Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We enjoy warmth because we have been cold.

I haven't updated lately, due to the fact that I wanted my blog to be happy, and not negative, and I've truly had nothing good to say. I can't forget the past week, because it is a part of life, but it truly saddens me. I lost a friend, though I forgive her, I cannot trust her, and without trust we have nothing. Plus, I know her true feelings about my daughter, and I can't allow that kind of negativity around her.

To bring some light to this post, Jon passed his weigh-in and I lost an inch. Jon has been working out so much, and he really deserved to pass his weigh-in, and I know he is going to do great on his PRT. I am so proud of him. He's such a wonderful person, and he deserves the best of everything. He is truly a wonderful man.

Really, I have nothing left to update. I hope you all are having a wonderful and productive week.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I once was lost, but now I'm found. Was blind but now I see.

As you know, I've been looking for a jogging stroller. I found one! It was advertised on Craigslist for twenty-five dollars. I got the pictures, and though a bit faded from the sun, it was in good condition. SO, the lady and I made plans to meet each other on Wednesday night at 6:00 PM at an Outback Steakhouse.

The lady sends me the address, and I sit around all day waiting patiently for the time to go and pick up my new ticket to fitness. Jon gets home from work, I jump in a hot shower, and we head out. I plug the address in my Tom-Tom. Great! We're 43 minutes from our destination, due to arrive at 5:48 PM. We chatted happily as we navigated the turns and exits of Northern Virginia's messed up interstate system. Ilyssa was napping in the back in her carseat. Everything was hunky dory. I was excited...

Fast-forward 43 minutes. We're at Manassas Battlefield Park. While this place is very cool, it is clearly no where near our destination, even though the Tom-Tom said we'd arrived. Brilliant me decided to forget to write down the lady's number. I told Jon that since we were on Lee Highway, and the address was for Lee Highway, we would just keep driving until we find the Outback. We drive for about fifteen minutes, and we stop at a convenience store to ask if there is a nearby Outback...To make a long story...not as long...we had to stop twice more before we ever found the Outback, and I had someone check my email and get me the lady's number. WE WERE AT THE WRONG OUTBACK. We were in Centerville, at least twenty miles from our destination.

Jon was grumpy, I was upset, and Ilyssa was awake and tired of her carseat. So, after almost two hours, we FINALLY find the place. The guy is super apologetic, and he ends up giving us the stroller for fifteen dollars. And wouldn't you know that our TomTom would die and our TomTom charger would crap out and we were in Fairfax, VA, with no idea on how to get home.

Our friend Eli is a really great guy. He called, and Jon explained that we were lost. After a few questions, Eli had us going to a Walmart by using Google maps and zooming to street view. Honestly, if not for him, we would have spent most of the night lost. Walmart had our charger, and TomTom guided us home, safely, even if it was, by that time, ten thirty at night.

It was a long day, and it was frustrating, but it had some really great moments.

I love my life, but I hate being lost.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Doctors are sadists who like to play God and watch lesser people scream

To any poor lad that stumbles onto this blog, I do sincerely apologize, as this blog is one of a sensitive and womanly nature.

The Mirena is the DEVIL (To Me)

My logic: The mirena. It seems like the oasis of birth control. A small bit of placement pain puts you on the fast track to worry free sex for five long years. (Deal with the devil is usually you get something fantastic, then in five or ten years, the hell hounds come and drag you to the pit. [The world according to 'Supernatural'].) It lures you in with promises of no fuss, shorter, lighter periods, and sometimes no period at all.

So you go in, excited, nervous, but ready. You sign the consent forms, and happily scoot your butt to the very bottom of the exam table. Your doctor is in position, he numbs you, measures your uterus, and places the little device. It's painful, but you breath through it, knowing the reward will be no pregnancy fears, maybe no periods, at the very least shorter, lighter periods. The doctor tells you that you might spot for a few days, you might have a flow like a period for a week or so. You say it's fine, because you know the rewards of getting the Mirena. You've done the research. You're excited because you don't want to be pregnant.

Well over a month down the road, you look back on the placement, you look back on your decision, and you're filled with regret. "I could have used condoms," You think. "I should have just dealt," You cry. The rewards have yet to be known. Sure, you aren't worried about being pregnant, because you aren't having sex. Why? Because you've been on your period for the entire time you've had the Mirena. You get frustrated in the mornings because you've ruined yet another pair of undies. You're constantly cramping, you're raw from the pads, and you're frustrated from the countless times you thought it would be over, only to find it wasn't. You try not to think about the fact that you're popping Motrin like M&Ms. Your head is pounding, and the bathroom scale is taunting you. Your five, worry-free years are looking bleak and bloated. You crumble to the floor and cry with anger.

It's truly a hellish situation.

I love my life, but why did I get the Mirena?

Monday, April 19, 2010

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

I'll admit, there were a few minor glitches in my perfect weekend. I can't really even begin to dwell on those, though. I mean, I had good company, good food, and good shopping. Can a girl truly ask for more?

Before I get into my perfect weekend, I'll sum up the few glitches. Ryan's buffet was out of food and our service was horrible, Creepy guy in Buzzy's playpark watching the kids (he got up and left when security showed up....we were the ones that got up and left to notify security), having to buy a 16w bathing suit top to fit over my dang breasts, and the racist lady in Dollar Tree.

The beauty of my weekend? Saturday, Jon had EMT class. The instructor's wife is truly my new best friend. Her name is Jennifer, and she is the best. She and I spent the day shopping and gossiping. Ilyssa loves her. I've always believed a child can tell a lot about a person upon first glance, and if that is true, Jennifer and Bobby (her husband) are truly wonderful people. I think so anyway, but Ilyssa is really taken with them. Especially her Jemma. She was so thrilled to see them, and this coming Saturday, she's going to be like..."Where's Jemma?" We ate at Allman's BBQ, which is absolutely amazing BBQ. We shopped at Kohl's and the Mall and Wal-mart. She bought some adorable Bermuda shorts. She was afraid that she looked like an old lady, but Bermuda's are all the latest crave, and I think they make her look younger and hipper. I got Ilyssa two outfits, got Jon three shirts, and got myself an outfit. Most of it was on clearance, the rest of it was on sale.

Speaking of Kohl's and Sales....If you sign up for Kohl's email alerts, you get a five dollar in store coupon. If that isn't enough go here!/kohls?v=wall&ref=ts and become a fan. You can enter your story of savings on the receipt contest and be entered to win a 100 Kohl's gift card. How cool is that?!?! Kohl's is a really awesome place, and I feel their clothing is so great in price and quality. You just can't beat them.

Okay, Sunday. Sunday was my birthday. I'm 22 years old, and I feel more like fifty. Anyways, Jon made me breakfast that morning. It was delicious, then told me he was taking me out to shop. This is super exciting to me, because my wonderful Mamaw sent me some birthday money. I bout a crock-pot for 19.99. It was marked down from 44.99. I was so excited. I've been wanting one forever. I also bought those Wonder Hangers you all see two posts back.

After Kohl's, we went to Target. This is another of my favorite stores. This is also where I got my bathing suit. Like I said, it is a 16W, but it is cute, does fit me well, and was on clearance for 9.98. This is also super exciting to me. I think I'm going to dub myself Clearance Diva. It seems appropriate.

My total savings this weekend, with clearance and sales, was 216.19. That's pretty remarkable, I think. Especially considering I didn't even spend 150.00. Yay me. I didn't even begin to tell you guys what all I got.

For Jon
Helix Shirt
2 Apartment 9 shirts

For Ilyssa
2 pair of Capris
2 shirts

For Me
(I'm not selfish, it's my birthday money!)
5 shirts
1 pair of Union Bay shorts
1 make-up thing (Marked down from 20.00 to 11.00, hurry to Kohl's and get yours)
1 bathing suit

For the House
2 packs of Wonder Hangers
1 Slow Cooker
2 Reusable shopping bags

After all the shopping, we came back home and had pizza from Pizza Hut. Eli, Kim, Caroline, and Angel were here, and though we didn't do anything super exciting, it was so nice to just be among friends. I hope our friendships continue to grow, and though I miss my family back home, I'm really glad I had a few special people to share my birthday.

I love my life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chicken Spaghetti

This is not my original recipe. This recipe came from a magazine I read, and is also featured on another blog, but it's so delicious that I just have to share.

Serves about 8
Total cook time 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.

1 cut up chicken
1 lb thin spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp to mild.)
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper (I add more.)
1 jar diced pimientos, drained. (I say these are optional.)
1 tsp seasoned salt (Lawry's, for example)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
Black pepper to taste

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add the chicken to a stockpot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about thirty minutes.

2.Remove the chicken from the water using tongs or a slotted spoon and set it aside on a plate to cool.

3.Remove 2 cups of broth from the pot and set aside. Bring remaining broth to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente, drain, and set aside.

4. With two forks or your fingers, remove chicken from bones. Shred or cut into bite-sized chunks.

5. Place the cooked spaghetti into a large bowl. Add the cream of mushroom soup and 2 cups of the shredded cheddar. Then add the onion, green pepper, and pimiento. Add the seasoned salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper really adds a kick, so be careful as to how much you put in.

6. Add the chicken and broth. Stir together well, the taste to check seasonings.

7.Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cheddar cheese. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until bubbly.

This recipe, though it may sound weird, is absolutely wonderful. It's a huge hit in this house, and I love to make it for guests and family members. Enjoy, and leave me some comments if you decide to try it out. I'd also love to hear how it goes.

All change is not growth; as all movement is not forward.

Here's my first product review. I've been pumped all day to write this. I'm very excited.


This is the product with two hooks at the end of a rod with five slats. It can hold up to 20lbs of weight, and it really does aid in the organizing of the closet.

The pros
-As I have stated, it holds up to five garments.
-Easy to assemble, as little assembly is required.
-Extremely affordable. (I got mine at Kohl's. Eight wonder hangers for eleven dollars.)
-Assists in the organizing of closet.

The Cons
-The only con that really comes to mind is that it looks better with shirts than blue jeans.

Let's face it. Closet organizers, bins, totes, shoe racks, shelves, ect. can really get expensive. If you're like me, and you're budgeting, and you live in an apartment, you need some extra space. Adding shelves and whatnot is a waste of cash, because you may or may not live there a long time, and if the shelving is built into the closet, you have to leave it behind. Maybe hundreds of dollars down the drain. The Wonder Hanger is a convenient, inexpensive way to give you more space, and make it look neat and organized. I'm extremely satisfied with this purchase, and give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
Ilyssa's Closet Before

Ilyssa's Closet After

My Closet Before

My Closet After

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All is ephemeral, both memory and the object of memory...

On February 4th of this year, my grandmother underwent major abdominal surgery to remove a malignant tumor from her right kidney. It was supposed to be a small surgery with five small incisions and one night in the hospital. She came out of the surgery with fifty staples running from her sternum to her pubic bone. She spent two days in the ICU, and one week in the hospital.

My grandmother lives within walking distance of my aunt and uncle, and two of my cousins. None of these people have jobs. None of them would offer a hand to help, so I stayed behind to take care of my paraplegic grandfather, my grandmother, and still care for Ilyssa. I feel like a failure because I couldn't keep the house perfectly clean, and I never got enough sleep, so while there, I ate as a comfort mechanism. Now, I'm thirty pounds heavier and feeling completely unhealthy. I'm making an honest effort at losing weight. I'm drinking nothing but water, trying to eat healthier, even when we go out to eat, and exercising. I'm really hoping it will pay off, and for more motivation, I'm posting weekly updates here.

The problem with all of this is that I have a history with eating disorders. I'm afraid that if I don't see results...well, you understand my concern I'm certain.

While my weight right now would not concern some people, it's not healthy for me. My frame is not meant to carry this extra thirty pounds. I'm having leg cramps, feet swelling, bloat and gas pains, and backaches like crazy. It's time for a change.

As of right now, I'm 155.8 pounds. My chest is measuring 40 inches, my waist around my belly button is 34.5 inches, and my hips are at 39.2 inches. I would like to get down to 37 around the chest, 30 around the waist, and 36 around the hips. I would like to tone my legs and butt, and I'd like to tone my stomach a lot. My true goal isn't so much weight lose as it is toning and getting in shape.

I'm also going to get some of those work out shoes from target. I'll put up a review of those when all is sad and done, and I'm trying to get a cheap jogging stroller.

I love my life, but it's time for a change with me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

We had such a fantastic weekend, even if we were sick and it flew by. I don't mind Mondays so much though. The only part I hate is that it is one of my laundry days, and I hate laundry so much.

Anyway, Saturday, Jon had his EMT class, and I spent all day with Jennifer L. She is quickly becoming my best friend. I love her. She and Bobby already feel like family, and they're so wonderful with Ilyssa. Jennifer bought Ilyssa a toy, a book, and an adorable outfit. It has anchors on it, and I love it.

Sunday was rough because of a small stomach bug. But it was Easter. Ilyssa looked adorable in her Easter dress. (Bought on sale for 15 bucks at Belk. SCORE) She loved finding the Eggs that daddy hid on the playground. We had a calm, beautiful Easter Sunday.

I love my life.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

...let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear...

I started this blog with purpose. Faith is my only purpose. Not necessarily faith in a higher power, but just faith in myself, in my day to day life, in everything.

I'm the kind of person that loves to cook, and, like most other people, I get tired of having the same stuff over and over and over, so there are times where I venture out and try new recipes. I like casseroles the most, and am convinced that they are a mother's best friend. I have found some amazing recipes, such as this awesome chicken spaghetti (which I will share later), and I've found recipes that were terrible, but I try them, hoping they'll be wonderful. I guess I could say that I cook by faith.

The most terrible recipe so far was a dorito chicken casserole. Soggy doritos are not my idea of a good meal, but I tried it, and was proud I gave it a chance. I think I may even try to tweak the recipe and make it wonderful. Who knows.

I don't really know what lead me to make this post, perhaps boredom, but here it is.

Man, I love my life.

And I lov'd her that she did pity them.

My life certainly isn't that exciting. I don't have a high-stress corporate job. I don't have a lot of (any) money. I don't do really fun things, throw fancy parties, or anything that really distinguishes me from the crowd. And yet, I am unique. I am me. Sometimes I'm funny, sometimes sad, sometimes just boring.

I absolutely love my life. I wake up in the morning (feeling like P-diddy) with a beautiful little girl snuggled in my arms. She lazily opens her sweet brown eyes and smiles. "Hi Mommy." Her angelic voice touches me to my soul, and I know my daughter is the most beautiful and special gift I've ever been given. We snuggle in bed for a little while, and then, we begin our day. I make her breakfast, which she usually takes at her table by the window. She's like a cat, and can't resist the sunlight streaming through the window.

While she eats breakfast, I sip coffee and watch the news, listen to the radio, or read the paper. The news, regardless of the fact that it is usually full of evil and pain, doesn't dampen my mood. It's not that I don't care about the calamity in the world, it's that I have lulled myself into a security. It isn't a false security, as I know anything can happen, it's just a knowledge that I have to live like I'm dying. No one is promised tomorrow, after all.

I'm by no means the perfect parent, and readily admit that my daughter loves to watch TV every now and then. Usually by the time she's done with breakfast, we play with blocks or something in her room, then by twelve, she is ready to watch some TV. Always Chowder, lately. It's not educational, but it's funny. I enjoy the show, and I don't really think 30 minutes of mundane food jokes are going to mess her up for life. I just don't believe that way.

Actually, as I type this, we're almost done with Chowder, and I'm getting ready to throw the dishes in the dishwasher, and go outside for awhile. In beautiful weather, it's a shame to be stuck indoors, and I am so blessed that I don't have a job and I get to spend these precious hours with my sweet baby girl. I admire women that work outside the home, but I love being home with my daughter. I don't think either way is right or wrong. Different strokes for different folks, ya know? But yes, I love outside play. One of the joys of apartment living is that we have a playground right outside the home. We have a department store within walking distance, and there is plenty of space to play, to just run and be a kid.

The downside of apartment living? Noise complaints because my two year old cries in the middle of the night. Do these people think I enjoy waking up at 2 AM to fetch precious cup? Cause I don't. And no one has offered me a workable solution either. So glad we're moving in June.

For right now, duty calls. I'm going to change this big, stinky diaper, dress for play, and head outside for a few hours.

Man, I love my life!