2.28.2006

Hope revisited

As many of you know, I have Lupus. Usually most people have no idea what that is or they only know of a friend of a friend that had it. So I'll take a few minutes to explain the basics. Normally our bodies make antibodies to fight off foreign invaders like infections. Antibodies are BEAUTIFUL things! Without them we would all die very quickly. Well, when you have Lupus your body makes antibodies against itself. Basically you develop an immune reaction against yourself, your own cells, organs, etc. And so any time that you get your immune system in an uproar, not only will your immune system be fighting off the other infection but you will be doing damage to your own body as well. Infections, stress, going in the sun (your immune system kicks in to protect your skin). This is why I am perpetually a beautiful shade of "porcelain". LOL Oh who am I kidding? My kids say I'm so white that I could glow in the dark. haha Darren calls me human bleach. :)

No one has ever been able to figure out where it comes from. They know it's not contagious. They think it might be hereditary...but still can't prove it. No one else in my family has it. I have my own theories, but of course I can't prove them. I am notorious for being way too hard on myself. I am my own worst enemy alot of the time. Well, I think my body just picked up the hint. That's a terribly oversimplified version of my theory, but you get my point.

As far as symptoms go.... most of the time it just makes me extremely tired. Fatigue is a big issue with me, so is achey joints. You have all of the pain of arthritis ("arthralgia") without the crippling effects of arthritis. I've also had some heart problems because of it. Pericarditis, congestive heart failure. I've been blessed and protected to not ever have any kidney involvement....if someone is going to die from lupus, it will usually be because of kidney problems.

I was diagnosed in 1992 right after my 19th birthday. Courtney was only a couple of months old. Originally they thought that I had a DVT (blood clot in my leg) brought on from my birthcontrol pills (I was having horrible pain in my leg/knee). By the time they figured out that it was really because I had lupus and let me go back on birthcontrol Courtney was five months old and I was pregnant with Darren. (OOPS! lol) My lupus was the worst it had ever been (and until now has ever been) right then. They ended up having to induce my labor a little early with Darren because I was "flaring" so bad that they needed to get the baby out so they could get me some medicine. After that they "suggested" I not have kids. Well, in my typical stubborn/pollyanna style I went and had two more and they are perfect. :)

Over the years I have for the most part been in remission. A few flares here and there but nothing too terrible. The last year has been tough though. And recently I've had a really hard time. As most of you know, last month I had mono. I had a really rough time of it...was really sick. My CHF (congestive heart failure) came back a little bit too. I knew that my lupus was flaring but I had no idea how bad. My dr. drew my blood and when my labs came back my ANA was really, really high. ANA stands for "antinuclear antibodies"....antibodies against your own nucleus and dna. The way that they figure out the level is that they take a drop of your blood and dilute it. Then they see if there are any of your antibodies in that diluted drop. They do that over and over again until they don't find anymore antibodies. The more antibodies, the more times they'll have to dilute it. In most people this level is zero or very low (most people don't have these and they won't have to dilute it at all). When I was diagnosed my level was three hundred and something. Last year when I was REALLY sick it was in the seven hundreds. Well, a few weeks ago when my blood was drawn my ANA was 1280. Very high. I knew this and my doctor knew this. I just don't think we realized how high it really was.

The one night at work I was talking to one of the night owl doctors who come through. I typically don't have a very high opinion of doctors...I think most of them are lazy & arrogant. But this doctor is BRILLIANT. He is very generous and never misses a teaching opportunity. Every time I see him I learn something. He challenges me and makes me think. And he knows his stuff. I trust him and respect him.... a pretty big deal for me to say about a doctor! lol He is a renal doctor (kidney) and so he deals with end-stage lupus patients all the time after they've gone into kidney failure. I asked him as a lupus patient what I should do to be safeguarding my kidneys, etc. And he was telling me. Then he mentioned monitoring my ana closely. I told him I had just gotten it checked the week before and it was high. He asked to see my labs and when I showed them to him he just stared at me for a moment. The mood of the moment suddenly turned from light conversation to heavy and somber. My friend Don was sitting with me (kind of like we were sitting at the feet of the master learning all we could) and when Dr. Miclat just stopped and stared gravely at me the seriousness of that moment wasn't lost on anyone. Don looked from the Dr. to me and I could see a tear in his eyes. Dr Miclat said "do you realize how high this is? What are they doing about this?" When I told him that I had gone back on my prednisone but that nothing big was being done about it he interrupted me and dropped the bombshell that "you have very active lupus and if you want to safeguard your life and your organs I would strongly recommend 'pulse therapy using cytoxan' right away. (chemotherapy) At least once a month for six months IV at the Ireland Cancer Center." I felt like I had gotten punched in the gut. What? Are you serious? I was trying so hard to appear strong like it was no big deal....but it was written all over my face. He wrote it on a piece of paper and put his hand on my back and said "go home and look it up on the internet, then find a good rheumatologist to handle this for you." I thanked him and excused myself and started crying on my way down the hall. I can't be that sick. It can't be that serious. Don caught up with me. Normally I welcome comforting and hugs but not when I feel the need to be strong. Comforting and hugs only make it worse....they make me break down and cry. So I'm doing the "I'm fine, I just have to use the ladies room" routine. He knows me better than that of course (that's why I call him 'big daddy' don....he's like a father to me). But he gave me my space and let me get my composure. As the night went on however I started noticing something amazingly touching. I kept catching Don standing or sitting quietly next to me with his hand on me (my back, my arm, etc.).... it occurred to me that my friend was praying for me. My dear, dear friend....a friend who's battling cancer, working overtime, facing his own problems had immediately become a prayer warrior for me. Even now the tears are flowing when I think of it. The selflessness. The caring heart. The lifting up of someone you love when they are lost in the moment and can't lift themselves up (By the way, he's the one that pulled me from the waves of my depression last year too). The embodiment of Christ's quiet, gentle, unselfish love. It leaves me speechless. As we walked out to our cars the next morning I no longer had to be "strong". I wasn't in nurse mode anymore taking care of others needs. I no longer had to be professional. Now I was just Veronica. Usually strong, but sometimes not. And right now I was sad and scared. I stood in a cold February parking lot and let my friend hug me. And I cried a thousand tears. I then kissed him on the cheek and thanked him for being such a good friend and I drove home. I never did mention to him that I knew he was praying for me.... he would never want that kind of attention so he'd deny he did it anyways.

That was last Thursday night/Friday morning and since then I have talked to a few of my friends about it. And since then I have started moving out of the initial shock and into my typical "Veronica mode". lol I'm not sure if that mode is more strength or stupidity but whichever....that's where I am now. I just cannot believe that I am that sick! I refuse to believe that things will not work out just fine! I believe in happy endings and I have been through WAY TOO MUCH to let something like THIS kick my butt! I'm praying for miracles. My God is way bigger and stronger than THIS. And he has brought me through way bigger and badder giants than THIS. He has plans for me. I feel it. I know it. There's not a cell in my being that isn't aware of a bigger plan for me. It is not my destiny to be taken down by this....at least not now. So there HAS TO BE another explanation. I keep saying that I feel my labs had to be that elevated because of the mono. They HAD TO BE. I AM NOT GOING TO ACCEPT THAT I AM THAT SICK. If it turns out that I AM that sick.... then you know what? BRING IT ON! Chemo is no match for me! I'll take the chemo, I'll get well and then I'll move on to doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

I've said it a million times and I'll say it another million before I'm gone...... I believe in happy endings..... and if I'm not meeting the devil head-on then I must be going the same direction! So this is just the newest round of missiles and arrows that Satan can find to sling at me. Game on! BECAUSE I'M NOT TELLING MY GOD HOW BIG MY STORM IS............I'M TELLING THE STORM HOW BIG MY GOD IS!!!!!!!!!!

2.27.2006

We're off to see the blizzard



Ahhhhhh the joys of living in northern Ohio during the winter. The blistering cold wind, freezing temperatures, snow-storms, lake-effect snow.... you get the hint. Sunday night/Monday morning sometime it started snowing and dumped all over us. And even though it has quit snowing now, the freezing cold temperatures have kept everything so frozen solid that it has made everything miserable.....and dangerous. On the way to work yesterday I passed several cars in ditches and one flipped over on it's roof. Then this morning I was trying to get on the highway and cars were driving back down the entrance ramp because there were a couple of accidents up there and traffic was backed up as far as the eye could see. My car doors were even frozen shut when I came out of work this morning, I had to pry them open.

Man am I ready for spring!!!!

when hope turns to mercy

Last night was one of the busiest/most trying nights I've had in quite a while. I think I've had nights that were more irritating (people ringing call bells or climbing out of bed, etc.), but last night was trying emotionally and mentally. On top of all the "normal" busy stuff, I had a patient going "bad" and I really had to work hard all night long to literally save her life. I would never say anything like that to look for glory, but only to share what I've been going through.

Walking into work and having dayshift meet you at the desk saying "oh so and so is really bad....you're going to have to take them. And they're probably not going to make it very long" is never a good way to start. Instant stress. And last night was probably the hardest I've had to fight in a long time to save someone.... and to top it off she was someone that has been on our floor for about 3 weeks or so and we've all gotten attached to her. She has MULTIPLE things going on and yesterday she started bleeding to death. Out of every orifice. Choking, gurgling. Believe me, it was even worse than it sounds on here. This was a patient that I worried and stressed about. Worked HARD on. No one expected her to live through the night. Not the Dr., not the nursing staff. And yet she's still there. I know that I can only do what I can do to help her and that God is in ultimate control....but I did my part. The part that made it the hardest on me though was the family. Not all of them, but one or two in particular. They were so adamant that everything was done for this poor woman....not because it was her wish, but because I think that they felt it was showing their loyalty and devotion if they did. And on top of that....they were so critical of everything I did! They would stand there with their arms crossed and glare at my every move. They seemed to be the type of people that were just waiting and watching for a reason for a lawsuit. Sooooooooo critical. And so ungrateful. So many times I was on the verge of tears because I was so worried for her and was doing everything I could and yet there they were..... glaring at me. Always acting as if it weren't enough. A couple of times I just wanted to say to them "don't you know that when I go home today that I will be wearing her......she's in my skin today..... every cell of my being has been invested in her....she is part of me now..... and you don't even appreciate it or get it." And most of the time I wanted to say to them, "I know that you love her and that you want what's best for her, so why won't you just let her go?????"

AT WHAT POINT SHOULD HOPE TURN TO MERCY???

At what point should you take your eyes off of yourself and your wishes and turn them to the person who is actually doing the suffering??? I understand that you want her with you. I understand that you love her. I understand that your heart will break when she is gone. But when will you allow your hope turn to mercy and allow her to be in peace??? I know she doesn't want to be there. She just wants to go home.... in more ways than one. Before I left some of the family took me aside and thanked me for working so hard for them. Another took me aside and asked me for the truth.... "She's not going to get better is she?" And I had to look her in the eyes and say "no. probably not." And then we talked about hospice. I wonder if she'll be there tonight when I go in. As I was leaving for the day the one son who had given me the most trouble all night actually softened a little. It was a shift that would've probably only been perceptable to me.... but I felt it. Perhaps mercy is finally settling in.

2.26.2006

The best weekend ever

This was one of the best weekends I can remember.... EVER. This is gonna be short and sweet because I was supposed to be in the shower for work 10 minutes ago. :) I left town Friday evening to go meet Tim... and as you've all read, that went GREAT! :) So then when I arrived at Allison's it was time for girls weekend! :) Originally the plan was to have people over and play games and order chinese food. But since her furnace broke and there were other "issues" (aka tiffany's stinky butt problem lol) we were forced to change plans.

Megan picked me up and we decided to go out to eat. We ended up at the Olive Garden (love it there!). We got there before anyone else and so we waited for them in the bar. Since I wasn't driving and didn't have any kids with me.... hey, why not??? :) So a few drinks and one appetizer later we were seated and then all of my girls started showing up.

There is nothing in this world like girlfriends. We need each other... and it's when people lose sight of the fact that they need their girlfriends that they are headed for trouble! I love round dining tables.... I think every restaurant and every home should have them. As you sit around the table you can see everyone, you can talk to everyone...it's perfect.

So, as I sat around this table with my girlfriends I was able to look at and appreciate each and every one of them. We are all so different...in looks, experiences and personalities. But it's great the way that God has brought us together and blessed us in spite of our differences. We laughed, cried.... it was "hehehe, too damn funny". ;) And I got my dinner for free! YAY ME! :)

After dinner, we went to see Madea's family reunion. I LOOOOOOOOOOVE TYLER PERRY!!! Love, love, love, love, love. I've seen all of his plays...which are much better than the movies by the way. We had a great time, in spite of the idiots sitting around us that wouldn't be quiet.

When I left Soapies house Sunday evening everything had been so great and perfect that weekend that I couldn't resist stopping to see Tim on my way home.........just as fantastic as on Friday. :)

It's amazing how just a few days away with people that mean so much to me can refresh my spirit this much.

2.24.2006

Two peas in a pod


Meeting people online has never been my "thing". It seems that every guy I meet is nothing but a nasty perv. I even had to quit playing yahoo gin because I couldn't even get in a couple of hands before I started getting hit on and having naked pictures sent to me. Pathetic! I usually avoid talking to new guys at all costs because of it. So it's really intersting to me that several months ago I met someone online that I felt immediately comfortable with. :)

I actually contacted Tim first because of a situation with his 360 page that was kind of funny and we started chatting that night and haven't stopped since... that was five months or so ago. I was immediately comfortable with him....something that never happens to me online. I always have my guard up to protect myself from the idiots I mentioned earlier, but there was a natural ease between us that I can't explain. We have so much in common that it's kind of eerie. We are "peas in a pod" in almost every situation. Our likes/dislikes, our beliefs about family and child-rearing..... just about everything we've come across so far. He has such a masculine yet gentle way about him. He is chivalrous and kind. Smart and funny. I just can't think of anything that doesn't impress me about him. The only thing I might change about him is his address. lol He lives about an hour and 45 minutes from me.

We had actually gotten to the point where we were both intersted in meeting each other..... and we finally got to yesterday! On the way to Soapies house for the weekend I drove to his house first and let me tell you....I'm every bit as impressed with him in person as I have been online and on the phone. We went to dinner and then breakfast after we stayed up all night long talking and talking and getting to know each other. It was a really great night and I think I have a perma-smile on my face today. :) It's been a long time since I've felt like this and it feels good. It's time. And I'm ready. :)

2.22.2006

Mama Kristen


Kristin and I became instant best friends when she was a new nurse on our floor. She was so crazy and funny...she cracked me up! She was one of the few people that I know that could keep up with me....actually, she showed me up alot of the time! LOL She's so funny. This is a picture of me, Kristin & her husband Donny at my last Christmas party.

Over the last year or so we've grown slightly more distant simply because she was planning her wedding and things were busy in her life. Through all of that though we were not quite as close as we used to be, she still remains one of my dearest friends..... there for me through thick and thin. She's my partner in crime! LOL If there's something crazy I want to try, or she wants to try...we know that the other one will be willing to go along with it. She's the reason that last year I had BLUE highlights in my hair! LOL Because we both thought it would look great with my dark hair (and let me just say.... IT DID!). :) She's just as impulsive as me which is why we always end up with hair extensions or throwing a big spur of the moment party. She's the best. She's also the best though because she always comes running when I need her. Always calls to tell me she misses me. The morning of my dad's funeral she showed up at my house bright and early with flowers and was worried about me driving myself. She sat right next to me the whole day, holding my hand and handing me tissues. She drove me to the cemetary and held me while I cried over my fathers grave.

She is one of the most sincere, authentic people that I know.... and I adore her. She is my "Special-K", and today I got a phone call from her that thrilled my heart so much. KRISTIN IS GOING TO BE A MOMMA!!!!! There's nothing like hearing that one of your closest friends is pregnant and I'm so excited for her! I have the feeling that hers is just the beginning of a big baby boom to come among some of my friends.... GO TY AND MEGAN!!! :)

2.21.2006

Insomnia volume 3,487,595,595


Surprise, surprise. It's 5:03 am and I can't sleep. I decided not to take an ambien tonight just because I hate pills and am so stubborn that I'm my own worst enemy. So tonight I am in the ambien-free zone and am paying the price for it. What is it that keeps me awake? Hour after hour? I mean I have a great bed...... I HEART MY BED!!! lol It is one of the few things in my life that I can say I spent an actual large sum of money on and have never regretted one penny. I have a very peaceful bedroom. My stress level really is at an all-time low right now (in the grand scheme of things anyways). I'm not really all that physically miserable...a little achey, but not too bad. I should be able to sleep.

When I realized I wasn't going to be getting too sleepy I turned off the music and the monitor and all the lights. I decided I was going to lay in the dark and just GO TO SLEEP. I was laying down the law. Well, that just lets my brain take over! lol I lay there and my mind goes crazy thinking about EVERYTHING under the sun. I can plan vacations, decorate rooms, plan outfits, decide what I'm going to say to people and practice the conversation, make a to-do list, etc., etc, etc. There's no end. So what was my next brilliant idea? lol I decided to try and meditate myself to sleep. Just lay there and try my hardest to not think about anything. PSSSSHHHHHH YEAH RIGHT! hahahahahahahaha

"okay just let your mind go blank ........quiet...................................................................................................................'be still and know that he is God '(steven curtis chapman song starting in my head).....no, shhhhhhhhhh, relax........quiet.......you need to sleep. What time is it anyways? No, shhhhhhhhhh. Oh you should totally pack that one shirt for Allisons that you never wear, it's your favorite!"

So I pop up out of bed and run to my closet to dig out my favorite shirt and set it somewhere that I won't forget about it. Okay back to bed. Lights off.

"Okay, now you can settle down and go to sleep. Ahhhhhh, quiet. Let your mind go.....................................................................you know you should really go pee before you go to sleep, you know you'll just wake up in an hour to go."

Pop up and go to the bathroom. On the way back check the thermostat and make sure the little ones are covered up good. Grumble about their messy bedroom on my way back to my room. Back to bed.

"You've really got to quiet down now. Let it all go......think of peaceful darkness...... drifting off.............................................................................. Boy their room was messy! My parents are coming in three days, I'd better spend tomorrow cleaning! And shopping! I need a new bag to pack my clothes in. I wonder if I can find any jeans on sale. I love my new boots. OOOOOOOOHHHH, they'll go great with my shirt! Yay!"

Turn on light, make shopping list. Program alarm in my phone to remind me to go shopping..... and to clean..... (duh, because I'll be too tired tomorrow to remember on my own! lol). Oh yeah, while I have my phone out I might as well check my horoscope. Nothing else to do afterall. Okay, lights out.

"Go to sleep, go to sleep............. I should start doing yoga again. it's been so long since I've regularly worked out, it's time. Time to get back in shape......I bet I can't even touch my toes anymore!.......Man Veronica will you shut up!!! Forget it....... I wonder if I got any email."

Pop up and here I sit. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I am my own worst enemy. How do you shut off your brain???????

Lost in thought

What is it about romance that just brings on the daydreams? You all know what I mean. :) Spending your days in longing and several times throughout the day catching yourself lost in thought with a little smile on your face. That pure, innocent, fresh sweetness that comes with new feelings. *sigh* Well, that's where I find myself lately. I'm almost giddy! lol

It's amazing to me how embarrassed it makes me to say that out loud to the world! lol You'd think as much as I expose myself on here that it wouldn't faze me......but boy oh boy it sure does! You know, I think it's because all of the other stuff is under my control. I've thought about it, analyzed it, chewed it up and then spit it back out as something for the world to read. This, on the other hand, seems to be totally out of my control and, therefore, is the place where I feel most vulnerable. I don't think I could stop it even if I wanted to right now. :) I just find myself daydreaming all day. And it shows....believe me! I don't possess the ability to hide things.... my face shows it all..... and I am aglow! lol What's bad is even my kids have seen it. Courtney's getting a big kick out of it. I just laugh and tell her to shut up or she's grounded. haha

So back to the subject.... what is it about new feelings that brings on the daydreams? And what is it about the daydreams that brings on the "glow"? I think it's our souls recognition of possibility. And hope (there's that word again!). I think most of the time we are so busy trying to guard ourselves because of all of the baggage we all have from past experiences. When we start falling for someone and our soul feels that it's genuine, that's one of the few times in our lives that we don't fight our spirit's attempt to respond to hope. I think the glow is the natural manifestation of hope. We get filled with wonder. We start looking at things differently. Smiling more. Personally, I think it's the best feeling in the world. I felt this way when I held each of my newborn babies too....same thing. Wonder, peace, joy, longing, happiness, smiles. Wow. I'm all aglow and personally, I think I wear it well.

2.20.2006

It's never too late to live happily ever after

What keeps you going when there are so many odds stacked against you that your human inclination is to just give up? When it seems that the waves just keep coming. Crashing on your head. Knocking you under......and you can't catch your breath. You can feel the blackness coming. You keep fighting and fighting. At first, panic might set in as you keep struggling but then eventually and inevitably the desire to just surrender settles in. Most give up. They lose the battle. Whether it's to depression, drinking, drugs, bitterness, cynicism...... or even suicide. I've been there....I know the temptation to give up. I know what it's like to be so tired, so weary. What is the difference then between those that surrender......... and those who don't? I think it all boils down to one word:
HOPE


Through my entire adult life I have always had one saying that I always came back to when this subject came up in one way or another.... I'd always look at them and smile and say "I believe in happy endings." (I know Greg has heard me say this probably a thousand times.... and Greg I DO still believe in happy endings.... and I think you're going to get one too! Look how things are working out for you and Joyce and I think it will get sweeter and sweeter as time goes by if you INVEST in it). Through the childhood that I had, the rocky first marriage, subsequent divorce, abusive marriage, the evil one's molestation charges, trial, hearing, single parenthood, deaths, betrayals, blah blah blah........ I've never given up. Oh I've had my down moments, but that's all they were in the grand scheme of things...... merely moments on the timeline of my life. I've always been able to say that I know that I know that I know that things will be okay. Because it all boils down to that one core belief....... I, Veronica, believe with every cell in my body and every fiber of my being in happy endings.

Why? How? Most people ask me that after talking to me and hearing of what I've been through. They usually first ask me how I keep such a positive attitude, how am I not bitter, how did I not kill that man, and then how can I, after all that I've been through, still possibly believe in happy endings? It took me a lot of thought and some analyzing to be able to figure it out simply because I've just always had that optimism inside of me. I can't remember ever being any other way, so I've never had to figure out why. But after thinking about it it's actually pretty simple for me.......

Romans 15:13 "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
I have Jesus. Plain and simple. I may not always be as close to him as I once was or as close as I should be, but just because I've taken a couple of steps back doesn't mean that HE'S gone anywhere. I know that there is a greater plan. I know that in that great plan there is a plan for me and I know that he loves me and wants the best for me. I know that I'm being taken care of and that as long as I stick to him it's all going to work out just fine. He WANTS the best for me. He WANTS to see me happy and successful and in love and fulfilled and helping others, etc. Trouble is what you bring on yourself....the rest is just life. And either way it too will pass. It's that still small voice that you have to listen to. Sometimes it's easier to hear than others.... but it's always there. You have to have faith that it's always there..... that's a whole other blog I know! :) Here are some quotes that I love regarding hope:

"Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again."

"We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr


"Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.”


"The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to make the turn."

Hope is plowing through despite the obstacles and defeat that have come your way. Defeat comes to ALL OF US! Sorrow, heartbreak, weariness, betrayal, death, sadness..... those are not new things that were invented just for me....or for you! You and I are not today or ever going to go through something that has not been common to ALL mankind. We as humans tend to panic when things happen. That's what's really at the heart of despair. FEAR. I believe that there are only two basic emotions in this life. Everything can be traced back to either LOVE or FEAR. And despair is just a bunch of fear that's getting the best of you. Afraid that the pain won't pass, afraid that it will never get any better, afraid that we've hurt someone, etc. Well when fear gets hold of you are you supposed to just roll over and die??? NO! Jesus said to "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk!" So what if you're afraid!??!


DO IT AFRAID!


You get up and you press on. He gives us the hope and the ability but we have to help ourselves too. There were three commands in that bible verse. RISE..... pick yourself up! TAKE UP THY BED..... do the work. WALK.....keep moving forward! When you can't hear the voice of hope loud and clear you just have to have faith that if you follow those steps that it's going to work out just fine. Just like baking a cake. I know that I'm not a great cook, but I also know that if I follow a recipe closely I'll get the right results. You just have to have faith.

Sheila Walsh once said, "All you have to do is gather up your soul and determine that in Christ you will be a woman of courage, a woman of conviction, a woman in control of her fear, a woman of faith."

The world has nothing to offer me. Where would I turn if I were just simply in the world? If I were too stubborn to acknowledge God in my life? Too proud to admit I needed or believed in God? To bored with the whole "church thing"? You know where I'd be? I'd be depressed, suicidal or drinking and drugging to try and numb the pain. No way, that's not the path I'm choosing. We choose death.... or we choose life.

I love the old email forward that goes around about the guy who's always been so optimistic about everything and then he's in a horrible accident. He knows how serious it is by looking at the dr's and nurses faces. He decides right then and there that he wants to live and he tells them as they're working on him "I've made the decision to live today! PLEASE WORK ON ME AS IF I AM ALIVE.... NOT AS IF I'M ALREADY DEAD." That's me. I'm choosing the path of life.... not of death. If something horrible happens, I have been in the past and I will in the future be just fine...and that's simply because I still believe in happy endings. :)

2.19.2006

Crazy Carl


*warning...not for the faint at heart! ;) *


Carl is my most totally CRAZY, totally unlikely, totally platonic friend. He is loud and rude and somewhat obnoxious with a mind as dirty as mine. LOL The short little well-behaved girl and the big, loud-mouthed guy..... what a pair! haha Most people can't stand him just because he can be such an abrasive, tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy....but we were INSTANT friends when I started working here at this hospital believe it or not. Whenever we work together we cause way too much trouble because we can spend hours just laughing and laughing..... I have a BLAST with him. We have a shared sense of humor that not many other people get. It's pretty crude the things that we laugh about....but they make me fall off my chair rolling! lol References to "well girl you'd be able to pay your bills if you'd quit giving discounts!" and then I respond with "like you're one to talk...you're so pathetic your only dates recently have been hookers that give punch cards so you can earn a freebie on your 10th visit!". etc, etc.

He's finicky though. Very high-maintenance. lol For example, because I was sick recently I hadn't called him in a week or so. BACK OFF CLETUS I DIDN'T FEEL GOOD! SO SUE ME! I can hear him in my mind responding to me right now saying "oh shut the f*** up! You had the flu not an amputated dialing finger!"...he's such a primadonna. LOL I think he's the only person on the face of the earth who could get away with talking to me like that. I think it's because I know him so well and know that he doesn't mean a word of it, he's just being funny in his own way. He actually has the best heart.

So he calls me last week and leaves a voicemail...but I didn't know it because my phone never said anything about voicemail OR missed call. So I'm laying there sick one night and Carl calls from my floor at work and says "I'm just calling to tell you that I'm breaking up with you. You never return my calls and I never get to spend any time with you." I just start cracking up and said "Sweetie don't you have to be a boyfriend before you can break up with someone? And if you were my boyfriend shouldn't I be getting more 'benefits' from this relationship?" and he yells "oh shut the heck up dam***! I'm breaking up with you...don't try to get out of this now!" I just laughed at him and hung up.

So tonight at work I'm walking down the hall and I can hear his mouth from around the corner and I'm thinking "oh boy...here we go" as I start laughing. I call him "sexual chocolate" as a joke all the time .... this is our conversation:

"Sexual Chocolate!!! I've missed you!!!!" (and I go to give him a hug.... he has a thing about being touched....he hates it LOL... so I was doing it just to pick at him)

"NO! WHAT ARE TOUCHING ME FOR?????"

"Oh come on Carl.....give me a hug!"

"No, you get away from me! I told you I broke up with you! Our friendship is over! There is no more Carl & Veronica friends forever!"

"I don't want to fight anymore."

"I don't care, you should've thought about that when you weren't returning peoples phone calls."

"I was sick. You forgive me....you know you do. Lets kiss and make up!"

"Ewww! I'm not kissing you!"

"Come on Carl.... what about make up sex?"

"Okay you win."

And then we just start cracking up and things are back to "normal".... me telling him about a cute guy I'm crushing on and him rolling his eyes at me. Him telling me about how he just told someone off and he's probably going to get "talked to" by his boss in the morning and me rolling my eyes at him. lol

LOL....anyone on the outside would never get half the jokes that we make with each other, but we have the best time together. Maybe someday I'll see him with someone and he will be happy. That would be great....because he's the coolest. We're like Carrie Bradshaw & Stanford Blatch. LOL

2.16.2006

Do you think I'm beautiful?

I made you some iced coffee just like you like it." That's the first thing I really remember Jesus (pronounced 'hay-zus' for all you whiter-than-white folks out there! lol) saying to me. I know there were other conversations but that was the turning point. That was the exact moment in time when I consciously felt a shift. I was aware of him now. He was no longer a co-worker, he was a nice guy who had unbeknownst to me been paying attention to the fact that I liked to make iced coffee..... and he got it exactly right too.

From that moment in time an intense flirtation erupted. He wasn't the kind of guy that you'd normally see and think "wow!" but there was something about him. And admittedly the fact that I was only about 3 months out of a horrible marriage helped things alot. lol I mean here was a really great guy who was REALLY into me.......

you can imagine what that does to a girl. ;)
It's funny how my life works. Most of the time, in any area..... there will be absolutely nothing going on and then BAM! Alot will happen overnight or even in a matter of hours. Well, that's how it went with Jesus too. One night at work (he was off) it was about 2 in the morning and I decided right then and there that I liked him enough to make it official. I called him. Of course he was up.... just like I would've been too. We DID have alot in common. :) I'm sooooooo the opposite of a boy-chaser.... and I can't stand when people invite themselves over either....oh man and stopping by announced is the worst!.... okay so anyways, back to the story. So I call him and was hinting around about how boring work was and I wished I could leave early (pretend to be sick) but I didn't feel like going home, blah blah blah. I was throwing out bait and he was gobbling it up as quickly as it was tossed! haha FISHED IN! FISHED IN! lol (I'm having visions of the SNL 'cheerleaders' doing their skit...."who's that spartan swimmin in the sea??? IT'S ME! IT'S ME!" LOL) From what I heard later he was having a guys night out type of thing at his house and as soon as he hung up the phone totally kicked everyone out within five minutes so that I could come over....I had no idea! That's a guy who's into you! :)

That was the night that we started dating. We had our first kiss and spent hours on end talking and talking. And believe me when I say I could've gotten whatever it is that I wanted that night (*wink, wink*), I knew just how much I really liked him when I said that I didn't feel comfortable taking it "further"....and he kissed me on the forehead, smiled and said "that's okay." And it was. It was okay. He was a gentleman. Wow! I had never had one of those before! I had no idea what it was like..... and now I had a taste and there was no way I was ever going back.

Jesus was a relationship of firsts for me. Lots of new experiences. And I learned alot of things from him. He was such a cool guy. Very smart. Was in military intelligence for a long time. FANTASTIC cook. Loved restaurants and knew which wine to order with which meal. I soaked him up like a sponge. I have to say though, that the most important thing Jesus did for me was make me see that I'm beautiful. Oh I know..... no one wants to hear someone say that they think themselves beautiful. You can get the "who does she think she is???" type of thing coming at you. But you know what I've learned to be true? That those are usually the people that have never had their own 'Jesus' show them just how beautiful they are too. It's kind of like "can you believe she's WEARING that???".... it's really not meant to be a question. It's meant to be a judgment. It's kind of an if-you-spot-it-you-got-it type of thing. If someone judges someone else like that it's because of their own self-esteem issues. So I'll say again.... Jesus helped convince me just how beautiful I was... inside and out. You know, I had been married twice before and NEVER one time had I ever heard anyone tell me that I was pretty. I make sure to tell my children just how beautiful they are all the time because of that! But Jesus thought I was pretty. He thought I was beautiful! Another thing I've learned (I actually learned it from the book 'Do You Think I'm Beautiful' by Angela Thomas......best book EVER EVER EVER for women) is that when you aren't willing to listen to God telling you that you're beautiful, smart, funny, etc..... he will often place people in your life (even if only temporarily) that you ARE willing to hear telling you. That was Jesus' role in my life...... to be the embodiment of God's voice telling me that I was beautiful. *TEAR, SNIFF* lol Man oh man.... he LOVED my curves..... every single fleshy, womanly thing about me..... even my "wobbly bits". LOL (How much did you LOVE Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones when she was trying to get dressed undercover so that he wouldn't see her 'wobbly bits' and he said "I happen to have quite high regard for your wobbly bits"....in his yummy british accent...... *ahhhh, swoon*).

After a little bit of time I started to believe him. Every time he complimented me or just wanted to look at me I didn't shrink away and get all embarrassed. I learned that he genuinely thought I was pretty..... wow! someone thought I was pretty! :) .... maybe I'm not so bad.....wow! he thinks I'm smart too!..... and he thinks I'm funny!!!! No one has ever told me I was funny before! .... he thinks I'm "witty".... am I witty????..... WHO KNEW! :) lol

I came to realize that I'm not so bad of a person! After living with an abusive man in my life since I was twenty years old I had started to believe all of the lies that were programmed into my brain at least a hundred times a day.... "You are so ugly. And stupid. Wow are you fat! You are nothing but a stupid whore with four kids...who will EVER want you?????", etc. etc. etc. It's staggering the difference between a twenty year old and a thirty year old isn't it???? At twenty these girls really just don't have any clue as to who they are yet and what is acceptable. I was willing to put up with so much crap just because I thought it was better to have someone than no one... and after all he didn't really mean it! Right??? He LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEDDD me! Bullshit! lol GOD HELP the man that ever even thinks of treating me with jealousy or with insults again!!!!!! I have three words for him.... OH HEEEEELLLLLL NO! Jesus helped to deprogram me from all of the damage that had been done..... and for that I will forever be grateful.

We dated for about six months. It really was a wonderful time in my life. It just wasn't meant to be though. He had other issues that he needed to deal with before I could be with him long-term. We got together once or twice a couple of months after we broke up. It was like getting a little shot of vitamin-J. LOL The first time I was sick....really sick. He had called for something and heard how sick I was and since he still had my house key (yep, I had forgotten about it....oops!) he had brought me over some food. He came upstairs and helped me get out of bed to go eat and when he pulled the covers back and I stood up his face just kind of went "dumb-struck". I said "what's the matter????" And he just kind of stuttered "um, well, you sure do still got it where you need it don't you?" And it made me smile. Everyone needs someone to think that they're beautiful.... even if they aren't a couple. Even if I never see Jesus again I will know for the rest of my life that he thinks I am..... and I am so grateful for that gift. :)

2.14.2006

Good to go

"Aidan" has a music video!!! Who knew?

I love, love, love John Corbett. You guys know who he is... of course most importantly he played "Aidan" on Sex and the City (hello kitty! His most important role EVER!!! LOL) and he also played the love interest in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, among other things. He's so darn adorable...just a simple, nice guy. Well imagine my surprise today when I opened up AOL music and saw that he has a music career going now. It's country.... okay I was kind of surprised, but then again not really...he kind of gives off that vibe. I feel thoroughly guilty though admitting that I didn't really like the song. I'm loyal to those I love and I feel like I'm stabbing Aidan in the back. lol AND WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THOSE SIDEBURNS SWEETIE??? Not his best look in this video. He's so handsome, why'd he have to go and screw it up like that..... *sigh with dissappointment* Oh well. Good luck with the new career John.

While I wasn't crazy about the song, I did like the message. It talks about the different things that have happened in his life and that he doesn't want it to end anytime soon but that if it does then he's had so much great stuff happen that he's good to go. Great message! It's about counting your blessings...something we all need to do more of don't you think?

I'll just list a few of mine here....

I got saved when i was 15! I have friends (old & new) that have been awesome and so much fun. I know what it's like to laugh so hard I've peed myself or snort. LOL I've held four of my own beautiful newborn babies in my arms. I've held the hands of many beautiful people as they slipped out of this world.....and I've even managed to lead some to Christ on their deathbeds. I've graduated from college. I've sipped martini's next to Pepe while he told me I looked like Marissa Tomei until the wee hours of the morning while he kept smoothing my hair back over my face (he loved to touch my hair), and then we had our picture taken by total strangers who had cameras....I wonder what happened to those pics. I've swam in a beautiful, warm aqua sea. I've stood in a parking lot and held up cue cards to the person I loved because I wanted to make ammends with him, I've stood at the base of the statue of liberty and I've stood in the hole of what used to be the world trade centers. I got to hear Chris Hughes preach the gospel, I got to see justice prevail in our courts, I've been there when all four of my children were born and then born again in Christ, I've told perfect strangers that they are handsome or beautiful, had one one-night stand, but I've had so many passionate, beautiful kisses. I've had sex where I shouldn't, when I shouldn't with whom I shouldn't...and loved every minute of that broom closet! lol I've felt so much passion and love that even the memories of it are sometimes too much to handle. That's my life....my perfect, beautiful life. Sometimes messy, sometimes noisey and sometimes way too quiet. But there's never been a dull moment. My life has been a rollercoaster ride. You wait around for what seems like years then you get on and buckle up. You wonder how bad could it possibly be? But your scared. What if something happens? You could fall out of the seat for cryin out loud! At worst you just might look really silly from all the screaming and your hair is all windblown and you might have a bug or two stuck in your teeth.......but you had a great time....and you want more!

I could go on and on and on...... this is because I am a blessed, blessed woman.... and I know it. Just thinking of the sweetness that I have had in my life leaves me with a tear in my eye and a soft smile on my face. I hope it doesn't end, but if it does...... I'm good to go. :)

2.11.2006

These boots are made for walkin'

If anyone asked me what I think the most important accessory is for women I'd think of a couple different things but I'd definitely have to say BOOTS!!! :) I love, love, love a beautiful pair of black boots. They should be a staple in any womans closet. Ankle height, mid-calf, and especially knee-high. Oh knee high boots with a skirt! Oh stop it! Come on, the best ever!!! And I got to buy two pairs of them today!!! YAY ME! ;)

I've actually owned my favorite pair for several years now. They're a pair of butt-kickin/stompin boots. LOL They are ankle height and more chunky and go great with jeans. Very sturdy boots. And they're getting old. :( They are my old stand-by's and I'm going to have to have a funeral for them when they die. :( I actually had to buy a pair of dr. scholls inserts for them this year because the insides are going bad. Oh well, I LOVE THEM! :)

So I was shopping this evening and wasn't even thinking about boots and I came across a pair on sale. I was just strolling along minding my own business and I saw this cute pair of mid-calf black boots with maybe a 2"heel. I almost kept walking until out of the corner of my eye I saw the sale tag that said "CLEARANCE, $15.00". SHUT UP!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? You better believe I snagged those things up with a quickness!!! LOL

The other pair I found online. I've been looking for a new pair of knee-high boots. They are the best to wear with skirts if you don't love showing your legs all that much. They come to just about where the skirt takes over and so you're essentially not showing much leg at all and are still SUPER SEXY! :) So anyways, I found a pair that I love online and can't wait for them to come...and they were on sale too! Who's luckiest little bargain shopper on the web??? IT'S ME! IT'S ME! :)

2.10.2006

Someone to watch over me

How does anyone keep their hearts safe out there in this world? It's so hard. I'm so horrible at dating! I stink at it. I'm just not a natural dater...I'm more of a relationship person... so I'm trying to figure this out as I go. I've been working for a long time trying to learn to pay attention to my alarm bells and to not settle. But...if you put on too much armor no one can get close to you either.

So the question is how do you know if it's going to be beautiful or just a beautiful disaster?

Allison and I have actually come up with a system of figuring out when to stay and when to go....I think it's going to work pretty good...but it still doesn't protect you from all pain. My heart is fighting me so bad about "getting out there". It just keeps screaming "stop it! What are you doing???" I want someone to watch over my heart. Someone that I can trust to hold my heart and not drop it. The problem also is this... is it possible to fully move on when your heart doesn't want to fully come with you? As a friend said to me the other day , "Just because you aren't into someone doesn't mean that you're out of them either." SO TRUE. I keep trying so hard to move forward and it is a constant struggle. I can think I'm sailing along just fine and then something will happen....and my first thought/gut reaction is to want to run & hide in the arms of the person that my heart feels at home with. Then almost instantly the realization comes to me that "oh yeah, he hurt me the worst." I'm left emotionally sitting there on my knees with my hands in my lap and tears in my eyes.

I just wanna go home....and there isn't any home anymore.

It's just me, and hopefully someday that will be okay, but it's a tough journey to get to that point. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get there.

2.09.2006

Love and devotion

I took care of a gentleman last night who was dying. No big shocker there. But this guy, actually it was his wife, was unlike any patient I've ever had and he has stirred things up in me big time. This was an almost 91 year old man who is today celebrating his 70TH wedding anniversary. He was declining rapidly and is supposed to go to hospice today or tomorrow. He is unresponsive & never said one word to me all night. (Which just goes to show that we don't always have to have the "right" things to say, do we?) The thing that got me was the depth of love and devotion that his partner felt for him. She was also 90 years old... a "good" 90.... but 90 none-the-less, and she was a source of worry for me all night long. This is because ANY 90 year old should be at home in bed sleeping at night! Right? I thought so too.

Slowly, one by one, his family filed out of the room and left. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren left. Then children. All the while she just sat in a chair in the corner and stared a very heartbroken stare towards her love...the constant trace of a tear always present in her eyes. Then I watched as one of their sons got on his knees in front of her and held her hands and prayed with her. Prayed for his father and his mother. For himself. For the reality and the heartache that was settling in on this family.

After the son left I went into the room to check on her and in the faintest and frailest voice (although I have a feeling it was the strongest voice that she could muster at this point) she looked at me in the eyes and said, "will I be in your way if I stay here?" I will never forget the piercing and penetrating, heartfelt plea that her eyes gave me. I just stood there and stared at her. On one hand, of course I wanted her to be able to stay. But on the other hand, she's 90 years old. I didn't want her to end up in another bed down the hall from pulling an emotional all-nighter. It was only a few seconds in real-time but it seemed like forever that I just stood there, and before I could say anything she looked at me with tears welling up in her eyes and said "please don't make me go. I've been next to him since I was 18 years old and I have so little time left with him....please." I continued to stand there silently for a moment...though now it wasn't because I was debating in my mind all of the pros and the cons, but because now I was speechless. I was looking at the emodiment of everything that I silently feel inside. The love between two people that usually only comes along once in their lives. A love that is way bigger than the two of them. The indescribable power of an all-consuming love that just is...whether you want it to be or not. It defies time, space or logic and it won't go away just because someone thinks it should. And also the longing and the pain of wanting someone that you know is slipping out of your hands.....and all you can do is watch it go.

As I stared into her face I suddenly, in my minds eye, got a glimpse of her through the years. As a teenager who was crazy about this boy, as a girl getting engaged, as a young bride glowing with love, a mother who cradled her baby in her arms, a woman who made dinner for her family and then love to her husband, a retiree who was excited for the freedom of finally getting her man all to herself and traveling or just spending lazy mornings. And now of a woman who has seen all of the seasons of her life come and go and was now helplessly staring at her one true love slipping away....and all of the pain that brings.

I suddenly felt fiercely protective of this woman. I told her that of course she could stay and that I would do anything I could do to make her comfortable. I had to fight her tooth and nail to even try and get her to take a blanket. She was so afraid of being in the way bless her heart.... I never did win either. She sat slumped over in that uncomfortable chair with her coat on to keep warm. She wouldn't let me get her a cot or even a more comfortable chair. At one point she woke up and was confused. She thought she was at home, and that he was in bed waiting for her and she couldn't find her way to their bedroom. I was so sad for her. Even through confusion she was still looking for him....her heart knew where it wanted to be. The heart knows what it wants....even when the mind and body are telling it differently.

2.08.2006

Censorship


I've been thinking alot lately about censorship. No, not censorship by the government but censorship of myself. When I started this blog I made the decision to be totally honest in whatever I was writing. I wanted to stand in my "truth"....whatever that might be on any given day. Put "it" out there. Feelings, emotions, crazy thoughts, typos (hey, I'm WAY too cool for spell check darling!).... whatever. John 8:32 says "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Usually I'm pretty successful too. But my "truth" today is that I haven't been totally true to myself. From time to time I find myself "editing" what I'm writing because I'm afraid of judgement, afraid of having to explain or defend. The only time I've been WILLING to purposely edit is by request to protect identity...that's ok with me.... TO A POINT... I never want MY truth to infringe on someone else's life. I'm still going to write about whatever it is that I'm feeling or going through....I'm just going to try to limit details or names where necessary.
My purpose here isn't to write a tabloid tell-all. LOL I saw a quote once that said "the skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think." Simple. Pure. Make myself and others think. That is my purpose and this is my journey. Sometimes it's beautiful, sometimes it makes you want to say "YIKES".... but as Oscar Wilde wrote "The truth is rarely pure and never simple." I'm not interested in impressing people. I'm not interested in making or keeping friends. The friends I have already know how fabulous I am! ;) They aren't going anywhere..... hopefully. :)
I feel like this is a blog of quotes so far! LOL Oh well, who cares.....here goes another one! "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." Exactly. Amen. I can't be so afraid of someone else seeing what I'm really thinking or what I'm really feeling that I censor myself. The people that "get" me won't be scared away. Hey! Where did everybody go??? (*echo, echo*) ;)

2.06.2006

Forgiveness

I can't remember a day in recent history that was as good as today was. Wow what a difference a day makes! I had no idea when I woke up this morning that I would feel so much different today. Not just physicallly, but emotionally. First off I got my cable box fixed, YAY ME! lol Then I got to get out and get a haircut....which meant I got a head, neck & arm massage too.... even bigger yay me! lol I LOOOOOOOOOOVE massages! ahhhhhhhhh If I were rich I would pay someone to just touch and rub on me all day every day! I got to talk to a great guy too (you know who you are!). ;)

All of those things made for a really great day but the thing that made it the best was that I got a message from an old friend today. To make a long story short.... this is an old friend that I never thought I would speak to again. We separated on really bad terms and there were alot of hard feelings. The message was basically an apology and an affirmation that things are okay between us. Man!!! The power of a note like that!!! I have been wondering if they were still mad at me. I've also been wanting to tell them that I've forgiven them too. Well, with just a few clicks on the keyboard we both now know. I'm so grateful.

I've been extremely emotional about this today and can't believe the change in my spirit. I feel lighter, happier and more hopeful. Someone even commented tonight about what a great laugh I have! I didn't realize it had been so long since my laugh had come out to play! lol The burden has been lifted and for the first time in a long time I feel peaceful and joyful. Really, I think that for the first time I've given myself permission to forgive myself and that's the journey we're really on... a personal one.

2.02.2006

Fat & sassy ;)


okay, I'm prefacing this post with the following statement.... WARNING!!! AMBIEN ON BOARD hahahahaha Yes, I'm sleepy blogging and we all know how dangerous and ENTIRELY too honest I get when my sleeping pill is kicking in. It's like truth serum for me and I have total amnesia in the morning! heehee I bet tomorrow I will read this and think HOLY CRAP! What the heck did I write??? Just like a month or so when I announced to the world that my life would be all better if I just got laid! I had totally signed off of the computer when I took my Ambien in order to protect myself from sleepy shopping, chatting or blogging (LOL) but when the thought strikes I have to get up and following through. I don't have much capacity to sleepy-tell-myself-no! lol

So with that being said, I was sitting here watching the Isaac Mizrahi show (another guilty pleasure) and scarfing down some Krispy Kreme crullers (HELLO! YUMMMM!) and at first I was thinking "bad prednisone! I just can't put the food down today! No appetite for a week and now look out! I'm gonna gain like 70 more pounds!". And then you know what??? As is typical when I'm stoned on sleeping pills my true self looks at my politically-correct/care what people think self and says "You ain't got to liiiiiiiiiieeee Craig" (I'll be able to tell who the "Friday" fans are from that comment). Truth is this..... My weight will ebb and flow, wax and wane just like my health, mood, bank account, etc. And although I want to feel a little better overall, I don't like myself any less when I've gained a little weight than I do when I'm down a little on the scale! I figure that not only does the FOOD (calories, fat, etc.) affect your health, but so does the way you LOOK at your food and feel about it when you eat it. If you're eating something and the whole time you're sitting there thinking "i'm so bad, this is so bad, bad, bad, bad,bad" then you change something chemically in your body. Something will turn against itself. Your metabolism will change. Etc. So if I'm going to eat something I'm going to love every single fattening & delicious moment of it!!! I'm not going to spend another minute listening to the world tell me I should hate myself or be unhappy about my body! There will be times when I'm eating as I should and I'm exercising as I should and I'm looking as I should (for the most part anyways) and that will be great. But when I have a little extra cushion... so what! I'm gonna love it! I'm gonna be fat & happy & sassy! My body is WONDERFUL! My body has carried me through every struggle and overcame! I have given birth to four healthy and perfect babies. I have made love and I have made war in this body. It is a wonderful, soft, curvy, fleshy, feminine, sexy piece of artwork handcrafted by God himself and I'm going to love and appreciate the skin I'm in no matter where I fall on the spectrum on any given day!

p.s.... I'm still totally supporting all of the people who are working their butts off (literally!) to get healthier.... you are doing an amazing job! Go you! :)
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