Thursday, January 26, 2012

Random Acts of Craftiness #8 - Weight Loss Jars

When I did Weight Watcher's a few years ago, I went to the meetings. One of my favorite parts of the meeting was at the end, when the leader would pass out the gold star stickers. These gold star stickers were for anyone that had reached a 5 pound milestone that week (5,10,15,20.... pounds). Everyone would clap as the person's name was called out, and it was my favorite moment of the meeting.

I saved all my gold stars in my weigh in booklet. Now that I am doing WW online, I really miss those gold star stickers. (Yes, I require the same motivation as a potty training toddler.)

As soon as I saw this on pinterest, I knew I had found my motivation tool. I looked around my house to see if I had the right container, and ended up using some of my old canning jars from my collection.

I used two bags of glass filler from the Dollar Tree, and made a label for the front (just like my pantry labels). I put 50 little glass marbles in the pounds left jar.

Then I took out 17 marbles and put them in the pounds lost jar. I felt so accomplished as I took those marbles away from the jar of 50.

Every week after I weigh in, I will be able to take some marbles and move them to the pounds lost jar (hopefully). That's almost as good as a gold star sticker.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blessing #101- my husband's ex-girlfriend

Two years ago, if you had told me, "You will face a crisis, and the first thing you'll think is, 'I have to talk to my husband's ex-girlfriend'," I would have laughed and then asked, "Just what kind of crisis is it?" However, that is just what happened to me.

Now you must know that my husband's ex-girlfriend has gone on to have a great life with her own husband and family, and she is known by most people as much more than my husband's ex-girlfriend. For our purposes though, she's my husband's ex-girlfriend.

About a year ago, I met my husband's ex-girlfriend at church when she was visiting her family. We hit it off right away, and soon became friends on facebook and Pinterest. Surprisingly, we have very similar taste (maybe that's not so surprising) so she is one of my favorite people on Pinterest.

We sent a few messages back and forth, and in one of the messages she mentioned "a lupus flare up" in passing. I didn't think much of it because I didn't know much about lupus (only 2 facts at the time).

After the doctor told me I might have lupus, the doctor left the room quickly. That was it, and I was left sitting alone in stunned silence. I had no idea what to think, but I remembered the line about lupus in my husband's ex-girlfriend's message and I knew I had to talk to her.

When I got home, I sent a facebook message to my husband's ex-girlfriend instead of googling. I was afraid to google lupus. Even though it's Blessing #1, google can make a hang nail sound like it's going to kill you. She quickly responded back and started her message with, "Don't panic, runaway, freak out, or stress." When I read it, I had to laugh because that is exactly what I was doing. She gave me her phone number and we talked the next day. I had a couple of major fears about lupus, and she was able to put me at ease about them.

I can't help but believe that God worked it out for my husband's ex-girlfriend to enter my life right at the time when I needed help. He must have know that in my moment of crisis, my husband's ex-girlfriend would be just the person I needed.

All that being said, I really am getting tired of typing "my husband's ex-girlfriend" so I'll think I'll just shorten it and call her "my friend."

Note: My husband's ex-girlfriend...I friend was contacted about this blog post and has approved it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Curse #34 - Being Sick

I have been sick a lot lately, and by “a lot” I mean four times in the past four months. If you do the math, I’m averaging getting sick once a month.

This wouldn’t be so bad if I was a good sick person, the kind of person that can push through and keep going. However, I’m a terrible sick person…one of the world’s worst. When I am sick….

1. I sit on the couch most of the day unable to move.

2. I call my mom to inform her how bad I feel.

3. When Shad comes home, I greet him with the warm welcome of, “I feel like poop.”

4. When Shad gets tired of me saying how bad I feel, and my mom stops answering my calls, I resort to telling the world of facebook just how bad I feel.

5. When people stop liking my status of "I feel terrible", I move on to blog about how bad I feel. (Social networking can be scary in the wrong hands.)

When I’m sick it’s hard on me and everyone around me.

In December, my general doctor ran some basic blood work to see what could be causing me to get this sick all the time. She is a very cautious doctor, but I like that about her. Much to my surprise , I tested positive for lupus. She assured me that this test (ANA test) is known for giving false positives and she told me they would run it again. But the second time showed the same results.

Honestly, I didn’t know very much about lupus. In fact, I knew exactly three facts about lupus.

1. I have a friend on facebook that has it
2. It’s genetic
3. My parents knew a woman that passed away with it a long time ago.

That #3 fact wasn’t the most comforting fact to know. In fact, the #3 fact really was freaking me out!

When I called Shad (who was also sick at the time) to tell him, his response was, “Do you think that’s what me and the boys have.”

One thing you must know about my husband is that sometimes, he can be a hypochondriac. For example, every time his leg hurts he thinks it’s a blood clot because of an episode of Mythbusters he saw 6 years ago (that’s why he’s not allowed to watch the talk show The Doctors or see the movie Contagion).

As soon as he said that, I said, “Are you kidding me?” and hung up on him. (Why no? None of my friends have ever asked me for marriage advice. Why do you ask?)

Anyway, later (after I apologized for hanging up on him) I realized that he genuinely knew NOTHING about lupus. He thought you could catch it like mono. After I shared the facts that I knew about it (except for #3), he understood better.

Oh yeah! If I haven’t mentioned it yet, I got these results just a week or two before Christmas…”Merry Stinkin’ Christmas. You might have a chronic illness…Fa la la la la, la la la la “

I’ve tried to keep a level head about this because lupus is complicated to diagnose and is commonly misdiagnosed. A positive ANA test is only the first step in a diagnosis. Soon, I will be going to a rheumatologists to do more testing.

There are also many factors that could give the ANA test a misreading. I had a virus when I took the test and that can give you a false reading.

My pulmonary doctor (who I will have to blog about on another day) said that my chest x-ray and breathing tests do not look like someone with lupus. It looks more like asthma. I was actually excited when he told me this. I never thought I would say, “Yeah! I have asthma!” However, since then I’ve gotten sick two more times, and I’m losing confidence that it’s just asthma.

Lupus or not, I just need to figure out what’s going on with me. Being sick just isn’t working for me or my family.

If you would like to pray for me, please pray that I find a really smart, really great rheumatologist that can help me sort through all this. Oh, and I’m sure my mom and Shad would ask that you pray for them too.

update: several months later, I discovered I was allergic to milk.  This allergy affects my immune system which made the ANA test read so high.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blessing #100 - "How old do I have to be?"

Brandon is going through a phase right now where he asks a ton of questions. Some of his questions are absolutely impossible.

B - "Mom, is tonight today, or is tonight tomorrow?"
me - "uuuhhhh, it's today, but part of it is actually tomorrow. "

B - "Mom, is Mamaw my grandma or your grandma?"
me- "Both."

B- "Mom, was Collin on top of me when I was in your belly?"
me- "Hey B, is that a tractor over there?" (there are some questions I am not ready for right now.)

His all-time favorite type of question though is the, "How old do I have to be" question.

B- "Mom, how old do I have to be to have a real gun?"
me- "25"

B- "Mom, how old do I have to be to drive a motorcycle?"
me- "25"

B- "Mom, how old do I have to be to catch a fox with my bare hands?" (we had just watched The Call of the Wildman)
me- "25"

B- "Mom, how old do I have to be to drink soda?"
me- "25"

B- "Mom, how old do I have to be to wear a knife on my belt like the guys in Home Depot."
me- "25"

B- "Mom, how old do I have to be to get married?"
me- "25"

He hasn't caught on yet that I always answer, "25." Someday, he will, but probably not until he's 25.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

50 for 30 - Week #14ish

I haven't posted any 50 for 30's for a few weeks because I haven't been able to weigh in at my doctor's office. I've been keeping an eye on my weight with other scales, but it wasn't official.

After a few weeks, I had a moment of truth yesterday, and it wasn't all. I weighed in and I had gained back 3.9 (no, I will not round it up to 4) pounds! Honestly, I really shouldn't put the exclamation point at the end of that sentence because I wasn't surprised. I did not exactly watch my points over Christmas.

I blame my mother! She made no-back cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, sausage balls, coconut bon bons, peanut butter balls, some other kind of butterscotchy thing, and homemade hot cocoa!!! I'm not kidding! She was making so much candy I was looking around for the oompa loompas!

I guess it wasn't all my mother's fault. Maybe most of the blame lies with me. When I go to Georgia, there are so many things I have to eat barbque, brunswicke stew, banana pudding, Zaxby's, and tea cakes. Because I don't have these delicacies where I live, I eat them like a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter.

I have no self-control, and I gained back 3.9 pounds, but the good news is, I can always try again. That's where you can help me! If you've been losing weight since New Year's could you let me know how much you've lost and how awesome it is and how great you are feeling. I'm serious! I need some motivation and encouragement today!

Week #14ish - 3.9 pounds gained

Total weight loss - 15.6 pounds

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blessing #99 - My Silhouette

Reunited and it feels so gooood!

Reunited 'cuz we understooood!

There's one perfec
...oh I'm sorry I was just singing to my craft cutting machine, the Silhouette. (You can see a picture of the Silhouette here.)

When I showed my Pantry I mentioned that I had lost a piece to my Silhouette in our move. I just mentioned it in passing, but I was so sad. I missed my Silhouette so bad. It was my birthday present to myself. I saved up all my pennies for it, and got it at a great deal (much better than the list price). I knew the missing piece had to turn up.

Sure enough, Shad found the missing piece in the drawer of a side table, and scored major brownie points in my heart.

Now life is as it should be and me and my Silhouette are back together. I know you think I'm crazy because of the love that I have for my Silhouette, but let me show you what my Silhouette and I can do together.

Dollar Store bins have never looked so good!

I stayed up until midnight finishing the labels for my pantry. (Yes, I realize how sad that sounds as I type it.)

I'm just so glad to have my Silhouette back!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Blessing #98 - January Goals

Does anybody out there make New Year's resolutions? I have mixed feelings about resolutions, but this year I made several.

I love making lists. Honestly, if I was in a pageant like the ones on Toddlers and Tiaras (not that I would admit to ever watching that show) my introduction would be, "This is Stephanie, and she enjoys complicated math problems, new office supplies, and making lists." I would totally win Grand Supreme with that intro.

Anyway, because I love making lists so much, setting goals and New Year's resolutions are right up my alley. Listing out New Year's resolutions can be a little overwhelming, so I decided just to set my goals for the month of January. (babysteps, babysteps)

January Goals

1. Reach the halfway point of 25 pounds towards my 50 for 30 goal.

2. Paint and decorate the master bedroom.

3. Organize the refrigerator. (I know this doesn't sound excited, but I'm making labels for all the shelves out of vinyl. Like this woman did...Oh! Add that to my pageant intro, "making labels.")

4. Have a budget meeting with Shad and stick to a budget for the month.

5. Start a new Bible study. (I saw one in the store, but I can't remember the name. I do remember what the cover looked like so I'm going to get it tomorrow.)

6. Have a date night with Shad, but not just a "Let's go out to eat date." I'm trying to convince Shad to go to a free Introduction to Ballroom Dance class that a local library is having. I think I can win him over with the, "It's free" approach.

7. Read two books. (I've already met this goal! To help motivate me, I made a pinterest board with all the books I've read in 2012.)

8. Get Collin off of bottles (This may be hard because Baby Boy loves his bottles.)

I realize that I may not accomplish everything on this list, but I would rather try than do nothing. After reading over this post though, I think I may need to add one more goal to my list, "#9 - Stop watching Toddlers and Tiaras (not that I would admit to ever watching that show)."