Friday, December 23, 2011

Sunny Beaches!

     I moved to Florida in the middle of my senior year of high school. As if that isn’t fucked up enough for any 17 year old introvert to go through, I had to move or stay with my father whom I had never lived with a day in my life. That was my ONLY option. Clearly, I decided to move to Florida with my mother. That being said, I packed up my life and left all of my family and friends behind in Ohio while I moved to the most miserable, god-awful hot, elderly-filled cesspool of a town called Palm Coast, Florida. At first, the novelty of moving to Florida was really exciting. I was going to get to live an hour away from Disney World! I could go to the beach any day I wanted to! No more shoveling snow! No more de-icing the car before going to work or school! Flip flops year round! Spring Break! It was going to be SO AWESOME! And it was. For about six months. Now I’ve been in Florida for about 14 years, and let me tell you, that novelty has worn out FAST.

First of all, there is NOTHING TO DO HERE other than go to Wal-Mart or the beach. I haven’t been to the beach more than three times in the past 5 years. The sand is annoying, it takes you for-fucking-ever to get everything together to go, then, when you actually do get there, get all set up with your towels, sunscreen, cooler, beach toys, etc, etc, etc, you can only stand to scorch yourself for about an hour before you are sweating your ass off. You’re about half-blinded by the sunscreen dripping into your eyes from the sweat. That feels AMAZING! You have sand stuck in places you didn’t know existed on your body, and your skin feels like a red-hot brillo pad. The beach here SUCKS. I hate it. I never want to go. It’s nice to look at from some of the beachside restaurants but I absolutely do not want to set foot on it in any way, shape or form.

Don’t even get me started on our Wal-Mart. Ok, too late. I got myself started on it. Wal-Mart is probably going to sue me over this blog post, but oh well. Our Wal-Mart here is enough to make you want to commit suicide right next to the Sam’s Choice underwear hanging on the clearance rack. In fact, many people in this town have actually committed suicide in the parking lot of our Wal-Mart. It’s that fucking bad, people. It doesn’t matter what time of day you go to our Wal-Mart, there are no less than 20 elderly couples lollygagging through the aisles like they have no other place to be. And while I love the elderly dearly, I hate every last one of them when I’m trying to get through the store with my three children in under three hours without popping at least three Xanax and opening up a Coors Light as I shop. Ok, I’ve never actually done that, but I’VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT! I never thought I was capable of murder until I started shopping at our Wal-Mart. That place makes me so enraged that I could easily see myself strangling someone with a pair of White Stag jogging pants. If these people drive their cars the way they drive their carts through the aisles there, God help us all. I don’t think I’ve ever been in that store where I wasn’t approached by someone to help them with something. I’m all for helping the elderly, but what about me trying to corral three kids in a shopping cart as I struggle to make sure I get the right kind of laundry detergent my coupon is for screams “Ask me for help!” when clearly, I am the one who is in need of help. Mentally and physically. Thank God my kids are somewhat behaved in public. Then again, maybe if I teach them to scream and knock shit over, people wouldn’t bother me as I try to get my damn Steak-Ums and get out of the store before I do kill myself or someone else. And please, for the love of all things, WHY, WHYYYY are there 50 check out lanes if you are only going to have 4 of them open at a time for a store as big as the state of Rhode Island? WHY? I don’t expect all 50 of them to be open, no, but then WHY HAVE THEM? I wait in line at least 30 minutes every time I check out there. And the employees that work there? Oh. My. God. Every last one of them looks like their dog just died or that they just showed up for work after an all-night drinking and drug bender. Please tell me that ours isn’t the only Wal-Mart like this. I know it can’t be. I’m sure it’s just that much worse for me because of the kind of people that live in this town. It’s AWFUL. Sure, I could shop somewhere else, but my only other option is the grocery chains, and if I need to get anything other than food, which 99% of the time I do, it’s a lot cheaper to get it at Wal-Mart than it is at the grocery store. I refuse to pay $2.49 for my can of White Rain hair spray when I know it’s $0.97 at Wal-Mart. Bitch, please. You know you still use that shit, too. Don’t judge me.

Did I mention the job market here is horrendous? This county alone has been stuck at a 14% unemployment rate for as long as I can remember. That’s probably because we only have banks, mattress stores, doctor’s offices and pharmacies here. And the one small company that I work for and have for the past eleven years. I want out. Desperately. But there’s nowhere else to work around here unless I’m willing to commute at minimum, 60 miles one way to work for anyone paying decently. This is a retirement community for a reason. And while I may be a fat, lazy bitch most of the time, I am still a Mom of three and it would be nice to be able to bring in a decent income to actually be able to afford to do something with them outside of the house once in a while. Don’t even say “Take them to the beach” or I will cut you, I swear to God. So I’m stuck at this terrible meaningless job for the rest of eternity unless I miraculously get a job offer somewhere else. And I’m trying. REALLY HARD. I hope my boss doesn’t read this.

I am so outta here the first chance I get. They don’t call it God’s waiting room for no reason. People come here to die, and I’m ready to start living! The minute I have the opportunity to go, I’m gone. If anyone tries to sell you on moving to this place, tell them they are no longer your friend because any true friend wouldn’t want you to suffer this life. So, in the words of Jerry Maguire, I’m leaving… Who’s coming with me?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's My Life, Don't You Forget

I have come to realize in my old age, I’m 31 and I’m allowed to say that now, that I don’t “play the field” as well as I used to. Not that I overly played it in my younger days, but now that I’m older and have three small children, I realize that I don’t have the energy to play Chutes and Ladders most days, never mind the dating field. Not only do I work a full-time job, I am also struggling to balance that with a full-time class load at DeVry University online. Who has time to find a sitter, shower, make myself look human, (AKA fake) and pretend to be a lady on a date when the good Lord knows I’m just waiting for my date to say goodnight so I can take off my bra and put on my granny pajamas and curl up in bed with my book? It’s utterly exhausting. I think my problem is that I try too hard on dates to be what the other person is looking for, instead of being myself.

I have always been a people pleaser and taken on project type men and tried to fix them into what I needed them to be instead of finding someone who was exactly what I needed them to be from the start. In my twenties, I saw this as a challenge and an adventure, even though that always ended up getting tiring when my superb efforts to be everything to someone only landed me my latest broken heart. It’s only after a decade of mistakes and failed attempts at the “dream” relationship that I finally realized that love shouldn’t be so hard, and if it is, it probably isn’t real love to begin with. Bad relationships are my worst addiction. In my opinion, being involved with bad men is a worse drug than anything you can get on the street. Unfortunately, there isn’t a rehab center for women who fall hopelessly in love with loser after loser hoping to turn them into the prince charming they so desperately want them to be. So I struggled, I spent thousands of dollars, I took physical and emotional abuse, I put my children in undesirable situations and sacrificed my own wants and needs to meet the ones of my undeserving partner, If you can even call them a partner. It was more like raising another child, time and time again.

What finally broke the cycle for me? I don’t know if I even have. I have no idea what the hell I am doing most days. I don’t have a five year plan. I don’t have a savings account. I don’t know if I’m going to make it to work on time every day, never mind graduate college. In my life, I have to take things one day at a time. I’ve had to learn to take a deep breath every once in a while and just focus on what’s happening now instead of obsessing over what should or could be tomorrow. I’ve had to learn to say no to them and yes to me. And for the first time in about 15 years, I feel good about myself. I’m in a better place emotionally than I have been in a long time. It’s empowering to know that I finally have control over my life. What happens today is my decision and no one else’s. If I mess up, it’s on me. If I succeed, that’s also on me. I’m no longer living life in a constant reactive state. I’m no longer cleaning up messes I didn’t make, aside from the ones my children make every day. It is MY life.

I am living for myself and my children for the first time in a long time and it feels so good. If someone should happen to come along who can accept me and my children for who we are, ratty holey pajamas and all, then good for them. I refuse to put on a face full of makeup for someone else ever again. I am not a clown. It is not my job to make them laugh, although I probably will. I’ll get dressed up to make myself feel good. I’ll put on my makeup because is pretty and fun to wear, but as Marilyn Monroe said, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best”. Challenge accepted.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Do Nothing...

It's not about winning or losing. We all lost something in this. But I didn't lose sight of what's important to me and my children, and for that I am proud of myself. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing. To just walk away when your heart is screaming at you because it wants the fairytale, is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. To not get sucked into the what it could be and realize what it will never be. I am sad for my children, especially my baby. I am sad for me, but most of all, I am sad for him and will just continue to pray for him, since he refuses to do it for himself. I had my time to mourn and to weep, now it's time for me to get back on my feet and move forward with my life. One day at a time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Broken Leash

While wasting my Friday night surfing Facebook, I came across a picture that depicts me to a "T" and it got me thinking and asking myself this very question... WHY do I constantly throw my heart into everything I do knowing full well that I'm probably just going to get hurt again? My brain SCREAMS it at me and my heart is as deaf as can be. My brain had my heart on a leash and I fight it and struggle to reason with it until my brain concedes and SNAP! goes the leash and I am off running full force, head on into another disaster. Why do I do that? Why do I fight logic and reason constantly for the opportunity of love? I know better. I've always known better. I am a smart woman. Why do I constantly let myself get into these awful relationships? I haven't figured out the answer, but my leash is getting stronger. If only I could learn to sit still and put more thought and less heart into things instead of always being all heart. Is that any better of a way to live? I don't know... but I'm about to find out.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Open The Door

Life can be hard. There are times, many times, when I just want to throw in the towel and give up. Sometimes I fantasize about packing up my car, filling up the tank, and moving to wherever the car runs out of gas just to get a fresh start. However, my life is here, my children's life is here, and our support systems are here. Just because I have to share this town with my past, doesn't mean my future can't be here too. It's about learning to look forward, learning to close the door on things that need to be left behind, and heading through that open door in front of you with open arms, an open mind, and a faithful heart that God has opened it for you for a reason. I have no idea what tomorrow holds for my children and I, but I know that no matter how hard things may get, God has a purpose for us and we will be okay so long as we trust in Him and pray for His guidance.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Little Hands, Big Hearts

It is well known that I love being a Mom. It is the best and most proud accomplishment of my life. A lot of the time, being a Mom is a thankless job, but then there are those little moments where you realize exactly why you go through all you do as a Mother.

For example, this weekend was my daughter Ava's 4th birthday party. I set her cake in front of her and kneeled down to her side at the table, lit her candles, and we all sang Happy Birthday to her as loud as we could. She blew out her candles and then got up, and threw her arms around me and gave me the biggest hug and kiss of her life. It melted my heart.

My son Aidan and I have always been very close. He's a very emotional young man. He cries when the space shuttle launches out of happiness. That's just the kind of kid he is. Now, he's almost 8 years old and it isn't "cool" to hug or kiss your Mom in front of your friends at school. Instead, each day as I'm walking him to extended day, he holds my hand and we squeeze each other's hand back and forth repeatedly until he gets to just outside the door. Then he kisses me on the cheek and runs inside to play with his friends and yells, "Bye, Mom!" to me as he's on his way in. I don't think he will ever know how much those little hand squeezes mean to me every day. It's like our own little secret hand hugs. I plan on doing that to him even as I'm walking with him at his college graduation.

My sweet baby Alivia's face lights up the instant she sees me looking down on her in her crib each morning. She smiles the biggest smile I have ever seen, and when I pick her up, she grabs my face with both hands and gives me huge, slobbery wet open-mouthed kisses all over my face. I love the way she just looks at me like I'm the best thing to ever happen to her. The love we share for each other is quite obvious when we look at one another. She's the best cuddle bug of them all. I live for her smile and I love those disgustingly wet, slobbery kisses.

It's the little stolen moments with them like this that mean so much. I miss them terribly while I'm at work every day and I can't wait until 5:00 when I get to pick them up and love on them again, even if they start driving me crazy five minutes later. That's their job. And it's mine to love them, and Oh, how I do.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Here Goes Nothing!

     In my last relationship, I tried doing "The Love Dare", a Christian-based book designed to strengthen couples' relationships with each other and bring them closer to God as a couple in the process. Well, that failed miserable after only a few days. I even went on to do it alone, and still, that relationship failed horribly along with it. We had been going to counseling with a great man named David, but even after a few sessions with him, the dedication wasn't there on his part and after a horrible argument, the relationship was over. I continue seeing David on my own, and have come to realize that I am what is called co-dependent. I'm taking a lot of steps on my own now to break that vicious cycle. 

I've made a vow to myself to remain single for at least a year, and I fully plan on sticking to that. While in my heart, I know the relationship didn't fail due to anything I did wrong, I know that many things that I did were the wrong thing to do for myself and for my children. It's a hard fact to face that I was so overly obsessed with trying to fix his problems that I had nearly no time at all for myself or more importantly, for my children. It's hard to accept that no matter how much you love someone, it is not your job to fix their mistakes, especially when they have no intention of fixing anything themselves, mainly because they fail to see that anything they are or aren't doing is wrong. For me, it felt like I loved him so deeply that I would do anything to help him, not realizing that no matter how much I truly did love him, my love and my help would never give me the love or the relationship I deserved in return. It's a total one-way street to disaster, and only now do I realize that it's not love at all if you are the one putting forth all of the effort. Love is something that takes a lot of effort on both parts. Someone who loves you wouldn't lie to you. They wouldn't hurt you or your children, either outwardly or passive aggressively. Someone who loves you wouldn't do selfish things or say hurtful things to you or your children, ever. Love doesn't exist when they tear you down by blaming you for their faults and truly make you believe they are they way they are because of something you did or didn't do. That's not love. That is abuse. And it took me far too long to realize the kind of abuse my children and I suffered for almost two years. I felt so lost and torn between a hundred different emotions when that relationship ended. But nearly a month out of it, I'm finally beginning to rebuild myself and my family back up. The sadness is gone, and I no longer feel as if I just didn't try hard enough. The fact of the matter is, I tried too hard. Much harder than I should have had to. I know now that I deserve so much better, and so do my children.

One day, FAR down the road, maybe we will find someone who will love us unconditionally and would never dream of treating us the way he did. Maybe I won't find someone, and maybe I'll actually like being on my own. I'm starting to like it more and more every day. While some things are more difficult without an extra person around to help, the relief that I feel of not having to do so many other things far outweighs the financial and physical demands that have been placed on me now. I'm learning a lot about myself for once. I've always been so focused on these disastrous men in my life that I am just now realizing who I am for a change. I'm focusing on what I want instead of what they need. What do I need? What is going to help me better myself?

It's almost strange to look at myself in the mirror. I feel like I have forgotten who I am. I am slowly rediscovering myself, one day at a time. It's like I'm waking up from a bad dream or coming out of a fog. I'm seeing clearly now for the first time in a long time, and reality is scary, but a good scary. Like the feeling you get just before you come down the first hill of a roller coaster. You have no idea what's coming, but you know it's gonna be a good time. Well, I'm holding on tight. My roller coaster just pulled out of the station and I'm starting up that first hill. 

Here goes nothing...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Special Day

It's Mother's Day. It's my special day. Not because my kids gave me the cutest handmade cards ever, even the baby, not because I got flowers, or taken out to dinner. Today is my special day because I have the honor and the privilege to be the Mom of three amazing young people. Even on days when I'm ready to get into my car and drive off into the sunset because they are driving me crazy, I still love them so fiercely that I don't know what I would do without them. My kids truly are my life. They have shaped me into the person I am and continue to inspire me to become the person I want to be. I never knew unconditional love until I became a mother. I always had the idea in my head that a real family consisted of a Mother, Father and the children. It wasn't until recently that I came to realize that just because we don't have a Father around in our family, it doesn't make us any less of a family. In fact, our family is closer and stronger now than we have ever been. While we may not fit the normal cookie-cutter, picture perfect idea of what a family should be, I wouldn't change my family for anything in the world. We may each have different last names, but we share one home and share a great love for each other that no namesake can overrule. We are the Knapp, Still, Fitzgibbons and Carey family.... and we're going to make it in this world and then some. I don't just love being a Mom... I love being THEIR Mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Love Yourself First

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. It's not just some cliche saying, it's true, but it's obviously true. Everything in life has a reason, a purpose... whether we understand what it is or not. I'm finally beginning to understand the reason why so many of my relationships have failed. It's called co-dependency and I've had it for a long time, I just never knew it. I always feel like it's my job to "fix" someone when they start to show their true colors after the honeymoon phase of the relationship wears off and reality sets in. With my last relationship, I was so incredibly determined to make it work that I was totally blind to the fact that my son was being abused right under my nose and I didn't see it. I was so incredibly focused on fixing the problems with that relationship that I didn't realize that a much bigger, much worse thing was happening to one of my children. Never again will I allow that to happen. I was so consumed by helping someone that didn't want to help themselves that I didn't realize that my son was the one who really needed my focus and my attention and my help. I will probably never forgive myself for not seeing it earlier on. But after I prayed and prayed for God to give me the answer, he finally helped me to wake up and see that relationship for what it really was and it ended very poorly. I'm still recovering from the shock of it all, but I'm taking it one day at a time. My grieving is not over the loss of the relationship. I actually feel quite relieved and more calm now that it's over. No more worrying or checking up to make sure he's not being dishonest anymore. That in itself is invaluable and has lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. My grieving is for my children. I'm sad that my son had to endure what he did because of my inability to devote more attention to him. I'm sad that my oldest daughter has no idea why he can't live with us anymore and has had to watch another Dad leave her. I'm sad that my youngest daughter, his own flesh and blood, will also have to grow up with a father who will undoubtedly disappoint her time and time again. And the hardest thing for a mother to do is watch her children suffer and not be able to do anything about it. So I vow to do everything in my power to make sure that they suffer as little as possible from yet another bad relationship decision on my part. Because of this, I've decided to stop dating for at least a year, maybe longer, until I can figure out what I want for myself and how to respect myself enough to not let these kind of men into my life anymore who are just going to use and abuse me for all I'm worth. I have a sincere problem seeing my own self-worth, but I'm working on that one day at a time. I know I cannot fully appreciate and love another person until I can learn to love myself first. And I pretty much hate myself most days, so this is gonna take a lot of work. But I am ready. I'm going to leave that past where it is and where it will stay. Tomorrow is a new day and another chance and I'm not gonna waste it this time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sweet Baby Alivia Grace ♥

I call her my Sunshine Girl. She's almost too good to be true. She's so happy all of the time, always smiling. She very rarely ever cries. She's the best baby a Mom could ever ask for. I love all of my kids with all of my heart, but today, my sweet Sunshine Girl turns six months old and I'm really missing her, with me being at work today. It's already been half a year. I can't believe how quickly the time is going by. I wish she could stay small enough to cuddle in my arms forever but she seems to be growing up even faster just because she is my last baby.

My Sweet Baby Alivia Grace... I waited for you for what seemed like an eternity at the end of my pregnancy, and now you're already six months old. Where does the time go? I can't wait to see what kind of little lady you're going to grow up to be, but please take your time!

Thank you for making me smile everyday and for picking me to be your Mom.
Happy Half-Birthday!

I love you so much!

Alivia Grace - 6 Months Old

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When The Truth Literally Hurts

I've been reading this book lately called Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood. Wow. I never thought reading a book could be so hard. At the recommendation of my counselor, yes, I'm in therapy... he suggested I read this book. I thought to myself, there's no way this book is going to apply to me. I know exactly what I'm doing. I WAS SO INCREDIBLY WRONG! This book was MADE for me. It was WRITTEN about me. Not about me exactly, but I am identifying with every woman in this book in one way or another. And it's not pretty. I feel as if I have been blinded by so much my whole life and the more I read this book, the more I can see exactly where I am going wrong. It's no secret I haven't been exactly the luckiest in love. I seem to be a dirtbag magnet. Or am I? Or is it that I just allow these men into my life because I have felt like it's been my mission from God to help these men become who they say they want to be? Well, after two failed marriages and several failed relationships, my most recent relationship was by far the most devastating to me when it ended and I started to realize that I have to have some kind of reason or explanation as to why this keeps happening to me. I never in a million years thought I would be one of those women who allowed herself to be physically assaulted by her significant other until it happened to me last weekend. The bruise on my face and the pain from that pales in comparison to the bruise on my heart and on my ego that I failed yet again. That's painful to admit. Now I'm a single Mom with three children all by different fathers, another court case underway, and more drama than I care to admit. My life has become exactly what I never wanted it to be. However, Monday was a new, fresh start for me. No more losers. No more abusers, liars, cheaters, atheists... I am no longer going to compromise my faith, my wants or my needs for someone undeserving. I have so much potential for greatness and I refuse to let anymore of these roadblock relationships get in the way.

I know I am a great mother. I know I am a good friend, a good daughter, a good listener. I help others when I can, even at my own sacrifice and never expect anything in return. And I will NEVER change that about myself. I am going to continue to be the good person that I know I am regardless of what these horrible men in my life have said about me and put me through. I am stronger, smarter and more resilient than I give myself credit for and I need to stop putting myself down. I'm done with that mess. And I'm done being a woman who loves too much, but I will always be a woman who loves with all her heart. It's knowing the difference between the two that has been my biggest challenge. 

I recommend this book to all women struggling with failed relationships. I warn you, it's a hard book to read, but will be the best thing you will ever do for yourself.

Women Who Love Too Much - Click Here to preview the book on Amazon

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Little Weekly Escape: Warm Flow Yoga

It's no secret that being a mom of three children under 8 is stressful. Aidan does Cub Scouts and has CCD class, not to mention homework and other school related activities. Ava is in dance class and has medical issues a lot of the time. Alivia is only five months old, doesn't sleep through the night a lot of the time and is a lot of work, simply because of her age. I'm also employed full time, so needless to say, I am constantly on the go. My life is semi-chaotic at times and stress levels get to an awfully high level some days. I love my life, I love my kids and I love my family, but every once in a while, it's nice to be able to do something just for me.

A few months ago, I saw a post where my friend Kristina had tried a warm yoga class and liked it a lot. Something told me that it might be something I could try and might possibly like, too. So one Saturday morning, I went to Hot House Yoga with her in Ormond Beach and tried hot yoga for the first time. I had not exercised in probably 5 years when I went to that class. I struggled through it and was amazed at what the people around me were able to do. I thought, there is NO WAY I will ever be able to do that, through several of the poses. But I tried. And the next two days, I could hardly move I was so sore. But it was a good feeling. I felt so relaxed and re-focused after that class. I knew had to go back for more.

A few weeks later, I joined the gym across the street from my work. I wanted to try a few of the cardio classes they offered and was wonderfully surprised when I saw the yoga studio they had inside. My gym has a fantastic kids' room as part of their membership and I am able to drop all three of my kids off there and work out whenever they are open. I started doing just that on Saturday mornings and tried their yoga class. I was so happy that I was able to find a yoga class so close to home, as Hot House is quite a drive for me. Now, three months later, not a Saturday goes by that I don't literally yearn to go to yoga class. They offer it throughout the week as well and I try to get to as many classes as I possibly can. I've already made great progress in my yoga practice and every time I go, I am able to do a little bit more than I was the last time.

After having three children, I struggled with back pain almost daily. My sciatic nerve pain on my right side was so unbearable at times, I would have to lay in bed on a heating pad all day and pop ibuprofen like candy just to be able to move. I would try to stretch out the nerve and the muscles on my own, but it never seemed to last very long before I was all tense and in pain again. Now, three months after starting yoga, my back pain is almost non-existent. I still get tense in my back and have to stretch it out and take some Advil to get it to release, but I fully believe that my yoga practice has helped stretch those muscles to alleviate the pain I was experiencing. The more yoga I do, the less pain I experience in my sciatic. One time in class, I was doing a certain stretch and heard a very loud popping sound coming from my lower back. It startled me, but at the same time, it felt so good. Whatever it was that "popped" that day has given me so much pain relief in my sciatic.

Another benefit I've experienced from yoga is the stress relief. I leave that class more calm and collected than I was just 90 minutes before. All of the stress and worry and anxiety I felt over the week before just seems to melt away and I leave that class feeling ready to take on another week. I suffer from extreme panic attack disorder. I have for most of my adult life. Yoga has also helped me in that I have had a significant reduction in the amount of panic attacks I have during the week. There was a point in my life where I would have up to four major panic attacks in one day. No amount of medication I would take would make them stop. And if you've ever experienced a panic attack, you know that they leave you feeling as if you've run a marathon. They physically exhaust me. Since starting yoga, I sometimes don't have one at all, or will have only a mild one here and there. I have not experienced one debilitating panic attack since I started going to yoga. That in itself is invaluable to me.

Now, let's talk about the other great thing that has happened because of yoga... my strength and flexibility have been dramatically improved, that's a given. But I've also lost about 10lbs. since I started. I know I would lose more weight if I would follow a healthier diet, too and I'm working on that part.Sort of. I have always been and will always be a self-proclaimed foodie. I love to eat and I have the biggest sweet tooth so that will be my ultimate challenge is learning how to change the way I eat. I may never change the way I eat, but I feel that at least I'm exercising now, so it's better than eating like I was and not doing any exercise at all. I'll get there... but I've also quit smoking for over 2 months now. One crutch at a time. First the cigarettes, then the junk food. I'll get there.

Here are some of the poses I am able to do in yoga now... at 225 lbs and 5'9" tall, I can do these poses. Who would have thought? Not me! But I can, and I am proud of how far I have come in my practice already. One day I'll be able to do some more challenging poses, I know I'll get there. But, again, here is just a small sample of what I have been able to accomplish so far. There are others I have been able to do as well, but I am most proud of plow pose at this point. I never thought I could do it and surprised myself when I did for the first time a few weeks ago.

Tree Pose

Shoulder Stand

So there you have it. My little weekly escape. Yoga. And I plan on escaping to it as often as I possibly can!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I just want to take a minute to write about how thankful I am to have so many wonderful friends in my life who always lift me up when I am in a funk. I feel very grateful to have met so many great people over the years who I've become as close as family with. Tonight, the kids and I went to a barbecue at the Buccini's house. The kids played hard together and had a blast. We ate great food, had a few drinks, and laughed the night away. It was just what I needed to lift my spirits up since I have been a little down lately.  I need to remember to keep surrounding myself with these kind of positive people in my life and I know good things will continue to happen for me. I'm making a decision for myself to snap out of this funk and keep going strong. I'm not just going to drag my feet and go through the motions anymore. I have to put my whole heart into living my life each and every day because I never know when it might be my last one. Life is too short to spend it worrying about something you will never be able to change. You have to move forward, learn from the past, and work hard today for a better tomorrow. No more looking back and missing what could have been or should have been. Instead, I'm going to keep looking forward at what WILL be because I will make it that way. And it will be a piece of cake since I am surrounded by so many supportive friends and family members who are always there to help me along the way. Thanks to all of you for all you do for me and my family. I appreciate your love and support more than you know.