Monday, June 22, 2015


Where in the world have I been???
What have I been doing???
I've taken blogging breaks before, but never one this extended.

Too much has been happening for me to stop, think and write...some good...some bad and some just unbelievable!

First.. I have found a new book series I am absolutely IN LOVE with!! It's the Coffehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle. 
Oh man.. I cannot put her books down. This is not the style book I ever read, but I love all things coffee and I thought I'd give it a try. 
I am so glad I did. I make sure to have a new one in the mail before I finish the one I'm reading. 
The extra bonus you get from reading her books are her recipes. The stories are filled with brewing and roasting details one probably has never even heard of but it also features some really great recipes...and they are all found at the end of the book! 
You can also find them on her website,

I also enjoyed my last good burger. On Valentines Day Lena and I went to Le Peep and had the absolute best hamburger I have ever eaten in my life. 
Hands down...the best!
Emil and I often eat there for breakfast but have never gone late enough to have lunch.
It was really, really good! 
So, why was it "my last good burger"?
Because on March 2, 2015, I began a new life.
After ten years of back and forth, deciding and questioning, weighing the pros and cons, Emil and I decided to have weight loss surgery.
We both had the Gastric Sleeve. Our surgeries were performed by Dr. John Pilcher...he is amazing!
There are many reasons why a person may choose to have this surgery. Our reasons had nothing to do with vanity.
I was VERY near to 300 pounds and Emil was knocking at it's door. When I got to the point that I wasn't able to tie my shoes, I knew something had to be done. It's not that I enjoyed my size or I was too lazy to do anything about it.
I loved exercising, but my neck injury made everything hard. I hurt all..the...time.
It if was rainy, I hurt. If it was cold, I hurt. If I moved my left side to much, I hurt. If I tried to sweep/mop/wash dishes/wash clothes, I hurt. I basically just hurt..and could nothing about it.
And the weight piled on.
This picture is me as I started my pre-surgery diet the week before surgery. 

Emil was having so many health issues. I knew if I didn't get him this surgery fast, I wouldn't have him long. We are both too young to be in that condition. 
This is me in the middle of my pre-surgery diet. I had lost around 10 pounds here. I think cutting out Starbucks alone assisted with my pre-surgery weight loss. 
I lost a total of 15 pounds on my pre-surgery diet. I think you can really tell it in my face here.  

The surgery has made both Emil and me so much more active. I feel like we have a life now. This picture is Emil 4 or 5 days after his surgery. He was walking more that day than he had in years...honestly. 
This is me almost two weeks out.
I will not say this has been easy. Quite the opposite. No one tells you what you're really signing up for. You are told what you're new stomach will be shaped like and how you should eat once you're healed but they don't tell you what large part of this surgery is mental. For so long one comes to understand that to finish a meal is to clean one's plate. With the Gastric Sleeve that is just physically not possible. You eat until you are full...and you have to learn what "full" is. Believe me, you learn pretty quick. You have to distinguish what is hunger and what is boredom and what is emotional, etc.
This surgery is simply a tool. A tool that you can use to your advantage or a tool you can throw to the side after you had some success and resume your old ways. 
The way I see it, we went through a major surgery, we altered our insides...but we now are more active, eat so much more healthy and have learned how to eat, when to eat and what to eat. Eating used to be the thing I looked forward to...I was planning lunch and dinner while I was eating breakfast.
Eating is now a chore for me.
Something I have to do...often, something I have to remember to do.

My oldest daughter has made some very big life decisions. I won't go into detail now but as a parent, one can only hope that you've equipped your child with knowledge and skill and common sense to make wise decisions and know when to ask for help if needed. We may not agree on all of her decisions, but just like with anything else in can let it wear you down or you make the best of the situation. We are making the best of the situation. It's not always easy...but it's life. It's how we handle it that determines the outcome. 
On a lighter side note, I won Coffee Break With Dani's Pixi make up giveaway. I love this palette. I love all of Pixi's products. Some can be a bit pricey, so to win this was fun, fun, fun! 
Before I went to work after my surgery, Lena and I went to see the new Cinderella movie. I loved it!! It was cheesy in parts and occasionally I silently begged the movie to get to the point, but the costumes were amazing and it was really cute movie. 
The girls and I also visited the Alamo before I went back to work. I knew I wouldn't have any time off once I was back, so we tried to get in as much as we could the last few days. 
We walked around downtown, visited cute little shops, walked around the Alamo and then did the Ripley's House of Mirrors.  

A new park opened up not too far from our house and Emil and I have been going and walking there almost daily. It's so refreshing not only for our bodies but also for our minds! There are little bunnies that hop out. We've seen deer, spiders, bunnies, all types of birds and even a wolf. 
To date I am 3.5 months out from surgery and have lost 60 pounds. I cannot tell you enough how wonderful this surgery has been and how it's changed my life. I actually enjoy shopping for clothes now. 
I try not to buy too much because it won't fit for long. 
I fell in love with the royal blue color of this tunic. 
I wore it twice.
Now it's in a pile for eBay. It's just too big to wear!
This side by side comparison is me on the left the day I started my pre-surgery diet at 285 and on the right I am down 50 pounds. 
I really think all the walking helped kick start our weight loss too. My Papa Bear couldn't walk from our house to the mail box (about 10 houses) with out sweating and being completely out of breath. Now when we go to the park we walk about 4-6 miles each time.

We've had an abnormally wet, rainy spring. It's summer now and we've had rain and flash flood warnings. The plants and trees and the grass love it, but it makes for a muddy yard and breeds mosquitoes. And Texas has lost many people in these floods. It's really very sad. 
Back to a happier note... I bought a pair of shorts...and I have worn them!! This was HUGE for me. I haven't worn shorts in years. This pair here is actually getting too big for me. I don't even have to unbutton them to pull them up and down. 
And last but not least, I cut nine inches off of my hair. I have been wanting to cut it for a while. My hair was getting too long and heavy and I really didn't know what to do with it. 
With my surgery, it's a possibility you will lose hair and the doctor said it's not as noticeable on shorter hair. 
That was my excuse.
And I am certainly losing hair. I am scared every time I take a shower. Thankfully not bald spots yet, but I think it's only a matter of time. They say if you have a good protein intake it doesn't happen. Then I hear it's part of the healing process.
Who long as it grows back I'll be ok.
I didn't have that much hair to begin with!!
Alot of this post is/was about my weight loss, Gastric Sleeve, surgery. It's a major part of my life. It's changed my life and I have so much to say about it.
While it was hard at first and the first two weeks I think I thought I had made a mistake, I can now say it was the best decision I ever made. I wish I had done it ten years ago.
It's better later than never. 
I don't regret it one bit!


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