The Princess Is In

Friday, March 31, 2006

Goodbye March...

Wow, this month has really flown by... and now tomorrow is April. The past month has been a whirlwind. It started with the passing of Robert's grandmother and our subsequent trip to North Carolina for the funeral... and ended (today) with us making plans for another trip to North Carolina for the birth of Robert's (our) third grandchild. In the middle were five birthdays (my mom, my step-daughter Ashley, and three friends), lots of scrapbooking (I seem to be on a roll - lol), several sailing races for Robert, my monthly BOM (Book of Me) class at a local scrapbook store, hectic days at the office, Ashley moving to Georgia to be with her boyfriend, and my continued efforts toward better health and weight loss. It's passed in a blur.

Tomorrow starts a new month.. one that will see Robert and I settling back into our normal routine now that it is just the two of us again. It's funny how I missed the little things. Just the two of us chatting over dinner about nothing in particular. Wandering around the house in whatever state of dress I please. Quiet in the evenings while we do our own thing (no sound of cell phone conversations and giggling in the background). Going out to dinner by ourselves. Little things... but I missed them over the past six months.

Here's to a peaceful, positive new month...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

10 Things I Can't Live Without

Robert - my sweet, loving, wonderful, angel of a husband. I simply cannot be... without him.

My parents - I'm so lucky to have the parents I do. They're such good people. They've changed over the years and become more easy-going. I love that they're my friends.

My sisters - one older, one younger. I'm crazy about them. They're both such incredible people in their own ways. They're so different and have many unique qualities that I love.

Food - okay, I don't mean 'can't live without food' because it is necessary energy for the body. I mean it as: I really love food! LOL Even though I am 're-learning' how to eat and have made significant changes to my diet... that doesn't change the fact that I really love food!

A comfortable home - I tend to be a real homebody, so home is definitely my haven. I've spent time picking and choosing how I've decorated each room and I love my home. I'm so at ease there and love to be at home.

Books - I admit it... I'm a total bookworm. I was one of those nerdy girls at school who spent her lunch period reading. I've had a lifelong love affair with getting lost in a book. My choice of genre may change now and then, but I'm never without a book of some kind.

Music - if books are one constant in my life then music is the other. I'm always surrounded by music: at home, at work, in the car. My taste in music is vast and varied (and sometimes quite cheesy - lol), but it's always in the background in some form.

Paper - hey, don't look so surprised at this one! lol I've loved paper since I was a kid. I wrote, I drew, I scribbled, I doodled. When I had pen pals as a child, I decorated my own stationary. When I discovered scrapbooking it was as if an entire world of paper opened up to me. I now have more patterned paper in my scrapbooking room than I could possibly use in a lifetime... and I keep buying more. Must... have... paper.

Teddy bears - I love my teddy bears. Adore them. They are everywhere... my bedroom, my scrap room, the reading room. I'm choosy when it comes to my bears. Some of them just jump in my arms and plead to be taken home. How can I resist? I do have a soft spot for Boyd's bears (plush). But the little bear at home (whom I have endowed with a major personality and ego) named Max came from Books-s-a-Million several years ago. So, you see, I'm not a teddy bear snob. =)

Air conditioning - I live in Florida... 'nuf said. =P

Fan Club

I had an appointment with my doctor last night (she has appointments all the way up to 10pm on Mondays). At first I saw the same nurse I always see. I just love her. She's always so happy and upbeat. Makes going to the doctor a little less wretched. =P The first thing they do is toss you on the scale (figuratively speaking, of course - lol) and my goodness was she ever surprised when she noted my weight in my chart. She was so excited for me and asked me what I'd been doing. Really cheering me on. What a great feeling! A few minutes later, when Dr. C. cam in the room she first commented on my blood pressure, which was considerably lower than normal. Then she saw the weight notation and heaped on the praise, too. I truly am doing this for me... but a little pat on the back never hurt. =) I left there feeling a few inches taller. And like I had my own personal fan club. LOL

According to their scales, I'm 18 pounds lighter since my last appointment, which was in early December (I started South Beach in early January). One thing I'm pretty proud of is that we (me and Robert) didn't blow it while we were in North Carlina week before last. It would have been so easy to make excuses. We're away from home, we're out of our normal routine, we'll get right back on track... But, apparently we did just fine. I'll admit, I made a few questionable choices, but now even my "slips" are minor. It's not like I'm eating a half-gallon of ice cream or downing french fries. While in NC, I had two bites of mac and cheese at one dinner and a couple hush puppies at another. Not exactly a disaster. Both times I did it conciously and didn't feel bad about it. With the mac and cheese, I put a little on my plate (I l*o*v*e macaroni and cheese) with the knowledge that I would limit myself to that one small spoonful. But I took two bites, realized it wasn't all that great (what a letdown - ha!) and decided not to eat the rest. For me, that was a real defining moment. I didn't eat it just because it was there and I could. I chose not to because it wasn't worth it. Wow. That might sound elementary to some people, but that's big for me.

The weight is coming off much slower now, but that's to be expected. I'm in no rush. I'm making better choices, I'm doing the right things... the weight loss will follow. It feels incredible to be moving in the right direction.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Live and In Person

There was a bonus to our trip to North Carolina last week... on the way home we stopped in Georgia and visited my friend Michelle. Michelle is an "online friend" from my scrapbooking group and we've known each other for probably 2 years or so. It was so neat meeting her in person. And what was interesting was that it didn't feel like I was meeting her for the first time. I've "known" Michelle for quite a while so there was no awkwardness, no initial getting-to-know-you stuff. It was just Michelle! =) Even though the visit was semi-unplanned, Michelle invited us to her home, we met her sons and her husband, we chatted and laughed a lot, looked through her scrapbooks, checked out her scrap room... it was just like visiting a friend you've known for ages. Out of all my online scrappy friends, Michelle lives the closest, so I hope that means we'll be able to meet again sometime. With her wicked sense of humor, I know we'd laugh ourselves silly. =) Thanks for having us over, Michelle!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

American Loser

Okay, I have a confession to make... I am one of those people who made fun of my friends for watching American Idol. For two whole seasons. When they would discuss the show around me I would roll my eyes and scoff at how they could get hooked on such a silly show. Well, they've had the last laugh this time. Because it's official... I'm an American Idol loser. I'm so addicted to this show. For three seasons now. And it's not because I want to sit back and make fun of all the deluded wannabes in the auditions. No, I actually get into it and really enjoy the competition. I question their song choice. I wonder about their stage presence. I question whether they have "it." I'm so lame. I'm an American Idol loser.

I'm so surprised that I fell for this because I watch so little reality tv. I just don't get it. And television is positively flooded with reality shows. But I'll just stick with American Idol... and now I'll just mock my friends for watching Survivor. ;-)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Family (Re)Connections

It's amazing how so much good can come from something bad. Last Tuesday night we got the call that we had been expecting for almost more than 2 weeks. Robert's grandmother had passed away. It can't be a shock when someone who is 101 years old passes away... but it's still a loss. We left for North Carolina Wednesday morning - calling Robert's two older children (who live in NC) while in route. Shannon told us that she wouldn't be able to take leave from work with such short notice (which was totally understandable). And at first, Jason told us the same thing. But he called back later to say that he had managed to get Friday off and he and his wife Kristin would be driving over after work on Thursday night. Robert was just thrilled.

We got a call from Robert's brother Andy on the way inviting us to a gathering of their church group that night. His son James would be speaking about his mission work in Pakistan over the last 5 months. We got into Fayetteville and had just enough time to check into our hotel, change clothes and get to restaurant. It was held in the meeting hall behind the restaurant. Little did I know that it was practically going to be a church service. Not that I wouldn't have went... but it was still a little odd. Dinner was catered (good ol' North Carolina barbecue) and James gave his presentation. He just got back from Pakistan two weeks ago and was leaving in a couple days for a year in Cambodia. I don't necessarily understand that kind of commitment, but I do respect and admire it.

On Thursday Robert and I did a lot of running around. Just by ourselves, though. We found the Fayetteville Mall and did some shopping and did a lot of driving around seeing how much had changed since Robert lived there (many moons ago, before he joined the Navy). That evening was the viewing at the funeral home. We were the first ones there. Robert's father and his wife were on their way from about 2 hours away and we didn't want them to be there with no one else around. Over the next couple hours I met more people that I thought possible. What a huge family... I had no idea! Her obituary stated that she 27 grandchildren, 50+ great grandchildren and more than 10 great great grandchildren. And I think they were all in attendance... and then some. And I met more people with two names than I have in my life: Etta Mae, Cora Mae, Donald Ray, Gary Lee, Eva Joyce... it was getting almost comical. The shock of the evening came when Robert's sister-in-law (Andy's wife) came over and said there was someone he needed to see. Two young women were standing there. Robert broke down as soon as he saw them. I guessed who they were... David's daughters.

Robert is/was one of three sons. Back in 1979 (I think it was '79) his brother David was murdered. At the time David was 26 years old, married, with two little girls - Shelley and Jamie. Over the years, after David's death, his widow eventually met someone else and the family slowly lost contact with the girls. Robert has not seen them since his own mother's funeral, almost 18 years ago. But Robert recognized them immediately. He said Shelley looked exactly like David. It was just heartbreaking to see them all together. So happy to be reconnected, but also feeling such a sense of loss. I think it brought a lot of his feelings of loss for David back to him.

We spent the rest of the evening with the girls - they're both married and one of them has 3 children. Later on Jason called to say that he and Kristin were in town so we left to go meet them and take them out to a late dinner. But not before making sure that we would see the girls the next day at the funeral and would swap contact info them. Dinner with Jason and Kristin was just wonderful. It was my first time meeting Jason and I liked him immediately. What an incredible person. And it's obvious that he is crazy about Kristin. What a great couple. She is expecting their first child in April. We gave them the baby gifts we had bought that afternoon and they both seemd thrilled with them. We had dinner at Smithfield's (more North Carolina barbecue) and it was fun to sit back and watch the banter between Robert and Jason. I see so many similarities. Not in their looks, but in their personalities. Incredible.

Friday was the funeral. Robert had been asked to be a pallbearer and I know that wasn't easy for him. He's such a softie and wears his heart on his sleeve so much of the time. After a service at the church and then a brief service at the cemetary it was over. We took pictures with Shelley and Jamie before everyone left and made sure we exchanged phone numbers and addresses. They had also brought copies of a couple pictures of David to give to Robert and that meant the world to him. We then took Jason and Kristin out to a late lunch before they headed home. Had a wonderful time with them and also got a great photo of Robert, Jason and Kristin outside the restaurant. We let them know that we would be coming back up to North Carolina when the baby is born.

That night we had a late dinner (one more chance for NC barbecue - lol) before heading home Saturday morning. We both woke up at dark-thirty and decided to go ahead and hit the road. I think it was just before 5:30 when we got on 1-95. We'd had an amazing visit but were ready to go home. The circumstances for us being there were sad, but it was just fantastic to see all of Robert's family - especially meeting his son (and his wife) and his nieces for the first time. I'm already looking forward to when we will see them again.