Friday, May 11, 2018

My allergy appointment

After months and months of a horrible allergy season, I decided to go back and visit an allergy doctor. I had been over 10 years ago, but it was time to go back and see what else we could do to help my allergies.

I found an allergy doctor and yesterday was my appointment. The doctor and I talked for a while and then they did the allergy test where they tested 40 different things. I was only allergic to 2 things. Cats and dogs... However, I am hardly ever around those 2 allergies, so something had to give...

The doctor came in after reviewing some things on the microscope and gave me the news...

Since I am only allergic to 2 different things that I am hardly ever around, it was not the cause of all of my issues. He told me that he was diagnosing me with NARES syndrome. Nares stands for Non-Allergic Rhinitis with Eosinophils Syndrome.

Here is all the details I found about it:

"Non-Allergic" refers to the lack of hypersensitivity to a substance (in other words, skin testing is negative.) "Rhinitis" refers to inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes. "Eosinophils" are cells found in the nose of patients with NARES as well as with allergic rhinitis.

Symptoms include watery nasal discharge and sneezing in an "on again, off again" pattern. Some people experience nasal congestion. Itchy, watery eyes and itching of the nose and throat are also reported. They are usually year round with no seasonal pattern. Some people feel that abrupt weather changes, strong odor, smoke or other irritating substances aggravate symptoms.

The cause of NARES is unknown.

Basically I have been told to use Flonase for the rest of my life to help. Right now I am taking zyrtec and sudafed to help calm all the systems down and after that it will just be the Flonase for the rest of my life.

So, yeah. Not really what I was expecting, but leave it to my body to have something that is not very known. But at least we have some answers to all my crazy stuff going on and have a plan to help get me feeling better!!!

Here is to feeling better!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The now...

2018 is a new year with new adventures and new changes to come... 

This year we have a new teenager - 13 and a 10 year old. Both double digits... how did time fly by so fast. I mean, really! I think the double digits were harder for me to deal with than any other year.

But I LOVE this stage in our life. The oldest talks to us more and will actually have a conversation and joke around with us verses a few years ago when she would stay quiet and stay to herself. WE love that she has bloomed into an amazing teen. The youngest still talks all the time. She sings. She hums ALL the time. She just is a happy kid. Always has been. 

Here is the 10 year old at her birthday party. She got a big one this year and it was at Dave and Buster's. It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed her party!

 And this is the teenager. This was during one of her competitions for cheer this past season. Their cheer team got 1st place in all 3 areas during state competitions. What an amazing thing to watch. Cheer has completely changed this girl and we LOVE IT!

I look forward to the next 8 months of 2018. May they bring awesome family bonding time, new adventures and many dreams come true!

A trip to remember forever...

My oldest brother sent me a message and asked what I was doing for my birthday. (He sent me this message, months before my day.) I told him that I always take off for my birthday from work and this year I was taking Wednesday, Thursday and Friday since my kiddo was also on Spring break. He told me that there is a conference in Seattle that he might be able to come to the week after my birthday and he would come a little bit earlier to visit with us. I told him that would be perfect because I was already off work...

And then he was approved and had his plane tickets to come visit. Coming in Wednesday and we would drop him off in Seattle on the following Saturday for him to get ready for his conference the following week. I was super excited and ready for him to come into town.

This would be his 2nd time coming to Washington state to visit. The first time was my first wedding. He came to the wedding and then left the following day. There was no sight seeing. SO, I was super excited to be able to show him a few things around here. And this was the first time we would have this bonding time like this...

Our visit together was pretty great. On Wednesday April 11th C and I picked him up from the airport and then went back to our house to drop his stuff off and went to have lunch. We visited at home until a little later in the day when we left to pick up the oldest for the next day. We made dinner at home this night.

Thursday April 12th I turned 38. We got up and headed to Tacoma to do the 5 mile drive. We did the drive and had some fun at Owen's Beach and then drove around Tacoma sight seeing a little bit.

We went back to my house and had lunch before heading out again. This time we went to see the Snoqualmie Falls. We have never been and it was absolutely beautiful. I mean it was super cold and rainy, but it was a great experience.
For my birthday dinner we went to the Crab Pot in Seattle. It was a great wonderful time... after dinner we headed over to Alki Beach to take some pictures of the Seattle views and then headed to Cheesecake Factory to get me some birthday cheesecake. UMMM YES PLEASE! We dropped the oldest off at her house and then headed home.

April 13th Friday, we had some bonding time chilling and relaxing. We went to see I Can Only Imagine at the movies with the youngest and my brother. What a great movie. I never knew the history behind the song, and man what an incredible story. The youngest and I cried of course. But it was so good! Later we watched the Greatest Showman and boy was it a great movie. I was not expecting that. We had dinner at Bahama Breeze which was INCREDIBLE...

Saturday the 14th Michael and I just relaxed at home. We read some of our books and spent time remembering old times and visiting about new times. It was a very special time just to two of us. Once Abe and C got back, Michael and I grabbed lunch and we hung out and visited before taking him to Seattle to his hotel. The goodbye was hard. I was super sad and so was the kiddo. And knowing he would be in Seattle the next week and not seeing him was even harder, but I am so thankful for our time we got to spend together. It is a trip I will remember forever. I love this man so much!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Crazy Amazing Life

It has been 1 year and 7 months since my last post on this blog.

The main reason for this is I decided to create my own personal website and try to use that as my main website and blog. However, in the last year I have not really liked the whole format I had to use for blogging. It didn't give me the options that I really like with the blogger website. I was only able to have one blog on the same area. On the blogger site I am able to have many different blogs throughout my main one and that is what I like.

So, after much consideration and thinking I have decided to come back to blogger. I did however decide to purchase my own domain name, so instead of having the website:, I got it shortened by purchasing the domain name. Now, you will see my new name is How much easier is that to remember than the above. 

I am excited to get back to keeping this blog updated and be able to post more. So, look forward to more posts coming my way! I have a lot of updates for you!

And please check out my other pages that I have.. Schedule of posts will include:
~ My Motivational Page - Monday posts
~ My Throwback Page - Thursday posts
~ My Recipes - Tuesday and Thursday posts, if I have any to post
~ My Notes - Wednesday and Friday posts
~ Weightloss - whenever I have something to say
~ My main blog - whenever I have something to say

And please leave any comments if you want. I love reading what people think about what I am posting. I hope you enjoy!

And thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Coming back soon...

Well... I thought that I would create my own website and be happy with it, but I just wasn't. It wouldn't let me have more than one blog, so I struggled with it. I want the ability to link all my blogs/pages together and this site is just much easier.

However, I did create my own domain name to make it easy to find my main blog. From there you can look around the other pages. All of them link back to each other so you should be able to look around rather easily.

So... I am currently updating the whole thing, so bare with me as I get it all up and running with all the blogs I want to have going...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pesky little gallbladder

July 18th I went to the urgent care due to really bad abdomen pains that radiated to my back. I had many tests done, including blood work and a ct scan. They sent me home after a while with no answers.

Over the next month and a half I was in and out of the urgent care and once went to the ER. The answer was my pesky little gallbladder was filled with gallstones. When I say filled it was completely compacted with the stones, which was not fun!

The end result was surgery to remove my gallbladder which we had set for August 26th. I had to do a NO fat diet the last 2 weeks before my surgery. Those 2 weeks I had no pains, which was amazing. The surgery was set for 8 am with an arrival time at 6:30 am. My husband waited in the area and I was taken to get my pre-op done. They started an IV drip and gave me antibiotics to help make sure no infections happened after my surgery. There was a lot of waiting and reading on my phone. The anesthesia doctor came in and we went over things for that part of the process. I was taken back to the operating room and got all set up there before they knocked me out. I woke up in the recovery room which is never fun, but it wasn't so bad. The nurse there never left my side except to go get my glasses and my phone. About an hour later I was taken to a chair and my husband was brought back. He helped me get dressed and about 30 minutes later we were on our way home.

Recovery at home was slow. I slept on the couch for about a week due to not being able to lay on my side. I am a side sleeper so it was rough. Finally I just sucked it up and laid on my back in my bed and it wasn't too bad. It took a few days before I started sleeping on my side in the middle of the night without my knowing it, but it wasn't too bad. My husband stayed home with me that Friday and the whole weekend. Monday he had to go back to work and I was left alone at home. My goal was to go back to work on Tuesday, but that did not happen. I wasn't ready to return to work. Wednesday I went back to work and made it until 1 before having to head home. Thursday and Friday I worked all day.

A week after my surgery Friday night I started having the pains again and I ended up in urgent care. They did some tests and my liver levels were high, so they gave me some meds to help with the pains and then asked me to come back Saturday morning. I headed up Saturday morning and the levels were still high, but they sent me home. Saturday around 12 the pains came back and I was told by the on call nurse to head back to the urgent care. We got there around 1 and many tests were done and they communicated with the surgeon's office... after 6 hours they finally told me that I was going to the hospital to figure out what is going on. We got our stuff together and we left to head to the hospital.

Abe grabbed dinner and snacks before heading to the hospital and we checked myself in shortly after. I called my momma and told her what was going on and asked if she was willing to come up still. She started doing some checking and said she would call me back. I was told I couldn't eat until they figured things out, so I ate as much crushed ice as I could. The first night there wasn't much they could do so we just got settled in and after some time we headed to bed. Before bed my momma told me that she would be here Tuesday at 1. Sunday we did more waiting. They told me that I needed to do another MRI of my abdomen and it was a waiting game until they came and got me. I was still unable to eat anything. Monday around 12, Labor Day, it was finally MRI time. I was wheeled away and they did an MRI of my abdomen. It was the longest 25 minutes of my life. I had to do it with my arms above my head and a thing on my abdomen to help show them what they were looking for. After the MRI my pains came back and I had to get my first dose of pain meds while being in the hospital. Hours later around 7 the head nurse came in and let us know that they found the problem and it was a stone that decided to stay behind causing me all this pain... The end result was I had to have an ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography) which in short was a scope that they sent down my throat and it ends up in my bile duct so they could find the stone and break it up and suck it out. That was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. I was so excited because it would be after my momma got here. Abe had to go to work Tuesday which made me a little nervous because I would be by myself. Our niece came and sat with me until around 11 when she had to leave. I got up and walked around a little bit as well to keep the blood moving in my legs. At around 2:30 they came and got me to take me to pre-op for my scope procedure. My momma wasn't here and I was alone. I was so sad. I called my mom and they just pulled into the parking lot. I got to the pre-op and the nurse there called for my momma so she was able to come down and sit with me until the procedure. I talked to the doctor doing the procedure and he was awesome and explained everything very well. I then talked to the anesthesia doctor and we went over that process as well. Everyone was extremely awesome and made me feel comfortable. Finally they wheeled me off for my procedure and I woke up in recovery. This recovery was different because I never saw the nurse, I just heard her and talked to her with her being behind me. Finally they wheeled me back to my room. I was out of it for a little bit but my momma and my husband were waiting for me when I got back. I even had food waiting for me when I got back. Granted it was a liquid diet, I was so excited to have something to fill my stomach with. I was so hungry after 3 days of no eating. My mom left later that evening with Cadence to head home and Abe stayed the night at the hospital with me. This man is amazing and has never left my side the whole time (except to go to work, which is understandable). Wednesday came and Abe headed to work. I got another liquid diet at 6 am and then my doctor told me if I was able to eat some real food I could head home, so I got on the phone and ordered some real food. The nurse came in while I was eating and I told her I was ready to leave when I could. They started getting my discharge papers together and my best friend came to pick me up. I finally left the hospital at 10:15 am and I was so thankful to be out of there. I was sore, but I was ready to be home with my mom and baby girl and hubby! AND LET ME TELL YOU... I was super excited to sleep in my own bed! The hospital bed was not very comfortable at all...

So, that was my gallbladder experience. I am back at work and my momma is back in Louisiana. I am able to eat foods again. I can't eat as much as I use to be able to eat due to my stomach shrinking, but I am doing good. Fried foods seem to upset my stomach so I am staying away from those for now, but I am doing better. I am still sore around my incision spots, but they say that would get better each day and it would take 4-6 weeks to feel normal again. Tomorrow is 3 weeks since my surgery so I am getting closer to the 6 week mark! I am thankful for all my friends and family that helped out during the last 3 weeks... Some friends brought food, some friends brought gifts like flowers and a nice blanket which I use every day, some came to visit in the hospital and some helped get me home and helped with my baby girl! Some family sent get well cards and each and every one made my day! I appreciate every prayer that came my way and I am so thankful to not be having pains anymore!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

100 things about me

1. I have been on the Twilight tour. We toured Port Angeles, Forks and had so much fun at LA PUSH. It was a blast... the 8 hour drive was well worth it.
2. I never went to my high school prom. I hate to dance… I have never regretted not going.
3. I am FINALLY a college graduate.
4. My mom has got to be the best cook in the whole entire world. Go figure... me being the only girl and I did not inherit those genes!
5. My idea of a relaxing day is to spend a day at the spa. I am not a fan of massages because they either don't do it hard enough or do it too hard, but I love facials, pedicures, manicures, body scrubs and all the fun stuff that goes along with relaxing. 
6. My favorite card game has got to be Canasta. It is so much fun to get a group of women together to play. I have played with my mom and my aunts. Even that was fun because you get to see the competitive side of them. (Not always good haha).
7. I can not keep a house plant alive to save my life! No matter what kind of plant it is (whether it be an easy one to keep alive or not) it always seems to die on me.
8. I am addicted to makeup. Not all kinds, mostly just eye makeup. I can’t even tell you how many eye shadows I have but I can’t stop getting them. My friends love the fact that I like all kinds of colors because they like me to test out colors first. 
9. I have always loved tattoos. I have 4 and plan on getting a few more before I say I am done.
10. My best friend Jenn and I are going to get matching tattoo’s soon.  Go us!
11. I absolutely love scary movies. And I can even watch them at night without having nightmares. (This has changed a little bit now that I live by myself with my daughter. I still love watching them, just have to do it during the day)
12. I cannot stand coffee or tea. I know... people always get confused when I say that I hate tea. They think just because I live in the south, I should like it.
13. I have never tried any form of drug out there that is considered illegal. The only drugs I have taken have been prescribed by my doctor. I was always a good girl growing up. Still am in a way!
14. I love all kinds of puzzles. I love crosswords, search a words, fill ins, jigsaws, and anything that makes me think in order to solve it. 
15. I am a proud owner of an x-box 360. It is all mine. 
16. I do not test very well at all. I know the information I am taught, but when you sit me down to make me take a test, I can't pass or at least get good grades. 
17. Speaking of tests... it took me 3 times to pass the written test to get my drivers license and it took me 5 or 6 times to pass my test to get my insurance agent's license. I know the stuff, the tests just SUCK.
18. My favorite holiday of all time has to be Christmas. I love the Christmas music the most and I am definitely a giver. It brings me so much joy to be able to give.
19. I have a broken nose. I am not sure how I got it, but I know it is broken. I went to a nose specialist when I had nose problems and that is how I found out. Funny part is... ever since being pregnant, my issues have gone away! Go figure.
20. I have 2 favorite singers. The first is Kenny Rogers. I have been listening to him since I was 4 years old, when I would walk around with a tape cassette player and sing along to his songs. The other is Michael W. Smith. He is a Christian singer and has got to have one of the best voices out there. 
21. My favorite board game is scrabble. I actually have a board that is their anniversary edition and it actually spins the board for each player to see when it is their turn. I love it.
22. I enjoy scrapbooking. I am not very good at it being how I have never made a full book, but I am practicing in order to make Cadence’s first book.
23. I have been to Seaworld ( in San Antonio.
24. I have been to Six Flags ( in San Antonio. 
25. I love reading. I have read too many books to pick a favorite one, but I will list my favorite author's instead. In order by my favorite: James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Stephanie Meyers, Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich and Erica Spindler. 
26. I have worked at an insurance company for going on 16 years this year (2010).
27. 2 dreams when I was a little girl was to become a teacher and to become a mom. Only one of those dreams came true.
28. I was taught how to crochet. My grandmother did it and J's aunt Carol did it. I can crochet a blanket, but I can never manage to get the ends to be in a straight line. It takes on a slant, which drives me crazy. I will work on those skills when I have more time in the future. 
29. My dad made us kneel on rice when we were bad. It was raw rice and man did it hurt. Not to mention, the minutes after you were done picking the rice that got embedded in your knees. I tell people my kids will be disciplined using that technique and they look at me like I am crazy! Hey, it worked for my dad.
30. I have some of the best friends ever... my friends surprised me with a visit in October 2009. It was the best surprise ever. This is when we did the Twilight Tour.
31. I suck at Math. I always have and always will.
32. I have worn glasses since I was 18. I guess I didn't need them when I was in school, but got them after I was out of high school. I am scared to death to go and get the laser eye surgery. Maybe one day I will do it. 
33. I played the piano when I was younger. I can still manage to play the first part of my first recital piece and can manage to play a few Christmas songs, but I don't have a piano to play on anymore, so I hardly get to play.
34. I am the short one in the family. My dad is 6'1", mom is 5'9", brother M is 6'4" and brother D is 6'5". Why on earth did I get the short gene? I am only 5'4". I got the shortness from my dad's mom who was not even 5'. 
35. I am an aries. I disagree with their breakdown of the characteristics of an aries. 
36. My birthday is April 12th. I know 3 other people who has the same birthday as me. My mom and dad have the same birthday month as me.
37. I never had braces as a kid. I had a head gear which is the worst thing ever, but never braces. The orthadonist wanted to put them on me, but my dad said no. He saved a lot of money and my teeth are straight enough.
38. I have a cyst on the back of my neck. I thought it was a mole, but the doctor said it was a cyst. I can get it removed, but it will leave a hole in my neck and I don't mind the cyst. It doesn't bother me that much. If it does start to affect me, then I will get it removed.
39. Don't ask me why... But in high school I could never manage to get honor roll or banner roll. I managed to make 1 or 2 A's or B's in my whole 4 year experience, yet I make all A's and B's in college.
40. I have been to the space needle. The first time I went, was with my dad when him and mom came to visit in 2000. It was a great experience. Especially to have with my dad. It is a memory I will forever hold onto.
41. My first job was at a biochemical lab called Chrisope Technologies. I had the most fun at that job. I worked with a great group of ladies. My job was to packaged specimen and ship them to different labs and medical facilities all across the world. I handled specimen like urine samples, blood samples, strep, teburculosus and stuff like that. 
42. I met my ex husband on the internet in 1999 and we had a beautiful baby girl before we decided to get a divorce.
43. I went to Disney World when I was 4. I think I was 4. I don't remember much of it. I remember the song "It's a Small World" which played in the background and that's about it. 
44. My favorite cookies are sugar cookies. Of course I can't make them to save my life, but my mom does a great job.
45. I absolutely hate the dentist office. The smell makes my stomach ache and the drill drives me up the wall.
46. I love the snow that falls during the winter, but I hate the ice that follows.
47. My favorite place of all time has got to be the jetti at the ocean. It is so relaxing and peaceful there. It is also the first place my husband took me when I flew up here. New favorite is La Push Beach!
48. My natural hair color is a dark brown. For years I have been blonde. 
49. I have hazel eyes, yet some days they are the prettiest green.
50. I can swear like a sailor, thanks to my ex husband. I can control it when I need to, but it is a habit now. And one that is hard to break.
51. My doctor popped my water bag when I was 3 weeks early. I labored with my daughter for 23 hours. I had my daughter by emergency c-section. This was my only surgery I have ever had.
52. I bite my nails when I am nervous.
53. I think anything is better than vomiting. That is the worst feeling in the whole world. 
54. My 2nd toe is bigger than my big toe. I thought I was just weird, but my mom has the same thing.
55. I have gotten my hair cut once and donated the hair to Locks of Love. I had about 6-8" donated.
56. I was raised Episcopal, but now I am just a Christian. 
57. I can honestly say that I have rode the duck in Seattle. If you are interested in knowing what that is, check it out.
58. I have 1 grandparent still alive. It is my dad's father.
59. My first concert I went to was Bryan White and LeAnn Rimes.
60. My favorite concert of all time is a toss between Michael W. Smith and Lynard Skynard with ZZ Top. They are both very different types of music.
61. My first car was a 1992 Ford Convertible Mustang. It was gray and I absolutely loved it. 
62. If I had the money to travel I would... I have always dreamed of going to Ireland, England and Australia. 
63. I don't have a favorite season. I like them all about the same. I love summer for the sun, winter for the snow and fall and spring for the cool weather. I love to see the trees changing colors all year round.
64. My mom and I look alike. When I go to church with my mom, all the older ladies at church call me by my mom's name.
65. I am starting to love blogging. I did it years before, but now I have a reason to stay on top of it. I hope you enjoy!
66. My favorite alcholic beverage is a strawberry daiquiri with malibu rum! However lately it is lemonade with rum in it with strawberries. 
67. When I was a little kid, my dad would brush my hair every night after my bath. I couldn't get up until he brushed it 100 strokes. He would make me count most nights. It is something I hated back then, but cherish now that I am older.
68. My favorite piece of furniture in my house is my hope chest that I got from my godparent's. It is from Saudi Arabia and I absolutely LOVE it.
69. I absolutely love laughing. It truly is one of the best medicines.
70. I have 1 arm that has great veins to get blood from and one that is stubborn. My right arm can be drawn in seconds and my left arm has to be poked and prodded in order for them to realize I was serious when I said don't try the left arm!
71. I can remember all my family and friend's birthday's most of the time. I know most of my families addresses by heart as well.
72. The only thing I craved when being pregnant was milk. I hardly every drink milk, but when I was pregnant I was going through a carton every week if not more.
73. My favorite seafood by far is shrimp.
74. I hate vegetables.
75. The best place I went as a kid was Schlitterbahn in San Antonio. The best waterpark I have ever been to.
76. I absolutely hate water. I had to drink it during my pregnancy, but it was the hardest thing to do. It was harder than actually being pregnant!
77. I am allergic to pet dander and ragweeds. That was determined after taking 2 different allergy test. The first one was the scratch test where they scratched my arm with the stuff on the scratch thing. Then the 2nd one was where they injected the stuff in my arm. I hate needles so that was just miserable for me. 
78. I have a big family. This is just on my side of the family. (This also includes in laws) I have 2 brothers, 2 sister n laws, 3 nieces and 3 nephews, 6 aunts, 4 uncles, 25 cousins, 12 second cousins and 3 third cousins.
79. I can say Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Latin.
80. I hate public speaking. I always have and I always will. I am taking a speech class this fall and I am scared to death.
81. I got ordained in 2010 in order to marry my best friends. It was awesome!
82. I have called several places my home: Sulphur LA, Lake Charles LA, University Place WA, Lakewood WA, Tacoma WA and now Auburn WA.
83. I have a birth mark on my left leg right below my knee. It is about an inch wide and long. It is very dark brown. It use to bother me as a teen, but now I have learned to live with it. And no, I don't want to remove it. It is part of me.
84. I have a scar on my knee that is about 3 inches long. I have no idea how I got it.
85. I do have a scar on my bikini line from the c-section for my daughter.
86. I also have a scar on my back about the same length as the c-section scar. Not sure how it happened but I got it when I was in the hospital for my daughter. It is where they taped the needle to my back for my epidural. The only thing I can think of is the tape they used to hold the tube down irritated my skin. Who knows... All I know is I didn't have it when I went in and had it when I came out.
87. I took 4 years of a foreign language in high school. 2 years in spanish and 2 years in Latin. If they had 4 years of Latin, I would have taken it. It was so much fun!
88. My dad and I fed an alligator once. It was in the back yard in the canal that my parent's have. My dad got the bright idea to get his fishing pole and feed the alligator with my mom's fried chicken. It was the most hilarious thing in my whole life.
89. I was living in Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina hit. It hit the other side of LA, but we got rain from it. It was one of the most costliest and one of the 5 deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.
90. I was also living in Louisiana when Hurricane Rita hit. We actually had to evacuate our city. It was the 4th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameron Parish was hit the hardest and it is right below Calcasieu parish which is where we lived. Coming back home after being evacuated for 11 days was tough because of all the damage they had. It was unreal and something I will never forget!
91. I have been in a tornado storm once in my life that I can remember. My cousin lived in a trailer and let me tell you it was like a ride at an amusement park. One of the scariest memories I have.
92. I am the godmother of 2 great girls.
93. I have been to the Natural Bridge Caverns. It was really awesome. I have also been to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. It was pretty cool as well.
94. I have the very thin hair ever. I don't get how I am the only girl out of 3 kids and I get the thin hair. Both my brothers have thick hair...
95. Ocean Shores, WA has got to be one of my favorite places of all times. Now I am leaning more towards La Push Beach. It is about 4 hours away but the best I have been to.
96. I have been to Mount Rainier in Washington. It is so amazing to go up to the tourist area and look out at all the other mountains and hills...
97. I have been to Mount St. Helens as well. The last catastrophic eruption was on May 18, 1980. I was a month and 6 days old. 
98. I have been on a train twice in my life. The first time was from Louisiana to San Antonio Texas. I went on a youth group trip and we rode the train. The second time was with some friends. We rode the dinner train which took us up past Seattle to a winery. It was pretty cool. I would have rather been on the bottom floor because on the top it rocked back and forth, but the top had glass windows which was nice to see out of.
99. I have been through one earthquake as well. We had an earthquake on February 28th, 2001. It was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in Washington state history. It measured at a 6.8. 
100. The only time I decide to have a party at my house when my parent's are out of town, the police were called. I was 19 when I did this and of course the police came. Talk about bad luck! No one got in trouble we were just told that everyone had to leave.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The hardest longest 14 days of my LIFE!

On June 29th I headed to the airport to drop off my brother and his wife, along with my 7 year old baby girl to head back to Louisisana. They have been asking me, along with my parents, for the last year if they could take her for some time during the summer. Finally my sister asked if they could have her for a month. Of course my reply was NO. That is too long! So we agreed on 2 weeks. I then, talked to her dad and we talked about if we were okay with this for sure before they booked the tickets. WE agreed and then they booked the tickets.

On the day I took her to the airport I was super strong and I decided I was not going to cry. I was very proud of myself for not crying up to this point. I would have waited until I drove home to cry, but it didn't last that long. After hugging my baby girl and I pulled her away from me, she had HUGE alligator tears in her eyes. None fell down her cheek, but after seeing that I lost it. I grabbed her tightly and didn't want to let her know. I made it short and sweet and then talked about all the fun that they were going to have and then watched them walk inside... I left once I couldn't see them anymore or once I noticed she wasn't turning around anymore.

I cried the whole way home. Her being at her dad's house I have gotten use to, but this was totally different. She was in a different state and that was what was putting knots in my stomach. I totally trusted my parents and my brother and sister with her... it was just the fact that she was so far away from me if anything happened.

It got easier as the days went by. I walked around feeling lost. My little mini me wasn't here to talk my ears off and she wasn't here asking me questions. It was the longest 2 weeks of my life! My parents and her have their boarding passes printed for tomorrow's flights and today is pack day down there. I am super excited, words can not explain it all!

She had such a great time down in Louisiana. I can not thank my family enough for showing her a great time. She was able to spend time with her grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, great aunts, great grandfather and extended cousins. She went to the water park down there and she swan many many days. She had a few melt downs with missing her dad and I, but she did such a great job and I am so super proud of my baby girl. She has made me extremely proud of her. I can not wait until tomorrow evening when I can hug my baby girl and not let her go!

My princess on the 4th of July at MawMaw's house!

La Push Weekend

Here are a few pictures from our resort and the beach...

Second Beach at La Push

Our 2nd hike was to hike through the woods to get to Second Beach. The only way you can get to this beach is to hike a mile through the woods. It was a great hike and there was one spot where I wasn't sure how I would make it on the way back, but I did it. I was so proud of myself. Here are a few pictures from the hike to the beach :) 

Sol Duc Falls

The next stop on our drive to La Push was the Sol Duc Falls. It was at Olympic National Park and I was so excited that I found this place for us to hike and go check out. It was definitely an amazing experience. The hike was 0.8 miles to the falls and the same distance back. The hike was not too bad. It had some up hill and down hill spots, but nothing I couldn't handle. You definitely had to watch your step though hiking here. They had roots everywhere and you could easily be tripped.
We just took our time and enjoyed every step of the way! Listening to the roaring water falls was even more amazing. It is so peaceful and relaxing!

The picture above was on our hike to the falls.

This was the actual falls... SO BEAUTIFUL!

Crescent Lake

My sister and I planned a weekend trip to La Push, WA while they were here. We had been planning this trip for over 5 years and I was so excited that it was finally booked. We booked a 2 bedroom motel room that was fully furnished. How exciting. It was around a 3 1/2 hour drive, but I look forward to doing it over and over again to find new places to hike and check out! 

On the way we stopped at Crescent Lake. They call this "Lady of the Lake," and many people say that this lake is haunted. Hallie Illingworth went missing in 1937 and in 1940 her body was floating in the water at Crescent Lake. People say that it is still haunted after all these years.

All I can say is it is an amazing view. Its so beautiful and definitely a great experience to drive around!

 My husband and I enjoying our view!

Space Needle FUN!

The day after my brother and his wife got here we decided to go to Seattle for the day. It was a lot of fun and definitely a lot of laughs! I was super excited because C has never been to the top of the Space Needle. We get there and we didn't have to wait too long. We waited less than 10 minutes for our turn to go up to the top! The elevator ride is pretty scary if you are scared of heights. With glass walls you can see it all as you go up! C was pretty nervous and held onto her Paran Derrick really tight. She looked out this time. When we got up there she stayed more towards the inner wall instead of looking out. She did however LOVE the look out telescopes and looked through every one of them. It was super cute. 

Here is a picture of the 4 of us before we headed down!

And here is my precious darling daughter... I wonder what she thinks when she looks out into the unknown... 

She did however decide to ride the elevator the opposite way so she did not have to look out the glass walls. She did fine. And it was a fun experience for us all! I think my brother and his wife enjoyed it. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers day to my daddy...

I hope my daddy has a great Father's Day. He has been the best dad a girl could ever hope for and I am so excited to see him on July 11th.... I love you daddy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The struggle with losing friends after a divorce...

In an ideal world losing friends and family after a divorce would never happen, but that is not the real world. I would love to say that I didn't lose friends and family after my divorce, but I did.

After my divorce I can't really say I lost friends. I think that the people I lost in my life were not my real friends to begin with. They were my ex husbands friends and I became friends because of him. After the divorce the friendship just wasn't there.

I think the biggest relationship that was altered was my relationship with my father in law. He was my best friend for so many years and we spent a lot of time together... Getting a divorce changed that. I would love to say that things aren't a little awkward when I do see my ex in laws, but they are. I can't explain it, it just is... I think in a way I am super sad about that, but in a way I am blessed with the time that I was able to share with him and all the things I was able to learn in that time frame. My daughter is super blessed to have such great grandparents and I look forward to her relationship with them growing over the years.

My dad said something right after I separated from my ex that has stuck with me to today... he said: what will define you and anyone else in this position or some other circumstance is how you handle what yourself in times like these. You can let it tear you down or you can learn and become a better person after.

Don't let something like a divorce define you. Learn from it, better yourself and life life to the fullest. Take time to grieve and move on... I know its sounds so easy, but it isn't. It will be a hard battle, but you will get through it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Farewell Thoughts

I wrote the final article for our newsletter for our MOPS year and I wanted to share it here.. 

Farewell Thoughts by Michelle Cruz, PM coordinator

This year started with the theme ‘Be You Bravely’! And my year with MOPS definitely started out that way… When I was asked to be the co-coordinator for MOPS, I thought why me? I was not ready to graduate from MOPS yet, so I decided to interview for the position. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I soon learned how to ‘Be Me Bravely.’  What an amazing theme for us mommas who are trying our best. Sometimes, all we can do is to be us bravely! 
At times this year, being brave has been tough. As I write this, I am currently waiting for our end-of-the-year meeting Purchase Order to be approved because I had forgotten to turn it in. With five days left before the end-of-the-year meeting and no supplies purchased, no party stuff prepped and no approval to spend the money... I sat and cried. The chance that my error could affect all the ladies at MOPS is a hard thing to take on. But I am human and I make mistakes, we all do. This is MOPS life, this is our life.
I was doing some research for what I wanted to say for the final newsletter before I graduate, and I found this poem and wanted to share it with you all!

A symbol of courage, a feather enables flight. 
Risking heights, a first flight requires bravery to jump from the nest.
A bird will fail to experience all it was made for, if it fails to fly!
(The same is true for us)
May this year change your life, 
May you hear whispers of hope,
Stirring in your soul…
May MOPS remind you to breathe in and breathe out,
Because we are in this together.
The first step may test our bravery,
But courage is the key around our necks,
Be you, BRAVELY!

I cannot imagine my life without being a part of MOPS, so I am struggling to deal with the emotions of graduating out this year. The tears will come eventually, but 

I found a quote online that made me smile. It says: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I have made so many wonderful friends throughout my years at MOPS and I can definitely say that MOPS has changed my life for the better. I have grown so much in MOPS and by stepping into leadership. There were some crazy moments this year, but I hope that you have all had a great time. Even with the highs and lows, I have tried my best to be a great co-coordinator for you ladies. Thank you all for making my life with MOPS incredible. I appreciate all of you and I can’t wait to hear how MOPS continues to grow throughout the years!

This is the year I will be stronger, bravery, kinder and unstoppable! This year I will be FIERCE!

So, ladies… don’t forget to grab your BRAVE self and get ready to flourish.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Allergies are so miserable...

I went to an allergist once and had been tested for any allergies. They found out that I was allergic to cats and ragweeds. Well, if you don't know what ragweeds are... they are everywhere in Washington state.

Other than that I have not started allergy shots or anything like that. I take allergy meds when I need to and sometimes I can go months without taking anything. It flares up and goes away randomly so I just never know when it will start.

Allergies are definitely not fun and I wish I didn't have to deal with it, but I do so I just deal with it... I hope and pray most of you out there don't have to deal with all the crazy attacks that I get to deal with.

If you are allergic to anything, what are you allergic to?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy Birthday to my dear husband...

For the last couple of years, I have managed to book some really fun out of town trips for my husbands birthday. Last year, our friends Tom and Jenn went with us as we travelled to Long Beach and enjoyed a weekend staying on the beach. It was an amazing weekend and definitely one of my favorite out of town trips.

This year, we were going to go out of town for his birthday, but we decided to stay in town. We went to watch the Avengers at the IPIC theater in Redmond. Its the theater where you can sit in recliners if you pick the right seats and they serve you food there. It was amazing. The food was not the best I have ever had, but it was good. We spent the evening with friends after and had cake. Sunday we went to eat dinner at The Crab Pot for his actual birthday and it was just an all and all great weekend with my husband. I love our time together!

Planning his birthday's get more fun as the years go by!

Happy birthday to my dear husband. The man that has taught me so much in life as well as taught me to LOVE myself for the person I am. He has made me more confident in life and his love and devotion for me grows with each day. I hate being away from him and when I leave to go to work I dream about the second he gets home and I get to see my handsome husband's face. I have always dreamed about a love like this and he has made those dreams come true. He is a blessing from God and I love this man more than he will ever know!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Break The Chains 5k Walk

Today I walked, along with my best friend and her kiddos, in the 5K walk for Break the Chains, which is people again human trafficking. There were over 800 people registered. And I definitely feel like most of them were there. It was a great time and we enjoyed it. The kids did great!

Thanks to my gal Jenn for doing it with me.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day Momma

This lady is the most amazing woman that I have ever met. I am blessed and thankful that I get to call her my momma. From the day I was born, she has loved me unconditionally. I have not always made life easy for her, but she has never stopped loving me. And to this day she is always with me. We don't live in the same state anymore, but this woman is with me everywhere I go. She is with me when I say ya'll. She is with me as I make my grocery shopping lists. She is with me as I sing and read stories to my baby girl. She is with me when the trees bloom and the flowers pop out. She is with me when I look in the mirror!!! She is with me when I am cooking or I am baking. I remember all the things she has done over the years for us. She is with me when I am making my favorite meals that she made for me growing up. She is with me when the Holiday's come around. I am just like her in so many ways. She will never realize how just alike we are. She is my mother.... She carried me around inside her belly for many many months. She was finally getting her baby girl and I was definitely a momma's girl. I might be 35 but I will forever be a momma's little girl. 

I have learned how to be a great mother from her. I have learned how to love with my whole heart and do it with the best intentions. I have learned how to cherish every moment God gives you and never take anything for granted. I have learned that life is short and you make the best out of any situation. We spent many nights making the best of the bad storms that rolled through Sulphur in the hallway of our childhood home. There were many memories made on the front porch swing that was at my childhood home... The memories make my heart full every time I remember something that happened growing up. 

To my amazing mother. Thank you for raising me with manners and with love. Thank you for teaching me all that I have gained over the many years I lived with you and dad. You are an amazing woman and I have always loved you more than words could ever say. You are my hero momma and I am so thankful God chose you to be my momma!

Have a wonderful Mother's day momma and I love you more!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I AM...

Our MOPS group had our mother's day meeting last night and let me tell you it was AMAZING. My dear friend Rebecca was asked to speak for our meeting and it was a blessing to all the ladies that were able to attend. I wanted to write down how the evening went for those that were not able to make it. Hopefully they can be just as blessed.

The song that played at the beginning was pretty amazing as well. It was "The Real Me" by Natalie Grant. Here are the words in case you haven't heard the song yet:

Foolish heart looks like we're here again
Same old game of plastic smile
Don't let anybody in
Hiding my heartache, will this glass house break
How much will they take before I'm empty
Do I let it show, does anybody know?

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me
Painted on, life is behind a mask
Self-inflicted circus clown
I'm tired of the song and dance
Living a charade, always on parade
What a mess I've made of my existence
But you love me even now
And still I see somehow
But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me
Wonderful, beautiful is what you see
When you look at me
You're turning the tattered fabric of my life into
A perfect tapestry
I just wanna be me
But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me
And you love me just as I am
Wonderful, beautiful is what you see
When you look at me

The goal is for you to be: FEARLESSLY AUTHENTIC

I am who I was created to be!

# 1 is I AM ME
I am me, because you are you! Your suppose to be YOU! You were created to be you and no one else. You have a story to tell. It doesn't define you at all.... Focusing on you is not SELFISH! Know what you can do and do it well! (If you haven't read the story of Ruth, it is highly suggested)

#2 is I am courageous. Your daily encounters do MATTER! God is greater and will put you in situations that you don't want to be in only to grow you later. Trust Him, because He has your back! Move on from the I am ME... grow!

#3 is I am a mom.
NOT just or but... I AM A MOM. It is a life changing job.

REAL life is NOT our social media life. Real life is waking up with NO makeup and encouraging yourself to get ready for the day. Real life is crying when you need to cry and realizing that is OKAY!

Your words MATTER!

Don't judge. Don't compare.

In order to change the I am, start thinking positive! To change the I am's, start declaring! ENCOURAGE each other.

She ended the evening with each of us grabbing a post card and writing our name on one side. On the other side we passed the card around and the ladies wrote words of affirmation about you. And then we were given a window marker and we were assigned homework. The homework was to write on your mirror at home 3 I am's each morning and then take a picture in front of it and post it on Facebook.

My picture is below... My daughter wanted to be in the picture of course. I asked her what I am this morning and she said 35. That is my number 1 I am. I wrote the next 2 for me. I will continue to do this daily... Its a great reminder that you are not just a mom, not just a daughter, not just a friend... you are you... and today I AM...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Essential Oils

I have started a collection of Essential Oils. I have used them a few times on different things and they seem to help.

MY FAVORITE one is cedarwood. It isn't my favorite scent, but I use it on my scalp where I feel I am losing my hair and what do you know... a few months after starting it I am noticing baby hairs are popping up. Makes me excited.

I have also used peppermint with being nauseated and it has definitely helped before. It also helps with my headaches sometimes. If they become a migraine, it is harder to get it to work, but the light ones it sure does help!

I currently have:

  • Stress Away
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon
  • Peace and Calming
  • Cedarwood
  • Eucalyptus Blue
  • Orange
  • Thieves
The ones I have on my wish list are:
  • I would really love a diffuser... but I also want an aroma USB diffuser and a USB orb diffuser
  • Purification Oil
  • Frankincense Oil
  • Kidscents Oil Collection

Friday, May 1, 2015

Boston Marathon and my parent's...

April 15th, 2013 will be a day that I will never forget in my life. The events of that day will stay with me forever.

It is the day that my daddy ran in the Boston Marathon. In September of 2012, my parents came here to visit and while they were here we all went to Burlington for my dad to run a marathon in Washington state. I didn't know at the time, but if he did well enough he would qualify himself for the Boston Marathon the next year. It was an amazing experience to watch my dad finish his marathon here... he even did well enough that he qualified to run in the Boston Marathon.

So, mom and dad planned their trip up north and they flew out. I knew on April 15th when I got to work that my dad would have already started the run. I got to work and I pulled up the website where I could watch him run the race. There was a tracker that had a little man icon that was running and as dad got farther the man went farther on the tracker. It was awesome for us kids, who were watching his progress from afar.

Around 11:45 I noticed that dad's man on the tracker quit moving farther. It was still running, but it was running in place. I got a text from my oldest brother shortly after that and he asked if I had talked to mom and dad yet. I said no. His only reply was, "Turn on the news." With that comment, my heart dropped. I think I lost my breath for a few moments. I knew something happened. I started shaking and quickly opened Google and typed in Boston Marathon. It pulled up different things, but when I saw the headline 2 bombs just went off near the finish line at the Boston Marathon, I just started crying. I dialed my dad's number with no answer. I texted my middle brother and asked if he had heard from mom and dad. I started to have a panic attack. My boss came in and asked what was going on and all I could do was point to the screen. He went into his office and he turned on the news. When I walked in to his office and saw the destruction that was happening over there, I could barely breath. I kept telling myself that dad's tracker was in between the 2 bombs and mom was at the finish line waiting for him. I could not move. I could not talk. I just kept calling my dad's phone praying he would answer. I asked people to start praying for them and I just sat there and waited. I went outside a few times to catch my breath... And then all of a sudden all the texts and posts on Facebook started asking me if I had talked to my parents yet and if I knew if they were okay. I had no answers. I didn't know what to tell everyone.

It was the LONGEST 40 minutes of my life.... finally my phone rang and my dad was on the other end telling me that they were both okay! He said that he was about 50 feet from the first bomb that went off and then he heard the second one go off behind him. My dad had angels surrounding him that day. It took me a good 2-3 hours to quit shaking after talking to my dad. I also wasn't okay until I talked to my mom which happened later in the day. But I am extremely thankful that my dad and mom were okay. We are all thankful for that!

I am extremely sad and my heart hurts for all those that were hurt and affected by the bombings. My parent's were extremely lucky and blessed, but some were not. My prayers continue to go out to those who are not able to say they were blessed!