Just since posting the Ask Away post below, I've gotten some great questions in. These have definitely gotten me in the mood to write! Keep them coming :)
If you could vacation anywhere, where would it be?
I have dreamed of a vacation to Hawaii since I was a child but never been. One day in my life, I hope to go. Right now, I would just REALLY like a trip anywhere with Military Man. Just us. Not sure when that will happen but it sounds divine. Doesn't even have to be a long trip! We went to Tampa to see his brother and sister in law in March 2012 and took my girls to the beach last summer on what was a really disastrous trip (LONG story but it didn't go well and we came *this* close to breaking up then. Thankfully, everything worked out in the end). We think we'll go back to Tampa in August to visit because baby #4 is making her entrance in July and we are so excited for them. This summer, it's a road trip to North Carolina to see his family with Maggie, Katie, 10 and 15. Should be an adventure!
Now that you've been through therapy and are mentally healthy, where have you settled on the issue of religion? (No judgment, just curiosity)
Wow, good question. About a year ago, I started going to church with MM. He is a pastor's son and a fairly devout man. It's been a journey going back and I don't totally know where I fully stand on everything, but my heart is much more open now. My girls are going to church on the weekends they are with me and asking me and more. Maggie went to VBS last summer and loves learning. I have had my share of tears shed during a sermon in the past year, and I have left upset by things said as well. MM and I have had long discussions of religion. He never pushes me or expects me to be as comfortable in faith as he is.
Do you ever see or talk to the Eisenbergs? They seemed like such an amazing family!
Sadly, not much anymore. I miss Dana too. We keep up with each other via FB and text from time to time, but it's been over a year since I've seen her in person. I see Dennis sometimes because he is my OB. He delivered both Maggie and Katie! There boths are in the 7th grade now, can you believe it? Dana runs a successful event planning business and she seems to be doing well. Maybe I should text her today.
Please share with us how you and MM met :)
Depends on which of us tells this story how exactly it goes, but here's my best version of it--
I am pretty addicted to Twitter. I've met people there and have a lot of friends who use it. So, in September 2011, there was a "tweet up" of some people I knew at a local restaurant. It was a random Tuesday night and I didn't have the girls. The Irish guy I was dating (the "Non-Boyfriend") was working late that night, but he said maybe he would meet me up there. I went and sat with some friends chatting about everything but not really feeling well that night. I had just stopped taking a medication and coming off of it was making me very dizzy and generally disgusting feeling. Definitely did not feel pretty or good about myself that night.
Two guys came in that I didn't know. I knew everyone else, so naturally I went over to introduce myself. I ended up hanging out with these guys, my friend Chris, my friend Paige and a few others on that side of the patio for the rest of the evening. One guy was a friend of a friend of mine and that is why he came, bringing his business partner along with him. The business partner had signed up for Twitter the night before and had no clue what the heck he was doing at a "tweet up." Joked about being dragged there and only coming out of curiosity. He was handsome. Black t-shirt and jeans and you could tell he works out. I was immediately attracted to him. We started talking and soon it was as if there wasn't anyone else around. He leaned in to talk to me. I flirted with him and we both laughed and talked easily. There was an instant connection with this guy.
And then I got a text that the Irish Non-Boyfriend would be there in 10 minutes. AWKWARD. NB showed up and the two started chatting about Boston and baseball. The next thing I know, I'm sitting between the guy I'm seeing (but not exclusively) and the guy I've been flirting with for the past two plus hours! The Red Sox were playing that night and both were getting ESPN notifications, fist bumping each other with the big win at the end. SHEESH. Then I left with NB to go home for the night. Honestly, I didn't think I would see Military Man again. I really liked him and I was definitely attracted, but I figured he wrote me off after I left with another guy (though I had told him that NB was NOT my boyfriend, so I still kind of hoped).
The next day, I had a Twitter follow request from him. I accepted and sent him a direct message saying "Welcome to Twitter! I really enjoyed talking to you last night." He responded with "Thanks! Great to talk to you too....and not so bad to look at either." By the end of the day, we had a date scheduled for the following week. We texted and called multiple times between then. We had an entire weekend around each other after that, and I soon ended things with NB to exclusively be with MM. I've never regretted it. Falling in love with MM was the easiest thing I've ever done. We jokingly thank Twitter all the time for bringing us together.
How difficult has it been to keep off the weight you lost? You are such an inspiration - It is so hard for me to maintain a weight loss!
It's a constant battle for me. I work hard at it but slip a lot with my eating. The good thing is that I eat smaller portions and I don't really snack anymore. For me, the hardest part is still body image. I have yet to see myself as a size four. I typically have to grab two or three different dresses before I settle on the one that actually fits. I obsess over the scale, weighing myself almost every day. It's really more out of a fear. I just keep waiting to be heavy again, even though it's been almost three years since I was that big. Someone recently commented that Maggie was "just so tiny, like her mother." Um, huh? Who? Me? Surely not. As I have blogged before, I really need to be better about working out. I dropped yoga from my budget but I really miss it. I do yoga tapes at home but not frequently. MM's new apartment complex has a really nice workout area and even a yoga room. I hope to put it to some use once he's settled in.
I can't speak for her or share information as that's hers to share. I will say this--my friend Tracey is stronger than anyone I've ever known in my life.
What keeps you awake at night?
Once I'm asleep, I'm solid. It's the falling asleep. My brain doesn't stop. I have some adult ADD and can't stop moving and thinking. I fiddle on my phone or laptop a lot until I'm too tired to keep my eyes open any longer.
What do you picture your girls doing/becoming as adults?
Maggie says she wants to be a fashion designer or a teacher. Katie currently says a teacher, doctor, ladybug or butterfly. Honestly, so long as they are kind and happy, I don't care what they become. I hope that I can continue to have a strong relationship with them and be a part of their lives. I hope they travel the world some and have the chance to live a little. I hope they catch the traveling bug to get out and go!
How has Heros for Children changed you and what is a precious memory you have of helping others? FYI we were on the receiving end of this great organization and it helped in more ways the you can imagine! Thanks for taking care of so many like us!
First let me say I'm humbled that we were able to help your family. I hope that it was what you needed and provided you with the knowledge that others are there to support and love you during this horrible journey.
Heroes for Children has been a journey for me. I started it blinded with Larissa, not knowing what we were doing. We had a mission and our hope of what we wanted to see. In the past nine years, that hope has been far exceeded. Larissa and I have more than once stood together in amazement saying "can you believe we really did this?!?" The people I have met along the way have been the best part. I've made some great friendships with others through Heroes for Children. I've met other moms battling childhood cancer and seen some incredible amounts of strength. I've been inspired by children so many times I can't even keep track of it all. Seen a 9 year old boy as an alter boy at his 7 year old brother's funeral. Watched a girl in a wig and ball gown dance at her quincenera.
It wasn't always easy for me at Heroes though. The day to day of the day was just plain hard. The stress was high and the emotional side was high. I've attended far too many children's funerals. I've cried with so many mothers calling to thank us and share her child's story.
My favorite moments are always the events that are for the families. We have some awesome fundraisers, like our 5K Run/Walk or Heroes and Handbags, to raise the funds. The events I love more are the ones designed for the families with a child going through cancer treatment to come. We have a night at the museum (it's tomorrow night and I'm missing for the first time because I have tickets to a play with friends), a movie day. Our two biggest events are the Holiday Heroes parties in Dallas, Houston and Ft Worth, as well as the Valentine's Dinners in Dallas and Houston. The Valentine's Dinner is so special--it's a date night for the parents with free onsite childcare provided by a professional nanny service. We try to spoil the parents that night!
What is military man's real name?