It’s been 9 years!

10-3-2014 – My 9 year anniversary from my weight loss surgery

9-years

I live in South Carolina now. I have three children that all attend school all day long. I live in the same town as my parents. Man, oh, man has life changed a lot in the last year. But today, I stop to celebrate 9 years since my weight loss surgery. More so, I should say today I celebrate the day I made the most difficult decision of my life. But you know what? I completely was at peace with the decision then, and today, nine years later I’m still thankful and enjoying the new opportunity to live with less..Including less weight!  They surgery I had is called Gastric Bypass ( – RNY) and it was done laparoscopically. Losing 125+ lbs certainly is a life-changer!

Today I weigh 176 lbs, and although I am excited to work on losing 30 lbs, I am absolutely thankful that my hope is not in the size of my body, nor in the number of people that believe in me or are proud of my accomplishment. No, absolutely not. My hope and joy is in Jesus Christ alone and I am thankful for every single day that I have breath.

If you want to learn more about my journey, I welcome you to click here –my weight loss link for my entire weightloss journey.  I don’t share this each year for glory or to say, “Hey, look at me, I’m awesome.” But that stark reality is that I do it to publicly remind myself, as well as those that are new in my life that I am completely unashamed of all that I have experienced and I’m happy to share my story if it helps, encourages, or gives someone else hope on their weight loss journey.

10-3-2013

What a ride! Life has been great and it feels great to still have the majority of the weight off since my weight loss surgery back in October 2005 when I weighed in at 313 lbs.

2013-sm

Since I had surgery (Gastric Bypass – RNY), I have had 2 additional children (totaling three) and I’ve moved several times. I’m not an advocate to say everyone that is morbidly obese needs to have surgery. But what I can say is that I used it as a tool to help me lose weight. It was a great momentum to continue on the weight loss journey to a healthier me. If you really like photos, be sure and read below. It’s my entire story in detail to include many many photos.

If you want to see more of what I’m up to, you can come check out the business I created and operate ElizabethtownFamily.com. If you live in Elizabethtown (or near Fort Knox) this is a wonderful resource!

10-3-2011

Today marks a very special day in my life.  It was on this very day six years ago that I had gastric bypass surgery.  I am so thankful that I did this as I feel it changed my life forever.  The new found energy that I had as I began to lose weight gave me a sense of ‘the real me’ that I always personally felt was there, despite the aches and pains I physically felt, along with the snickering, rude comments and unkind words I had heard my entire life.

It was a huge decision that I didn’t take lightly.  Having the support of my husband, family, and close friends made it all that much easier for me.  So, I always fondly think of this day, as a stepping stone in a healthier me!

To see my entire journey, please feel free to look at my weight loss link.  I’m an open book.  Today, I weigh 155.5 lbs, and although I still have about 9 lbs of baby weight from my third child I want to lose, I’m very content with where I am, and where I have come from.

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Fall Festival Fun!

So many thoughts, so little time.  That is how I feel sometimes in the life I lead.  I enjoy blogging, and I do enjoy reading other people’s blogs that are of interest to me, but right now my blog has taken a backseat to what feels like a busy season.

I’ll hope to get back to a regular blog routine.  Also, I’m hopeful to put more photos on my blog.  My Iphone is certainly a tool I really enjoy, but I find it to be a crutch to my high quality photos I prefer taking with my Canon because it is sometimes just so convenient.  Then getting the photos off of my phone, to my computer downstairs where I like to have my pictures organized, just doesn’t seem to happen!

Now, to the real point of this post!  This Friday (tomorrow) is the Fall Festival here in Elizabethtown for my daughter’s school.  Elizabethtown Christian Academy each year has a really fun evening planned and this year is no exception.  In fact the last two years the weather has altered the location of many activities from outside to inside, but this year, it is looking as if God is going to bless our event with great weather.

So, if you are interested in a fun family night out, or something to do, please check out the information below that will surely help your weekend get off to a great start!

FALL FESTIVAL at Elizabethtown Christian Academy

Friday, September 23rd 6-9pm

401 West Poplar Street (it’s the old Severns Valley Baptist Church Building and does indeed appear like a church building to those new to town or unaware. Just head towards downtown on 31W, and make a left turn by Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Take a right at the first stop sign you come to and you won’t be able to miss it!  Food items are all reasonably prices and tickets will be for sale to enjoy the other fun activities for children.

  • FUN CARNIVAL-LIKE GAMES
  • BOUNCE HOUSES
  • GREAT FOOD (BBQ PORK SANDWICH PLATES, HOT DOG PLATES, just to name a few of the tasty things you can come and enjoy for dinner or a snack!)
  • SILENT AND LIVE AUCTION (held Inside)- Many local and area businesses have donated items such as gift certificates, UK tickets, overnight B&B stays, KY Down Under tickets, Holiday World tickets, etc! Go see the long list of items on Facebook: ECA 5th Annual Fall Festival

Spread the word! It is going to be a fun evening for all! Families, grandparents, kids…ALL WELCOME!

 

Graduate School is Musical Mondays

Some days are filled with laundry, spilled apple-juice, potty-training , chasing my fifteen month-old son everywhere, after school pick-up, fixing oatmeal and full-time graduate school. There are many many other things included in my schedule too, but for now it all seems to work.  It works because I feel I’m really enjoying my school courses and my husband is such a team player.

I’m pursuing a master’s in Management and Leadership with Webster University.  The program has been enjoyable so far.  Full-time graduate school means taking two classes each term.  The term schedule is nine weeks long.  So that means it is very fast-paced, and you have to keep on top of assignments, especially papers with fifteen references.  I’m taking one class in person on campus, which is a convenient eight miles from our home.  Then, I take an online course as well.  The reason I chose to split it up this way is because it was one less night I would need to be out of the house.  It gives me that in person class experience, which I quite enjoy.  That said, I really think my personality and enjoyment of communication via the computer really likes the online atmosphere as well.  So for me, it is really a good fit.

When I have to go to  my in-person class, it means that I fix dinner about 3:15pm and leave instructions for my husband on how to warm/serve it.  My oldest daughter finishes up her homework, and I prepare a to-go snack for all three kids.  Then after gathering all the needed materials for my class, we leave the house, and head towards my school parking lot.  It is there that I feed my fifteen month old his dinner in the car, and await for my husband to arrive so we can do the official ‘switch’.  In the winter months I even have the kids bathed and in pajama’s.  He then takes the kids back home to finish out the evening and I then am able to go to my class (sometimes, I even have 4 minutes to spare).

It’s one day a week.  We create a sense of normalcy for the kids by keeping our routine, and we even have a name for it.  We call it ‘Musical Monday’.  This is because of the game musical chairs and my very first class was on a Monday.  Even though I haven’t had another Monday class, the name stuck.  Very thankful for a husband that helps out as much as he does.  It gives the kids extra quality time with dad and really is working well for us.

If all keeps on track, I should be graduating in May 2012.

This is good news.

 

Chicken – A new spin with some of my favorite ingredients!

I love garlic.  If you don’t, then you can simply stop reading now in an effort to find a new recipe.  However, if you love great flavors and you love garlic for flavor you must add these ingredients to your shopping list ASAP as you will get wonderful results and have a meal that will leave your family, or company asking for the recipe.  And, they’ll want more!

It is no secret I am a huge fan of Ina Garten and all her cooking expertise.  As I was watching a DVR’d episode of her show Barefoot Contessa recently, I saw her making Lemon Chicken Breasts.  I was half-way paying attention because I’ve made many of her chicken dishes before and thought this was just like the ones I had made already.  But, when I saw that she was using chicken breasts, rather than a whole chicken, that got my attention.  Then I noticed she was preparing it differently than other recipes I had seen, and it looked like I should try it!

Well, I did!  I made it this past weekend when friends of ours were coming over for a Saturday evening meal to just relax and enjoy.  I found the preparation of this Lemon Chicken to be very easy.  Sometimes I find lemon to be a flavor that I’m not sure I really enjoy with meats/seafood.  But in this dish, it was spot on, perfect, and wonderfully scrumptious.

Substitutions:  I didn’t have on hand the wine called for in the recipe, therefore I substituted chicken broth for the wine.  My chicken breasts were thinly sliced, therefore they cooked more quickly than the time in the recipe.  Aside from these minor changes, I made it exactly as written and am here again to say that I love Ina Garten!~

Easy Preparation: – This was very easy to put together.  I had it ready in my 9 x 13 pan about 3 hours before I was ready to cook it.  So, when it was time to finalize the meal, all I had to do was pop it out of the refrigerator, and pop it in the oven and cook it up.  That extra time of soaking in the marinade surely made it absorb even more into the chicken and caused the flavors to really marry.

Click here for the Lemon Chicken Breast recipe by Ina Garten.

Happy Cooking!

FUN things to keep our children’s minds WORKING!

I am enjoying the summer thus far here in Elizabethtown.  Despite the fact that we are in the middle of a move (on our own) which means packing, packing, and more packing in most of my free time, I love finding various activities around town that are great ideas to keep my children active, and moving!

To me it is not only important to keep their little bodies busy, but it is so important to keep their creativity sparked and their minds cultivated.

Tonight I found two neat options for summer fun and so I wanted to share and make sure you had an opportunity to do these things as your schedules/finances allow.

These fun things to do are not listed in any particular order.

SUMMERTIME STORY TIME AT FIDDLESTICKS – (FREE)

Fiddlesticks is a super cute children’s store in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and through the summer on Thursdays at 7:00pm they advertise to bring the kiddos on down in their favorite pj’s and ready for a fun storytime.  I’m looking forward to checking this one out sometime!

You can visit them on facebook here.

SPROUT STUDIO ART CAMP

My daughter loves to draw and do crafts and I really liked how these camps are broken down into 3-day camp weeks for 2 hours on each day.  This helps it not cost an arm and a leg, but also doesn’t consume every single day in a given week.

Check out the list of choices by clicking here.  You’ll also see that they have the registration form attached too.  I’ll see if my daughter is interested in any of these.

If you have other tips/ideas/suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comment section!! I’d love to hear your ideas too! Free or cheap is always good too!

SWOPE CAR MUSEUM – (FREE)

This is conveniently located in Elizabethtown on 31W just down the street from Target, but on the opposite side of the road ( see how i turned this into a reference to Target 🙂 -) We went here on my son’s birthday this year because we had family in from out of town, and I was looking for something to do for about 30-45 minutes since the weather was a bit rainy. Oh my!  What neat cars.  Mr. Swope is such a kind man ( I’ll have to blog about the time my family met him last summer some time) and he loves sharing with the community all the many cars he has collected.  I’m not a ‘cars’ person by any stretch of the imagination, but it is fascinating to walk into this museum, and see the beautiful colored cars and styles of yesteryear!  I highly recommend this to you!  Check their website for hours of operation.  You can visit their website directly by clicking here.

 

Memorial Day Plans – Saving some Money…

Memorial Day weekend we are blessed to be off of work, and are able to spend extra time together because of the long weekend my husband has off from his job.  Originally our plan was to take a fun daytrip tomorrow ( Saturday) to Cincinnati, OH, but once I began doing research, many free for veteran offers has caused us to rearrange our plans and we’ll be making this fun outing to collaborate with some free deals!  If you live in the area, and can take advantage of these savings, this may be something you want to consider also, or at least keep in mind for future outings!

While in Cincinnati, OH  we know we want to see the Creation Museum as well as the Butterfly show at Eden Park’s Krohn Conservatory.  The Butterfly event is only good through June 26, 2011 and I think is going to be very well received by my six,  nearly three and one year old.

Savings on Memorial Day –

1. (We’re saving $24.95 {general admission for 1 adult})  – Creation Museum has free admission  if you’ve served our country in the armed forces to veterans on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and of course, Veteran’s Day!  Also, free admission to dads on Father’s Day, and moms are free on Mother’s Day.

2. {savings of $5.00} – Free admission for military on Memorial Day at the Butterfly Show.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Memorial Day weekend and Memorial day, may we all lift up all our veterans that serve and have served in our country for we have them to be thankful for the freedom which we have in this great nation.

 -Heather

Let’s Pay attention to our Leaders!

It is my sincere prayer that all the people last week that were paying so closely to what decisions were being made in Washington, D.C. that personally affect them will also pay attention come time for elections.

I’ll be the very first to admit that politicians sometimes seem to talk so much rhetoric, that I often believe they are speaking a different language.  I think I am not alone when I say there are a large number of Americans that really do want to see our country run differently, and more efficiently than how it currently is being handled.  Though we know it did not get like this overnight, it also isn’t going to get fixed overnight.  But turning a blind eye, and not paying attention isn’t going to make it all fix itself either, or go-away and dissapear.

Let’s educate ourselves and back what we believe with true valid facts.  I’ll be the first one to say that Donald Trump seems like a candidate that can have my vote!  Sure, he may have hair that makes me chuckle, and I love hearing him speak and use one word about four times in a thirty second news clip (i.e. “seriously”) but he at least makes sense that I can understand what his stand would be on varying issues and I think there is a lot of validity to the idea of someone that isn’t a politician so-to-say, and really is a businessman that knows what he is doing.  It certainly would be a good shot!