The Elephant in the room..

Let me start off by saying, I feel terribly sad for the families that lost a loved one and the sweet souls that will have to live with this night of terror their whole lives.

I’m not a gun owner nor do I ever want a gun in my home. I’ve lost my father and many people who have taken their own lives with a gun. I do not care if you own a gun or don’t own one. If you are trained and know how to handle a gun that is a bonus. If you don’t know anything about them and own a gun, please take some classes at your local gun range. It’s not just for safety but for others around you as well.

Thoughts and Prayers are all well intended but these will not bring back loved ones lost or bring the terrified injured ones any relief.

Policy and Change is what people have been saying we need.

How do we enact changes? Do we call our state representatives? Do we start a petition? Do we donate to the many groups striving for gun law change? I’m truly not sure anymore because it doesn’t seem that our law makers care one bit since this the the 307 mass shooting of the year..

We need more detailed background checks, passing gun safety classes when applying for gun ownership, be more vigilant on re-checking approved applicants, this process should be like when you have to renew your drivers license. You can’t drive a car without passing a test to obtain a license. It may be bothersome for some but if individuals want a gun then checks and balances should be in place in order to have one.

Also, we need to treat our veterans better as if these people have these issues, which are in no means a valid excuse, then we as a society need to find them the help they need.

We say check in with your friends to make sure they are doing okay with handling the traumas that are arising or just daily life may be getting them down. Our veterans need welfare checks too but our government doesn’t seem to know how to handle their care.

I don’t know how to watch the news and not cry every night when it’s always terrible nor do I have the answers to fix these issues. I don’t want to continue to see these stories and one it’s just numbness felt.

I do know this cannot become our normal. We need to break the pattern. I vow to do more research on how to make a change and hope you’ll join me in doing so.

Life after loss..

It’s been a little over two weeks since my Aunt passed away and I still don’t have the right words.

She was in the hospital for a good two weeks after having a major stroke, she had swelling of her brain that had started to release on its own, she was transferred from a private room back to ICU because she developed pneumonia. She wasn’t able to eat or drink on her own. She didn’t want a breathing or feeding tube.

I’ve had a sympathy card sitting on my table since the day after she passed to send to her husband, my sweet Uncle, but I just don’t know what else to say or really how to convey my words for his loss and mine as well.

We were not super close, we would send Christmas and birthday cards each year. This past July she had sent me photos of my father when he was younger, he passed away almost 28 years ago, and it included a picture of all of them during a holiday that made me miss my dad and being closer to his side of the family. Now a huge piece of that is gone and I’ll never know her stories first hand. I think that’s the most sad part to me. I didn’t take more time to really know her, ask her about her childhood, or adulthood times with my daddy.

I feel sadness for the loss but I haven’t cried. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we just kept on going on with life. It keeps moving forward with out our lost loved one. We don’t truly take the time to crack open our hearts to allow the sadness to ebb in while sitting in our grief and let all of the happiness for times we will always remember in as well to say our goodbyes.

To all that have lost a love one recently or even a long time ago, I hope you sit with your pain and happiness feelings with love and gratitude to have had them in your lives if only for a short while.

Tonight, I vow to myself to take the time to feel this pain and write out the card even if it is to say I’m at a loss for words but I’m sending you so much love.

Auntie, until we meet again. I love you so, hope you are dancing and singing with your Momma and my Papa.

Dear Vegas, Thank you but I’m still tired a week later..

My sissy and I drove to Vegas last Friday, after about a 5 hour drive, a few potty stops, we arrived at The Venetian to meet one of our other friends.

Hello luxury hotel with paintings on the ceilings, high end stores, yummy places to eat, ringing winning slot machines and the most beautiful room.

We checked in and strolled around while waiting for our other friend who arrived a bit later.

Four lovely ladies were welcomed to Las Vegas for our Best friends Weekend with a glorious 50 minute massage each. They gave us slippers and a robe which made me feel all fancy and we were all well rested after. Talk about loose muscles and Massage brain!

We had a quick bite to eat which wasn’t too hard to find gluten free, took a ride on the gondola and played some slots then headed off to bed well after 1am!

The next day was a day of more shopping, exploring the strip, long catch up chats followed by dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant! We met up with our long time guy bestie for a lovely birthday dinner celebration. It was so pretty sitting near the windows then heading up to the top of the tower to look out over the city.

We had more long time catch up chats, slot machine fun, shopping and strolling around. Of course another late night. I’m certain we did about 17,0000 steps!

Chocolate is a migraine trigger for me but you better believe I tried a small spoonful of that deliciousness right there!

My sissy and I drove home early Sunday morning so she could catch her flight back to her family.

I’m still feeling the highs and being a little slower in Las Vegas a week later.. I guess this is what it feels like to be almost forty! I took care of my myself and checked in with sissy to let her know when I got tired or felt like I needed a quick rest. My autoimmune disease may have hindered me slightly but that B didn’t win the weekend, I did!

xo

Thank you auto-immune disease for ruining my Saturday night…

I had the best intentions to set out on a an hour and a half trip down to southern Arizona to watch the sunset as we were driving and to see my friends band play.Β  We have a diabetic cat so we have to give him insulin twice a day so that was already planned for and we would have plenty of time to make it to the show. I could tell my emotions were starting to creep in. I wanted to go, I truly did as I miss my friends in the band a lot, I haven’t seen my them in over a year and three years had gone by before that but I also felt like I didn’t want to go. I thought of the drive, where the bathroom stops would be, the feeling of wanting to be spontaneous and surprise the band, the thoughts of what could we have for dinner, could I change my injection of my weekly medication to Sunday and still function at work on Monday. I felt tired too even though I only went grocery shopping and did one load of laundry. The time was ticking away and I was getting hungry but didn’t know what I wanted – well I did – I wanted nachos but didn’t want to go out or make them. I wanted peanut butter cookies too. My boyfriend offered to take me to dinner instead of us going to see my friends or to make nachos here at home, he found a quick peanut butter cookie recipe as well. But really nothing was making me feel any better and I just wanted to cry. The sudden emotions, mood changes and fatigue are truly the most annoying thing to me. We didn’t end up going anywhere, we watched some shows, I didn’t get my nachos but I can say the care my boyfriend put in to try and make me happy with the delicious cookies did make me feel a little better. I had to sleep off some of the emotions but still do feel bad I didn’t make it to see my friends.Β Still working on changing my mindset daily butΒ I know that I have to take each day as they come and try my best to enjoy the times I do make it to other events.

Also we made homemade nachos for lunch on Sunday and they were delicious! 🀀

Β 

August – the month of many ups and downs..

The month of August.. How I love but dislike you as well.

Thankfully most of these events did not happen in the same year.

I was married this month to a man who I thought was the love of my life, my entire world, my soulmate. These times were happier for sure. It’s a day I’ll remember as some of these precious souls that attended have moved on and I’ll cherish having them with us that day. πŸ‘°πŸ»πŸ’•πŸ€΅πŸ»

I had an interview for a job that I wasn’t sure I was going to get because I don’t interview well and am so quiet until you’ve gotten to know me but did get it! 10 years later and I’m still with the same company and have learned and continue to learn so much. 😁

Fast forward a few years; I found out my then husband was using drugs as I stumbled upon his “stash” in the garage. He had been lying or better said was hiding from me for 18 months of our marriage about this. I didn’t know what to think what else was he hiding? Could I trust him again? Did I even know what I wanted in life anymore? πŸ˜”πŸ’”

Although some symptoms started in May of 2011 – dropping things, tingling in my legs that moved up my body into my hands, stumbling and tripping on flat surface while walking to name a few. After blood tests, several doctors visits and an hour and half laying completely still to have an MRI completed – the official diagnosis of my autoimmune disease was confirmed. At the time I had no idea how my life was going to change. I still stumble, lose my balance, have brain fog, the tingling in my legs and feet at times is still there. I’m learning from it daily and will continue to live my best life. 🧑

My sweet daddy had a heart issue scare. I live in another state that is a 6-7 hours drive from my parents. I left as soon as I could and don’t know how but made it to them at the hospital within 4 1/2 hours. This scare immediately led to a quick fix and a major surgery scheduled. πŸ’” The week was a blur, I still remember the look on my daddy’s face though. This big strong man lying in a hospital bed with balloon pumps keeping his sweet loving heart beating. He was scared but was showered with so much love that he knew he’d be okay. He had a 4 vessel bypass and Mitral valve annuloplasty – repair to the heart valve, I am so thankfully I had my Momma and sister sitting by my side that week. He just had his 5 year checkup and all is well!! πŸŽ‰β€οΈ

Every year I try to look forward to the happy moments of the month, several birthdays for friends and family, the relief and grief of knowing what my body was/ is going though and to celebrate my Papi having a successful surgery. Changing my mindset and letting hurtful things of the past has been my goal this year. πŸ’–

The What if’s..

In life these days, the what if’s have been weighing on my mind and heart a lot lately…

What if I was still married to the man I was madly in love with 10 years ago?

What if we thought we made it and ended up resentful towards each other in a toxic marriage with children?

What if we would actually did make it through our huge dip in the road of our marriage?

Would we have been happy?

Would even I have a child or two?

What if I never moved to one of the hottest cities that had dreadfully long summers?

Would I have found out I have an auto-immune disease that is made more noticeable sometimes by heat?

Would I have met my friends now that are more like family?

Would my friendship back home flourished if I was closer to them all?

What if I never get married again?

What if it’s too late for me to have children?

Would I be who I am today?

What if, what if, what if..

I don’t know how life would of played out for my ex-husband and I at all. I don’t know if we could even have children together since we did try for awhile with no success. I don’t know who I’d be, I fear I’d be a sad, depressed wife with children trying to make my life work.

I’m not sure why I’m reviewing the old times and the what if’s of my life from the past and present.. Maybe I’m just wondering because a big birthday milestone is approaching or it’s time to let it go and just be at peace where my life has landed me.

What if all I have been through has shown me, I’m a woman who can handle her own issues that arise, I’m strong, stubborn even at times, determined to live the life I have made for myself and enjoy the love that I have in my life that has never been something I have ever experienced.

This man I love today is my rock, keeps me grounded, the one who came along at the right time in life who is caring, kind, sweet, takes care of me when I’m sick, funny and most of all the most loving man I have ever met.

So what if all you’ve been worried about all of this time is for nothing? All that you feared or are fearing is bringing you to your best life?! Go ahead re-evaluate your life to to see how far you’ve come and if you are living your life to your fullest. But don’t you dare live in the what if’s that could of been or may have happen. Love your life and live it to your best abilities.

Transformation And GratiTuesday

It’s the last day of the month and a Tuesday.. What better day to share a transformation and my gratitude for the changes that have been happening over the last 3-5 years, maybe longer subconsciously.

My first few months in Arizona.. hello chipmunk cheeks..

Lunch date with some friends

In March 2015, I decided the time was now to change..

I chose BeachBody 21 Day Fix for the portion control containers, 30 minute workouts, Shakeology benefits and the mindset to set a new habit takes 21 days.

One month after starting BeachBody 21 Day Fix on our Hawaii vacation.

Round 2 or maybe even Round 3 Of 21 Day Fix.

I was inconsistent with workouts but kept going with trying to better myself with other BeachBody programs, eating clean and then 80 Day Obsession came along. 6 days a week with 35-60 minutes Workouts, Timed-nutrition, self-care tips to help you not only look your best, but also feel your best physically and mentally! I’m in!!

The start of BeachBody 80 Day Obsession. Day 1!

End of Phase 1 – BeachBody – 80 Day Obsession.

End of Phase 2 – BeachBody – 80 Day Obsession.

End of Phase 3 – BeachBody – 80 Day Obsession.

Here, I was so happy and still crying because I stuck to the program and finished strong!

Hi baby abs!!!

I started it all over again in June.

I haven’t been as consistent with the workouts but my nutrition has been better than it’s been in years!

Results from 3/5/2015 – 6/4/2018.

I’ve not only lost weight, inches but have changed my entire mindset to food, workouts and self-care. Thank you body, mind, spirit, santa, the universe and of course sweet Autumn Calabrese for helping me live my best life!