Friday, September 30, 2011

7 Years ...

Today marks 7 years off chemo for my daughter, Haley! We are so far removed from those days that it almost seems like a dream.  For those who don't know her story, at 3 years old, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and had to endure 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy.  At 5 years off chemo, she was considered cured of the disease! Haley beat the beast!! She is amazing, such a fighter.  I am so proud of her and how far she has come in life despite the many medical obstacles that have been in her way.  She inspires and amazes me on a daily basis! I'm so proud of you, my Haley Bug!

Haley Bug in the midst of her chemo in 2004 ... still smiling!

In my quest to fill my life with positivity, I have found so many inspiring quotes and stuff, but I have to share this video along with the inspiring quote, which I have seen before. I just love it.  "I'm gonna show you how great I am!"

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others."

— Marianne Williamson

Mike has finally made it safely to San Diego.  He's been a driving fool for the last 3 days!  We sure do miss him. But life is good, and I'm still smiling!  ♥

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Optimist's Creed

I simply LOVE this!  I am living by this and reciting it every day!  Nothing ... NOTHING feels better than living positively and being optimistic.  It leads to happiness and peace of mind.  ♥

The Optimist's Creed
by Christian D. Larson

Promise Yourself...

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

I also have to share this song, that I heard in one of Zumba classes for a cool down.  (THANK YOU SUNDAY!!! This song brightens my days!  ♥ )  I just love the beginning ... so TRUE!

"I’m as happy as I can be
Cause I’m allergic to tragedy
The doctor says something’s wrong with me
The smile on my face has no remedy"

Happiness is a choice, it really is! And I have chosen it. Smiling feels AMAZING. I smile at everyone and it feels good ... even when they don't smile back!

And I have to share this cute little saying I found today too. I mean, I am pretty awesome! Can't waste all this awesomeness being sad!  LOL  I kid, I kid.  But it's still a good smile-jerker!  ;-)


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Got My Happiness Back

One sad day ... I can deal with that!  I'm still sad, of course, but I'm not going to let it keep me from being happy.  I am so blessed ... life is good, I can't help but smile! I went to the Y and did my bootcamp class tonight and I feel AMAZING! I love working out - it really, truly makes me HAPPY!  I'm just trying to figure out how I can squeeze everything I want to do at the Y into the 2 hours a day of childwatch I am allowed!  haha  I listened to a TON of music today too.  Music always makes me feel good. There's a perfect song for any way you are feeling at any given time!  :-)  I discovered an Eminem song that I had never heard before, and I'm totally diggin' it!

I saw this quote today, one that I have seen before and I thought I would share:

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength."  -unknown

It's such a true quote for life in general, but it really spoke to me in regards to marriage when I saw it today.  So many people are so quick to give up on their marriages today. I have come to realize that every marriage, no matter how perfect it may seem from the outside, has problems. Sometimes they are big, HUGE problems that seem insurmountable. I firmly believe that a marriage can overcome anything if both parties are invested and willing to work through the issues.  I say that having lived it!  Marriage is hard work, but it is a commitment. Especially when children are involved, you have to really give it your all through good times and bad! Don't get me wrong.  I'm not sitting on a high horse looking down on anyone who has ever been divorced.  I realize that sometimes it is just for the best and that sometimes one partner is just not interested in working it out no matter how much the other person is.  I'm just sharing my thoughts on how this quote spoke to me today.  I'm pretty sure that given everything my husband and I have been through in our 13 years of marriage, anyone would understand if we gave up and walked away from our marriage! We have been through more than most people will experience in an entire lifetime. But, somehow, we have held it together.  He's not perfect ... I'm definitely not perfect ... but we love each other and we are committed to our marriage and keeping our beautiful family together.  It's not always easy, in fact, it's rarely easy!  But it's definitely worth it.  ♥

I have to share something cute Mickey said today. I was making her lunch and she saw her 2 little friends outside next door, so she went outside to see if they could play after lunch.  She came in all sad saying that she couldn't play with them.  I asked her why and she said, "I don't know.  I guess they have chicken bones." I was like, what the heck!? What does that mean.  And she got all irritated and said, "I don't know!"  She goes back out and tells me she doesn't think they are going to be friends anymore because they aren't allowed to play and said something about chicken bones again. I didn't know what the heck she was talking about!  LOL  She went out one more time and it all became clear ... they have chicken pox!  Pox .. not bones!  hehe My kids crack me up.  How could I be anything but happy!  ;-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just ... Sad

Today I feel deflated. I've been feeling so wonderful lately, focusing on the positive and feeling really happy. Today ... I am just SAD. I can't shake it. Mike left this morning and it was gut wrenching. Mickey cried so hard in the driveway that she threw up. She said as Mike was pulling away, "I wish Daddy didn't have to do this. He's just leaving us behind." It's painful enough what I am feeling, but to feel the pain of my 2 girls who are old enough to feel the pain with me ... heart wrenching!!! I know we will be fine and people do it all the time and it's part of our lives as a military family, but this just plain old sucks. My only hope is that Zumba this afternoon will cheer me up if I can drag my sad self out of the house. All this sadness and tears is making me feel sad about other things that I am trying to let go of. I am just not good at letting go. I care too much. Ugh. I really hope tomorrow is a better day. I fear this day is ruined. I just have to keep chanting ... happiness is a choice ... happiness is a choice ...

We did have a great day together yesterday. Haley stayed home from school and we just soaked up every last minute together that we could! We took the kids to the park for some quick pictures with Daddy and then let them all play. These are the moments that we so easily take for granted. We are working on not doing that anymore!

The babies were so cute playing at the park!  I can't believe how big they are getting ... walking around and climbing on the play equipment.  They are such a BLESSING to our family.  ♥

After the park we went to 7-Eleven so Mickey and Haley could go get Slurpees with Daddy, which Mickey BEGS for all the time and rarely gets!  :-)  I wish I could put yesterday on repeat.  It was great.  Today sucks, but I think I already mentioned that.  Ah well, tomorrow is another day ...

I love this guy through thick and thin!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Aunt Pippy! (And Kayla & Cameron too!)

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”

- Abraham Lincoln

Today is my little twin brother and sister-in-law's 9th birthday.  We don't get to celebrate with them since they live all the way in Alabama though!  *sad face*  But HAPPY BIRTHDAY nonetheless!  Tomorrow is my sister-in-law, Tiffany's (affectionately known as "Pippy" by my children) birthday and we are celebrating it today.  By special request I made her my double chocolate cheesecake with chocolate ganache icing!  TO DIE FOR!

Carly and Callie enjoyed it too!  ♥

Her fiance, Mark, surprised her with 2 dozen Maryland Blue Crabs!  She was a happy girl as this is just what she wanted for her birthday ... to sit and pick crabs.  The whole thing just grosses me out, but it's not my birthday!  haha

I take one look at those eyes staring at me and I feel sorry for the poor little guys!  haha

But, the birthday girl is happy and that's what matters!  ♥

Haley is getting a lesson from Aunt Pippy on picking crabs!

They are all enjoying it!

"I love you, but I'm still going to eat you!"  haha
Taylor and Mark ... like father like son!  LOL

Mike and Mickey are working on finishing up painting the dress up storage center Mike has been building for her dress up clothes.  Have to get it finished up before he leaves in 2 short days.

Carly and Callie are currently obsessed with sitting in this bin - they fight over who's going to be in it, and, when Carly is in it, Callie just climbs in on top of her!  She's such a bruiser.  Poor Carly!  LOL

Here eyes are saying "Save me, Mommy!"  LOL

The cutest little bully ever!  hehe

Planning on spending the rest of the night watching football with Mike and enjoying our last bit of quality time together before he leaves.  I'm remaining positive, but I can't lie ... this sucks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rainbows & Separation Preparation

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow."

- Gilbert K. Chesterton

I've said before that rainbows have special meaning in my life, and I have never seen more rainbows in my LIFE than in the last few months!  Every time I turn around, there is a beautiful rainbow in the sky.  This one was today - a double rainbow - just beautiful!  I couldn't get the whole thing because part of it was hidden by trees.  Someone texted me to and let me know it was out - I would have missed it otherwise.  Glad to have seen it, and it made Mickey's night too, which was precious!  ♥

Here are a couple of the other recent ones taken with my cell phone while I was out and about.

I recently walked in to Mike was showing the big girls where he is going to be going in San Diego on Google Maps.  Definitely a "Kodak moment."  I hope all this preparing we have been doing will help Mickey cope with Mike's absence.  It's going to be the hardest on her, I fear.  :-(

Only 4 days left until Mike leaves.  Time sure is going fast now.  I can only hope it will go this fast when he is gone!  My girls are so lucky to have such a GREAT Daddy!  They are definitely going to miss his presence around here.  Thank goodness for technology is all I can say!  SKYPE!  :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Positively Living the Miracle

"What we focus on, we empower and enlarge. Good multiplies when focused upon. Negativity multiplies when focused upon. The choice is ours: Which do we want more of?"

- Julia Cameron

It's been a while since I posted on my blog.  I let negativity take over my life for a while, but I am done with that! I love the above quote, because I know first hand just how true it is.  I have lived it the last few months! I am now focusing only on the good in my life.  That's not to say that I, or my life for that matter, is perfect.  I'm just saying, LIFE IS A MIRACLE!!!  I'm going to treat it that way and live for the good in it.  Every day I am going to strive to be a better person. I am not perfect and I never will be, but I love myself anyways. I'm not a perfect mom, wife, friend, daughter, etc., so on, but I am going to do my best and give it my all, as positively as I can. There might be some stumbling blocks along the way, but I will read this quote and know that tomorrow is always a new day:

"Finish every day & be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders & absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well & serenely & with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good & fair. It is too dear, with its hopes & invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

With that said, one the things that has remained positive throughout all the struggles I have been going through the last few months, is my journey to getting healthy! I am still going to Zumba almost daily and LOVING IT!!! I am also taking some other classes at the YMCA and just generally all around loving working out! I feel amazing, inside and out. There has been huge transformation inside and out.  As happy as I am and as good as I feel about the transformation of my body, the changes that have happened inside of me have been far more important in my life.  I am starting to love myself for the first time ... ever maybe!  I am gaining self worth and self confidence.  It feels amazing! I wish I had some hard proof to show you of the inner changes because they are SO important, but since that's not possible, I will share the changes on the outside. This is me wearing the same purple shirt in May of this year, and today, a short 4 months later:

Making the decision to get healthy has been the best decision I have EVER made and I am NEVER going back!  If you are waiting for the "right time" to start your journey, the time is NOW!  There is never a good time to start and you can always find a reason to not be able to do it, but the truth is, YOU CAN!  Anyone can.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  Find your will and get after it!  Find an activity you enjoy doing and start doing it.  For me, it was Zumba.  If you haven't tried Zumba - DO IT TODAY!!! Find a class and go. I was terrified the first time I went and now I live for it! It's changed my life. ♥ I believe we all have an inner dance Diva in us just waiting to come out, girls!  Not to say that guys can't Zumba too - there are guys that do it all the time!  ;-)  Whether it's Zumba, kickboxing, cycling, running, WHATEVER!  Find something you enjoy doing so you will keep doing it and get on the road to living an active and healthy lifestyle.  LIFE IS A MIRACLE and we want to live it as long as we can, so we need to be healthy in order to do just that.  

In other news, Carly and Callie are almost 15 months old now and walking all over the place.  They are into everything, but it is just so darn CUTE!  My Haley Bug started 7th grade, which just blows my mind.  I literally feel like I was JUST in 7th grade myself.  Mickey is her usual sassy, cute self!  She is taking ballet at the Y and loving it. Mike is preparing to leave for San Diego on the 27th for 10 months of school.  We are certainly not looking forward to that separation!  However, we are looking at things as the glass is half full rather than empty, so we are looking forward to seeing him for 3 weeks for Christmas and then 2 weeks in May, so that will break up the time quite nicely.  He will then be going back to a ship, hopefully here in Norfolk, once he finishes school.  I'm going to miss my husband dearly, but I am going to devote my life to our 4 beautiful girls and continue to work on myself.  The years are flying by ... this 10 months will be done before we know it too!

I think that's a good comeback post for now!  Looking forward to sharing more positivity real soon!  ♥