Archive for December, 2010

Forever Friends


To my forever friend, Thea! I love you, and am glad you are back in my life.

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Ryan and I don’t exchange gifts, and I tell my family don’t buy us anything. However, my youngest sister NEVER listens to me. So, why did I think this year was going to be different. And, you know I really did think it was.

She has a Christmas tree in her living for external family members’ gifts. And, this year all over the Christmas tree were envelopes. I saw one for Auntie Dodie and Uncle Calvin, Ty/Sarah, Toy, Davon, and even one for Ryan. But I didn’t see one for me. Initially (and I can be honest here), I looked over that tree three times. Then I called her on it. Then I thought, “Well, you did tell her not to buy you anything.”

Well, as always, she one up’d me! And, how she sucks Ryan into to doing her bidding for her, I don’t know.

We got home almost 4am, Christmas day, bringing back all of our stuff from the Christmas Eve party, Ryan was acting weird. He can’t keep a secret so that should have been clue number one. But what made me really suspicious of him was he brought all the bags in, and then said oh, I need to go get some more stuff. What a poor actor. 🙂 He comes back, and I’m none the wiser as he perfectly concealed the assuming package.

This morning (rather five hours later) my sister calls to tell me all about the girls, and their reactions to their gifts. The one I wanted to know about the most was Bebe and her down pillow. That’s a story for another blog so stay tune! Anyway, I’m waking up as she speaks. Finally hang up with her, and remember Ryan’s weirdness from the night before. So, I stroll downstairs and peaked around for an odd envelop with my name on it and a big bow, or a gift. And, low and behold NOTHING! Oh well, she (my sister that is) finally followed my instructions. A little disappointed, a little glad, and the whole thing forgotten.

Well, here comes Ryan down the starts a good 30-minutes later. He places a Mickey wrapped package on the kitchen counter and he says, “This is from Natalie.” I knew it! I knew she couldn’t just let me have my way! But I was going to get her, I wasn’t going to open it! (Okay, that’s not entirely true. I was just going to take all day!) She called me, or I called her for something, and she told me that I needed to open the gift that Ryan had given me. So, pouting (and inward very excited – what can I say she gives great gifts) I open the nicely wrapped gift to uncover … my very own … all for me … KINDLE!

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It’s that time of year where mommy and daddy are away; so, aunty and girls get to play! 🙂 The oldest girl decided to join our festive fun this year.  So we took it up a notch to impress her, and we kicked off our week together with a weekend stay at the Gaylord National Harbor hotel for ICE! This year’s theme The Grinch! It was so awesome!

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and checked into our room. I wish I had a camcorder to tape Nya singing, “This is the best weekend ever! This is the best weekend ever!” That was music to my heart, and all she had done at that time was go to the room! 🙂 Once our luggage arrived, then we quickly gathered ourselves and ventured out for a little walking, shopping, lunch, pictures, and ice skating on green ice! 🙂 We ran into the Grinch, and took a picture with him. His heart had already grown 2 sizes bigger! He was very sweet!

Then we dined at Ketchup where we were seated in the private area, and were able to get up and watch the fireworks as they lit the National Harbor Christmas tree! That was way cool! 🙂 The fireworks were spectacular! After that we found the most delicious kettle korn we ever tasted, and headed back to the hotel to relax and wait for room service to deliver our milk and cookies (part of our package).

On Saturday we go up early, because it was time to get our Grinch on! 🙂 We had breakfast with the Grinch at 8am. On the menu: Green Eggs and Ham – oh yeah, baby I was having me some! 🙂 My girls didn’t like them so much; I loved them! 🙂 The eggs were too runny. We had our picture taken with the Grinch again (that Grinch is a picture taking hog). This time it was just the girls, as the Grinch visited every table. The ambiance of this event was great as well because they really transported this bar and grill from a sports themed restaurant to a Grinch one. While they didn’t change the decoration, they had the movie playing in a loop on every single television in the place. Then some of the kids and adults wore their Grinch apparel. It was GREAT! We voted unanimously this was our all-time favorite event of the weekend.

Next we rested a bit, did a little more shopping, and then wondered over to the ICE! tent to participate in Mrs. Claus Craft Corner. The five of us decorated a delicious gingerbread house. Great fun! Mrs. Claus was funny, and the elves were very helpful.

Finally time for the main attraction, ICE! We stood in line outside for 20 minutes. It was COLD last Saturday evening. Then we stood in the long line  inside for another 45 minutes. Finally we put on our blue parkas and were invited inside! Words, nor pictures, will do the show justice; however, I’ll post a few just so you can see.

After ICE! We were tired, hungry, cold, and our feet hurt, so we went to the room ordered room service, and called it a night! Sunday morning, we got up, got dressed, and then I took my girls out for a huge surprise! We checked out of the hotel, and ate breakfast at Krispy Kreme! The hot sign was on; it was perfect!

Other things planned for the week:
* My 11yo plays the trombone, and is in the pep band. Therefore, I attended my first middle school basketball game.
* Christmas shopping for the little girls family members.
* And a play at the Kennedy Center (Snow White, Rose Red, and Fred).

It was a good time, and next year we are thinking of doing a Disney cruise! >)

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What do the numbers mean?

I’m still loving participating in the NIH Sleep/Weight Study. I’m learning so much about myself, my health, my sleep, and weight loss/gain cycles.

On August 23, Dr. Cizza (pronounced like Pizza, but with a CH), the leading physician for the NIH study, looked me earnestly in my eyes and told me that my triglycerides were dangerously high (249). He said that they are supposed to be under 100, and that I needed to see my medical physician to do something about them. I heard every word he said. I came home and did a little  web surfing to learn more about triglycerides.  What I discovered was this, triglycerides are the chemical formation of animal and vegetable fats. In molecular form, three molecules of fatty acids combine with glycerol to form triglycerides. In the human body, these are carried through the blood plasma, and unused molecules are stored in the body as fat. And, by simply changing my diet, I can lower my triglycerides naturally. (There is this undercurrent theme going on in my life at this time!)

I went to my primary care physician, and did the blood work so he could see the numbers for himself. (Insert side note here: As I shared in my last post, I had decided to do an Isagenix cleanse. I had only been on the product for two days before taking my blood work.) His report showed that my triglycerides had lowered by 14 points from the time I last saw Dr. Cizza and started the cleanse. We agreed that I would continue to try correcting this with change of diet, and then repeat the blood work in 30 days to see if this was an effective method.

On October 21 (just a few days before I needed to redo the blood work for my primary care physician), I went to NIH for my routine study check-in; they always take my fasting blood work first. My numbers were astonishing. After doing the 11-day cleanse and changing my diet, my numbers were as follows:
8/31/2010           10/21/2010
79.7kg                     75.3kg       Weight
156                            135          Cholesterol
249                            119          Triglycerides
31                                41           HDL
75                               70           LDL

To celebrate my success, my hubby (what a guy!) surprised me with an iTunes gift card! My favorite gift I’ve EVER received as it will forever mark a turning point in my awesome life! Now, I understand why these numbers are so important. Do you know what your numbers are? And more importantly, do you know where they should be?

My next NIH visit is scheduled for December 21. My goal is to have my weight down by 3kg, my triglycerides down by 19 more points (my ultimate goal is to get it to 75), and to have my HDL up to 50. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Anything, but surgery

This past September, I was scheduled to have a hysterectomy. This procedure was going to resolve my 20 year long fight with fibroid tumors.

Three weeks before my surgery a friend asked me to do him a favor and talk to a naturopathic doctor. This dear friend, I love deeply. Most of what he recommends to us (Ryan and I) we try to oblige. But this time, I was vexed. What nerve to call me three weeks before my much anticipated relief from my 20 year long affliction to throw another option into the mix. What nerve! I was vexed, but complied. God can use you no matter what state of mind you’re in.

What a life changing experience.

I saw a naturopath doctor who did  a few tests, and gave me the following prescription for relief from my current aliment.
Colon and Liver cleanse by Isagenix
Remove all wheat products from my diet
Remove all cows products from my diet

Then I was told to give this process as least 11-days. Something in me felt so confident that this was the right direction for me that without waiting to even start the cleanse I canceled my surgery. My rationale: surgery will always be an option, but this natural process will only be available while my uterus is still in tact. However, I never do anything alone. The bible says seek wise counsel; sometimes I go too far. I asked my family (mother, sisters, and hubby) and several friends the same questions, “If I could avoid surgery, would you suggest I do it?” The resounding answer, “NO!” But one friend said, “By all means avoid surgery!” My hubby said yes. But the answer that stuck out the most for me was from my friend Positive-Lee. She said, and I’ll try to quote, “So you postpone surgery, but you will still have your fibroid.” That’s a great point! Nothing I was researching answered getting rid of the fibroids, just living healthier.

I moved forward with the cleanse, and searched for a remedy to the bigger problem getting rid of the fibroids. So here I am writing you a full month later. I completed the Isagenix cleanse, lost 8lbs, and lost a few inches. But more importantly was want I gained. I gained more energy, will power, and great new eating habits. I found an answer to how to eradicate the fibroids in Fibroids Miracle. Fibroids Miracle is a life changing, clinically tested, program to eradicate fibroid tumors. I knew that whatever I did after the cleanse would be a rest of my life kind of thing, and this program makes so much sense.

My new regimen consists of the following:
Wake up & drink 3 Tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice mixed with 1 Tablespoon of EVOO.
Exercise: I workout 30 to 60 minutes every day.
Breakfast: a hard boiled egg seasoned with lemon pepper, and a grapefruit.
Lunch: brown jasmine rice, baked chicken, and steamed peas.
Mid-Day snack: 1/4 cup of each: raisins, almonds, and cashews. (For a special treat I add a little Trader Joe’s dark chocolate to the mix.)
Dinner: a large salad with everything in it topped with a little EVOO and lemon juice.

I am feeling good! So, the next time my friend suggests something, I’ll need to remember that he’s never steered my wrong, and I need to be slow to anger.

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