Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Regret vs. Fate

Last night Hubs and I got on the subject of fate. Although I don't like the thought of my actions being controlled by fate, there are some situations where I was incredibly happy that some things just worked out like fate.

If it wasn't for visiting Hubs' aunt right after she got a new puppy, I wouldn't have my cuddly 4-legged child Spike. I knew at some point I would have a dog, but if it wasn't for Spike, I would probably still be dog-less. Spike showed up in our lives when I needed him the most.

If it wasn't for Hubs' lawsuit settlement, we wouldn't have Squeeks, my silly little shoulder pirate. One of the sparkles of my eye. My noisy dishwashing partner.

But I can go back farther than that. Hubs said he considered dropping out of college when he got shot - 6 months before we met. He said he was really glad that he didn't quit, because he wouldn't have met me. We are both glad that didn't happen.

If I hadn't married my first husband, I never would have gone to that college. I wouldn't have met Hubs. I wouldn't have the job I have today.

This is a toss-up between fate and regret. Some may look at the bad side of the situation and only see regret. I do not regret any of the choices I made because they got me to where I am today. Yes, there are some things I could have done differently, and they might have been altered the future. But I'm so glad and grateful for the things and people in my life now.

I'm sure everyone can find situations that seem like fate. Just like beauty, I think fate is in the eye of the beholder. But how do I continue down my life's path when I don't know what choices I need to make? Do I leave it all up to fate? Do I make decisions after a long period of thought and study? Hindsight is 20/20, and I probably won't know what decisions affect other decisions until they are made. I think that might be the fun part, though. Seeing how your previous decisions affect all the good things in your life. Remembering what potentially bad decisions have brought happiness into your life later on.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A weekend out of bed

This past weekend was nice. We were productive at home and spent time with family. Saturday Hubs and I hit up Home Depot for a shovel and some plant stakes. We came home with a grill. It's not a big one - just a $17 Charbroil charcoal grill - but it's ours. We can cook on it anytime we want. Our new goal is to learn how to grill. When we got back home, we started working on the yard. When we first moved in, I was excited about the rose bush that came with the place. But after 3 years of no blooms, I'm fed up with it and ready to use that space for my tomatoes. We bought the shovel to start digging it up. We have yet to succeed. It's like we are attempting to dig up a tree. I've never seen a rose bush so well rooted. But we'll keep working at it, because I really want my tomatoes in the ground! We got the grill put together, and were planning to cook a beautiful Angus steak we picked up. Hubs decided that he didn't want to screw the steak up, so we had a pizza instead.

We went to my dad's Sunday for a cookout. Swapped stories about work, cousins and life. We took the steak with us so Dad could show Hubs how to grill it. It turned out awesome. Probably the best steak I've ever had. I made a killer gluten-free, dairy-free, 'almost vegan' peach cobbler. I'm going to post the recipe at some point. I'll probably make another one this week with the rest of the peaches so I can post pictures.

I hope your weekend was nice as well!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Giveaway results!!!

I was excited to see the reaction to the Soul Cyster's Weight Loss Challenge giveaway. I know only 4 people entered, but that's 4 more than my last one :) After discussing it with my husband, we have decided to do something that mose giveaways don't do.... Make everyone a winner! I figure that it's not really that expensive since the format changed, and I know how awesome the other participants are, so I want to allow everyone a chance to experience it. Plus, the bigger the pot, the bigger the prize at the end :)

So for those of you that entered, check your email! I've sent you the information you'll need to get started in the challenge! I can't wait to get started again :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Spike has a girlfriend...

This weekend was nice. It was the first weekend since my paycheck has been big enough to handle more than just the bills. So to celebrate, we went to a movie with a friend. We haven't seen a movie in a theatre since Expendables 2 came out last August. We chose Furious 6 - we love the entire series, and they are so much better on the big screen :)

When we got home, a few of our neighbors were outside. One of them has a beautiful dog named Bella. She is Spike's girlfriend. One several occasions this week, he has gotten into a lot of trouble because of Bella. He's been darting out the door when he sees her. To deal with this, we put the gate back up. Now he has to be let out of the gate to see her. Anyway, we let Spike out to play with her while we spent some time with the neighbors. I used to be really worried about letting him out without a leash - fearful that he'd run off and we wouldn't be able to catch him. But as long as his girlfriend is outside, he roams the entire courtyard, but doesn't go anywhere else. He doesn't even fight us when we tell him it's time to go home. Yay!

In other awesome news, my niece is finally here! She only decided to be two weeks late, but that's ok. She decided to be her mother's birthday present :) She's absolutely adorable and I'm so excited she's here.

I stopped at Half Price Books, because my collection of unread Dean Koontz books is rapidly shrinking. I found 6 more on clearance for $2 a piece, and several were hardback copies! I'm a little addicting to Koontz - I'd say I have close to 4 dozen of his books. Since he's been publishing since 1969, I've got a long ways to go before I own them all.

That was my weekend. How about yours?

Friday, June 7, 2013

The child that never was

I've never written about this. I never thought I would. But I think it's time that I let it out - and I will try not to cry as I write it. It's a sad story, but I think that by letting it out, it will help me move on.

Before and after I was dx'ed with PCOS, I took pregnancy tests almost every month. If AF didn't show up, I was at Dollar Tree buying a test. In my heart I wished I would get two pink lines, but in my head I knew it wouldn't happen. So I did my best not to get my hopes up. But in late March of 2008, I got those two lines. I hadn't told Hubs I was taking a test because I saw the heartbreak in his eyes after every previous one.

I don't remember the topic of conversation when I walked into the living room that day. He was hanging out with a friend when I sat down on the couch. He asked me a question, and I responded with 'maybe in 8 or 9 months'. He was ecstatic. He couldn't believe it, and he was so happy. Then he laid his head in my lap, ear on my belly, and just listened. There were some tears of joy, and for the next few weeks we were blissfully happy. I started being careful with what I ate, taking prenatal vitamins, and quit smoking cold turkey.

Then April 13th happened. The pain was unlike any other PMS cramp I have ever had. I laid in bed, hoping that it would go away. I called my mom, crying because I was afraid that I wouldn't be pregnant much longer. I wanted so bad to snap my fingers and make the pain disappear. And Hubs. He laid in bed next to me, trying not to cry. He knew what was happening too. After several hours of pain that wasn't subsiding with any painkillers, we went to the hospital. I told them I was pregnant, and they whisked me back for testing. I begged them to let Hubs come back with me, but they wouldn't. When they took me in for an ultrasound, I went alone. I kept thinking this might be the only time we get to see our baby, and they won't let him stay with me. I cried the whole time. The woman doing the ultrasound wouldn't let me see the screen.

I was taken to another room to wait for the doctor. They finally let Hubs back to be with me. The doctor came in, with crappy bedside manner, and said 'You aren't pregnant. By the test results, you haven't been for at least a week.' I was diagnosed with abnormal uterine cramping and sent home. And I went numb, for days, if not weeks. The previous month we were so excited about the baby, and now we didn't have one. No more reasons to take care of myself. What's the point of prenatal vitamins without a baby? Why should I quit smoking if I'm not pregnant?

I will never know if I truly miscarried, or if I got a false positive on that pregnancy test. I don't believe it really mattered. Whether we were pregnant or not, it still hurt. That was 5 years ago. And not a day goes by when I don't think about that horrible day in April, the day I knew I lost my baby.

There are a lot of people that have never heard this story. A lot of the ones that do felt it was probably a good thing. But unless they've ever experienced anything like it, they won't know. They won't understand. They don't feel the heartbreak. We never got to name our child, as we lost it so early. It's just Baby. Our baby. The one we never got to see. The heartbeat we never got to hear. The toes and fingers we never got to count. The love we will never be able to show. The life that will never be.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My increasing happiness

A couple of months ago, I received an invitation to try out a website in beta testing called Happify. They must have been reading my depressed posts. Happify is an online program that helps you become happier with yourself and your life. It consists of weekly 'tracks' where you participate in small tasks, usually about reflection on the past and dreams of the future.

I'm always skeptical about programs like this. That's why I waited so long to write about it. I wanted to make sure that it was legitimate and useful, and wasn't some ploy to get you to spend money. Over the last several weeks of using it, I have decided it's definitely worth sharing.

Why? Because I've been depressed for years, and participating in this site has helped me to see a light at the end of the tunnel. If it can help me get out of a depressive phase, maybe it can make you happier too!

One of the best features about Happify is that it is completely free. I haven't purchased anything, and haven't been asked to.

There are a variety of tracks offered, such as 'Coping Better with stress', 'Appreciate What You Have', 'Nurture Your Body and Soul', 'Be More Socially Connected'. There are also tracks for people with children, and those wanting to strengthen their friendships. There is a short quiz that you can take to help determine which track may be the best for you at the moment. They are continually developing new tracks, so if you finish the ones you want to complete, you can wait for new tracks to be released. Each phase of the track lasts 7 days, but if you don't finish you can extend your track for as long as you need to. If you decide that you don't like the track you are on, you can change anytime.

The tasks are fairly simple. Sometimes it's a game, or a short quiz, or short diary-like entries on certain topics. You can decide if you want other Happify community members to see the posts. I like this feature because if I want to keep something secret, I can, but I can also share with the community and get feedback from other members.

Every two weeks it reminds you to do a happiness check in, a brief quiz that helps you see how happy you are as compared to previous check-ins. I'm slowly watching my score go up, which means I'm getting happier :)

Although this is still in beta testing, I was given the ability to invite you to join me. Are you interested? If so, you can click on the image below and head on over to check it out!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Weight Loss Challenge and GIVEAWAY!!

I've participated in the Soul Cyster Weight Loss Challenge on multiple occasions. I've even won once. And I'm ready to get back in it. So much so that I'm also volunteering to help run it. I'm responsible for creating some of the fitness challenges.

I'm really excited about this for a few reasons. First, the format of the challenge has changed. Previously it has been a 3 month challenge, and it goes great for the first month, but activity starts to decline in months two and three. In order to keep everyone going and excited, it's being changed to last just 6 weeks. Instead of weigh-ins every two weeks, there will only be 3 weigh-ins total. The starting weight, mid-weight and end weight. The fitness challenges are going to build on themselves, progressively getting harder. There will be a lot of different options in regards to exercise, including yoga, cardio and circuit training.

The participants of the challenge have access to a private facebook group to chat with other members, and we encourage everyone to use it to give and receive support. The challenge is open to anyone with PCOS whose BMI is above the normal range. To go along with the shorter length of time, the cost has been reduced to $6. All of the entry fees (minus paypal fees) are split between our winners. So for $6 dollars, we provide you with exercise suggestions, a group of women who want to succeed as much as you do, and cash prizes!

Sounds fun, right? It is :) And to prove it, I'm going to pay 2 lucky people's entry fees. Have I enticed you enough yet?

Here's how you can enter to win:
1) Comment below and tell me why you want to join the challenge.
2) Like the SCWLC facebook page and say I (Lynne) sent you. Then come back here and tell me you did it.
3) Subscribe to my blog using the Google Followers or the Subscribe by Email sections on the right hand side of my blog (and comment below to say you did it).

For all entries, please provide your name and an email address that I can reach you at, otherwise I won't be able to congratulate you! I look forward to losing weight with you!

This giveaway ends on Friday, June 21. The challenge begins on July 1st and lasts for 6 weeks.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Goals

I haven't written my monthly goals out in a while. I believe it's due to my pessimistic attitude, which I'm slowly trying to work on. I've been going through several books about depression and happiness, trying to get back my former, happy self. I'm slowly succeeding, so I figured it was time to try the goals list again.

- Exercise at least twice a week
- No more donuts!!! If I can cut out coffee and soda, I can cut out donuts.
- Shop for produce at farmer's market at least once
- Organize the office so I can have a craft day with my niece
- Have dinner at the dining table at least 3 times a week
- Buy a yoga membership and USE IT. I figure that if I buy it, I'll feel obligated to use it.
- Volunteer to make sandwiches for the homeless!

I can do it. And I'm really looking forward to it!

What are your goals for June? Write about it an join us in the linkup!
Monthly Goals