a lot of "stuff" and it kept on coming.
To be continued...
In answer to someone's question on Instagram, my favorite food is chocolate...most things with chocolate, but not dark chocolate.
Shrimp Cocktail & Chaos
Yesterday we cooked ribs for dinner and hosted my mother-in-law. Because he haven't had ribs in a while, we didn't realize how long they take to cook. So, I took some time to make something from a new recipe book I just got, so that we would have something to eat as an appetizer.
I made some shrimp cocktail with mango salsa from a cookbook called Nina Cucina, Your Healthy Gourmet. It turned out so beautiful and the tastes were perfect together. I cannot wait to try another recipe from this book! Just check out this picture of how it turned out. I mean, come on! So beautiful and delicious!
Click on any of these pictures to get to this yummy recipe book,
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