Thursday, December 31, 2009

For Troy (reposted)

Troy Harold Herrick 7/13/65-12/31/2007.

I love and miss you forever. You were the best big brother I could ever want. Thanks for teaching me to drive a car and for giving me great life advice (like "don't drink,cuz throwing not that much fun!") Thank you for giving me a beautiful niece and the coolest nephew ever who I will love fiercely with all my heart (especially the part you live in) for the rest of my life. Thank you for all the laughs we shared- and there were so so many. Thanks for your art- I don't think I ever told you how much I loved that you were an artist and how proud of you I was for that. Thanks for taking up archery and giving the animals a fighting chance when you went hunting. Thanks for all the torture you and Toni put me through- you were very mean but I have to admit you probably did teach me how to be tough for later in life when I'd need it.

Thanks for being part of our book club- I always was proud that a love of reading was something we all shared. Thanks for your random phone calls. As few and far between they may have been, I will treasure each one cuz I was so happy to get them and know you were thinking of me.Thank you for coming to AZ to see me- those are great memories and they bring you to my life here so I don't feel so bad not being back home in Iowa cuz you are here with me too. I am so proud of you for becoming a firefighter. I wonder if you ever even knew how that made you a hero- thanks for being my hero.

Thank you for letting me grow up in your eyes and not just be your little sister but to see me as an adult. Thanks for being my friend as an adult and for loving me as your sister and I know you did.I will never be ok with loosing you just when it felt like we were making progress. You tried so hard to open up and reach out and you did really well and you have to know I am so proud of you and I know it wasn't easy and you were hurting so much. It was a bad choice and you were wrong but I understand why and all I can do is hope your mind and heart and quiet and at peace. You deserve peace.

Someone asked me if I feel you with me and I don't (I hope I do someday soon) but I know you are with your kids and I will never be far away from them. I swear that. They will always have me in their lives so don't worry about them too much. I can't replace you but I'll love them twice as much in your honor. I'll take care of Toni too, you know she is missing you too. I'll be sister enough for both of us to her and Cory.I hope you knew most of this before. I think you did.

My last words to you in life were love you bye and I guess I need to say that again now. I love you so much, I miss you so much. Goodbye Troy...

From The Little Prince:

"All men have the stars but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You–you alone–will have the stars as no one else has them–"

"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You–only you–will have stars that can laugh!""And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!'"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Calendar Flipping

So it's here- the time of year I hate. The day on the calendar that is like pouring acid into a not yet healed wound. The day I wish the whole world would ignore not have a global party on. Why can't it just be the day we flip the calendar? Must we draw so much attention to it? New Years Eve/Day was never my favorite Holiday in the best of times but now it is just a reminder of how long ago it is that I lost my brother.

Last year I embraced the horror and I spent the whole Holiday period reliving each painful moment of the year before (feel free to review the archives). It was cathartic and I needed to get out all that pain. I still have the visual of letting my memories roam about a soft, warm, protected pasture where they can be at peace. But that is not to say that there are not still scars. I still feel that pain. My eye still sting with tears at the most random moments thinking about him. I broke down just the other day as I was playing with art- I wondered if he would mock me (probably) but secretly be proud of me for being creative. I'll never know.

And there are additional losses this year like losing my Grandma to add to the burden of losing Troy. I don't want that, I don't want my memories of those I have loved and lost to be burdens. I keep hoping that I will find peace, that any second now the sharp edges of those memories will soften and I can hold them close again without shredding myself raw. That time has not come yet.

So this year we are going with denial. I am going to do my best to not think of the pink elephant in the room and just going on living. I hope that while I am busy doing that some of the edges might get ground down.

So :::shaking it off, throwing my shoulders back:::

I am doing my usual re-set to see where I am and where I want to go in 2010. I kick started this by getting a haircut and chopping 8 inches off my hair. New year, new look. I also started to Acai Berry cleanse. There is a 14 day weight flushing (and they do mean flushing) and then there is a 14 day fat burning cleanse. I am hoping this clears out the crud and helps get me revved up and on track for my new weight loss goals. My goal is to hit 175. I haven't locked down a timeline yet but I am thinking by summer for sure. I am just going to be gentle about it and aim for getting back into good eating habits and consistent workouts. I am super excited to have Chris help me and exercise with me as well.

I also want to bring Chris back to Iowa sometime in the spring to meet my whole Iowa tribe. WE are so lucky to have each other and I am so thrilled to have him and can't wait to get our life together started. With that comes a whole chain of goals and decisions to be made that we are working on together. Stay tuned for updates.

I am just doing my best to stay humble and grateful and be glad for the family I do have, my friends, my job and most of all for my love Chris. With all that good stuff going how can 2010 not be the best year ever? And hopefully next year the edges will have softened a bit more.

All my love to you my friends....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have Yourself...

So I am sitting here at work waiting for the last few sands in the work hourglass to run out and then I start my Christmas vacation. I am soooo looking forward to just a few days to unplug and unwind. There has been so much chaos and pressure the past few weeks, hell the past year for that matter that a deep, deep breathe is in order.

So much has changed these past months. I have lost so much yet gained the love of my life. Now that I have Chris in my life I can't imagine taking a single step forward without him by my side. Damn if it wasn't true what "they" all said- that when you find "the one" you will know instantly. I might not have known on our first date Chris was the one but I had that locked down by the third date and by the time we were a month in I was a goner. I was head over heels in real love for the first time in my life and I know he is my soul mate and my forever love.

I am sorry to not be with my family this year but at the same time its just not where I need to be. I need to be here and make that fresh start. What I am looking forward to most with the Holidays is frankly just being alive during them. Last year I was a zombie and as most of you know I spent them reliving the horror of losing Troy and went through it all step by step. I am ready to start putting the loss I have experienced behind me (adding in losing my grandma and other loses this year) and honor those who have passed by living. And not just living but thriving and experiencing joy and making the most out of MY time here. That is my gift to myself and all the people who love me.

It doesn't mean I miss Troy or my Grandma any less or that I am healed from all the scars I have BUT I -can- move on. I have such a bright future ahead of me in 2010 with the love of my life holding my hand and helping me get through everyday. That is more of a gift than I ever dreamt that I would have in my life.

And so to all of you who I love and thank you so much for your endless love and encouragement. I know you have laughed and cried this year right along with me and for that I thank you and I look forward to the next chapter- can't wait to see what happens next!!

Have a wonderful Holiday and please give someone you love an extra tight hug- the hug you get back will be from me!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


So I was gonna spending this afternoon taking my online defensive driving class that I MUST take because of a red light ticket BUT it expired from the date I registered (I thought I had until the end of the year- damn fine print). So I find myself with some time on my hands so I guess it's a good time to blog.

I guess I haven't done an overall update on what's going on in my life lately so here we go. Overall I am pretty happy with life. I know, shocking isn't it? That isn't to say there isn't day to day drama- there is. And that I don't have up and down days- I do. But big picture I am in a good place.

I guess this is the time of year you can't help but looking back and reviewing where you have been and what has happened this year and for me that is- alot. I hit a big goal and a personal milestone (under 200lbs) and while I am struggling with the day to day and moving to my next goal of hitting 160ish next year I am ok with where I am for this moment and look forward to hitting my next goal. And now I know I can do it! :)

The biggest change is of course falling head over heels with the man of my dreams. I think its fun that you were all along for the ride as well. You have been in the backseat of our relationship all along and have laughed and cried right along with us. Chris is been such a life changer. To have the unconditional love and support he gives me has filled up holes in me that I didn't even know I had. He is the perfect man for me and I know he has been my destiny all along. It's hard to explain to him just how much he has brought to me and how he has enhanced my life. I guess it's like putting on glasses for the first time. You are able to see without them but the way the world looks so much brighter and sharper and more clear with them- makes all the difference in the world.

He will never know all the little things he does for me, and big ones too. You all know he has been getting his art projects off the ground and we have had a lot of fun with the art shows but what he didn't realize is getting more involved in art has been on my bucket list for 4 years now and I have never done anything about it- until he opened that door for me, I am now working on my own stuff and have a whole new way to be creative and express myself.

Employment wise life has thrown me a few curve balls but I have to say I am really glad to have landed where I did and love being in the software space. It is interesting and challenging and it's great to be with such a solid company and work with such a good team. I am still pleased that this is a position I found solely through the power of my network which I invested a bunch of time building. It's good to know that was a good investment and now it's paying off for Chris too with a bunch of new options on the horizon for him.

It's been a challenging year for my family. I am excited to be a Great Aunt and can't wait to meet my grand-nephew in the spring. I wish the news was as positive for everyone. I just want it to be better for everyone and still struggle with what I can do to make it better for my family while I am so far away.

I am starting to start thinking about 2010 goals for me and for Chris and I as a couple and I am so excited to flip the calendar and start a whole new year and a whole new decade. I know without a doubt that 2010 will be the best year of my life and can't wait to share it all with you. As always I have to thank you all for your love and support.

Please do me a HUGE favor and leave me a comment with what you like/don't like/what gotten out of this blog. I would love to hear from you!!

Love and peace to you all....


Monday, December 14, 2009

The Ghost of Christmas Spirit

The theme for the month is- I am trying.

Now this will make any of my fellow Rapport Master Grads crazy as "try" is a powerless word. Think Yoda- "there is no try, only do"and to a large extent I agree. Powerless words are just that-powerless. That doesn't make them any less true though and honestly I have been feeling pretty powerless recently.

I feel empty. I spent the better part of the weekend in a total zombie state. The waves of depression and cresting and I feel the dark tug of the undercurrent wanting to drag me down down down. I don't remember anything this weekend but sitting on my couch and tasting the salt of my tears which I couldn't even be bothered to wipe away. I'd probably still be sitting there if not for Chris coming over to pull me up and letting me rest on his strong shoulders. His love is literally the only thing holding me together right now.

It's the Santa hats.

I was looking through family pics and since I mainly was home only for the Holidays the past decade most of my pics are of Christmas. And in each pic my brother is there wearing yet another Santa hat. It was his thing and I never even really noticed. I have to say his last Santa hat was a doozy- it had a very odd looking beard attached and was suitable for scaring small children- which he did. Along with embarassing his own kids. So all of the sudden I see Santa hats everywhere and they all remind me of Troy.

I know several people who have recently lost someone they love and I think it is a special kind of hellish pain when you lose someone around the Holidays. I have to say all the joy has been sucked out of the season for me. I don't feel any Holiday spirit and frankly just wish they were all over and done with. And it's not just Christmas for me because as most of you know we lost my brother on New Years Eve and I flew home on New Year's day. So once again I will mentally relive that horror. I can't help it. You'd have better luck stopping the tide than turning my mind away from that horrific timeline. I'd love to look forward to this New Years and for the first time in my life being with the person I am sharing my future with as we kiss in the New Year but I don't see that day ever holding any joy for me.

And now this year I have the first year without my Grandma to look forward to. She is the heart of my family and without her I fear we are all a bit adrift. Everyone put forth an effort to make her happy and without her? I don't know....I hope traditions continue but I don't have much to say about it since I alone have chosen to move away. Not that I regret it and as awful as it sounds I am glad to not be home this year. Not that I don't love my family- they know I do. I would just rather have my own special time with each of them (preferably them coming to AZ) than make with the fake frivolity just because its Christmas.

Christmas is dead for me. It died with Troy and it died a bit more with my Grandma. It died with the erosion of my relationship with my mother and as much as I want to fix it all I can't. It is beyond my powers. I just want to crawl into a hole and hang a sign "closed for the season". I want to seal myself in a cave and only let my love come in and hold me and do his best to nurture my broken soul through this hideous time of year.

I want to believe, don't think I don't. I used to believe in the magic. I used to marvel at the wonderment and delight at all the merriments but the curtain has been ripped down and I see the illusion for what it is. I hope the magic comes back. I hope I can be lit up again and dream those dreams.....I'm trying. Really I am.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dark Room

Scene: dark room, pitch black except for a table with a mirror on it in a circle of light.

Direction: girl walks into room, looks around suspiciously then walks over to the table and takes a seat in the chair sitting in front of it. Looks into the mirror and looks at what is her own reflection but wearing a dark suit and Sarah Palin-like glasses

Ummmm, hi?

Hello Tracey. What brings you here?

I dunno, just kinda wandered in. Who are you?

Well isn't it obvious- I am you. The wiser, more rational part of you.

Oh, rock on. Where have you been all my life?

Don't get cute with me. I don't think you are clever. I have already heard all your jokes, doesn't impress me.

Damn. That hurts. Ok- I'll bite. Why am I here?

Well, I have been looking over your progress and I can't help noticing you are a bit of track.


Would you like to tell me what's going on?

Don't you know?

Of course, I am you but I think it would helpful for you to tell me.

Well I was doing good, in a groove until July and then....


Then I took a break and decided I could let go and not be so careful and....errrrr

That hasn't worked out so well for you has it?

No, not really. I have gained about 25 pounds.


Ok 30.....bitch

Calling me names isn't really gonna help now is it?

Kinda it does...

Ok then call me every name in the book but you are still going in the wrong direction.

I know.

And I think I recall you saying you weren't going to be one of those yo-yo dieters. That you were gonna take it off and keep it off.


So? What now. You are where you are. Can't change that. So let's talk about why you can't seem to get back on track.

It's just a lack of motivation. I have the right schedule so time isn't an issue.

Ok, good. So what is stopping you?


No lie to me dumb ass, as if I wouldn't know you were lying.

Shut up, it was just an expression.

I know.

(sigh) As I was saying...honestly I am going back to my self sabatoging ways. I am feeling exactly the same way about food that I always have. That it is my treat- that I can reward myself with it and that I deserve it. Just like a junkie with a needle over my arm I tell myself I can handle it when the truth is I can't. I can't do a moderatly good diet and when I slip a bit I slide all the way down. I start off a day being "good" then I will slip a bit and then the day is a loss. And then I figure the week is a loss and why work out if I have already "been bad" and then the cycle begins.

Hmmmm, why do you think you are talking about "good" and "bad". Are those the only 2 options?

Pretty much....

Why is that? Why is it good or bad can't it just be a choice? A choice you made and a choice you make differently next time?

I guess... Am I this annoying when I talk to other people?


Shit. let's take good and bad off the table. Lemme go all Jillian Michaels on you and ask you the simple question. Why do you want to lose weight?

I want to be happy.

Bullshit, you are in love and are happier than you have ever been but you are still overweight? Why?

Because I feel I need to punish myself...

For what?

For not being good enough.

Ahhhhh, there is that "good" word. Good enough for who?


We covered this...

Yes, honestly I am not now nor have I ever been good enough for my mother. My mother doesn't accept me for who I am and she recently announced that she doesn't want to be in the same town as me. There I said it.

Damn- you sure did. How do you feel?


Of what?

Scared she is going to see this and hate me. Scared my family will reject me. Scared I will lose them all forever and I will be alone.

That is alot of fear to carry around with you.


So now what? What are you going to do to get past this?

Well I guess this is a first step.

Yes it is....a pretty big one I'd say.

Then I guess I will wait and see what the fall out is.

Ok, and what are you going to do in the meantime.

I will take smaller steps, meaning I will go back to basics and not look at weeks or months but start building a string of small steps to start rebuilding back to where I was.

How about you not worry about where you were and just be where you are and go from there.

Ok, fair enough. Are we done?

Got somewhere else to be?

Well SYTYCD is on....

Oh for fuck sake, if your life isn't as important as a reality dance show go ahead...

Ok- thanks

(dashes out of the room)

Holiday Spirit

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I wish everyone a day of happiness with family and friends and all things warm and comforting. That's what it is all about right? Being with people you love. The people who know and love you best and that you can totally relax and be yourself with. I wish that for you and I wish I had that for me this year.

Don't get me wrong- I am very excited to be spending my first major Holiday with my new family. I have the wine and I am looking forward to spending time with Chris and getting to spend some more time getting to know his mother. Nervous? Sure but it will be great and I am excited about it.

It's just not -my- family and as great as it will be it won't be the same Holiday I grew up with and the truth is that kind of Holiday will never happen again now that we have lost my Grandma.

In my family my Grandma was truly the heart of the family. The one and only thing she ever really wanted was to have her whole family together for the Holidays. She would cook for days and days. That weird green bean casserole. The pink fluff gunk with odd bits of chewy things that no one ever quite identified. There was always the one dish that didn't exactly come together as planned.

There was always a race for the star dishes....turkey and ham. Sitting down next to the butter if you wanted a hope of ever getting your buns buttered. And the holy grail- the mashed potatoes. This was the most heavily mocked side for who had the biggest mound and yet I think it was out of jealousy for not getting there first. We would eat early- about 1pm which was great cuz it left the whole day open for eating, grazing the leftovers after dinner and then a good amount of time before the pies got broke out. Now Grandma loved her pie and we would have: pumpkin, apple, cherry, lemonade (special request for Toni and Debbie), and mincemeat. To this day I hope I never ever learn what a mince is and why we want its meat in a pie.

The best part of the day was never the food though (sorry Grandma) it was a chance to flop down in a dog pile of family and in a food coma just chat and laugh and tease with my family. Now more often than not I was the butt of this teasing but yes, I can even now look back on that with some nostalgia. What I wouldn't give to hear Troy teasing me for some random thing. What I wouldn't give to feel my Grandma patting my thigh as she told me to be a good girl (this isn't a little girl memory btw- if I saw her right this second she would say the same thing.)

Just sitting here now I can see my mother's house and smell all the Thanksgiving smells. The oven cranking meant it was the one time of the day that the house was even close to warm. Mom was famous for keeping her house and temperature "ice box". I miss it and I miss being home.

But as I's not gonna happen anymore. My mom was never a fan of being the hostess so she is happy to give up that task and the family is drifting apart. The kids are growing up and have other places to be and of course I am out of state.

Soooooo I will have an enjoy my Holiday and start some new traditions with the newest members of my family and it will be imperfectly perfect and we will start our own new traditions. And in my head I will hit the replay button and bring some of the spirit of those past days into my heart and that will be enough.

I love and miss you Troy and Grandma, you will always be here in my heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I know I am bad- I promised myself I would blog this weekend but I got busy with the boy and then yesterday was all about chillaxing. Sorry! Or as all the Canadians in my life would say (and suddenly there are a lot of them sore-ee!!)

I guess I have been reluctant to sit down and put pen to paper (so to speak) because there is one last big can of worms in my life to crack open and it is the only thing that is on my mind. I can't sleep because of it and I think about it pretty much every minute of everyday. It's the last wall to break down and the last hurdle to leap over but the bitch of it is that it is totally and utterly out of my control.

I really don't even know now as I write this if I dare "go public". My faithful readers (love ya) know what a delicate balance I have created here in sharing MY life but not dragging anyone else into it-or at least minimizing the collateral damage as much as possible. When I have written about people in my life it has been with their advanced permission and blessing (for the most part). If I dare to crack open this will cross that line. It is by far the most painful thing in my life and I don't know that I can move on without dealing with it and for better or worse this sacred space has been my tool for dealing with the deep dark creepy crawly scary memories and experiences that have held me back. I have become quite convinced that I have gone as far as I can in my health crusade and what is holding me back from crossing the finish line of where I want and need to be is this issue.

To say I am scared is the understatement of the century. I know how words hurt. Even ones you believe in and believe to be true. Even truth can be a rock that shatters. Shatters people, shatters lives, shatters families and all the relationships you hold dear. And you can never know where its gonna stop. Just because I feel the need to tell my version of the truth, that's not to say that there isn't another perfectly valid version and it's not fair that because I am holding the mike and I have the stage that the other version, whatever it is, true or not, gets told. And once cracked the glass will never be whole again. And let's face it, if this one gets out of the bag it won't be a crack it will be a full on tsunami of damage. The kind that people never heal from.

So yeah....I am reluctant to "go there" even though I honestly feel that if I don't the cost may be my soul. Or at least my piece of mind. And given that I am on the verge of shedding this old skin (literally once I get my surgery) and becoming the person I was meant to be- I don't know if I can hold on to this chunk of my life, my history, and still move forward. My future is precious to me and it is RIGHT THERE, Chris is standing before me with his hand extended. He will love and protect me for the rest of my life (and me him) and we are gonna have a family and live fantastically fabulous lives.......but not if I still am holding on to this.

I know its time to toss the ballast overboard so we can really sail. It's time to let go and give my heart the peace I need. I need to love and forgive and let I ready?

That is the question....stay tuned for the answer.

(Oh, or give me a call if YOU figure it out!!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Forgive and be Grateful

So the yoga studio has a theme every month and not a big surprise, this month's theme is gratitude. What with the Holiday that is all about giving thanks upon us that seems more than appropriate but as we went into meditation about being grateful for the things we have (as opposed to wanting the things we don't) I got stuck. We were supposed to be giving thanks to ourselves for all the things we do for ourselves and for other people but for me I found myself not able to even go there.

Instead what I went to was the need to focus on forgiveness. For me there can be no gratitude until there is forgiveness and I have been trying very hard to dig and really get to the cause of why I am struggling so much with maintaining my weight. I just find my impulse control going out the window. For no damn reason at all last night I grabbed a donut when I got gas last night. Totally canceled out the joy of the fat free cappuccino I was "treating" myself too. I got into the car and inhaled the damn thing before it even processed that I had bought it in the first place and I felt that same panic/rush I have felt so many times in my life. All I can figure out is that I am punishing myself.

The things I have punishing myself for is very long and I could fill pages and pages with the list. Things like not being there for my family, not being loved by my mother (cuz clearly that is my fault), not being strong enough, not being in a better financial situation, not doing what I know I should do, not making the right choices......blah blah blah. I could go on for days.

So what I thought about today is how do I forgive myself and I know it starts by letting go. problem. Let go. Easy

I am certain I am not the only person in the world who struggles with this issue but it's tough. It's hard to take accountability and ownership of your life while letting go of some of those things all at the same time. And if I am brutally honest I don't want to let some of those things go because I really believe I have done things that I do need to suffer and be punished for and I have to believe that this lack of impulse control that has been taking over and making these bad decisions for me is my BS acting the role of the Punisher. (cue the super villain)

So that was my moment today. I am hoping by forcing myself back into writing consistently this blog will do for me what it has done before and be that mirror and that guide that helps me work out and see what it really going on cuz right now I feel more than a little adrift and I don't want to get so far out that I can't see land and can never get back to where I was.

Help.....(she says to the universe)

Help me to see and understand and learn.....I will offer it up and let what is supposed to happen, happen.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Being a LOSER

So what is life like after one loses 200+ lbs? I just got done watching the Biggest Loser and ironically Tracey (not me, duh) went home tonight. I didn't really like her and kinda mad she has my name (even spelled the same way- weird) but it did get me thinking about the happy sparkly packages they show of everyone "after the show".

There are fat pant clips (feel free to revisit my rant about this topic), clips of sweaty people in gyms still working out consistently and totally loving life.

Is it real?

I am sure most of it is, most days. But here I am my very own Biggest Loser and its not all sparkly and shiny. I don't have my fat pants cuz I gave them all away as soon as I grew out of them and while I struggle to find that happy balance in "the real world" my new pants are starting to get a bit tight again. For me life is not easy peasy post weight loss. Not that I feel I am at the end of my weight loss journey but for a variety of reasons this summer totally threw me off my game and I haven't yet found my way back to a schedule and routine I can live with.

So for me, not so easy, and I think that is important for people to know. I knew going into this whole process that the back end part would be the real struggle and it is living up to what I expected. I feel like I have always been pretty realistic about what I can and can't do and what to expect. It is just another stretch of road that needs to be traveled.

I was at such a high level with my workouts back in July and when I go to workout now I get so pissed that I am not at that level anymore. I know I worked like a fiend to get where I was and I need to let me body slowly build back up but I find myself getting tired and frustrated and then I give up and don't workout the rest of the week.

It's a struggle....and I still find myself very conflicted with the whole world of "treats". I want to be a person who can have "A" cookie and that's it but if I have "A" cookie I find myself also grabbing a caramel latte to wash it down and then if I have already had that why not have a few other "treats" as long as I am "good" tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and I already blew it yesterday so why not just wait and start over on that most coveted day of all dieters....c'mon, say it with me: The diet starts on MONDAY! (coughbullshitcough)

I know I can resist, I did it for a WHOLE why can I not keep it together right now? I am trying not to beat myself up about it but I live in mortal fear everyday of the scale creeping up the wrong direction. And let's face it, I can't go back to where I was. I can't afford the new pants!!

So yeah, in my opinion life after being a Loser is better, no question. It is also a whole new set of challenges and struggles and I haven't scene THAT show yet.....but I am a living Loser everyday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tis the Season

I guess it is no surprise that family has been on my mind a lot the past few weeks. This is the time of year when families get closer and plans get made and who is bringing what and blah blah blah....all that good stuff.

The Holidays are bittersweet for me. Moving forward in my life there will always be the shadow of sadness covering them as we come upon the anniversary of losing my brother (New Year's Eve) and this year will be the first year without my Grandma.

My Grandma was all about the Holidays. She would bake and cook for days and the parade of hot pots and bowls and trays of goodies was endless when it came time to pack up all her stuff and bring it over to our house (my mom's house) for dinner. All she ever wanted was all her family together and twice a year she got it and I know they were the happiest moments of her life.

Living so far away I slowly drifted out of the Holiday routine going from barely decorating or celebrating the Holidays to these days, unless I go back to Iowa, I don't celebrate at all. It is just another day to me. That's not to say I haven't gotten plenty of invites to be a guest over the years and occasionally accepted them but its always a bit awkward to be the guest at someone else's family celebration. They never do things the way your family does which a) is just wrong and b)reminds you that you aren't with your family.

This year I will be with Chris and his mom and we will begin our new family celebration. It's going to be weird and an adjustment for us all. I already have been warned that they do Holidays big so I am revving my Holiday motor up. will be different and a little sad. But that's ok and I am sure we will find a way to honor everything that is important to us all about family, old and new.

The important thing is...we are all together in heart if not in body.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Prince Charming

So love doesn't conquer all.

No this isn't going to be some sad posting about something wrong with Chris and I. Thank god I have a solid and wonderful man in my life who loves me. It still sounds so amazing to me to hear him murmur in my ears as he is nibbling on my neck how much he loves me. I am doing my best to accept his love and know how worthy I am, but between you and me I just don't know what he is seeing when he looks at me. I know it must be good cuz he gets this soft schmoopy look on his face and his eyes twinkle when he looks at me but when I try it- there is nothing that makes my eyes twinkle when I look in the mirror,trust me.

Which brings me to my point. While I thank all that is good in the world everyday for Chris's love it is not and hasn't been a magic wand that makes everything better. I guess this is important for me to say because it's kinda like all those weight loss secrets that they keep from you (like counting calories and exercise is how you lose weight.....seriously, they should TELL people this stuff). When you spend your whole life without that great love you start projecting all your hopes and dreams and fantasies into it.

The Prince Charming fantasy....that HE will come on his white horse and sweep you off your feet and you will live happily ever after.


That isn't exactly how it goes as it turns out...
Don't get me wrong. Chris is totally my prince and my soul mate and THE ONE. I have no doubts about that. None. And I do believe he is my happily ever after but what I have come to realize is that might take a combined effort. Prince Charming needs rescued as much as I do. We all do....(that comment isn't specific to Chris or any other "Prince" out there).

I guess I have spent so many years with my nose pressed to the window of this fantasy world where inside everyone was swirling around in the blissful dance at the ball. All dressed up and happy and safe in the bubble of their love. I think anyone who hasn't (yet) found that great love should kinda start prepping for the fact that no one can save them. Scratch that.....only THEY can save them.

The truth is I am still every bit the hot mess I was over 5 months ago- BC (before Chris). I still have weight issues ,which now that I am in the land of "normal" food I am struggling to find that balance for myself. And I am struggling. It is a slippery slope to work without a net. It's tough to find that fine line and when can I have the treat and when do I cut calories.

And a very unexpected side effect is I am trying to stick to a budget and what is economical is rarely what is healthy. Kinda sucks.

Oh yeah, and once I got out of the working out everyday no expectations train. Well....that isn't going well. I am lucky to force myself to workout 3times a week.

But its for me to figure that out. Chris loves me and will love me no matter what. Getting on the tread mill has nothing to do with him. Nor does my food choices (except when he cooks- damn him for being such a great cook!!) The choices I make and the reasons I make them are still mine. Yes I have love and am secure in that, but I still have the fear and panic in me that throws me off my path.

In fact now that I do have one huge corner of my life secure it is my fears who are trying like hell to take over the party. It is my demons, my bad BS (belief system) that feels threatened. This is the time in my life where they help me in my penchant for self sabotage.

I am doing what I can to get ahead of that and be super aware but sometimes I fail and fail huge. The good news and the lesson I have learned is that everyday is a chance to make a new choice. Can't do anything about the bad choices I have already made expect try to learn why and where they came from and do what I can to learn and make a different choice next time.

I still feel like something is missing. I used to attribute it to loneliness and "if only I had someone in my life who really loved me" that would go away and I would be whole. Well, I couldn't be more in love and I have a boy who can and will drop everything to tell me how much I am loved as often as I need to hear it. But that hasn't filled the hole....only I can do that. Only my love for MYSELF can do that.

So for anyone who does have their nose still pressed to the glass and wonders what it is like at the ball I am here to tell you that of course it is wonderful and fun. Of course it is.
You knew that already....but unless you can dance with yourself and be happy no Prince will ever be able to truly be able to make all your dreams come your own Prince Charming.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm just a Bill....

I believe the request went something like this..."post something, ANYTHING. Post, damn you post!!"

Who am I to deny a request like that so here I am posting away.Ok what I am really doing is totally avoiding the stack of bills I can't quite cover and ergo delaying the whole "which bill is can I play the check game with this week." The good news is I get paid weekly and bill pay has that handy feature which lets me know when the e-check will clear my account. Except when it doesn't and then throws my whole account off and I get dinged for $70 in overdraft fees that if I could afford those I wouldn't have had to play the check game in the first place. Grrrrr.

I truly hate doing this and while I love my job and am grateful to have it, it just barely covers my bills with little wiggle room. I am a girl who likes to wiggle so this is a problem. Not to mention I am a girl who has a very shiny future to plan and pay for so I need some more cash-ola coming my way. I'd love to say I could just cut my bills but the past year(s) have seen me cut to the bone. I am actually kinda over this whole owning a condo in the city scene but as now is not the time to sell and I do still need a place to live this is a problem. And until a certain row of dominoes which we shall call "my future plans" topples over is just the right direction.....well here we are.

It's not awful and for the most part I am getting by but I just hate that strapped feeling. Just 3-4 years ago I had so much free cash to do with what I wanted. Not that I blew thousands on crap, hundreds maybe but I have never lived an extravagent lifestyle so cutting out the extra's just doesn't leave much.

I know I am not alone here but when it's your pile of bills and your life it's hard to keep the big pic in mind.

I know enough bitching. Again, I am grateful for all that I have but like a true american I'd like just a wee bit more and if I didn't have to do or change a thing to get it that would be great....thanks!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Oh my little blog, how I have neglected you. It's not on purpose I assure you. I have had things pop into my head to post but nothing so compelling as to drag me over to the computer to sit my arse down and start to post. Even now there is no pressing message I wish to release to the world just free forming it.

I did want to send some love to my hometown crew. We lost a classmate and it has been a very sad week. I don't know that it has been discussed much but it feels to me like a new phase where we are just going to start losing more and more people "our age" and I can feel my own mortality knocking knock knocking on my door. For me of course it brings up thoughts of my brother and my family. That's the thing about death I learned during my time as a crisis counselor in college. The death of someone you know is never just about their passing, it also stirs the pot of every other loss you have ever experienced and you deal with those losses all over again as well.

So much love to my Boonies and especially to Jane and the kids in FL and rest well Blake.

And life keeps rocking even when bad stuff happens.

Life has slowed down to a much appreciated crawl for me in many respects. I really like my job, like my coworkers and am mostly making enough to cover my bills. There is still drama in my life but for the most part its not mine it is my families so I am doing my best to support from afar and I am looking about planning a spring trip to come home and hopefully bring my boy for the grand introductions to my Iowa life. Lord help him....

The holidays are looming and I am very much looking forward to spending them with my boy and his mother....aka my new family. :) I have no idea what to get my boy for Christmas and the Holidays are a big deal to him so no pressure! He has this unsaid rule that you shouldn't have to ask what a person wants if you really know them so I am going to have to start taking some copious notes!! Not to mention what to get his mom.....

As for Chris and I things are wonderful. We are now at the 5 month mark which doesn't sound nearly as impressive as almost 6 months....that almost sounds like a really real relationship. I have to admit I still can't believe what a wonderful guy like him is doing with me. He really does make me so happy and I just can't believe he loves me. And naturally I am head over heels for him in a big big way. It is so amazing to think and plan for our future....getting engaged, getting married, our first house, starting a family. Things I had stopped thinking were part of my plans or in my future but now....seem to be the path that I was on all along.

So kids, that is my world in a have YOU been? :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Just when you think its safe to get back it the water- KABAM! Something comes at you from left field. I have been keeping a low profile lately to do some internal inventory but mostly because I have been focused on some issues/problem that are affecting the people I love most in this world. As I have said before many times their issues are not mine to talk about or share here. I would never do that to them but if you know my family just please do reach out and send them some love and support. We could all use some...

How this has affected me is...complicated. I wish I could say I was being the rock they could cling to or the soft place where they can land but I'm not. I can't help feel like I have failed them all in a big way. Chris and I have talked about it and because he is here with me and as much as he loves my family (as much as you can without meeting them) because he loves me he is most concerned about how I deal with their issues. How do I deal with it? Not well. I tend to take responsibility for not being there and not being able to fix them. Yes, I know I don't have that power and its not my job to fix them. I know that but it's still what I want with all my heart and soul to do. And I feel so guilty for not being there. I want to be able to drive over and sit down and hug and cry with them. I want to be able to yell and scream and kick their ass when they need it. But all I can do is call or text or scour facebook for little hints of how they are doing. It's so frustrating and it makes me heartsick.

It doesn't matter the specifics of what's going on. The details are just incidental to the bigger issues which is.....we are all scarred. (btw- even notice how close the words scarred and scared are? I don't think that is an accident)

I won't blame my brother's death for all of it because my gene pool is just predisposed to depression and all its fun little sick kicks already. That fact just turns up the volume on everything else. But it is certainly the tsunami that my family is still rebuilding will be 2 years on December 31st and it might as well have been yesterday some days. The hole and the void of losing Troy plus the loss of my grandmother thjis year. who I have come to see was and is the soul of our family, has thrown us all into a tailspin so devastating that we are all still spinning. I know any illusion that I have come to some kind of peace about it has been just that- an illusion. And the worst part is I have let it spill into other areas of my life.

I have let the fact that all this family drama has flared up as an excuse to not stay focused on my health and as a result I have not worked out consistently since the beginning of July. I have let go of personal relationships and when I am not with Chris I am content to sit in my condo alone and just hide. I thought I was taking a breather and letting myself catch up with where I am at emotionally but the truth is I am hiding. I am also getting into some pretty bad self sabotaging habits like getting "treats" for myself. I keep telling myself a cookie here are there won't hurt and yet all of the sudden it has become a rare day where I don't find myself "treating" then justifying the reasons. Then I tell myself its ok to have the cookie or latte if I work out when I get home but by that time I do I am so overwhelmed by the day I just collapse and hide.

And worst of all I have let this fear affect my relationship with Chris. Last week was a very sad week and we were both very hurt because I was totally blind to something that he needed from me but in my own bubble I couldn't see or understand. He is so protective and understanding it took a major blow up to make me understand. I hate being wrong and I was, very wrong and it killed me to be the cause of pain to the man I love with all my heart. I never want that to happen again. (Again, I am so sorry baby)

My scars are deep and they are everywhere I look. My whole body right now is a reminder of a life of pain and loneliness. Every inch of sagging and droopy skin reminds me of how long I have spent hating myself and getting in my own way and every time I go for that "treat" I am telling myself "you aren't worth it" and that is not what I want. Every glance in the mirror shows me sad and empty eyes full of pain.

I have said so many times here life is about choices and my bad bad BS (belief system) has been in control. I see that I have real potential to be happy and successful and so my BS is waging a war to sabotage me and I have been doing a darn good job of letting it.

The scars go deeper than that though. The physical scars are easy to deal with, someday I will get the surgery I need to tighten things up and lift them where they should be but the ones on my heart... those are tougher to heal. I may never get to a place where I am not afraid. I just feel like I have lost so much I am terrified every day that I will gain all the weight back, that I will lose Chris, that I will lose another family member, that I will never get out of my own way once and for all. It goes on and on and its such a struggle. It's exhausting....

All I can do it just work on it and keep improving. Chris and I went to the zoo yesterday and did a ton of walking, granted it was after a breakfast of stuffed french toast and a cinnamon roll but we walked well over 10 miles. Then today I went back to the park and walked 7.5 miles . It's not losing 30 pounds but its something and rebuilding and getting back on track has to start somewhere and maybe the scars will never heal but that doesn't mean I have the right to stop trying....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Learning to Walk

I read a quote today and this is paraphrasing but it went something like "As I grow I don't change so much as I become more fully myself." I have been turning this over in my mind all day and kinda mulling it over. It def fits where I am in my life right now. The task I have at hand is to get to know this version of me as I become "more fully myself".

I guess I like it because it gives the impression that we are all walking a path. I have this visual of being a glass and each step forward fills that glass up just a drop more.....soon the glass will be filled and you will be who you were meant to be, unless of course you are me and that glass gets spilled all over and you have to start over that is.

What I do know is I am more afraid right now than I have ever been- of everything. I am so unsure and unsteady and I have been having the worst dreams I can recall, all about someone or something being taken from me as I watch helplessly.

After talking to Chris I realized just how much of what I do and what drives me is fear based. I must admit I was taken back by this fact. I thought I was mastering my own destiny and taking control (grabbing life by the ballz and taking names) but really I am in blind panic mode. Everything seems so delicate now and it feels like it could all be taken away in a flash. I feel like I am barely holding on to my place in this world at times and I am just worried about how easily it can be taken away. Some of it is rational and some not so much. Like I still panic just a little but everyday that Chris is gonna find that fatal flaw and leave me. I know in my soul that isn't so and won't happen but those fears keep whispering to me "it could happen, couldn't it??". Then of course with my recent employment history (4 jobs in one year- yay me!) its no shock that I am more than a little concerned about the longevity of this job (compounded by the fact that it is a contract role). Even my family I feel (in some cases with very good reason) that those relationships aren't as solid as they could be.

So what to do? That is part of what has brought me to this place where I know I need to stick a pin in my life and just get on solid ground for a little while. I was showing Chris a pair of shoes with 2 inch heels that I could have never worn before (because of the lymphodema) and now they are my faves and my most comfy pair and he made a profound observation. He looked at me and said "you are learning to walk all over again."

And so I am, and by walking around in these new "more fully me" shoes and just being more aware and actually taking a minute to take a breathe, look around and just BE I hope some of those fears will settle down. I don't want my life ruled by fear and so I will walk until these shoes get as comfy as my bedroom slippers!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I am now, always have been and always will be a lover of TV. I have many friends who look down their noses at the glowing box that gives (most of) us so much pleasure and even my boy thinks that a day with no TV is a good day. Being a child of the 80's I grew up with TV as my babysitter and learned all of life's most important lessons from the after school specials I saw (oh, and all the Molly movies...RIP John Hughes, what would teen angst have been without you). What the heck ever happened to them? I'll bet you can trace the second the economy truly started to crumbled to the last airing of a heady lesson filled drama that was aired between 3 and 4 pm.

Anyways, what I am saying is I was always predisposed to TV brain washing. I am a willing victim and I have to say that this week marks a magical time of year. Fall Premier week!! Ahhhhh, let's embrace and wallow in this moment for a second. Before all the cancellations begin and before the shows we want to love begin to disappoint. Before shark jumping and before off set drama becomes a plot line spoiler (yeah, I am looking at you Izzy!)

This is the week where the fall line up lay before us like a field of new fallen snow. Unspoiled by the critics bashing and the fuckwad stars screwing it up for us....for now its all there before us beckoning us into the fall months where hot chocolate and sweaters await.

I am sorry but there is nothing better to me than a great story and I don't care where that story comes from. Reality TV, cable, network even a Monday Night Football game.....I love it all. I guess its the same thing the drove me to pursue (but not complete, details) a sociology degree. I love the way a story can unfold in the most unexpected of ways. Sometimes its a hero's story and sometimes its just watching some dumb asses make utter fools of themselves- either way the story grips me and won't let me go.

I used to feel guilty but dammit I get sucked in when Tim Gunn is telling someone how fabulous their garment is or when Tom Colicchio gives his nod to a great dish (oh when are they gonna invent smell-o-vision??). Do I think this is Oscar worthy faire? Maybe not but it is entertaining and that is the point (and that's why they invented the Emmy's- thanks NPH!!)

Bring it on, bring on the specials and the challenges and the "most dramatic rose ceremonies" yet. Show me the twisted plot lines and character flaws. I dare you to make me laugh and cry and to inspire and perhaps even teach me. Do what you will with me fall TV season cuz I have been waiting all summer long for you!!

Slow down and breathe.....

I have to apologise to my beloved blog readers.....I have been pulling away from you. Not on purpose mind you but for some reason I haven't been compelled to write recently. I have been having a good long think about that and a bunch of other things and I have come up with a few truths that I am working through. This is in no small way due to my wonderful boy who helped me talk a bunch of this stuff out on a beautiful date last week. Amazing how easy it is to find peace and clarity when you are surrounded by twinkly lights and listening to the splashing of a gorgeous fountain with the man you love with all your heart.

Hmmm, the boy. He is as good a place to start as any. You know, lemme back up actually. Starting with Chris is kinda jumping in the middle. So...backing up. You guys all know that a ton has changed for me over the last 2 years (and for those new readers who don't know read the archives then re-join us.....we'll wait.) What I have discovered is I am totally overwhelmed by all the change. It just doesn't stop. The changes in my life keep going off like a mine field in the middle of a battle. Now I have copped to being a change junkie but I don't want to become one of those people who have chaos be their "status quo". I want my change to be purposeful and lead me to a path where I find peace and comfort and serenity. I don't want mock 10 with my hair on fire to be my "go to" state.

So what's new besides everything? Seriously....since we lost Troy, and really tack on at least 6 months before that....there is not a single area of my life that isn't totally changed. The weight loss alone would be enough but that is just a piece. A big piece but its not the whole story. That being said- I knew I would change as a result of the journey I took in losing the 200+ lbs but what I have come to realize is I have not taken even a second to get to know me now. I have changed, I am not a whole new person but I have taken on so much new stuff and I haven't done a good job at assimilating this new "stuff" into who I am and then getting to know this enhanced version of myself. I am all brand new and I don't know who -this- me is yet.

I look in the mirror and for the most part it is still a surprise to see the face and body reflected back at me. This isn't the me I have known for over 35 years....this is a brand new person and I haven't even said "hello" and "welcome to the party" yet. I thought that was what I did when I went home in July but I was still so "in the process" there wasn't a chance to breathe let alone stop and take it all in. And it hasn't stopped since. So that is one small body, new girl. Who is she? I, for one, would like to get to know her.

Next....ahh yes, here is where the boy fits in. My wonderful, cuddly, cute, kind, and amazing boyfriend. Yes, MY boyfriend. It will be 4 months on the 25th and I wake up everyday stunned that someone like him loves me. And I know he loves me, I feel it with his every look and touch and even text how much he loves me....what I keep wondering is why?? I know I have earned a man like him I just can't believe he is really real. And the challenges we have already faced as a couple prove to me we can handle anything but this is so new to me. Honestly it has been so long since I have had a serious relationship and I have never been in love like this before. Funny how real love makes the relationships you tried to force into "love" status seem so pathetic. So being a girlfriend? Totally new territory....I have no idea who "Tracey the girlfriend" is let alone how she melds with this new Tracey that exists. It's an interesting layering process.

Then as one great love enters my life I have to acknowledge the truth that one of the most important relationships in my life is broken, perhaps forever. It may very well be beyond repair and while I cling to the shreds of hope- this loss will haunt me everyday and I ache for it.

Then as I look at the rest of my family....well let's just say I wish like hell I had a magic wand that I could just wave all the pain away. But I can't and I can only walk my path and give as much to them as I can while keeping my own head above water.

So that is what has been on my much change and I haven't done anything to deal with it. So what I have decided to do is just breathe, relax and settle into this life for a bit. I have a great new job that requires a lot of brain power and I am very excited about the challenges it has and the opportunity I have here to grow. I want to learn how to be a girlfriend, how to be the best girlfriend I can possibly be for my boy cuz he deserves the very best. He gives me so much and I want to make sure he knows how much I love and appreciate him everyday. I want to be a good sister, aunt and daughter cuz my family needs me. And I want to get to know me.....I think I might like this chick, she's got some spunk to her- I can tell.

So if I have slowed down please understand that it is what I need to do. I love you but this space is first and foremost my healing place and it must always be that or else I'd be cheating us all.

So now, slow down and breathe me with.....we can get there.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If You Don't Stand for Something, You'll Fall For Anything

This topic has come up in a couple of different ways for me and it got me thinking about taking a stand and when it is important to do so.

I missed my chance to make a big 9.11 speech and I feel like that is something that is best addressed on the day so I will save what I had to say until next year save this....I don't know about the rest of you but I never got the "National Day of Service" memo and I think it is a fantastic idea. It was too late this year but next year I plan to -at the very least- organize to deliver bagels/donuts to the local firemen and police officers to express my personal thanks for their service (as you may recall my brother was a fireman). I also plan to donate blood- this is what I did the day the towers fell. I was living in Chicago and had no family close by so rather than go home and sit alone I went to the nearest blood bank and waiting to donate blood. I was so far down on the list that I never got called but I sat there for a good 5 hours perfectly content to just be with other people and doing something...didn't matter what it was. I got out of the habit of donating blood which I used to do very regularly (being AB+ I always felt a certain obligation to donate- being a rare type and all) so I am glad for the reminder and plan to make that my new 9.11 tradition. This is an issue worthy of taking a stand on.

What is important to people- to you- changes in a moment. You may love your house but if burns to the ground you may find that what you loved most were the people you invited inside it. Priorities can change in the blink of an eye.

So many people have had so much throw at them these past months and it changes what is important. For me, I feel like I have lost so much and my feet still aren't quite on solid ground. It is getting better and I am getting more and more steady each day but when you have lost so much you get in survival mode and then get in defensive mode. I know how much I am willing to give up right now and its more than I ever thought because I realize how much of it just isn't important. How much is just what I call "background noise". I have learned that I can give up TiVo and dinners out and other "things" and "stuff" that used to seem so important. I know where the lines in the sand are, at least until that line creeps up to my toes and I have to once again re-evaluate to see if that is really as important as I'd thought- again. You have to adjust to survive.

I have been chasing a 6 figure income for so long. I have gotten in range a few times and it always seemed possible with the sales jobs I have had and the talent I felt I possessed. Hitting that target was always such a driver for me and so important. And now for the first time in over 15 years I have a job that isn't commission driven because I have realized that, for now, a 6 figure income isn't what is most important to me. Having a solid position with a good company that I can grow with- now that is important! Work life balance is important. Making time for my boyfriend and family- that is important!
All these things I never thought would be an issue for me is what is critical for me now. I was joking with my buddy who got me the new gig that I am trying something new and plan to keep my head down and mouth shut and just do my job. You may giggle at that but I have long prided myself on being the one who points out that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes... and by the way here is the ensemble he should be wearing. I have been a loud voice and being the change junkie you all know and love you can correctly guess that carried over into my work life as well.

Now? Not so much.....I was joking a bit when I said I was gonna keep my mouth shut. Of course I am going to fully contribute and help my team grow but I really kinda meant it too. Frankly I can't risk losing this gig. I have to fight to keep this stability thing I am building going and so I am not going to color outside the lines. If they tell me black is long as no one (especially me) is getting hurt but saying black is white then....for now....I am happy to say black is the new white all fucking day long. My priorities and different right now and I have lost too much. My line in the sand got shifted.

Now here is the interesting thought.....I know my line has been pushed back and I know it is fear driven. I am not happy about that but it is what is is. The risk is too great to step over the line. I know I am not the only one who has had their lines pushed back so when you apply that to a society, all who have lost so much and are scared and being fear motivated right now trying desperately to protect what they have now rediscovered as important to them....what does that look like? I know my bullshit tolerance has gotten much much higher and I will put up with a much wider swing than I used to. But I will still only allow the swing to end where my nose begins.

So the question is.....what do you stand for now? Where is your line in the sand that you cannot be pushed back from? Do you know where it is? How far are you willing to be pushed to find out and what would it take for you to push back and come out swinging?

Cuz at the end of the day.....if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything and the world is watching.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Endings

I have been drifting around in a bit of a trance today. Just soaking up the feeling of being safe and secure and totally content. Lord knows its not a feeling that comes around in MY life often so I am soaking it up like a sponge. I just am tingling with this feeling. I feel like the whole world can see my every thought and each thought is of and about love.

I love Chris for a thousand reasons. The way he looks at me, the way he puts me ahead of his own needs (even when he should put himself first- right baby?), the way he holds me....but most of all I love how he sees me. He really sees me. I have never had someone so close to me who is watching me and actively trying to figure me out. He is so observant and intuitive and he is making me look at myself in a whole new way. He has pointed out some of my mannerisms and just the methods that I tackle as I go about life in a way I never noticed or thought of in quite the way he has seen. It's been fascinating as someone who spends a fair bit of time with my nose in front of that emotional mirror actively working to figure myself out. Some people go their whole lives not looking in that mirror, I would rather look in that mirror than a normal one...that is where you see the real person anyways.
This really isn't as easy or as simple as it sounds. You have to remember I have spents years hiding in plain site. You may think you have seen me, and after reading this blog you may feel like you know me but there is so much that I could back even now and keep locked up. To have some start to turn the key of that room- a room that has been locked up airtight for so long is terrifying. Yet because I trust Chris totally (more important than I love Chris is that I trust him completely) I am OK with him poking around those dark dark corners. That is the biggest sign of all that he is the one I can be with forever.

I love how he sees and brings out the very best in me. We were just talking last night about an ex of mine who just pushed my every wrong button and I hated the person I was when I was around him. Chris inspires me to be the very best version of myself I can be. Not that he isn't happy with who I am yet I am still compelled to push myself to a higher level to make him proud of me.

This was a great weekend for us and our relationship. We had a wonderful day in Prescott but before that I had a pretty important meeting. I met his mother...I know. Pretty big stuff. The day did not get off to the best start and it looked for awhile like it might not even happen but things worked out and we ended up going to a favorite watering hole of theirs and had a good time listening to a great band and just spending some time together. Since there was a band there was not a ton of talking which in some ways I think was good- it took any pressure of small talk off the table and we had a shared pleasant experience. At one point his mom asked Chris to dance and being the good son he is he obliged and then when he got back to the table he asked me to dance.


My first dance with my boy.

It was such a great feeling dancing with him. I can't lay any claims to being a good dancer and frankly have not danced since college and even then it wasn't a slow dance. Still, I did my best to not step on his feet or trip (and there were not many people dancing so that would not have been good). It felt wonderful being in his arms and was the perfect ending to our evening.

We dropped his mom off and then we headed back to my place for an early start to head up the mountain to Prescott. For those non-AZ peeps Prescott is about a 2 hours drive away up the mountain- which means it is about 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix- and on Labor Day they have a town festival called Fair on the Square.

We had a perfect day.

It was honestly exactly the day I wanted and I hope to have a lifetime of days like that with Chris. It was simple and easy and beautiful. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed every single thing we did. We had amazing crepes and funnel cake and saw some great art. We snapped some silly pics and spent half the day just kinda gazing schmoopily at each other. It was total bliss. We drove back and Chris showed me the property they are going to build on someday and it has amazing mountain views. So peaceful and wonderful- it felt like paradise to be there with him.

We ended the evening at El Encanto for a great romantic dinner and had a great conversation about where we are in our relationship. Bottom line is we have had so much thrown at us in such a short amount of time but I really feel like the dust is settling and we are coming into a very comfortable, quiet and lovely time for us where we can stop reacting to the rapid fire events that have been exploding like grenades around us and just relax into being a couple. Just be and get to know "us" and start building a whole library of life experiences like the day we had in Prescott.

I almost feel like apologizing for talking so so much about my relationship and being in love but I know how happy you all are for me and in some way its gotta be a pay off for you guys as well. In any good story at the end the hero gets their hearts desire right? Otherwise why do you chuck down your $10 to see the flick?

Well you can send your checks cuz this is the start of a very happy ending......this is the beginning of my "and they lived happily ever after" but in no way is it the end. ;)
For Chris and I....happily ever after starts now!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I don't know about y'all but I am DAMN glad to flip the calendar and have a crisp, fresh new month to look forward to...just me?? Didn't think so...

Well kids, lots and lots of change has come my way this summer and as the temp slowly creeps under 110 (for us in AZ) things are slowly getting back into a groove for me. It's been a truckload of new adjustments to make and I am still juggling and seeing how things work.

The new job is going great so far. I really like my coworkers and the office is pretty close and in an area of town that I love to that all rocks. There is a huge learning curve, bigger than I have had to tackle in a long long time but it will come with time so I am not worrying about it to much and frankly, -that- is the kind of change I want not this musical employment chairs dealio. I even got some good news that makes the new job even better than when I first was offered it! I am just so grateful to have landed where I did and I look forward to settling in and kicking ass there!

Chris is, as you all know, my dream come true. There is no doubt he is the one for me and we are finally getting past the brand new relationship stuff and getting into the "how does my life work long term with you in it" stuff. Up until now I have put spending time with him as my biggest priority- over friends, yoga, making any kind of plans at all really. So now that I am certain that there will always be a next time so each date is not sooooo critical to nail down I can get back into MY routine and do what works best for ME on a daily basis. The last thing I want to do is make my life all about my significant other. He is a big part of my life but he isn't my whole life so now that we have gotten past the first "quarter" of our relationship we both need to attend to parts of our lives that may have gotten neglected because of the newness and the drama (for me at least) that has happened over the summer.

So that leads me to my confession and the reason why I have been a bit more sparse with the blogs that I was....did anyone but Fran notice? the thing is after my whole little victory tour and the article and all the kudos and pats on the back and the new relationship and the celebrating and......blahblahblah.

I gained 20 pounds.

There, I said it.

God I hate typing that....makes me feel so frustrated.

Now before everyone starts making me feel better and handing me "get outta jail free"cards- cuz that is what friends do, we make excuses for each other and minimize things. "Oh, that's not so bad..." I know its just a slip and I WILL get back on track. I have some very good reasons why I gained but honestly the truth is I LET it happen and to a degree I am still letting it happen so me writing this is sucking it up and confessing my sins so I can refocus and get back on the wagon.

As I think about my fall from grace I have to say it pretty much went down exactly as I feared it would. I just don't have impulse control and I can't do "just a little". I am either IN or I am OUT (little Project Runway ref for ya...). When I came home for my party I gave myself that time to "cheat" and have some of the things I have not had for so long. Well guess what? That was July and I am still on that break.

There was the party, then getting back I had my medical situation which took me out of the workout routine. I think that was the critical piece because I am just not barely getting back to where I was months ago with my workouts. It's gonna take awhile to build back up to where I was and that is what makes me so mad at myself (cuz I knew better!!). Then there was the stress of looking for a new job and the one thing that became crystal clear to me is I am still, and always will be an emotional eater. Even right now as things settle when I get that twinge of stress I want something sweet. Now I have been trying to be good and get low cal treats (Mmmmm fudgicles) but when you eat 2 of them it kinda defeats the purpose. And now as I get into a routine at my new place it's interesting because going out to lunch is a big deal. Lunch is social and I want to fit in and be a cool kid but that also puts me at risk so what do I do? Be the loner who never leaves the office or go and blow my diet cuz healthy isn't always the first consideration in choosing a place to eat for this group. Oh and then there is free lunch provided it was lasagna. I do love me some lasagna!! Choices......all about choices. And for me its all or nothing.

So what do I do? Well.....back to making workouts a priority is tops. Yoga was even put on the backburner cuz of cost issues but now with the new gig and cashflow getting back to where it needs to be I can fit that back into the budget which is huge. Yoga does so much for me mentally and spiritually as well as the physical. I need to pace myself and in 2-3 weeks hopefully I will be back where I was, or at least pretty close.

The hard part is striking that balance of being able to have a "normal" meal when Chris and I go out. He is super supportive and wants to drop a few pounds as well plus he is a great cook so that all helps but it's still nice to go out and have a lovely meal with some wine and not worry about it blowing the diet. That is what I need to work to find that balance. I love him but every once in awhile we need to go out amongst the people and not just sit in my condo and stare at each other- not that we don't still do that in public. Hey, we are still newly dating and all schmoopy!!

So that is my confession and now I must bust my ass get to get back where I was but hopefully I will make it back there with a few more lessons learned so I can make sure that this is a life long change and not a dip in a roller coaster ride. What came down will NOT go back least anymore than it already has!!

Grrrrr, back to the gym I go!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's a Love Story

Damn you Taylor Swift! Your song has been overplayed on the radio so much that it may now be stuck in my head on an endless loop and I can't get it out of my brain. Lucky for you it happens to mash up well with my life right now so I guess its not sooooo bad.

Yeah, its bad folks. So bad that here it is almost 11pm on a "school" night and I got myself out of my nice comfy bed to come here to post about how much I love my boy. I know, I am totally making MYSELF sick with all the ewwy gooey mushy stuff. It's a bit over the top and I wish someone would please just shut that Tracey chick up....for real! I mean how much more can I say it? And frankly I am only blogging here cuz the poor boy needs to get some sleep and not entertain his poor girlfriend who just wants to have long conversations about how much in love we are and why exactly does he love me? Enquiring minds wanna know! Ya know??

And before I make myself look too pathetic I am not exactly alone in these conversations. I won't speak for Chris but let's just say I have a willing hostage.

I do feel a bit guilty not highlighting this part of my life a bit more. I know I have talked about Chris these past few weeks but it has been with a clingy, desperate, life raft kinda energy and that is not what our relationship is about and not how it deserves to be showcased.

Let me step back for a second......

I have a dear friend who was a bit of a slacker back in the D. Let's just call him DJ, (mainly cuz that's his name). Now DJ had some toxic relationships during the time that I knew him and then we fell out of touch for a bit. When I caught back up to him I was shocked to learn that he was engaged! I asked him how he managed to lock one down and in his oh-so easy going manner he shook his head and smiled at me and told me words that have never left me since the day he uttered them to me....he said, "Tracey, I just never knew it could be so easy... Loving her is the easiest thing I have ever done." I have been searching for that kind of love ever since that day. I have told that story a million times and always with a pang because I really didn't know if it would ever happen for me.

I have spent so much of my life hiding in plain site. Being so overweight is hard to explain. It's hard to help someone understand how something (someone) so big can just disappear right in front of you. I have spent so much of my life near the action but on the fringe of life, being there but not participating. Close to the spotlight but never dead center. People would tend to see right past me even when I was standing right there. For my friends I was the witty wingman, ready to charm, flirt and help sort all the potentials but never did the boys see or -god forbid- want me.

Chris sees me and it may be for the first time in my life I am seeing me and letting myself be seen. My brilliant boy hit upon something last week and I have been mulling it over ever since.

He called me out as being shy.

At first I got defensive but the more I think about it the more I think he is right. I am shy because I have never really been out before. I have lost my protection, my "mask" that I used to hide in plain sight and to protect myself. And now, for the most part, that is gone and people are really seeing me and looking at me for the first time. I am getting random men calling me beautiful for the first time. I am getting all this attention for my accomplishments and as much as I am seeking it out to a degree I am also very uncomfortable with it. I am just not used to being so open. Ok.....what the hell am I doing blogging right? Isn't this being pretty open?? Yes, but I control this you see. You only see what I show you. However if we are in a room together then I can't hide and that's when I feel like pulling back. Chris was right and now he is being that gentle yet firm hand at the small of my back supporting me and making sure I don't run away just cuz I am a bit nervous from all this attention.

It's a pretty amazing thing to have someone you love really see you like that.

I want to talk about how pure and raw and wonderful it is to be in love and be in this first part of our relationship because I do know with all my heart that this is forever and he is my THE ONE and someday years and years from now we might not spend hours lying in bed staring at each other and telling each other in the greatest of detail how much we love each other - although I hope we will. And we might not send silly texts to each other all day just so the other knows we are thinking of them. And someday the future might not seem as bright and shiny and wide open as it feels now.

I want to archive this feeling and capture the endless love and passion I have for Chris and our future now so I can always look back and remind myself of how very luck I am to have found someone who made it so damn easy to be in love......

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Don't Last

I feel like I have been in reactive mode for so long now. I have just been in survival mode and been "just getting through" whether it was getting through this day or this week or that mythical "just until x" happens....whatever x is and whatever magic thing will happen when x gets here.

Again, I realize fully that I am not so special and some people go through their whole lives in reactive mode. I just want to get ahead of this curve for once and as I said in the last blog really grab the reigns of my own life and start taking control. Now some would argue that me getting my weigh under control was doing just that but to me that was just getting something out of control back in line which is not quite the same thing. I feel like I have gotten it back to where it should have been all along and -now- where I take it is me taking control. And I have to admit I am finding it hard to get the motivation to get all hard core again. Now that I have stepped off the wagon for a bit it is so so hard to get back to where I was before. I am hoping that getting back into a routine will help with that but the truth is I haven't been making myself a priority because just keeping my head above water has been such a chore.

I want so much for the future. I want to build a life and family with Chris. I want to start traveling. I want to get a house that Chris and I can call our own. I want to share my story with as many people who need to hear it. I want security and stability and I want to give back.

I know I have so many of the building blocks I need in place and now I just need to recommit to the path I have started to walk down. The past 2 months were a stumble and a slide down and I am scratched and bloodied up a bit but no permanent damage and now it's time to brush myself off, shake it off and attack that mountain again.

Tough times don't last but tough people do.....I will last and thrive and be fabulous. Watch me!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I demand a recount....

Seriously, I am pretty sure we either got shorted some days or else we got put into some time vortex. All I know it I have little to no clue what has happened in the last 2 months. Everything is just this huge blur and I just can't believe August is almost over.

That being said I am excited for a brand new fresh month to start off with a clean slate. This summer has been one of the best and worst of my life- and for those of you playing the home version of my life know that is saying something!!

The bad is obvious- losing my job and have some pretty major personal issues (yes, still not revealing that bit but it adds an air of mystery though- non?) Battling unemployment (frigging JOKE- never in my life used it and then when you do you get treated sub-human for needing it), weeding through the interview process (and again, kinda my world so you'd think I would have had a bigger clue, you would be wrong) and the financial crunch (ongoing but my worries were greatly lessened by a loan from my Daddy and support from Chris).

But there has been some good news as well.....hmmmm. Let me see if I can remember what good happened? Oh yeah- I met and fell in love with the man of my dreams. Poor guy, if he only knew the rollercoaster ride he was signing up for when he hooked up with the likes of me. He seems to not mind so much and I haven't been able to scare him away yet so that bodes well for me at least- for him, just means he is in for a hella lot more of Traceyness in his life. I am just so excited for what lies ahead for us. I don't think smooth sailing is likely but I am hoping the challenges get to be a little less bumpy and the highs we get are from climbing up to the next peak, not clawing our way out of the ravine we just broke our asses on.

And as much as the whole looking for a new job sucked -and took waaaay too long for me (yes I know plenty of people are still looking but I am a want it NOW kinda gal, sue me)- I did know I would find something at the end I would be excited about. I am VERY excited to start the new gig on Monday. Ironically it is in the same building I working in 4 years ago. Life is full of turns that lead you right back to where you were it seems. It is totally out of the staffing and recruiting biz and as passionate about recruiting I am I am so relieved to get out of it for awhile. It is just so draining right now and such a struggle. It's time to give it a rest and go play in a new sandbox for a bit.

I am most excited about getting back into a routine. Having my schedule so outta whack has not been good for my workout routine plus with everything happening it has just made it hard to get into that rigid plan I had been working. I did finally get back to yoga class today and it was much much needed. My regular instructor was back which was great- she had been gone the last 2 classes I attended and I think anyone who goes to a regular class can attest to the fact that subs are ok but you get used to one persons style and its hard to switch. Especially since I am craving "my" routine back so much- it was nice to do my regular Saturday thing. Yoga, grocery shopping (I am busy buying more "staple" ingredients so Chris doesn't have to be so McGyver like when he cooks at my house) then laundry and cleaning......normal stuff that bust people do. Ahhhh routine, nevre underestimate the power of keeping to a schedule.

I can tell things are getting a bit back to normal cuz I had a whole "I hate how my body looks" meltdown today. The struggle continues....won't bore you with the details but it all started in yoga when my arm flap covered half my face as we were doing a side bend- and no, I am not even kidding. At least that is a frustration I know and can somewhat deal in a weird way it was comforting to have the same old rant roll through my head.

So as I sit here doing my best to grab the reigns of my life again and get this horse and buggy headed in the right direction I am hoping for a little bit of peace in the next few months. It is my life so I know crazy shit will happen....cuz that is just how I roll....but it WILL be (to think is to create) fun, creative, and filled with love and adventures of the very best kind. I will be in a better place financially and plan better for rainy days and pay forward all the support and good vibes that were sent my way these past few weeks. I am so grateful to be coming out of this tunnel and once again I am a bit bruised, battered and broke down but I am stronger, wiser and I have a wonderful new partner holding me close and lifting me up every chance he gets.

Could be worse.... ;)