My life these days can be broken into three parts--the family, the job, the diet. So here's an update on all three:
We are having some really good times these days. Sunday was our last trip to Six Flags this year with our season passes. It was Holiday in the Park with the entire park twinkling with Christmas lights. Maggie was giddy because we were at Six Flags at "night night time!" We've also been to Disney on Ice and the Nutcracker in a Nutshell. She loved them both and stayed perfectly still to watch the performers. I'm most excited about our next adventure with my mom and Andrew's mom--going to Bass Hall in Ft. Worth to see the production of Annie!! Annie was my favorite movie as a child and one that I watch incessantly. Maggie watches it over at my mom's and really enjoys it. We're dressing up, going out to dinner, and seeing the show. It is my hope that Maggie, my mom, and I will see at least one show or more a year together, so long as Maggie enjoys it. That is my special thing to do with my mom, and we are excited at the possibility of including Maggie in our times together. Over the years, Mom and I have tried to make one musical at least a year. Some years we're lucky and catch two! I wish I could afford for both of us to have season passes, but that is just not in the budget right now.
Allie's fifth birthday is next Wednesday. I usually don't struggle with the birthdays as much as I do the anniversary. This year, that's not the case. I'm struggling. She is going to be FIVE. I find myself on the verge of tears or crying every time I think about it. Five years ago, I was preparing for my first child to be born. I should be enjoying her last year of preschool before preparing to send her off to kindergarten in the fall. Her absence is so strong this holiday and I miss her so much. Right before Thanksgiving, I found her death certificate for the first time (Andrew had handled it for us when it came in and then put it away. We found it when we were cleaning out the guest room getting ready for a guest to spend the night). I came to this site to write about it more than once, but I could not find the words to fully describe the pain of seeing that. It sent me into about a weeklong funk. OK, I'm going to stop writing about that now because even describing it here has me in tears again.
Maggie is talking a lot about wanting a "baby boy just like Max has" (she has her new cousin Elliot so she says she wants one too!). We've tried to tell her the likelihood of a boy is not as great given that we've had two girls. Andrew says he would be shocked if we had a boy! She insists it must be a boy and she doesn't want a girl. Remember--I'm not pregnant. Not trying yet either, so we're just talking hypothetically at this point. Her reasoning for not wanting a baby sister--"I already have a baby sister!!" Duh, she has Allie. She looks like we're so stupid to even suggest another one when she clearly already has a sister.
Things at Heroes for Children are going really. We're so busy! I kept thinking I would slow down a bit in December, but truth be told, I'm just as busy as ever. We have a lot of preparation for the Spring going on. New board members are joining us in January, so I'm preparing for that. Tonight, I went to the Texas Motor Speedway to pick up a $15,000 grant from the Speedway Children's Charities.
This month has been our big Holiday Heroes program for cancer families. We've adopted 40 families throughout the state for the holiday season. For some families, we bought everything down to the Christmas tree. On Sunday, a pre-med honor society at TCU hosted a party for the Cook Children's families of Ft. Worth to come and get their gifts. This group went all out for our families--three crafts, lunch, Santa, and even the TCU mascot SuperFrog! We spent more than two hours with the family. The Pi Phi's sorority of SMU are hosting a similiar event for the Medical City and Children's families this Saturday. I cannot begin to fully describe how gratifying this experience was for me on Sunday. I watched a mother cry over seeing a Christmas tree with her stuff. A father cried when I told him we would be able to secure a laptop through our Laptops for Love program on top of the Christmas we were already providing. With tears in his eyes, he asked me "how is this possible? You've done so much for us." His son has been battling cancer for close to four years with three relapses. I stood and cried up against the wall watching these families and feeling so grateful that I get to be a part of their lives in a very small way.
As you already know, I love my job. I continue to love my job, and I'm looking forward to more good things we can do for these families in 2009!
You know what triggers my downward spiral into bad eating habits? My stress and my grief. Yeah, I have both of those right now and I'm struggling my hardest not to let them sabotage my success. I want to eat a milkshake when I'm upset. With Allie's birthday next week and my dad's birthday today (we miss him so much!!), I am fighting myself to keep from turning to my normal staple--comfort food. I have some challenges in the next week or so--dinner with my family about my dad and Allie, pot luck lunch with the HFC staff for our all staff meeting on Friday, dinner with good friends to be prepared by a great cook (that one has me a bit stressed truth be told because I don't know what I will be able to resist), and our annual birthday cake outing to visit Dr. Goldman at Medical City for Allie's birthday. Oh yeah, and then there's Christmas! I fully intend to enjoy Christmas, but I want to remain good the other times so I don't have guilt on Christmas day.
The good news? I've lost 11 lbs! Clothes are starting to fit again. It's so frustrating to have clothes that I own sit in my closet unused because I can't zip the pants or I hate the muffin top the shirt shows on me. I have pretty clothes that aren't being worn because I can't fit in them. Some days I am very discouraged by how far I let myself get before trying again. I look back on journal entries I've written before about my weight and the need to diet. In all of those entries--I weighed my current weight (you know, the one I'm at AFTER the 11lb loss) or less. And in those entries I talked about how big I felt. Nothing compared to what I did to myself this summer and fall. Because last April? I was 5lbs less than what I was now. Now, if I was really brave like some people I know, I would post my weight stats here, but that's honestly just not going to happen. Just know they are currently going down in the right direction and I am getting better.
Training for the half marathon is really making a difference. Andrew and I are enjoying our walks together. It has given us time to reconnect. We've been so busy lately, especially me with Heroes for Children. There is little time to talk about issues other than what's been going on with Maggie. Our training has given us dedicated time to talk about what's going on and have time to be together. Maggie loves riding in the stroller with us on night walks, and my mom has been so nice to have her overnight on Friday nights so we don't have to take Mag at 6:30am for Saturday trainings. Right now, we're doing 2 miles, 3 times a week on our own, and then we have a group train on Saturdays currently at 3 miles. We'll move up to 4 miles next weekend. By the end of January, we'll have worked our way up to 9 miles!
So, that's my three part update. I'm logging off to try to do a little exercise tonight before bed. The bed is calling my name, but the weights must be used first.