A Moment in a Marriage as Old as Dirt

He walked into the kitchen while I was finishing up the dishes. This Old Love by Lior came on.

“This song reminds me of us.” I said as he walked past me.

He had never heard the song. I walked over to him, wrapped my arms around his neck and looked up at him.

I begin singing along while looking at his sweet face.

“We’ll grow old together
We’ll grow old together
This old love will never
This old love will never die”

He smiled, buried his head into my neck.

We stood there, slow dancing in the living room. I held him tighter as we swayed back and forth in time to the music. It was just like a scene out of a romantic movie, except for the part where I was wearing sweats with holes in the crotch area and he had wood shavings all over his bleached out ugly green shirt.

We were having A Moment.

I felt the tears welling in what my husband likes to call my “40 Eyes.” I didn’t want to cry because THERE’S NO CRYING WHILE SLOW DANCING IN TORN UP SWEATS IN THE LIVING ROOM!” But I couldn’t stop the tears. I didn’t want him to know that I was crying, so I sneakily wiped my tears with his dirty shirt.

The song ended and we just sort of stood there, holding each other. I finally pulled away and kissed him on the cheek.

“I love you, old man.”

“I love you too, pretty girl.”

I went back to cleaning the kitchen while he headed back into the garage to do whatever it is that he does in there with all of that wood.

I’ve Still Got It!

I was in the kitchen roasting tomatoes and peppers to prepare fresh salsa for dinner. Gabriella and Tony were sitting at the kitchen table playing a game of Slap Jack. While I was roasting away, I heard the following

Gabby: Come on Dad! Let’s go!

Tony: Hold on. I want to look at your mama. She’s so pretty.

Gabby: Okay, but please stop looking at her like she’s SUPER smokin’.

*She turns to look at me*

Gabby: Don’t get me wrong, Mommy. I think you’re pretty. But dad is looking at you like he’s about to drool!

Twenty four years later and he still looks at me like he’s about to drool. That’s true love. (Or old age. Or both.)

A Different Kind of Before and After

When you lose weight, especially a significant amount of weight, people love to tell you how! amazing! you! look! omg! It’s nice to hear because losing a significant amount of weight is not easy to do and it’s nice to be recognized for hard work, yes? But, if you should happen to stop losing weight and gain weight back, it’s hard to NOT feel ashamed and or embarrassed.

Here’s the thing… EFF SHAME. EFF IT RIGHT IN THE UGLY FACE.

In the past year, I had a traumatic friendship break-up, lost my job and a huge portion of our household income, injured my knee and then injured my neck and shoulder. I was depressed, I was broke, I was scared and so I did what I did what I needed to do to cope emotionally. (Eat. A Lot.) I’m not saying I handled things in the best or healthiest way possible, I absolutely did not. But I did what gave me comfort at the time. It’s taken a lot of time, a lot of tears, a lot of conversations with my husband and a LOT of donuts, but I’m finally at a place where I can say that I’ve truly, completely let go. I’m ready to move on and to live my best life again. I’m ready to admit where I went wrong and to do better.

If I choose to hold onto the shame that I feel about letting myself get unhealthy again, I will not be able to move forward.

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I have nothing to be ashamed about. I ate too much, I didn’t work out enough and I gained weight. It happened. I refuse to sit here and feel sorry for myself or feel like a terrible person. Instead, I choose to set goals, to make better choices and to get in shape again.

Here’s my “before and after.” The first photos are of when I was in shape, when I had lost weight and was no longer 199. The second pictures were taken today after my first boot camp class (big ups to Lindsay for hooking me up with a writing gig so boot camp is possible again!) Totally out of shape again, totally 199 pounds again (okay, I lie, 201 pounds) But TOTALLY MOTIVATED TO DO BETTER.

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(I chose the LARGE size photo because IN YOUR FACE, SHAME.)

*Insert Inspirational Title Here*

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Last year at this time, I was well into a year of doing boot camp. I was fit, I was strong, I was running, I was feeling and looking great.

Then I lost my job.

Then I injured my knee.

Then I had to quit boot camp because I could no longer afford it.

Then I injured my neck and my shoulder.

Then I got depressed and I ate a lot of things that are unhealthy because they gave me temporary (false) comfort.

Then I gained weight.

Then I was overwhelmed with shame and regret.

Then I finally made an appointment with my endocrinologist and cried in her office because I was back up to 197 pound and was ashamed, embarrassed and scared.

Then my endocrinologist contacted me last week and said all of my test results were normal and that she has no doubt that I will lose the weight and get fit again.

And then I decided to believe that she is right. That just because I’ve had a set back doesn’t mean that I am a failure.

Then I decided that shame will only hold me back from my goals and from living my best life.

Then I decided it’s time to let go of the shame and replace it with determination.

It’s time to set new goals and start living life again.

What’s done is done. What happens next is up to me.

I Can’t Promise You That This Won’t Become the Look at My Pictures of My Adorable Dog Blog.

We have a new member of the family.

He’s a Yorkie and his name is Choco.

It all happened so fast.

Long story short? We lost both of our dogs last year. Our daughter was heartbroken. She asked for a new dog often. I would tell her things like “Maybe for Christmas next year!”

Then one day my mother in law called me and said that her neighbor had an adorable little dog but her husband was allergic and she had to find it a new home. And she was all “he’s trained and he’s cute and he’s just the most precious little dog in all of the world.” I agreed to meet the dog and see if he would be a good fit for our family. We ended up bringing him home the very next day.

We hadn’t mentioned any of this to our daughter, so the day we brought him home we surprised her after school.

In my excitement, I totally left the dog out of the video. But don’t panic! I have pictures!

He is perfect for us and just what our family was missing. Happy my girl has another furry friend to love and make memories with.

My First Attempt at Senior Portraits

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A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me if I would take senior portraits of her daughter. I’ve never taken senior portraits before, but I was up for the challenge. Luckily, my friend’s daughter has a great personality and made things easy for me.

I started out extremely nervous, but ended up having a great time. It was a good learning experience.  The best part was the text that I received after the shoot was over.

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Nothing feels better than knowing something you did made someone happy.

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“We Will Always Love Each Other as Family.”

On Monday night, Ethan and I had a very serious talk about school and grades. My son has always made good grades. All a’s and b’s so far in high school. But this last semester he struggled a bit with hard classes and he felt like I was being negative, not giving him credit for how well he has done overall in school. Voices were raised, feelings were hurt, tears were shed.

After the conversation was over, my daughter walked into the room and handed her brother a piece of paper.

What she wrote brought me to tears because it was so lovely and everything I hope my children will be to each other in life (Kind, sympathetic, understanding, encouraging, supportive.) It was extra special because those two argue like crazy. But I know at their core and in the depths of their hearts, there is nothing but love. At the moment I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than knowing that my children love and care for one another when it matters the most.

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(I have Gabriella’s permission to post this. She wants others to see “how families can love each other.” She’s the best.)

She is Rich

I often wonder how my job loss has affected my daughter. She’s had to give up things that she loves (like gymnastics) because there just isn’t any money. I feel like a failure and wonder if she’s upset with me for having put our family in this position.

And then today I found this paper in her homework folder. My fears have been put to rest and I no longer have to wonder.

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She believes she is rich because she has a family.

Amazing.