The Struggle to Be All Things

This lady nails it in the post A Matter Of Confidence

As women, we have to shift roles often and quickly. I have been in the workforce for almost 30 years and more than 20 years of that I have been someone’s wife and mother.

I have returned emails to coworkers while talking to teachers on the phone while my call waiting is beeping with the cable guy on the other line letting me know that they moved my “window of time” up 4 hours and he is on his way {which is awesome since I am 50 minutes away if I can even break loose and leave}.

My son has sent pictures of his homework via text while I am at work so I could answer one quick question that usually requires me to open my 99th window in Google to find the answer. However, I close none of these windows because they are subtle reminders of what I have not finished.

I march forward with confidence that I will get it all done, and 99% of the time I am successful, but I beat myself up over the 1% that I am not.

Being a women is tough, but at the end of the day, I love being the mom and the wife that keeps the chaos semi-manageable.  I love the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. I know I have “done it all” and tomorrow I will get up and do it all over again. I love the feeling of living and not just being alive.

March on Ladies!
Crazy Mom

Because I Thrive, I do more than just survive!


Our Fight To Be Normal Is Finally Over!

am not sure I am ready to publish this blog post, but I feel a huge weight on my heart to at least write it and hopefully begin to speak out. My way of truly coping with things is to write. 

I will begin by saying that if you know my son, please refrain from asking him about this. 

Almost from the day he was born, I knew my baby was different. He was very intelligent and very independent, but could be very difficult at times. He never liked change and we always stuck to a routine. When we left to run daily errands, I always explained everywhere we were going. If I altered those plans, he was not happy. We learned together what worked. However, daycare and school were much different situations.

He never missed milestones, such as, walking, talking, reading, etc. so everything seemed normal.   As the years have gone by, he had more and more trouble socially. I tried so hard to make him fit into society’s view of how a little boy should act. His frustrations at being different and always being told he needed to act one way or another came out as behavior problems. I remember the looks of parents who acted like he was a terrible child. I could hear the whispers “he needs his butt spanked”. Did they not realize that I had tried anything and everything?  He did not like being in trouble all the time. No one wants to be considered “bad”. Everyone wants to be accepted. At times, we were both very sad.

I tried to force him to participate in activities other boys his age did. Soccer seemed like a good fit, but he lacked the coordination and as it became more competitive, he was always on the bench during the games (although he rarely missed a practice) so that, too, became a source of frustration to him.

He was never invited to birthday parties and was always last to be picked to play on a team at school. Over the years, he has learned to keep to himself and pretend he is okay not having friends and not interacting with his peers.  Most teachers just considered him a behavior problem and that was it. The Angels who did get to to know him, still check on him from time to time.

About a year or so ago, I first heard the term Asperger’s for the first time, but it was not until about two weeks ago that God laid it on my heart that my child indeed had Asperger’s. At 15 years old, I can’t believe no one ever mentioned this to me.  I had taken him to specialists and had still never heard the term Asperger’s. I heard the term ADHD plenty. He took medicine for years for ADHD, but it made him super moody so we eventually stopped taking the medicines after many years of trials and failures.  We also knew he was dyslexic and felt that could be contributing to some of his frustrations.

In the last two weeks, I have been through the stages of grief from guilt to anger to acceptance, but he is already 15 so I don’t have time to continue down that path any longer. I have also been a momma on a mission. I have learned everything I can about Asperger’s. We found a fabulous doctor and we have had our first appointment. We are currently assembling a team at school that I hope and pray will be his advocates. 
I will say that although as a young child, he was difficult to handle, as a teenager, he has mellowed out and become such a joy to be around. I don’t know what I could have done different to have figured this out sooner and I don’t know what to expect in the future, but for the first time in years, I feel like we have a chance to get expert help and advice from someone who understands my baby.  I don’t feel so alone and I pray he does not feel alone. The fight to be society’s definition of “normal” is finally over and I have learned that my baby has always been “normal” in his own unique way. I am blessed that he is happy (for the most part) and he is healthy.  
For now, we pray. We pray that God continues to guide our footsteps and leads us in the right direction so that he is able to successfully navigate the waters of life in adulthood. I consider God’s timing and His hand in this as a blessing.
I don’t know the exact reason I have felt the need to share. It is not for sympathy because I am prouder of my baby than I have ever been. I have been open and honest with him every step of the way and he is taking on this new journey with grace and maturity. Maybe there is a momma out there going through the same thing I was and this will help get her to a diagnosis quicker than I did. Maybe there is a child or a parent that you have spent years looking down your nose at because they just don’t fit your definition of “normal”.  Whatever the reason, I pray I had said something that made you stop and think.
Crazy Mom On A Mission

Sweet Poisoning….

God has been nudging me to write this post.  It is honestly a little personal and a little embarrassing, but I pray someone that needs to hear my story reads it.

Twenty five days ago, I drank my last Diet Dr. Pepper. You see in my younger days I was a regular Dr. Pepper drinker. At some point, I decided to change to Diet Dr. Pepper (for weight loss reasons). At that point, no one was telling us how bad aspartame was for us. I hated the diet drink at first, but I stuck with it. I don’t know when I became addicted, but the fact is that I did. I tried to stop many, many times.

When I started thrive, I no longer craved the caffeine; however, I knew I was addicted to the aspartame. I spent countless hours researching aspartame poisoning over the last several years, but still I could not quit…that is until 25 days ago.


I have lived in this small town my whole life. I go to workout at the same place 5 days a week and many times twice a day. On a Monday morning, as I am backing out to go home, I suddenly had no idea where I was. I could not figure out how to get home. I was honestly scared to death. I saw a sign that said 59 and I thought “that is my road” and I actually tried to turn on it before I realized it looked wrong. I was trying to turn on 59S instead of 59N. I came around the square on the outside of the concrete dividers (like an out-of-towner does) still trying to figure out how to get home.  I finally got on the right road and in a few minutes I broke down and then I started praying.

This was not a long memory loss and I made it home safe and sound. As I was praying on my way home, I suddenly remembered a friend telling me that a sign of aspartame poisoning is dementia symptoms. It was at that point, I knew I never wanted to feel that way again and I would do whatever it took to keep it from ever happening again. My husband saw the fear on my face as tears came down my eyes and agreed to help me.

One of best friends, followed me home everyday from our workout for a week or so and I actually skipped days that she did not go workout because I was scared it would happen again. It took me about 10 (long) days to really get over the need for a Diet Dr. Pepper, but I quit cold turkey.  I can’t say with 100% certainty what caused this memory loss, but I believe with all of my heart it was aspartame poisoning.

Obviously, I had many of the other symptoms of aspartame poisoning.  If you drink any type of aspartame, I encourage you to look it up and read it for yourself.


Ever wonder how my blog got it’s name…

If you have ever wondered how my blog got it’s name, you will wonder no longer after today’s blog. 

After church the whole family goes to the grocery store. All mothers know this is a mistake. Both guys put so much junk into the buggy while I was not looking (especially the grown one) that it cost a small fortune to leave the store. 
So we head home to unload the groceries and eat lunch. I tell Big Daddy & Morgan to go ahead and eat and I would put up the groceries. Morgan comes in and says his TV is not working. I stop putting up the groceries because I figure it will not take me but a minute to fix the TV. 
When I am working on the TV, I asked Morgan to grab me something. A little while later I hear a strange noise. Apparently, Morgan left the water running in his sink when he went and got what I needed and forgot about it. His entire bathroom floor is flooded. At this point, I realize his sink is not draining. 

I proceed to take the sink apart and find it filled with gunk. I clean the pipes while Morgan is drying the floors. I finally get the sink put back together and see his new shower head under his sink. I asked him if his shower is still leaking and he says yes so I proceed to change his shower head. At this point, I finally asked for Big Daddy’s help. He looks at me like I am crazy because here I stand in Morgan’s shower in my church clothes including heels and a nice sweater. He gets the shower head tight enough so it does not leak like the old one and I am done in Morgan’s bathroom. Now back to fixing the TV. 

TV is finally fixed and I am back to putting up the groceries. At 2:30, I finally change clothes and eat lunch, but not before stopping to write a quick blog update. 
P.S.  If you see Morgan, it is imperative  you do not tell him I write about him.  He is a teenager and I already embarrass him enough…

So Tomorrow We Run…

It is been many months since I ran, but tomorrow we hit the pavement again. This makes me very nervous. Sure I workout, but running is something different. Running is where I started…I just wanted to run one 5K. That was many, many miles ago. 

So tonight, I am trying to remember how far I have come. The first picture is probably the first selfie I ever took and I had already lost 30 pounds and only a few months before I stepped into Bodyfit and tried not to be noticed. It was before I owned 15 pairs of tennis shoes…before I was introduced to Thrive. Tonight all of those insecurities rush back in. …but what has changed is I know what I am capable of when I put my mind to it. So…here we go…tomorrow we run. 

Today I became certified….

Today I became I certified spin instructor. To most that might not seem like a huge accomplishment, but I am beyond proud of this little certificate. I have to admit it was one of the most intimidating days of my life. Texas A&M is intimidating without walking into a class full of fit (and mostly young) people. 

Now, in true crazy momma style, it took me forever to arrive in College Station last night (although I left work early). My GPS seems to like to take new and interesting routes from point A to point B. Being directionally challenged, I just go along with whatever she says. Then, I missed a turn because I was talking on the phone (imagine that). Praise God, Craig was watching me on Find My Phone and called several times and got me back on track. He said it was like playing Where’s Waldo? Since I arrived so late, I did not have time to find my destination before checking into the hotel and needing to get in bed. 

About 10:30 last night I read an email that the instructor had sent earlier in the evening which stated, we needed a specific type of clips on our shoes or we needed hard athletic shoes. If I had read the first email a little closer, I might have caught this little detail, but anywho… I looked up the specific type of clips mentioned and quickly realized, I had the wrong clips on my cycling shoes. Ugh!  So I got up early to go to Wal-Mart and buy some Allen wretches to remove said clips from my cycling shoes so I would at least have hard side athletic shoes. I should have just left it there, but no…I also decided to wait for Academy to open, in hopes of buying the correct shoes that I was sure all the fit, pretty people would be wearing. No luck….Academy does not carry cycling shoes and the bike stores do not open until 10am. So now, I am using the Allen wretches I have purchased to remove the clips from my shoes…in the Academy parking lot. These clips are not easy to get off.

Since Academy did not open until 8:00 and class started at 9:00 (but we were suppose to arrive by 8:45), I knew I was pushing my luck.  Then add in the time it took me to use all my strength to remove said clips and I am really pushing it. 

Well, guess what?  I can’t find where I am suppose to be and my GPS does not recognize the 4250 TAMU address so I asked a young lady. She said that she did not know how to get there driving…only walking. I will admit, I almost parked and took off walking. She did tell me I was on the wrong side of the campus. Great…  


The instructor was nice enough to include her phone number in her email so I sent a text message telling her I thought I might be late. She promptly replied and told me to call if I needed help. Imagine me calling and her answering in front of the whole class. Thank goodness I did not have to do that, I finally found  the parking garage…now to find a parking spot.

I walk into the massive Rec Center at Texas A&M and almost just left. Directions to my classroom included several turns, but I made it…about 8:58. I was not the last person, but I was the most obviously out of place person.  Mostly because I had everything I own packed in my backpack. We were also informed no food or drinks in the Rec so I had also hidden my three huge bottles of water and my lunch and snacks in the backpack (we all know if I leave for lunch I will never get back).  Come to find out, water was not part of the rule and they have a resturant downstairs. Anyway…I look like a pack mule, but I am here. 

Once you have been extremely obese (and know you still have so much to lose), I guess you never get over being self-conscious about what you wear and what other people are wearing so I immediately began looking around to see just how out of place I looked.  By the way, most people were wearing plain old tennis shoes so all my morning adventures were in vain.  

I was visibly shaking all over when I signed in, but the instructor smiled and said, “you made it in plenty of time.”  Good to know that I have already made an impression. The class was full. She asked us introduce ourselves. I am not sure what I said, but I got a few claps. I am sure they are thinking “good for you, grandma”. 


We rode over 30 miles and had to change clothes 3 times. The instructor was beyond fabulous. She talked for over 9 hours and I never once got bored. When she signed my certificate at 6pm, I almost teared up. 


So I as sit here in a hotel in College Station and reflect on the last 3 years of my life, I am still a little overwhelmed by how my life as changed. 

Thank you for the calls and messages checking on me and wishing me luck. Your prayers were felt as I fought my way to find the courage to step into that studio this morning. 

I Lived Through The Ten Day Cleanse

I will be posting some of this directly to Facebook this week because I know it is sometimes hard to slow down long enough to read a long blog. 
I have been on the Advocare 10 Day Cleanse…today is day 9. This is not the first time I have done the cleanse, but this is the first time I was really “all in”. Let me stop now and say that I am not a distributor and I am sure there are lots of great cleanses out there. I picked Advocare because it was easy because everything was in one box and I know people who sell it. Also let me say, the drink is not as horrible as everyone thinks. I put mine (which was the Citrus flavor) in 4 oz of Trop 50 Orange Juice and 4 oz of water and drink it fast. 
The main reason I wanted to do the cleanse was to clean up my eating and stop drinking Diet Dr Pepper. I have read how awful aspartame is for you and knew I was consuming way too much per day (I will not even admit how much I drank per day). I have not had to work during the first 9 days of the cleanse. I don’t know if that was good or bad.  I am a stress eater so I know when I go back to work tomorrow, there will be plenty of stress triggers. 

Okay, because I am real, I will tell you how things really worked. The first several days were tough. No bread, no dairy, no added sugar, no processed foods, and NO Diet Dr. Pepper. I tried to eat mostly protien and vegatables. My head hurt and I was hungry (or maybe just bored). I was not in a good mood!  I made it to bootcamp, but I did not do much else. I was craving everything in sight those first couple of days and sometimes I gave in. I ate the last of the Nutella during the first three days, but I did not buy more. Nutella and Diet Dr Pepper seem to be my kryptonites.  I did have one Coke during the 10 days (it was not a Diet Dr Pepper so I called it a win!). I had Advocare Spark which has caffeine so that helped. I did allow myself a small cup of sweet tea a day. I drank lots of water.  I am not a real water fan and I am still confused on the amount I am suppose to drink per day. I personally prefer water with lemon from the Sonic. They know me well at the Sonic window. However, I have not had a diet Dr Pepper. 
On about day 4 or 5, things started getting better. I found myself craving meat and vegetables. My head finally cleared and I saw light at the end of the tunnel. I am not looking to change too many things after this all ends tomorrow. I have not decided whether to do the Advocare Max Phase Challenge (which is 14 days of shakes and supplements). I am not fond of the drinking shakes for breakfast. 
As I start the new year, I am really trying to learn to eat clean. I am still logging all of my food because that allows me to keep my eating in check. I believe that you can eat or drink most things you like as long as it is in moderation and you are not dependent on it. You will see me out to eat and you might even see me eat “bad”. I am real, pure and simple. I make no apologies.  
I have lots of inquires about how much I workout. I run 2-3 days a week. I go to bootcamp 3-4 days a week (depending on my running schedule). I may also start riding my bike again. I may substitute some of my bootcamp workouts for some weight lifting. However, I honestly beleive exercise only aids in weight loss. You have to get your eating under control first and foremost. Exercise is not a substitute for a crappy diet. 

I also have had lots of inquires about what I eat. I will start posting some of that. I believe in eating 5-6 times per day. Just know that I am not an expert and what works for me might not work for everyone. My family is not on board with this nor will I force them to be. However, I will not buy as much junk, but I will not be upset if they eat the things they are used to eating. I am hoping by making small (semi-unnoticeable) changes in their diet that they will make changes without feeling forced or deprived. It is more about lifestyle changes. 

The Angel At Mile 9

The picture below is from the Dallas Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon in March 2013. You can see my friend and I with our hands raised together coming over the finish line, but the story I want to share with you is about much more than running 13.1 miles.  It is about a higher power bringing people together through running.  If you have never experienced the comradery of the running community, you are missing out on a true blessing.

The gentleman who is crossing the finish line just in front of us first crossed our path about mile 9 immediately after my friend had finished praying we could finish the race.  She looked at me and told me that God had put him there to show her she could make it. We ran beside (but mostly behind!) him until the end. We had no idea where he was after we crossed the finish line.  We had no idea that he was right in front of us until we got the picture. We have talked about him many times during the last several months.   

What a great story, right? Well, there is more…  As my friend was running the Rock & Roll San Antonio 1/2 last Sunday, she said she couldn’t breathe in the humidity and was just having a rough run. She said she got emotional thinking of all my training down the drain. Low and behold, she looks up and there he is!!! She ran like crazy to catch up with him and tell him how she had started calling him her “angel”. She took her picture with him and got to meet his beautiful wife.  

What a great story, right?  Well, there is still more…  We have since learned that he is a coach for Team in Training.  He has run over 35 half marathons and 1 full marathon.  He was born without any fingers on this left hand and at the age of 6 he had polio and his right arm was paralyzed. According to his wife, he is the most positive person you will ever meet and wakes up everyday with a smile on his face.  He has owned a successful insurance agency for 40 years.  

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The Crack Master…the new man on the scene

Well, I have been having old lady hip issues. I limp like a three legged dog somedays. I have been to an orthopedic doctor who told me to take some time off (while rolling his eyes, because he knew it was pointless to even say). He also sent me to a physical therapist to learn some stretches. What a joy!  It got a little better and then I started hurting again on an 8 mile run. Bummer!!!  I just don’t think these folks understand that I am an athlete and they must get me better quicker. Just kiddin’…
I have a friend who recommended a chiropractor. Okay, I will admit I have been to chiropractors and I was a little worried that he might not be able to help. However, I am happy to report a new man in my life…The Crack Master. He is gentle. ….but the best part is that he is an Ironman which means he understands the life of someone who wants to be a runner. He understands that taking long periods of time off can be life changing. He said athletes are the hardest people to treat because they never take time off. Hello, did you catch that??? He called me an athlete. He is my most favorite doctor! Okay, okay, I told him that I tri to run, bike, and swim plus Bootcamp. He has never seen me actually do it and does not realize that I am slower than a turtle in peanut butter. 

Just so you know, burbees are hard, but they are real hard when you have old lady hip problems. But when the Burpee Queen says do 10 burpees, I always do my burpees (albeit I only do about half – even without old lady hip issues).

I will leave you with a picture of me at the end of my first 5K which was over a year ago.  All I ever wanted when I started was to run a 5K before I was 40! I am now training for my second half marathon. Dream big, my friends!

I don’t alway hydrate, but when I do, I prefer pool water with lots of chlorine…

It was a pretty uneventful week in the life of a Tri-mom. 32 miles on my bike, 11 miles running, bootcamp, and a little swimming. I ate everything in sight and had zero weight loss. How’s that for inspiration?!? 

One of the questions I get asked the most is how do you get up at 4:15 in the morning to go workout and then work all day? Truthfully, sometimes I don’t actually get out of bed until 4:45 (and bootcamp starts at 5:00). By the time the 5th alarm goes off and my hubby kicks me and tells me to get up, I am bright eyed and bushy tailed…NOT. The hubby is always looking out for me like that! Of course, if my alarm music did not consist of “Girl On Fire”, “She Talks To Angels”, and “Are You Ready For This”, he might be a little more tolerant of the blaring sound at 4:15, 4:20, 4:30, 4:40…well, you get the point. 

The picture above is at the end of one of my Diet Bets. I weighed a little too much with the phone in my hand so I had to get the hubby up out of bed to take a picture of the number on the scale. True love my friends!  Do you just love the hair at 4:30 am? I have actually had people in my bootcamp class see me in town and ask if I am in their class. Makeup does wonders, my friends. 
I am thankful for my dream team…Trainer Dude, the Burpee Queen, and the my running partners. (I am leaving actual names out to protect their privacy). Without these people, I would still be looking for the next fad diet or diet pill. 
Trainer Dude actually told me to shut-up and swim this week. For some reason, I found this to be very funny. Poor guy, I am sure deep down he thinks I am hopeless. I am horrible at remembering to hydrate, so I try to make up for it in the pool each week. I drink more than my share of the pool water.  I have no idea why I have a mental block about swimming. I guess because I know this pool thing leads to open water swims. Eek!!! 
I am starting month 12 (hello, almost one year!!!) with the Burpee Queen. She has taught me to push when I was ready to give up. Plus, I know one day I am gonna look like her – okay, that is never really gonna happen, but a girl can dream. She has brought change to our little town. 
Last, but not least, the women I run with. The ones I tell all my secrets. This is where I found true peace. You would not think there would be very many runners in a small town like ours, but Fri-Sun (non-bootcamp days) our local police force has extra officers on duty to try to keep us in line. It is pretty crazy. 

…I am smiling because everyone else in the triathlon ran 3.1 miles and I only ran 2!!!  Suckers!!!

I have been working on creating a timeline of the last nine years and 50 pounds. I will post it later this week. There were no sudden changes, no real ah-ha moments.  It was just day by day, little by little. I wish I had the perfect before picture taken while standing in my mirror on the very day I knew I was ready to change. The truth is there are little to no pictures when I was at my largest. I just could not face the camera. Of course, I am still many pounds from my goal weight, but I am making progress – at least most of the time 
Until next time…