FBF: Our Sweet Surprise!

The day after Thanksgiving, I had grown super frustrated.  I was 14 days late, extremely bloated, and so very sick of everyone suggesting that I may be pregnant that I actually had my husband bring me a pregnancy test while I was at work (at my family’s business).  We were not in the point in our lives where we were “trying” so we had measures in place, and to top it off, a few months prior I had been curious so I took some home tests and we realized I wasn’t even ovulating (we assumed because of my weight).  We had made a plan to take some time and lose the weight so I could be the healthiest version of myself when I carried a baby.  With that said, I confidently walked into the bathroom like it was any other time knowing that I would come out and wave that test around telling everyone “I told you so!”

“Pregnant 1-2 Weeks”  Excitement. Confusion. Bewilderment. Awe. Back to Excitement. Fear. Overwhelmed. Panicked. Excited again.  Amazed.  I cannot even tell you the roller coaster of emotions I went on all just in 30 seconds.  I’m a very logical person and things just were not lining up for me.  We were taking precautions.  To top it off, I wasn’t even ovulating.  (We later learned that when I had joined Weight Watchers and lost 20 pounds, my body must have kick started back up on the ovulation front.) But wait.  I was at work. My mom and brother were on the other side of the door.  Thankfully, my husband hadn’t left yet.

I always imagined telling my husband he was going to be a father in a sweet way involving a photo shoot he would reluctantly agree to and then I would have a sign and the photographer would be able to capture his joyful reaction and we would have that memory to share forever and ever.  Ha!  Nope, instead, our sweet moment involved me pulling him into the bathroom so he could be the first person to know.  I’m pretty sure I accidentally got pee on him when I shoved the pregnancy test in his hand to tell him we were pregnant.  However, I must admit, it was still the sweet and loving moment I had always dreamed of.  I think the last time I saw my husband so happy and full of pure joy was on our wedding day.  Nothing was how I always dreamed it would be.  I was at work.  In a bathroom frequently used by more people than just my immediate family.  At a time where we were completely surprised…and scared.  But seeing my husband so happy, so proud, and so in awe of God’s ways made me realize this was perfect.

Those of you who know us, or have even read my blog before, know how closely we hold our faith.  Finding out we were pregnant was a new challenge that God has been walking us through from the very moment we found out.  I will never be able to tell my husband how much I appreciate him immediately sensing my fear and reminding me that God’s plan is so much bigger and better than our own plans & no matter what happened in these next 9 months or these next 18 years, we will continue to believe in that.

Our moment.  Crazy.  Unconventional.  So frightening.  In a bathroom.  But perfect.

3 Years in 1 Post

3 years have gone by since I have sat down to write.  It’s crazy to look back on past posts, where my life was, and where I have been since.  I thought it only be appropriate that I do a quick update on where life has taken me since I last wrote.

1. I bought a house!

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Just a little bit after graduating college, I had the opportunity to buy my sister’s home from her and her husband.  It’s a cozy ranch in my hometown & other than preferences [of which my sister & I usually have the polar opposite] it was completely move-in ready.

2. I got a puppy!

Well, now he’s basically a grown man but he’s been the light of our lives & so much joy to have everyday.  I always thought it was silly when people said that dogs were a try-out for kids, but honestly, taking care of another living thing is a lot of work.  I really couldn’t imagine our daily life without Alfred.  It’s just always so nice to come home after a long day to a dog that has no problems and whose only obligation for the day is to greet you and love on you.  (and eat the occasional tissue)

3. I got married!

I still get chills when I think about our wedding day.  Emanuel was so handsome and I just couldn’t believe I was getting to marry this man who exceeds any expectations of who I thought I would end up with.

4. We are expecting!!!

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This is probably my main reason for coming back to this journey I started so long ago.  What is one of the happiest times of our lives can also sometimes be overshadowed since I am clinically obese.  We are so happy & really trusting God with this journey, but we can’t help but always think about that list that the doctor gave us with complications and risks of being pregnant and overweight.  I’m hoping that along this journey I can be transparent and ultimately help any other women who find themselves in my position. Happy, excited & scared all at the same time.

My next few posts will be about my pregnancy, but I hope to also take everyone along the journey of getting our home ready, getting our pup ready, and everything else that life throws our way.

Why Being Called A Fatass in the Kroger Parking Lot Was a Really Good Experience

Okay. Maybe it wasn’t at first. As a matter of fact, after some random people yelled that out their window at me while I was loading my groceries- and after I got over the shock. I got in my car and called my fiancé. Then I called my mommy. And I cried. It hurt. They didn’t know me. They didn’t know that I just spent my evening at a Zumba class and that I was loading only healthy groceries into my car because I’m truly making efforts towards a healthier life. They know nothing about me. So heck yeah. Those bullies hurt my feelings. And I cried sobbed.

But as I got home and got my head back on straight. I thought more about my night as a whole and couldn’t help but be thankful for this awful human interaction. And to explain why, I have to rewind to about an hour and a half earlier in my night. I got to see my fiancé for only about 30 minutes and I spent most of that time degrading myself. For being overweight. For being unhealthy. That my wedding dress is going to be such a big size. So many things I was dwelling on and most of them had to do with how I look.

So now fast forward to when those buttheads (let’s call a spade a spade – these people were huge buttheads) yelled out their window at me. And a little bit further to me sitting here on my couch. And what now? Well, in the words of the brilliant lyricist Taylor Swift, everything has changed. And I can truly say I’m thankful for getting bullied by some strangers in an Expedition. And it’s not just a front. I am truly grateful. You see, for the past few weeks, and tonight especially, I’ve been so focused on me. My wedding. My weight. My hair. My house. My money. My career. It’s just been the Dana Show and tonight taught me that my attention needs to be elsewhere.

My problems are nothing compared to the fact that there are still people out there that do not know love. Or at least true love. True love would not leave you so insecure that you need to be unloving to other people. True love would inspire to love other people. Without true love, I don’t know how anyone has fulfillment. Or joy. Or hope. And that makes me want to cry for completely different reasons than an hour ago in my car.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I am a Christian. I believe that God created us in his image. But sin entered the picture and separated us from God because He is perfect and we became imperfect. And people spent a lot of time trying to reach him, but we failed. So God came down to us instead. He sent His Son, Jesus. And then Jesus died on a cross to pay the debt for our sins in ways that sacrifices and offerings couldn’t. He did this so we can know God once again and the only thing we have to do to know His love in its fullness is just believe in this. That gracious gift is what I personally think is true love.

So. Do you agree with me? If you don’t, that’s okay. I guess it’s just something to think about. And I’m happy that you at least read this far. I just wanted to tell you this, what people refer to as the gospel, because what kind of person would I be if I knew what I truly believed is true love and didn’t tell you. Then I would be the big butthead. But I hope there is someone around you that loves you with a true love. And that can inspire you.

If you do, then I think you can also agree that there are people out there that just need a darn hug. The world needs more love. The world needs more hope. I hope that we start feeling some responsibility for it. Because what kinds of followers of Christ would we be if we ignore His command to love one another with the same kind of love that he loves us with.

Soooooooo, in conclusion, this is me.

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I am overweight. I have crazy hair. My makeup never looks all that great. And I had to try this picture at 4 different angles to eliminate my double chin. I will continue to work on my health for the right reasons – because I have a responsibility to do that. But I will go to bed tonight thankful that some butthead put things in perspective for me. This world and it’s needs are a lot bigger than my life.

The FOMO treatment plan

When I went away to college I was blessed by finding myself a part of a wonderful community.  I literally had something to do every night with someone.  I rarely ever ate a meal alone.  & I always had someone to talk with and process my day with.  I felt so involved and was constantly invited to be a part of other people’s lives.  It was a wonderful experience.

I have realized, however, it had a consequence on me.  Since I was constantly surrounded by other people and involved in so much I think that I felt like I was always on the inside. & that made me develop a mad case of FOMO.  Fear of Missing Out. This commercial better explains FOMO and some of it’s symptoms.

So now that I’ve been so open and vulnerable with you.  I want you to ask yourself…Do I have FOMO? You see, my roommate works nights and my boyfriend has 2 jobs so there are often nights where I find myself at home by myself.  This used to terrify me.  Feeling like I’m all alone at home and there is so much going on out in the world that I am missing out on.  But, I have come up with a little treatment plan that involves things other than binging on Netflix to help others that might share this struggle with me.

1. Read a darn book. & something with substance.  Whether it be a biography, or inspirational novel o, The Bible, or a book about your industry or trade.  Read.  Anything.  Currently I am reading The Spy Who Loved which is a biography about Christine Granville who was a courageous woman who wanted to do her part during World War II and became a spy.

2. Study your trade. Does your work have any online training you can do at home?  Is there anything you can do that isn’t too stressful?  Like write thank you notes to your customers or even just go over things to get you ready for the day or week ahead?

3. Cook for the future.  Do you have a favorite soup that is a little time consuming to make?  Throw it together and make it while you’re going to be home.  Then separate it into single servings in freezer safe containers.  I use these glass 13oz containers.  Now if you ever have a craving for it but don’t have the time to make it, you can take one or two servings out of the freezer, heat it up in a sauce pan, and enjoy.

4. Get creative. I am not necessarily an expert in arts & crafts – but every once in a while it can be very soothing.  You don’t have to get crazy.  There are lots of little things that you can do that are simple and a one night project that the least creative person in the world can do.  I like to make these seasonal yarn wreaths from time to time.

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5. Plan your next home improvement project.  Home owning is work. & there are always things to do.  If I have a project I want to work on, it takes a lot of brainstorming and planning.  Nights in the house are always good nights to figure out logistics.

6. Budget. & what to home improvement projects take? Money!  Plan it out!  As well as all your other monthly expenses.  I’m a firm believer in budgeting and balancing my checkbook.  I feel that these are things that are no longer stressed in our lives that are very important.  To me, at least.

7. Hand write letters to your friends. This is another lost art.  It’s so much fun getting mail and sending mail so every once in a while I like to get out my stationary and send some of my college friends a hand-written letter.

8. Get in touch with your emotions. I am a firm believer in a good cry.  & I’m not afraid to admit it.  It’s something I would recommend to just about anyone.  How do you go about this, you ask?  Well, thanks to YouTube, it’s actually pretty easy.  All you have to do is search for the following: [1] proposal videos [2] wedding videos [3] soldiers returning & surprising their families [4] soldiers being reunited with their dogs [5] some music videos like this one:

9. Just Be. I’m not sure if this is something everyone does, or just a Dana thing.  But there are some nights where I just can’t process anything and I just need to be.  So I just turn on some worship music and hang out.  maybe I lay down.  Maybe I sing and worship along.  Maybe I read my Bible.  But the main goal is to just shut out the world and relax.

10. & if absolutely none of these things work.  Then I guess there is always Netflix and Hulu.

The Craziness of Life

Life got nuts!  I want to get back into blogging, but it’s going to take a little time.  I thought I would give a quick update on what’s been going on in my life.

1. I BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!! I think the only thing I’ve been more excited about thus far in my life is the arrival of my nephews!  Moving back home, I realized that I would be here for good and decided that someday, I would like to buy my sister’s house from her and my brother in law.  Well, that day came sooner than I thought it would.  (about 3 years sooner!)  But I couldn’t be more excited!  & since we never do things the simple way around here, I had about six months between when I closed on the house and when I actually got the keys and started making it my home.  (Hopefully pictures to come)

2. I’ve obtained myself a fella.  It happened fast and I’m still trying to figure out how in the world I deserve him, but I’ve been blessed with him and I’m a happy girl.

3. I had a health scare and then huge relief.  I recently had a little surgery to remove and biopsy a mass that was in my breast.  It was honestly the scariest 2 or 3 weeks I had ever experienced waiting to have the surgery and I was a hot mess but I learned a lot about myself.  Like for instance, when I’m stressed, I may get a bit snippy.  & When I say I may get a bit snippy, I mean, I basically turn into a monster.  Something for me to work on, I suppose.

4. Lots and Lots of other little things that have brought so much joy into my life that I’m sure I will get to as I attempt to get back into blogging.

A Year and A Half Later, Now What?

Tonight I was sitting at home, budgeting and trying to decide what to paint next in my house, and I got a text from my fella asking me about The One Dress Project because he was talking about it with someone.  Instead of typing out the big long description, I sent him a link to this page, and figured that would be enough.  I couldn’t help but be surprised when he texted me back that he didn’t know I had a blog about it.  But now, as I sit here thinking about the grey dress that was such a big part of my senior year of college, and the women and children that were the reason behind it all, I got so upset with myself.  I tried to tell myself “it’s okay, you still pray for them often.”  But then I couldn’t help but ask, do I pray because I’m genuinely still caring for these children of God, or out of habit?  I don’t talk about it nearly as much as I used to.  & don’t they say that what you talk about the most is what has truly captured your heart?

And now, I’m even more sad.  Because when I tried to figure out what I have been talking about lately, I basically seem reallllly superficial.  Recently, my life has been consumed with making the most perfect home and making money to provide for that home.  If I haven’t been talking about paint, or furniture, I’ve been talking about meal planning or my move in date.  But some day, I’m going to move away from that home.  I’m going to move on to a different one.  Or (not to be morbid, but) I’m going to die and leave it behind.  My money will also go away someday. And all of this brought me back to the sermon that my pastor gave a couple weeks ago.  It was a powerful sermon that kind of landed on this scripture:

“…What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes?”  [James 4:14]

There is so much about me and my life that is temporary.  Things such as my health, my finances, my home – those are all things that I absolutely want to put time and thought into. Those are good things to think about and be responsible with.  But they are temporary.  But eternal things?  People’s souls.  God’s Kingdom.  You know, the things that I’ve been putting just about no focus on?

It’s time for a prayerful refocus.  Time to get my head back in the eternal game.  Time to get the focus off of myself, and onto the Lord and his people. Time to be better.  Lawwwwwwwd, help me.  

Progress. Slowwww Progress.

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At the very beginning of my journey, i made two jars to give me a little motivation.  As you can see, the first one represents how many pounds I would like to lose and the second represents how many pounds I have lost thus far.  I really think this has helped a huge amount.  It is very encouraging to be able to put a ball into the pounds defeated jar & extremely humbling to have to slowly and regretfully toss a ball back into the pounds to lose jar.

For the past few weeks, there has been no movement in these jars.  Which is a bittersweet fact.  I like that I haven’t had to reverse any of my progress, but I know full well that I’ve been pretty stagnant in my journey to be the healthiest me I can be.

But honestly, for anyone who is looking for a little bit of motivation, I would recommend this method.  It was inexpensive and it is something that has given me so much encouragement and affirmation that I truly am getting somewhere.  Since I have it on my dresser in my bedroom, I’ve found it to be the extra push I need to change into my gym clothes and go work out.  Not to mention, if you pick the right colors, it can add a nice accent to your room decor. 😉

So, hopefully with the help of my Jump Start Plan, I can get those little guys moving in the right direction.

A Little Jump Start

So my journey to the healthiest me I can be (can I get annnnny cheesier?) has been put on the back burner while life got a little crazy.  However, being the woman of action I am, I have come up with a plan.  A plan to give me a little jump start to get back on track.  I came up with a few goals.

1. Wake up a half an hour earlier each day so I can make myself a decent breakfast.  I have found that my breakfast is usually sacrificed for a little more sleep & sometimes I find myself not eating until I’ve already been awake for 3 or 4 hours.

2. Take my vitamins.  I’ve been told that I’m pretty low on Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12. And when I am faithful in taking my vitamins daily, I have WAY more energy which leads to being way less tempted to use the fact that I’m drained as an excuse to not work out.  It’s allllll connected.

3. Have at least one “green” meal a day.  Whether it’s lunch or dinner, I’m going to make one meal a day a salad.  This one is going to be more difficult for me because, to be honest, salads are NOT my favorite.  However, I have figured out that I do like spinach so hopefully I can find some recipes to keep in interesting.

4.  Take advantage of my late mornings. There are 3 mornings a week that I go into the office at least 2 hours later than I used to.  Is there a coincidence that most running for beginners programs suggest running 3 times a week?  Hmmm…So instead of just sleeping in later, I’m going to get myself up out of bed & moving.

5. Make my health a priority.  Buying a house is really exciting.  Dreaming about how I’m going to decorate it – very exciting.  Being in a relationship & spending time with someone you care about – pretty darn exciting.  Beginning my career – something to get pumped about.  Playing with my really adorable nephews – time of my life.  However, with all of these exciting things going on in my life, it’s going to take me making a conscious decision to start prioritizing my journey to be healthier.  I can come up with all the little goals I want, but unless I choose each day to eat right and be active, I will never reach the end goal of health.

Why I Stink at Making Friends

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Hello!  My name is Dana! & I’m awful at small talk!

I made this revelation when one of my family members asked me if I’ve started to make friends at the gym.  That’s a logical question to ask.  It would make sense.  I generally go there around the same time every evening and I definitely see a lot of the same faces.  But do I talk to anyone? No.  Is it because I’m not confident enough in myself to strike a conversation?  I don’t think so.  Is it because other people aren’t friendly?  Maybe occasionally, but probably not.  What I think it really comes down to is knowing that any conversation that I begin will turn into small talk.  After the initial meeting when we get past the important things like names, and maybe what we do, the next time I see the person I will ask them how they are doing or they might ask me that question.  & whether my day was literally the best day I’ve ever had or the worst, my reply would be, “I’m doing well, what about you?”  & then they will return a similar answer that doesn’t go beyond the surface of their day & then I will put my headphones in and get on the elliptical (& motivate myself by envisioning myself running away from the small talk).  & I don’t consider that a significant “friendship” in my life.

Now, it could be said that this is my rationalization in EVERY setting.  Which makes me absolutely AWFUL at making friends.

But I’ve also noticed that I have the same annoyance with small talk in my existing friendships and relationships with family members.  I am more comfortable sitting in silence with a person than talking about something superficial.  Don’t get me wrong – I love to catch up with people I haven’t seen and hear all the little details.  & I especially love to analyze and process and discuss and debate.   But if none of that is happening, I would honestly choose just looking at you for a while over hearing what kind of shampoo you just switched to.  (Is this making me sound as creepy as I think it is?)

& ultimately, that makes me sad.  While I would never want to change the fact that I’m completely comfortable with silence, and ultimately, I desire friendships full of conversations that are deep and meaningful, that’s not what everyone else needs out of a friendship & certainly not what everyone else is comfortable with.  Maybe all that person needs is for someone to just ask how their day was.  Just so they feel like someone cares.  & what a shame that I’m depriving myself from acquaintances and friendships just because that friendship won’t look exactly how I want it to look.  Selfish, selfish, girl.

So I guess this is a new challenge for myself.  While I’m on a journey to be more healthy, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try to grow socially as well.   I want to be more open to the kind of friendship that a normal person would enjoy, I guess.  I would like to step out of my comfort zone and make small talk.  & whether that means I make new friends, or just improve relationships that already exist, well, I guess we will see.

Do you have any tips?  What are your favorite small talk topics?