Monday, December 31, 2012

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

I am staying home. J is working all day until 7pm and I feel like opening a bottle of bubbly and watching a movie. I am spending today dreaming and planning out 2013. I'm setting goals, forgetting the past and looking forward. Tomorrow will be a fresh start and a new me. For reals. I am so ready to say goodbye to 2012.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Self care: eye brow shaping

I took a few minutes to groom myself this morning. Look at the difference!

I hate running

But i love a cop. Going to start running again for this:

Feeling let down again

I don't know what it is with me and hosting get togethers! I either pick really bad days to have them, am no fun to be around, or am generally unliked. I spent all week preparing my house for a fun dance party, invited over 50 people (mainly new derby folk), went shopping and even shampooed my carpets. Five people came, total. Most of the night it was 3. I had fun and enjoyed myself but was worried about the poor turnout all evening. We had more people RSVP, but a lot had to back out last minute. I ended up crying myself to sleep that night. I am trying so hard to meet new people and fit in, but it feels impossible. I am on vacation from work all week, but have been home feeling anti-social. Blah.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I was woken up this morning by K rustling around the house trying to wake the rest of the family. Surprisingly, she hasn't succeeded, yet. That give me a few minutes to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

It's been the first year J has been off work in 13 years! We spent the day yesterday finishing last minute preparations and headed to my parents' house. My mom made lasagna and we ate, opened gifts and enjoyed the evening.

I feel very thankful. This year our family was adopted by three different community groups to help with gifts and food. I am a little proud, but i have to admit, it was a great help. With the fire expenses, we would not have been able to get much this year. The kids have many gifts to open and several boxes of food was delivered. Yesterday a friend stopped by with some gifts and gift cards from people from her work. She had been here helping with our fire work party, told them about our family and they wanted to help out this season. I am excited to use one to buy some new sewing material!

Tonight we are giving back...we are headed to our church to help serve a free dinner to the less fortunate. Turkey, ham and all the fixings!

I hear all the kids now so we will start our Christmas morning traditions. Have a wonderful day!

Friday, December 21, 2012


I went to see my new naturopathic doctor to go over my blood work on Thursday morning. She told me that my thyroid medication dosage is working well, however my anti-thyroid antibodies were really really high. Which explains a bit why my medication needs to be adjusted way too often. I went expecting miraculous solutions to all
my problems: weight, allergies, depression, fatigue, sore muscles and joints. But basically I was told that I have an autoimmune disorder, which is near impossible to treat and there are not a lot of answers in the medical community. I spent the day feeling very sad and depressed. I wanted to hear that she had all the answers and during treatment I would lose weight and feel better. Now I will have to work even harder all on my own.

I am preparing for my elimination diet to happen soon after Christmas. If you have any good non dairy, wheat, citrus, soy, nut, sugar, caffeine, aspartame, preservative, egg free recipes, I would love to try them!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 12/12/12

Today I am celebrating my small accomplishments in my pursuit of health and fitness. I have been keeping to my habits of no aspartame, more fiber, no alcohol, no caffeine and no sugary drinks. I am beginning to feel a little better and have a bit more energy. I know that once I completely cut out the other bad stuff in my diet (while hard at first) I will feel even better. On Jan 1 I will start my elimination diet for three weeks at least. I have been staying in my calorie range and exercising daily.

I get discouraged easily when I don't see immediate results or when I mess up on my eating plan. I need to remember to hold my head high and be happy with where I am right now.

We had our first team scrimmage last night during practice. I felt like I am improving! I got some good hits in, and I feel like I am starting to understand what is happening on the track better.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

dark deep

I have not really stopped crying since 9 pm last night. I have been emotional all week but a small incident with L broke me. It hurts to be criticized by your kids when you are doing your best. That just sent me into a whirl of emotions and I can't get out of this funk. I feel like my whole world has been falling apart, and it never seems to stop. Yes, there are good days or times of days mixed in but ultimately I am frustrated and sad. I feel like a failure, like I don't fit in anywhere. On top of that I watched a movie called What To Expect When You're Expecting which triggered feelings about my miscarriage years ago and made me even sadder.

I question if I am doing anything right. I wonder if working part time was a good decision for the whole family. I think about the time I am away doing roller derby. I don't know why I can't ever find a balance. I am so frustrated about our fire damage, E's behavior, kids' grumpy attitudes, foster baby unknowns, Christmas stress, finances....

It's a big grump fest here, I need a hug and maybe a big ugly cry.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Healthy Habit #5

I have been meaning to write this earlier, but life has been unusually busy this week. Also, I have been avoiding this lifestyle change...I have given up a lot the last few days!

Are you ready for this? No more sugary drinks, like soda, sweetened tea, juice. It's water and unsweetened herbal tea for me. Ugh, this is so hard!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Healthy Habit #4

Cut out alcohol. It turns to sugar in my body, is full of empty calories, and that is no bueno. Plus wine and spirits can be expensive and we really need to spend way less on the grocery bill.

I had skating practice tonight and felt pretty good out there after implementing my few new healthy habits. I still am out of shape and need to come a long way with my skills, but I felt less exhausted and winded. Are you ready for Healthy Habit #5? it's a doozy! I'm not sure I want to put it in writing!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Healthy Habit #3

Cut out the caffeine. This will help cut the carbonated beverages and sugar too, they go hand in hand for me. I will be drinking a lot of herbal teas.

Healthy Habit #2

Eat 25+ grams of fiber daily. I was told to grind flax or chia seeds and eat several teaspoons full (mixed in food) three times a day. This will help keep my blood sugar under control. Here is a great article about the importance of fiber.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate (just like sugars and starches) but since it is not broken down by the human body, it does not contribute any calories. Yet, on a food label, fiber is listed under total carbohydrate. So this gets kind of confusing for people who have diabetes. Carbohydrate is the one nutrient that has the biggest impact on blood glucose. So, does fiber have any effect on your blood glucose?

The answer is that fiber does not raise blood glucose levels. Because it is not broken down by the body, the fiber in an apple or a slice of whole grain bread has no effect on blood glucose levels because it isn't digested. The grams of fiber can actually be subtracted from the total grams of carb you are eating if you are using carbohydrate counting for meal planning.

So, fiber is a good thing for people with diabetes. Of course, most of the foods that contain fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas) also contain other types of non-fiber carbohydrate (sugar, starch) that must be accounted for in your meal plan.

The average person should eat between 20-35 grams of fiber each day. Most Americans eat about half that amount. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people with diabetes who ate 50 grams of fiber a day — particularly soluble fiber — were able to control their blood glucose better than those who ate far less.

So if fiber does not give us any calories, why exactly should you eat it? There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber keeps your digestive tract working well. Whole wheat bran is an example of this type of fiber. Soluble fiber can help lower your cholesterol level and improve blood glucose control if eaten in large amounts. Oatmeal is an example of this type of fiber.

Another benefit of fiber is that it adds bulk to help make you feel full. Given these benefits, fiber is important to include in the daily diet for people with diabetes, as well as those who don't have diabetes. You can add fiber by eating whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Leave the skin on fruits and vegetables, as it is high in fiber. Eat whole grain breads and crackers. And be sure to increase your fiber intake generally, and remember to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day to avoid constipation.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Healthy Habit #1

Cutting out aspartame. And gum. This artificial sweetener is in almost every major brand of gum. The chemical essentially turns into rocket fuel in the body and really messes with the gut. Thankfully, I mostly avoid aspartame but have been chewing gum more recently. I will be cutting that out, or searching for the xylitol sweetened gum instead.


Right before Thanksgiving we were given a huge 25 pound turkey. Because we spent Thanksgiving with my family and went out to a restaurant for dinner, Tom has been sitting in my fridge, thawing. Yesterday I cooked him up, along with some yams, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole,
brussels sprouts, rolls, and cranberry sauce. It was so yummy.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Non jolly holiday

RAD sucks. E was officially diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder this fall. Holidays, fun events, and even weekends are hard and at times make me want to pull my hair out when he rages or pushes buttons. It's mainly directed to me. This morning he told me again that he hates living with me.
When I totally ignore him with no interaction or connection, he seems so much more calm and content. How can a mom not show affection or love to her son?
it breaks my heart.

I found a video that explains a bit more about RAD:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fire part 2

We are amazed at the help we have received from friends and strangers since the fire. We had to wait to do any clean up until after the insurance company came out to inspect things. We announced a work party on a rainy Saturday afternoon and we had a surprising amount of people come help. We got most of the debris hauled to the dump. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

We got a settlement check from our insurance for the structure, which was for the total amount we had covered, but about $6,000 less than what we will need to rebuild. The building was considered an outbuilding and not part of our house. We had to come up with a list of contents to get the material possessions reimbursed by insurance. This took me about two weeks. It was 9 pages and about $20,000 worth of stuff. We will get a prepaid visa in the mail for about half that. While I am so thankful for insurance, I feel ripped off. I don't want to complain though, because we have been blessed by friends and strangers alike. Our church arranged for meals to be brought over for six days. My sister told her friends and clients about us and they gave her money, gift cards, art stuff, toys and linens for us. Friends have rounded up things to replace lost items. We have received gifts in the mail from family, friends and strangers. I am amazed by the love we have received.

Since the fire department sent in their report, county zoning and permitting came into the picture. This has been a small nightmare. The rooms we used for the teens can't be called bedrooms unless we get a larger septic tank. The foundation should be dug up and sealed with foam, we need a higher insulation and window rating. I am pretty sure the people who built the studio did not have any permits. We had an electrician come out and figure out what needs to be done. We should be able to apply for a permit next week.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Two weeks ago we experienced something I would never wish on anyone. A house fire. Our house is a three bedroom, two bath double wide. Right behind it sits a studio building that is about 600 square feet. A few years ago we repurposed the once music recording studio, and made it into a rec room, art space and sewing area. It also had beds for the kids. On a Friday afternoon while I was sitting at the computer at work, I got a call from J. He calmly told me the studio caught on fire and was destroyed. I shrieked out loud and spent some time trying to handle my shock and emotions. I maintained a strange balance between staying calm and freaking out in front of my co-workers. I finished up my newsletter publication and headed home in a rush. I came home to find J, L and C. I felt thankful that the 13 or more emergency responders had left and it was just us left to deal with the aftermath of a very hot electrical fire. So many thoughts were going through my head. I was grateful no one was home or hurt. I was sad for the kids who lost the majority of their possessions. I was curious how my trauma affected children would react to this traumatic event. I was fearful, worried and a huge ball of emotions. We dealt with the insurance company the best we could on a Friday afternoon and tried to go back to as much normalcy as we possibly could that weekend.

To be continued.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I did it!

I finished booty camp and lived to tell about it. That night (Sunday) I received the call inviting me into the league. I am now a Roller Betty! The league has 3 teams plus a traveling team. They will have a draft in early November so I should know if I make a team in a few weeks! If I don't, there is a pool they use to pull subs when there are injured players or what not.

After Sunday's skill and endurance test, I realized how out of shape I am. I'm actually probably more fit that I have been in a few years, but attending 2-3 practices a week will be tough physically. I need to get in better shape fast!! Squats are my new love{hate}.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


S's surgery was a success! At least we hope so. He was done after an hour and a half instead of the four hours the surgeon told us. They didn't need to do a huge incision from ear to ear. That was a huge blessing!! He was home less than 24 hours after surgery and had been himself ever since. He has been home from preschool and has limited activities though. He also has a bumpy rash on his skin we think may be an allergic reaction to his medication. And last night we noticed his incision on his nose is more red. we will keep a watchful eye on it.

I have a new job as the marketing and events coordinator for our local crisis pregnancy center. I love it!

Because of S and my new job, we are not going to be able to go to Miami for the half marathon. That and we aren't even close to raising the required money by the the end of this month. It's ok though, because we had a great time training, raised over $700 for the Spina Bifida Association, and when things settle we will run in a local race (most likely a 5k). Thank you for your donations and support!

Friday, September 14, 2012


On Tuesday morning S is having a big surgery at the children's hospital. Check in time is 10:40 am pacific time. Please send prayers!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's today!

I'm really excited for this day. It's the first day of Bellingham Roller Betties Booty Camp. Basically it is tryouts for skaters and training . I heard that many people who go have very limited experience on skates, so that makes me feel better!

Then immediately after that is the benefit concert at Boundary Bay Brewery from 8-10. I have been putting together raffle prizes and collecting donations from local businesses. We have some great ones.

Please pray for no rain and a successful event for the Spina Bifida Association.

After being up all night with a fussy foster baby, I think I will go for a run.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things from the beach

Playing around with my camera. 
I'm still learning, and feel like I need much more practice, 
but here are some fun things I found on the beach a few weeks ago.

This is what most of our beaches are like. I would love more sand.

I have no clue what this pin is for, but it was stuck in some driftwood.

Benefit Concert this Sunday

We are so excited to be hosting a concert!
Please read this post for more information and come see us!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Most people don't understand attachment issues that go along with adoption. But I want to vent and hope you might imagine how this would make you feel as a mother.

You decide to adopt and work diligently for several years to make it possible. You travel to Haiti several times and meet your future son. He appears to be charming, loving and cuddly and according to his caregivers, he is. You wait and pray, hoping for him to come home to you quickly. The day finally comes and you greet him at the airport. In a matter of minutes the dream reunion is shattered as your son wants nothing to do with you, and will barely make eye contact.

Years pass and you take your son to specialists and therapists. You hope for some sort of reason for his odd behavior. He struggles in school and more people are involved with finding some diagnoses. No real explanation is found. Your son doesn't want anything to do with you unless it involves food or wanting negative attention. He acts like it's torturous to cuddle or give hugs, yet will curl up with anyone else. He is passive aggressive and only shows one genuine emotion, anger. The other ones are fake or mimicked to get by in life or gain control. He struggles socially and emotionally as well as developmentally. He pushes further away and his anger grows as he gets disciplined for his behaviors such as stealing, lying, hitting and being defiant. He annoys most everyone except those who don't know him well.

These are the things I have been struggling with since E has been home. I feel defeated. It's even more frustrating that therapists who deal with attachment and RAD are few and far between in our area. We found one but she doesn't take our medical insurance. Ugh. Thanks for listening.

sweet girl

We have loved having M. in our home for a little over a week.  Everyone has been so helpful to make her happy. She is doing great and is a bright light in our lives already. 

family reunion campout

Random pics of my family reunion at Cama Beach State Park last weekend.

 Building a model airplane...

fun times on the beach!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I love this

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012


A foster baby is coming for another visit tonight! We are so excited to welcome this little one into our home. She is super sweet and babies are alway so much fun.  The plan is for her to stay on Sunday afternoon.  She has had a few visits to get her used to our home and family and have a more comfortable transition, a luxury few foster children have.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I have been feeling like many times I try to step out of my zone and do something new and challenging, I get shot down by others.  Why is that?  Are they just trying to be realistic and helpful? Are they jealous of my attempt at success? Are they just Negative Nellies? What gives?  Even when I was in high school I remember this happening to me, wanting to apply to a university yet being pushed in another direction because my grades and SAT scores were only average.

So I come to my point...roller derby. I would like to become a skater, but comments from well meaning people have me on the edge. "Isn't it dangerous?" "Those people are tough!" "That requires a lot of time commitment.", etc. I am sure these are valid points. So when do you know to follow the desires of your heart and go for it vs. listen to suggestions/warnings from others?

I did a pros/cons list with J. last night while talking in bed. They both are about even. I think my biggest fear is devoting so much time, money and effort into it only to discover I don't really enjoy it. I do know that I love being amongst the atmosphere at the practices and bouts. I have met some really great people in derby. Skating is a wonderful form of exercise. J is supporting me 100%. So I guess I have some praying to do about it and hopefully a clear answer will come. If I don't try out as a skater, I will of course remain involved as a non-skating or even possibly a skating official.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Baby Goats

Our family had a blast at the end of roller derby DEA barbecue. 
We were lured there by Kamarie and speak of baby goats and chicks at the farm.

We  had to check out these goats and babies as soon as we arrived.

E. liked watering the crops.


We all got to eat fruit and veggies off the plants!

Miss Lori brought cake, gave piggy back rides and played on the tree swing. 
She is now E. and S.'s favorite person in the world
We even got to wear cool hats to protect our tender heads from the sun.

 And we played a fun game, no one really agreed on the name. 
The most family friendly name is ladder ball.