Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Birthday to you!

Wow!!! December is just full of birthdays for me!!

First up, yesterday, December 5th. My beautiful granddaughter, Allie!! She turned four yesterday! I can't believe how fast she's growing up! She's my princess!! I love spending time with her and her brother, Zachary. They are so precious and innocent. I love to experience the world through their eyes! They discover a lot of what I take for granted and make it seem like the most wonderful thing in the world! It's awesome!!!

Then today, December 6th, my wonderful friend L. has her birthday! She is one of my dearest friends in the world! She knows me and understands me better than I understand myself sometimes. With her I don't have to be someone I'm not. With her I just can be! I don't know how I can ever repay her. On my last birthday she gave me the most wonderful birthday I've ever had!!! My last birthday was awesome and it was hugely because of her! I will take this chance to wish her a wonderful birthday and to thank her for being awesome and giving me an awesome birthday!!!

So then we move on to December 18th. December 18th is the birthday of two people I hold near and dear to my heart. One of them is my daughter Stefanie! She is the wonderful mother of my grandchildren. She's married and is a hairstylist. She's an awesome hairstylist! I'm so proud of her! The other person is my dear husband Bob. I love Bob with all my heart! He's an awesome person! He always puts others ahead of himself. He would rather do without and see others happy!

Then, on top of the birthdays, we have Christmas. Whew - what a month!

I hope you all have a great December!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

Well, today is the first snowfall of the season! I love the first snowfall! I love it even more because I have no where to go today.

I love to sit and watch the snow fall. It lays so pretty on the ground and the trees. We live across the street from a park and it looks like a blanket of white. I love it when it's fresh and untouched.

Oliver is experiencing his first snowfall. He loves it! We take him into the backyard and he plays in it and chases the snowflakes! It's sooo funny! When he's inside he'll go to the window and bark at the snowflakes.

Today is my granddaughter, Allie's, fourth birthday! I can't believe that she's four already!! Time is flying by! I talked to her on the phone this morning to wish her a happy birthday and asked her what she was going to do today. She said that she was "going to be happy today!". She is so cute!! We are going to celebrate her birthday with a party on Sunday evening. Happy Birthday, Princess!! Mom-mom loves you!!!

So, for today, let it snow!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bad to the bone.........

We adopted Oliver 2 1/2 weeks ago. Oliver is making himself quite at home. His personality is coming out. He's cute and funny! Well, yesterday he discovered the wonderful world of bones!!

I went to the supermarket and got him some butcher's bones from the meat counter. I made sure I got a package that had small bones in it because, after all, he's only 7 pounds. I brought the bones home and took the smallest one out of the package. Oliver didn't know what to think. He licked it at first then walked away. He kept looking at it oddly. He went over and licked it several more times. Then he just left it sitting there in the middle of the living room.

I work nights so I sleep during the day. When it was time to go to bed I picked up his "puppy" (a stuffed, fleece puppy that Oliver loves) and the bone and upstairs we went. He was laying on the bed and the next thing I know he starts chewing the marrow out of the middle of the bone. After a while he went to sleep and the bone fell off the bed. I got up to get something and when I came back into the room the bone was nowhere to be found. "That's odd!", I thought.

Later, when I got up and was getting ready for work, I was downstairs talking to my husband. He was telling me about Oliver and his bone! It was soooo funny!! First Oliver hid the bone under the dining room table. He got down on his belly and did the "army crawl" under the dining room chair to hide it there. When he realized that people knew where he hid the bone he took it and hid it in another room. As of the time I left for work no one could find it. Oliver was sitting in the middle of the living room looking like he was saying "Ha ha - you can't find it!".

I'm sure that this isn't the last of Oliver's antics! Like I said - he's a very funny dog!

I'm glad that we adopted him!

Monday, December 3, 2007

And they call it puppy love..............

I've wanted a dog for a long time. I always knew that if and when I got a dog I would adopt one from a rescue organization. Well, a few weeks ago I made the decision that I wanted a dog. I wanted a small, cuddly dog. One that was a lap dog. I did my internet research. I checked and other sites. I finally found a dog that was perfect.

I came across an ad for Fern Hollow Farm Animal Rescue. They had a cute little tan and white chihuahua. There was no picture of him on the post but he sounded perfect. He was listed as a baby and weighed in at 6 pounds. So I emailed Fern Hollow and they emailed me back an adoption application. I emailed the application back and the next day I went to pick up my new baby!!!

When I got to Fern Hollow there was a lady there with a little dog on the end of a leash. The lady had told me that she had had others look at "Rufus" (that's what his foster family called him) and she wouldn't let them adopt him because he didn't react well to them. So I got out of the car and went around to the other side. All of a sudden this little dog came bolting up to me! He started hugging and kissing me. The lady looked at me and said "Rufus has now found his forever home!". I was so happy!! The lady said she had never seen "Rufus" react to anyone this way! So into the car "Rufus" went. I took him home!!

"Rufus" and I had a long 1 1/2 hour ride home. I kept looking at "Rufus" and thinking that he didn't look like a "Rufus". I decided that we would have to change his name. I took "Rufus" to meet my daughter at her work. She was holding him on her lap and looked at me and said "Mom, he now has a name!". I asked her what it was. She said "Oliver". I thought for a moment and looked at him and decided that that was the perfect name for him! He definitely looked like an "Oliver". So now he had a name!

We've had Oliver for two weeks now. It's amazing how one 7 pound little creature can capture your heart. He is the sweetest dog! He gives unconditional love. I can't help but to spoil him rotten! He is so cute! He is also so appreciative of everything!

I feel good about my decision to adopt Oliver. I saved his life! There are so many dogs out there that need homes. I'm glad that I was able to give one sweet little chihuahua a loving home!

Let me just say in closing that if you're looking to add an animal to your family please consider adopting one from a rescue organization or an animal shelter. There are so many more animals out there that need loving homes!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Getting to know you..............

My name is Beth and this is my story. I wasn't born obese. I came into this world on June 15, 1964 weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces. During my childhood, even though I was thin, my father would tease me about my weight and call me names.

My childhood wasn't always a happy one. I mean it had it's happy moments but it was difficult. I was adopted when I was 3 weeks old. I was adopted into an alcoholic dysfunctional family. My brother, who was 7 years older, and my father were alcoholics. I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused by my father until I was 16 years old.

When I was 16 I met my first husband. He and I married when I was 18. It wasn't until I was 20 that I realized that what my father had done to me was wrong. Until that time I thought it was a dirty secret. I thought what my father had done to me was my fault - that there was something wrong with me. So, of course, after I got married I turned to food for comfort. I gained 40 pounds in my first two years of marriage.

I got pregnant with my first daughter in 1985. I gained 80 pounds with this pregnancy. I gave birth to my first daughter, Stefanie Nicole, on December 18th, 1985. She came into this world weighing 10 pounds 2 ounces. I used her weight as an excuse for why I gained so much weight during her pregnancy. I lost 60 pounds in the first two years after she was born.

In 1989 I had a rough year. My mother died at age 52 of heart failure. She was my best friend and she died so suddenly. Also during that time my husband got fired from his job. He found another job but then decided he loved me but was not in love with me. My marriage was on the rocks. I turned to food for comfort then too.

Then, in October of 1989 I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. My first husband was not happy about this. I gained 60 pounds during this pregnancy. My second daughter, Kaela Marie, came into this world on June 29, 1990 weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces. My first marriage lasted 2 ½ years after Kaela was born. I never lost the 60 pounds I gained during my pregnancy with Kaela.

In 1992 my first husband left me. I was totally devastated. I felt like a total failure. I felt I would never be able to get through life without him. I was at the lowest point in my life. I used food as comfort. I would eat and not feel any better so I would eat more. My weight kept going up and up.

In May of 1995 I hit rock bottom. My weight at that time was 270 pounds. I felt I couldn't go on any longer. I felt like dying was the only way out. So one evening I lined up 20 percocet and 30 Tylenol with codeine and a glass of water. I was getting ready to take them all when a good friend of mine walked in and stopped me.
It's funny - I believe in God and I believe in angels. I believe God sent my friend as an angel that evening. She wasn't supposed to come over that evening but she just had a strong feeling that she couldn't ignore that she had to come over to my apartment. She did come over and it saved my life.

During the next few months (and years) I went through counseling. I gained my strength emotionally but continued to use food for comfort. Ice cream, cookies, Twinkies, ho-ho's - they were my friends - so I thought! My weight soared to my all time high of 350 pounds. I am 5'7" and was in denial when I looked in the mirror.

Dating - oh that was another issue! Men didn't respect me. Some of them weren't even nice to me. I would settle for just about anything just to get attention from men. I then realized that I didn't have to just settle for just anything. I didn't date for about a year.

In 2001 I decided to post an ad on the internet. I was just looking for a friend. I didn't want a relationship - so I thought. In July of 2001 I answered an ad. I didn't hear anything for 2 weeks. Then I got an email from a man named Bob. He and I emailed each other for 2 weeks. Then we spoke on the phone for 2 weeks. The more we talked the more we had in common. We decided it was time to meet face to face. He asked what I looked like. I thought - uh-oh - here we go. He's going to find out I'm fat and that will be it. I told him I was overweight. He said he didn't care. He said he liked what was on the inside and that the outside didn't matter to him. We met face to face on August 27, 2001 and it was love at first sight! For the first time in a long time someone accepted me for who and what I was. Bob and I were married on June 30, 2003. He is a wonderful man and we have a wonderful marriage. He is my rock. He taught me that I could love myself just as I was. After all, he loved me for who I was and what I was so why shouldn't I love me too!

Even after I met Bob I still had my weight to deal with. I had tried lots of diets - Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, shakes, pills, cabbage soup diet - you name it I tried it. I would lose some weight and then go off of the diet and gain it right back.

In May 2002 I was at a family get together. A cousin of mine who had been overweight all her life was there and she had lost weight. She looked great! I asked her how she had done it and she told me that she had had gastric bypass surgery. I decided then to have gastric bypass surgery. On September 4, 2002 I had gastric bypass surgery.

In the first two years after the surgery I lost 190 pounds. I looked and felt great. I was at goal - 160 pounds. I became too comfortable with the surgery though. During the first 2 years I could eat anything and still lose weight. During the second year I started to discover ways of getting around the surgery. During the third year I gained back 50 pounds. Even though foods that were too high in sugar and fat made me sick I still ate them. My weight went back up to 210 pounds.

In September 2005 I decided it was time to take back control of my weight. I started exercising again. For 3 weeks I tried a low carb high protein diet. I lost 6 pounds in the first 2 weeks and gained 2 pounds in the 3rd week. During this time I had started emailing Richard Simmons. He would email me back and tell me his thoughts on the low carb high protein diet. He kept telling me to try his food mover. Well, after gaining 2 pounds in the 3rd week and getting yet another email from Richard telling to use the food mover I decided to give it a try. It really does work!!!

As you can see, I've come a long way. I now lead a full and happy life. I have my husband, 2 daughters, a granddaughter, a grandson, a son-in-law, a stepson, a step daughter-in-law, 3 step grandsons and my mother-in-law. I also have a full time job and many hobbies I keep up with.