Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ponderings - with pictures!

I know some of these I'd already posted on Facebook, but thought I'd actually get around to providing a few pics of real life at our house :)
  • Earlier this month, Hermine was a little tropical depression that we weren't paying much attention to - and then overnight it worked its way up to Hurricane Status. We pretty much had a direct hit from Alex back in July, but no "real" damage on our property. Well, Hermine left her mark by taking a tree down in our backyard, landing less than a foot from a large window. So thankful that it didn't damage our house - and also praising God because it was a tree we wanted to take down anyway, and this method is much cheaper ;)
  • I'm still missing many things about Pennsylvania, including the hydrangeas planted all along the back of the house. I broke down and actually bought some fresh ones a couple weeks ago, and now have this dried one hanging in my kitchen.
  • Our daughter is fully recovered, and thankfully no one else got sick. The day that she was home from school (and was up in her room playing Polly Pockets) she decided that her hair really should be more lustrous, so found some Vaseline (which I didn't even know we had!) and proceeded to add it to her hair. Shiny? Yes. Attractive? Not so much. I googled for the best solution, and most sites suggested using cornstarch. It took several treatments, but her hair is back to normal now.
  • I'm so thankful to have a handy hubby! I have a closet (past my laundry hallway) that I use for extra food storage. The shelves were quite far apart, though, so I would stack things up, they'd fall over, I'd get frustrated when I couldn't find something so would just buy another can/bag of whatever even though I *knew* I had it somewhere. Well, this past weekend we emptied it all out and he added extra shelves for me! Hooray! It's really full right now (but hey, that just means less to buy in the next month or two!) but it feels so great to have it organized.
  • Piles. I hate 'em. This is what my kitchen table looked like last night. There were the few remaining items to be put away, combined with fliers, school info, bills to be paid, etc. Organization is such a struggle for me, and I know all the shtuff stresses me out. I'm trying very hard to reduce the flow coming into the house (removing our name from mailing lists and really thinking about purchases rather than impulsively throwing things into the cart, for starters) but there's no way I can stop it all. Continuing to struggle in this area, but making progress.
  • Lastly, this is my snazzy new polish. Nope, it wasn't an impulse buy - it was my celebration for losing 10 pounds! (much better choice than ice cream, LOL) Silly, yes, but my toenails now project a bit of sassiness... and well, it was on sale AND I had a coupon :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Household Happenings

Daughter is home from school today. She picked up a stomach bug and I'm now praying that no one else is "blessed" with it (although it would probably be helpful with my weight loss, LOL) She is disappointed to be missing school - a very different reaction than her brother would have had, I assure you. Speaking of him, he's had a rough couple weeks due to his behavior at school. Would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom as to how to handle that issue - we keep trying different things and so far haven't found anything particularly effective.

I went back to the doctor yesterday to follow up on my knee situation (now that the heart issues have all been addressed...) It's actually doing much better now, so at this point I'm choosing not to have an MRI or anything else done; I've had quite enough tests done for awhile, thankyouverymuch. It's still bothering me a bit, but I've been able to do some low impact exercises, and I know that strengthening it - plus losing weight - will help greatly.

Speaking of losing weight, I'm still doing it :) I'm using and am loving all the tracking tools. I really like that I can go beyond just calories to recommended ranges of carbs, protein, fat, etc. I felt like that was one aspect where Weight Watchers fell short, and I get downright giddy over a week's graph where I can see that I stayed in my ranges on everything. Yeehaw! And I've also been surprised on a few things - most notably sodium. I don't add salt when I cook, and generally don't use a lot of convenience foods. Well, let's just say that I was well over 2,000 mg daily (usual recommendation is that the gen population doesn't go over 2,300 and those with high BP stay under 1,500 - my doc said 2,000 is fine for me). A single meal out or a processed meal and I was pretty much done for the day (canned soup and those freezer meals are ridiculous!) Anyway, I'm doing much better now, and it's really forcing me to truly cook from scratch, which is obviously healthier in many ways. And while I have been spending a bit more on some foods, overall spending on groceries is actually down.

An even bigger part of the "self-improvement" journey, though, has been focusing on my relationship with Christ. I had let my commitment to daily prayer & Bible study slip, and have been really re-energized by digging into the Word. God is *so* Good!! Additionally, we've been getting more connected in the church, which again has been such a blessing. I'll be helping with the kids on Sunday - pray for them as well as me! :) And seriously, I truly would ask for prayer. I feel like I'm lacking wisdom in so many areas of life, specifically in my roles of being a wife, mother & friend. When should I offer advice, and when do I just need to keep my mouth closed?

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life
Proverbs 3:5-8, The Message
(I know I usually stopped at verse 6 or 7 in the passage - I'm now loving vs 8, too!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taking a look into my heart...

Oh, the stories I could tell! ;) I know things have been pretty quiet here on the blog, and there have been all sorts of reasons, some of them fairly dramatic.

Back on August 23 (first day of school!) I had scheduled a doctor appointment for myself, specifically to check out a sore knee. While there, my pulse & blood presure were both high - I knew that life had been exceptionally crazy and I didn't think much of it. The doctor was concerned and we did an EKG. After confirming that I was *not* having a heart attack, I was told to monitor my BP for a week, plus come back for a follow-up EKG. Did so, and there was a minor irregularity; the doctor recommended that I have an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound). My first thought was, "Wow, I'm sure thankful that we have good insurance so we don't have to pay for all this!" Obviously, I was not overly concerned. Anyway, I had the test done, and received a call from my doctor on Friday, Sept 3. There was an abnormality with my aorta that could potentially lead to aortic dissection; I would need need a CT scan to get a better look at my heart.

I was still relatively calm after talking to my doctor... until I googled aortic dissection. I then sat in front of my computer sobbing. I called my hubby and couldn't even get a complete sentence out. I tried to pray and just kept breaking down. I grabbed my Bible, and looked up "broken hearted" in the concordance. Read a lot from Psalms. Calmed down and just keep praying. On a "perfect God timing" note, the Bible study that I had started the prior week had run out of books and the shipment was late. I had picked up my book late on Thursday afternoon and had planned to start reading that night, but it didn't happen. On Friday afternoon, I pulled out my book and started reading:

"No matter how strong our bodies, minds and emotions may appear, unless we have spiritual tenacity and resolve, we will not be able to run the course God has laid out before us... It is one thing to say that Christ has first place in our life; it is quite another to put those words into practice... During this week, we are going to learn more about Jesus, the One who is altogether faithful and completely worthy of our trust."

The scripture reading was from Colossians 1 - verse 17 in particular jumped out at me: He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Amen! Anyway, it was a very emotional weekend. I just kept praying and reading Scripture and trying really hard not to think about the logistics of recovering from heart surgery or motherless children. Sunday morning, the chorus to the last song had the line, "What would You do with my heart?" and it was such a challenge to me - Was I truly letting Him have it all?!

I had the CT on Wednesday, and then had to wait to hear results... Finally received the call on Friday morning, and the doctor let me know that everything was fine. I don't know if there was a mistake on the echo or if I've experienced miraculous healing, but I do know that God is in control of it all. And while I *know* this, the events of the past few weeks have provided a very vivid lesson that I pray I do not easily forget. I'm excited to continue the Bible study and see what other lessons God has in store for me.

And on another note, I have lost 6 pounds in the last 2 1/2 weeks!! Let me tell you, committing to eat healthier has been a challenge, and it's only through HIM that I was able to get through the past week without inhaling every food in our house...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Funny

Ran across this through a friend of a friend on Facebook, and I thought it was too funny not to share