Six One

This morning I had to go to the high school to do an intradistrict transfer to keep Ethan at the same school. I was filling out the paperwork and got to the section that asked what grade he was in.

“11th.” I wrote.

And as I wrote it, I had to take a deep breath to fight back the tears because when in the hell did that happen?

When did the little boy who loved to hug me, squeeze my face and tell me that he loved me so so much turn into the handsome young man who is a junior in high school?

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I mean, seriously, when in the hell did THIS happen?

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This is one of those things that I can not even deal with because time is a huge jerk who doesn’t slow down even when you desperately need it to because my babies are growing up too fast and I’d like for them not to, please. Also? How did I birth a giant? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

Eleventh grade though.

Getting Settled In

Moving is hard.

Moving is SUPER hard.

Moving sucks.

Moving is The Worst.

Moving day was June 30th. It was 104 outside that day. With the exception of my brother for a couple of hours, we had no one to help us. Everyone was working, or out of town, or just jerks. (j/k. No one was a jerk. Everyone just happened to be out of town or working that day.)

While Tony and Ethan moved boxes and furniture, I cleaned each room to perfection in the hopes of getting every dime of our deposit back.

That day was one of the most, if not THE most miserable day of our lives.

But we got through it and at 2am, all of our furniture and belongings were moved and the house was spotless.

The next day, we met with the landlord to do a walk through and boy, was he impressed. In the 6 years we had been there, he hadn’t come to look at the house once, not even when we had asked him to fix all of the things that were breaking/needed repaired. (Which is why we had to move.) He told us he was sad we were leaving. He told us the leasing agent explained to him that if he had fixed All Of The Things, we never would have moved and he asked us if that was true. (DUH, of course it’s true.) Then he apologized for not fixing All Of The Things. “It’s just… out of sight, out of mind, I guess.” So, because HE didn’t have to live with broken things, he wasn’t bothered at all to fix them. If we had made more stink about it, he totally would have done it! Truthfully, he is a really nice guy. He just wasn’t very smart when it came to keeping good tenants in his house. Anyway, he was so impressed with the way we left the house, he gave us all $2500 of our deposit back three days later. So, that was nice.

We are slowly making this house into our home. But I do mean slowly.

We still have a ton of boxes that we need to empty. I still do not know where a lot of things are (but I found the wine opener last week, you guys! IMPORTANT THINGS.) We still need to buy new furniture and decorate and I’m just a little bit stressed about that because we’re having Gabriella’s birthday party here in a few days. But people will understand that we just moved in, right? I should stop stressing about that, yes?

I do love our new place. It is clean, it is pretty, it is comfortable and I get to get ready in this bathroom every day.

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I feel so much more comfortable and peaceful here. It makes such a difference living in a space that you love and aren’t ashamed of. It’ not a super fancy house, but it is lovely and perfect for us. I feel grateful to be here and look forward to making many memories with my family and friends here.

“Let’s Do This!”

Ever since my daughter was little, she has had a hard time dealing with change. If you move something in her room, she will freak out and be unable to go on with life until everything is back in it’s place. I’ve learned that in order to make any changes in her room or around the house I have to have a conversation with her about it first. I tell her what I plan on moving and make sure she’s okay with it to avoid any emotional breakdowns. Usually talking to her about things will help her process the change and she is able to accept it.

Last night, Tony decided to take the photos down from the hallway wall. As soon as Gabby realized what he had done, she began to cry. “I’m used to seeing those pictures when I wake up! Put them back!” Followed by the Very Dramatic “I DON’T WANT TO MOVE!” I asked Tony to put the photos back up and let HER decide when she was ready to take them down. He wasn’t happy about it, but I told him we need to let her have some control over when we take things down so it’s easier for her to accept and deal with.

I stayed up and talked with her about The Move. I told her it’s okay to cry, to feel sad. Leaving a place you’ve called home is hard. I explained that memories don’t live in a building, but in our hearts. “We will take the memories with us and we’re going to make many wonderful memories in our new house!” She didn’t say much, she just listened. I kissed her good night. And braced myself for more tears in the morning.

***

This morning as we were cuddling on the couch, she informed me that she was ready to take the pictures down. Totally caught off guard, I asked her if she was sure. “Yes, I’m sure!” I then told her that once we took the pictures down, we weren’t going to be able to put them back up. She thought about it for a minute or two. And then replied “I’m sure Mommy, let’s do this!”

I took the pictures down and let her wrap them with newspaper. As we did this, we talked about what we will miss about this house when we leave, but also about what we’re looking forward to at the new place. Not a single tear was shed. When we were finished, she surprised me yet again.

“I’m ready to take the pictures in my bedroom down now, Mom!” And then she went on and on about how she can’t wait to decorate her new room! And play in her new backyard! And set up the vanity in my new bathroom! And so! many! fun! new! things!

Today was a good day.

Moving

Almost six years ago, we moved into a new place in my dream neighborhood.

In less than a month, we will be moving out and into a new place.

This house has been good to us, but this house is starting to fall apart and the landlord won’t fix a thing. For example, over two years ago, strong winds knocked a huge tree in our backyard to the ground, knocking down a huge portion of the brick retaining wall with it. To this day the wall remains broken, even though we’ve asked him on more than one occasion to please have it fixed. And that is just one thing of many things. Also? The very large backyard is a giant hassle to take care of. As much as I love this neighborhood and the World’s Best Neighbors, it’s time to move on.

We found a beautiful, yet simple home just a few miles down the road that is perfect for our family.

I’m struggling with feelings of sadness over leaving this place. We’ve made many wonderful memories here. But I believe this move is absolutely the right thing for our family. Change is good. I do look forward to making new memories with my family and our friends at the new place.

Let’s just hope that my marriage can survive The Moving Process. Because The Moving Process is an evil whore.

No Shame.

You know how on the Biggest Loser when the contestants look at pictures of their bigger selves they say things like “I don’t even know that person.” Or “I don’t like that person.” I don’t feel that way at all when I look at pictures of myself at my heavier weight. I know exactly who I was when I was 237 pounds. Gaining weight was part of my (wait for it) journey (gag, I know!) It is only because of the challenges that I faced through the weight gain and loss that I was able to realize how strong I am. At my heaviest, at my sickest, I didn’t know that I was capable of doing things like handstands or running three miles. But now I do and I am grateful. And maybe just a little bit proud.

I Really Am Stronger Than I Think. And So Are You.

I’ve been doing boot camp consistently since September. Six week sessions with one week breaks in between. The last Thursday of each six week session, we do what is called “The Wall Workout.” It’s intense but super fun.

There are four exercises. We do each exercise a total of four times.

At the end of the fourth round, we do something that I have not been able to make myself do.

A handstand.

Every time she says “ready?” I stand there, staring at the wall, telling myself “Just do it!” But I have never found the courage to actually kick my feet up and try it.

I’m scared I won’t make it. I’m scared I will make it halfway and then come crashing down. I’m scared I’ll break my neck or hit my face on the sidewalk and knock my teeth out. I can not bring myself to even try it.

Today wasn’t any different. I said I was going to try it. And then, as everyone headed for the wall and kicked their legs up in the air, I stood there frozen with fear.

I didn’t do it.

And as we were getting ready to cross the street to head back to our workout mats, my instructor said “YOU CAN DO IT, YVONNE!” And all of my Boot Camp Sistah’s chimed in. “You can totally do it!” And then, one of them said “maybe you can do it if we cheer you on and help you.”

And so I agreed to try it with their help.

I took a deep breath. I walked quickly towards the wall. I put my hands on the ground while I kicked my feet up. One of the ladies held onto my legs to help me get set against the wall. Then, she let go and they all counted down from ten while I held myself up.

I felt a lump in my throat and couldn’t stop myself from crying just a little bit.

These women who I work out with every day were there for me. They believed in me and helped me believe in myself. THIS is what I love and value about boot camp. When I don’t think I can, they are there to remind me that I am stronger than I think and that yes, YES I CAN.

What I Posted on Facebook Today That I Should Have Posted on This Blog Instead.

People have asked me what kind of diet I’m on. Here’s my answer: I’m not nor will I ever be on a “diet” ever again. I never say “I can’t eat that.” Or “I’m not allowed to have that.” I can and will eat whatever I want. I am insulin resistant, I struggle with thyroid disease, so I know what foods are good for my body and what foods I should avoid. I make healthy choices that will allow my body to function in the best way possible, However, I also allow myself to splurge every once in a while. There is only *one* thing that I have chosen to not eat and have not touched since I started boot camp in September– Caramel cheesecake bites from Del Taco. Because… oh my God. Those things. Amazing. Want 4 of them at a time.

The past few weeks, I definitely haven’t been eating the healthiest food for my body but instead eating things that were comforting in times of stress. Here’s the thing: I won’t beat myself up about it or feel guilty about it. I just keep making better choices and kicking butt at boot camp.

I’m not perfect. Life is short. Chili cheese fries are good. So is ice cream. So I’m not going to say I CAN’T EVER HAVE THEM. I can and sometimes I do. So there.

She Just Gives Really Good Advice.

“Can I comb your hair, Daddy?”

“Sure you can.” He replied.

She combed what little hair he has left at the top (I call his hair The Dr.Phil Lite) carefully, trying to get every hair in place.

When she finished, she exclaimed “I combed it exactly the way you like it!”

She took him by the hand and walked him down the hall into the bathroom so he could look in the mirror.

“I love it!” He said. “But I sure do wish I had more hair.”

“Well” she said, all matter of fact like. “Why don’t you choose Bosley then?”

We both laughed until it hurt.

Yes, I’ve Become That Girl Who Always Talks About Boot Camp.

Last Friday I completed yet another 6 week session of boot camp.

I believe this was my most successful session yet. I did not miss a single class (5 days a week!) I never said I wanted to punch anyone in the face and I didn’t fart once during class, not even during the highly fartable workouts!

I was also committed to trying to hate running less (which is a goal I have every single session, but I can’t seem to shake the Running Hate. Probably because I’m so bad at it? And because I’m always the slowest one? And I hate the way it makes my lungs feel? And because it is the WORST?)

Since September of last year, I’ve lost 23 pounds, 19.5 inches. I can run a mile 1:50 faster (from 12:05 to 10:15) and I can do 35 push-ups, up from 7.

But that’s not the best part about this whole boot camp thing. Sure, the weight loss is awesome, but the confidence I’ve gained is worth more to me than lost pounds. I have always been the girl who says “I can’t.” I never would have never believed I would be able to run 3 miles, only strong, fit women can do that! I would have never believed I could complete a 365 rep challenge that includes 100 competition style burpees and finish in 23 minutes! I would have never believed that I could push a truck up a hill or do a handstand and not break my face. But guess what? I’m 178 pounds, 41 years old and I can do all of those things and THEN SOME. I may not be the fastest, or the strongest, but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that I no longer tell myself “I can’t” because I finally believe that I can.


(my boot camp sisters. So grateful for each one of them!)

I start a new session on Monday and my only goal this time is to do better than I did last time. I will push myself harder, feed myself better and enjoy every minute of getting healthier and stronger. (And hopefully faster? Because Oh, how I want to run a mile in under 10 minutes!)

The Wedding Ring: An Awesome Update.

When my husband came home from work, I told him what had happened. After dinner, he took apart the plumbing under the sink and to see if maybe, just maybe the ring had been caught in the p-trap. I was in the other room doing laundry.

Gabriella came running into the room.

“Daddy found it, Mommy! HE FOUND YOUR RING!”

I ran into the bathroom and there he was, holding my (filthy, dirty ring.) We all laughed and celebrated. I asked G to come close so I could tell her something. “I want you to remember this moment.” She listened carefully. “When I asked you if you knew what happened to my ring today, you could have told me a lie. Even though you were scared, you told me the truth. And because you told me the truth, we were able to find my ring. If you had chose to tell me a lie, we never would have known and when we move, we would have left that ring and it would have been lost forever. You can ALWAYS tell Mommy and Daddy the truth. Even when you’re scared to.”

While we were talking, Tony walked into the room with my now clean and sparkly ring. He got on one knee while Gabriella giggled. “Are you going to ask her to marry you again?”

He did. And while he began to put the ring on my finger, I held my breath, unsure if it would fit.

It did.

Best night ever.