Monthly Archives: December 2011


Many of the blogs that I read have been summing up their 2011 with one word. I have been thinking about mine for a few weeks now and it came to me today. Amazing. It really was. There were more ups than downs and I am forever grateful. Before I look forward with my goals for the next year (next post) I would like to reflect on what the highs have been for me this year.

1) My Dad’s remission continued. There is no greater gift. Amen.

2) I saw the greatest concert of my life. Joe, Logan and I made the trek to East Lansing, Michigan to see the U2 360 tour live at Spartan Stadium. We stayed with some of my favorite family members and they kindly watched Logan. Joe and I had one of those experiences watching live music that only we understand. It was the evening sky, the atmosphere, U2 at their best- just pure awesome.

3) I swam in the ocean with my son and family at Surfside Beach. I watched the sun set. I watched it rise. I felt the saltwater air. I drank margaritas while sitting in the sand. Perfection.

4) I celebrated the birthdays of nieces and nephews and friends children. Our hair gets grayer, our age creeps up yet we still come together to celebrate our children. While we still celebrate our birthdays, looking around to see your closest friends and the next generation getting bigger is always enjoyable. We have such great kids!

5) I landed my dream job. Not many people can say that. I am grateful for all of the lessons and stepping stones that brought me here and I look forward to learning from all the wins, and mistakes, that I will make along the way. I’m honored to have the job that I do and work with the people that I work with.

6) I have a beautiful son who experienced so much this year for the first time. He makes every day better. I never forget how Blessed I am.

7) I ran a 5K. I am a runner now. I never in a million years thought I would say that.

8) Joe and I saw Jimmy Buffett in concert. It was a bucket list concert. I have never felt like I belonged more with a crazy group of people. Yes, I’m a Parrothead and proud of it :-) It’s a life philosophy.

9) I ate at great restaurants, was surrounded by great friends, drank great wine & enjoyed my life to the fullest.

10) I took many steps in the right direction, and many backwards, in regaining my health. I have a lot more work to do in 2012. It’s all part of the journey. This is my first priority above all else.

11) Met so many new people through my work and volunteering and look forward to meeting even more people in 2012. Each person brings more perspective and depth to my life and for that I am grateful.

12) I watched my husband and our friend Peter cross the finish line after completing a marathon. 26.2 miles of pride. I learned a lot from my husband through his training and that day at the race. He is one of my greatest inspirations.

13) I worked really hard at being more comfortable in my own skin. Accepting myself for all my good and bad traits. This is a work in progress, but it’s improving.

14) I hung out with my parents, laughed until I cried and celebrated with my family. I have the greatest parents (by birth and in-laws) a woman could ask for. We are a quirky bunch but we love each other.

15) I did say “no” more in 2011. It was on my goals list and I did accomplish that. I would like to say “no” even more in 2012. Balance is key.

16) I ate a fabulous meal in one of the greatest cities of the world with a very dear friend. It was one of those evenings that you hope to never forget. Thank you Keith.

17) I exchanged daily text messages with my “sister” Kellie. It is our way of staying in touch through our crazy lives but it’s one of those things that makes my life complete. I would be lost without her and thank God for her friendship every day.

18) I tried to be honest in this little blog in the hopes that each of us would feel more connected through this human experience. It is so fun for me to interact with people who actually read this. It made me realize that we are more alike than not.

19) I was able to learn even more from my four Grandparents. All four are still a part of my life and they are pretty remarkable, each of them in their own right. I’m almost 35 and I still have them to learn from. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

20) I never ever take for granted the fact that I am married to my best friend. Thank you Joe for all that you bring to my life (and for putting up with me :-))

There were many things that I didn’t do well, and many mistakes, but I will learn from them and take them in to improve upon and make a part of my goals for 2012. There were tears and heartaches in the year too, but I think those are the things we should reflect on and learn from, not dwell on.

Throughout this year I continue to remember the legacy of Mindy. For a woman I never met, she gave me so many gifts. I think of her often and pray for her family. She may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.

I hope you take the time to reflect on your 2011 and celebrate all that you were able to enjoy and experience. I wish you the best in 2012. Here’s to our journey together. Happy New Year!

The Battle of the Season

I am refusing to let the holidays beat me. I just won’t.

For the past two months I will strongly admit to struggling with my health balancing act. Many of us do so I am no different from anyone else. I ditched my challenge at day #51. Even off of alcohol and coffee my stomach was still a mess and I was, well, missing out on some of my favorite food experiences. So, my stomach still hurts and I can enjoy Starbucks and riesling once again.

With that said, I pretty much just went along with not a whole lotta effort in the food category. I eat healthy, but sometimes eat too much of it. I am still running a few times a week but when you feel like garbage your effort is garbage. The old addage “garbage in, garbage out” really is true. My stomach aches so I ache frankly.

I landed a new general physician who I pretty much think is the cats meow. He is young, thorough and many people that I know go to him and highly recommended him. I wrote a letter basically begging to get into his practice (side note, be your own advocate when it comes to your health care). After my thorough hour long initial examination he is now referring me to a GI specialist to tackle the pain. I will have a upper and lower GI and a colonoscoopy in my not so distant future. Happy New Year! Rock on.

So here I am in the midst of the holiday season. Party after temptation after feast. In my family this time of year was met with tons of baking. TONS. Now, being gluten free and egg free it sort of takes the fun out of the baking. Yes I have tried it more than enough times to still not understand why my cookies don’t look like the cookies in Jules Gluten Free’s blog. They look like garbage but taste pretty good. Right now, it’s not worth the effort for me.

So in an attempt to not gain 10 pounds in the month of December I am trying my best to keep the eye on the prize. Enjoy the season, yet keeping it in check. Pack my lunches more and embrace the no cookies in the house. Yet, I will still partake in my famous fudge and glasses of champagne. And I’m logging on to Weight Watchers and logging my points the best I can.

The season is part battle and part enjoyment. I plan on winning at both.