Feeds:
Posts
Comments

 

Starting Weight: 330 pounds

 

Last Weigh-in: 320.1 pounds

 

This week’s weigh-in: 318.8 pounds

 

So, I went to the doctor’s office on Monday and of course, one of the standard things they look at when you are pregnant is your weight. I happened to lose a little this month which is par for the course for me at this stage of my pregnancy. Mind you, I am NOT actively TRYING to lose weight. I attribute my weight-loss to a picture-perfect diet during pregnancy. I am pretty anal about what I eat-not that I never have something I shouldn’t-but that I am VERY vigilant and concerned with how I am fueling my baby’s growth and want to provide the best start possible for my little one and I work very hard to make that a reality. I have had several criticisms and people who have challenged that I could have a healthy pregnancy at my weight. Well, I have had four so far, so I am proof positive it can be done. No, I am not recommending being pregnant and obese-BUT I am also hoping to show you that it IS possible to be fat AND healthy and have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

 

If history repeats itself, I expect to maintain or lose a little over the next couple of months and then start putting on a little water weight towards the end. I plan to update you every time I am weighed in at the office, as I am trying not to obsess about any weight-gain, or lack thereof, during my pregnancy which means I am not weighing myself at home. I will be updating monthly for the next couple of months and then my visits will probably increase to every 1-2 weeks towards the end. Once baby comes and I am recovered and in “weight-loss mode” again, I will resume my weekly weigh-ins.

 

There isn’t really much exciting to report with this weigh-in. I have been following the Brewer’s Diet for pregnancy for the most part (more on that in a future post). I haven’t been following it perfectly, mainly because I can’t eat the amount of food they want you to consume (minimum of 2600 calories per day). I get really big when pregnant and I tend to grow big babies, which means I run out of room to put food very quickly in my pregnancies. Which, for someone like me, if a very good thing. This serves to control my weight-gain, keep my blood sugar even as I am eating smaller portions, but more frequently, and help ensure that I am not pigging out on junk, because I just literally can’t eat a lot right now. It is one pregnancy symptom I certainly don’t mind having.

 

I also am taking several herbs, vitamins and supplements to be sure baby is getting everything he needs. I plan on doing a post on that in the near future as well, so others can see the plan I have in place for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. You all are going to think I am even nuttier than you already thought when you see all the stuff I take when I am pregnant. Rest assured, that I have done lots and lots of research on this stuff and have the full support of my care providers.

 

Did you notice how I snuck that little announcement in the last paragraph? That’s right-we also had an ultrasound on Monday and found out the gender of our baby. We will be welcoming yet another baby boy into our home. For my newer readers, that brings the gender division in our house to Boys: Five (including my husband) to Girls: Two (including myself). That’s right, we are expecting our fourth baby boy in a row and we could not be more thrilled. Really.

 

Yes, that IS what you think it is. Baby boy is definitely NOT shy!

 

I am currently 21 weeks pregnant. Baby was measuring on track for growth and everything looked great on the scan. My blood pressure was a perfect 109/66. Not much left to do from here on out but wait!

 

That’s the truth.

 

Did you weigh-in this week? Have you ever lost weight while pregnant? How is your healthy living journey going? Any new milestones to celebrate?

Advertisements

Menu-Plan Monday

 

Menu plan, Week of October 15 – October 21

 

Hey everyone! I trust you all had a fabulous weekend. We spent a better part of the day at the ball field on Saturday. We love baseball in our house and two of my boys are playing. It is so fun to watch them learn and improve. I might be one of THOSE parents who scream like a psycho when my kid gets a hit or makes a good play. I’m not obnoxious or rude, like some parents can be (though we haven’t seen much of that here), but I do tend to get pretty excited. Thankfully, my kids are still young enough that they think it’s great to have Mom’s support. I am sure it won’t be too long before I become the “embarrassing mom”, so I figure I better wear my voice out while I have the chance. Good times.

 

This week is an exciting week in our house with lots going on. Today we are spending pretty much all day in Tampa for doctor’s appointments. First, we are having our anatomy scan at my OB’s office-hopefully, baby cooperates and we will have an exciting announcement for you this evening. I will be sure to update on my Facebook page if/when we find out what we are having, so if you aren’t connected to the community there, go “Like” my page so you don’t miss out on the big announcement!

 

On Tuesday, we have two more ball games, Thursday is my birthday and Sunday is my and The Chick Magnet’s 12th anniversary. I have heard rumors that he is cooking for me on my birthday, which is why I don’t have anything listed for Thursday’s dinner this week. Should be interesting. Hey, it’s a night off for this busy mama so you won’t hear me complaining.

 

Hope you all have a great week!

 

Monday:

  • Breakfast: Homemade peanut butter chocolate chip granola with milk/ Greek yogurt (I eat a kid-sized bowl of this and eggs)
  • Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, baby carrots, fruit (packing our lunch since we will be gone all day-gotta make something that travels well)
  • Dinner: Beef Barley Soup, Spinach Salad (Leftovers-I doubled this recipe when I made it last week anticipating being out of town and needing something quick when getting home in the evening-helps that it was DELISH!)

 

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Eggs
  • Lunch: Grilled cheese, tomato soup
  • Dinner: Crock pot roast beef, mashed potatoes, Spinach Casserole (Love to use my crockpot on game nights so I am not rushing around right at dinner/game time)

Prep for Wednesday: Mix-up pancake batter

 

Wednesday:

 

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Steel-cut oats with pumpkin add-in
  • Lunch: Egg “McMuffins”, fruit
  • Dinner: ???

 

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Banana Cake
  • Lunch: Leftovers
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza

 

Saturday:

  • Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal
  • Lunch: Leftover pizza
  • Dinner: Cilantro Thai Chicken (I’ve made this recipe several times-I always add fresh lime juice and it is SO yummy), roasted cauliflower, green beans

 

Sunday:

  • Breakfast: Eggs, toast
  • Lunch: Pizza Quesadillas
  • Dinner: Anniversary dinner out!

 

What’s on your menu this week?

 

As always, I am happy to post recipes for anything I have not already linked to, just let me know in the comments!

Hey everyone! No, I have not confused my days of the week. I know it’s Friday and I normally post this on Saturday, but this installment of the “Isn’t She Beautiful” series is time-sensitive so it’s going up today.

 

The sweet girl I am introducing you to today, I have actually introduced in a past post. Long time readers may remember this sweet face:

 

Ashlyn Ruby

 

I first wrote about Ashlyn on my blog about this time last year. Ashlyn is the daughter of very dear friends of mine, Troy and Shari. Ashlyn was also born with Down Syndrome.

 

I am going to let her mama share here, in her own words, some of what they have experienced since having Ashlyn about 3 1/2 years ago.

 

“When Ashlyn was born I was filled with a sadness and a fear I had never felt before.  I literally felt like my world was falling apart all around me.  No one ever thinks they will have a child born with a disability and then when you do, the future seems so dark.  All I could think about was how permanent it was.  There is nothing you can do to change a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.  No medicine, no surgery….it is there to stay.  I agonized over what she would look like, how she would talk, if she would be able to talk, would people make fun of her, would she live with us forever and the list could go on and on.  I worried about our older daughter, Kyla, and all the ways this could potentially change her life.  In the days following Ashlyn’s birth it literally felt like a death…..the death of the child we thought we would have, grieving that, and somehow trying to face the future with the child we had been given. 

The odd thing is that even in the midst of the deepest grief, I had a deep love for Ashlyn.  She was my child, my baby….I am her mother.  There was no denying that even though I was so scared, I knew I loved her.  I spent months questioning how it happened, why God allowed it and wrestling through questions of my faith in ways I had never had before.  But even in those dark months, God was beginning to show us in little ways what a gift we had been given. 

Fast forward three years later and the gift is on full display.  Ashlyn is a complete joy. She brings so much light and love into our family.  Yes, there are challenges that come with Down Syndrome.  At every step along the way it has required extra patience on our part.  It took Ashlyn longer to crawl, walk, talk, and feed herself.  It took us a year and a half to teach her to drink through a straw and we are still working on potty training and could be for awhile.  Those things do require patience, but all of the strides she is making far outweigh the delays.   She loves to look at books, sing and play with her big sister.  She dances anytime music is on and talks up a storm.  She is in her first year of preschool and thriving.  She gives the very best hugs and has the best laugh you have ever heard.

It is a very strange and absolutely beautiful thing to watch how something that you thought would literally break your heart in two transforms into something that brings you some of the deepest joy you have known.  Only God can do that and our family will forever be grateful. 

 

Are these not a couple of the cutest girls you have ever seen???

 

I remember the first time I met Troy and Shari. I was on the board of our church at the time and we were interviewing candidates for a new pastor. It seems silly to say it like this, but with Troy and Shari it was like love at first sight…in a totally normal, non-creepy way of course. I have honestly never met two more open and genuine people in my whole life. By the time the interview was over, Shari was giving me a big hug and I just KNEW this was the family God has brought to lead our church.

 

Thankfully, the rest of the church agreed with me! 😉

 

Ashlyn was born less than a year after Troy and Shari came to lead our church. Everything was still knew. Much like the position we are in now-they were still adjusting and making friends and getting settled and missing home. And then they got the news that rocked their world. They did not know prior to Ashlyn’s birth that she had Down Syndrome, so it came as quite a shock to them and our entire church family. It was such a raw and vulnerable time in their lives and they had to live it out loud in front of a congregation of people, many of whom were virtual strangers, who were depending on them to lead us.

 

Reading Shari’s words that she wrote about that time in their lives just brings tears to my eyes. The thing about what she wrote is that she lived all of that for all of us to see. I can’t tell you the number of times they just shared their journey openly and honestly with all of us. They were questioning, perhaps for the first time in their lives, where God was in the middle of all of it As hard as it was to see our pastor and his wife-our friends-hurt and struggle…it was also breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Beautiful mama with her beautiful girls!

 

And like Shari said-there is no cure for Down Syndrome. While the initial shock of Ashlyn’s diagnosis has faded to the background, there are still so many uncertainties and Troy and Shari need to exercise an insane amount of trust to care for their sweet girl. They have to trust speech therapists and physical therapists and a whole parade of people that are now involved in their lives in ways they never would have imagined. They have to trust their friends and family to provide a safe place for them to share from the heart-even if what they share isn’t neat and tidy and pretty. Most of all, they have to trust, that ultimately God has them and God has their girls and He knows what He is doing, even if they can’t quite see it or don’t quite understand it.

 

And living life that way…is nothing less than beautiful.

 

This Saturday, October 13, Troy, Shari, Kyla, Ashlyn and several of their friends and family are participating in Down Syndrome Indiana’s (DSI) 15th Annual Buddy Walk. The kids and I were able to participate last year and help raise funds and awareness for DSI. Unfortunately, that is not possible for us this year, so I figured the least I could do would be to use my blog’s platform to raise awareness for this year’s Buddy Walk (<<< my re-cap of last year’s walk-with some more Ashlyn cuteness thrown in!).

 

The Buddy Walk exists to promote acceptance, raise funds and enhance the position of the Down Syndrome community. Proceeds from the walk help fund Down Syndrome Indiana programs and services that help individuals with Down Syndrome and their families, like Troy and Shari.

 

I would love it if you would consider donating to Troy and Shari’s Buddy Walk fund. All you need to do to donate is click here to go directly to Troy and Shari’s personal donation pageAll donations made through the site are totally secure. I would also love to have you share this on Facebook and Twitter or e-mail this post to anyone who you think might want to support this sweet family and DSI.

 

Daddy’s Girl

 

Guys, I know this is something unorthodox for me to do on this blog. I do not make any money off of this blog, nor do I have any plans to. Though I did want to make a career out of this at one time, after much prayer and consideration I have decided against that because I was afraid having this be my “job” would take away from my message. You will never see advertisements on my blog and you will never see me try to sell you something. But I will share about causes I support and this one is near and dear to my heart. I simply ask that you carefully consider any donation, no matter the amount, to help support this sweet family. I’d give anything to be able to be there with them this year. In place of that, I am hoping and praying that you guys will flood them with love.instead. No donation is too small.

 

And aren’t they beautiful.

Menu-Plan Monday

 

Menu plan, Week of October 8 – October 14

 

Happy Monday everyone! This week should be really interesting in our house since The Chick Magnet started his new schedule last night (third shifts). I am hoping it will help the dinner-time madness go a little more smoothly since he will be here to help corral the kids while I work my magic in the kitchen. Dinner lately has been all about speed and efficiency, since I still have to tend to the needs of 4 little ones while I am working on it. So maybe I will be able to start incorporating some more of my more complicated meals in the future. Mostly, I will still be keeping it as simple as possible, because let’s face it pregnancy, Florida heat (which is still going strong) and spending hours over the stove just is not a good combo!

 

Monday:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs
  • Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, baby carrots, fruit (we will be gone on a Field Trip during the day so I need a lunch that will travel well and not get icky in the heat)
  • Dinner: Beef Barley Soup, Spinach Salad (I don’t care if it’s still 90 degrees here-I’m making soup! Great crock pot meal since we will be gone all day)

 

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Steel-cut oats with pumpkin add-in
  • Lunch: Grilled cheese, tomato soup
  • Dinner: Crock pot roast beef, mashed potatoes, Spinach Casserole

Prep for Wednesday: Mix-up pancake batter

 

Wednesday:

 

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Homemade peanut butter chocolate chip granola with milk/ Greek yogurt (I eat a kid-sized bowl of this and eggs)
  • Lunch: Egg “McMuffins”, cottage cheese
  • Dinner:Out

 

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Steel-cut Oats (for the kids, eggs for me)
  • Lunch: Leftovers
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza

 

Saturday:

 

Sunday:

  • Breakfast: Eggs, toast
  • Lunch: Pizza Quesadillas, sliced cucumbers and avocado
  • Dinner: Cilantro Thai Chicken (I’ve made this recipe several times-I always add fresh lime juice and it is SO yummy), roasted cauliflower, green beans

 

Snacks:

 

What’s on your menu this week?

 

As always, I am happy to post recipes for anything I have not already linked to, just let me know in the comments!

Happy weekend y’all! It’s especially happy for me because this is the last weekend The Chick Magnet will have to be working for a while. Though it comes with a price-he will be switching to third shifts-it also comes with the nice bonus of having weekends off from now on. I can’t remember the last time he had a job with weekends off. Hooray!

 

As you probably know, if you have been a reader here for more than a couple of weeks, I started my new Saturday series, “Isn’t She Beautiful“, as a response to a “controversial” picture I posted on my Facebook page a few weeks ago, in which I dared to say that someone who was overweight AND pregnant was also BEAUTIFUL. I stand fully behind that statement, and because of the conversations that took place after I posted that picture, I decided that I had one more reason I should be blogging: so I can see and share about unexpected beauty-beauty that may not be defined by the world’s standards (i.e. a number on a scale or the amount of money in your wallet), but is beauty nonetheless.

 

Honestly, I am weary of feeling ugly myself-and while I am working diligently, on the outside and the INSIDE, in order to change the way I perceive myself, I STRONGLY believe, every woman, every PERSON deserves to KNOW and BELIEVE, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are beautiful. That is the whole point of this series-to celebrate beauty that may typically go unnoticed, uncelebrated.

 

I am so, so excited about this series and about the amazing people that I have lined up to write about. I want to keep this series going as long as possible, so I am also asking my readers to send in stories of people you consider beautiful. You can contact me via the comment form here, via a private message on my Facebook page, or via e-mail at fatchickfedup (at) gmail (dot) com. I would love to hear your stories! And if you want to read the series from start to finish, just visit the “Isn’t She Beautiful” page, linked here, and found in my right side bar.

 

Today, you should consider yourselves very, very lucky because I am introducing you to someone who is so, so special to me. I want you to meet my BEAUTIFUL baby sister, Danielle.

 

My sweet sis, Danielle, with her sweet hubby, Shannon

 

I shared last week about our other sister, Anjie, and if you recall I told you that she and I are as different as night and day. Danielle and I are freakishly similar. So much so that we were often asked if we were twins when we were younger, even though we have different fathers. Danielle is about 3 years younger than I, but she was always tall for her age, so we were usually about the same height (until she passed me by-stinker!). We both have dark hair and dark skin. But the similarities don’t stop there.

 

We also have similar personalities. We are both Type-A to the extreme. That expresses itself in different ways in our lives, but we are both very, very nit-picky. We laugh about the same things, we finish each other’s sentences at times, and we both have very similar outlooks on life and on our upbringing. What’s odd about that is that we didn’t even live together growing up.

 

Danielle lived with our mother and basically grew up as an only child. Anjie and I lived with our father. It certainly made for an interesting family dynamic, to be sure. I definitely suffered from the “middle child” syndrome as I was jealous of both my older and my younger sisters. It was hard for us to not see each other very often and it was hard for me that Danielle had our mom all to herself. But I think it went the other way as well-her basically being an only child, when we were there to visit it was a totally different environment for her and she had to get used to sharing our mother’s affections, and then we were gone again.

 

We only saw each other once every month or two, if we were lucky. As is often the case, absence made the heart grow fonder and we got along great. For about the first five minutes of any visit. In all reality, we actually got along much better than Anjie and I did. I think part of that was because we were close in age and part of it was that we weren’t together all the time.

 

But when we did fight, we sure had some doozies. I am going to go ahead and rat myself out here now, because if I don’t she will probably say it on my Facebook page or in the comments-I didn’t come by my nickname “Linda Blair” by accident (seriously, if you are too young to know who that is just google it-and her most famous screen role). When we did fight it could get vicious. And there may have been a time where I clawed her face. And drew blood. Maybe.

 

But, I digress. That’s ancient history. I mean, it was five years ago, but give me a break.

 

Kidding. Totally kidding.

 

But we did have some doozies, for sure. Of course, mysteriously, no one can ever remember anything bad Danielle did. She was just a victim. 😉

 

We also had lots and lots of fun. Some of my best childhood memories involve Danielle and some of the games we used to play. Like “camp”-which I think was just our mother’s trick to try and get us to go to sleep. We would pull the covers up over our head and pretend we were camping out under the stars. And then we fell asleep.

 

Or playing with our mother’s Mary Kay our of our dryer. We had a whole professional salon going. I have no idea why we thought the dryer was a good choice, but hey, it was fun.

 

And my personal favorite. Doctor. NO, no, not THAT kind of doctor. The kind of doctor in which we were constantly sick so we had to go to the doctor for our medicine. Which was Hershey’s Syrup, of course. Yeah, the food issues started very young.

 

Alas, we grew up. And just like our other sister, Danielle has become one of my best friends. One of my favorite qualities about Danielle is that she has to be one of THE most generous people I know. Danielle LOVES to give gifts. She loves to get them too (another thing we have in common-we might fancy ourselves princesses). But I don’t think I know anyone who is a better gift-giver than Danielle. She is so thoughtful and can always come up with the perfect way to celebrate someone.

 

She has thoroughly spoiled all of my children. I think she might be wondering when I am going to stop having kids to make it easier on her pocketbook. 😉 In all seriousness, though, Danielle is just a giver. Not just of gifts, but of herself. She has one of the biggest hearts that I know and is one of the most unselfish people I know. Unless you steal her butter-then you better watch out! (She knows she loves me!)

 

 

Danielle has been on her own weight-loss journey. The above picture was taken at her wedding (obviously) just over 3 years ago (and yes, those are my cuties with her-my oldest boy was the ring bearer). Since then she has lost about 100 pounds. She is seriously my weight-loss hero and I love her outlook on all of it.

 

She has this to say about her weight-loss success, “I think I just realized I was done with the weight thing, sort of.  It is never easy and every 5 pounds comes back twice as quick as it goes away.  I try not to be scale-obsessed, but if I’m not, it is way too easy to excuse a little weight gain here or there.  I am nowhere near what the “real” ideal weight chart says I should be, but I can’t imagine being too much lighter.  I feel like if I am limited to a couple of carrot and celery sticks a day just so I won’t gain an ounce back, that isn’t really a very exciting life.  I am able to have a “treat” and not feel too guilty!!”

 

I love that, don’t you? This is the ideal attitude towards food I am working towards myself. Not seeing food as the enemy and not seeing myself as its prisoner. Instead, I aim to develop a healthy relationship with food and let go of the guilt associated with certain foods. My sister is living proof that it can be done!

 

Here she is now

 

 

Isn’t she beautiful.

 

 

Hungry for Change

Hey everyone! For the last couple of weeks I have posted some interviews from the documentary “Hungry for Change”. I just received news that you can watch the entire documentary for FREE online, now until midnight on Saturday, October 6. I can’t recommend it enough. It was really eye-opening for me and I learned SO much from it. Check it out right here!

 

http://www.hungryforchange.tv/book-free-screening

Hey everyone! I hope your weekend is off to a great start! We have a busy weekend full of baseball games and hopefully visiting with my baby sister who is in town for a bachelorette weekend.

 

This is my third post of my new “Isn’t She Beautiful” series. If you are curious to know what and why of this series, just visit this post right here. I have also created a page with all the posts in order so that if you want to read them start to finish, you can. I will add to the list every week to make them easier to find. I hope you enjoy reading this series as much as I enjoy writing it!

 

Today, I have the special privilege of introducing you to someone who I have known since the day I was born. And I promise, I did not spell her name wrong in the title of this post.

 

Anjie, or Anjanette (hence the odd spelling) if you really want to make her mad (she’s always hated her first name), is my older sister. Amazingly, she is my only full-blooded sibling (I have one younger half-sister and two younger half-brothers-but they are my sister and brothers in the truest sense of the word) and we are as different as night and day. My younger sister and I were often mistaken as twins when we were young and even now if I introduce her to people, many will remark about the resemblance.

 

My older sister and I, however, could not be more different and most people are shocked when they find out that we are sisters. Anjie is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, vertically-challenged (ahem-you know you love me! ;)), effervescent, out-going (and out-spoken) kind of girl. As you all know, I am a dark-haired, quite a bit taller (though still on the short side myself), broody, introvert kind of girl.

 

“The Girls” ~ The baby, Danielle, me, Anjie and my daughter, Madison

 

Anjie has always been one of those people-you know the type-who can talk to anyone, at any time, about anything. She makes friends with everyone and has no qualms about striking up conversations with complete strangers. I, on the other hand, don’t share her confidence. I know you all will be shocked to learn that she was a cheerleader in high school. I…was not. Her career of choice? Sales.

 

Of all the people in the world though, despite how different we are on the outside, Anjie is probably the one person on earth who gets me more than anyone. She is the only one of my siblings who I actually lived with growing up. She understands our history and our family dynamics and where I come from and where I’ve been like no one else. We are incredibly close and I am just so, so proud of her.

 

When Anjie was about four years old, she almost died. I was just a wee lass in my mother’s belly when Anjie became very, very sick. At first, the doctors did not know what was wrong with her. She was throwing up blood and she was diagnosed with leukemia. I remember a few years back my grandmother telling me that was one of two times she ever saw my father cry.

 

Fortunately, though, the doctor’s initial diagnosis was incorrect. Instead, Anjie had something called haemolytic anemia. Haemolytic anemia is a rare and severe form of anemia caused by a high rate of red blood cell destruction. Severe haemolytic anemia requires prompt treatment, or it often proves fatal. Thankfully, the great medical team at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, despite the initial diagnosis, was able to react and treat Anjie quickly enough that she made a full recovery and has had no lasting effects of her illness to this day.

 

I remember my mom telling me a story of something Anjie did after they got home from the hospital. One day my mom was standing at the end of the driveway and Anjie came outside and her face was as white as a ghost. Understandably, my mom took one look at her and started to get really scared. She made her way up the driveway to Anjie, only to discover she had painted herself with white shoe polish. Hilarious? Oh yeah. So like her to give her parent a heart attack? Yep, that too.

 

Anjie and I are just under five years apart. We were inseparable for a long while. And then that girl hit puberty. And I wasn’t the cute, sweet baby sister anymore. I was the bratty, annoying sister who wanted to be her shadow and do whatever she was doing. For quite some time, we NEVER got along. Sure, there were a few bright moments in there where we supported each other and gave each other a shoulder to lean on. But for both of us, throughout our high school years, things were rather tumultuous. It was a really, really hard time for both of us and for our whole family.

 

If I was being really honest, and you know I am, I was a little resentful and a lot jealous. She always got along with everyone and I always struggled. Everyone loved her and there were a few times I was asked, “Why can’t you be more like Anjie?” I think Anjie was so happy-go-lucky, that our family was surprised when I was the polar opposite. I always felt like they favored her. I know now that wasn’t true and it had more to do with her not getting into trouble and me causing it. 😉

 

She happened to graduate right at a particularly tough time in the life of our family. She went on a vacation to New Jersey right after she graduated…and she never came back. Meanwhile, my dad and step-mom got a divorce and in the blink of an eye we went from being a family of 6 to it just being me and my dad. I felt a little abandoned.

 

Of course, none of that was Anjie’s fault. And if I was in her position, I am sure I would have got the you-know-what out of dodge too. In fact, there were a few times where I tried to do just that. But in my immature, adolescent mind, I felt like I had lost the one person who protected me and understood me.

 

It wasn’t until I got married and started having children that we started to pick up the pieces of our relationship and seek healing, restoration and forgiveness. It sure wasn’t hard to do. I had kids and I wanted her to be a part of their lives and she was madly in love with them. It was simple really. And it truly, truly felt like coming home, finally, when we decided to right past wrongs.

 

Today, 10 years later, Anjie is one of my best friends. Though distance still separates us, she is one of the first people I call and turn to when I am struggling with something. We laugh and poke fun of each other. I make short jokes and blonde jokes and she makes jokes about me being called “Linda Blair” when I was younger. We don’t fight, we don’t argue, there are no grudges. It’s just easy.

 

I bet most of you don’t even know who Linda Blair is, and if you do you just got a deeper look into my psyche than you ever wanted to see. 😉

 

It hasn’t always been this way and I am so thankful to God for bringing beauty out of ashes. Something that could have been dead and ugly, is alive and beautiful. I am so, so thankful for my sister and that my kids have such an amazing, amazing aunt. They are so blessed. I am so blessed.

 

The thing is-while a lot has changed, there is a lot that hasn’t changed. We are still as different as night and day. We still don’t look a thing alike or act a thing alike. She is still out-going and upbeat and positive-a definite extrovert. I am still a melancholy, pessimistic, introvert. She is Tigger. I am Eeyore.

 

I am a stay-at-home mom. She is a successful career-woman who makes a living selling airtime for television affiliates across the country. She works in downtown Philadelphia (when she isn’t working from home) and, though born and raised a midwestern girl, she is east coast through and through. I’m country. And she’s rock and roll. And I love how different we are. It’s what makes us so beautiful.

 

And she is a crazy sports fan. And when I say crazy, I really mean psychotic. I don’t even think fan is a strong enough word to describe her.

 

Anjie recently started her own weight-loss journey with Weight Watchers. She has lost over 25 pounds so far (and she has a lot less to lose than I do, as you can see from our pictures) and is doing so well. She has gone from a size 16 to a size 10. I am insanely proud of her.

 

The thing is-I was proud of her before. She doesn’t have to look a certain way or act a certain way for me to see her beauty. She doesn’t have to be a certain size, or a certain shape, or really change a thing about her to be beautiful. She just is.

 

Anjie dancing with our brother Matt at my wedding

 

Isn’t she beautiful.

 

And yes, I intentionally did not put a question mark at the end of that sentence, so grammar nazis, back-off (you know you are out there!). It wasn’t a question. It was a statement of fact. Isn’t she beautiful.

 

How many of you have a beautiful sister? Give a shout out in the comments! I am so blessed to have TWO!