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A Personal Update

April 15, 2014
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If you go back through the archives of this blog, you’ll find actual paragraphs and stories from our lives, not just photos of Jack and a small blurb here and there of updates. The truth is, I’m not in a storytelling mood. At least, not here. And I’m not feeling the desire to be vulnerable on the internets.

But, maybe for today, I feel open to giving a personal update.

I’ve been very honest over the past 7ish years about my journey with weight loss and the struggles and triumphs I’ve had along the way. I lost a lot of weight very quickly in 2012 following a low fat/high carb vegan diet for about nine months. It was the strictest and smallest I’d ever been, including high school.

After nine months of eating brown rice, potatoes, veggies and fruit, we went to Disney World and I ate whatever I wanted and then some, I couldn’t go back to eating the vegan way after coming home. My taste buds were not having it after a week of delicious food.

And then, came a terrible cycle and lots of bad habits were formed.

I’ll do paleo. No wait, vegan made me skinny, so let’s do that again. Hey, let’s try carb-cycling. Macro-counting. South Beach. Nope, back to vegan. All in the middle of each 2-3 day attempt was a full on binge fest of unhealthy foods because I failed trying to eat well for 3 or 4 days.

I leveled out to about 140ish pounds for about a year or so. Then, December of last year came and I gained 20 pounds in one month.

Now, I ate like a crazy person that month; I’m fully aware of that and will own it, but 20 pounds in one month seems steep.

Then, the new year came and I got a stress fracture in my foot that is still healing, so no running or cardio. And I have a swollen toe on the other foot due to psoriatic arthritis.

And I’ve gained another 30 pounds since January. Right now, I’m gaining about 2-3 pounds a week, regardless of how I eat.

I’ve prided myself on “at least I’m not as heavy as I was when we got married” for a few years, but that’s no longer the case. I actually weigh more than I did in college and am inching closer and closer to what I weighed right before giving birth to Jack.

A month ago, I made an appointment with a doctor to have my thyroid tested. They called me a week later to tell me there was a problem with my thyroid and they put me on medication.

I didn’t look into it too much at the time because I was so relieved to have an answer, but since then, I’ve called to get my actual numbers so I could research exactly what was going on. I realized the my thyroid numbers showed in the “normal” range, but I had tested positive for thyroid antibodies, which after some digging online, I realized that meant I have Hashimoto’s Disease.

I’d only spoken with the lab about these things, so not much information came from them; today was the first time I’ve spoken with the doctor in person about my results and what they really mean. I knew it meant I had Hashimoto’s Disease, but to hear her audibly confirm it today and go over what it meant felt crushing.

Hashimoto’s Disease is an auto-immune disease that causes the immune system to actually launch an attack on the thyroid, one of the glands in the endocrine system responsible for metabolism. A common result of Hashimoto’s is hypothyroidism, or an under functioning thyroid. This explains symptoms I’ve had since having Jack that were always blamed on being a new mom– always exhausted, losing hair, gaining weight, brain fog, among other things.

Basically, I have two autoimmune diseases already (psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis), so it’s easy for your body to attach another one onto it. Like the other two, I’ll have this the rest of my life and will find ways to control it, not cure it, and the amount of time it will take is unknown and out of my control.

I’m on a very low dosage of synthroid right now and am waiting to see a specialist in August (the earliest I could get in!) in hopes of getting on a different medication that my current doctor will not prescribe for me. I’m also toying with a gluten free diet, especially since this makes 3 autoimmune diseases. I’ve been told that it’s uncertain when I’ll get better and it could be a long time before I lose any weight, not matter what I do or change.

So, this is what’s been going on for me for a few months. Lots of doctor visits and lab work and investigating and trying not to lose my mind over the results and my ever-growing body. It’s been a huge blow mentally, but I’m getting help with that, so I’m hopeful.

the end.

Around Here Lately

April 10, 2014
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Last weekend Jack and I went to my parent’s house. Sometimes I wonder how many times I’ve traveled to Mobile from Birmingham since 2003, but I think the number would be depressing.

The night before we left, Jack was sad about leaving Reid and leaving his “friends” behind, so I made sure to have his friends road trip ready when I picked him up from school.

Jack is the best road trip partner, which makes sense considering how many times we’ve traveled just the two of us in his 5 years.

Our first night there, we ate Mexican and went for a walk on the pier.

We went for a trail walk and my dad had Jack convinced that bears were going to attack us at any moment. Sounds a lot like my childhood.

I will always be amazed at the amount of fabric my mom has in their house. This is just a small portion.

My mom is working on a rather large and double sided quilt, so I was there to help cut triangles for the hexagons.

Jack developed a Minecraft addiction.

We’re home now, but here are some pictures from the past two weeks.

A Lego 5th Birthday

March 31, 2014
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This is the first year Jack has really gotten to decide what he’d like to do for his birthday. He decided weeks ago that he’d like to go to the trampoline place with Noah, so that’s what we did. Samantha was away at a work conference, so she couldn’t join us. The week of, Jack said he wanted Deena to come, too, and it worked out that she could join us.

Can you tell that they were excited?

I was a little nervous because it was spring break and when I bought the tickets online the night before, all the times after 9:30 were already sold out! We went from 9-10, which is blocked out for children 6 and under, so it’s less crazy.

The boys chose McDonalds for our early lunch after we left.

By the time Jack and I got home, Reid was home from work for the day, so Jack got to open presents.

Since Reid’s mom was making a cake for the next day, we bought a small ice cream cake so he’d have cake on his actual birthday.

He wished that he could go to the beach condo all day.

Jack spent all afternoon playing his “new” Star Wars ship, then we ate at Chick-fil-a for dinner and went bowling with Deena and Lori.

It was boys versus girls.

The boys won.

And the girls lost.

The next day, the boys played a 3 hour game of Monopoly while we waited for our families to get here for round 2.

My parents and sister got there late in the afternoon and Jack got to go ahead and open presents.

He has been wishing and wishing and talking non-stop about this Lego City Police Station since Christmas!

Reid’s parents came after that and more presents were opened.

And, then Jack was surprised to find a bike outside!

Jack decided about a month ago that he wanted shrimp and a volcano for his birthday dinner, so we all went to Sumo. It was so, so good!

I caught my parents taking selfies.

After dinner, we went back home for cake and ice cream. Sally, Reid’s mom, made this cake for Jack! Isn’t it incredible? It was perfect!

Jack ate his cake and quickly left to start building Legos. He got to stay up later than usual that night so he could get some work done.

My family spent the night with us, so Jack was up around 6:30 ready to play with everyone the next day.

Reid stayed home to paint and we all left for lunch and shopping.

We spent some time at the Lego store since Jack had birthday money and had his eye on a coast guard set, but I found it cheaper at Wal-Mart while we were in the store, so we went to Wal-Mart.

My family left that afternoon and the rest of the weekend was spent building Legos and working on Jack’s room.

the end.

Star Wars Wall

March 30, 2014
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Jack’s bed came in last week!

Can you tell that he was excited?

He said it looks like a pirate ship and that he’s the captain.

After celebrating Jack’s birthday last Thursday and Friday, Reid worked on Jack’s room all day yesterday and today and will do more tomorrow night.

We knew we wanted stripes, but we couldn’t decide how to do them or what colors we wanted on the gray walls. Last week, I came across a picture of a room with darker gray stripes on a light gray wall and we knew that’s exactly what we wanted.

After most of the painting was done, Reid painted this mural.

Just kidding, it’s a wallpaper from RoomMates Décor. Reid did most of the work getting it up and it was nothing like the quick and clean video we watched on YouTube. It easily could have gone majorly wrong, but Reid took his time and made it work.

It doesn’t seem to look as big in the pictures, so here’s one with Jack to show the size.

This is the before:

And after:

These were all before the curtains were hung back up and everything got moved back to his room.

There’s still more painting to be done, pictures to be framed, and a dresser to be bought, but it’s come a long way in just two days! I’m surprised at how much I love it; I thought the mural would look cheesy, but I think it works.

the end.

This Week in Pictures

March 21, 2014
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Last Saturday, we went to Casey’s birthday party. Jack has been excited for over a week about this; you’d think we were going to a six year olds party. Jack asked before we went what kind of cake he’d have, ha!

Jack had the time of his life and didn’t stop running for about 3 hours. That night was the best sleep he’s had in a while, so maybe we’ll start throwing him in the backyard to run laps before bedtime.

We went back to a church we’ve tried before on Sunday night. Jack has since moved up in the age group and was put in a large room with 3-6 year olds. It was crazy loud and overwhelmed all three of us. They even used a microphone to get kids gathered when it was time to start. Outta control. After about 10 minutes of trying everything, we finally took Jack with us in the service.

Any time he’s gone to church with my parents or Reid’s parents, he always gets to stay with the adults, so he thought that’s what would happen then.

We didn’t stay long, though.

In an attempt to counteract all The Bachelor episodes I’ve watched lately, I started listening to The People of Mars Hill podcasts again.

Reid and I have both been listening to Jack Hester’s teachings on Matthew. I started with the most recent and am working my way back, and Reid started with the beginning. We’ve both been blown away by it and love how much we’re learning. Before I even started it, I was thinking I really just want to hear about Jesus right now, which sounds a bit strange, but still, this is exactly what I’ve needed.

In Jack’s world, anything can be considered a party. So, telling him it was St. Patrick’s day on Monday and that he should wear green, he thought it was cool even though he had no idea why.

That afternoon, he was eating a ring pop and started pretending he was a baby with it being a paci. Normally, I wouldn’t let him go too far with this, but he wanted me to cuddle “baby Jack,” and since that doesn’t happen too often, I went with it.

Watching America’s Funniest Videos.

Sidenote: We watched Frozen for the first time this week. I really, really wanted to like it. And I really, really didn’t. I felt like so many details were missing. And one or two songs made me cringe, but a couple of the songs have stuck with me and I really like them.

On another note, “Pascal” (from Tangled) helped me wrap presents today. This was gift from Reid since I’m a huge Tangled fan and we never have tape handy.

Jack had his 5 year check up yesterday and had to get 4 shots, but he has his blue form and is officially ready to register for kindergarten!

There was a lot of this going on while we waited for the doctor.

We went to Yogurt Lab afterward because there were shots involved and we both cried.

Jack’s birthday is next week, which happens to be his spring break, so we took cookies to share with his school friends today. Our friend, Leah, made these and we couldn’t be happier with them!

Jack asked me about six times on the way to school if I had the cookies, and then, he was concerned about having enough for everyone.

Leah, also, made Jack’s Star Wars cookies last year. I am a horrible baker, so this is way out of my league and I’m so in awe of these talents!

the end.

Star Wars Room Time

March 19, 2014
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After five years of the same décor, Jack’s room is getting a makeover! It was only a matter of time before it got the Star Wars treatment. By the way, you can see details of Jack’s nursery/room here and here.

This is basically what it looks like right now, except a lot messier and overcrowded with “friends” (stuffed animals). We finally took down the airplanes and letters. And, Reid sneakily took down Jack’s hospital wreath from his door while I was out of town without my knowing since I kept saying I wasn’t ready to take it down yet. After four years.

I never posted a picture of Jack’s Lego table that I talked about back in December, so here it is. Don’t let this picture from January fool you; it is no longer nice and organized; it’s a bit chaotic and out of hand.

I can see why people choose to organize Legos by color, not set. That’s another story for another day, though.

I’ve spent more time researching Star Wars posters, pictures, accessories, and bedroom makeovers than I care to admit. Right now, we’re still gathering ideas and trying to nail down final choices before we make any commitments. We, also, wanted to make sure this is what Jack really wants.

We ordered Jack’s bed two weeks ago and are hoping to pick it up today or tomorrow.

Eventually, we’ll buy the matching dresser and sell the crib and changing table/hutch. We’re still using the dresser/changing table/hutch that we bought when I was pregnant.

We’re really considering buying this wallpaper/decal to go behind Jack’s bed. At first, I was thinking we’d just hang some posters and showcase all the Star Wars toys, but Reid mentioned painting and even a mural, and then it just escalated from there. Why not go big? Literally, we measured and this thing will take up the entire back wall.

Our backup choice would be to paint the wall navy and add the stripes and logo like this with posters underneath it, copying this.

Ideally, we’d add this rug to the mix, but $150 makes it seem like a dumb decision.

But, these lamps are in our price range and we’ll eventually add one to the room.

We’re keeping his bedding the same, but will add a couple of pillows. We found this Yoda pillow at Target last week and I really need to go back to get it for Jack’s birthday.

I love these prints; they have them for Lego men, ships, etc.

If Jack had his way, he’d like every wall to be different Star Wars movie and he’d like a Darth Vader bathroom. We’ll see if that happens.

So, consider this the before of the makeover.

the end.

Disney Recap, Day 6

March 10, 2014
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The very last Disney post! It only took a few weeks!

We’ve been everywhere and done most of what we’ve wanted to do, so the last day is the day we focus on getting our favorites in for the last time. Of course, Jack really wanted to do the Toy Story ride again, but it would have taken a lot of time to ride it once.

We started out at the Magic Kingdom. The park seemed empty that morning!

We checked out the new Dumbo play area, but Jack kept thinking he was going to fall through the ropes, so he freaked out a little bit. And older kids kept running him over.

We got to see more clowns.

It started raining, so we finally went to Gaston’s Tavern for LeFrou’s Brew.

Then, after the rain, we got tricked into thinking the line for Winnie the Pooh was short.

We didn’t wait too long before we realized the sign was wrong and the line was pretty long. Nope, not worth it.

Since we were only concerned about getting autographs of characters we didn’t see the previous year, I really wanted to find Peter Pan. Also, it was a personal goal since we’ve never seen him hanging around.

We made it over there and they had already cut off the line and he wasn’t coming back that day.

We stood there, stalking Peter and Wendy. And begged the handler to please let us get in line since it’s our last day. I know they have a schedule, but you can’t blame me for trying.

The handler let Peter and Wendy know we wanted to see them and to make sure to say hi on their way out and we got this picture, which makes me laugh.

We listened to the Barber Shop singers some more and bought candy and jumped on the monorail for Epcot.

It was one of my favorite afternoons because we had already watched the shows we wanted to and only had dinner reservations, so we just walked around. Again, we love Epcot, even if it is just to walk around.

I have video of Jack calling Han Solo from these phones and telling him to leave the Magic Kingdom to come see us.


We ate in Japan and Jack finally ate real food! He didn’t even want chicken and French fries that week, he just ate snacks. And we let him because it’s Disney.

And, then we packed up our car the next morning and drove all the way home. Well, after our new friend, the security guy at our resort, restarted our battery for us twice.

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