Friday, July 31, 2009

Boone New Republican Article on Yours Truly

For those who aren't following me on Facebook- my hometown paper has been doing a 3 part series on me!

I am very excited and honored to share my story with my hometown. I hope it can help someone else out there know they can do it!


I swear I never set out to live my life on a razor's edge. I never sought out to have every piece of my life tossed into the air to land like a broken rag doll every few weeks. I really do want some consistency and some peace in my life....someday. But that day is not today.

Ok to catch you all up I am semi-unemployed. I know that sounds weird but what it means is I do still have my job. It is exactly where it has always been however as of last week they stopped paying me for it. I have been working on a draw since I went back to my old job which means I am 100%commision and they pay me a bit of my commisions upfront until I land a sale and get paid. Well as of last week they cut the draw so I am not getting paid anymore. As I said I still have my job and when I close a deal I will get paid off of it but in the meantime I have zero income and zero savings.

Not good.

They waited until Wednesday to tell me this mainly because of my trauma last week they didn't want to add any addtional stress knowing I wasn't doing so hot physically or emotionally. I appreciate that I guess but it did put me a full week behind the 8 ball with no income. Not that anything can be done about it now.....oh well.

So I am still working a few deals I have in the works and will hopefully get paid on the quickly but I have to shift my full attention to getting a new job fast. I had a chat with my mortgage people and it turns out they do still like me to pay my bills if I don't want to be homeless and as great as things are with Chris and I- moving in with him and his mother really isn't part of -my- master plan right now.

It's just so ironic that you get one area of your life set and another goes to hell. I couldn't be happier of more comfortable and content with Chris. I am giddy, silly, heart over heels in love and could float through each and every day just thinking about his soft brown eyes (yes, we are schmoopy and I don't care!). I have never been this in love in my life and I have finally found what my friend DJ told me about after he met his wife. He told me "I never knew it could be so easy" and I have been looking for that sort of love ever since. The kind you can just sink into and let it wrap you up with warmth and comfort. It is so easy to love Chris and I found him and I am going to celebrate us every day. He is truly the love of my life and I can't wait to see him tonight any every night for the rest of my life.

God, if only he was rich!!

Seriously, it would solve so many problems.

Not that we aren't working on several projects to make us and many other people rich and successful but in the meantime I need just a trickle of income.

I really don't have any bad thoughts of feelings about my current (sorta) employer. They gave me a shelter and a solid place to go while I went through the biggest metamorphisis of my life so for that I will always be grateful- still......timing kinda sucks.

So that is the brass tacks of my situation right now. I am working my extensive network and hope to have something locked up by the end of next week so please think happy employed thoughts for me and for all my Phoenix peeps send me those leads!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


So my apologies to those who keep wandering back here only to find no new entries.....I have been going through the 50th level of hell and back. I honestly don't know if this piece of my life will ever find its way into this blog or not because yes, even in my life some things are just to painful and raw to put into words. My soul has been shredded and I feel like an empty husk. I could blow away with the next wind if I didn't have Chris holding tightly to me and watching over me every second of the day.

No, I am not in the grips of depression and despite the conclusions some people may jump to about my life (god forbid they actually ask me directly) I am not suicidal or on the same path my brother took. I am going through a deeply painful time in my life and I can tell you I am not the same person you saw in Iowa. The events of the past week have changed me forever.

The challenge ahead is to do with this what I have tried to do with all my experiences and that is to learn all the lessons I can learn from it and use it to become a better person and to help as many others help change their lives as possible. The good thing is that I now have a partner by my side who is dedicated to helping me do just that. Chris and I have big plans and together we will honor this time in our lives and we will use it to lift ourselves and as many people as we can to a better place.

Let me tell you about this man....Chris has stepped up and been there for me to hold me and love me and support me more than anyone ever has in my entire life. He holds tighter when some men would have run and he applauds my actions when others would be intimidated. He loves me and we are going to build a wonderful life together. I am deeply, passionately in love with him and if this week has shown me nothing else its that I was born to love him and he was meant to be in my life. I have no doubt he is my future and I am on my knees grateful to have him and I know he'd say the same about me. We have an equal partnership and we are going to build an extraordinary life together.

I am very much weakened by what has happened on every level and I know I am raising questions that you want to ask because you care about me/us but I ask you to respect that I will share what I can when it is in my heart to share it. This is far to precious to let out into a world that is not ready and I am so so tired.

I thank you for loving me and supporting me even without knowing why.....just know I am OK and Chris and I are dealing with this together and he is taking such great care of me- better than I have ever taken care of myself that is for sure. I will share when I am ready- or not- but either way I am going to be stronger and better and have even more to fight for in the months and years ahead and Chris will be by my side while I do it.....I love you all.

For's time to just lie down and find the quiet place inside.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

You Lift Me Up

Challenges come from the most unexpected places. They creep up on us while we are busying doing the simple everyday things that we think are important and they threaten to upturn the little boats we all float through life in. Sometimes it is a momentary challenge like getting your air conditioning fixed in the middle of the season of hell that is Phoenix in the summer. Sometimes it is finding out a dear friend is sick and you are powerless to make it better.

And is something that you have known for a long long time was broken and yet it once again proves to you just how broken it is and how broken you are because of it.

I have spent alot of time breaking through my own blocks and climbing over the walls that I have come across in my life. I have dug deep into myself and befriended that inner warrior who keeps me strong and safe even when I don't so much feel it on the inside. I have learned I am more powerful and capable woman than I ever guessed I could be and that there is nothing I can't figure out. I especially have learned that when these challenges come up I have an arsenal of weapons and support that I can tap into either collectively or having one person by my side to support me.

I am not alone and while I have my weak moments from time to time (I am human) I do know in my heart all I have to do is reach out and I will have no end of people who love me to help lift me up.

I believe that there are only ever 2 kinds of people....those who want to lift you up or those who try to pull you down. I am honored and grateful to have so many of the first group in my life and I will do everything I can to keep the second group from ever bringing me down. They can try but they won't succeed because I can't be stopped.

You might not expect the challenges life throws you but with the right people by your side you can do anything.

You Can't Go Home Again

I have now lived in 3 states and I have told many people that once you move away from your hometown you figure out that "home" is just geography and you tend to recreate your life where ever you are. Location becomes incidental to your life.

That's true to a point because no matter where we go we are always linked to the place where we were born and raised. There is some force that shackles us to its hallowed grounds forever. It's a combination for me of my family, who all still live in Iowa (I am the soul exception), and of the memories my hometown holds for me.

This trip was different for me to start because it was in the summer. A bit of a gamble with the weather (but when isn't the weather a gamble in the midwest I ask you) but it turned out to be very pleasant and a nice break from the Arizona heat and all in all couldn't complain. Seeing everything lush and green was a nice change from the bleak cold and gray I usually see at Christmastime when I have been home the past few years. Even when I was back in April it snowed (yeah, I am still bitter about that). A friend of mine is house hunting in Boone so we drove around and saw some houses and while he was shopping I was wandering memory lane. It's just so odd to be back in a place that for the most part only exists for me in my memories. You sometimes forget that it is a real place. I saw houses where friends used to live, the park I used to play at when I was a kid. My old grade school and the route I used to walk home. The tree I used to collect buckeyes from as a kid and put in a jelly jar that sat on my shelf. All these are precious memories to me and have made me who I am and I am so glad and grateful and for all's not my home anymore.

I have said a thousand times and I'll say it a thousand more how proud and grateful I am to be from Iowa but there is just nothing about it now that feels like I belong there. I am a guest and a tourist when I come back and that is bittersweet for me. It's a life I remember but can't really connect with now.

I took a few walks by myself to get some alone time (that's hard when I come back as well, being a person who lives alone its hard to adjust to being with someone 24/7 when I am back). And it struck me as so sad some of the neglect and disrepair that some buildings are falling into and yet there is a ton of road construction going on as well which makes for an odd juxtaposition as an observer. What was nice was the peace and calm Boone still has. It's just a quiet little lazy town and after the hustle of Phoenix it was a nice place to catch my breath for a bit.

And of course it was spectacular to see so many friends while I was back. The trip was always designed to be about spending time with friends first since most of my trips home are so packed with family time I never get to see any friends. Thanks again to everyone who could and did make it and no worries to the people who couldn' happens and that is fine. You were there in spirit and I appreciate you all.

There were several highs while I was home and for the most part they were the nice mellow highs I wanted. Chilling at the park with my family and friends, having dinner with some of my bestest friends ever. Making a fool of myself with my family while out to lunch and hanging out with my family in general.

I also was able to spend part of his birthday with my brother. I still can't really tell you how it felt to see his grave- still processing those emotions. I hadn't seen it completed as I was home for the burial and then his headstone was set last year on his birthday. My sister and sister-in-law and nephew were with me and we all stood around and each had our own had a quiet moments while standing there. Then they let me have my own time alone with Troy. I talked to him in my head and if it had been a touch cooler (and less bugs) I would have sat down and had a much longer chat with him but twas not to be. Hot and bug bitten do not make for great and powerful moments. It was lovely there. He is buried in the original Madrid cemetery where the town founders are buried and there are woods all around it was quiet and serene and I am glad he is there and has found peace. If only he could pass that peace on to us.

Then we went to the cemetery in Boone and laid my Grandma to rest beside her beloved daughter (and my namesake) Sandy. The service was short and sweet and nice and was for sure the hardest part of the trip for a zillion reasons none of which I am even close to ready to process and share. I might never get there but I did have a chat with her and hopefully one issue in particular has been discussed and I can stop feeling the from beyond guilt trip I know she is laying! Yeah Grandma, I hear you.

So trip was a mixed bag as it always is going home. I am very glad I went and hope to come back soon (but not too soon) but my life is here and I am glad to be back in the world I have created and very glad to be back with the man who was waiting to sweep me off my feet as soon as I landed back in Phoenix. I confess here and now and officially that I am head over heels in love with him and feel so glad and lucky to have him in my life and together we are going to build a new home just for us.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Ok...I have been threatened with great bodily harm if I do not blog soon so here is a brief tidbit to keep the death threats at bay.

I have been thinking about how to recap my trip but the truth is I am still processing a lot of what happened there so I need it to all marinate for a bit longer before I can sort out my feelings and patient (ahem- Fran).

I do want to thank everyone who took the time to hang out with me. It was great to see as many people as I did and I know there were many more who couldn't make it. No worries, I know life happens and I really had no expectations of anyone showing up. I had planned on somewhere between 5 and 50 and we ended up at about 40 at my party so that was perfect. I had a great time and I hope everyone else did who was there.

Special thanks to my Frannie for being the loud drunk girl with the camera (as someone later referred to you as) for snapping all the pics and to my OG homies Julie, Kim and Jonna who were my BFF's in pre school!! And are wonderful and I love you.

Let me just say this.....coming home is always a mixed bag of emotions and this trip was no exception. Boone is a place of deep pain, awesome amounts of love and will be a part of my soul forever good and bad. It is as much a part of me as my very blood and while it makes me crazy it is home.

Friday, July 3, 2009


So what is the best measurement of success when it comes to dieting and weight loss? Is it the numbers on a scale? Is it the size of your clothes? Or is it what you see in the mirror and you suck it in and shift from side to side?

Maybe a little bit of all of the above? Hard to say and I guess for me it depends on the day. I do know I could about tear my hair out some days waiting for the numbers on the scale to move. If that was my soul source of accomplishment I would have lost it long ago! It is definitely satisfying to move into a size I have never worn before. Just today I put on a XL t-shirt to work out in and could not believe how baggy it felt.I had to look and see if it was one of my 2XL's or above just to make sure. The fast that my size 14 pants are getting pretty loose, well that is just crazy. It just is.....

The mirror is tricky for me though. It is a fickle friend of mine to be sure. Some days I catch myself in the right light and with the right angle I can be pretty happy with what I see. But most of the time I still see more of what is wrong than what is right. That won't change for a long while but I am working on it.

I guess the other very cool measurement is to see the wide eyes of the people who see the before and current versions of my progress and see the genuine pride that shines through as they look at me.

Oh yes.....and speaking of looks. The best look of all is from the sexy guy who walks in my door and lights up as he sees me, really sees me and likes what he sees. Pretty cool.

So some of these are quantifiable and some are a matter of opinion so let's review some hard numbers shall we?

I went and had another BMI (click to check your own) measurement taken to compare against where I began and here are the results.

When I started my diet my BMI was 69.6. Today it is 34.5 (which is still considered obese btw) so I have reduced it by half!

My percentage of body fat was 51.1% so half my body was pure is it 32.8% and the desired range for women is 21-33%!!!!!

My fat mass was 213.51 I was carrying over 200lbs of just fat around with me everywhere I went. Today it is 68 pounds of there is still some work to do but not so bad...

So those are the numbers and all in all I have to say I am pretty happy with them. Of course I am, anyone would be (or should be) but the reason that I wanted to get them checked was because I want to let them all got for now....

I really feel like I have hit the part of my journey where the numbers don't really mean much anymore. The numbers on the scale don't tell me what I really want to know mainly because of the x factor of all my loose skin. It is no exaggeration that I could easily be 30lbs or so lighter right away once I get my body suit tightened so what will the scale really tell me with that kind of wrench thrown into the works?

What was important for me to know was the percent of body me that is the only number worth tracking now and the only one I can control. At this point there isn't much I can do to lose more weight beyond surgery (plastic surgery that is) and the number on the scale isn't important. It was when I started cuz you need something to shoot for but now my focus has shifted from weight loss to fitness. I figure it is my job now to do the very best I can do to strengthen and tone and work out so I can build a very solid core so when I do get nipped and tucked it will be pulled taunt over a very nice frame that it now hiding under yards of excess skin.

I am hitting my workouts as hard as I can and Michael (my friend and trainer) are building better and more complex sessions for me as well as doing cardio and of course my beloved yoga .

It's really freeing to be able to be comfortable letting go of a number on a scale and I was never ever hung up on's just time to jog my last few miles before I cross the finish line and look and feel as good as I possibly can when I get there!!

See you on the other side.....