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Showing posts from 2011

Fat Girl

I used to be fat. I’m not gonna lie. Tip toe or skirt around it. I’m tough enough to handle it now.
This is a fact that I’ve come to accept about myself. I know I resisted it for more years than I care to admit to. Pretending that I wasn’t THAT big. Or that my weight wasn’t THAT out of control. I had a husband who adored me regardless of my shape or size. I had a family who supported me in all my endeavors and never said anything negative about my size. I had friends who were in my same boat, struggling with an ever increasing pant size. I cringed when I saw myself in pictures, but I went about my daily business as though nothing I was doing was contributing to it. With each changing season, I was frustrated to find my clothes snug. I halfheartedly attempted to drop some weight now and then…starting and stopping when I tired of it all. Eventually, I settled in at a size 18, tipping the scales at over 225 lbs. At barely 5’3”…I was in that dreaded ‘morbidly obese’ category on the heigh…


I love college football. I love the sounds; the referee whistles, the bands (other than the OU band that sounds their little victory ditty at each and every perceived positive play), the commentators as they get excited over trick plays or amazing catches. I love listening to the back stories of kids overcoming adversity, of coaches making huge differences in their lives, of underdog teams coming from nowhere to beat their rivals against the odds. I write this now from the comfort of my spot on the couch, curled up in my ISU snuggie, watching the Beef ‘OBrady’s Bowl game with Matt and enjoying every minute.
We’ve always enjoyed college football, but the past few years, we’ve definitely become addicted. (Perhaps it’s the warm oven fresh chex mix I make)
but each Saturday from early fall through the bowl game mania we find ourselves stretched out on either end of the couch to watch game after game after game. It is a tradition we’ve ‘cleverly’ named Football Saturday…and our close f…

Ode to My Family

Oh my-lanta I love my family. We spent the long Thanksgiving weekend at my parents’ house in Oklahoma; me and Matt, and Hope, Chad, Meghan, and Matthew. The house was full…literally. Full of our junk exploding all over the house, full of the sounds of the kids chasing each other (and Buddy) around, full of food overflowing the fridge and countertops, full of laughter, and football, and bodies strewn over couches and recliners. Ahhh…it was a wonderful weekend with my family.

I can’t say enough how much I value weekends like this. While I hate the fact that we have to travel so far to spend time with my parents, there is a certain something special about the fact that we all descend on their house at the same time and stay for several days. I actually enjoy waking up early to find my parents, still in their pajamas, visiting over their morning caffeine choices (Mom with her coffee and Dad with his Diet Coke) and listening to Meghan and Matthew as they chatter about this and that (the wi…

It’s Not Always Sunny in Ankeny

So I’ve taken a little hiatus from the blog…not really intentionally, but none-the-less I’ve been absent. A lot has been going on…most of it good, some of it sad, a lot of it looks like life as per usual. We celebrated my Grandma’s 80th birthday.
We celebrated Matt’s Grandma’s 90th birthday.
We celebrated the life of my Grandpa Gene as he passed away. We took the wagon on her inaugural Cruise to the Woods.
We enjoyed many football games on the couch with friends. We had a visit with the Neurologist who didn’t have much new to report, but as always, was very pleased with Matt’s progress and how positive he is. We adopted two cats – oy vey.
Buddy had surgery on a tumor (cuz we can’t go one month without an expensive trip to the vet).
We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with friends (a fun new tradition). Overall – I really can’t…er…shouldn’t complain…much. And yet, I find that I still do. Sigh.

This past weekend, we celebrated another major accomplishment…I completed my second Half Maratho…

Susie Homemaker Confession

It will likely not come as much of a surprise to many of you that no-so-deep-down-inside I long to be the perfect housewife, the hostess with the most-ess, the envy of all my friends who wish they could cook, or wish they had the time to cook. I look through the shiny pages of my Julia Child cookbook (and yes, occasionally I smell the pages) and dream of having hours to bake all her delicious concoctions. I’m terribly old fashioned – my girl-power friends would be ashamed of me if they knew the depths of my desire to spend my days wearing an apron, frittering about in the kitchen. My admiration for Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, June Cleaver, and the legendary Julia is embarrassingly strong. I pride myself on all the home cooking I do. I smile (and possibly giggle in delight) when things turn out as beautiful in person as the photos in my cookbooks. I spend time each week surrounded on the couch with my cookbooks, reading recipes and making grocery lists, and day dreaming about all t…

Life Goes On

It sounds a little cliché to say that, I realize, but sometimes it really sums it up. This past week, life has been moving on in our little household, without our sweet Penny. And amazingly enough, we’re doing pretty well. Up until the day of her appointment, I was a wreck. I felt torn inside – questioning if we were doing the right thing, if there was more that we could have done. I felt horrible, knowing what was coming. Even though we did our best to make those last few days and moments happy and full of love – at the same time my heart was breaking for Penny. And then, after she was gone, I grieved for the loss – but I felt so much more peaceful about the decision. I couldn’t help but think back on the past year and how much she had deteriorated. It had been a long time since her spunky, playful side was able to be free. She struggled so much, getting up and walking to the door…and even standing to eat her food was a challenge. She had to have been in a tremendous amount of pain …

Saying Goodbye to Penny

I suppose it’s inevitable. We knew the time was drawing near, but now that the final arrangements have been made to put our beloved Penny to rest, I find it nearly impossible to fathom what our house will be like, what our lives will be like with only one doggie scampering around. It was only a year ago that sweet Penny’s insatiable desire to run and retrieve her ball was still going strong, but her physical ability to do it quickly left her these past several months. Though I think the desire would always be there in her smiley face, her eager eyes, and her loving, pleasing heart…dear Penny hasn’t been able to run and chase for a while now. And that breaks my heart. It is a tough realization to come to, a harsh reality for all pet owners at some point. I still can’t hardly think of our cat Steve, without wet eyes, I still miss him that much, three years later. I don’t know how I’ll cope without Penny’s happy presence in our lives…it will be so different.

We were just starting out…

Lucky #13

This week Matt and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. YIKES! It seems so crazy that 13 years have passed since that hot, July day when we first started our lives together. And yet it seems that we’ve known each other and been together all our lives. We just fit…so easily, so naturally.

Reflecting on our marriage this week, I got to thinking about all the good times we’ve shared, as well as the huge obstacles we’ve overcome. In JUST 13 short years, we’ve been through a lifetime together already. I thought it only fitting to take some time to ponder the best of each of our 13 years…and so, here are a few highlights!


Our first year of marriage. Two ‘kid’s just starting out together; so happy in our little house with our puppy and kitty…and each other. I remember Matt video taping me as I decorated our Christmas tree…while our favorite Christmas music played in the background and Penny lay sprawled out on the couch. All was perfect in our tiny little house…except for my hair (…

My Not So Free ‘Free Hawaiian Souvenir’

I was talking to Julie the other day and mentioned something about my finger, the surgery, etc…and she just looked at me puzzled. She hadn’t a clue what I was talking about. She asked if I had mentioned it on the blog, and I realized I had not. Well, it’s too good a story NOT to share…so here I am.
On our third full day in Hawaii, we traveled out to snorkel on Julie’s family’s favorite sandbar. Of course, it ended up pouring on us and we never did get to snorkel in that spot. Leonard was determined to find a spot for us to de-boat and float around a bit, so he beached us right up against Coconut Island (which is actually the island in the opening credits of Gillian’s Island!). A few of us decided to get in the water and float around; including Hope and I. It was still sprinkling a bit overhead and the girls outside the water were wet and chilled, but Hope and I were warm and happy exploring the waters just off the island.
As we made our way around the outside of the sea wall, Hope swa…

A Question of Motive

So I’ve been thinking…Maybe I should train to run the Des Moines Half Marathon.

Every once in a while I’ll look up from my work and see the picture of me crossing the finish line at the Disney half. I remember what it felt like to finish that amazing challenge and part of me kind of longs to feel it again. I keep that picture,
along with several other race pictures (and one of Rocky Balboa)in my line of site at work. Whenever I’m feeling low, or frustrated, I glance up and see my favorite fictional hero…and myself. A similar underdog, I suppose.
Before last year, I never once wondered with excited curiosity what it would feel like to complete a half marathon. Before last year, I never even really knew what a 5K was, or how many there are around Des Moines alone! I never concerned myself much with physical fitness or planned physical activity. I accepted early on that I was not a runner, not an athlete, not a physical competitor. I quit track in junior high after about 2 practices;…