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I Was Raised by an Egg Timer

I Was Raised by an Egg Timer.

I’ve been asked before that if I could write a book on my life what would it be titled.  Simple.  I was raised by an egg timer.

It really explains so much about my personality when you think about it.  I am a born strategist.  Born of necessity because of critical time management skills learned so young…  I am painfully punctual.  These two personality traits are deeply rooted in my childhood thanks to my mother.

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To say that I am lazy is an understatement.  I know it, I accept it, but you may not realize this about me.  Bill Gates said this…..

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Well, the internet says that Bill Gates said this…. Who knows?

My sainted mother had the hardest time getting me to do anything in a timely manner, so she devised a plan that would forever change me.  She bought an egg timer.  Now this egg timer began to rule my life with an iron clock.  I had so many minutes to get out of bed, or when that egg timer went off she was coming in to dump ice water on my head.

I had so many minutes to finish drinking my water, or I would lose a privilege.  (Note:  I hated water as a child and still do as an adult.  I also suffered from kidney issues because of this.  The doctor wanted me to drink 6 to 8- 8 ounce glasses of water a day, and it was only upon threat of the egg timer that I would do so).

You name it and she clocked me.  Eating dinner, cleaning my room, doing the dishes….. I hated that thing.  Gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it, but it worked.  Well, I say it worked because I strategize everything.  I also am never late.  Invite me somewhere and find out.  🙂  I will be the one calling to find out where you are, you only have 5 minutes left……

God bless Momma for her alternative child rearing decision.  I very rarely failed to complete my tasks on time, always wondered about the “or else” if I didn’t beat the clock, but I still do not drink my water.

Muah,

Jeanie

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Empty Nesting

Did you know Empty Nesters are at a higher risk of divorce?

Empty nesting Week #1

Did you know that “empty nesters” are at a higher risk of divorce?  Did you also know that the latest National divorce statistics are down, but “grey divorces” (those over 50) are actually shown to be up by double digits!

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I’ve heard of this before, but after talking to friends it seems that this is a thing.  A HUGE thing!  Statistics that I have read show a surge in couples age 50 and up divorcing due to their adult children leaving home.  This really surprises me since my thought is that when kids finally move out of the home the couple can get back to all the fun things they used to do together before parenting took over their lives.  This apparently is not the case because years of parenting turns husbands and wives into very different people than they were when they first got married.  They discover that they have nothing in common, and their children were the one thing holding them together.  They are “mom and dad”, and that’s it.  Not a couple in love with each other.

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I’m interested in this topic because it’s such an absolute reverse of my life with MSP.  (MSP = Mr. Sexy Pants- aka my husband for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook).  For example.  MSP and I spent this past weekend (our first empty nesting weekend) Doing all the fun, silly, sexy things we’ve always done.

We went out to a show Friday night and hung out with our friends.

We woke up Saturday morning and went to breakfast together.

We went grocery shopping to buy everything we needed to hole up at home all weekend.

We pulled a mattress out into the living room and spent 12 hours “camping out” on the living room floor “picnicking” and binge watching Netflix.

We spent time just talking to each other, and cuddling with the animals.

We woke up Sunday morning (on previously mentioned mattress on the living room floor) and did yard work for hours.

We took a bubble bath together.

We had friends over for dinner, and to watch Game of Thrones together.

All in all a perfectly, perfect weekend…… BUT not out of the ordinary for us.  We always have weekends like that.

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I read something recently that I totally, 100% agree with.  I am not “in love” with my child.  I AM in love with my husband, and I love my child.  I miss my Baby Girl terribly, but there has always been two parts of my life.  My marriage, and my family.  They are not the same thing.  I married my husband to spend the rest of my life with him as my mate, my partner, my everything.  Our daughter was this amazing gift from God that came along later to make us a family.  Now that Baby Girl has moved away to start her own life her Daddy and I are gonna be fine.

“Grey Divorces” happen for multiple reasons, and I hate the thought of this happening to anyone.

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  1.  Problems, resentments, issues of the past were put on the back burner, and once the kids are gone, the buffer is gone, they all come back with a bang and seem too overwhelming to deal with
  2. Husbands and wives now look at each other and think they don’t really know the other person, are not sure they even like the other person, and start deciding if they really want to spend the next 30-40 years with this person
  3. The marriage, that has been put on hold to raise their children, now has to be restarted all these years later

I think the key to this not happening, and full disclosure, I am NOT an expert, is to keep up with your marriage when the kids are still home.  Don’t let problems fester.  Fight that shit out, and resolve it.  🙂  Remember why you fell in love in the first place, and do the things that you did before that made your spouse say “I’m going to be with this person forever”.  Read this book that changed my life 15 years ago.  The 5 Love Languages:  The Secret to love that lasts.  I was doing almost everything wrong, and after reading this I was able to correct, and get back on track.

So, as I start empty nesting week #2 it is with a lighter heart.  The sadness of our daughter moving is being replaced by joy in hearing how happy she is in her new life.  I’ve reaffirmed that my marriage is strong, healthy, and not in danger of the “grey” problems, and I really cannot wait to camp out, picnic, and take a bubble bath with MSP again.

Muah,

Jeanie

Uncategorized

It sure is quiet around here. Empty Nesting day #1

It sure is quiet around here.  Empty Nesting day #1

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Yesterday our daughter moved to Colorado, but I don’t count that as Empty Nesting Day #1.  Why?  Because my day consisted of me wandering around our home doing my best “sad panda” imitation, and my night involved me reeling with anxiety as mid-way through her road trip she started having car problems.  The 13 hour trip turned into a 20 hour trip, and I’m just glad that it’s over.

So, today is Empty Nesting day #1.

It’s so quiet.  I think our animals are even off balance because she’s gone.  Maybe I’m projecting.

I woke up this morning and no kitchen cabinets were open, no late night eating evidence was on the counters, and no lights were on for me to turn off.  You see, these were my morning routines since Baby Girl worked nights while we slept.  No sounds of the ice maker at 3am, no slamming of the patio door as she wandered in and out, no 10pm pizza delivery because she was hungry after we went to bed.  It was a quiet night, something that I am not used to.

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Our little duckling has left home, and now it’s just me, Daddy, and the animals.  It’s amazing the hole one person can leave behind.

On a happier note, I am looking forward to running around in my unmentionables, and redecorating rooms that are now empty.  The running around in my unmentionables will commence today, but the empty rooms are going to have to wait a few days while I work up to that.

 

 

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To my daughter who doesn’t read my blogs… This ones for you.

Even though I see you everyday it’s still hard for me sometimes to process the fact that I have a 24 year old version of your Daddy and I running around this earth.


It’s also hard to process that you are moving to Colorado today from our home in Texas. Hard, being out of the ordinary, not sad, as it’s just been us three together for most of your life.

I’m excited for you. It’s the start of your adventure. Packing up and leaving home…. Traveling hundreds of miles away full of love and wonder and excitement. Your Daddy and I did the same 25 years ago when we were way younger than you are now.


My advice is to let go of any negativity in the past and truly live in the wonder and magic of today.  Of all of your tomorrows. Don’t look back…. You are not going that way!

From the moment I met your Daddy he was my home. Where he wanted to go I was right there. No questions. No hesitation. I didn’t look back either. It’s not hard to jump when you trust someone to always be there to catch you.  There really isn’t anything in our lives that we can say “I wish we would have done that, but we were too scared”.

You are a better, stronger version of me.  Of us.

So trust. Jump. And Fly!  Start making all of the memories you will be telling your daughter one day.

Make them exciting. That’s what I did.

Love, Mom

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I Release Butterflies…. What’s Your Super Power?

I release butterflies… What’s your super power?

 

Relaxing outside with MSP (Mr. Sexy Pants aka my husband for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook) after he comes home from work is one of my favorite things to do.  We have coffee by the pool, listening to the waterfall and the birds singing, and watch the dogs run around chasing squirrels as we catch up on each others day.  It’s a quiet, peaceful part of our routine that allows us to reconnect after 8 hours apart.

Eight hours, huh?  You laugh, but those who really know us also know that we are happiest together, and after 25 years of marriage, eight hours apart is still the worst part of each others days.

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It’s in these times that my “Super Power” comes in handy.  My husband calls it “Releasing Butterflies”.  My ability to release the happiness inside of me to uplift him, and negate the bad energies that the stress of his life has brought upon him.  My daughter says that I am the most annoying person in the world because I’m too happy all of the time.  I’ll take that.  There’s too much sadness in the world.

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My natural state is to be happy.  Glass always half full, look on the bright side, no dark clouds here…. But, I also have so many other things that keep me that way.  Things that, should I have a bad day, are always there to bring me back up.

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#1 I’m married to the love of my life, who also happens to be my best friend

#2 He tells, and shows me that one of his major goals in life is to make sure I’m happy… everyday

#3 He loves me in words, and actions…… always seeming to love me more today than he did yesterday

#4 He listens to me… really listens to me.  Phone/tablet/computer down…. looking me right in the eye listens to me when I need him to

#5 He makes me laugh.  Belly laugh

#6  He puts our family, our pod, myself and our daughter, US above everything else.  We are his priority

I could go on and on, but if you really look at it, really pay attention to what’s going on in Paradise, you will come to the same conclusion that I have.  My Love is the one who gave me these “butterflies” almost 26 years ago, and when your heart is as full as mine is, like a balloon with too much air, the butterflies have to go somewhere!

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Muah,

Jeanie

 

DIY, Do it Yourself, Save money, Tips and Hints

DIY (Do it Yourself) Weekend in Paradise!

DIY (Do it Yourself) Weekend in Paradise!

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After one year in our new home, my husband and I finally decided to tackle an eyesore area in our backyard that we had designated for a future BBQ grill area by our pool.  This area had been driving us crazy since we moved in and had to remove existing landscaping that included sego palms that were poisonous to our dogs.  After removing the offending sego palms we were left with this.

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Huge boulders, a ton of small river rocks, and lots of dirt that created mud for the dogs to run through and bring into the house.  Plus, it’s pretty much the focal area in front of the pool, and the first thing our guests see when they come outside.  I hated it. I had been browsing Pinterest for months looking for ideas, and showing them to MSP (Mr. Sexy Pants, aka my husband for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook), until we finally agreed on a landscaping gameplan that we both loved.

Now the work began.

I spent a half day on weekend #1 removing all of the top layer river rocks and relocating them to another area of our backyard.  Four solid hours of digging, raking, loading into a wheel barrel, and shoveling  until the area was cleared out. This left me with a lot of dirt, and a number of half buried boulders to remove. AND a new grill to buy! Yay!

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Begin weekend #2

I spent another half day digging up and dislodging the half buried boulders.  As I am not Super Woman I unearthed them and left them for MSP to remove.  The largest rock weighed in at over 200 pounds.  The next morning add in one husband, and one brother and we’re ready to go.

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Boulders removed, save two that we liked, and relocated to other areas in our backyard.  Then MSP had to dig up, and cap off, two existing sprinkler heads that we would no longer be needing.  Step #3 was to level out the remaining dirt in preparation for landscaping fabric, and landscaping sand to use for leveling even further.  MSP used a 10 foot long 2×4 to drag across the area with a level on top of it for measurement.

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Once finished with the fabric, sand, and paving stones, we added red bricks that matched our house and pool to make a separate landing, and mark a step up area for the grill.

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Last two steps were to pour over new river pebbles to fill in the area between the pavers, and add in the new grill.

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The final stage of this project took 4 1/2 hours of work by 3 people on weekend 2.  Total time: 2 weekends, and 12.5 hours. Grill purchased at Lowes.  Landscaping items purchased at Home Depot.  Total investment: Grill $499 plus tax, Landscaping items $350 and a bottle of Tylenol for some super sore muscles.  We love it, and it’s now a clean, beautiful addition to our backyard!  AND we saved probably double what we spent doing it ourselves versus hiring someone else to do it.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Muah,

Jeanie

Healthy Lifestyle

Okay, the numbers are in and I have a goal. Again.

Okay, the numbers are in and I have a goal.  Again.

I have been on a double goal journey for the past 5 years.  I started out at age 39, in 2011, weighing in at 180 pounds with a 29.7% body mass index (BMI).  I had gained 40 pounds over the course of the previous 5 years eating my way through the grief of losing my mother in 2006.  This prompted me to join the gym post haste.  My doctor had said I was .03% away from being considered obese by his charts and graphs.  I didn’t look, or feel obese.  At least what I thought was obese but hey, if the doctor says it…….

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My #1 goal, of course, was to lose the weight, and get to my doctors recommended body weight for my height.  132.5 pounds for a 5′ 6 1/2″ height as a woman.  That meant losing 47.5 pounds!

Over the course of one year I did it.  I hit my goal in September of 2012.  I remember the exact day, and where I was.  On vacation in Jackson Hole Wyoming with my dear friend Cathy.  I did it by reducing what I ate, and drinking lots of water.  Oh, and add in going to the gym 3 times per week with my husband, cardio- cardio-cardio, and interval walking/running through my neighborhood on the days we didn’t go to the gym.  Cardio 5 days a week, every week, rain or shine.

7 Simple Tips To Lose Weight (2)

I also remember getting home from vacation and looking in the mirror realizing that I looked ridiculous.  I looked like a walking skeleton.  I had gone from a size 14 to a size 2, my doctor was happy, but I was not.  I lost ALL of the boobs that I had, and that lead me to wear sports bras 24 hours a day so I didn’t have to look at what was left……  I was boney, and did not feel attractive at all.  I started hinting around to my husband that breast implants were really very affordable……

Why the heck can’t I just be happy?

Then one day I found a meme that changed everything for me.  It perfectly described WHY I was feeling unhappy, and unattractive even though I was the elusive and highly sought after perfect weight…..”132.5″ pounds…

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I did not like the way I looked because I was skinny, but NOT fit.  In order to be fit I needed to add in muscle.  Muscle would fill out my body making it look even better.

Enter goal #2.  Build muscle.

I told myself not to freak out because my body weight was going to go up (muscle weighs 5 times more than fat).  I had lived so long weighing myself everyday and obsessing over that one number…. this was going to be hard.  I just needed to change my mindset.

Then I blew my knee out during a Zumba class.  Enter one knee surgery, and being told that it is highly recommended that I do NOT run again, do squats, do lunges….. NO…. That was half of my stay skinny strategy.  I was about to enter my first 5K…..

Fast forward to 2016.

Hello 160 pounds.  Yup, 27.5 pounds up from my goal weight in 2006.  BUT, it’s different now.  I still do cardio, just on an elliptical now.  My thrice weekly workout sessions now consist of 75% weight lifting, and 25% cardio.  Big difference from 100% cardio.

I now have muscles, and boobs, and another goal.

At 160 pounds, and 19.5% body fat, according to http://www.BrainyWeightLoss.com,  I am on the “Lean (Low)” side of my body fat percentage.

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At 44 years old the American Council on Exercise tells me that I am in their “Athletes” category.  BUT I still cannot really see the muscles I work so hard for…..

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So, the goal is to go from 19.5% body fat to 14%.  That 8.8 pounds of body fat.  At least by my math…

Goal day is June 29th, 2016.  8 weeks from today, and 8.8 pounds of body fat to go….

I’ll let you know what happens…

Muah,

Jeanie

 

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FU&K Cancer! I couldn’t save my mom, but maybe I can help save yours.

Fu&k Cancer!  I couldn’t save my mom, but maybe I can help save yours

Mother’s Day is this Sunday May 8th.  This is my 9th Mother’s Day without my mom.  This is my 9th EVERYTHING without my mom.  This September 29th she will have been gone for 10 years.

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This year I am honoring my mother, and joining the fight against brain cancer by participating in the Head for the Cure 5k in San Antonio, TX on Saturday September 24, 2016.

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Head for the Cure is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research.  I lost my mother to an aggressive metastatic brain tumor in 2006, and raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research may just help save someone else’s mother.

For momma I am calling my team “Team Susan Sundy”  I want everyone to hear her name, see her name, and know that she may be gone, but she is far from forgotten.  That one day some brilliant researcher will find a cure for what took her, and that eventually no one will have to see what I have seen…. Lost what I, and so many others, have lost.

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Each year, over 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or a metastatic brain tumor.  More than 120 types of brain tumors exist, making effective treatment complicated.

Head for the Cure works to inspire hope for the community of brain cancer patients, their friends, families, caregivers, and other supporters by celebrating their courage, spirit, and energy.

If you would like to walk with me click HERE to join my team.  If you cannot walk with me, but would like to make a donation to Head to the Cure through my team page that would be amazing as well.  If the link is not working for you, here is the URL  http://events.headforthecure.org/site/TR?px=1130021&pg=personal&fr_id=1347&et=osxBTB_rhxAqRZsgyzBXxw&s_tafId=3724

I end this blog by giving my 9th annual Mother’s Day plea.

If your mom is still alive…..

PLEASE call her, go see her, communicate with her in any way that you can.  I would give anything if I could.

PLEASE do not let previous arguments, disagreements, or annoyances stop you from reaching out to her.

PLEASE hug her, tell her you love her, and spend as much time with her as you can.

PLEASE do not take for granted what I would give everything- do anything for.

Happy Mother’s Day my friends.

Muah!

Jeanie