Wednesday, March 31, 2010


An organized person seems to have a calmness about them that I just don’t seem to poses, often enough. I seem to have this sense of urgency off and on throughout the day. Followed by a feeling of not getting everything accomplished that needs to be accomplished throughout my day.

Most people are interrupted at least one time in every 5 minute time period. If this is true for you, analyze what’s causing those interruptions. Your situation is going to be different than mine or than your best friends or your neighbors. We all have different things that disrupt our days. If you haven’t paid attention to the loss of time in your day take the time to do that now. You will be shocked by how much of your time is whittled away by these interruptions and disturbances.

Think of ways that you can protect the time you have each day. There is nothing wrong with telling someone that you can’t meet them at the time they suggest, or maybe even not at all that day. It’s ok to say I can meet you at 10:15 or 7:40 exactly…..I can’t be there at 10:00 or at 7:30. Whatever the case may be. Even your best friend and your family members can learn not to interrupt.

What I’ve learned is many time “I” am the cause of my interruptions. Is this true for you? Do you insist on checking email every few minutes or answering your phone or cell phone even when you are in the middle of something important? Can’t the call wait a minute? Why do we feel just because someone is calling at that moment that we have to stop what we are doing an answer it. It’s even thought of as very rude if we do this. I’m not suggesting that we screen all calls but there is a time when answering that phone is going to cause a chain reaction for the day. Maybe you are running out the door. You stop to answer the phone and now you are late for the kids bus stop, which now requires you driving them to school, which then makes you late for your dentist appointment. You get the idea. But something about that ringing makes us think we HAVE to stop and answer. We will even cause ourselves to be late because we forgot our cell phone at home and we have to go back and get it. What did we do before cell phones? I'm guilty of this. What if my Rugrats try to call? What if Hunk tries to call? What if? What if?

I think if we are going to learn to control our chaos and get organized we need to prioritize. We need to respect our time. If we don’t respect our time, others certainly won’t know how to respect our time. They won’t even know they aren’t respecting it. How could they, if we don’t set boundaries?

We can’t give 100% to everything at the same time.

This has in the past caused me to feel like I’m not a good enough Momma, not a good enough wife, not a good enough friend and not a good enough office manager. This is a rut I just don’t want to be in. I know I can’t be everything at once but when I’m doing the role of each of the things that makes up who I am I want to know I am doing my best while I’m doing it.

This caused some recent changes that I’m not thrilled with but I’m already finding to be in the best interest of my family.

Many of you know that we own our own company. Since moving I’ve tried working mainly out of my home and only going to the office when I have to. Hunk brings items home from the office for me etc.

PROBLEM: I’m easily distracted at home with phone calls, laundry, dishes, running to lunch with a friend ok……….and Lifetime Movie Network……there I said it……I know you were waiting for it. =) I’m not respecting my time and spending it wisely. I’m allowing and even at times encouraging interruptions.

But the biggest problem is space, lack organization, and having everything I need when I need it. And, importantly, Hunk can only do so much. When he is working at a site it is hard for him to answer the office phone that is transferred to his cell phone because we can’t transfer it to the house because I leave to pick up the Rugrats or I’m in town doing errands or whatever I may be doing……..

I came to a realization that this isn’t working. The fact that I want to be a 100% stay at home momma is great but it’s not my reality right now. I am grateful that my children are all in (and out) of school and at least I don’t have little ones at home……I can imagine the pain I would feel then. And many do feel this pain daily. They do this because they are doing what they need to do for their family. I have to step up to the plate and do the same. Sure I can hire someone full time back in the office but I would still need to be in to oversee them AND lets not forget pay them a salary that probably isn’t a good idea to take on right now. But with this economy we are blessed to be so busy and each and every customer needs to be treated in a way that makes them feel as important to us as THEY ARE.

RESOLUTION: I’m back in the office from 8am to 5pm each day. I do have a part time helper 2 days a week but other than that it’s all me now. The phone is answered every time it rings. When I need a file I can pull it, when I need to file something I can. Our office is right next to our shop which gives me quick access to job sheet and time cards that our employees fill out without having to wait for Hunk to bring them home to me.

DOWN SIDE: My daughters have to stay at after school club for 3 hours each day except for Wednesday when Grandpa picks them up and take them to guitar lessons after school. The funny thing is they have begged for years to be able to stay after because they do crafts and play with friends. So they are excited. Me……..not so much. But this is my reality right now.

UPSIDE: The office has never run more smoothly. Customers are excited at how quickly I am taking care of their needs and that when they can’t reach Hunk they are able to speak with me and a good majority of the time I am able to help them. Along with fielding some of his phone calls I’m also able to help Hunk with scheduling of jobs and other small things that help him concentrate on what he needs to be doing.

Being active in our Rugrats life is a MAJOR PRIORITY for both Hunk and myself. There will be times when one of us are away (for instance Hunk is at camp with our daughter and her school this week) and the other will do their best to pick up the slack and cover. This times will happen and we will deal with them. But on a normal daily bases this is our/my new reality.

I was whining to a friend about how sad I was but that if I was on the outside of our business knowing what I know about our business and I was advising the owner as to what needs to happen my advise wouldn’t match the actions I was taking……….I had to stop doing what I WANTED to do and doing what I NEEDED to do.

She said something that helped me put this in to perspective. She said “Remember when you were so upset about selling your beach house? How you said you didn’t have to sell it but it was probably for the best. How it would make your monthly payments less stressful?” I said “Oh ya, I remember” She said “Well, you cried when you sold it but the next month when you didn’t have to make the payment and your finances weren’t as tight you said it was the best thing you had ever done.” I said “Yes, it is the best thing to happen in hind sight.”

She thinks working in the office full time will be like selling my Beach House. It hurts a little because it’s not what I want in a perfect world. But in the end I will see that it was for the best. It will relieve a lot of stress and I believe our business can only improve more because of it. And the reality is that when I would pick my Rugrats up from school, when I got home I had to keep working because I had too much to do. Or Hunk would call and need something and he’d have to wait because I was running to the bus stop. Those are all stress factors that may not be eliminated but they will greatly reduced.

The fantastic thing about this is………..if it doesn’t work I can change it. And this morning when my alarm didn’t go off and I had to drive my son to school which caused me to be 45 minutes late, I didn’t have to worry about getting written up by my boss…….. There is always a bright side right?

So pick a day and make yourself very aware of what is triggering chaos in your home. Is it because you are over scheduled or are you just not having enough respect for your time?

See what changes you can make to move toward a more peaceful lifestyle.

I’m still working on mine…….but wanted to share what I’ve been learning/trying along the way.

Ciao Bellas~

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


How many of you spend a lot of time searching for your keys in the morning?

It usually would happen to me when we are running 5 minutes late for the bus stop and I run to where I KNOW thought I put them and they aren’t there. My blood pressure rises quickly. So does my voice throughout the house.

Who took my keys? Has anyone seen my keys? HELLO!? We are going to be late. We aren’t going anywhere if we don’t find my keys. You will miss school and then you will have tons of make-up work to do. Basically what I’m saying is if we don’t find my keys you are repeating the 5th grade. This is how tired I am of someone moving my keys…….

Well, I didn’t really say ALL of those things, but you feel my pain don’t you? Tell me I was not alone in this.


As I’ve shared I’m on my mission this year to make this my best life. I shared that this was going to be through organization and healthy eating. These are the two MAIN things I want to improve this year.

Keys having been a huge issue, I tackled them first!

I’d like to apologize now to the deer on my property for my driving past them at 100mph trying to get out of my driveway and to the bus stop on time.......after the key hunt. I'm also so happy to report that this doesn’t happen anymore…….. Well at least not very often.

Why? Because I installed a Key rack next to my front door!

Ok when you see "I" installed please read "HUNK" installed......

It’s really cute too. They aren’t expensive and you can get all kinds of designs. Some say keys, some just have a few hooks. Mine is a metal design with 3 hooks. Yeah! I love it! It has been a lifesaver in the morning.

Now if I can’t find my keys I know it is because Hunk drove my car last and he left them in the ignition.

No more searching the kitchen table, the desk, the sofa table, the night stand, the bathroom (yes, I found them there in the middle of nowhere makes for long drives and I'm usually running for the potty as soon as I hit the door)…….

It also works great for Hunk to hang his sunglasses on. Another item we commonly search for.

Looking for misplaced items is such a time suck and blood pressure raiser….. This is something I'm working hard to eliminate. Started with the keys and will be moving on to other items, like homework, important papers, etc.

I think it's funny how when someone can’t find something when they find it they say “Of course it is always in the last place I look for it.” I mean Really? I would hope so. I would hate to see someone say. “I found my keys on the kitchen table but I’m going to keep looking for them, cuz it's so darn fun” Cracks me up…… Sadly though.... I think I’ve even said it before.

It’s one of those Bill Engval moments “Here’s your sign”…….

Like I did the other day. I pulled up and my son was at the log splitter with piles of wood around him. I said “Hi son, whatcha doing? Splitting wood?” He was kind to his Momma and said “Yes, I am. Hi Mom!” But when Hunk got home he told me that my son told him (ie talked crap behind my back on his Momma. LOL) what I said and that he wanted to say “Here’s your sign”….. I hadn’t even realized I’d done it.

Ok, back to my point of this post………. =)

So consider which items you are constantly searching for and then determine the most convenient spot to store them. Find a spot that is easy for you to ensure you will actually use it. Don’t put your drop off spot in your back bedroom when you know you come in the front door and will drop it on a table there. Or if you come in and out thru your garage door, it’s probably not best to put it by your front door.

Make it easy. As soon as you come in the house, you should have a place to set those crucial items so that you won’t be tempted to carry them with you into the living room OR bathroom or wherever the last place you are going to looks for them is…..

It will take a few days to get in the habit of hanging the keys up when you walk in but once you do you will forever be grateful.

Your kids and husband may miss the yelling “Where are my keyyyyyyyyyyyssssss?” in the morning……..but you won’t!

I promise!

And I wouldn't *poop* ya, you're my favorite turds! slipped.

Ciao Bellas~

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Mommas pretty girl getting ready to get her "railroad tracks" put on.

And such a sweet to get her ready! I love this Ortho office....

This would be her favorite part.......

And the placement of the braces............

Awwwwwwwww........... the groundwork has been laid......

And now the wire........and her REAL favorite part......
The colorful bands...........

Three different shades of GREEN....
Of course....
Was a time it would have been all pink.....
Now it's Green, Green and more Green......
Yep, she is officially our green girl........with a mouth to prove it....

Mommas pretty green girl..........
Funny how many of her classmates have braces. Even more funny how many of them go to the same ortho doctor.
It is a really great office! Very friendly staff. A coffee bar for us parents, a movie theater room, a video game station, a computer/internet area....
They do the little extras that make it a fun place for everyone.....
She was happy about them for the first day......
2nd day she was crying about them.......
3rd day she had sores in her mouth from them........
4th day she was feeling a bit better......
Now she is all silver and green smiles......
By the way, there is no more silver or green in my wallet.....
Ciao Bellas~

Friday, March 26, 2010


Are you like me? Are you tired of scaring your cat every morning?

Well, this is why I am on a mission. Many of you know my sister and I are off to Maui this summer for vacation. What you may not know is that a couple years ago we went on a "sisters trip" there and we vowed we would be thin, tan and feeling amazing when we went. That statement lasted about 24 hours. When we showed up in Maui we were feeling amazing that we got to go, wished we had lost weight but couldn't wait to get there!

When we got there we decided to go lay out at the beach and the earth stopped spinning for a minute and our heads started...... WHAT IS WRONG WITH US? Why did we do this!? We are now embarrassed heading out to the beach in our swimsuits instead of feeling comfortable in our own skin.

We REFUSE to go this year and do that again. I am not going to sit and beat myself up over not being in the best shape I can be. Not again. I'm not going to be afraid to wave to someone for fear of........well you get it right? It's not pretty. My Larms.... my dang Larms.....

I may not have my spaghetti legs back but they aren't going to be Lasagna anymore.

That's right I have taken control of me and I'm feeling better than ever. I did have my first melt down day since this started.

I had to keep kicking myself in the butt and talking myself off of the ledge yesterday. I'm not sure exactly where the funk came from. Maybe just from the fact that my life has been centered around food it appears!

I would call a girlfriend "Want to meet for lunch?"

How come it's not "Want to meet for a walk?"

Call Hunk "Want to meet for dinner?"

How come it's not "Want to work out in the bedroom tonight?"......sorry it slipped out.

My point is things have revolved around my love of eating out for years. I didn't even realize how much I love it until now. So it's changing my world. But it's changing it for the better. I know this and I can see this and I'm grabbing on to it and I'm reminding myself that I deserve to do this for myself.

Nobody can do this for me. No amount of money can make me thin. No amount of money can make me organized. No amount of money can make me could help so donations are being accepted...... KIDDING....

But you get the point I'm trying to make.

So I didn't blow my eating yesterday when I wanted to. You know what I did instead? I went to the gym! I worked out while my daughter was at guitar lessons.

And today? I FEEL GREAT!

Today is my weigh in day......oh crud! I have to go weigh in.......

I'll be right back!

Did you miss me?

I'm down TWO POUNDS.....and some change......It's not the five pounds I dropped last week but it's still DOWN. This is a trend I'm not used to seeing. But I can so get used to it!

This feeling I have right now......... Oh and the feeling I had yesterday morning of being able to get on a pair of pants that were too tight for me before. THAT is why I'm doing this!

We can do this! We are doing this! We are single handedly bringing Richard Simmons Deal a Meal back to life. LOL

I'm going on an overnight with a friend tonight (it's a surprise to her so I can't say where yet) and this is how I know my ways are really changing........ I told her to bring tennis shoes and a swimsuit.

She is probably thinking leisurely walks and jacuzzi...... Well, of course......but the main reason is this place has a gym and a heated pool. I'm thinking work out in the gym and laps in the pool equals Momma drinking a glass or two of wine!

A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. And I'm splurging tonight by having a glass of wine with a friend.......but I'm working for it......

Why? Because I deserve to put the effort in and not let myself down on the scale next week.

I think what has worked best for me is taking it one day at a time. That is how I got thru yesterday. I wanted to eat a burger and fries and I kept telling myself that I'll feel better tomorrow. Just get through today and don't worry about tomorrow. And it worked.

So if you are struggling try it. ONE DAY AT A TIME. Don't think about HOW MUCH you need to lose. That can be overwhelming. Don't think about how long this is going to take you....Think about eating healthy TODAY.

We can do anything for a day.........right?

Ciao Bellas~

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I recently shared this photo with you of our daughter on her first Easter.

I would always do big baskets for my Rugrats each year. I couldn't resist putting my daughter inside her basket for a photo.

She was so much more precious than any stuffed rabbit I could have ever found!

So now I share this.

My little sister and I spending Easter at my Aunts house.

Doesn't she look so happy and sweet?

You would never guess that about 2 seconds after this photo was taken her basket fell over and the contents spilled out.

She screamed and cried as if it was all unwrapped and attacked by ants.

Being the nice big sister I GRABBED IT ALL AND RAN helped her pick it all back up and put it back in her basket.

And peace was restored in the land.

Until I put on my uncle's (way to big for me) flip flops and went into a field full of sticker patches.

I screamed and cried as if my feet were full of stickers......oh wait....they YA, I screamed and cried like that......

Ok, maybe I screamed and cried as if knives were slicing my feet.

Then my Uncle came out and got me and carried me back to the house.

And then peace was restored in the land.

As my Rugrats get older I'm trying to think of some fun new things to do with them. Create some great memories for them.

Besides spilling their baskets and standing in a field of stickers.

Not that those are my only Easter memories.... They're not......

I can't think of anything else right now, but the memories are there.

Locked away underneath the painful memories of the ants and knives. I mean spilled candy and stickers.

The girls love to bake and I found a couple things I just HAVE to have.

I found these at Williams-Sonoma. Aren't they adorable? Now if we can just get ours to turn out that well!

My stuff never looks like the photo on the box.

But then I saw this.............

LOVE these! Aren't they adorable?

I'm not sure if they look so good because I'm starving right now or if they just really look that good...... I'll get back with you on that one....

And if anyone knows what Richard Simmons"deal a meal" cards I use to be able to eat about a dozen of these please let me know.

I just really want to do something extra special with the kids this year.

Ok, I just really want an excuse to work with sugar and flour.

By the weigh way, the weight loss plan is still going strong.

Had to fight the urge to buy a KING SIZE bite size Snickers bar today but I did it.

I fought the urge that is.

I did NOT buy the snickers bar.

My friend bought it for me.


Sadly I'm kidding. sniff, sniff

But tomorrow when I hop on the scale for my weekly weigh in I will be sooooooo glad I didn't eat the snickers bar.

Tonight.......not so much.


Sort of.

Woot Woot...........chug......chug.....

Ciao Bellas~

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I was in the car on the way to my hair appointment this morning and heard this on the radio. I was blown away. Then upon returning I read a blog that broke my heart and it made me feel I needed to share this story.

A small victory for those who are or have gone through infidelity. Of course this isn't a victory that is going to directly affect you........but you have to admit you can't help but at least get a chuckle out of this.....

*found this story at story at their site *

(ABC News) - Cynthia Shackelford's story could have been no different than that of any other aggrieved wife: The North Carolina woman, 60, thought her husband Allan was deeply in love with her. Then came his late nights at the office and suspicious charges on his credit card and cell phone bills. And finally, a private investigator confirmed what she had feared: Her husband, she said, was having an affair. But Shackelford's story has a $9 million twist. Under centuries-old North Carolina case law, Shackelford sued her husband's alleged mistress, Anne Lundquist, for "alienation of affection," charging that the woman broke up her 33-year marriage. Last week, Shackelford won. A jury awarded her $5 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages to be paid by Lundquist. "She set her sights on him. ... She knew he was married," Shackelford said of Lundquist. "You don't go after married men and break up families."

Is it better than meeting her in a dark alley and kicking her butt?....I'm not sure.....

Possibly 9 million times better.....

Though I may or may not feel that she deserves BOTH.

I really don't understand. Shame on HIM for sure. And shame on HER. I'm really blown away by this but there are women who PURPOSELY seek out married men to date. They prefer married men over single men.

I actually had someone tell me this one time......Really? You prefer to wreck someones family because it's more exciting for you? It's more of a challenge? It's less worry of a commitment wanted by him...

Ok, I'm stepping of my soapbox.

If this has happened to you. I'm so sorry. I can't give big enough hugs to you. But DON'T YOU DARE take the blame for this or think you aren't worthy. You are worthy and this is not your fault!

EVEN IF..... you didn't cook dinner every night..

EVEN IF.... your house wasn't as clean as the neighbors..

EVEN IF...... you didn't have sex as often as your hubby wanted it...




And you may or may not work things out after this. Many people do. I have friends who have. Their relationship is stronger now than it ever was before. BUT it took a long time to get there. And he had to be an open book and he was willing to be that open book. And she deserved for him to be that open book and he was smart enough to know how lucky he was to have that 2nd chance.

If you are the woman who seeks married men....... Shame on you. Get your checkbook and meet me in the alley.

Ciao Bellas~

PS. I of course think the other woman wasn't the only one who should have to pay.


I think we all have felt like we have Chaos in our homes at one point or another. Some of us more than others.

Part of taking control of my life this year is also taking control of the chaos in my life. That means taking control of how much chaos I let IN to my life. I really think that we unknowingly, without meaning to, allow chaos in.

I personally do this in a few ways that I am aware of.........and probably many more ways that I am NOT aware of, but hope to be soon!

One way we can slow down or start to control some of the chaos is by learning how to say "No, I'm sorry I can't" When we just really don't have time to do something. Ever notice how it seems the people who are the most busy are the ones who are always asked to take on more.....and usually say YES?

I remember one day I was running on fumes. I had put together the gift basket for the our daughters classroom silent auction, I was heading up the fundraising dinner, I was volunteering in my sons classroom, running our office for our business, running 4 children to their games, dance lessons, etc.......and I was approached to make the certificates to hand out to all the children on the soccer team.

I sighed and stated how busy I was but that I could do it. And then the person who asked me said "I know you are busy, that is why I asked you" I think my mouth hit the soccer field bounced up and down a few times and then I shook my head a bit and said "Wha.....wha....What? Why? "... She said "If I need to make sure something is done I always ask a busy person." I said "Why would you do that instead of asking someone who isn't as busy and would have more free time?" She said "Because I know a busy person will do it. A person who isn't busy probably doesn't want to do anything and I can't count on them to get it done." I'm not so sure I agree with this 100% but I think maybe those not busy people might have it figured out!

Kind of like my rugrats doing something HALFWAY right when I ask them to help out. Struggling with it as if they don't know how, or just can't seem to get it down when they are shown over and over. I'm on to them......they want me to say, it's ok, forget it I'LL DO IT MYSELF.....

I may or may not have done this as a child.....

I'm not suggesting to be this way. I am suggesting that we need to not always be the first to volunteer. And we need to not be afraid to say we are too busy when we are or we can't or you know what?......we just don't feel like it. I don't think it's a crime to not feel like doing something.

I think we need to reserve some of our energy for the things that our really important to us. Is getting more organized important to you? It is to me and so I'm going to put some of my extra energy into that. Into planning, into learning how to be more organized......and I know once I am organized it will free up even more time for me to work on other things I enjoy or want to focus on.

I know it will free up this time because how can't it?

I won't have to run my daughters instrument to the school if she takes it in the first place.

I won't have to make a last minute rushed trip to town to buy that birthday gift if I had it on my list and bought it when I was in town the last time.

I won't have to stay up all night baking cookies for the school party the next day, if I planned in advance and had fun making them instead of stressing about how I didn't have time to be doing this.

I won't have to pay a late fee because even though I had the money sitting in my account I didn't get a bill mailed out in time.

I won't have to freak out because someone dropped by my home unannounced and my dishes aren't done, my bed isn't made and my laundry is giving Mt. Everest a run for it's money.

I won't have to grab take out for dinner because I don't have the ingredients for the dinner I've started to prepare OR I because I didn't take the meat out of the freezer.

All these "little things" add up to big time suckers. They suck the time right out of our day.

I really believe the saying "Failing to Plan is planning to fail"

So I'm setting out a game plan to control the chaos.

I've started with the baby step of making my bed everyday. This has become an excellent habit. It just makes me feel so good to walk in my room and see my bed made. A sense of accomplishment that takes about 5 minutes to accomplish.

I've also started giving my rugrats some responsibilities around our home. They need to take pride in keeping things picked up in our home too. Not me running around behind them picking up every little thing after them.

When they were small we had clean up toy time and since they have gotten older it's just a few things here and a few things there and I find myself picking them up for them. Now AT BEST I take them to their room and set it on their bed (if they aren't home) but most of the time I wait until they are home and have them do it.

My daughters have also started helping with the dishes. they are more than capable and old enough to help load and unload the dishwasher.

I'm also sitting down on Sunday's and going over the calendar with my family. Does anyone have anything coming up that I need to add to it.....double checking for any appointments during the coming week.

Trying to avoid a missed or rushed to appointment.

My next plan is to start making my weekly menu and shopping list. I haven't implemented this one yet but I am.

Baby Steps. Baby steps to an organized controlled chaos life.

I know me.......and I know if I try to implement it all at once I'm setting myself up for failure. So I have my bed making down, I have down asking my children to help out and pick up after themselves.

And now I'm working on remembering to go over my calendar on Sunday's and check it each night before I go to bed. I'm also focusing on remembering to pull meat out each morning for dinner each night.

Baby Steps.

I'm worrying about TODAY today......not TOMORROW today.

I'm setting myself up to succeed.

Controlled Chaos this is my goal.
Cheers to a beautiful, healthy eating, controlled chaos day.

Why? Because we deserve it.......of course.

Hugs to you!

Ciao Bellas~

Monday, March 22, 2010


Do you eat worms? Maybe you don't realize it. Read on and you will see what I mean when I ask you this question....

Ever since we were small we've heard "If at first you don't succeed try try again." Or "third time is a charm". (or in some of our cases 23rd time is a charm).

I think the success of changes in our life has more to do with attitude then it does with willpower. When someone doesn't do something they normally would want to do. I strongly believe it isn't just willpower. Willpower will only take anyone so far. It is attitude. The attitude that we DESERVE what we are trying to achieve.

I shared a personal thought I've had in the past here in my cancer story. Telling you about two turning points in my life. The point where I thought I deserved to be happy and deserved what I was blessed with and then I shared the exact moment when that thought turned on me in my head and I felt I didn't deserve it at all.

At the point I felt I deserved it, the weight melted away, the sky turned a brighter blue and the little things in life that felt like a heavy weight on my shoulders felt more like what they actually were..........little impositions.

At the point I felt I didn't deserve it, the weight started packing on and because of other things going on in my life (cancer) there was a heavy weight on my shoulders. But as time passed by and clear scans came my way I little part of me still held on to the belief that I don't deserve it all. I didn't sit around and think or say out loud to myself that I don't deserve it.......but sometimes we say little things in our head to ourselves. Things that are more hurtful than what anyone else could say to us. Because we repeat them, over and over and over again. Sometimes without even realizing we are doing it.

It's like when someone says something mean to you or that hurts your feelings and long after they are gone you are still repeating it over and over in your head. You are taking over for them while they aren't there to be rude. We have to stop this.

I'll never forget this day we were over at our beach house and I was going on a walk. It was such a beautiful day outside. The smell of the ocean was blowing in the wind, listening to the waves crash on the rocks....I was taking it all in. I started to daydream as I walked about how nice it would be to live here. To be able to take this walk everyday. To meet friends and have them over for a glass of wine, we could lay out on the beach..........yada yada..........the way our mind works overtime sometimes when we are alone and let our minds go wild with possibilities....... Then I passed someone else who was walking.

She was adorable. Little tiny thing, hair just so so, walking her little dogie with bows in her hair on her bling bling leash. She had on an adorable little jogging outfit (which frankly could have been from Walmart but on her figure it looked like it came from Neiman Markus) and she smiled really big and friendly at me as we passed and I said hello. I thought, we could be friends if I lived here........and then it happened. As quickly as that thought entered my mind "I STARTED BASHING MYSELF PRIVATELY IN MY HEAD"......without warning thoughts started flooding in my brain.

"Why would she want to be friends with me?" "She probably thought, WOW she NEEDS to be out here walking" OR "Obviously she doesn't walk much"......

So how did this beautiful day with ocean breeze, waves crashing on the rocks, blue skies a friendly passerby turn into. Your fat, your ugly and you don't deserve to have friends who aren't just as pathetic as you.

WHAT?!? I mean to say it out loud it sounds ridiculous! What kind of a depressed downer person is someone who thinks that way? But I wasn't a depressed downer person. Not to others. I had smiled largely at her I had my most perky "How are you today?" voice going on and I wasn't feeling depressed. Just fat and apparently unworthy of anything different than that.

I might as well have been walking down the road shouting out to everyone "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, think I'll go eat worms!"

Fortunately, I stopped myself, I stopped my thoughts and I tried to counter them with positive thoughts.

So see I've been on both sides of the attitude. And I've tried going it only on willpower. I fail every time. But when I decide I DESERVE this. I deserve to be healthy, I deserve to look the best I can, I deserve to not have a life full of chaos. Then it doesn't take as much willpower. It seems easier.

Don't be afraid to try to better yourself. And if you fall off the train, dust yourself off and get back on it. Don't start beating yourself up. Don't start telling yourself you can't do it. You CAN do. You just need to believe in yourself. WE need to believe in ourselves. We need to KNOW that we DO deserve it. If you think you don't...........ask yourself this WHY? Why don't you deserve it? When I tried to answer that I couldn't. Because the truth is......we DO deserve our best life. We all do.

Together we can do this. Just as we have heard "If at first you don't succeed, try try again". We have also heard "There is strength in numbers".

So lets encourage each other, share things that are working for us. Give pointers to each other.

Let's all sing......

Everybody likes us, nobody hates us, think we'll go eat ........healthy!

This is OUR YEAR......We are going to stomp it.

Goodbye chaos..... Goodbye jiggle butt........Hello Healthy Organized US!

Are you in? If not, What is holding you back? Are you ready to claim your best life? I am! Because we deserve it!
Hold your head high and step away from the worms......

Ciao Bellas~

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Have you ever seen someone in a restaurant with their measuring cup and measuring spoons? What about a food scale?

What about if it is a buffet? And it's not just any buffet, it's a seafood buffet..... like the diet I've been on in the past (you know the one........I "see" the food and I eat it).....

I mean how embarrassing! Can't you just guess at the portions and it be close enough? What about the people sitting at the table with her? What do they think about the people walking by and wondering why someone brought their kitchen gadgets to a restaurant.....

Well, I must confess........ last night that was me. My name is Stephanie and I'm "THAT GIRL"

See I'm on a mission here. I'm on the train to my best life and by the way...... I'm picking up passengers along the way, so if you want to join us we'd love to have you!

So as many of you know one of the ways to having my best life is to take control of my eating habits and by doing so improve my self image as well as the image everyone else sees when they look at me. Funny how our self image isn't always the same image as everyone else sees. Usually our self image is much worse.

So back to my kitchen gadgets at the seafood buffet. You may ask SERIOUSLY? In fact my sister did send me a text telling me to remind her to never go out to eat with me.....

She was kidding of course.

I think. LOL

But with this "Deal a Meal" plan I'm doing it's all about certain portion sizes "per card"......and I've not been doing it long enough to be a good judge of this yet. And I'm not derailing this train! I'm not guessing......and it's a good thing because I guessed on my meat portion........then when I got back to the table I weighed it (on the food scale..... I had stuffed in my purse) and it was almost a full card over.

What was great was Hunk. He didn't get embarrassed, and I really was being as discreet as possible, he encouraged me. So did my parents. What could have been really uncomfortable and made me feel like a WAY OVER THE TOP way of eating out ended up being a situation where I was made to feel proud of my conviction to stick to this.

I know I will get to where I can judge how many ounces my piece of meat is and how much 1 cup of vegetables look like but until then I'll be breaking out my measuring cup and my food scale. I won't derail, I won't derail.

I'm taking charge of my life and I refuse to enter into one more summer wishing I had some self control so I could wear a swim suit without hiding behind a big beach towel.

I control what I put in my mouth and I control if I am going to get off my fat sofa and exercise or if I'm going to sit on it. Me....only me to blame and only me to praise.

I can do this. I will do this. I AM doing this....

No matter what area in your life needs improvement YOU can make that improvement happen.

Weightloss is just one area I'm on a mission to improve this year. Organization is another.

So are you ready to get off of your fat sofa and get up and make it your Best Life?

Together we can do anything...The train has left the station, but we are making many stops...... picking up many passengers along the way.....

I'm saving a seat just for you.

Let's do this.....

Ciao Bellas~

Friday, March 19, 2010


It was official, we had a daughter!

And she fit in her own Easter Basket.

And she has two older brothers........

And she loved chocolate cake......

And then she grew up and went to her first school dance.......

Her big blue eyes melt my heart........

She has her own style.......and yes, candy does make her very happy......

So does pizza............and school dances.......

And big sunglasses at the beach........
What makes ME oh so very happy?
Hearing her call me Mom.
What an honor. What a privilege and yes sometimes what a hair graying experience.
I love you my sweet daughter. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Hug your babies or grand babies........they grow up so fast.
Ciao Bellas~

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


You have all seen this photo here before but it is the perfect photo to show just exactly the mood I'm in today. DORKO GOOFBALL MOOD! And lovin' it.

I'm just having one of those days! The days were everything is funny. Everything is fun. And the grass looks greener, the sky looks blue-er and.......well, you get the idea!

And to be a goofball is to act like I am today! Silly is fun today. I think part of it is being excited about going to Maui but a big part of it is just eating healthy is making me feel great!

After leaving this comment on my sister's facebook page (who is going to Maui with me)..........

"Old Kaanapali had a beach M-A-U-I and on his beach he had two mommas, M-A-U-I. With a Lava Flow here and a Lava Flow there, here a Flow, there a Flow, everywhere a Flow Flow..........sorry silly mood this if this behavior is a rare occurrence..... LOL Mahalo"

Sister emailed me and said that I've had too much coffee this morning!

But the truth is, this is me. This is my goofball personality that sometimes just has to bust out. And today is one of those days.

I would be willing to place a bet that before the day is over I will have laughed so hard that I pee my pants I cry.

I have (so far) refrained from getting on the scale today, I know it isn't a good idea to weigh every day. But I will be weighing in tomorrow and I'm going to try to keep it to weekly weigh in but to be honest unless Hunk hides the scale it will be more than that....

Just a bunch of rambling in this post but I just had to tell you all that I am so hoping that you are having a crazy, silly fun day like I am.

OH and I hope you are wearing green!

If you pinch, be kind and if someone pinches you harder than they should, bite them...... it's what I would do. =)

Kidding! (sort of)

Have a fantastic St. Patrick's Day!!!

Ciao Bellas~

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I may never be able to do this again. But I'm going try!

I'm doing good! I'm doing great! I'm doing wonderful!

I am sooooooooooo loving the Deal A Meal program! I have lost FIVE POUNDS!!! I know this will not continue at this rate but I am AMPED BABY! =)

I took another step and joined the gym back again. I went this morning and worked out for about an hour and then went for a walk with friends afterwards. We walked four miles. I feel great!

After I came home, took a shower (yes, as you can imagine this was not only for myself but for others around me) did a little office work from home and hit the road. I went to town and had many business errands to run but I also took time out to have lunch with a good friend.

I am happy to report that I stuck to my Deal A Meal cards at lunch! And I walked away satisfied. Not stuffed but satisfied. And I have to report how much better satisfied feels VS stuffed. I usually walk away stuffed and complaining about how much I ate and asking "Why oh why did I eat all that?"....... Was a great feeling to NOT have that feeling!

We walked a bit after eating and then both went our separate ways. (oh, she also gave me the sneak peak on my new blog header design! I'm sooooooooooooooooo excited about this! It is turning out even better than I had pictured in my head. Can't wait to share it with you all!)

I really have been feeling so much better since starting this program. I know I keep saying this but it is just so true. It is amazing how good you feel when you feed your body the proper fuel it needs instead of feeding it what my little heart desires. JUNK.

The funny thing is that I thought it would be much harder than it has been.......thus far.

I've had this feeling before. It's the feeling of determination and the feeling of change. And I know the feeling of accomplishment is soon to come.

I am making this MY BEST LIFE and I so hope you are joining me on this journey.

Whether it be weight loss that needs to change in your life, organization, schooling, better sleep habits. Whatever the need in your life is I just know that together we can conquer anything.

Are you in? Are you on your way to your Best Life? Or maybe you are already there! If so GREAT JOB!!!!

What changes do you need/want to make in your life?

And the most important question of all CAN YOU STILL DO THE SPLITS?

If the answer is YES I'm standing in awe of you at this very moment. It's official, you are my hero.

Ciao Bellas~

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I thought this was the perfect reminder bracelet! You can get it here.

I find it so strange how different life feels when you take control of it! Starting this deal a meal program so far has been one of the best things I could have done.

Not only for my physical health but also for my mental health. When I am conscious of what I’m eating…..yes, I said conscious. The reason I use this word is because in all honesty many and most times in the past few years when I eat I just grab whatever looks and sounds good. I’m not making a conscious decision as to how what I was putting in my mouth would affect my body image or my health. That is not to say that I didn’t think about it at all. I just didn’t listen to what I knew.

I WANTED it and somehow it was almost like I felt I deserved it. But really I think I just felt so fat and yuck that what I really felt was it didn’t really matter cuz I’m already fat. What I felt was I deserved was to continue being fat, not that I deserved the food.

I don’t know if any of this is making sense. I’m just trying to type my feelings as they come to my mind. Hash them out and change my way of thinking.

This Deal a Meal has given me structure without difficulty. It is so easy to see what “card” I have left. What category I can eat out of. Helps me to make healthy choices. I can still have fat, I can still have carbs, but limited amounts.

It’s only been a few days but my results are more than what the scale says (which is LOSS already). My results are in how I am feeling already. I already have more energy. I already feel like my mind is clearer. Not that I walked around in a fog before, because I didn’t. But I’m not sure how to put in to words what I mean by this.

I guess I’m not spending any part of my day feeling upset with myself for not doing anything about things I don’t like about myself and in my life. I am taking steps to change them and this is making me feel in control of my life.

I suppose in the way that writing up a budget, balancing your checkbook and sticking to your budget makes you in control of your money. Telling your money where to go instead of spending whatever you want and then trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage. We have to tell ourselves “NO” or we won’t have enough money to pay our bills.

I’m now telling myself “NO” or I won’t have any clothes so I can be healthy. I originally started this so I could “look better” OF COURSE I WANT THIS, but if within just a few days I’m already FEELING better because of what I’m eating, looking better has taken 2nd seat to feeling better.

Cheers to to putting ourselves in the drivers seat of our lives.

Cheers to a new me....CHEERS TO A NEW US!


I’ve heard these words and this year I plan to live them.

I may not be "the skinny girl” ever again but I can be "the healthy girl."

I may not be “the most organized person” anyone knows, but I can choose to not live in Chaos.

I may not win “Mother of the Year Award” but I will continue to make my children, their healthy, growing up with integrity and their happiness a priority.

We have to make this our “BEST LIFE”……….it’s the only one we have.

So in the words of Dr. Phil.

No, not “How’s that workin’ for you?” Though I’ve said that to myself in areas.


I'm ready, are you?

Ciao Bellas~

P.S. I have not had one day with an un-made bed, since pledging to do this. Small step in the new, non chaos, organized me!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Ok, so I'm not really on a horse, I'm riding my friend Cori! But it is her new horse blanket and I was pretending she was a horse so I think the photo still works. Ah to be young again........

The point is...... I'm back in the saddle again! I fell off the skinny horse and I'm jumping back on.

Years and years and years and years ago.......when I wanted to lose my baby weight after my first child......ya....cuz I was oh so I wish I was THAT FAT again.....


Wait, where was I?

Oh Ya! Many moons ago I got in to a weight loss challenge group at work. It was one of those moments where "It clicks"........ You know one of those moments when you are on the train to thin-town. You pass go and you collect your $200 and you keep on moving. Nothing gets in your way. It isn't HARD to stick to your new diet eating habit, you are excited about it.

I've only had this happen a few times. But when it does, it's wonderful!

Well, MANY MOONS ago.....this happened to me. I kicked butt. And I did it with good ol' Richard Simmons Deal a Meal cards. I remember I loved it! It was so easy. OH and I have to give credit where credit is due.... Jane Fonda workouts. I would pop Jane into the VCR each morning before going to work and do her one hour work out. Then that evening (Hunk worked out of town almost every single week, in those days) I'd feed my son and after he went to bed I'd pop sweet, perky, skinny, Jane back in the VCR and do it all over again.

I can picture the leg warmers like it was yesterday. How I had the energy to do this twice a day is what I can't wrap my head around today.

So I'm in another weight loss challenge with some family and friends. I've been chugging along..... OK, I've been riding the roller coaster of up this week, down this week, up this week, down this week...... And it's making me sick to my stomach at myself!

Poop or get off the pot Stephanie!

So this morning it hit me. DEAL A MEAL. Go back to what worked years ago. Even if it is just to get me chugging along.

Why this morning did this pop in my head?

Because yesterday I learned we may be able to spend a month on Maui this summer. And this means a swimsuit. I am not a rocket scientist but I can do some math and because of this it is VERY CLEAR that a bikini will never hit the beach on this body by this summer.

And lets get REAL here, I doubt it ever will. After my surgeries I look more like a road map than a centerfold.

BUT a swimsuit. To be able to wear one without feeling like sirens will go off on the beach because people feel they have just spotted a "beached whale". That's what my goal is at this point.

So BAM, I'm kickin' it up a notch. I may even have to dig up Jane and some leg warmers..... Or maybe the 30 day shred that made me curl up in a ball sucking my thumb, rocking back and forth crying for my mommy for a week. I may need to upgrade to the shred.

I wonder how much it will shred off my butt in 30 days?

So here is to hoping Maui comes to be and that if it does I will be as ready for it as I can be in a few months time.

"Inside this body lies that of a skinny lady. But I can usually shut her up with chocolate."

Oh ya, skinny girl is coming out to play....... Put down the chocolate and nobody gets hurt.

Ciao Bellas~

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Pioneer Woman has a Giveaway today and I want to thank her so much for her question she would like answered to enter her giveaway. It made me stop and think about my life. I am already feeling great about my day today but this made it even more clear to me WHY I am feeling this way today.

Her question was:

“How different is your life now than how you’d always pictured it?”

Are you exactly where you always thought you’d be?

Are you mildly where you thought you’d be?

Or are you nowhere near where you thought you’d be?

Seems like a simple question but kind of deep at the same time.

I gave the short version of my answer on my entry but my post will have the long version. The version that is now floating around in my head ever since reading the question.

How did I always picture my life?

From as far back as I can remember I always new I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to get married and I wanted to have children and I wanted to be the best mom possible. I also always said that I was going to adopt. My words "There are so many children in this world that need mom's and dad's I'm not going to have my own (biological) children, I'm going to adopt." The rest of my picture was basically......"and they lived happily ever after."

My reality?

I married my high school boyfriend. We were together off and on throughout high school. He was two years ahead of my in high school and shortly after "I" graduated we got married. We bought our first home and it was finished being built a few weeks before we were married. (There is a story there for another post).

Within a couple of years I was pregnant and had a miscarriage. The Dr. said I needed to wait 3 months and then try again. To be honest I wasn't trying the 1st time but found myself very sad that I had miscarried. Three months later almost to the day I found out I was pregnant again. I had a pretty rough pregnancy and spent a few months on bed rest and ended up with a C-section delivery. And then there were 3.

Hunk and I had a pretty rocky beginning. We argued a lot and weren't in a very happy place. I ended up going to work for the State (Cal Trans) until I got pregnant with our 2nd son (that was a SHOCKER) again, wasn't trying and I was on the pill. But after the shock wore off I was very excited. I again had a tough pregnancy. This one worse than the first. I was in and out of the hospital, on bed rest and then had to be induced in the end. My doctor said I shouldn't have any more children. He didn't feel it was safe for me. So I had a tubal ligation.

Hunk and I then sold our first home and bought the home he grew up in, in the country, from his parents. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went in to that home. This ended up pulling us closer together. Hunk was happier being back in the country and out of the city and we started getting closer and closer.

A couple years later we started our own business and our oldest started kindergarten and I got the itch. I wanted another baby. I really wanted a daughter badly. I was out numbered there in that house! Too much testosterone going on. I needed reinforcements.

I started visiting new doctors and seeing about having my tubal ligation reversed. There were mixed reviews on this but I had a friend who knew someone who had this done successfully. My new OBGYN said that if I was on bed rest and listened to him, he thought he could get me through a pregnancy successfully. Hunk wasn't so sure.

I set an appointment with a Dr. in Southern California to see about the reversal. The date they had available was February 12th. It was a ways away and it was also the day one of my best friends from high school was killed by a drunk driver. This made me uneasy.

I also couldn't get out of my head what I had always said growing up. So we started checking into adoption, but leaving the reversal on the table as an option. Soon after we were talked to by a friend who had done foster care and she told me of two little one year old twin girls and their 4 year old sister. Part of me wanted this so badly and part of me thought the other part of me was CRAZY. Plus they were not able to be adopted as of yet. We checked in with an adoption consultant.

Hunk had now decided whether we did adopt or not he did not want me to get the reversal. He felt it was too big of a risk on my health.

Short version (sort of) of a very long story, we ended up getting placed with a birth mother and she was pregnant with a girl (or so the ultra sound the way our 2nd sons ultra sound said girl too, until the month prior to his delivery) so we were excited about that but both knew it could very well be a boy and we were 100% on board either way. We just wanted another child at this point (but of course, hoped for a girl). The baby's due date? March 21st.

Remember my friend in high school who was killed by the drunk driver? The one who passed away on the same date as my tubal reversal was scheduled? Well her BIRTHDAY was March 21st. I felt this was a flashing neon sign telling me this was the right thing to do! I also felt that God was trying to "remind" me of what I had always said I was going to do.

And we did. And she is the most precious thing we could have hoped for.

Skip a bunch of drama things that happened and about a year and a half later we were contacted about our daughters younger sister who was now in foster care. They had been told we had "the sister" so we were given the option to foster adopt (another looooooooooonnngg story here). End result? We did. And our family is now complete.

A few years later we bought property in another neighboring town and built a home. Life couldn't seem to get any better. Then I was diagnosed with Cancer. It was a devastating time for me and for my family. In one moment I felt that all that I had been blessed with was being taken away. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. However, would end up that it was not "the most" difficult. (years later we almost lost our son to a ruptured appendix, THIS was the most difficult time of my life)

A couple years passed and I kept having "clear scan" results...... (pass over a few more things, or this post will take 3 hours to read) and we bought property on a private lake up the hill further and built a home (well a barn home, main home to come).

And we live happily ever after........

Is this how I had pictured my life would be? Some parts yes and some parts no. But when you look at the whole picture.

Aside from the concern of my Cancer returning.......It's better than I could have ever possibly imagined it to be. I have four beautiful children (to which I HONESTLY forget two came to us via adoption. There is NO difference AT ALL in our love for them, than the love we have for our biological children) and a husband who loves me very much. I am blessed financially, spiritually and with many great TRUE friends.

Could life be any better? Possibly.........but I don't know if I could stand myself if it was.

Thanks for the question this morning Ree. You let me travel through time in my mind and reminded me just how much I have to be thankful for.

How about you? Did your life turn out how you imagined it would be?

Momma out.

Ciao Bellas~

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


If you read this.......then you know why I'm checking in with ya! And lets just say I have good new to report!

This weekend was very productive. We were in attack mode. We got more items taken over to our storage barn and I'm heading back to the office today with a few items we found afterward. Hunk got a battery powered lamp system set up to give us light in the house at night when the generator is off. (We do not have electricity ran back in here where we live so we run on a generator, and are going to be getting solar power. The pump is run on solar now.

So nice to be able to walk through my home without it being a maze each time! Having two homes worth of furniture in one home doesn't work out too well.

I will have pictures up soon so you can see all the improvements we have done around here!

It's been a busy week already. Butting I'm keeping my head above water so far AND I haven't left the house with week without my bed made. Some of you do this everyday and some of you are standing up and applauding me.....

My bed only got made when I had time OR if I had company coming over. Now I've made it a rule for myself to not leave without making it. If I am requiring it of my children (because I want this to become second nature to them when they are older) then I best require it of myself.

OH and I've been keeping with hanging up all of our clothes as they are done instead of stacking them on the chest at the foot of our bed and pulling from there to get dressed OR putting them away when they chest is full. Or Hunk "sighs" enough when he walks by it. Yes, I hear you doing this Hunk, even if you think I don't.... He doesn't say anything but if it bugs me.......I know it bugs him.

So my bed is made, my dishes are all loaded in the dishwasher (except for the hot bacon grease pan from breakfast) and all my clothes are put away. I'm off to the office.

Want to get there early so I can go into Momma mode when my Rugrats get done with their school day.

Ciao Bellas~

P.S. I've cooked dinner everyday this week too! I know it's only Wednesday but hey...I soooooooooo felt like ordering pizza and having Hunk pick it up on his way home last night..... Instead I made steak, potatoes and broccoli.

P.S.S. I haven't been ALL good....... I ate a Klondike bar yesterday! Don't think that will help with weigh loss......sigh.....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


She LOVES to bake.

I think if she could stay home all day from school and bake, she would be a happy camper baker.

I think this is her favorite part about baking.....

And this is my favorite part about HER baking.........
Is she Bakerella?.......No, not yet......but she did bake it all on her own and it taste wonderful.
She just started taking guitar lessons and I bought her a guitar and a music note cookie cutters today. She is going to bake cookies and take them to her guitar teacher tomorrow.....
Now if I can just get her to cook dinner every night.......
Ciao Bellas~