Archives for April 2014

Family First

Hey guys sorry I was MIA this weekend, but my grandmother is not doing well. Three weeks ago she fell and broke her hip and had surgery. She then went to a rehab place and was doing well and then Friday she was rushed to the ER.
Her kidneys were shutting down and she was too weak for dialysis. Yesterday they tried a 24 hour milder form of dialysis because her body couldn’t stay stable for regular dialysis, but they said it wasn’t looking good. Bobby and I decided to drive to Louisiana yesterday morning and go with my parents to see her in the ICU, not knowing if these are her last days.
I went in with my dad to talk to the doctor. Apparently on top of the kidney failure she has a GI bleed and a drug resistant strain of a UTI (she has ecoli in her urine). You had to put on gloves and a gown to go in and see her and since I’m pregnant we decided it was best for me to just watch through the window. She’s not coherent, not talking, not moving when asked to wiggle fingers etc. her blood pressure is super low and the long term prognosis is not good. Yesterday her body was fill of lactic acid and her body chemistry was out if whack.
She is my last living grandparent, so it’s just sad. I don’t want her to suffer but know she is in pain and ready to go. Please say a prayer for my family as we wait to see what happens next and decide on what to do. Thanks for understanding, and sorry for lack of real post today.

Pregnancy Cravings

Hey guys! No real post on my blog today, but I would love it if you went over to check out my guest post on Curbing Pregnancy Cravings on the For Two Fitness blog!

I hope everyone has a great weekend, it’s supposed to be a pretty one here, I plan to be outside as much as I can!

QOTD: What are you doing this weekend?

My Katrina Story

I can’t believe I have been blogging nearly 4.5 years and have never shared my hurricane Katrina story! Keep in mind myself and my family were all physically ok, and this is just MY story. We were very lucky, a lot of people had it MUCH worse! Ok, so let’s start at the beginning.

It was late August 2005, and college had just started back up. I had stayed in my college town over the summer in an apartment and worked, and now I was moving back into the dorms because my lease was up at the end of August. We watched as the storm went to Florida, and in horror, watched as it started heading straight for us as it churned in the gulf of Mexico. The next few days were very tense. My family had already evacuated once that summer, so a lot of people didn’t take this one seriously because the one storm ended up being no big deal. I feel this is where a huge mistake was made by many to be honest.

As the week went on and it was clear everyone in southeast LA and on the MS gulf coast needed to evacuate, plans were made for my parents, sister, and her fiancé to come up to my apartment for the weekend. We figured it would just be a precaution and they would be back home soon. Meanwhile, my now husband, then boyfriend was moving apartments from one to another, so when my parents arrived they helped us get him moved. Come to find out, the place we moved him to was a NIGHTMARE and the toilet didn’t work, so he ended up staying with us as well. If you lost count, that’s 6 adults and a toy poodle in a one bedroom apartment in Jackson, MS. My parents took the bed, and me and my sister slept on the sectional sofa while the boys were on the floor.

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The fam at my apartment the night before the storm hit.

We gassed up our cars, went out to dinner to try to get our minds off the storm approaching in the morning, and tried to go to sleep. The next day, the storm went through my hometown, destroying parts of the coast and flooding entire cities. We had no way of knowing what was going on with any family members or my parents house because phones were not working for anyone. The house I grew up in is in an older neighborhood and my parents had TONS of huge huge pine trees in the yard, and we had pretty much predicted which ones had fallen on the house. My mom was panicked because all of her brothers and sisters and her dad lived in low lying areas of New Orleans, and we couldn’t get in touch with anyone.

That afternoon, the storm made it’s way up to Jackson, and it was still VERY strong. (Jackson is about 2 or so hours north of my hometown). We lost electricity at the apartment, as did the rest of the city. Luckily we got it back quickly, but my school did not and ran on generators for days and cancelled classes. (Did I mention it was August in the south, and it was HOT AS HECK?!?). There were a lot of downed trees, and the wind was so scary to go through, so I couldn’t imagine what things looked like back home (except for what we saw on TV, which was so scary.) I remember sitting on the couch with the family in silence as the wind howled around us for a couple of hours, just waiting for the worst to pass. I felt like I held my breathe the whole time.

My memory is a bit foggy, but I want to say we got ahold of some family members but still hadn’t heard from my grandfather. I found a missing persons board someone had set up online and made a post about his location, etc. Oh, did I mention in all of this my dad had an allergic reaction to some medicine and I had to take him to urgent care? Such a fun time.

We thought the worst was over, but then I woke up the next morning and we started hearing about the levee breaks and flooding in New Orleans, and all of the people trapped in the city. Meanwhile I was already online registering my parents business and personal property with FEMA, because I knew it would be a mess trying to do if we waited too long. I just had everything mailed up to me at school, because at that time we didn’t even know if they had a house let alone a mailbox. Oh, one of my families biggest worries was their business. My dad owns a small company right near the NOLA airport, it’s a metal building with a tin roof, and we thought for sure it was all blown away. After a lot of internet searching, I found where someone (who is a genius) did a fly by over the area and took pictures in a grid so you could search and see if your home/business was destroyed. I was somehow able to find my dad’s building!!! It had some panels stripped from the roof but it was still standing! We had no idea if it was looted or not, but it was still there.

After a day of sitting on our hands, we got antsy and decided to do something. My sister and her fiancé left to go be with his family in Texas as they had more room, and my dad wanted to know what was going on at home even though no one was allowed into the area, and there were road blocks everywhere. We didn’t care, and decided we were going to drive down and check on the house and the neighbors homes, etc. We filled up a bunch of gas cans because we had no idea if we could find gas once there, and the four of us drove down to Mandeville. Oh, my parents neighbors had also evacuated to Jackson so they took their car and went along as well. We were so nervous the whole ride down not knowing what to expect. We took some back roads to avoid road blocks, and were able to make it into the neighborhood. When we pulled onto my parents street, what I saw is a sight I will never forget, one that makes me cry to this very day. We later figured about 85 trees had been downed on the street, and out of a street of about 20 homes, only 2 did not have multiple tress going through the roof. I don’t just mean ON the roof, I mean slicing it down to the ground, cutting through homes like a knife. What used to be a beautiful wooded and shady street now looked barren, and all was quiet.

We were shocked yet again when my childhood home had ZERO trees through it. We felt so blessed. We have no idea how we were spared. There were trees down in our yard, one busted the water main, and one next door neighbor had 3 trees in his house, but ours was untouched. Sure there was crap EVERYWHERE in the yard, but the house was ok. We later concluded that a tornado came down our street, because the other streets didn’t look as bad as ours. based on the stories we heard from the couple of people that stayed, it sounds accurate.

This is the view from the front porch. You can see the giant tree the fell behind the car on the right, that one busted the water main, but nothing fell on the house.

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Backyard. No we did not put the grill or furniture up against the house like that!

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backyard

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backyard See the huge tree below? We thought for sure it had fallen on the house. They later had it and about 5 other trees cut down. Everyone did. No one wanted to have these in their yard anymore.

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My next door neighbors roof. He STAYED during the storm, and said it was the most awful experience. I cannot imagine how scary it was.

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Another neighbors home, tree split it in half.

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Another home

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Our front yard. Note that we have a HUGE ditch in the yard, we think the water came up to the house and eventually everything drained to the ditch and stuffed it full of debris.

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The boys did a lot of raking and bagging to get stuff out of the street, and poor Bobby had a terrible cold and felt so miserable. They also helped another neighbor rip up some carpet. It was SO hot outside the poor sick boy nearly passed out. While we worked, my mom and the neighbors that came down with us went and hunted for gas and luckily were able to get in line for some down the road. After cleaning up all day, we drove back to Jackson. We couldn’t stay, we had no water and no electricity and no food. It’s not like any stores were open, and they wouldn’t be for many weeks. We were thankful to find that one gas station. There was nothing else we could do except go back and wait.

Meanwhile, we finally got word of my grandfather. He got trapped in the second story of his condo, the bottom was flooded. A man came by on a boat and gave him food a couple times, and finally he thought to ask for a phone to call the family. So at least we knew he was safe. My extended family had a lot of loss, flooded out homes, completely destroyed. One aunt and uncle had a house near the beach and were left with a slab. When we got back to the apartment, we went to the leasing office and begged to stay on a week by week basis. My family had nowhere to go. Thankfully they agreed, and my parents ended up staying over two weeks. Even when they went back, things were not “normal”. They had to go to the local Target parking lot where military men with big guns handed out MRE’s out of a truck so they could have something to eat. It was like being in a 3rd world country. Talk about the most eerie feeling. Being in America, and having to stand in line with soldiers guarding the area so you can get food.

A lot of people think things went back to normal after the storm, but the truth is it changed things forever. My dad’s business never fully recovered, the town I grew up in is now SUPER overpopulated because a lot of people moved from downtown to my town to be on higher ground. Locals tell time in reference to the hurricane. If we can’t remember what year something happened we say “was that before the storm or after?” and everyone knows exactly what you are talking about. If you Google “hurricane Katrina Mandeville, LA” you can see pictures from my hometown. My parents are lucky and live on high ground, but a lot of people that live near the lake and river completely lost their homes. The damage was a very widespread, and now that I live in Biloxi, MS which was hit VERY very hard, I still see, nine years later, that things are not the same. If you drive along the beach road, you will see more empty lots and slabs than you do businesses. It’s very, very sad.

I am sure I am missing a LOT of details, but it’s been 9 years. Smile It’s something I will never forget, the uncertainty of it all was very scary, and every June we hold our breathe as hurricane season approaches, wondering if the next one will be the perfect storm.

QOTD: Ever been through a hurricane? it’s not fun.

Pregnancy Update: Week 15

Woo hoo! The weeks are ticking by! In a way I want them to speed up, but I also want them to slow down because I have so much to do and so many things I hope to happen before September. I haven’t said much about it on here, but at the end of February my husband very unexpectedly lost his job, and we have been seriously struggling to find him something else. I have been a basket case, very stressed out about how this is all going to pan out. I’m trying to remember that God is in control, but it’s hard when you get news like that at the worst possible time. We are doing everything we know to do to find him more work, but it’s just tough out there, and he’s NOT being picky…which actually makes it even more frustrating and scary. When we decided to start trying for a baby, he had what we thought was a solid job, and obviously if he was unemployed we would have held off on trying, so this is just a scary time for us. Anyway, I don’t want to get into it too much because it just upsets me, but that’s what’s been going on.

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Bloating has gone down, I feel like I look smaller than at 13 weeks

The first few days of last week I felt really good, and then Sunday and Monday wham! I was hit with really bad headaches, and feeling sick to my stomach again. Things were better yesterday thankfully, but it was strange to go backwards after I was feeling so good! Here is what has been going on over the past week:

Symptoms: Headaches, acne, sinus problems, round ligament pain (like WOAH), shortness of breathe, constant peeing.

Baby’s Size: One source says navel orange, one says apple.

Maternity Clothes: My awesome parents bought me some at Old Navy this weekend. SO comfy!

Stretch Marks: Still crossing fingers.

Sleep: Not as good this week. Every night I have gotten up at least twice to pee, sometimes three times. Yikes.

Miss Anything? I feel like my emotions are all over the place and I don’t like not feeling in control of them, so ya I miss feeling like a normal person.

Cravings: Frozen grapes. Really anything frozen.

Aversions: Really thick heavy things, I just can’t eat more than a couple of bites of chicken or beef by themselves, too dense if that makes sense.

Looking Forward to: My appointment TODAY!

What I’m Loving: That my bloating has finally gone down and I don’t feel quite as uncomfortable as I did between weeks 8-11.

Workouts: Alright. I ran three times (2,2.5, and 5) and walked every day. I am experiencing some round ligament pain when I run, so I am hoping it’s just a phase and won’t change my ability to run through pregnancy!

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Post 5 mile run, that was a doozey! (Lots of walk breaks!)

QOTD: Have you ever been unemployed? Any advice for us?

My how to beat pregnancy cravings post is up on the For Two Fitness blog!

 

 

 

What I’m Loving: April 2014

Thanks for all the feedback on wanting to hear my Katrina story, I will try to have it up Thursday.

Today I wanted to share some things that I am loving lately!

1.) Cascadian Farms new chewy bars with protein: I have always loved their chewy bars, they are a great snack to fit in my purse. However,  always did wish they kept me feeling full a little longer and had some protein in them. Well, my wish was granted! Lookie what they sent me in the mail! These babies have 9 grams of protein and come in yummy flavors. One of my favorite snacks is now seriously pumped up to keep me going in between meals. Instant love.

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2.) Fit Pregnancy: Awhile back Jen sent me a link for a free digital subscription to Fit Pregnancy, and I have enjoyed reading it the past couple of months. I have learned several new things, and it keeps me motivated!

3.) Old Navy Maternity clothes: There is a special sale going on right now through April 9th where if you use your Old Navy credit card (or Gap or Banana) you get 30% off your entire purchase plus a free tote bag! We saved over $50 on the clothes my mom bought for me between that discount and some sale items. I was pretty stoked! (Discount works online, too!) So besides the awesome price, their clothes are super comfortable and they have some great spring colors.

4.) Caramel Coconut coffee creamer: It is girl scout cookie time, but also girl scout cookie creamer time! This caramel coconut has a great flavor and I have loved adding it to my half-caff cup of coffee in the mornings. Yum!

5.) Spring flowers: Spring has definitely sprung aorund here, and everyone is busy planting beautiful flowers in front of their house. We haven’t done that, but all of our flowering bushes have come to life, and I can’t wait for the Gardenias to bloom later on.

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QOTD: What are you loving this month?

Storm

Nothing figurative here, I am talking about an actual storm! Last night, we had some big storms come through and we were under a tornado watch all night. I woke up about 4:00 to some serious rain, thunder and lightning and checked the weather. (You know, after going to the bathroom #pregnantproblems) and saw a huge squall line about to hit us. We decided to go sleep downstairs for the rest of the night. We have a HUGE Pine tree right outside our 2nd story bedroom, and if it fell on the house it would literally fall on our bed, so we don’t like to take chances when high winds are involved. I have seen firsthand that a pine tree can be used as a missile during hurricane Katrina.

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That gets me thinking, have I ever told yall my Katrina “story”? What I was doing/what happened with my family etc.? I know I have posted a couple of pictures, but is that a story yall would be interested in hearing on the blog? Let me know!

Moving on, my parents came for a visit on Saturday and we had a nice time. My mom bought me some maternity clothes from Old Navy and I am so grateful, because especially in the pants/shorts department, I have nothing much I really fit into anymore. Even my yoga pants are starting to cut off my circulation. Sunday we spent waiting on the rain that ended up not coming until the middle of the night. Back to the grind again today, hope everyone has a good day!

QOTD: Would you be interested in hearing my Katrina story?

April Flashback: 2013

Every so often here on the blog I do a “flashback” post to see what I was doing a year ago at this time. It’s a fun way to remember things, and also a reminder of where I was and where I am now, which is sometimes I happy thing an sometimes not so much. Let’s take a look at the end of March/beginning of April last year:

At the beginning of April Bobby raced in his first sprint Tri! It was held in our neighborhood which was nice, and I played camera person/cheerleader.

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Either at the end of March or beginning of April I participated in the local Zombie Run! It was fun, I was bummed I couldn’t this year.

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We also got to run in the Crescent City classic as Media (running again in a couple weeks woo hoo!) You better believe the bunny ears will be back out again! This year will be a bit different (and slower) with the extra passenger I am carrying!

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Around this time I also did my “what’s in my fitness closet” vlog. Sadly I have way, way more clothes than that now. It’s time to get rid of some of the older ones!

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Last spring was really exciting and Bobby and I got to do a lot of fun things. This spring looks a little different because of the baby, but that’s ok. I know soon we will be back to traveling and racing all over, with a baby in tow!

QOTD: What were you doing this time last year?

*Don’t forget to enter my Tune Belt/armband giveaway!

 

 

Motivational Pins

Some days everyone can use a little pep talk right? There are certain sayings that I glance over and they don’t mean a thing to me, but then there are some that hit right to my heart. So maybe someone who is struggling with something today will be able to be encouraged by one of these pictures. I hope everyone has a great Thursday!

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QOTD: Which of these is your favorite? What is something you tell people to encourage them?

Pregnancy Update: Week 14

Sorry for the lack of blog post yesterday, but Monday (the day I write for Tuesday) was a rough day for me and I just didn’t get to write anything. But today, I have my bumpdate for you all! 14 weeks, and finally officially in the 2nd trimester by all sources!

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Symptoms: Still a lot of the same. Excess Saliva, acne, constipation, no appetite, out of breathe easily, tire easily during workouts. I WILL say the morning sickness has gotten a LOT better. I still have no appetite and in the evenings if I haven’t eaten enough that day I get sick, but it’s not nearly as bad, so hopefully I get my appetite back soon and it will be easier to eat more! I think my bloating is finally starting to go down. I look smaller in today’s picture than I do in yesterday’s (see last photo).

Baby’s Size: Lemon

Maternity Clothes: Going to buy some this weekend, particularly bottoms. I can make shirts do for awhile longer but not normal people (i.e. not workout) bottoms.

Stretch Marks: Still ok

Sleep: Eh. Some nights better than others. I usually have no problem falling asleep but some nights I wake up at 2 or 3 AM and can’t fall back asleep. I also get up at least once to go to the bathroom.

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Miss Anything? Being able to workout/walk up the stairs/run without feeling so tired and winded.

Cravings: Same. Cold fruit, cold drinks, snowballs. I may invest in a snowball/shaved ice machine. Maybe.

Aversions: Same. Just don’t really want to eat much of anything. Except snowballs. Always room for snowballs.

Looking Forward To: Craving food again, and my appt. next week!

What I’m Loving: That while I don’t feel amazing, I feel SO much better than I did this time last month. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel to my friends still in their first trimester going through sickness!

Workouts: Still not great but getting better. I ran twice last week, 2 miles each time. I also rode the stationary bike at the gym. I try to at least walk 6 days a week for 2 miles if nothing else, so that I am at least moving.

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The first trimester moved SO SLOWLY but I feel like the past week flew by, woo hoo!

QOTD: Did the second trimester fly by for you if you have even been pregnant? What did you crave or hope one day you will crave as a pregnant lady?