Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's never too late to say I'm sorry....

Tomorrow is not promised to us. This is something I know for sure. One day I was a happy, healthy baby girl who was the center of her parents' lives...the next day I was a motherless daughter, being bounced from house to house as people tried to deal with the overwhelming grief of losing their daughter, sister, friend. My dad was in the hospital, fighting for his life, and that perfect little bubble that we lived in had burst in a moment's time.

My dad has told me my whole life not to let a day go by without telling my loved ones how I feel. We always tell each other "I love you", and when we get angry at each other we try not to let too much time go by without making up. You just never know when your last words to someone will be your LAST words. :( I remember very vividly a time when Kam was in the first grade, and after a chaotic morning I was running late for work. I took it out on him and snapped at him to "hurry up" and get out of the car as I dropped him off at school. As I drove off, I caught a glimpse of  his little face, teary eyed and lip quivering, in my rearview mirror. I started to cry, and even though I was already late for work, I turned around and went back. I caught Kam going into the school and gave him a huge hug. I told him I was sorry, and I said no matter what, even when it seems like I am angry, I will always love him more than he could ever imagine! That is a TRUE STORY, and I have more like it, because I never want something I say out of anger to be the last thing my children ever hear from me.

That's why on Sunday night, when I was feeling a bit down, I felt compelled to apologize to my boys for bad choices I have made that have impacted their lives. I sat them down and I said, "I am so sorry for choosing dads who aren't here for you. I am sorry that I made choices based on my own feelings, and put yours aside. I am sorry that I sometimes get frustrated with my life and take it out on you guys. I'm sorry that I expect you to act like adults when you are not. I am sorry that it seems like I care more about the future than the present, because I don't, and as long as you're happy and healthy I am happy too. By this time I was crying pretty hard and both boys were hugging me, saying "mom it's ok" over and over. When I was finished, DJ told me I am better than a mom and a dad put together, and Kam told me I worry too much and I'm doing a great job.

I want my boys to know that I am SORRY for the mistakes I've made, and I am trying to do better. I will not make excuses for my choices. I will not blame others for my decisions. I will own them, because that's what I want them to do. My dad made many mistakes when I was younger, but I know now that he did the best he could at the time. He has always apologized for his mistakes, and that has made it very easy for me to forgive him.

I hope my boys see that THIS is the right way to live, and not by making excuses and placing blame on others, like their fathers have done.
I should write on my blog more often. I enjoy writing, and I've been told some people enjoy reading what I write, so why do I wait so long in between entries?

October marks one year of my single life. I have REALLY focused on finding myself (whatever that means lol) and rebuilding the foundation that had crumbled so badly.

We are happy. I can honestly say we are truly happy. That feels good. Of course, we have issues (who doesn't), but our issues are our own now. We are not affected by the actions and moods of other people. We no longer live in fear of temper tantrums, blow ups and breakdowns. I have seen such a transformation in the boys' attitudes. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I made the right decision, and that all of us can grow now, where before we were so stifled by the negativity.

October also marks 1.5 years since I decided I did not want to continue living life as an unhealthy, overweight woman. I have kept 30+ lbs off for 18 months, and I have learned so much about nutrition and health that I can share with others, while continuing to learn and apply new information to my own diet and lifestyle. Running is a part of my life now, and it's one that I hope to continue in some form for years to come. It's not only exercise, it's my therapy. :)

I turned 40 two months ago, and so far it doesn't seem to be much different from 39. I am more aware of the path I've taken to get to this point, which means I will be taking a much different path over the next 40 years. :) Live and learn, right??

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2011 has overstayed it's welcome....

I'm so ready for the New Year. Not because I want to make some overzealous, impossible to accomplish goal that will ultimately end up in the "to do pile" of my crazy, unorganized existence, but because this year has been so tumultuous and exhausting. I started 2011 with very high hopes. Hopes that my life was finally taking a turn in the right directions. Hopes that my wishes and dreams would finally be answered and I would be part of a real life, honest to goodness, take it to the bank FAMILY. My entire life, I have dreamed about and wished for ONE thing...that I would live in a FAMILY. I love my dad dearly, but my childhood was far from "normal". My dad spoiled me with whatever I wanted, lavished me with love and affection, but the one thing that was consistantly missing was structure. We never stayed in the same house for more than two years. I never quite new who would be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner, since my dad was fond of the ladies and when one was gone there was another in the wings to take her place. :)
I was single when I had my boys, and I still longed for that feeling of a family unit coming together, enjoying each other, sharing a bond and taking care of one another. When you want something badly enough, you tend to talk yourself into thinking it is there...even when it's not. I refused to give up on that dream, because it was a part of me, engrained deeply into my soul for as long as I could remember. Those of you know me well know that failure is not an option. I do not give up easily, especially when I feel like I am trying to do something positive for my boys.
2011 was "the year" for me...or at least I thought. I had stuck it out, fought for my beliefs, held onto my pride and won. The problem is...I won the battle...not the war. I got my way. I was married. Little did I know, that had absolutely nothing to do with getting my ultimate prize...the one I had been thinking about for 35 years...I was not any closer to having my family. :(
Now, before you say "ooohh" and "aaaahhh" and feel sorry for me, stop. Something very positive came out of that experience. What I started to realize was that I was capable of fulfilling my own dream the whole time. All this time I felt that in order to have that family that I longed for, I needed another component, the missing piece of the puzzle. When in actuality, I had all the pieces of the puzzle the whole time! I was just putting them together the wrong way. SO, with a few small adaptations and some adjustments to my thinking process, I was able to let go of years and years of this crazy belief that a family means a couple, kids, big house, 2 cars, white picket fence and summer trips to Disneyland (although I still plan on taking these lol). FAMILY, my friends, is who you surround yourself with in your darkest hours and in your most joyful moments. FAMILY loves you unconditionally, doesn't judge you, believes in and supports you. FAMILY makes you laugh and reminds you every single day that your life has meaning. My family was with me all the time, always has been, always will be. So I'm saying goodbye to 2011 and with it all my baggage and sadness. I will no longer be searching for my happiness elsewhere, for I am learning to find it within myself and I LOVE that!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Buffalo Chicken soup

chicken (recipe called for thighs but I used dark and light meat)
black beans (drained)
diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
I use a can of corn too

cook all of this in crockpot all day and then add 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce and top with crumbled blue cheese

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So many changes...

Well, it's been a while since I've updated, and I do have some new recipes I want to share...but first thing's first. Most of you know I'm going through a divorce. The boys and I moved out a few weeks ago, and we are adjusting to our new lives and routines. Life is full of lessons, and boy have I learned a few in the past couple years!! Just to clarify, nobody did anything bad to anyone else, and this divorce is not ugly or terribly painful. We just realized, after years of trying to force a square peg into a round hole, that we are not right for each other. We are two people with two very different sets of values and ideas on how a marriage should be. Can't really fault people for being who they are. I have one very important job in this world, and that is to raise two healthy, happy boys who can live their lives feeling secure and confident about who they are. I want my boys' lives to be full of love and laughter, as well as my own, and that just wasn't possible in the environment in which we were living. Marriage has to be a mutual agreement to live your lives a certain way, and unfortunately, we never could come to that agreement. We are on very different pages, and neither of us was willing to compromise our principles when it came to certain things, soooo....we agreed that we were wasting each other's time by continuing to live the way we were living.
Having said all of this...I am fine...my boys are fine....and we will always BE fine as long as we have each other.  Our lives together started out with just the three of us, and now we find ourselves back on that path. We share a bond that can never be broken, and there is no limit to what I would do for them. We just take it...DAY BY DAY!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A few more recipes....Italian style!! :)

I love the eggplant parmesan and eggplant lasagna!  If you like eggplant you will love these, because they add something different to the diet rather than fish, chicken, salad, blah blah blah lol

Eggplant parmesan

Peel an eggplant and slice into 1/4 inch slices
dip in eggwhites and then in lowfat parmesan cheese and garlic powder (mixed together)
bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy
cover with marinara (I use the low sugar Prego brand) and bake a little longer to warm sauce

Eggplant lasagna (this takes a little longer to make but is worth it cuz you have meals for the week once you do it)

Slice the eggplant the same way and bake on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes
spray bottom of baking dish with pam
mix 1 container of FF cottage cheese with two eggs (yolks and all) and pepper
cook ground turkey in marinara sauce (season how you like..I add onion, bell pepper and garlic to mine)
put meat/sauce mixture as bottom layer in the baking dish
eggplant slices are the next layer
put a layer of fresh spinach
cottage cheese mixture next and top with LF parmesan cheese
repeat layers
cover and bake for 45-1 hour

This is yummy and very filling!

Sausage and pasta (cycle 3)

Get turkey or chicken sausage links (I love the Johnsonville spicy chicken sausage), slice it up and brown in olive oil in a big pan
add whatever veggies you like...the more the better because they work as "fillers".  I use mushrooms, bell pepper, onion and zucchini.  Brown sausage and veggies together.
Add 2 cans diced tomatoes (I like the Italian style)
simmer together

serve over any whole grain pasta
top with LF parmesan if you like

Some yummy salads

Ok...so salads are a staple of cycle 1, and I still try to eat salad a few times a week even now, so here are a couple favs of mine:

Greek Salad
red leaf or romaine lettuce
artichoke hearts
red onion
low fat feta cheese
add grilled chicken if you want or turkey pepperoni (which is ok on c3)
I use a salad spritzer which is a balsalmic vinegarette, but you can use olive oil and balsalmic vinegar as well

My version of a chef's salad!
green onion
hard boiled eggs
fat free cheese
butterball turkey breast
salad spritzer ranch flavor

Taco salad
ground turkey or shredded chicken breast with taco seasoning and green chilis (ortega canned)
FF cheese
FF sour cream

Couscous salad (ok on C2)
1 box far east couscous cooked in chicken brother instead of water (try to find whole grain)
dressing is 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar
mix in dressing while still warm...you may have to break up the clumps
add whatever you like...I like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, edamame (sp?), grilled chicken, FF feta cheese.

This is a great salad to take to a bbq or potluck, because you will have something you know you can eat there! :)