7.26.2011

2 Years and an MBA (almost)...

On July 15th, my baby boy turned two. He doesn't look like a baby anymore, he looks like a boy and it makes me sad. My Mom always jokes that she will give me the brick to put on his head, but it never worked on me. It is so amazing to watch him grow each day and to listen to him learn his way through this crazy world.

We had a party at my father in laws house and had a bunch of friends and family over. It was an overall good day and my little man is so blessed to be so loved.

On Saturday, I walked in my graduation ceremony for my MBA. I won't be done until October 24th (my birthday). It probably wasn't the wisest choice I've made as now my brain feels like it's ready to shut down and I have 13 more weeks and two more classes to get through. The light is at the end of the tunnel though and I CAN SEE IT!

Here are some of my favorite pics from the weekend.







Isn't he just to die for???

7.07.2011

Time for Me to take a Hard Look.

I went to counseling yesterday. For the first time... I went once in college right after Dad died. It was a grad student who asked me a list of questions and looked uncomfortable when I cried... I didn't go back.

The counselor's name is Pat and she is great. She has a great soothing voice, but asks hard questions and she really listened to what I was saying. She took what I said and rephrased it in a way that I never really thought about. She came to two conclusions about me. I have serious tendencies of an Adult Child of Alcoholics. There is a whole laundry list of traits, but a few really stick our to me.

* We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
* We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
* We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

Those that know me know that I tend to "take care" of people. I feel responsible for fixing people and problems and tend to let my own self take the back seat. I feel selfish when I need to do something for myself and berate myself with guilt. I have to stop. I need to stand up for what I need and what I need right now is emotional support.

She also said that I need to face up to my abandonment issues... At first, I was like, "what?" But then it all made sense. Dad left me... and not just with the suicide. He was never really "there" for me or my Mom. We always took a back seat to his life and his desires. We were there at his convenience. He loved me the best way he knew how, but he had a serious addiction. I've always covered up my childhood sense of loss and the feelings around it by accomplishing things. Two weeks after my Dad died, I was back at WSU, working for the summer. Then I med Jimmy and got engaged. Then I graduated early and started my career. Planned our wedding, bought a house, sold a house, had a baby, continued the career climb, went back to school for my MBA... I'm exhausted... and I have yet to deal with any of those feelings.

My homework is to write a letter to my Dad. With all of the feelings I have toward him for all of it. We will see how it goes. My next appointment is on the 16th.

Wish me luck, this is sure to be a journey... but I HAVE to find myself in the midst of all this other crap that has been blurring my life for so long.

7.05.2011

Magnolias

I got this from my Mom and thought it too good to not share:

_______________________________________________________________

I spent the week before my daughter's June wedding running last-minute trips to the caterer, florist, tuxedo shop, and the church about forty miles away. As happy as I was that Patsy was marrying a good Christian young man, I felt laden with responsibilities as I watched my budget dwindle .. .

So many details, so many bills, and so little time. My son Jack was away at college, but he said he would be there to walk his younger sister down the aisle, taking the place of his dad who had died a few years before. He teased Patsy, saying he'd wanted to give her away since she was about three years old! To save money, I gathered blossoms from several friends who had large magnolia trees. Their luscious, creamy-white blooms and slick green eaves would make beautiful arrangements against the rich dark wood inside the church.

After the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, we banked the podium area and choir loft with magnolias. As we left just before midnight, I felt tired but satisfied this would be the best wedding any bride had ever had! The music, the ceremony, the reception - and especially the flowers - would be remembered for years.

The big day arrived - the busiest day of my life - and while her bridesmaids helped Patsy to dress, her fiancé Tim walked with me to the sanctuary to do a final check. When we opened the door and felt a rush of hot air, I almost fainted; and then I saw them - all the beautiful white flowers were black.Funeral black. An electrical storm during the night had knocked out the air conditioning system, and on that hot summer day, the flowers had wilted and died.

I panicked, knowing I didn't have time to drive back to our hometown, gather more flowers, and return in time for the wedding.

Tim turned to me. 'Edna, can you get more flowers? I'll throw away these dead ones and put fresh flowers in these arrangements.'


I mumbled, 'Sure,' as he be-bopped down the hall to put on his cuff links.

Alone in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden beams in the arched ceiling. 'Lord,' I prayed, 'please help me. I don't know anyone in this town. Help me find someone willing to give me flowers - in a hurry!' I scurried out praying for four things: the blessing of white magnolias, courage to find them in an unfamiliar yard, safety from any dog that may bite my leg, and a nice person who would not get out a shotgun when I asked to cut his tree to shreds.

As I left the church, I saw magnolia trees in the distance. I approached a house...No dog in sight... I knocked on the door and an older man answered. So far so good. No shotgun. When I stated my plea the man beamed, 'I'd be happy to!'

He climbed a stepladder and cut large boughs and handed them down to me. Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into my car trunk, I said, 'Sir, you've made the mother of a bride happy today. 'No, Ma'am,' he said. 'You don't understand what's happening here.'

'What?' I asked.

'You see, my wife of sixty-seven years died on Monday. On Tuesday I received friends at the funeral home, and on Wednesday . . . He paused. I saw tears welling up in his eyes. 'On Wednesday I buried her.' He looked away. 'On Thursday most of my out-of-town relatives went back home, and on Friday - yesterday - my children left.'

I nodded.

'This morning,' he continued, 'I was sitting in my den crying out loud. I miss her so much. For the last sixteen years, as her health got worse, she needed me. But now nobody needs me. This morning I cried, 'Who needs an eighty-six-year-old wore-out man? Nobody!' I began to cry louder. 'Nobody needs me!' About that time, you knocked, and said, 'Sir, I need you.'

I stood with my mouth open.

He asked, 'Are you an angel? The way the light shone around your head into my dark living room...'

I assured him I was no angel.

He smiled. 'Do you know what I was thinking when I handed you those magnolias?'

'No.'

'I decided I'm needed. My flowers are needed. Why, I might have a flower ministry! I could give them to everyone! Some caskets at the funeral home have no flowers. People need flowers at times like that and I have lots of them. They're all over the backyard! I can give them to hospitals, churches - all sorts of places. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to serve the Lord until the day He calls me home!'

I drove back to the church, filled with wonder. On Patsy's wedding day, if anyone had asked me to encourage someone who was hurting, I would have said, 'Forget it! It's my only daughter's wedding, for goodness' sake! There is no way I can minister to anyone today.'

But God found a way. Through dead flowers.

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

6.30.2011

Shitty Reminders

Most days I can forget that suicide plays such a large role in my daily life. Most days I can think about my Dad fondly and block out the fact that he left me. By choice. Most days, the anger isn't here. Today is not one of those days.

I received a call this morning that a family friend lost her son. At first, we didn't know details (and still don't know many). This poor lady lost her first son a few years back, he was hit by a car. Today, she woke up to the news that she lost her second and only remaining son. They don't know what exactly happens, but it sounds like it may be suicide. He shot himself, but they don't know the circumstances surrounding it.

Why is our culture so effed up that people with serious depression issues feel like they can't talk to someone for fear of being viewed as week??? It is so sad that talking about suicide is so taboo, but when you do talk to someone, most people know someone who has been affected by it. I am a victim of suicide. Have I ever been tempted no, but it left me a victim dammit.

My Dad was a great person. He had a shitty life, but he had an amazing personality. He was an addict. He needed help. He wouldn't ask for it though and no one thought to try to force him into it. He was a big man with a strong personality... I never knew.

Today I am reminded again of the devastation that suicide causes in the lives of its victims. It doesn't seem fair that those that make the decision are no longer here to help pick up the pieces. Those of us that had NO control over the situation have to do that.

Please pray for Julie. She had two sons, now she has none. As a mother, this is the most heartbreaking thing I can ever imagine. I hope for she can pick up the pieces, but I don't even know where to tell her to begin.

1.31.2011

Day 2

Yesterday was cake... I ate my 5 medifast meals and my lean/green meal without any real problems. Didn't have any major cravings, felt good about myself. I liked all the foods I ate. Today -- a whole different story. I think the biggest part of it was that I was at work today and I am not a huge fan of work. My old routine was to get out of dodge for lunch (preferably to chik-fil-a). I also enjoyed a daily soda (or two). Being in that environment was tough. I started my day early and had a bar on the way to work. Then I tried the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal... yuck. It was gross and pasty, not a fan. Glad I thought to bring an extra meal just in case. Everything else for the day was fine. I think I like the Oatmeal Raisin and S'more Crunch bars best.

I realized today that I need 3 servings of veggies, not the one I had yesterday or the two I had today. Given that I was STARVING for the first half of the day, I think if I bring 1/2-1 cup of veggies to work and maybe even half my lean meal for lunch, that will make me feel better. I craved everything today: Chik-fil-a, chocolate, soda, pasta, bread, everything that I knew I shouldn't have. In the end, I couldn't let myself fall off track on Day 2. That would be W-E-A-K. So here I am... the end of day 2 and proud of myself. :)

1.30.2011

One year later...

Wow, it has been almost a year since I've been on here... that's a bit ridiculous. Anyway, James is now 18-months old and is still the most perfect child. I love him more each day. He makes me laugh so much and has the best little personality. I will do my best to upload pics soon, although anyone who reads this is friends with me on Facebook, so you can see them all there. :)

The real reason I came back on here is to document my new journey in diet/exercise and a healthier lifestyle in general. After I had James, I lost the weight relatively steadily, but have been plateaued for over a year now. I'm ready to feel better about myself.

Today I started the medifast diet... You can google it for more info. Then I start personal training on Tuesday. I will upload pictures of myself along my journey (not to be shown on Facebook) and will keep you posted on my weekly progress. I'm also going to document how I feel throughout the process and what I like/don't like day to day. It may be a bit boring to read, but it will help me track my progress.

Until next time... (and it won't be a year, promise!)