Monday, June 30, 2014

Talking to ourselves...

So yesterday a friend of mine posted a video that really spoke to me (see video at bottom of post). In it she talked about how we talk bad about ourselves to ourselves. Do you do that? I know I do. 

One of the biggest things I talk to myself, and to others, about is my home making skills. I constantly tell people that I am a horrible home maker. You know what? I have started to believe it. I have put myself in a box and it has been really hard to get out.Another thing I tend to tell myself is that I am not a good mom and wife because of my horrible home making skills. This is a lie. This is what Satan wants me to believe. He has been able to push me down the mountain of lies and I the lies tend to pile up on me, like a snow ball. I begin to believe them and once I reach the bottom of the hill I feel so weighed down that I can's seem to get up. 

NO MORE SATAN!!! I am claiming God's truth! I am believing that I can get out of this snow ball of lies and live the life that God has given me. 

"I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength." (Phillipians 4:13).

I am no longer going to label myself as a horrible home maker, a bad mom or a bad wife, because I can be a great home maker through Christ who gives me strength! I can be a good mom through Christ who gives me strength! I can be a good wife through Christ who gives me strength!

So take that Satan! I am going to define myself as a daughter of the King of kings! I am no longer believing your lies!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


This is completely copied from another blog, I felt it was great to share, especially as we continue on our journey as foster parents:

This essay is a little different than most of my stuff. It is the result of a collaborative discussion on a foster parenting list I’m a part of by a group of foster parents.  I’ve paraphrased and borrowed and added some things of my own, but this is truly collaborative piece, and meant to be shared.  I do NOT have to get credit for it.  So if you’d like to circulate it, use it in a training, distribute it at foster-awareness day, hang it on the wall, run it somewhere else, give it out to prospective foster parents, whatever, go right ahead.  This is a freebie to all! I care much more than people know this than that I get credit – and most of the credit goes to a lot of other wonderful people who want to remain anonymous, most of them wiser and more experienced than I.

1. We’re not Freakin’ Saints.  We are doing this because it needs doing, we love kids, this is our thing.  Some of us hope to expand our families this way, some of us do it for the pleasure of having laughing young voices around, some of us are pushed into it by the children of family or friends needing care, some of us grew up around formal or informal fostering – but all of us are doing it for our own reasons BECAUSE WE LOVE IT and/or LOVE THE KIDS and WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES – we get to have these great kids in our lives.
We hate being told we must be saints or angels, because we’re doing something really ordinary and normal – that is, taking care of kids in need.  If some children showed up dirty and hungry and needing a safe place on your doorstep, you’d care for them too – we just signed up to be the doorstep they arrive at.   The idea of sainthood makes it impossible for ordinary people to do this – and the truth is the world needs more ordinary, human foster parents.   This also stinks because if we’re saints and angels, we can’t ever be jerks or human or need help, and that’s bad, because sometimes this is hard.
2. WATCH WHAT YOU SAY AROUND THE KIDS!!!!!! I can’t emphasize this enough, and everyone is continually stunned by the things people will ask in the hearing of children, from “Oh, is their Mom an addict?” or “Well, they aren’t your REAL kids are they” or “Are you going to adopt them?” or whatever.  Not only is that stuff private, but it is HORRIBLE for the kids to hear people speculating about their families whom they love, or their future.    Didn’t anyone ever explain to you that you never say anything bad about anyone’s mother (or father) EVER?  Don’t assume you know what’s going on, and don’t ask personal questions – we can’t tell you anyway.
3. Don’t act surprised that they are nice, smart, loving, well-behaved kids. One of the corollaries of #1 is that there tends to be an implied assumption that foster kids are flawed – we must be saints because NO ONE ELSE would take these damaged, horrible kids.  Well, kids in foster care have endured a lot of trauma, and sometimes that does come with behavioral challenges, but many of the brightest, nicest, best behaved, kindest and most loving children I’ve ever met are foster kids.  They aren’t second best kids, they aren’t homicidal maniacs, and because while they are here they are MINE, they are the BEST KIDS IN THE WORLD, and yes, it does tick me off when you act surprised they are smart, sweet and loving.
4. Don’t hate on their parents.  Especially don’t do it in front of the kids, but you aren’t on my side when you are talking trash either.
Nobody chooses to be born mentally ill.  No one gets addicted to drugs on purpose.  Nobody chooses to be born developmentally delayed, to never have lived in a stable family so you don’t know how to replicate it. Abusive and neglectful parents often love their kids and do the best they can, and a lot of them CAN do better if they get help and support, which is what part of this is about.  Even if they can’t, it doesn’t make things better for you to rush to judgement.
It is much easier to think of birth parents as monsters, because then YOU could never be like THEM, but truly, birth parents are just people with big problems.   Birth and Foster parents often work really hard to have positive relationships with each other, so it doesn’t help me to have you speculating about them.
5. The kids aren’t grateful to us, and it is nuts to expect them to be, or to feel lucky that they are with us.  They were taken from everything they knew and had to give up parents, siblings, pets, extended family, neighborhood, toys, everything that was normal to them.  No one asked them whether they wanted to come into care.
YOU have complex feelings and ambivalence about a lot of things, even if it seems like those things are good for you or for the best.  Don’t assume our kids don’t have those feelings, or that moving into our home is happily-ever-after for them.  Don’t tell them how lucky they are or how they should feel.
By the way, there is no point comparing my home to the one they grew up in.  Both homes most likely have things the children like and dislike about them.    The truth is if every kid only got the best home, Angelina and Brad would have all the children, and the rest of us would have none.
6. No, we’re not making any money on it.  We don’t get paid – we get a portion of the child’s expenses reimbursed, and that money is only for the child and does NOT cover everything.   I get about 56 cents an hour reimbursed, and  I get annoyed when you imply I’m too stupid to realized I’d make tons more money flipping burgers.
Saying this in front of the kids also REALLY hurts them – all of a sudden, kids who are being loved and learning to trust worry that you are only doing this because of their pittance.  So just shut up about the money already, and about the friend of a friend you know who kept the kids in cages and did it just for the money and made millions.
7. When you say “I could never do that” as if we’re heartless or insensitive, because we can/have to give the kids back to their parents or to extended family, it stings.
Letting kids go IS really hard, but someone has to do it.  Not all kids in care come from irredeemable families.  Not everyone in a birth family is bad – in fact, many kin and parents are heroic, making unimaginable sacrifices to get their families back together through impossible odds.  Yes, it is hard to let kids we love go, and yes, we love them, and yes, it hurts like hell, but the reality is that because something is hard doesn’t make it bad, and you aren’t heartless if you can endure pain for the greater good of your children.  You are just a regular old parent when you put your children’s interests ahead of your own.
8.  No, they aren’t ours yet.  And they won’t be on Thursday either, or next Friday, or the week after.  Foster care adoption TAKES A LONG TIME.  For the first year MINIMUM the goal is always for kids to return to their parents.  It can take even longer than that. Even if we hope to adopt, things could change, and it is just like any long journey – it isn’t helpful to ask “Are we there yet” every five minutes.
9. Most kids will go home or to family, rather than being adopted.    Most foster cases don’t go to adoption.  Not every foster parent wants to adopt.  And not every foster family that wants to adopt will be adopting/wants to adopt every kid.
It is NOT appropriate for you to raise the possibility of adoption just because you know they are a foster family.  It is ESPECIALLY not appropriate for you to raise this issue in front of the kids.  The kids may be going to home or to kin.  It may not be an adoptive match.  The family may not be able to adopt now.  They may be foster-only.  Not all older children want or choose to be adopted, and after a certain age, they are allowed to decide.  Family building is private and none of everyone’s business.  They’ll let you know when you  need to know something.
10. If we’re struggling – and all of us struggle sometimes – it isn’t helpful to say we should just “give them back” or remind us we brought it on ourselves.  ALL parents pretty much brought their situation on themselves whether they give birth or foster, but once you are a parent, you deal with what you’ve got no matter what. “I told you so” is never helpful.  This is especially true when the kids have disabilities or when they go home.  Yes, we knew that could happen.  That doesn’t make it any easier.
11.  Foster kids are not “fake kids,” and we’re not babysitters – they are all my “REAL kids.”  Some of them may stay forever.  Some of them may go and come back.  Some of them may leave and we’ll never see them again.  But that’s life, isn’t it?  Sometimes people in YOUR life go away, too, and they don’t stop being an important part of your life or being loved and missed.  How they come into my family or for how long is not the point.  While they are here they are my children’s REAL brothers and sisters, my REAL sons and daughters.  We love them entirely, treat them the way we do all our kids, and never, ever forget them when they leave.   Don’t pretend the kids were never here.  Let foster parents talk about the kids they miss.  Don’t assume that kids are interchangeable – one baby is not the same as the next, and just because there will be more kids later doesn’t make it any easier now.
12. Fostering is HARD.  Take how hard you think it will be and multiply it by 10, and you are beginning to get the idea. Exhausting, gutwrenching and stressful as heck.  That said, it is also GREAT, and mostly utterly worth it.  It is like Tom Hanks’ character in _League of Their Own_ says about baseball: “It is supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great.”
13.  You don’t have to be a foster parent to HELP support kids and families in crisis.  If you want to foster, GREAT – the world needs more foster families.  But we also need OTHER kinds of help.

You can:
- . Treat foster parents with a new placement the way you would a family that had a baby – it is JUST as exhausting and stressful.  If you can offer to cook dinner, help out with the other kids, or lend a hand in some way, it would be most welcome.
- . Offer up your children’s outgrown stuff to pass on – foster parents who do short-term fostering send a lot of stuff home with the kids, and often could use more.  Alternatively, many communities have a foster care closet or donation center that would be grateful for your pass-downs in good condition.
- . Be an honorary grandparent, aunt or uncle.  Kids need as many people in their lives as possible, and relationships that say “you are special.”
- . Become a respite provider, taking foster children for a week or a weekend so their parents can go away or take a break.
- . Offer to babysit.  Foster parents have lives, plus they have to go to meetings and trainings, and could definitely use the help.
- . Be a big brother, sister or mentor to older foster kids.  Preteens and Teens need help imagining a future for themselves – be that help.
- . Be an extra pair of hands when foster families go somewhere challenging - offer to come along to the amusement park, to church, to the playground.  A big family or one with special needs may really appreciate just an extra adult or a mother’s helper along.
- . Support local anti-poverty programs with your time and money.  These are the resources that will hopefully keep my kids fed and safe in their communities when they go home.
- . If you’ve got extra, someone else can probably use it.   Lots of foster families don’t have a lot of spare money for activities – offering your old hockey equipment or the use of your swim membership  is a wonderful gift.
- . Make programs for kids friendly to kids with disabilities and challenges.  You may not have thought about how hard it is to bring a disabled or behaviorally challenged kid to Sunday school, the pool, the local kids movie night – but think about it now, and encourage inclusion.
- . Teach your children from the beginning to be welcoming, inclusive, kind and non-judgemental,  Teach them the value of having friends from different neighborhoods, communities, cultures, races and levels of ability.  Make it clear that bullying, unkindness and exclusion are NEVER EVER ok.
- . Welcome foster parents and their family into your community warmly, and ASK them what they need, and what you can do.
13. Reach out to families in your community that are struggling – maybe you can help so that the children don’t ever have to come into foster care, or to make it easier if they do.  Some families really need a ride, a sitter, some emotional support, some connection to local resources.  Lack of community ties is a HUGE risk factor for children coming into care, so make the attempt.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"the talk"...

Last night I thought we were going to have to have "The Talk" with my 3 year old boy! I kid you not! We were getting ready to go swimming and he asked why boys can swim with out their shirts (tops) and girls can't. I explained about how we all have private parts and that girls tops were private parts. I then proceeded to tell him that only the person we are married to and doctors can see those parts. 

Oy, the brain of my 3 year old works fast...

He then pointed out that "you and daddy are married, so why don't you show them to him?"

AGHHHHHHH!!!!!! What to say next, what to say next...

My answer was this "yes, that is true, but you are only supposed to show them when no one else is around." 

Deep breath...Hoping he won't ask more...YOU ARE ONLY 3!!!

Thankfully he is only 3 and he moved on to other issues! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Update on my 40 before 40 list...

I just thought I would update y'all on my list! So far two things have been worked on, #35 and #38.

35. Buy fancy but comfy pajamas ***Update 5/20/14 purchased two pairs of cute and comfy jammies!****

38. Find a way to contribute to our families finances without compromising my role as a mom and wife ***Update 4/1/14 began my job as an independent consultant with Jamberry Nail Wraps! LOVE IT!!!***

Friday, May 16, 2014

Jamberry give away...

Just wanted to let you know about a contest I am doing on my facbeook page! Just click on over to my Jamberry facebook page and like it!

My Jamberry facebook page is:

Jessica Calvarese - Jamberry Independent Consultant.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


The definition of purpose is: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

What is your purpose? Pretty much since I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to be a wife and mother. Honestly though, I didn't ever see that as my purpose. I never in a million years thought I would get to be a stay at home mom, so I figured I would need to have a career as my purpose. 

Does that make sense? 

Anyways, since we up and moved our family, I have really been struggling with what my purpose is.  Where we lived before I had other stay at home mom friends. In fact, one of my best friends lived only a fourth of a mile away, we were practically in the same neighborhood. We hung out a lot and even did special things for other friends. I found it fun and also I found it to be a ministry. At that time in my life, it was my purpose! 

Fast forward to over a year later, a new town, a new house, new friends most of which are not stay at home moms, or if they are they live in the next town over. There is also the fact that Ian has started school, which puts a limit on what we can do. 

Now bring in Jamberry! I know it may sound silly, but I have found my purpose with Jamberry! I enjoy doing the things that aren't house work (because frankly I'm not good at that stuff)! I get to have girls nights and earn money at the same time! I also get to use it as a ministry! For example, at my last party I was so nervous. It was my first in person party. I began to get really anxious and yelled at my husband (sorry about that babe). Then on the way to the party, I was reminded of the verse in the Bible that I share with my boys all the time! "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind." I was able to share that at the party! 

So there you go. There is my update on me and my purpose. If you have anything you want to share about what your purpose is, I would love to hear it! And of course if you have any questions about Jamberry I can help with that too ;)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jamberry Nail Wraps...

Lately I have been searching for my purpose outside of being a wife and mother. A better way to word that is that I have been searching a way to provide financially with out compromising my role as a wife and stay at home mom.  

I'm excited to announce that I am now an independent consultant for Jamberry Nails! I want to share with you my story, so here it is:

So it all started back in November of 2013. I was meeting some friends of mine for dinner. At some point my friend Kendra told me about the Jamberry nails that she was wearing and that he daughter loves them too. She asked if I wanted a sample, of course I said yes! I'm all about free stuff. When she handed it to me I just looked at it and though "there is no way I will be able to do this with out help". She insisted it was easy enough to do while watching TV, but I didn't think it would be. So I put it in my purse and didn't think I would ever try it. 

Fast forward to January. My friend Michelle asked if I would want to host a Jamberry nail party because she was going to be near by and would love to come by to throw one. I decided it might make a fun girls night so I went with it and started to plan one. It turned out that she wasn't going to be able to make it, so we just turned it into an online party. This was actually pretty fun. I was looking at the nail wraps pretty much everyday, trying to decide which ones I was going to get. I ended up being able to get several free sheets and half price items! It was awesome!

It was at that point that I started to wonder about selling Jamberry. I began to ask Michelle questions and she would answer. She has been very patient with me while I research things and pray and talk to Justin about it.  Finally I asked her if she was having a party any time soon that I could sit in on and watch how she does it. I really didn't want to go into this only having done an online party. It just so happen that the same day I was going to be in Oklahoma City that she was hosting one! God worked that out so perfectly! I really enjoyed going to the party and new after that that I wanted to join the Jamberry family. 

I have now signed up and have had my first in person party and am currently hosting an online party! I can't wait to see how God will use this as a ministry for him. 

Now then, one thing I have really enjoyed about wearing the Jamberry nail wraps is that I feel like it has encouraged me to look nicer everyday. I am wearing make up more and fixing my hair. More importantly I am getting out of my jammies most days! :) As a stay at home mom it is really easy to just stay in those jammies all day. I think my husband appreciates that I put on regular clothes. Even if he doesn't realize it, I think he does. :)

I am so excited to be doing this. I feel happier and just all around excited about what is going to happen in the future! If you are interested in purchasing, hosting a party (in person or online) or even signing up to be a consultant, then you can view my website at You can do all of the above right from the comfort of your own home. If you have any questions for me you can even message me from there!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

40 things to do before I turn 40...

It hit me this week that I am getting older. I know, I know this is something I should have already known. I mean there isn't a way to actually get younger.

What opened my eyes to the fact that I'm getting older? It was all of the younger ladies in our Sunday school class talking about turning 30! I realized that the hubs and I are the older ones of our class. I think there is one other couple who is about the hubs age.

One of the girls in our class has a list of 30 things to do before turning 30. I thought it was such a neat idea to do this, that I decided to make one for myself! Of course seeing how I have been in my 30s for a while now I can't really do a 30 before 30 list, so mine is a 40 things to do before turning 40! I had a lot fun looking this up online. A lot of people have made similar lists. It was interesting to see the things people put on their list.

I have to say that the one thing that amazed me most is that more than once I saw "get divorced" on a list! I couldn't believe it. Who would plan to get divorced? It was sad in my opinion. I hope those people are able to take that off their list, not because they got the divorce, but because they decided to stay married.

Anyway, on to my list! I have put together 40 things I want to do before turning 40. Some of these will not be shown as they are more personal, but most of them will be out there for the world to see. I want to put this out here in order to help me stay accountable. I will go through and update the list as I complete things. I have 6 years to get these done. Ready, set, go...

  1. Lose 100 pounds
  2. Go on a trip with just Justin
  3. Go on a trip somewhere fun with just Justin and the kids
  4. Sew more
  5. Take some sort of class, like cake decorating, photography, or crafting class *update - about to schedule a painting class for our mom's night out!
  6. Have all of our boxes cleared out of the garage
  7. Run an entire 5K race
  8. Go camping in the back yard
  9. Do a cartwheel
  10. Go snorkeling
  11. Take a self defense class
  12. Take a girls trip to Las Vegas with my closest girl friends
  13. Get my passport
  14. Go to a Broadway musical in New York
  15. Go to an OSU football game
  16. Be in more pictures with Justin and the kids
  17. Write an article and submit it to a newspaper or magazine
  18. Have purple highlights in my hair *update 5-28-15 got purple highlights in my hair!
  19. Throw a birthday party for an underprivileged kid
  20. Sponsor a child through compassion international
  21. Go to a formal event with Justin *update got dressed up in my formal on 3-7-15 and did dinner and dancing at a marriage retreat!
  22. Have a FRIENDS marathon weekend where I (and anyone else who wants to join me) watch all 10 seasons of FRIENDS in order. This may be more of a 2 weekend event
  23. Take the family to Disney World
  24. Re-do our wedding vows (after losing weight)
  25. Audition for a musical
  26. Make a family year book at least once
  27. Pay for a strangers meal
  28. Buy a bike and go on rides with my kids/family
  29. Host more get togethers
  30. Be able to wear a pair of boots that come to my knee
  31. Discover my inner Wonder Woman
  32. Wear makeup everyday for a month
  33. Buy fancy but comfy pajamas ***Update 5/20/14 purchased two pairs of cute and comfy jammies!****
  34. Serve others more than myself
  35. Do a Bible study and actually complete it
  36. Find a way to contribute to our families finances without compromising my role as a mom and wife ***Update 4/1/14 began my job as an independent consultant with Jamberry Nail Wraps! LOVE IT!!!***
  37. Have another child, either biological or through adoption
  38. Climb an indoor rock climbing wall

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kids cooking lessons 101...

Wow, I'm realizing that I have not kept up with my blog as much as I used to! I hope to get better at that because I really like to blog and write about what is going on, even if no one is reading it. 

My family and I are in the process of becoming a foster family! This process has been interesting to say the least! There is a lot that goes into becoming a foster family. But I know that in the end it will all be worth it!

Along with the paper work that you have to fill out you have to do training. So last week the hubs and I went to about a day and a half of training. It was long, but informative. I really think that all parents should take it every now and then just to be reminded of the things that you can do to help your kids! I got some good ideas on parenting my own kids in addition to foster kids. 

One of the things that we discussed was ways to incorporate your kids into your everyday activities (may have been worded differently). I don't remember if someone suggested this or if it just came to me when we were talking about it, but I decided to change things up with our dinner times! Instead of me just making dinner every night I would allow everyone, including the hubs, to pick a meal and I would teach them to make it! 

Last night was our oldest's night to chose a meal and make it. He picked Goldfish Mac N' Cheese.  I was so proud of him because he did so well! Usually he is reserved about the stirring and I am usually impatient with how slow he is. But I let him do it and he did really well. The only thing I helped him with was putting the pan of water on the stove top and then moving it to drain the noodles. He did the rest! He measured the milk and poured it himself and I showed him how to figure out how much butter he needed. He did really well! 

I can't wait for the other boys nights! Tonight the hubs is going to learn how to make hot dogs and salad. Friday night our youngest will learn how to make pizza! 

Usually Ian wouldn't hold the pan with one hand, but last night he did! So proud!

Little chef had to taste it before serving it to others.

It got a thumbs up! Good job Ian!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Finding your purpose as a stay at home mom...

It was 6 years ago this month that I turned in my 2 week notice. I can't believe I have not worked outside of the home for that long! I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would get to be a stay at home mom. It is for sure a blessing that I get to experience so much with my kids.

However, it is also a struggle. I have had good times and bad times. There are days where I feel like I have done so much and yet when you look around the house it seems as if I haven't done anything at all. 

Lately I have been struggling with finding my purpose as a stay at home mom. Now many of you may say this "your purpose is your kids" or "teaching your kids and taking care of your house is your purpose". Please, I beg of you that if a stay at home mom (SAHM) ever talks to you about not having a purpose DO NOT say those words to her. The truth is, taking care of our kids is every moms job, whether you work outside the home or not! 

You see when I worked, I enjoyed it! I was good at it. I loved the people I worked with. It was really an ideal situation. Well until the company got purchased and things started falling apart. But all my favorite coworkers still work together, just at another company. I feel as though I am missing out. I use to have inside jokes with people. I brought home some money (not as much as the hubs, but still contributed). I felt like I had purpose when I worked outside the home. I got to help people with finding the right mask for their CPAP. I got to work with people on how they could pay their bills. I felt like a lot of what I did some how was a blessing to others. Whether it was to the patient or to my co-workers or my boss. 

I have recently done a little re-search on this topic. It turns out I am not the only SAHM that has gone through this. Here are two blog posts that I felt were helpful. 

Now then, I do not have the answer yet to finding my purpose as a stay at home mom. However I am working on it. I would love to hear your stories and also I will hopefully be sharing some other stories from some other SAHM friends.

I heard this song the other day by One Girl Nation. Just thought it was so great and encouraging, no matter what you are going through! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Being an example to our kids...

I am a spender. There I said it. I love to spend money. Not just on myself, in fact I probably enjoy spending it on others more. However, after Christmas I decided I would use the money I got as a gift and put it towards making our guest room look nice. 

I have had so much fun doing this. I love finding bargains and cute things and even better cute things that are bargains!

I have since been looking for some cute night stands/end tables/side tables. What ever you want to call them. The thing is is that most stores and people who are re-selling them are really proud of them ;) Meaning, they are expensive. I just can't seem to bring myself to pay so much for tables in a room that I won't be in. So I decided to just wait till the right pair came along. 

Well a few weeks ago, what I thought was the right pair, came along!  I was so excited because they were cute and really priced pretty good compared to other ones on craigslist. The only problem was that I only had about 1/2 the amount of money for them. So at the dinner table, in front of the kids, I asked Justin if he would mind giving me some credit and that I would "pay it back" with my birthday money (my birthday is in February). He thought about it and said yes. 

After I started thinking about it though, I decided that I shouldn't get the tables. Why? Well because what am I teaching my kids? If I took the "credit" then that is teaching them it is okay to go into debt. Now I know that this isn't quite the same as a credit card or anything, but it is still debt non the less. So I told Justin that I would just wait till I had the money. I also told the boys, who probably didn't care, that I was wrong to ask daddy to let me get the tables even if I didn't have the money. 

Sometimes, being a good example to our kids is tough. It might mean costing us cute side tables or even worse! I'm glad I chose to not get the tables. I am trusting that God will provide the right tables for me when I have the money or when we put it in our budget to get them with our general fund. 

What is something you have had to change or apologize for in order to be a good example to your kids?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The many stages of recovery...

Recovery after the breast reduction was not at all what I had expected it to be. Now I am currently about 2 weeks post surgery, so I'm sure there will be even more stages added to the list. But for now, here is what I have been going through:

Stage 1 - I was so sick immediately after the surgery that all I could think about was feeling better. I didn't at all think about if the surgery was successful. I woke up really, really, REALLY hot. So much so that it was hard to breath. The nurses found a fan and plugged it in and had it pretty much right in front of me. Those poor nurses. They really put up with a lot from me. I apologized once I started feeling better. I'm pretty sure I was rude to them at some point during the post op recovery time. The nurses really were great. They were nice enough to be kind, but also forceful enough to make me do things that they knew would help me. Things like making me drink some sprite, eat some crackers and go to the bathroom. Once I had gone to the bathroom they put me in a wheel chair and took me out to the car. That is really all I needed to start feeling better. The cool air just washed over me and I felt so much better. 

Stage 2- At this point I was still not concerned with the results of the surgery. We were home and I was hungry and in pain. Thankfully my husband took the advice of the nurses and had already dropped my prescriptions off at the pharmacy. So while I laid in bed at home, he drove to Walgreen's and McDonald's. I couldn't take the pain meds until I had eaten something. For some reason the only thing that sounded good was a cheeseburger from McDonald's. I know, so lame, but it was SO good. Especially after having not eaten all day, I felt like I was eating at a 5 star restaurant!

Stage 3 - Okay, so now the pain meds have set in and I have decided to actually look at myself. I was not sure what to think. I had a lot of gauze on and tape and weird alien horns below my breasts. To be fair to my doctor, they did tell me this is how I would look. I just didn't ask that many questions about it in order to get more details, so when I looked in the mirror I kind of was disappointed.

Stage 4 - Depression and randomly crying. This has been the hardest part of the recovery stages thus far. I was feeling ugly. I seriously looked like a half human half alien character from a sifi movie! This was not at all what I had signed up for. To add to these feelings I also just wanted to cry. There was not really a reason, I just needed to shed some tears. My poor husband put up with a lot of emotions during these few days. I sure don't know what I would have done with out him there! During this stage one of my best friends, Erin, found a website with others who had gone through or were about to go through breast reductions. This was the best medicine! I was able to see that others felt the same things I did. I was not alone in my depression and crying. This immediately helped me feel better. I was able to share with Justin the things I read and explain to him that I am not the only one who goes through this part of recovery! 

Stage 5 - I think this is the stage I am currently in. I am pretty much pain free, I feel a little tightness in the breast area, but it isn't anything I feel like taking pain meds for. I am feeling really good about myself! I realized that I didn't have any clothes to wear to church, so I tried on an old dress that I haven't been able to fit into in a long time, and it fit! I loved that feeling. Then this past Sunday I did the same thing. I totally rocked a dress that I couldn't fit into before the surgery! Also, I went bridesmaid dress shopping with my friend who is getting married in April, and I was able to fit into strapless dresses!!! STRAPLESS. This has never been an option for me. I always have had to get the dresses with high backs and wide straps or sleeves, in order to cover my bra. So needless to say I was thrilled! 

I hope that the stages continue to get better. I have about 2 1/2 months still before my "alien horns" are healed up and no longer showing. The doctor told me that the slower they go away the better the healing will be. So here is hoping for a slow healing process. 

Oh and since my surgery I am way more aware of my middle section. I totally see my stomach more and feel  more of a desire to work on loosing weight! My friend, Jessica, is going to help me along the way. She is about to be certified as a personal trainer. I'm so thankful for her and the fact that she is going to help me out. I will get to be one of her first testimonies for her new job as a personal trainer! Hoping to make her proud!

Here are some after pictures. The one in the white shirt is like a day after the surgery. They have settled a bit now and don't look quite as "at attention" (as one of my other friends put it). My favorite is the one of me in the bridesmaid dress! Again, did I mention it is strapless?!?!

Picture on the left is the before picture. Picture on the right is the after picture. I was not happy in this picture. I think I must have been in Stage 4 ;)
This is the dress I ended up getting. It will be in an aqua color though. :)

I was being silly and my friend Erin snapped the picture at this moment :)

Breast reduction surgery...

So back in October my mom and step dad were up visiting. As we were headed to one of the boys soccer games, my mom and I began to talk about our back pains and such. We got on the topic of breast reductions. It really got me thinking about how I should talk to my new doctor about getting this done. So I made an appointment to talk to him! 

It happened really fast. One day I'm in my doctor's office, a week or so later I was meeting with a plastic surgeon! That same day we scheduled the surgery! I couldn't believe it. I was so thrilled! In fact I was so thrilled that I didn't think about all the questions I should have been asking. All that I cared about was that this was happening! 

Not long after my appointment with the plastic surgeon we got the approval letter from my insurance! Again, so thrilled that I didn't consider doing research or asking questions. 

Fast forward to January 7th. My mom came up to take care of the kids. Justin took off work so he could be my care taker after the surgery. However, God had different plans. Not sure why, but he did. I ended up in the ER that night because of a bite of chicken getting stuck in my esophagus. I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to do the surgery the next morning. However, the nurses and doctors there seemed to think I would be okay. So the next morning, bright and early, we headed to the surgery facility. Only to be told they were about to call me to tell me that the surgery had to be re-scheduled because of my ER trip the night before. Since I had to be put out the night before they didn't want to put me out with in 24 hours of it. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed. Thankfully, though, they were able to put me in on Friday morning. So not all was lost. My mom was still here and Justin went back to work for the next 2 days and just took off Friday and Monday. The kids and I got to hang out with my mom, Nana. It was pretty nice actually! 

So I am going to end this post with my before picture. Stay tuned to the next post (I should be typing it today) to find out more about the surgery, recovery and after pictures!

This was the morning of my first scheduled surgery. I was smiling and SO excited!

The morning of the actual surgery. I was a little less excited, probably because I was tired and hungry. But still ready to not be so big on top!