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Monday, January 20, 2014

january 2014 {life}

sometimes life doesn't exactly go the way you thought, and while my life isn't as bad as a les mis song {i dreamed a dream....}, it certainly wasn't what i envisioned for my forties. everyone says your forties are the best years, well in some ways mine have been, but in other ways they have not.

my thyroid issues took over much of the last three years of my life. it's strange living with chronic pain from an illness that doesn't have a cure, but does have treatment to be managed. so that's where i am currently. after having the radiation done last november, being in seclusion for a week and staying away from most people for another week, i was really no better or no worse. i wanted to see results quickly but knew from what my doctors had told me, that i wouldn't notice a "serious change" until eight to twelve weeks had passed. um? that's two months, BEST case, and three months if my body was a lazy bugger. which, it turns out, it was and is.


in the last week or so, i have noticed significant change and i want to jump for joy. no seriously. i do. usually, a typical day for me is waking up to an upset stomach which was more than debilitating. it absolutely decided whether or not i would stay at home or venture outside to run errands or enjoy a day. if the pain was just too much, i laid low and kept close to home. yes yes, i was on medications. in all, and at the height of the worst of it, i think i took somewhere around 26 a day. the most being a beta blocker (250mgs a day) and a stomach pill (Bentyl) that i took no less than four times a day...just to keep the stomach muscles from going insane. it was honestly some of the worst pain i'd ever experienced in my entire life, but i've been told that i have a high tolerance for pain so maybe it could have been worse? lord. i can't imagine that.

so back to these last two weeks.

life has been grand. i've gone out and enjoyed being with friends, gotten outside and have organized and cleaned stuff that i had completely put on the back burner to do "when i felt better." well, now i feel better and i have really enjoyed getting back to my old life. the one thing i have noticed was the change in my intestines... not to get too graphic, but i would be in the bathroom up to about eight to twelve times a day. now we're down to a manageable three or four. that's life-changing, people. seriously i can't even get over it. the stomach pain has all but vanished, only popping up a couple days a week--which i can deal with, certainly.

i'm off everything i used to take and now i'm on the thyroid pill to keep me regulated. it's kinda unreal. i never expected this to happen. i thought i would have to live my life with this sickness because nothing really seemed to work, and now that the radiation has worked, i have some hope for the future.

the downside:

it seems that the biggest side effect of the RAI is getting your thyroid to really shut down which in turn shuts down your metabolism. sigh. so i'm creeping along and in the last month have put on about fifteen pounds. that's more than a dress size, which bothers me, but i'm trying to decide which i'd prefer. a size 16/18 pants or being sick at home and not wanting to live life. hmmm.... tough question? nope. not a chance.

so once i start to have consecutive days and weeks where i feel GOOD, not just okay, but GOOD, i'm going to do swimming in the morning and walking with my best friend. i've not been able to do any of that for a while since i had such weakness, that there was no way i could exert myself like that. but now? now i have great hopes.

the nice thing is, it's still winter and i have a few months to get a good twenty-five pounds off of me, and i have the energy to do it, thank the lord. lol

the other day i stood on the scale, it was a tuesday, and the number was expected. the following day the number was 13 pounds higher. i stood on it again. punched the start button again. the same. 13 pounds? so i started going crazy, complaining to jeff about it, and so he said to check it the next day. i did and i was down 6 pounds and the next day up 3 and the next day down 10. it is just nuts. so i'm not sure what's going on, but the point is, until my body gets regulated a little bit, there's no point in standing on the scale. lol it won't give me an accurate reading anyway. from what i've read online this is par for the course. so i'll deal with things but in the meantime, i'm going to exercise and enjoy life because i really do feel good. it makes me happy.

so here's a few pictures from late july to mid-january taken from my instagram account...

my parents and our family went to oak island this past summer. we had a lovely time. not sure we will go back there, i think my kids would enjoy more shell-searching than ocean-surfing.

this was a low day for me and sometimes you need to step back and realize that you can always choose joy...even when it's incredibly difficult.

threw a surprise party for jeff's 45th birthday and also a quasi-graduation party for him, too. fun was had by all.

 around that same time, our beloved sallie was getting frail. we knew about a year ago that she didn't have too much longer with us, because she was diagnosed with lupus. i didn't know dogs could get diseases like that, anyway, ultimately it took her life and we were heartbroken to see her leave us. below is where she's buried... it's a seriously good view. {love you salliegirl}

 she is missed...

everyone was so sad to lose sallie, that i thought maybe a couple applie pies would help. good food can heal the soul...

 i have been addicted to this for a while now, i never knew it existed until recently. duh.

took on a painting project with moon. this is the third floor of our church--youth floor. god love her. at one point, after hours sitting on the hard floor, painting, she turns to me and says, "i need to tell you something." what? i say. and she says, "i hate you right now. i just thought you should know that." lol cracked me up. ultimately it took us an entire week to finish this project...

 and i think it was worth it... it turned out beautifully.

true story.

 all throughout the year, jeff performs weddings. last year he performed about 75.
i know. kinda wild. sometimes i go and snap iphone pics. for christmas, he bought me photography lessons to hopefully do something more professional. sometimes people don't have a photographer and by all means, i'm not fabulous, but i figure it's worth a shot. plus, i love it. for years, i've done my own photography with jewelry but people are completely different, still going to try my hand at it. what do i have to lose?

i listened to this book on my iphone and loved it. i think it was better than reading it... from what i've been told.

this was right before i went away to have radiation. last meal before i left. it's beef and mushrooms with thyme. pioneer woman recipe. link here: Beef Stew with Mushrooms

 i'd just returned from being away for seven days... happy to be with my wonderful family. they're what makes life so worth it. i don't know what i would do without these faces. funny story: since i'd just returned, and my mom was here helping all that time while i was away, she wanted to spend thanksgiving with my dad back in ohio, so this was our first thanksgiving with just the six of us. i didn't have a lot of energy to stand, let alone make a dinner, so we all had thai food in lexington. hilarious. i kept wanting to sing Far Rar Rar the whole time in honor of A Christmas Story. :)
{jeff took photo, he was there too! :)}

had a girls sleepover at church. sometimes i don't always have the brightest ideas, and this was my reaction. turns out the sleepover was a lot of fun. :) looking forward to doing it again in the springtime.

 natalie's first big swim meet. she placed first in both of her heats. cool stuff!

flashback friday pic. the upper picture was taken in 2007 and the bottom was taken in 2013. i cannot believe how much they have changed. while i'm sure they will continue to change as they grow, i know that they look a lot like they will as adults and it makes my heart so sad. as much as i LOVE them at this stage in life, i miss those wild looks, crazy days and easy weekends where we were all together. life gets so busy, it makes me thankful for winter when you're forced to slow down and take it easy.

natalie isn't a hugger, so it was nice that she indulged and let nicole, who is a hugger, hug her! LOL

 the eller grandkids. time sure flies. upper left-hand corner is faith and morgan. jeff's brother's girls.
clockwise: faith, morgan, nicole, nadine, nathaniel, and natalie.

happy new year! 2014 will be our best year yet!
we're building a house. i feel good health-wise. jeff is teaching. kids are busy.
life is good.

thyroid disease awareness month. it's always good to be aware.

recent date night with jeff. jobeth bookstore's cafe. you can never go wrong with their coffees and tiramisu. best in town.

what i'm currently listening to right now. omg. amazing.

 we had a snow day a couple weeks ago, and not for snow, but for extreme cold.
that's all we really seem to get here in kentucky these days. we haven't seen a good snow in a few years. oh well. could be worse. my folks are buried under snow right now. anyway, jeff made his
fabulous chili and we always top it with cheddar cheese, fresh chopped cilantro and sour cream.
i wish i had a little diner place where you could all try it.

 kinda my new year's resolutions. lol no really. it's true.

 happy 2014 to everyone! i hope to be back in the shop this week and have some things for valentine's day. with life taking such a crazy turn, i haven't been able to do much except the custom order now and then, but now that i'm feeling better (and my eye isn't so insane!) i'm going to get back to it.

see you soon!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

i've been busy with life {and my thyroid issues}...

hi friends! i have missed you all so much. in a nutshell, i've been away because my health has been not-so-great. my thyroid decided to go wonky and well, it has been stressful--to say the least.

i was finally diagnosed with Grave's Disease. not a death sentence by any means, but it certainly made my everyday life difficult. i was exhausted all the time and it just wasn't getting any better. my eye started to enlarge but now that i'm good, strong meds things are much better.

soon, i'll have to either have surgery or do the RAI procedure. i'll keep you posted. :)

this post is laurie-picture-heavy. i am so sorry! i'm making up for being a bad blogger for the last few months!

this was taken in january (yes. there are christmas trees with twinkle lights in the background. i call those my lovely ambient light trees). you can see my eye pretty well in this photo. this was at the height of annoyance.

and this is what i do when i'm trying to make my eye not-so-noticeable. :) LOL
it totally works. i KNOW. heh heh.

and this was me a few weeks ago. you can see my eye is looking much better.

in other news...

i've fallen in love with these. i can't get enough!

and it's summer. you know what that means. weddings!
jeff and i went to a wedding together recently. i so love hanging with my fella.

right after this photo, he did this:

i know. you don't have to tell me.
he's crazy. it's a good thing i like him, huh!?
maybe he's working on his pirate face skills? i'm not sure.

the other great thing about summer? sitting by the pool with my kids.
this was my mother's day hat. i am in love with her.

all of these photos are on my instagram online profile. you don't do instagram?
what?! that's just crazy, right there. get with the program, already. :)

other than has just been, well... life! been living and getting into all sorts of trouble. giggles.

i'm going to move the sale. we didn't have internet access at all yesterday and i couldn't do any work so i'm going to move it to monday. :) i have some adorable earrings coming. you know, the easy every day kind that i love so much.

how's summer treating you? we're all okay over here. big hugs and try to stay cool!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover {book review monday}

 {sorry i've been MIA for a couple mondays. i've been under-the-weather...}

so here we go.... 


by Colleen Hoover

i thoroughly loved this book despite it being more mature than Colleen's other books, Slammed and Point of Retreat, both of which i liked, but did not 'love.'

there was just something about the synopsis that captured my attention and thought i should give it a try, even if i did have to actually "read" the book (rather than listen like i did with Slammed and POR).

this is a touching story with great comic relief--that truly caught me off guard. i found myself laughing out loud all over the place. even as the story depends and their relationship is tested, the humor is still there. i liked getting to know the characters in a more personal way unlike some books where you're begging for any scrap to tell you who the characters are, or are not. Colleen is not such a writer. she gives it all, tells you everything and spills out even more. sometimes the wait kills me and i want to shake my fist in the air and scream "why?" but i know it's for my own good. patience is a virtue, after all, and Hopeless was no exception. normally i'm looking for the steamy scenes to hurry up and happen already, but Ms. Hoover makes us wait, giving us the first kiss at 35%. sheesh. the crazy thing is that i didn't even care. you're so consumed with the two of them doing everything the right way and not screwing up any "firsts", that you're right there with Holder and his views on that first.... kiss.

there's so much more to this story than just a romance, there's a complicated and tragic story too. i felt as if i was right there with them, dealing with each emotional hill to climb. it was a great ride for a stand-alone book.

if you're a lover of Slammed and Point of Retreat, then you'll fall in love with Hopeless. i did.

you can check out Colleen's website HERE.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday's book review: On Dublin Street

because i've been doing a ton of reading lately (shocker), i decided to start a Monday's Book Review of whatever i'm reading. if i like the reviewing of books, i'll add other days too, but for now, let's just stick with monday's shall we? good. thanks.

now, to warn you, my current favorite genre is adult erotica romance, and while that might not be your cup-o-tea, it's mine and this is my blog. so there. if the book doesn't have an HEA (happily ever after) i really won't read it. it's just that simple, people. good ending yes. bad ending no. easy.

plus, i've had a dry spell with my posts and maybe writing about what i'm reading will help get me back into the swing of blogging.

so i'm going to start with On Dublin Street, recommended to me via Maryse. if you don't read her blog, she's a great resource for all things romance and paranormal. i'm beginning with this book simply because i just finished it and it's still fresh in my mind.

this particular book i listened to, but i also have it in e-reader format. 

On Dublin Street

by Samantha Young

now in my early forties, i find myself in a teenage wonderland of adult erotica, but after a recent running jag on that genre i thought i'd try On Dublin Street. it had great reviews from my favorite book blog, Maryse, but a lot of her reviews can be upbeat and not always my taste.

this book was so good, right from the start. i listened to it back-to-back because i just couldn't let the characters "go" -- and put them back on the shelf, so-to-speak.

jocelyn meets braden whilst sharing a cab. there's instant attraction but end up exiting the cab without exchanging any personal information. jocelyn rents a flat with ellie, who ends up being braden's sister--what a great twist to it too, because while i kinda figured it out, it was fun to watch it unfold in the story.

jocelyn has issues that she rarely, if ever, speaks of, and braden is interested in getting with jocelyn however he can. they set up a "friends with benefits" agreement to last three months. it's during those three months where we are put through the ringer of emotional turmoil with jocelyn, but oh, how i loved the ride.

braden is tender yet incredibly fun and quick-witted. i think he's my new christian grey. sigh. the chemistry between them is completely infectious, the banter fantastic. i found myself giggling all over the place and let's not forget the steamy scenes. oh my word, they were amazing. my heart was beating out of my chest.

the character development was excellent and i hear that there's a second book to come out may 7th, about one of the characters mentioned in this book. so of course, i'll be getting book two as well. also, the narration was superb and it made the book so enjoyable.

give it a try, even if you LOVED or HATED Fifty Shades, this is nothing like that (no paddling, weird sex or angry sex scenes in Dublin). it was refreshingly sweet but still had a great deal of drama.

i adored On Dublin Street and i think you will too.

updated 1.29.13: i found a "christmas edition" story from my goodreads search. here's the linky over on smexybooks' blog. i can't wait to read this. :) love joss and braden. click HERE to read the christmas short by samantha.

ps: these opinions are strictly my own, i was not paid to write my review

Friday, January 4, 2013

earrings sale wednesday, january 9th

originally, my sale was going to be today but a few of my necessary findings didn't arrive as planned so i'm pushing it to the 9th. definitely check back because there's some darling pairs perfect for a new outfit or just to make your day brighter.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

it's been a long year!

hi friends,

where did september and october go, and for that matter what about november!? i know what you're thinking, where have i been this year? well, it's been a long one with jeff finishing school in may and then student teaching during the fall into winter. he has five days left. i can hardly believe it myself! time certainly does fly... and this time, i'm thrilled and overjoyed about the end of the year. :)

we also have big news for our family... after nine years on old hickory, we've bought a house less than a mile away and i simply love it. now it needs work, don't get me wrong, but we wanted to stay living downtown so the kids can enjoy freedom on the weekends. the girls get together with friends and walk downtown, grabbing breakfast or lunch, then heading to the corner pharmacy for a milk shake. they might stop at some local shops while there and then head home. it's such a great town, i will never move.

so. back to the house. it's old. like over 100 years old, but we have an entire acre and to find that in the middle of downtown versailles is crazy! we are so excited to have parties and friends over... we plan to do major remodeling next year or when jeff lands a new job. the house needs a new front porch so we'll be removing the current porch for something that looks like this...

we'd like a more craftsman-type house and this house has exactly what we're looking for... plus i love the color scheme. you like?

a friend posted this on facebook and i laughed because it's totally true. take note. (totally random thought, i know, but just amuse me. i haven't talked to you in a long time)

sofa in the new old house.... more pictures to come soon.

if you follow me on instagram, you know that i love to post my latest obsession... wedgie shoes....

i've been wearing these a lot lately--even if it's chilly outside.

 totally crushing on the red gingham.

you would NOT believe how comfy these are!

aren't these fabulous!? i managed to snag all three pairs for under thirty bucks. i know, right? i was sad to put them away for a season, but spring will be here before we know it. anyway, i post this sort of stuff to my instagram wall... yet another obsession slash addiction. :)

friends, the sale is just around the corner. i've been busy with custom orders but in the next week i'll be finishing all the items for my annual online holiday sale. it's going to be big this year, with lots of items and so many new items...i'm shooting for Thursday, December 13th. everything will ship by that Saturday, just in time for Christmas. i won't be offering anything else for this year so grab things at the sale.

have a great weekend and i'll see you really soon!\

ps: moon took a new photo of me... what do you think? i've gone super blonde and i'm really loving it. not too shabby for a 41 year old, right? :) truth be told: i have more gray than not--thus the color change. i'm just not ready to go all-over-gray and be a grandma with no grandkids yet. ha! :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

the stephens came for a visit!

back row, L to R: hazel, natalie, nathaniel, charlie
front row, L to R: mary, lacy, dixie, nicole, nadine
my dearest childhood friend came to visit and of course, brought her crew along with her. they are seriously the traveling kind, and i'm so glad too because it's always so nice to see them. do you remember their other visits? here or here perhaps? everyone is growing up and turning into fully-grown people!

carie is expecting baby number seven. can you believe it? i know. me neither. our house was busy while they were here and we were sad to see them go.... until next time, dear friends!