Monthly Archives: September 2012

Financial Peace University!

Good evening!

ok, maybe “good” is too strong of a word!!

In all honesty it has been a “meh” kind of an evening!

No, what it has really been has been a O-M-G-I-JUST-CUT-UP-ALL-MY-BELOVED-CREDIT-CARDS-THIS-HAD-BETTER-BE-WORTH-IT kind of night!


OK, so maybe I had better start at the beginning…

God has really been convicting me to get my financial house in order! Now that I have seriously dealt with my marriage, then my church home/spirituality, and have taken HUGE LEAPS in my health, I know that He is telling me that it is time to stop being a dang fool, always living for today, dreaming about tomorrow but never doing anything about it! So tonight, Jason and I attended our first night of Dave Ramsey’s 9-week Financial Peace University class at one of our local churches, that I just happen to drive by on the way to work every day!!

There has been a large banner posted at this church, advertising that this class would be coming, and I had seen this add the few times the class had been offered before. I kept trying to get up the courage to go take this class, and for the life of me, I just could NEVER seem to make myself do it before!! I know, I am SUCH A CHICKEN!!! 😉

Anyway, I had finally decided that because I have gotten so many other things that had been flailing around in my life back in God’s hands, it was time to do the same for my finances!! The other things were:

  1. My Marriage DONE!
  2. My Spiritual Life DONE!
  3. My physical health WELL ON IT’S WAY TO BEING DONE!!
  4. My finances

and eventually my list will also include:

  1. My Home
  2. My Career
  3. and My Free Time/Fun

Soooooo, like I said, after driving by the Financial Peace University class notification sign every day for the past few weeks  – I knew it was NOW OR NEVER!! So, to the chagrin of my sweetie, I signed us up (at the very last minute, mind you, because I was trying all week to figure out a way to rationalize my way out of going), and thankfully, this evening, he came along with me – even though he was a-whining, a-kickin’, and a-screaming the whole way there!! Nevertheless, we both showed up, and on time, but just barely!! 😉

I am not sure if you have ever heard of Dave Ramsey or of Financial Peace University, but those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I had gone through Dave’s Total Money Makeover a few months prior. I KNOW what I should be doing, but the step that is even before step 1 is to cut up your credit cards, and for some reason I just COULD NOT DO IT!! The whole plan had to be stupid, because didn’t Dave KNOW THAT I NEED MY CREDIT CARDS???

Ok, I realize that is the same pathetic attitude that got me into the crazy kind of debt that I have gotten myself into in the first place, and I know that if I want to live a different life then I have to LIVE DIFFERENTLY!! So tonight, I did the unthinkable – more than just going to the class.

I have made a commitment.

A commitment to what I know God has been telling me to do.

A commitment to the process.

and a commitment to just putting my big girl panties on and cutting up my credit cards!!

I had 6 credit cards to cut up, well, 8 if you count the 2 practice cards that I added to the stack just to “practice” the cutting of the cards motion (I had two cards that had expired that I had never done anything with, and cut those up for practice!) Sad, I realize!! 😉 but, anyone who has had a love love relationship with credit cards know that they can be deceivingly fun!!!! Or at least that is what I have been telling myself!! Foolish me!! By the time I got to card number 5 (of the now 8 credit cards), I had to call in reinforcements because my hand was cramping, and Jason came in to help me finish the job!! He is kind of like my plastic hit man!! Thanks, Babe!! I really needed that!!!

Photographic Evidence of my Plastic Homicide!

The hardest card of all of them was my Nordstrom card, which I had saved for last and I have to tell you, I seriously had to have a “come to Jesus meeting” when I finally did get to that card. I have put so much value in these cards. Ever since I was a little girl I remember thinking that rich people did or have a list of certain things, and one of them was having a Nordstrom card. (a couple of others were, rich people drank tea, and rich people had clean houses – who knew???) Anyway, I digress! For some insane reason, I had made it ok to spend on my credit cards because somehow I had earned the right to be in crazy insane debt! Isn’t that really what the American dream is??? I know all my friends are doing it!! Even so, I know it is time to jump off of the band wagon, and just like Dave Ramsey says, it is time for us to live like no one now, so that we can live like no one later!!

Scary steps being made tonight, but you know what? I feel a cool sense of peace about it, like I have made the right decision, and that everything is going to be alright!! My tomorrow will be so much richer, both figuratively and literally, and I know that God will be able to do so much more with us and our lives if we are able to give back in a more substantial way. Now, I know that cutting up our credit cards was only the beginning, and it may take us years to actually make through the next 4 of the 7 step process, but I know that THIS TIME I am not trying to do it alone; and isn’t that all that really matters??

Here is to a PEACEFUL-NEW-BEGINNING kind of evening!!

 If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!

Two Week Bariatric Surgerversary!

Good evening!

Today is officially my two week bariatric surgerversary!!! Yes, that is right, it has been exactly two weeks since I had my gastric bypass surgery.Things are going pretty well, I am still at a total 60 pound loss. I am currently plateuing, but am told that that is normal – so I am not going to let myself get too worried about it!! Today is the first day that I am allowed to add some very soft foods to my liquid diet: potato, yam, low sugar instant oatmeal, banana, no sugar added applesauce, and cottage cheese. I know that may not sound too exciting, but I am ECSTATIC!!!! It is nice to have some new food options!! 😉

On to other topics: you know the biggest thing that I have discovered since having surgery, is that being thin is not going to solve my life’s problems!! Surprising, right???? LOL!! No, I have come to the realization that no matter what I look like, I will still be where I end up!! I can not run away from myself!

Thin Christina will still have to pay bills, make decisions, come up against challenges, and still have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!!! This has really been a revelation to me, and I have been doing a lot of soul-searching the past few days trying to see if I can find my purpose!! Yes, deep, I realize!! Matter-of-fact, I just got home from a long walk through Walmart, because for some reason, I have insanely thought I could somehow find the purpose of my life while perusing the magazine, book, craft, and office supply aisles of my local Walmart. Needless to say, I came up empty-handed!! (THANKFULLY!!!)

You know, I am reading a new book called, “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” written by Beth Hoffman, which by-the-way is a FABULOUS book, and is going to be added to one of my all-time favorite reads!!! What has really got me to thinking is that there is a discussion in the book where one of the matriarch-type characters says the following:

“If there is one thing I’d like most for you, is that you’ll find your calling in life. That is where true happiness and purpose lies. Whether it is taking care of abandoned animals, saving old houses from the wreckin’ ball, or reading to the blind, you’ve got to find your fire, sugar. You’ll never be fulfilled if you don’t.”

She continues with,

“One day you’ll do something, see something, or get an idea that seems to pop up from nowhere. And you’ll feel a kind of stirring – like a warm flicker inside your chest. When that happens, whatever you do, don’t ignore it. Open your mind and explore the idea. Fan your flame. And when you do, you’ll have found it.”

This little talk she gives has really inspired me to go out and try to figure out what my life’s fire is. I know I have a lot of things that I like to do, but I am not sure if any of those things add up to my actual life’s bliss. I know, now more than ever, that God has placed me on this earth to do something important, I have always known it, even when I was a young girl. I just pray that I haven’t missed my opportunity, and If I did, I guess I will just have to go out and create a new opportunity for myself!! Where God opens a door, He opens up a window!!!

Here is to us all finding our fire!!!

Have a FABULOUS evening!!! 😉

 If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!


Bariatric Surgery Update!

Good morning!

I know it has been a while since I have posted, and I thought this morning would be a good time to give you an update on how everything is going!

I had surgery a week prior to this past Tuesday, and everything went really well. I was admitted to the hospital at about 12:30 in the afternoon and was immediately taken back by myself to the pre-op room to get prepped for surgery. Once my prep was done, my sweetie and two youngest sisters, Jennifer and Trina, came back to keep me preoccupied before I headed back for the moment we have been working for so long to get to, surgery! I was so thankful to have them there with me, because in all honesty I was really scared!! Well, it was no time before Jason and the girls got back there that we all were having a terrible bout of the giggles, and I was sure my nurses were going to start telling us all to behave ourselves!!! 😉

Before I knew it, the time had passed, and my anesthesiologist had come to let me know that the surgeons and staff were all ready for me, and it was officially my turn for my procedure!! The anesthesiologist gave me something in my IV that almost immediately made my nervousness go straight away, and I told Jason and the girls that I would see them soon. I have to tell you that looking into those three sets of eyes as I was wheeled out of the room was probably the ABSOLUTE HARDEST thing I have had to do to get ready for this surgery!! I really HATED to leave them in there! You can’t help but have a moment where you think that you just might not ever get to see them again, but thankfully, as you well know, God had other plans for us!!! 😉

Well, as I was rolling down the hall on my gurney, I started to really feel relaxed (thank God for whatever it was the anesthesiologist had given me!!!), and all I remember thinking was 1. I hope none of my co-workers see me like this, you know – bra-less (hahahaha!!), and 2. Light. Light. Light. Light. as I was passing underneath the lights in the hallway – THAT was how relaxed I had gotten. Once I got into the operating room, I remember them asking me if I could slide onto the operating table, which I did, and then I remember looking around thinking – Hey, this doesn’t look like ANY operating room you see on TV!!! Next thing I know I was out!!

I don’t remember dreaming anything, or really any thoughts of any kind running through my head while I was unconscious during surgery, but what I do remember is thinking I was dreaming, because every time I opened, and then re-opened my eyes it was like I was seeing a different scene, with a different room, or different people. I remember that people were talking to me, but I don’t remember what they were saying. I do remember distinctly opening my eyes at one point, and calling out to my mamma – I figured since it was a dream, she just might show up, and at that point I was really hurting and needed her to come fix me up. I also remembering asking a nurse why it was taking so long to get my surgery started, and her telling me that they were all done! Well, that figures, but thankfully it was all a blur, and I really don’t remember waking up until I was actually in my hospital room!

When I first remember waking up, it was because I saw as clear as a bell that Jason, Jennifer, and Trina had walked into the room, and I was happy as a CLAM to see them!!!! Then I was out again! 😉 The remainder of the night was more of the same, in and out of consciousness, thinking I was dreaming the whole darn thing, and I just kind of waited for the alarm to go off so I could get up and get ready to go to work! I do remember Jason being upset at the nurses because I was in pain, and he wanted them to deal with it now, and not after shift change completed, and then falling back to sleep, being nauseous and trying to throw up (unsuccessfully (thank goodness)), my girlfriends BobbieJo, and Julie showing up, and BobbieJo walking straight up to me asking me if she could pray with me, and then falling asleep during the middle of the prayer, I think I walked twice that evening – the first time only making it barely out of my room before the nurse turned me around, and back to bed I went, the second time being at 2 in the morning because the nurse hadn’t realized there was a certain distance I had to walk or my surgeon would have a fit in the morning, but again – it really was all a blur.

When I finally awoke enough from my stupor to realize I wasn’t dreaming, I saw my sisters sitting next to my bed, and I asked Jennifer, “Where did BobbieJo and Julie go?”, and she just laughed at me and told me that it was the next morning, and that they had gone home the night before! My only response was, “Man, I told you guys I miss everything!!!”

The next day and a half, before I got to go home, was pretty routine! I napped a lot, took a lot of walks, had more tests done, visited with all of my visitors, including my girls, Jennifer and Trina! I napped some more, etc. etc. I think you get the picture!! Jennifer, Trina, and my brother-in-law, Austin, stayed with me until the evening of the second night when they had to head back to Roseburg. I am so thankful that they got to come down, they really did help make my hospital-time more fun!!! and I am sure with my fancy hospital gown, they got more glimpses of their oldest sister’s bootie then they ever really wanted to see, but for me that is what made it more like it was a slumber party!! 😉

Jason and I then spent the evening by ourselves, just talking, holding hands, walking, dreaming about the future, and of course with me doing some more napping!! 😉

By Thursday at about 11:30 am, I was home, hanging out with Jason, Faye, and Sophie, doing my “Only 3 Jobs”: sipping, walking, and breathing!! I had discovered that I had gained a little more than 10 pounds during my hospital stay from all of the surgical gas they literally blow you up like a balloon with, and then all of the IV fluids they fill you up on afterwards!!! (which thankfully, I had been pre-warned about because if they hadn’t warned me, I would have probably FREAKED out about!!! – WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT I JUST HAD GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY AND IMMEDIATELY GAINED 10 POUNDS????? LOL!!) 😉

Now, that brings me to a little more than a week later, still doing my “Only 3 jobs”, and feeling pretty good!! I still get tired rather quickly, but my spirit is wanting to go-go-GO!!! I am still on a full liquid diet, until next Tuesday, which is really getting old, but I have lost 60 pounds in total from my highest weight, and 10 of those pounds are from after surgery (not including the 10 pounds I had gained during my hospital stay), so I think I am off to a great start!!! I am still off of work for the next two weeks, and if all goes well, I will get a thumbs up to return back to work – ready and raring to go!!!

Before I get ready to sign off, I really want to take a moment to say thank you to my sweetie, Jason! He has been unbelievably supportive during this entire process, but most especially during my hospital stay, and recovery this past week and a half. I would not being doing so well right now if it weren’t for all that he has done for me while I have been recouping!!! He has taken me for walks to make sure I was getting my exercise, taken me for drives when I just needed to get out of the house, picked up whatever I needed to keep me happy, and entertained, from wherever he felt he needed to. He bundled me up when I was freezing, even letting me steal his socks, which you must know are THE BEST kind when your feet just will not warm up, sat up with me when I couldn’t sleep, tolerated any of my whining & moaning, and even made sure I was taking my medication or using my breathing exerciser thingy!!! (I really do know that thing has a name, but for the life of me I can’t remember it at the moment!)


I really appreciate all you have done for me – I seriously wouldn’t not have been able to do all of this without your love and encouragement as you stood by my side and continually held my hand, both physically and emotionally!! I love you, and because God has placed you in my life, all those many years ago, I know that I am SERIOUSLY BLESSED!!! 😉

Love, love, love, your grateful wife!!! 😉

Anyway, I am sorry for the extremely long post today, but it has been a while and I know that I have had a lot of people rooting for me, and wanted to make sure that you know how things are going here!!! Thank you so much for all of your kind encouraging words, and I hope to have a lot more successes to report in future posts!!!

Here is to a FABULOUS day! ;-)

 If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!

BTW – that “breathing exerciser thingy” is called an Incentive Spirometer – I knew I would remember eventually!!

A Good Day for a Great Sunday!

Good afternoon!

My sweetie and I are having a really great Sunday, and thought we would just share a bit of it with you! 🙂

My sissy, Alex has asked that I share a couple of pictures of Jason and I, and here I am being a good girl and getting them out today before I forget!! 🙂

I knew my sweetie was a hottie before, but he sure is looking good!!! You go, Babes!!! 😉

and yes, here is your truly!! 😉

and here we are together!! I love you, Sis!! I hope these pics makes you happy!! 😉

On a side note, there are only two days until surgery, which is rather surreal!! I am going to spend the rest of the day getting some chores done around the house and have some quality time with my sweetie, and my two hair four-legged girls! Tomorrow, my sweetie and I are going with a group of friends to hang out at the ocean, and later tomorrow evening my two youngest sisters will get here to spend the next couple days with us while I am having surgery! YEAH!!! I love my peeps!!! 😉 So, long story short, I will have plenty to keep me busy between now and 2:30 on Tuesday!! 😉

Here is to a FABULOUS evening! ;-)

 If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!

What’s Going On?

Good evening!

I realize it has been a while since I have last posted. The only reason I can seem to muster is I have been MIA because I have been so focused on getting ready for my gastric bypass surgery! So, I thought it would be a good time to give you all on update on what’s going on! Well, my day of surgery is quickly coming, it is in exactly 2 point something days, to be exact!!!

I am excited, and nervous, and excited, and scared, and excited, and oh so READY!!!

I am not actually afraid of the surgery, or all that entails; I am more worried about my hospital stay, even though it will only be for two nights. I am also worried about work while I am gone. (I am on family medical leave for at least the next month). I don’t feel that I am a workaholic at all, but I am not sure I can put it out of my mind for the next month. I can hear all of you already, oh suck it up, you big baby – we would LOVE to have a month off of work!! Yes, yes, I hear you! I know you are right, but it is really an odd way to get a vacation!!! LOL! 😉

Anyway, I have been on my liquid diet for the past 12 days, and out of all the hoops I had to jump through to get to my surgery, I can honestly say that this has been the hardest!! I am allowed to have sugar free pudding, yogurt, sugar free popsicles, smooth soups, sugar decaffeinated drinks of all kinds, skim milk, and a few different kinds of protein drinks. So, I do have a lot of options, but I just wasn’t prepared for the serious cravings that I have been dealing with! I have been craving, barbecue, steak, beef, ribs, meat, essentially, yeah meat!!! I am not a chips kind of girl, and I can walk away from most cookies, cakes, and other desserts, but a really great cooked piece of steak really makes me happy!!! SO, that might be the hardest thing that I have had to deal with since being on this liquid diet!

My struggle was made even more difficult when some friends of ours asked us to go out to dinner with them this evening, and they had decided on a steak house. I sat there with my protein drink while one ate a steak, another had ribs, and my sweetie a really yummy piece of grilled chicken! But I am happy to report that I MADE IT!!! WHEW!!! I had to squeeze my sweetie’s hand a couple of times under the table for moral support, and before I knew it, dinner was over, and I was back at home having some creamy pea soup! (My favorite soup, by the way!!)

Well, my surgery is on Tuesday at 2:30 PM and I will be checking into the hospital around noon that day! I really can’t wait! I just want to get it done and over with, and be heading back home to start my new life with my sweetie. It will be easier when he and I are on the same page food-wise; he is 6 weeks ahead of me after all, but I know that in a flash 6 weeks will have passed and we both will be well on our way to our new fit-selves, and lifestyles! THAT MAKES ALL OF THIS WORTH IT!! That, and the 50 pounds I have lost so far!! WHOO!!! HOO!!!! 😉

Anyway, it is getting late, and I have some reading to get done before I hit the hay this evening, off I go!!

Here is to a FABULOUS evening! ;-)

 If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!