Sunday, October 27, 2013

Anybody there?

It's been a long time since I've even visited my blog so I won't be surprised to find myself alone here now. :)

So much has happened for our family in the past few months. Not the least of which is a relocation to North Carolina. Leaving Florida was hard to say the least, but North Carolina still has beautiful weather and is a full 10 hours closer to home in Canada. We've already made the drive once - 20 hours feels better than 30 - let's just leave it at that. Everything is relative I know.

When we went to Canada in August we attended Michael's dad's funeral. Then celebrated my brother's 40th birthday on what was also his wedding day. We were only home for a week but it was jam packed with emotion. Adding 20+ hours of driving on either end of that didn't exactly lessen the stressfulness. But we are settling in well to our new surroundings.

Michael likes his new office and his new commute is a breeze compared to Tampa. K is finally getting going in Vocational training - her first pre-placement assessment is actually tomorrow. She is anxious to get to work and start earning some money. She tells me everyday about gifts she is going to buy everyone for Christmas. I don't know what job she will have but if her Christmas shopping list is any indication it's going to pay very well. :) T is getting through her college classes and looking at finishing up her two year stint at community college over this coming summer - "smarty pants." It's amazing how the thought of moving out of one's parent's home can serve to boost your scholastic endeavors. She will be attending a State college fall of 2014 instead of fall 2015. We are very proud of how hard she works. R is in eighth grade at a very different middle school - we certainly lived in a bubble in FishHawk. She is seeing what I believe to be a more realistic view of society. She is doing well in her classes and making friends. She actually had her first sleepover here on Friday night. R is still really missing her FL friends and I'm hopeful that she will understand making new friends here doesn't mean she has to forget about her old friends in FL. S is in a great little elementary school just a couple of streets over from our house. He is doing well socially - as expected - and continues to struggle academically - also as expected. :( First parent teacher conference is tomorrow afternoon. His teachers are great and I'm anxious to have a good sit down and see what they have for feedback on his school experience. As for me I've been working away at things around the house and obviously keeping busy as a chauffeur for the kiddos.

Considering this is an adoption blog.... how's it going? Well it's going. Day by day and week by week. We still struggle daily with things that are assumed by us to be common knowledge to S. So often we are wrong. There are so many things he doesn't know - his shampoo or soap runs out, he'll let me know right? No. Vocabulary is a constant struggle - language barriers are minimal but certainly a complete understanding of the English language is not there. Not understanding vocabulary and continuing to struggle with reading inhibit all of his other subjects at school. We push forward and celebrate the fact that he is a happy and friendly little man with a heart of gold. Soft, tender, mushy gold.

How about a few (dozens) okay a few photos to end on?

The newlyweds in Canada on August 17th. 

Always fun to see cousins in Canada.

 The new house in NC comes with lots of trees and that means new yard work with dad - a woodsplitter is a good time. 

We haven't seen autumn foliage since 2005. The beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. 

 S had never seen trees like this before - he wasn't overly impressed ??????

T turned 18! Oh my!

Campfires in the new backyard - s'mores - YUM!

R got braces.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Something different.

I'm taking a little venture away from adoption and family today. I'm actually going to share a little about  me.

After my children were born I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. That diagnosis was more specified after we moved to Florida and I began seeing an Endocrinologist and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The symptoms of Hashimoto's include fatigue and weight gain. I had always been able to control my weight with exercise and healthy eating. Always that was until around my 37th birthday - an extra 5 pounds - no big deal... that turned into 10 which turned into 15 which turned in to 20, well you get the picture. No matter how much I exercised and made healthy eating choices - all the things that were previously able to get my weight (if not my fatigue) in check. Nothing worked anymore. When I went for my annual physical I had high cholesterol - WHAT? When I visited my Endocrinologist in February of 2013 I was sharing with her - and she could see on my chart my steady weight gain over the past 5 years. Her response was "This is your life now." Skinny young Dr lady say what? Nothing "inspires " me more than to have someone tell me I can't do something. My thyroid levels were good on paper but my body was telling me differently. I was exhausted - battling to squeeze into my most generous sized jeans and falling asleep sitting on the couch in the early afternoon.

I had been following my friend's weight loss success on Facebook. At that time she had lost 62 pounds - now she has lost over 72 pounds. She was looking amazing and yes it looked too good to be true. But I was feeling desperate and my increased exercise and healthy eating was proving my sweet Endo correct - this continuing weight gain seemed to be my new normal. So I contacted my friend to find out what was the secret to her success.

Her secret is Omnitrition. What did I have to lose? Frankly 20-25 lbs is what I had to lose. Well Omnitrition helped me do just that. I started taking Omni Drops on February 23, 2013. By the end of April 2013 I had lost 22 pounds. Victory!!! Of course losing weight was one thing - keeping it off would be quite something else. I know, very pessimistic of me - but I prefer to say I was trying to be realistic. If history was any predictor those 22 pounds would surely find their way back. I'm happy to report it has now been 2 months - and I've maintained my loss!!! WOO HOO! Not only have I maintained my loss - I have maintained it while celebrating two daughter's high school graduations and moving ourselves four states away. No stress there right? No cause for emotional eating, celebratory indulgences. Oh I did both - but thanks to the reset with Omni Drops and great supportive vitamins and supplements that I continue to take my weight has not wavered more than 3-4 pounds and has easily gone back to my end of April weight.

Please do not confuse my weight loss success with curing my Hashimoto's - that will never happen. What Omnitrition has done is let me feel comfortable in my clothes, I am energized like I haven't been in many years, I'm sleeping soundly and waking up feeling rested. I still start every day with my Dr prescribed thyroid medications. I will continue to have my cholesterol and thyroid levels checked regularly. Omni has given me a quality of life that I haven't had in a long time.

So what does my 22 pound loss look like? Here you go.... when I took this after photo I was only at  -21.6 pounds. I actually lost exactly 22 pounds. Cool tip - taking a photo without a flash makes you look like you have a tan - I do not have a tan.

Do you have weight to lose? Are you chronically tired? Have trouble sleeping? I'd love the opportunity to share Omnitrition with you. Contact me at

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Another graduation...

Graduations are such momentous events. I was looking forward to the days when my two eldest daughters graduated high school but I truly don't think I was prepared for the emotion of it all. I already posted T's photos from her graduation. K graduated a few days later, here are her photos.

The girls graduations were each held at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The marquee on T's graduation day looked like this:

By K's grad day it looked like this - considering the occasion correct spelling is important no? ;)

Gram helping the graduate with her tassel.

Looking for us in the crowd - she said she never did see us. :(


The moment that "got me" in each of the girl's ceremonies was when they were proclaimed "Graduating class of 2013" and the entire class moved their tassels - I don't have one good photo of either graduating class turning their tassels because it's difficult to take a good photo with a trembling hand and blurry eyes. 

That laugh melts my heart.

Congratulations to our eldest daughter. We have never been more proud of you. 

Special occasions call for special celebrations....

When your graduating senior chooses to forgo her senior prom you still want to be sure she has a memorable evening to commemorate this very special occasion. In two past years K has attended the Best Buddies dance but she didn't go this year. Only once in all four high school years did she attend homecoming, T went with her. However when it came to her senior prom we were hoping she would go. When she told us she wanted to buy a prom dress and NOT go to prom, that didn't surprise us. We told her we would buy her a prom dress and we would celebrate as a family with dinner out at a nice restaurant while Grammy & Grampy were here for graduations. That seemed to please her.

Prom or not every girl needs a pretty corsage for her special evening out.

A couple of dapper looking dudes.

For those who know K you will understand why I had to post so many photos.
For those of you who don't know K allow me to explain. 
1. K doesn't like to have her photo taken.
2. K doesn't smile all that often.

I hope that clarifies why we needed so many photos and why I'm sharing so many here.


At this point I may need to remind you this celebration was mainly about K - but it sure looks like Grampy & S were enjoying themselves in the limo.

Cheers with littlest sister....

... and Gram & Gramp.

Grampy had fun with all the buttons..

Each of the boys had their turn sitting with the grandparents for a photo.

Mama and her girlies.

We arrived at Bern's Steak House - R and Gram look so cute in this great big chair in the waiting area.

Our private dining room - such a cool experience. Our waiter was great. He told us this room was popular with the secret service when past presidents have dined there because there are two entrances/exits to the room. Cool. We also toured the huge kitchen, the wine cellar and finished the evening with dessert in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room. I now understand why people say they sometimes go just for dessert. Impressive.

R is going to eat her veggies. 

We love you K - we enjoyed spending this special evening with you.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Congratulations to Miss Terry on her high school graduation.