Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I decided to write this post to explain why in some pictures I have three kids and in some I have two. I didn't want people to think I was keeping one tied up in the basement. Grab a cup of coffee this one's long. Thanks for reading.

Almost 17 years ago the guy I had been dating, who by the way had slept over one night and never left, announced that his 9 month old daughter was going to be moving in with us. WHAT????!!!! I was living the life of a 19 year old party girl. It went something like this: Go to junior college in the morning, goofoff work at an AT&T call center with all my buddies in the afternoon and then go home to my apartment and commence to party. I lived in a building with a bunch of other 19 to 20 somethings and we all hung out and drank and ate dinner together until we went to sleep and did it all over again the next day. Now I'm not saying this like I'm proud of it, I'm just setting the stage.

The next day said boyfriend showed up at my/our apartment with the most beautiful bald headed 9 month old I had ever seen. In that moment, in the midst of a really stupid and confusing time in my life, I became a Mom. By none of my own doing I had been given the privilege to be Tristin's Mommy. I didn't know very much about how to be a parent so it's a good thing she was and is one of the most patient people I know. In the year that followed, I married the father of this sweet baby girl and gave birth to her brother. (not necessarily in that order)

Shortly before Tristin turned five, baby sister Kiley arrived and we moved to Texas. I was back home but this was a big change for the Yankee I married and my three babies. The kids thrived, we made friends and of course the best part we were with my family who all so much love the kids. One of my favorite stories about Tristin happened when she was in 1st grade. Tristin hate hate hates to be late. Actually all of my kids do. I wonder if it's from having a Mom who is ALWAYS late for EVERYTHING!!!???? Anyway we were running late for school she jumped out of the car to head in the building. As she was sprinting up the steps she passed a little boy with special needs struggling to get up the stairs into the school. She stopped and I swear in those seconds I could tell sitting out in my car she was weighing what would be worse, being late or not helping this boy. Tristin turned around helped him up the stairs, made sure he got in the door and I saw her haul butt towards her class before the door to the school even closed. This is Tristin. Her kind heart is her special gift from God. Unfortunately, there have been many things in Tristin's life that have tried to kill her spirit.

When Tristin was seven her father decided after years of not being faithful to me that he no longer wanted to be married. The decision was made that it would be in Tristin's best interest to stay with me and her siblings. The divorce truly broke Tristin's heart. Her biological Mom has been in and out, mostly out, of her life since the day I met her when she was nine months old. This is a very hard thing for any child but Tristin has struggled with it her whole life and continues to this day to have a tough time dealing with this rejection. I had a horrible relationship with my stepdad and was determined that I would be different with Tristin. I would give her all the love I never felt growing up.

I have always been hard on Tristin. I have high expectations for all my children but it seems like I was always tougher on her. I truly believe it was because she is the oldest. As she approached her teenage years we began to argue. A lot. Oh if only I could go back in time and know then what I know now. I took every eye roll, every sigh and every foot stop personally. If Tristin was moody I wanted to know why. I'm not sure why I thought I could force her to be in a good mood. Being the oldest child is tough, I should know I am one! I am doing so much better with a pre-teen girl this time around. I pick my battles and realize Kiley doesn't know why she is moody any more than I do. You learn these things with time.

Unfortunately for me, before Tristin learned how to deal with being a teenager and I learned how to be the Mom of a teenager her father started dating someone new. The dating part wasn't anything new that has always been a revolving door. However, this someone new was fun and had money and set her sights on winning over my Tristin. And guess what? It worked. Her father took me to court the summer before Tristin started highschool, she was thirteen, and asked to have my joint custody taken away. In this case as the only biological parent of Tristin in the court room the law was on his side. Tristin moved in with her Dad and his at that time girlfriend. Tyson, Kiley and I were devastated. We felt abandoned, betrayed.

Fortunately for me after some serious arguing on the part of my lawyer, it was agreed that Tristin would come to my house every other weekend and split holidays. The three kids are still together every weekend and every holiday. They are either all with him or all with me on weekends and holidays. He gets them the month of June and I get them the month of July then back to regular houses in August. It took a good year to mend hearts and to figure out how to be a Mommy from an hour away. Suddenly, this child, who I had taught to walk and potty trained, taught to read and tie her shoes and who had taught me how to be a Mom was living somewhere else and I had no say so in her daily life. I have had to learn how to be the best Mom I can be from where I am at. It took a long time to work out what my role was in Tristin's life after she moved out. I wish I would have figured it out sooner but there were so many hurt feelings involved. I hate that Tristin doesn't live with us. I hated it then I still hate it now.

Fast forward a few months and that super cool fun girlfriend who bought Tristin all the expensive clothes and took her neat places was no longer in her life. Reality hit and so did the consequences of the decision Tristin had made to live with her Dad. This was a very hard lesson to learn for a thirteen year old. Sometimes you can't undo the decisions you make. But let me tell you the good news! Tristin is an overcomer. She is a good girl with a kind heart. Her life has not gone the way she would have chosen to this point and it's certainly not the road I would have chosen for her. You never want your kids to take the hard path! Last year and this year Tristin and I have talked so much about making the kind of choices that are going to lead to her having a wonderful adult life. Controlling the things she can today to ensure a better tomorrow for her. Don't let the people who have let you down determine what kind of future you are going to have and let me tell you that girl has worked her butt off. There is no way on earth I would have worked as hard as her without someone pushing me on a regular basis and with the kind of freedom she is given.

I recieved this picture from Tristin today:

Tristin's going to Baylor!!
It has been Tristin's dream since she was nine and watching a baby story on TLC to take care of "early born babies" as she called them then. Over the years her dream has grown and become more specific. She wants to be a neonatal nurse practitioner and since 6th grade has wanted to attend Baylor University. She did this! She is making her dreams come true. I could not be more proud of her.
There have been many mistakes along the way and I'm sure there are going to be more down the road. I am so blessed to have been allowed to share in this ongoing journey with Tristin. I always tell her that she is the child I love the most. She can say it with me and if I catch her in the right mood she will. "I love them all the same but I've been loving her the longest!"
I am going to end with a picture of this beauty in front of her pick up truck that she bought with her own money. It's hard to believe that bald headed baby turned into a preteen with glasses and braces and into the gorgeous young woman she is today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Are my kids AMAZING or what???

Being a Mom is my most awesome priveledge and responsibility. No matter how long I've been a Mom it still amazes me that God entrusted me with these fantastic creatures to raise. In some ways being a single Mom makes things more difficult however it has also enabled me to make the kids my first priority. We have such close relationships and I am enjoying this journey I am on with them. I'm not saying it's perfect all the time but what it? :0)

So this blog is just to brag on some of their recent accomplishments. In an earlier post I talked about Tyson getting a form saying his grades qualified him for the National Honors Society. He filled out the rest of the information and he was accepted and we recently attended his induction ceremony.

Before the ceremony.
Being "pinned"
Tyson and his girls! We are so proud!!!
I love that Kiley looks up to Tyson and he is setting such a good example for her! Another reason I am so proud of this accomplishment is because I really really wanted to be in NHS in highschool. I never quite got my act together or got my grades high enough. I love it when my kids do something I wasn't able to!
Kiley Anne love, love, loves to dance. She works so hard at drill team in school and also takes ballet and a drill team class at a local dance studio one evening a week. Last week I was dropping her off for dance and there was a sign on the door that said "Parent Night" I wanted to cry! I had just gotten home from work in enough time to throw on sweats and a tshirt, shove some food down the kids throats and head to dance class. One look at her face and I knew there was no way I could miss Parent Night! So I parked the car and headed in without a bra on  with a smile on my face. I am so glad I did! It was wonderful watching her do something she enjoys so much. Here are a few of the tons of pictures I snapped that night!
My beautiful ballerina.
I want Kiley's legs when I grow up!!!!
Thanks for letting me brag about my babies!!!! I'm catching up on the blog this week so talk to ya soon!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Let's go kicks!!!! Let's go kicks!!!!

Growing up, one of the things my family used to do was go to the Dallas Sidekicks soccer games. I remember how much fun it used to be to cheer for Tatu and the rest of the players with my Mom, Stepdad, Nick and Ryan. Sometimes we would get a hotel room and stay the night of the game. It was only 30 minutes from home but it felt like a vacation to be in the hotel eating the continental breakfast in the morning. As I got older and my relationship deteriorated to a state of non existance with my Stepdad I skipped out on the family trips to Sidekicks.

This summer my Stepdad apologized and asked my forgiveness for years of emotional hurt that he caused. My family is not perfect but we have come along way. The older I get the more I realize the importance of a strong family bond. I love that my kids are so close to my brothers, their wives and my Mom and Stepdad.

What does this have to do with the Sidekicks you might be asking??? I'll tell you!!!! After many years the Dallas Sidekicks are back together and guess who went to the season opener? The whole family! (well minus Tristin because she had to work) It was so neat to share this with the kids. Dean and Mom got us all hotel rooms and great seats to the game. I was so overwhelmed to have all of us together getting along. I just love my family.

Ryan and Megan (and Charlie in the tummy)

Nick, Melody, Rylea (and Brody in the tummy)
Mom and Dean
Tyson, Kiley and I!
The whole gang! Check out our Sidekicks clothes!!!
I'm looking forward to many years of family memories to come!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sssshhhhhh! Do you hear that?

It's the sound of my biological clock ticking!!!! I mean seriously what the heck!?!? Every time I see a pregnant woman or a baby my uterus contracts. I have a few theories about my hormonal overdrive. One is that I'm getting older. (Happy Birthday to me today) I am realizing the likelihood of having another baby is pretty slim! My second theory is that my babies are growing up! In my head they should still look like this:

But I blinked and now they are 17, 15 and 12!!!
After Kiley's dance recital, May 2012.
And lastly, it seems as if EVERYBODY is pregnant! Including my two sister-in-laws.

Megan on the left is married to my youngest brother Ryan and they are due with baby Charlie in April. We are hoping to find out whether Charlie is a boy or girl on Friday. Melody on the right is married to my brother Nick and they are excpecting Brody Charles in late November. When Melody joined our family she brought along the cutest smartest niece I could have ever asked for!!!

Rylea on her first day of kindergarden.
We are soooo excited to be having babies in the family. Brody will be the second Grandson in our family and it has been 15 years since the first one, my Tyson, was born. Mom, Megan and I threw a baby shower for Melody and it turned out really nice.
One of my favorite things were the invitations. We ordered them from and they turned out even better than we could have expected!
We had the shower on the porch of a cute little cupcake shop. It rained right up until an hour before the shower!!! We were so worried but the weather turned out perfect.
Hello in there little Brody!
Megan was in charge of decorations. She spray painted these mason jars and filled them with fresh flowers and put burlap runners on the tables. The cupcake shop provided the food and drinks. We had fruit and cheese kabobs, veggie tray, and OF COURSE cupcakes!
This was my cupcake. Strawberry! Yummy!
I was in charge of games. We played a trivia game that asked questions about pregnancy and babies from all over the world. When a guest answered the question right they got a piece of candy. At the end the person with the most candy got the prize. The other game cracked me up! I took close up pictures of Nick and Melody's faces. I then blew them up to 8x10's and cut them in to five equal strips and put them in bags. Each bag had a Nick face and a Melody face. While the guests were sitting at tables they could put the faces together to guess what baby Brody is going to look like.
These were my practice faces.

Another really neat touch that was my Mom idea was the guest sign in. Instead of a book we had each person write a note for Brody on a baseball. We filled up a jar with the baseballs to go in his room.
Guests signing the baseballs.

The finished product!

It was a great day and I can't wait for Megan's shower and for these babies to get here! I will close with a few more pictures from the shower including some of my favorite gifts. 
The ladies of the family, Megan, Mom, Melody, Me, and my girlies!
Kiley on the way home. This was exactly what I felt like!



Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly Weight Loss Plans

I found this picture of me from three years ago!

Perfect weight for me! This is exactly where I want to be. This is 57 lbs down from where I am right now! It is soooo hard for me to not spend this post beating myself up but that is not going to get me any closer to my goal weight. So here are the plans for the week:

1. Count my calories: Stay between 1200-1400
2. Exercise 5 days a week
   - couch to 5k
   -2 days of Camp Gladiator
3. Menu Plan!!!!!

I signed up for Camp Gladiator AGAIN!!! No I do not love boot camp but yes I do think it's a great workout! I wouldn't have normally had the money to go to the camp but they ran a really awesome special. Four weeks of unlimited classes for four dollars. No way to beat that!!!!!! I'm not sure what I will substitute after this months over but I'm sure I'll come up with something. Maybe Tyson will be willing to train me again if I promise not to be mean to him.

              As I side note, I really want my legs to look like this:
That's not too much to ask is it!?!?
  I made all my lunches for the week on Sunday night. Check out my lovely picture:
The two bowls on the top are a favorite salad of mine. It has romaine and spinach, cucumber, red bell pepper, strawberries, goat cheese, slivered almonds and 4oz of grilled chicken. I use the Walden Farms zero calorie Raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The two bowls on the bottom left are brown rice and Asian blend steamed veggies. I am going to add shrimp to one and chicken to the other. Last but not least is egg salad. I served it in a pita with carrots on the side.

For dinners we will be having chicken tostadas, make your own pizzas, salmon, rice, and sweet potatoes, and a couple of different chicken dishes.

The word for the week is CONSISTENCY!!!!!!



Goodbye 35!

Tomorrow is my 36th birthday. I know, I know 36 is not old but man it feels soooo close to 40 and I'm so not ready to be 40!

We celebrated a day early because Kiley has drill team tomorrow night. Mom made dinner and Ryan and Megan (bro and SIL) came over. I am so blessed that for the ten years I have been a single Mom my Mom has taken the kids shopping for me and let them pick out bday, Christmas, and Mother's Day presents. It makes them feel special and of course I love it!!!!

Last year Tyson thought he would be funny and give me a joke gift. I asked for a watch this is what I got:
Ralph the watch dog! In case you can't tell he is a bronze dog on ski's. I was not amused. One year later and I can at least laugh about it ;0) This year they decided to play it safe and got me the Rachael Ray pots and pans I have been wanting and a new set of silverware. Smart kids! From Mom and Dean I got a Dillards gift card (will be saving to buy smaller clothes) and a DSW gift card from Ryan and Megan. I cleaned up!!!

On our birthday we always get to pick what we have for dinner so I went healthy.
Yummy chicken and steaks Kabobs Dean made on the grill. The pies pictured above are also low calorie. They are an oldie but goodie from when Mom and I went to Weight Watchers. Here is the recipe:

Nutrition Info
  • Calories: 182.7
  • Fat: 6.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.9g
  • Protein: 3.5g


12 oz. Fat Free Yogurt (Key Lime, Lemon, Strawberry, any flavor to match the Jello)
1 box. Sugar Free Jello mix (same flavor as yogurt).
8 oz. Fat Free Cool Whip
1/4 c. water
1 Reduced Fat Graham Cracker Crust


Boil water, add Jello mix and stir until dissolved.
Whisk yogurt into jello.
Fold in Cool Whip.
Pour into pie shell and refrigerate.
Number of Servings: 8

I am determined this will be my last overweight birthday EVER!!! I think this is part of the reason I am having such a hard time turning 36! I just don't want to be fat and 36. Enough of that! I am the only one that can do anything about it!!! Here are a few more pics from the evening!
Hope my wish comes true!

What a weirdo!!!

Kiley was sitting on a stool but I thought this looked so funny!



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Carry On....

There ain't nothing fun about dreams dying or loves leaving. I read this today in a blog I follow and it pretty much sums up where I am right now. Although I would like to lay around and wallow in my misery that is just not an option. Wanna know why?

These beauties, that's why! Man I love these kids! So I'm taking in one day at a time because anything else is a bit overwhelming. I love the song Carry On by Fun. The chorus says "if you're lost and alone or you're sinking like a stone, carry on" And that is exactly what I am doing.
My weight is still pretty out of control so I am really focusing on counting calories and exercising. It is actually helping to distract me. I am sticking to 1200 calories a day and I have enlisted the help of a personal trainer!
This little stud muffin right here has agreed to take on his Mom as a client. (In case you're wondering if Tyson ever wears a shirt, the answer is not if he can help it!) He is taking it so seriously and I really appreciate his help! Here's what he has had me do this week:
Monday: 30 minutes on treadmill
Tuesday: 44 minute interval run on treadmill, Tabata Ab workout, 15 minutes as many rounds as I could do of 5 pushups, 10 squats, 15 kettle bell swings (I did 9 1/2)
Wednesday: 1 hour power walk outside it was a beautiful night and it really helped to prevent some of the soreness (not gonna lie, I'm stinkin sore)
Thursday: 3 minute warm up on the treadmill, 25 jumping jacks, arm circles, Tabata pushups, and then 1/4 mile treadmill run followed by 25 squats four times. (I may be in a wheel chair tomorrow)
A coworker and I have also walked a mile each afternoon at work. Tyson is so encouraging and keeps telling me how proud he is of me and saying you can do it Mom. What better motivation is there than that?
Let me take a sec to brag: We got a letter in the mail that said Tyson's grades qualify him to be inducted in to the National Honor Society. We had to fill out a form and make a list of all his extra curricular and volunteer activities. We turn it in tomorrow and will find out some time in October if he has been chosen. I am so so so so proud of him. I am unbelievably blessed with such smart kids!
I have another weigh in a week from tomorrow for my work program. I hope this is enough to make my goal but even more than that I want to keep going unlike last time when I met my goal and immediately started pigging out again!!!!
I'm happy to be blogging again and will be adding some stuff over the weekend............ Bye All! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

What I got cookin!

As part of the weight loss competition on facebook that I am doing we have to have two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day. I thought I was totally doing that each day but man was I wrong. It has been fun trying to find different ways to incorporate them into my day. The HARDEST part has been not eating after 9:00pm. That is when I do the majority of my bad eating so it's most definitely a good thing for me but it sure isn't easy!!! This week I'm also cutting down on most of my snacks. I snack to dang much! Even if it's good stuff it's still usually too much!

When I find something that tastes good and is healthy I get pretty excited about it. Here are a few of my favorites from the past week.

Ok, so I know it isn't pretty but it WAS good! It was breakfast this morning. 1/2 Natures Own 100 calorie English muffin. I spread some laughing cow cheese on it and topped with strawberries. That's a lovely serving of egg beaters next to it!

I'm so totally in love with this yogurt!!!! I have had it as a snack and as breakfast along with a Kashi fruit and nut granola bar. Soooo good!

Lunch has been mostly leftovers. Tomorrow I'm trying a new recipe. A black bean and mango quesadilla. I'll let you know how that works out!

WHY IS MY FOOD SO UGLY? This ugly but yummy dinner is a turkey burger topped with Dijon mustard, avocado, and tomato. I usually buy Jenny-O turkey burgers but this time I got the HEB brand and they are AMAZING! I love green beans and could eat them every day! I steamed these and then put spray butter and some Mrs. Dash on them.

This is an absolute favorite of mine and the kids! I use flat out bread for the crust and I have also used low cal tortillas. Layer with pizza sauce, WW mozz cheese and all the veggies you want. I put pepperoni on the kids but not mine. This totally makes me feel like I'm cheating even when I'm being good!!!

I'm never gonna be a chef or win any awards for my beautiful food pictures but hey I try :0)

Six days til 5K........

And I don't know whether to scream or cry!!!! I'm definitely not ready to run the whole thing, which is ABSOLUTELY what I want to do! Kristen reminded me that my goal was just to do it so I keep telling myself that. The absolute perfectionist in me can't stand the thought of not running the whole thing. I guess I have to start somewhere and so this will just be my start. Can you see me going back and forth in my head, trying to decide if I should be satisfied or discouraged?  The longest I have run so far is 1 mile run, 1 mile walk, 1 mile run. Today I did 1/2 mile walk 1/2 mile run and so on.

Tyson has started a running club with our church and today was the first night for them (us) to meet. We went to a local park. The guys ran 7 miles and I did race distance (3.2 miles) of course 1/2 run 1/2 walk. Anyway, Tyson asked me what I think about when I run and I told him what I'm usually thinking is "when in the heck is this gonna be over!" This will get easier, this will get easier, this will get easier! Say it with me.............

Did I mention the mile markers are on headstones????? Appropriate, I think!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Still trucking along......

I did not weigh in with Beth this Friday because I only worked a half day. I did, however, go to the doctor and they weighed me there. I am back to 203 which means I have lost the weight I gained for no apparent reason over the two previous weeks. I had blood work and a urine analysis done and will recieve the results this week. I'm not sure if they will show anything but I am looking for answers to the fatigue, unexplained swelling, and extreme difficulty losing weight!!! I am also scheduled for a hormone panel on May 9th at the gynocologist.

I am starting a 5 week weight loss challenge with some people on face book. You pay 25 dollars to join and keep track of your weight and there is also a point system to determine the winner. Maybe it will help motivate me. I could definitely use the money!!!

I have not done a very good job with planning for this next week which does not help set me up for success!! Between the wedding shower and allergies it's been a crazy weekend. I have tomorrow planned and then tomorrow night I will wash veggies and plan out the rest of the week! I am looking forward to using the fruits and veggies I got in my bountiful basket that I picked up on Saturday morning.

I will post some meals this week and also log my work out! I have got to get up to an hour a day! Hopefully this will be the week I see the 100's again!!!!!!

More to me than just weight loss :0)

I have posted about different things over the time I have been a blogger. Dating, parenting, dieting to name a few. I thought maybe once a week or so I would talk about some things NOT food and exercise related. Just to get a better picture of who I am.

I was raised by my Mom and Step-Dad and have two brothers that I am VERY close too. They are four and six years younger than me.

This picture was taken at my brother Ryan's (in the middle between my Mom and I) wedding last October. Ryan is an elementary PE teacher and his wife Megan owns a hair salon. I love my brother's so much however I had a very different childhood then they did. My step-dad (their father) and I did not get along at all so that made things very difficult growing up. My biological Dad recently moved here to Texas and I am working to develop a relationship with him. It is slow going but I believe it is important to continue to work on.

This past weekend Ryan, Megan, and I threw a couples wedding shower at our parents house for Nick (brother on far left in above picture) He is marrying Melody who we all love so much. They have been dating for over three years and they live together with Melody's four year old daughter, Rylea, who we are all smitten with. It was a huge success and I was so happy to be able to do this for them. This is an exciting year for Nick. He is graduating from college, getting married and expecting a baby in December. Check out some of the cool pics from the shower.

I found this invitation on Etsy in the simplesimondesign shop. Love love loved it! The mustache and lips theme grew from there.

I wanted several dessert options so we had cupcakes (red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla) cake balls (chocolate with with chocolate icing and vanilla with milk chocolate icing), and chocolate cake (it was called black out) So yummy!!!

The kids, Mom and I made these chocolate favors with molding trays purchased on amazon. The tags were from It was a free template. (I love free)

Dessert counter

We put chips and veggies on this food table.

Gift table and favors.

We played games in the living room.

We had burger and hot dogs. All of the hot food was in the kitchen.

My sister in law, Megan, did an absolutely amazing job with the decorations!
The happy couple!!

The kids and I!

The kids, Mom, and I made these cut out mustaches and lips. We had all the couples pose for a picture as soon as they came in. We also played a game that went something like this: I read a statement and the guests had to hold up a mustache or lips depending on if they thought it was Nick or Melody I was referring to. For example: Their Mom had to hide their favorite outfit at age 6 to keep them from wearing it every day. (Nick!!!)

It was a successful shower and so much fun to be able to do for them. I love love love my family and although things are far from perfect and rarely easy they are still my family and I am so thankful to God for each of them!