Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Can't We Just Be Real

Well friends, it has been a long time since I have blogged.  I have had a lot on my plate.  Last month I had excess skin removed from my stomach and it is healing quite nicely and I am back to cycling, or should I say back to working on my Carrie Underwood legs and my Michelle Obama arms (a girl can dream can't she).

December 14 was Zechariah's birthday, my little man would have been 2.  With each birthday or milestone that is missed I think about how life has not been what I expected.  For just a brief moment I feel sorry for myself, but then I am reminded there is always someone who has it worse than I do.  However, it leads me to think about how fake we are as a society.  We go through life putting on heirs of perfection.  Striving to convince people that we are the perfect mom's, wife's, sisters and daughters.  However, there are people like my family just trying to find a new sense of joy again and barley holding it together after losing a child.  Do people know that we have been struggling?   Probably not too many.  Has society made it easy to share our joys, pains, and struggles?  Nope sure hasn't been easy.

So in attempt at being a person who is real and transparent I will share a little bit about myself, maybe it will spur others to be more open and honest.  My name is Tabatha, I am a mother, wife, sister and daughter.  I am a neat freak which really means I am a control freak.  I am not one of those you see at church; meaning I am not a perfect stay home wife and mother who can turn everything into a perfect life lesson with a Bible story and all.  Don't get me wrong we talk about the Lord frequently but we also live a real life.  I cook healthy but I don't necessarily cook gourmet.  I love when Faith goes to preschool and I get 3 hours to myself.  I am not one of those mom's that can home school, cook perfect meals each day, and have my husband perfectly happy at all times.  I don't craft, crafting is not really my thing, all though  I do love other people's crafts.  I am also a recovering food addict, that may make some people laugh but you don't get to 247 pounds by controlling what you put in your mouth.  I have spent the last year and few months working hard at losing the weight and facing my stuff instead of stuffing my face.  Life has been hard the last few years, physically, emotionally, health wise, and it has taken a toll on my marriage.  Derek and I are trying to pick up the pieces of our life and figure out how to function after losing our son, and how to deal with loss in our own way, since we both have grieved differently.  Life is messy and has been hard but one thing remains God is still good through it all.  If God is going to be good to us in the good times then He is still good in the bad times.  Maybe if each of us spoke the truth about our live's more often we wouldn't be so lonely, we could rise up and spur one another on, we could truly be as the Bible says, iron sharpening iron.

So friends be honest today, with yourself, your friends, and your family.  It doesn't mean telling the world all your business, it just means take a chance, share your life.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lessons Learned on a Spin Bike...Leaning Into It

So last Sunday Derek and I went to our first grief share class and there has been a phrase that has been sticking with me all week.  This class is made up of a group meeting which also has a video that accompanies it, at one point a lady of the video said that sometimes you have to "lean into grief."  I didn't really understand what that meant...until Monday in the middle of a grueling spin class.  For my friends who are not avid spinners or you haven't taken a spin class, spin classes are simply indoor aerobic cycling, it is made to simulate hills and flat roads as if you were really riding out side.  With that being said when you are in class there is a point when you are sprinting on the bike, or you have so much gear (added weight) that all you can do is put your head down and lean into the handle bars and push down either as fast as you can while you are sprinting if that is what you are doing or just keep pushing the heavy heavy pedals down as if you are climbing a hill.  I came to realize while I was "leaning into" my spin bike that grief is the same way, you have to lean into the pedals or the bike and at some point you get to let up on the sprinting or eventually take the gear off and it gets easier.  The more you train the easier it gets. The more you "lean into grief" and allow grief to take its course the easier it gets.  Chance encounters get easier, birthdays, death dates, and holidays get a little easier.  Sometimes we just have to lean into it!
Blessings, Tab

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Facing my stuff instead of stuffing my face...with cinnabon!

Okay y'all so you know when you have a scab and sometimes the scab comes off and there is no bleeding, just fresh skin underneath, all the while the wound is healing, but if you are to bump or scratch that fresh wound it is like a gaping wound that bleeds and bleeds...that is how my heart feels right now!  I feel like I have been on the mend and I have been working through my grief daily.  Two weeks ago when I ran into the family from Texas with the child who has the same CHD disease as our Zech it was like ripping off the scab that had started to form over my heart and the skin underneath was fresh but healing...but then today happened.  Before I explain it I have to tell you how ironic that Derek and I started our grief share class today.  So after church Derek dropped off at the front door so I can run into Old Navy and exchange a shirt that didn't fit well...guess who was there, the family from Texas.  I almost had a panic attack right in the middle of Old Navy.  Right then and there my wounds was gushing, I took a some cleansing breathes and paid for my items as quickly as possible...I feel like every time I see these people along with some other people from Texas and even from home at times, they look at me like I have the plague, or with sympathy or like I am pathetic.  I feel so sad when this happens because I feel like I have dealt with Zechariah's life and death really quite well.  I feel like I am a strong woman, with strong faith.  I just want people to see grief is not the plague you don't catch it but we will all have to deal with it at some point!

I do have good news to tell you...I fought the urge to drown my sorrows in Cinnabon!  I just said no to eating my feelings and my thighs are thanking me!  I am facing my stuff instead of stuffing my face!!!

Life is beautiful make sure and tell your loved ones how much you love them because life on this earth is short!

Blessings, Tab

Friday, September 23, 2011

Size 8's Yes Please!

All right friends this girl has good news!!  Today I went to Old Navy to buy some smaller lounge pants for when I have my stomach surgery in exactly 44 days from today!  There was an amazing deal one pair was on sale for $12.50 and the other pair was $10, but the deal was buy one at full price (even if it is on sale) and get the second for 75% off!  So, my pair that was $10 was only $2.50!  I know you all may not want to know about my stellar deal, but there was also another amazing NSV (non scale victory) for me, I tried on a pair of size 8 jeans and they FIT!  They were a little snug, but not uncomfortable and after my stomach is done it will be fabulous and I will be looking fierce.

Tomorrow is my official weigh in day.  I have put in the hard work this week, spin class MWF and meeting my goal that I had placed for myself this week which was to do my arm toning exercises 3 times this week!  NSV all around this week!!!!  I am hoping the scale will greet me with a 163 and show all the hard work I put in this week!  If the scale is 163 which is what it said today (my unofficial weigh in) that would make for 84 pounds lost!  Can you believe it I have lost approximately 2 and a half toddlers off my body, or 16 bags of 5 pound potatoes, or roughly 10 gallons of milk!

You can do it friends, you can reach your goals if you set your mind to it!  Make a list of things you would like to accomplish and how you will achieve them and start making your dreams come true!!!  Life is a beautiful gift and you deserve your best so get to it friends!!!!

Cheers, Tab

Sunday, September 18, 2011

People Pleaser, Yes I am Indeed

This last year has been a year of inner self reflection, self growth and time to step aside and look at my life up to August 1, 2010.  It has been a really lonely year to be honest.  I have only one person in my life that knows how I feel besides Derek, and I am pretty sure she can attest to how lonely of a place that life is after the death of our precious children!  People walk on egg shells around you, try to pretend like life never happened, all the while you are just trying to hold the pieces of your together.  Trying to find joy in the little things, for me remembering that my precious Faith deserves my best too! 

I have always been a people pleaser, I think pretty much since I was born.  I have always had a hard time telling no, so even as my life had been falling apart I found myself trying to make everyone around me happy in the midst of all my pain.  While some of this is good, Faith deserves happiness, she went through the tough times with us, some of this stuff could have waited or I have said no!  I guess it is that inner part of me that strives to be perfect; striving to have the perfect house that is always clean and tidy, trying to be the perfect wife, to be a great cook, to just please everyone.  I just want everyone to be happy.  I love making everyone happy.  I love making everyone laugh.  I love throwing parties.  I love hunting for gifts for the people I love just so I can see the joy on their face. I have realized though that has been my down fall, I spent so much of my life making others happy, and dodging my true feelings and letting people walk all over me verbally that I have neglected myself. The fact is that no is perfect, not even ME!  Shocking I know!!!!   I have been stepping back these last 6 months and just been saying no.  No it is not okay to guilt me. No life is not okay, but it will be.  No I am not going to fake that life is full of roses and sunshine anymore, but I will admit life is hard, but there is always a silver lining, and God is always waiting for me to give over control to HIM! 

In my adventure to self discovery and healing I have come to realize it is okay to say no to people.  It is okay to say no to food and stop using it as a means to soothe myself.  It is also okay to tell people who are being hurtful that it is not okay, and let them know I am going to grieve and live in my own way. 

I am now in a place where I can start to say yes again.  Today at church our pastor was speaking on vision and what the next year for our church will look like.  At one point, I swear it was like he was looking at me and said, "As you serve God gets blood flowing to the most hurt places within us."  I am ready to start serving, and volunteering my time and using my gifts and talents.  However, I do realize there is a difference between serving and volunteering my time and going back to the place where all I do is people please.  I am ready to start living life to the fullest again!

Speaking of living my life to the fullest...On November 4, 2011 I get the opportunity to take my life back.  I am getting a medically indicated Panniculectomy Surgery.  This is basically a fancy way of saying that I get to have the excess skin, or as the doctors call it, "panel" or "apron" removed from the bottom part of my stomach.  I am also having a scar revision so I get to have the more extensive Panniculectomy, so I will have a nice flat tummy!  I am so excited to live life, and stop wasting my life away by pleasing others and start caring for myself.  This year has been about losing weight, finding myself, and working towards healing and true happiness.  Life is so worth living, I am glad I have decided to join the living again!  Seize the day friends, life is so good!

Food for thought from Pastor Lance today, "Could you imagine if you believed God was limitless, you would be afraid of NOTHING!"

I am diving in and going to chew of this food for thought!

Cheers, Tab

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eating My Feelings...

Lately I have been struggling. Not  only emotionally but weight wise.  These last ten pounds have been the hardest to loose.  I don't know if it is a mental struggle or if it is just that I am pretty much at the weight I am supposed to be.  Yesterday I had a slip up, I totally ate my feelings, but good news is I reigned them in before it got too out of hand and tracked every last point I ate.  However, I have been exercising like a maniac, and have indeed seen my body changing, my legs becoming so slim and my arms toning up, but my weight has pretty much been stable anywhere between 165-169.  Either way I am calling the general surgeon tomorrow to schedule my follow up and get the balls rolling for my stomach reconstruction.  I know I haven't been losing tons as of lately but I have losing inches thanks to my MWF spin instructors.

Today has been a hard day, it was so hard for me to go to bed last night, the thought of being left alone with my own thoughts scares me, so today I have been dragging, and just trying to make it to bedtime.  Derek is gone for training, and I am quite frankly having a bit of a pity party.  Disclaimer, I am not normally so very blunt but right now I need to be.  If you have never held your child in your arms when they are born and then had to advocate for their lives in a foreign country only to almost watch your child die in said foreign country, finally to make it to America, only to have your child die in your arms because you had to make the decision to turn off the ventilators, and then try to piece your life back together, you don't know how I feel.  I am a super patient person and I am so good at letting things roll off my back, and usually can always find a silver lining in anything, however, I have been so hurt lately by people telling me how I should feel or making me feel bad for how I feel.  It is not wrong for me to feel sad that I can't start over here in Washington with out the constant reminder of what I lost in Texas.  I get it that the family from Fort Sam whose child has CHD like Zech is probably really nice, and so happy to have their child, but I am hurting. I am heart broken.  I feel betrayed.  I feel angry. I feel mad at God at times.  I feel ALONE.  However, until yesterday I felt hopeful.  Felt like I have been able to give my resentment, anger, and bitterness to God.  Until yesterday I was on the mend.  Does this reminder of my son who left me way to soon stop my healing.  The short answer is NO.  The long answer is that God is big.  He is bigger than my feelings.  He is big enough to take my anger, resentment, and bitterness.  He is big enough to deal with my anxiety over this constant reminder of my loss.  In some way shape or form this is shaping me and shaping my future, and somehow this is apart of my healing process.

This video depicts the story of the song How He Loves, by Mark McMillian, and how it came out of a deep pain and the loss of Mark's friend.  I listened to this after a friend sent me the link shortly after Zech died, and it was like reading my diary and expressed my feelings like no one else could.  This song is bittersweet for me, we sang this song at Zech's funeral, but it also has given hope. 

So, today I choose hope.  I keep reminding myself that there is always someone who has it worse than I do...but God is bigger than my emotions and pity parties.  Life is for the living and worth living to the fullest!

Cheers, Tab

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two Steps Forward Five Steps Back...

Today I had one of those days.  One of those days where you have a moment that takes you right back to square one.  Today I took Faith to the Commissary and I ran into someone I knew from Fort Sam Houston, someone who has a child with the same Congenital Heart Disease that Zechariah had...well friends it took me back to August 1, 2010, the day I lost heart raced, my hands started sweating, my face had a fake smile plastered on it, I was on the brink of a panic attack...It took me back to the question that has no good answer.. Why us and not them?  Well the no good answer to that is...Why not us.  It has been what I have feared since hearing that this family would be moving to Fort Lewis.  Just as the Reese family is on the mend we take 2 steps forward and then 5 steps back.  It may have been a rough day but one true thing remains, God is still good, and He is still in control. 

Cheers, Tab

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A few of my new favorite things...

So as y'all know I am on this crazy weight loss journey and along with that journey comes a journey to wellness and wholeness since the death of our wonderful son Zechariah a little over a year ago.  Let me tell you friends getting healthy is hard!  I love processed food, who doesn't?  I mean seriously there isn't much that tastes better than home-made mac and cheese, fried chicken, and oh so yummy fried delicious mozzarella sticks (all these delicious treats are a ridiculous amount of points plus values on Weight Watchers).  However, I have learned that everything is okay in moderation, and I have also found a few healthy items that I absolutely love!  First new item I love that comes from the freezer section is TGI FRIDAY mozzarella sticks, you can bake them in the oven and they are only 5 points plus values for 2!  I have taken a few pictures of my other new finds that I absolutely love for your viewing pleasure!

These are mini bell peppers, they are kinda pricey but worth it they are delicious ($3.99 for a medium size bag, but I am the only one that likes them so that is okay) with baby carrots and 2 tablespoons of Wishbone Light Ranch (1 points plus value).  Makes and delicious 1 point plus value snack!

Can we all say yummo!!!!  In the last few years Greek yogurt has become all the rage.  I have been eating the Fage plain Greek yogurt and doctoring it up with stevia and almond extract and then adding some berries which is delicious...but I found some coupons for these and read on a Weight Watchers blog that these are absolutely delicious so I had to try.  Boy, they weren't lying these are yummy, these 3 points plus yogurts have been replacing my serving of Pop Chips at lunch, healthy all natural and filling.

This next new food love is by no means healthy but it is a better alternative to regular mac and cheese.  I stood in the aisle at the grocery store with my Point Plus calculator trying to decide which is the best choice and I stumbled along these single serve Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  Much lower in fat and a yummy alternative for only 5 points plus value.

There you have it friends, my healthier finds.  As a whole I try to skip the processed food lately but sometimes you just have to have some of our unhealthy counterparts!  Have a wonderful healthy day friends!  Eat well and live well!  Cheers, Tab

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One year later...

So most of y'all know that it has been a year since; I lost my son Zechariah, lost myself, been struggling to find myself, struggling to hold myself together for Faith and my husband Derek, all the while living this crazy life as a military wife...BUT on Sept 2, in 2 short days I will have been on this crazy weight loss journey for one year!  I decided last year when we got home to Texas after going to California for Zechariah's funeral and some vacation time that it was my time change.  It was on September 2, 2010 that I had my ah ha moment.  I came to the realization that Zechariah couldn't control the condition of his heart and he couldn't control the fact that he had DiGeorge Syndrome, but I can control my heart, I can control my health so it was up to me to make a change.  When we came back to Texas I went back to my Weight Watchers meeting and I have been taking off the weight with WW and exercise of course.  I have found that I love spinning, who knew, my body has changed it has become slimmer and my legs and hiney are getting strong and slim, it feels so good to be living again and exercising and watching what I eat!  This weight loss journey has helped me take off 81 pounds to date!  Amazing what a year and a perspective change can bring!

Along with losing the weight I am about to lose part of myself literally!  I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago and was referred to a surgeon to evaluate my stomach, the extra skin and the yucky panel I have left from having 2 c-sections and an emergency surgery.  I went to the surgeon thinking the surgery wouldn't be approved because it would be considered cosmetic, but no I was APPROVED!  So I have about 11 more pounds to lose then I can go for my follow up appointment and get my surgery scheduled.  I feel so very blessed.  I feel like this surgery is the icing on the cake to all the hard work I put in this year.

My Before, My best friend Audra and I before we both started our weight loss journey's.  I am on the right.  I was wearing a really tight 18 and an XL or XXL depending on the brand, here I weigh 247.

Me as off last week!  81 pounds lighter!  Wearig a size 10 pant and a medium shirt!  My weight in this picture is 166!

So friends if you are struggling with your weight, if you are looking to find yourself again.  Think about your ah ha moment and get started.  Make goals, track your progress, keep moving because moving forward is moving on!  My next goals are to lose the last 11 pounds, have my stomach reconstruction done, and get to my goal weight, once I am there I will be applying to work for Weight Watchers International as either a receptionist or leader, I also want to continue with my spin classes and eventually become a certified instructor, who knows where I will go next the whole world has opened up for me! 

Seize the day y'all because life is fabulous and worth living, so believe in yourself so you can change yourself!  Cheers, Tab

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Excercise, I think so!

Okay so I have had a hard time blogging lately, keeping up on everything except my house, resting, catching a breather since moving and then Grandma dying and then the sudden trip back to Cali.  So, with all that being said I have been averaging 1 workout per week.  This week, I decided to make a change, to start getting more workouts in each week, no more excuses!  Last night I was reminded of the good ol' Bob Harper quote, "Stand up and finish what you started."  I needed to remember that and take it to heart.  Truth be told I have been kinda wavering lately.  I have been tracking my food and eating pretty healthy but I could be doing better, especially if I am going to slack on exercise.  So last night I laced up my Saucony's and ran like it was the easiest thing I have done all week (even though I had to keep telling myself to put one foot in front of the other)!  I am proud to say that today I forced myself to do my yoga video.  Let me tell you all, if you don't want to walk when your done do this workout!  Just kidding it is not that bad, but it was definitely hard and I got a good workout in but I am indeed sore from last night and tonight.  Note to self keep working out it makes life and workouts way easier!!!!  So friends lace up those shoes, go for a run, take a walk, do something today is the perfect day to start!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Good Bye Texas, Hello Washington!

Hi y'all, well we finally made it to Washington!  The drive was beautiful, and vacation was fabulous!  We spent time in Huntington Beach visiting my sister in law and her fiance, went to Disneyland, headed up and spent time with my nieces and nephews in Manteca, visited with old friends, and then headed up to Redding to spend time with my in-laws.   I do have to say that I have still been losing weight since we have been on vacation and traveling. I haven't gained any and proud to say I have lost 71.2 pounds.  It has been hard and taken a lot of mental rehearsing and compromise as far as food is concerned, but I am now only 20 pounds from goal!

Washington is certainly beautiful, and while it is beautiful it is dredging up old feelings of Germany.   Between the rain and the beauty of the trees it is stirring up feelings from just last year and our fight to get Zechariah back to the US.  I certainly don't want to forget Zechariah or pretend he was never with us, I just don't want to be that girl who's son died.  That is who I was in Texas, and I don't want that for my time here in Washington.  I want to be the girl who is being healed, restored, and living life to the fullest.

As I sit and write this I am feeling a bit anxious about our future.  We found out Derek will most likely go to Afghanistan in March (if you are reading this and are on my Facebook, please don't post any of this we are not ready to tell Derek's parents), and we still don't have housing.  Not having housing is not what is stressing me out it is the finances that have me stressed.  I don't want to go financially in the hole for this move, Derek and I pretty much live on the if you charge it pay it right away motto, but I just keep going where is the money for all this coming from!  I also have to keep my mind off of this deployment.  I already lost part of my heart this year when Zechariah died all I can think about is what happens if something happens to Derek.  I guess that brings me to church yesterday.  On Saturday, Derek and I took to google to find Foursquare church's in Tacoma.  We attended a Foursquare church in Manteca, CA, as well as an Assembly of God church, both are pretty much the same in beliefs, the difference is how each denomination appoints their pastors.  Anyways so we found the church Puget Sound Christian Center.  It was fabulous friends.  The minute we walked in there was a wonderful guy named Steve who gave us a tour, and when we had Faith all checked in to kids church we headed over to the sanctuary for worship.  While we were worshiping a guy came up to us shook our hands and started talking to us, low and behold this young nice guy was the pastor.  When worship was nearly done he went and started talking about how he felt someone was struggling with fear, if it maybe about upcoming deployments, finances, and what the future holds, and needed to know that God wanted to take those fears and wants our complete and utter surrender.  Those words spoke truly to my heart.  The sermon was on surrender, and boy did I need to hear it.  After the service was over we ran into the pastor again and he said, those words were for you.  We never told him Derek would most likely be deployed, it was Jesus, speaking to us through this man who was willing to be Jesus' mouth piece.

So today, I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that I will surrender it to my Savior, and pray that I can make it through all this unscathed!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh forget it I will just eat the fries...

So last night Derek, Faith and I had to run some errands, we are tying up the loose ends of our time in Texas, in the process we decided to head to Chick-Fil-A for dinner.  As we were driving in the car I was scanning the Weight Watchers Dining Out Companion.  At one point in our conversation Derek and I got onto the topic of one of our friends who had their baby yesterday, Derek procedded to ask me how I felt about that, and we continued to talk.  I realized as we were pulling into the parking lot that all of a sudden the plan I had for the Chargrilled Chicken Salad went right out the window and the french fries flew in the window just like that!  All of a sudden the light switched turned on and I realized I was not managing my feelings well, I was going to manage them with french fries.  Feelings noted, I felt sad, I wanted to drown those feelings in french fries.  Well, I found my resolve and stuck to my orignial plan, wahoo me!!!!!!  Note to self, continue to face my stuff instead of stuffing my face.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Total Overhaul

As our time in Texas draws near, I find myself cleaning, and by cleaning I mean a total over haul and by over haul I mean throwing stuff in the trash left and right.  I also found myself looking at myself and my life, I have to say my emotional well being for sure has needed a complete overhaul! I think I have expected a lot of myself over the nearly 9 months since Zechariah has died.  Life has been hard, I have had little time to grieve between taking care of Faith and life having to move on, however, I have made progress.  This week I have sat and told myself that I am blessed.  I have had to opportunity to have children, to carry them within me, to experience pregnancy, to love them and care for them.  I have friends that want children desperately and have never been blessed the way I have.  So I have chosen to chose joy instead of grief, peace instead of discontentment.  Unfortunately when  we moved here we were known as the family that has the sick baby, now we are know as the one who's baby died...Well, good news is God's grace is new every morning and we are given the opportunity to move and start life fresh...From now on I hope to be known as Tabatha, not the girl who's baby died, nothing else nothing less, just me.

On a different note, I had this crazy internal battle going on this weekend.  If you have never been fat or struggled with your weight you can't really understand, but sometimes food just consumes those of us who are struggling to loose the extra weight!  For whatever reason this weekend all I could think about was Doritos, sitting down watching a movie and opening a bag of regular (not baked) Doritos and eating them without measuring them. My will won out eventually!  However, sometimes, on the road to health it is just plain hard to get in the groove and stay there.  So friends, if the Doritos are calling your name, lace up those shoes and go run, bike, swim, do whatever you have to do to dodge those thoughts left and right, the new smaller you will thank you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

He Is Risen, He has Risen Indeed!!!!

Boy have I missed you all!  I have been busy, busy, busy!  The time has passed me by with all the Easter activities and the process of getting ready to move.  This weekend we took Faith to the Easter Egg Hunt on Post, then to see the new movie Rio (which she loved), and then home to have an egg dying extravaganza! 

I had another successful weigh in this Saturday at Weight Watchers, I lost 2.6 pounds for a total of, wait for it...wait for it...62.6!!!! Not only have I lost weight but I am finding myself again.  Last night I ran for the first time in months because of my neck and knee issues.  I was reluctant at first but once I got my rhythm I ran and I loved it...granted I ran head first into the Texas wind last night and for all of you who don't know what that is like it can be a bit blustery, but I made and it and it made for some good resistance training!  Tonight I am heading to the gym for my workout and then to spin class tomorrow!

Here are some pics of the wonderful weekend we had!


Happy Easter, He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Amazing New Developments!

So life has taken a surprising turn for the better!  We found out yesterday that we were officially approved to leave San Antonio early, June 1st to be exact, but little did we know it would get better!  Derek came home and said "you might want to sit down for this one, we are leaving May 10th."  I was like sit down, I want to jump up and down!!!

San Antonio has been a God send.  Jesus knew exactly where we needed to be when we needed it.  From the doctors, to the people we have met we have been blessed!  To some people it may seem like we just want to pack up and leave but for the Reese family this move is bittersweet.  I speak for both Derek and I knowing we are both on the same page, we are so ready to move on and not have the constant reminder of how sad we have been for the last few months.  The grief that has rocked our family, not just the grief a of losing a child, but the grief of never being able to have another child, the grief of not really knowing how to move on.

The best way I know how to deal with it all is to say that moving gives us a clean slate.  Today I was reminded that we are given challenges so that we may choose to believe that God is still good, but in that same breath we are given the opportunity to doubt, and lately that has been where I am, doubtful.  I realize day by day, life is always going to have struggles, and we have choices how we will deal with it.  Right now I chose to move on, continue to lay my doubts, my heart, my pain at the feet of Jesus.  Moving away from San Antonio won't make it better, but it is another step in putting the sadness of the last year to rest.

I heard this on K-Love the other day and it was the perfect description of what we have been going through the last few months.  Have a wonderful day friends, enjoy every moment, you never know what the future holds.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Exciting News...and Weigh In Day!

Hi y'all, so I am sorry I have been lazy on blogging the last few weeks.  It seems I have been going through these seasons since Zech passed where I do great for a few weeks, then I get into a funk, but I decided today is the day, I have a few exciting things on the horizon to share with you!!!!!!

First off today was weigh in day, so I forced myself to get my hiney out of my nice comfortable bed and head to my most favorite Weight Watcher meeting.  Last week I had a 1 pound gain and I am pretty sure it was water retention since I had stayed on plan all week so I knew this week had to be better...and it WAS better!  I lost 3.8 this week making my grand total losed 59.6, only 0.4 away from hitting the 60 pound mark.  You know what else is exciting I am in the 180's now!!!!!!! I haven't been in the 180's since before college!!!  So exciting things are happening my oh my!

Also good news on the home front, Derek was told that we will be able to leave on June 1st, so we are just waiting for him to get his orders and Derek will start clearing Fort Sam Houston on May 18th.  I am so excited it is killing me, I can't wait to leave here, there are reminders of Zechariah all around here, and not that I don't want to remember, I just want to be able to have a repreve from the hurt of it all!

There are a few fun things happening in April and through May so hopefully it will make the time go by faster.  Tomorrow we are heading over to the main post to celebrate Fiesta, I am excited to enjoy this time, and then May 1st, the hospital Zech was in while here in Texas is having a remembrance service for all the families who lost the children last year, so we are looking at it as a way of finding a little more closure before we leave. 

So friends brighter things are yet to come this summer and on into the fall, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, visits with family all await us this summer and a new place to call home is just around the corner!  I can't wait for the fall, I am believing that the fall will blow great things in our direction, just as the leaves change and the wind picks up, the fall winds will blow new and better things into our lives...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Exciting News

Okay y'all, I just wanted to share before we run off for church some exciting news!  Yesterday we went to Costco to stock our pantry and while we were there I found some capri's at Costco (if you don't know Costco has the best prices on Levi, CK, and other brands) they were a size 12 and they were my work toward pants.  Low and behold this morning I tried them on while I was getting ready for church and they fit!!!!!!  I haven't worn a size 12 since high school, so this is exciting!!!!!!!  Well off to finish getting ready for church!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hello Saturday!

Today was a quite a day.  We as in the whole family today woke up at 7 am and headed to Weight Watchers, and I would like to say the scale was my friend today!!  I lost 2.2 pounds this week for a grand total of 56.8!!!  After my successful weigh in we headed out to breakfast and ended up going to IHOP, we researched the points plus values before leaving for Weight Watchers this morning and settled on a Turkey Bacon Omelet and fresh fruit, for a points plus value of 11 points.  We then headed to Faith's ballet class and for whatever reason it seemed to be canceled so they re-scheduled it for Tuesday.  We proceeded to head home for lunch and then went out for a bike ride, we went to the Salado Creek Trail and road for probably an hour and a half.  Today was overcast and humid, I never thought about getting sun burnt for one minute, but boy oh boy am I burnt to a crisp!  I can't wait for this sunburn to clear up and I will say I will be wearing sunscreen from here on out!

I am now enjoying a glass of red wine and Sweet Home Alabama, all I can say is life is good!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Lately I have felt conflicted...I wonder if I will ever be as satisfied as I feel when I am in California?  Will I ever not feel all alone when surround by a million people?  Will the void in my heart ever be filled now that Zechariah is gone?  Will I ever be able to answer someone who asks me how many kids I have without stammering or feeling sick to my stomach?  Will my husband and I find a way to find peace separately but also together?  The truth is I am not sure.  I don't know the answers, but right now I know my heart feels so sad.  I kind of feel like I am all alone, like I don't fit in.  I feel like damaged goods.  I guess that is what death and heart ache do to you...leave you lonely.

I guess apart of this journey is to continue to find myself.  Find where I belong, find what drives me, find a place where I feel wholly excepted.  I have not felt truly and utterly excepted since I left my home in Manteca, CA.  The comfort of Audra who is my best friend but more like a sister, and my dear sister Tam.  I miss them dearly, two of the only people who I know I can pour my hurt and broken heart out too and never worry about judgement or ridicule, but know a kind and tender word is there waiting for me.  I guess part of my process is to find out who I am outside of them.  Life has changed for me, and I need to re-discover who I am, what my new dreams are, and how I am going to take my tragic loss and turn it into some rock star story of God's healing and the journey.

Life has changed in the 7 months 3 weeks and 2 days since my Zechariah went to heaven...but I still have to believe God is good.  I have to believe that there is amazing plan that God has for healing and a new path that He has in store for me.  I have to believe in me and believe that I am worthy of a life full of joy and happiness.  So here's to today, tomorrow, next week, next month and the following years to come on this long, long journey, because I am worth it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Really...Who does that???

Yesterday was like every other Tuesday, I woke up at 5:15 am and went to my spin class and headed home to start dinner in the crock pot.  Yesterday I was unusually tired so I had a bit of a lazy day.  Last night I ran to Wal-Mart to return a movie we rented and to get Derek some more Weight Watchers ice cream.  On my way home I was completely oblivious to the fact that one of the soldiers in Derek's unit spotted me and he was with his baby's mama who is also a soldier.  They proceeded to follow me home, little did I know they were following me home to show off their new baby.  Really?  You are gonna follow home a mother who lost her child nearly 8 months ago and show off your newborn???  I went in the house and hid  until they left and left Derek to deal with them.  I know it was probably wasn't the nicest or politest way to deal with that, but my heart just couldn't take it and I didn't want them to be victims of my word vomit because who knows what would come out of my mouth at this point.  I know it has been nearly 8 months and I'm dealing with each day a little better, but the kicker is, this girl didn't even want her baby, she never intended to get pregnant.  I wanted my son, he was planned and longed for, I feel sick that a woman who didn't want their child is beaming and bragging, and yet I who wanted my son very much and fought for him as every mother should, and I am left to pick up the pieces of my life.  I guess I should say common sense isn't all that common, if they had any common sense they would not have followed me home.

Good news I didn't eat my feelings last night, I processed the reasons I was angry and today I am moving on.  Today God is still good and I get to start afresh and ask Jesus to guide my day today. 

On a happier note this week I lost 0.2 pounds and I have lost a grand total of 54.6 pounds.  I know I am not on some weight loss show and I don't have a personal trainer to help me lose weight left and right, but slow and steady wins the race.  I am eating real food, finding new ways to manage my stress and getting excited about what the future holds for me!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Family Day

This weekend has been a busy but very fulfilling day.  Saturday morning I woke up and took Miss Faith with me to my Weight Watchers meeting.  I have to say the scale was my friend again today, after last weeks disappointing gain, I am happy to say I lost 1.4 this week and I have lost a total of 54.4 pounds!!!  Can you say Wahooooo!!!  This weeks topic has been about celebrating your success' and I have had to a few this week!  I made it to 2 spin class this week and began fitting exercise back into my routine, I have rode my new bike which I love, it was an anniversary present from Derek and I have also worked out at home.  I have also just felt altogether better this week.

After Weight Watchers we headed out for Faith's ballet class which she enjoys a ton.  Then came home for lunch and nap time.  While Faith rested in her room, Derek went to the garage and assembled Faith's bike trailer, the trailer was a present from Derek's parents for his birthday.  We rode our bikes to the park on the main post and then biked to the store and we all got ice cream.  We then biked home and we BBQ'd for dinner.  We were going to take Faith to a movie on Saturday evening but with her early morning and our running around all day, she was exhausted and begged for bed. 

This weekend  was fabulous, I love that we are finding more ways to incorporate exercise into our lives in things that are fun and enjoyable for the whole family!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Catching Up Mentally

Since I have lost weight recently I have been able to enjoy shopping for new smaller clothes as well as different styles of clothes.  I realize that my body has changed and is changing as I keep working at losing this weight and getting more fit, physically, spiritually, and mentally.  However, one thing hasn't changed, my mind set.  I look in the mirror and realize that my face, and neck have changed, gotten slimmer, but I still see that overweight un-happy girl (even though I am starting to heal and am primarily happy).  Each day, I have remind myself, I am not the same girl I was 7 months ago and I have made progress and I need to continue to celebrate those exciting times!  I thought I would share some pictures of Derek's and my night out for his birthday thanks to our friends Ange and Jason.  I look at these and I realize I have made progress, I am getting slimmer, but more importantly taking the time to get healthy and take care of myself.

Altogether we had a great time, enjoyed dinner and a movie and I was able to make healthy choices for myself.  Each day is about making great well rounded choices for myself, whether it be mentally, physically, or food wise, if I want great things,  I need to continue to show up for life and take hold of my destiny and what God has for me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Today the alarm went off at 5:15 AM and I actually answered the call, I woke up and got dressed and headed to the gym for the 6 AM spin class.  I actually liked having a reason for getting up early and facing the day, and the benefit to that is my workout is done for the day! 

Today is Derek's birthday so we will be celebrating his big 2-9, the last year that he will be in his 20's.  I will cheerfully be reminding him for the whole year that he is pushing 30 (in all fairness he did the same thing to me)!  Tonight we are heading out to dinner and surprisingly he chose Applebee's, in my head I was screaming "yes" because I can count the points plus values at Applebee's pretty easily!  I do want to tell you about my amazing non scale victory, last night I made Derek and his co-workers cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting for Derek to take to work today, I did not have a single one, I avoided the 12 points plus goodness, my weigh in is in 2 days, and I will stay strong, because, I am driven.

Monday, March 7, 2011

5 AM Yay right!

5 AM came and went this morning and this girl had a date with her bed.  After a restless night of sleep I decided to forgo my 5AM wake up call to exercise and catch what little bit of shut eye I could get in.  I did however wake up at 7:45 AM, and after breakfast, my morning devotionals, and a cup of coffee I convinced myself to get moving, by 9, I had Faith settled upstairs in my room where she stayed pretty patiently watching Veggie Tales until I was almost done with cardio and was finishing up my ab work and then she couldn't wait another minute she needed a snack and some Mommy time!  I was able to sneak in a shower and before I knew it is was nearly lunch time.  Tomorrow I have physical therapy for my knee and in the evening I am going to a spin class at the gym, hopefully the instructor doesn't kill me!  Wish me luck, I am wanting to keep losing those pounds, but I also want to tone up and shed some inches before we go to visit our families in California before moving on to Washington!  I am making progress and hopefully will be on my way there in no time!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

5 AM Workouts Starting Tomorrow!

So I am letting all my friends out there know that I need more accountability when it comes to my excercise routine.  So tomorrow I am dragging my hiney out of bed and getting it  moving at 5 AM, why 5 AM you ask?  Because if I work out later in the morning I have to take care of my dear little Faithie girl and then getting in the shower, almost impossible unless I put her in her room (which I did find her climbing the baby gate last week, which nearly gave me a heart attack!), and then if I don't exercise early I don't get my devotional time in and it kind of makes the rest of my day just thrown off.

So there it is blogging world, tomorrow, 5 AM, dear Jesus, help me!  Feel free to ask me if I worked out!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Scale Was Not My Friend Today

So today I woke up at what seemed like way to early this morning and headed to my Weight Watcher meeting.  I thought for sure I would have lost at least 1 pound but that simply wasn't the case.  I was really disappointed and kinda felt bad for myself for just a minute.  I reflected on the week and realized I had changed somethings up this week.  I added strength training and I moved more this week.  I had taken a break from exercising because I injured my knee and am starting my physical therapy on my knee this week.  It seems that anytime I take a break from exercising I loss a bit faster than when I am exercising but then when I go back to exercising I either gain or maintain for a few weeks.  At least I can acknowledge these things.  It does stink but life is a journey and so is weight loss.  On a positive note I did not eat my feelings about my lack of weight loss this week, usually that is my go to way of dealing with my feelings...eating, lots of eating.  Instead, I found a beautiful nature park about 30 miles from San Antonio and we spent the afternoon exploring the trails and enjoying the scenery. 

Faith and I at Cibolo Nature Trails (before I lost 53 pounds I would have had a really hard time squatting by that river and then getting up, not a problem any longer!)

So this week I forge on and do the best I can to keep myself motivated and hope that the scale will be my friend once again next Saturday.  So I will still remind myself that I have lost 53 pounds and counting. This is not the end, not the beginning, but the middle of this weight loss journey and the road that leads to success is a bumpy one; this girl is taking back her life and along for the long journey!

Friday, March 4, 2011


You know when you wake up and all you want to do is sleep, those days when all you want to do is roll over and hit the snooze button eight hundred times.  Today was one of those days.  However, I did not give into the voice inside my head that kept saying sleep the day away, I got up and started my morning routine with Miss Faith.  The amazing thing is, it is those mornings where Jesus meets you just where you are at.  I have been reading this devotional on grief.  It was written by a woman who had lost a daughter, it is a year long devotional based on finding hope in the midst of pain.  Today I decided to read the story behind the book, come to find out the author lost not only 1 child but 2, mind blowing, how can someone survive that, I wondered if life would ever be functional again with my heart left in shambles after the death of my Zechariah, but to lose 2 children, I can't even fathom.    Two things profound stuck out to me this morning.  The author was speaking of her deep pain to her sister-in-law who had lost her previous husband to a car accident only 2 weeks after marrying, she asked her sister-in-law how you do it, get past the pain, and her response was simply,  "Manna."  In Exodus we read about how God provided enough Manna for each day to sustain the Israelites while the wandered in the wilderness, and just as God provided Manna for the Israelites he will provide for me each day and sustain me.  The second thing was that was just what I needed today was verse that was the topic of today's devotional.  Lamentations 3: 13, 19-22:

He shot his arrow deep into my heart.  The thoughts of my suffering and hopelessness is bitter beyond words.  I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.  Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the unfailing love of the Lord never ends!  By his Mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.

Yet I still dare to hope, that describes where I am now, I still dare to hope each day, God kept me from destruction, he has a plan and a path for me, and I will have hope because His unfailing love never ends.  I have also said day after day that my Jesus is still the same even if my heart hurts beyond measure.  In all honesty I was probably convincing myself of that until I believed it wholeheartedly, which it does now ring true in my heart of hearts.   So today, I reach for the Manna that will sustain me and even though I grieve my loss, I dare to hope!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Finding Peace and Moving On

Today was a bittersweet day.  It has been 7 months since my dear Zechariah went to be with Jesus.  Today also marks the 2 year anniversary of my best friend Audra's (who is more like a sister than a friend) sister Kathy going to be with Jesus.  So, today has been a day that in the past that I would have eaten my feelings instead of feeling them.  Instead I kept myself productive, washed the laundry, tidied the house, played with Faith outside, just flat out kept myself busy.  Over the weekend I re-decorated Zechariah's room.  It is now pretty and welcoming room, rather than a little boys room that once adorned animals all over the walls.  I also stored away the clothes we decided to keep the blankets and the few trinkets that really touched our hearts. Below is our spare room.  I can't wait for visitors to come and join us in our home.

These floral pictures inspired the rest of the room

The comfy bed that I hope makes visitors feel welcome

Faith posing in the spare room

Life's a long journey and this girl is taking her life back, her health back, and putting her plans at the foot of the cross.  One day at a time, that is all it takes.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pulling Myself Up By My Bootstraps!

So, I have spent the better part of the month of February feeling sorry for myself.  I have decided as of the end of last week, I need to get back into my routine and get myself restructured again.  So the last few mornings I have peeled myself out of bed, opened the curtains, and got myself going!  Time to step up my game.  No more feeling sorry for myself.  Thankfully I have not eaten my feelings.  I am using the sage old advice, "facing my stuff instead of stuffing my face."

I have been thinking and I now realize that my decision to start back to Weight Watchers in September and to start taking care of myself has been a catalyst for my own well being.  Not only getting me physical healthier but mentally healthier as well.  Even though things have been hard, and more things propped up this month, I have decided I am worth it.  I am worth the effort and time it takes to pull myself out of my little depression and get up and get dressed in the morning.  I am worth the money spent on Weight Watchers.  I am worth taking the time to take care of myself first and be a little selfish for once.

So friends, I am taking the time to make my 30th year the best!  It is time for me to be fierce and fabulous!  I would like to say that my Saturday Weight Watchers meeting had me done 54 pounds!!  Wahooooo, only 46 more to go!!!  I totally got this!!!!!

That is me on the right before starting my weight loss journey again with Weight Watchers

This is me now, 5 months later and 54 pounds lighter and a whole lot happier!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Choosing Health

Lately, I have been struggling with my feelings.  I have made some conscious decisions to move forward, but Derek is still in what I like to call sweep it under the rug mode.  There has been a lot of things that have happened in my family since I came back from California, things that were discovered that are heart breaking, and I am trying to make peace with all of it but it is for sure a hard place to be when there is nobody who understands your situation.

I have made a resolution to not eat my feelings and I haven't.  I choose health for myself and that doesn't happen if I eat and get myself to a place of being even more overweight.  Zechariah may have not had a choice on the health of his heart, but I have a choice on the health of my heart and my body and how I treat it, I chose health for my body.  As of today I have lost 50.6 pounds and I keep choosing health.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Heart Broken

My heart is completley broken.  This last year I have done nothing but pick up the pieces of my broken heart.  I thought things were getting better but then another whammy hits me.  I don't know how much more my heart can take.  I am trying to find my way through the lies, the deciet and the broken heartedness.  I guess the solution is to find more time to keep giving it to God.  I am so sick and tired of people telling me what I should do, what I should say and how I should grieve or feel.  Life is full of suprises and why I welcome some of them others I wish I would have never discovered.

Tomorrow, I am sure my glass will look more full then empty but for now, I am taking some time to have a well deserved pity party.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Motivated, Not So Much

Motivation.  I haven't had much motivation lately.  It is funny how somethings are so important and we as humans have so much motivation, but when it comes to the every day things we just push them aside.  Somehow I have found the motivation to stick to my Weight Watchers plan and continue to get my exercise in, but when it comes to my house and the everyday things, motivation is a hard thing to find.  So today I have approached life with a new sense of motivation, I have cleaned, washed, folded, AND put away the laundry, now if I can just keep this motivation up maybe I will find my groove again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beyond Frustration

I am feeling beyond frustrated today.  I keep trying to see the bright side of things but it sure is hard.  I know grieving is different for everyone, but I feel so alone, stranded, and like I am left in the ocean to drown.  I just feel hurt.  I know as an Army wife you suck it up and roll with the punches, but I am sick of sucking it up, for once I just want my needs, my emotional well being to come before the needs of the Army.  Some days, you grasp for hope in the smallest things, my hope today comes from knowing, I will see my family in Cali very soon, I need them, I miss them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Journey

I have been thinking about the journey lately.  Pondering where is the journey going to take me next?  Where do I go from here?  I guess that is normal it being the beginning of the new year and with everyone making New Years resolutions, but my reasons are different.  2010 was the best and worst year of my families life.  Derek (my husband) and I were blessed with the sweetest little boy.  Our son Zechariah was born on December 14, 2010, he was born with a very rare congenital heart disease and ultimately went home to be with Jesus on August 1, 2010.  My family went home to California and we spent time healing or so we told everyone.  What we really did was spend time avoiding the inevitable...real life, real feelings, finding ways to move on.

So since September 2, 2010 (the day we returned from California) I have been left to figure out where do I go from here?  What next?  How do you move on?  Recently, I have been pondering an old Psalm, that I really clung to all through my early 20's.  Psalm 121:

I lift my eyes up to the hills - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and creator of earth.  He will not let your foot slip.  He who watches over you will not slumber;  Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord watches over you - the Lord is your shade at your right hand; The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

The verse that has struck me even just now is, "He will watch over your life."  Can you imagine, Jesus watching over your life, it is mind blowing, how He knows our comings and goings! I can't fathom a kind a love that could love the messy, horrible most painful parts of my life.  John McMillan says it best, he talks about how that in our anger in our resentment and in our frustration that Jesus could love us through that, and Jesus isn't surprised or offended by my anger at God. 

Ever since Zechariah has gone to be with my Jesus, I have wondered where does this leave me?  I guess that leaves me right where I began.  My Jesus was so good before Zechariah was born and He is still good now.  Does that mean I don't hurt?  Nope sure doesn't.  Does that mean life is always perfect?  Nope life sure isn't?  Does that mean that I live life a little differently now?  Yep it sure does.  But, through all of this the glass is still half full.  I have a wonderful daughter with an amazing amount of joy, and a husband that truly cares for me and my well being.  When I sit back and look at my life, I always remind myself, there is always someone else who has it worse than me.  Take a look around today and see if your glass if half full or full, mine is full, very full.