Someone's getting some snuggle time in this house...but it isn't me.
But, seeing this makes my heart smile :)

Shades of Grey

I recently completed the Shades of Grey trilogy.

I was slightly underwhelmed at completion.  With all the hype I was expecting this book to rock my world.  I was expecting that I, being the avid and obsessed reader that I am, would immediately want to re-read it the moment I was finished.  But, that did not happen.  I was almost glad to finally have it finished.

I did not jump on the Grey train anticipating a deep and though provoking work of literature - I'm not crazy.  I knew going into the trilogy that they were basically glorified Harlequin Romance novels, although ... I don't recall the words "throbbing" or "member", which I suppose would make it stand apart from those particular works.  It was, however, saturated with ... well, frankly... sex.

I read the first pages with a small level of disappointment - and then as the story continued I got sucked in.  Much like many other women in America who are currently obsessed with these books, I read for hours before putting it down.  By the end of the first and on into the second book, I had already made the determination that the second book was much better than the first.  Halfway through the second book, though, I lost my momentum... and I thought the story did too.

I grew tired of so. many. friggin. love scenes.  And, if she talked about how breathtakingly beautiful he was one more time I was going to hurl up my breakfast.  I thought that after a while - the plot line grew thin and it was just a jumble of I love yous, hastily thrown together turmoils, with a whole bunch of sex tossed in to cover up the fact that the author just couldn't weave a worthwhile story. 

I would still say, if you want a book to pass the time - maybe on the beach this summer - then this trilogy would be a good time filler.  And, for a moment, it would definitely give you some brain for thought, if you will.  I'm not going to lie - I envisioned Ryan Gosling as the brooding, hotblooded, heavy handed Christian Grey throughout the entire trilogy.  (Um, Crazy Stupid Love and that six pack, yum!)

Just do not go into these books expecting anything more than erotic fiction.. because simply put, that is what they are and nothing more.

For any of you ladies that have yet to read the book, I give you this: 

MMMMM HMMMM.... You're welcome. ;) 

Oh Ryan, you spoil me...


Two whole days in and I'm still feeling confident.
I worked out yesterday for the first time in a very long time, and no, I'm not admitting how long.
But, I did it - and it wasn't fun, but I got through it.

And I just have to keep telling myself that I am so much more than those donuts in the break room...


I did it again...
Lied to myself and a lot of other people.  I told myself and everyone that I was going to do it right this time: Get on the diet train and ride it all the way to Skinnyminnytown.  But, just as usual, 2-3 weeks into my trip I jumped off at Toodamnlazytown, and never got back on.


I went to my cousin's wedding this weekend.  Beautiful, lovely, fun wedding for two people in love.
I enjoyed myself with friends and family and had a great time.
But, I had my picture taken.  It was bad.  It was morifying.

And even I could not deny that I've lost the battle. 

The History:
My whole life I've been overweight, minus those approximately two years in college I was slim.  I won't say skinny - because this body has never been skinny.  I was healthy.  I was wearing clothes that other girls my age were wearing, sharing clothes with friends, looking good, enjoying life.  In the years prior to that, I'd lost a good amount of weight in about 8th grade (but I was still bigger than most of my friends) and then over the course of high school I'd gained it all back. (Every weekend trips to the Olive Garden with my girlfriends definately wasn't helping to keep any weight off, that was for sure)  Then, my freshman year of college instead of gaining the freshman 15 - I lost it.  And continued on until I reached my lowest weight the summer before my senior year.  But, through my senior year of college, the weight began to creep back on. Slowly - very, very slowly - but it was coming back nonetheless. 

College - 2004

Some of my Pledge Sisters and I - 2004 (I'm second from the right)

S'more of my sorority sisters and me - 2004
I moved home after college without a job (as many college graduates are doing nowadays) and fell into depression.  I never really said "depression" outloud to anyone.  I never admitted that I was ashamed, embarrassed, and felt like a failure.  But in the year or so after college - I was depressed, struggling to keep my head above water and wondering what I had done wrong to be so undeserving of a "decent" job.  My eating habits followed along with my inner turmoil and I stopped being as active as I once was in college (when I held two jobs, a full time class load, and sorority with its own demanding schedule).  My weight continued to climb.


2008 - even bigger

In 2009, my husband proposed and I tipped a toe in the diet pool, but never fully waded in.  I did lose about 20 pounds and while I didn't feel great or beautiful in my wedding dress, I accepted my weight loss and did feel proud that some clothes were getting too big.  Then we settled into wedded bliss - and this has been my ultimate downfall. 

The word "sated" comes to mind.  Similar words are full, satisfied, BURSTING... I was full of love, satisfied with life and BURSTING at the seams.  It doesn't help that I've never been great in the kitchen - and my idea of keeping things original is finding what new recipe Campbell's has published on their latest soup cans.  In the past two years - even when I say that I'm done; even when I cry my eyes out and curse myself, and look in the mirror with complete and utter disgust - I just continue on with my bad habits.  Acting as though someone else can change this for me, that I shouldn't have to put in the work, or that this is just the way I'm going to be for the rest of my life and there is nothing I can do about it.  In the past two years - I've gotten out of control, past any point that I could have dreamed I would ever be; Wearing clothes in sizes that I used to say "If I ever got into that size I would definately do something about it" and not doing anything about it other than be miserable. 

In the past two years, I've lost my ability to say no.  Do you want to go out to eat? Um, yes I do -- even though I know I shouldn't.  Do you want to go get some lunch at the mexican place down the road?  Absolutely, even though I know there isn't really anything there I should be eating.  Do you want and stop for some ice cream?  Hells yes I do, even though I really don't need any ice cream.  Do you want the rest of this _______________ ?  Sure, if you don't want it.  I...just...can', and it's killing me.

I know in the past I've said that "this is it"  I'm making a change, but I'm not going to say that - because I don't want to be a liar again.  But I am going to say I'm going to try.  I am going to say that I can't do this anymore.  I am going to say that crying about it and yet still not doing anything isn't going to get me from this place to where I want to be.  I am going to recognize that I know what needs to be done - I just need to actually  DO IT.  I am going to say that I know I can do this, and that I'll be a better person for it. 

Two Years

Seven years ago my best friend suggested I go on a blind date.  I scoffed at her, "I don't DO blind dates" and I didn't.  I still wouldn't...  But, if I had - I'd have started dating my husband earlier by two months.

After I firmly rejected the idea of a blind date - fate intervened.
We've been living 'happily ever after' ever since.

Happy Anniversary to my very best friend.
I know every day that I am blessed beyond measure to have you as my Husband.

Life Lately

I always feel a little foolish exclaiming my presence on my blog - or rather, my lack thereof.  I doubt anyone's lives were severely diminished due to my extended absence, but I like to think of myself as just that important ::wink, wink::.

But seriously.  I've been in a slump lately.

I started my new job two months ago, and going from an office of two other people to an office building of several hundred has not been the easiest transition on my immune system.  I've deemed it the "adult preschool" situation.  First, I had bronchitis (which still rears its ugly head anytime I want to laugh with any type of vigor) and that kept me down for, oh - about three to four weeks.  Then, once I started feeling a little better, I caught a stomach bug.  I've been down for the count and not wanting to do much of anything, much less pretend my life is anything but BOR-ING.

We did get out of town last weekend to head to Tennessee to see a good friend and her precious new baby girl.  Unfortunately, despite all my talking about taking more pictures -- I got one.  And, it isn't even a good one.  She is a cutie. ::baby swoon::

A very few other pics from the trip... and then one of Boomer thrown in.  Because he's cute, and he can make any thing better.

Speaking of not taking many photos...
I've basically not met any of my goals in terms of taking more pictures.  I've been meaning to take part in the photo a day challenge I've seen floating around the internet since January, but halfway through a month I'll remember randomly that I've not taken any of the pictures on the list and just write it off until the following month, where the vicious cycle starts again.  But, this month since I'm feeling better and things are getting back on track I am planning following along with the photo a day...

Since I missed posting one for yesterday, I'll just post both yesterday and today's now :)




The sun is shining and its warm outside.  The dogs are begging to play.

How can you say no to this?

Baby Love

 Lets say you meet a little girl in second grade who becomes your friend, and you grow up with her, and you go to college and loose touch - but then once you graduate and move back to your home town you come back together and become the best of friends...almost like sisters.

When she has a baby - you fall in love.

And then, when she is turning ONE YEAR OLD,  you take a lot of funny pictures.

I can't wait to see this little girl turn ONE on Saturday at her carnival themed birthday party! 


They are totally BFFs.  Totally.  They make my heart smile :)

Thursday 13 | To Give Thanks

Thankfully... I have more than 13 things to be Thankful for, but today - since I'm linking up with Aunie Sauce to list 13 things I'm thankful for, I'll stick to the guidelines. ;) Warning: This post is full of the word THANKFUL.

1.  My Husband.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  Derin is the BOMB DIGGITY. Yes, 1998 wants its phrase back, but I'm not even apologetic about it, because the Urban Dictionary states the definition is "Awesomeness in its purest form" - and for Derin that is totally true.  I am so thankful every day that I have a husband that believes in me, that trusts me, that is faithful to me, that makes me laugh on the regular, that takes care of me, and that doesn't mind that I'm a horrible housewife (and I don't mean like the ones from Beverly Hills.  They are their own kind of horrible that we won't touch on in this post.)  While he picks on my lack of desire to clean on a regular basis, he jumps right in and helps me when the kitchen is a wreck and he's taken on the official role of laundry folder.  But he's kind of had to - or it wouldn't get done. I HATE folding clothes.

2) My Madre and Padre.  So, when I was sick last week - they drove 30 minutes to my house to pick me up and take me to the doctor.  Then, my dad dropped my mom and I off at the house after the appointment and went back out to pick up my medications.  Let me just point out that I am a grown, married woman who - for all intents and purposes- should be able to drag her sorry self out of the house to the doctor.  But no, they insisted they'd come take me.  Its the simple things like that (not to mention raising me, feeding me,  sheltering and clothing me for all those years) that make me so very thankful I have the kind of parents I do.

3)  My Furbabies.  I've harped on my husband many times before and I know everyone knows how much I adore my furbabies, but I have to say how thankful I am for them.  They can drive me mad - just like I'm sure real children would- but I am so very thankful that they are in my life.  They bring me so much laughter and love that I don't know what I'd do without them.  Who doesn't want someone that excited to see you every single day?  Who doesn't want someone to just know you're upset about something and curl up beside you?  Who doesn't want to laugh hysterically because they are doing something crazy again?  They are such a blessing. 

4) Having a job.  In this economy,  I think this is pretty self explanatory.  I am happy to have a job that pays the bills, that covers medical insurance, that I get paid for vacations and holiday, and that I don't cry about having to go to everyday. 

5) Having Wonderful Friends.  I have the best friends that anyone could ask for.  They make me laugh until I can't breathe.  They are understanding and caring and they listen and empathize.  They are there when they are needed, and they make my life worthwhile. 

6) Books. I get so much joy out of getting lost in a good book, I am thankful that there are authors out there that know how to tell a wonderful story.

7) Netflix. If I didn't have my netflix I'd go crazy. 

8) Divine Forgiveness.  I screw up ... A lot.  I'm thankful my mistakes can be forgiven.

9) Photography.  I love taking pictures, although I've been so busy lately I haven't had time to take that many.  But I'm glad I have the opportunity to follow a passion.

10) Freedom.  And for those who fight for it for me.

11) Lessons Learned.

12) Health.  I may not be the most healthy person - but I have my health.  I am not suffering from any dibilitating disease or handicap, and for that I am thankful. 

13)  The people I've had the pleasure of connecting with through this blog.  It's always wonderful to meet new, fun people! :)

Aunie Sauce

The Sickly

I have spent the last week and a half forming a severe cough drop habit.  After 7 bags down, I took a moment to read the nutritional value and realized that despite the fact it was completely and utterly necessary to gorge myself on cough drops to ward of the most horrible hacking cough that came on without explanation - it has probably been an unhealthy level of consumption and a higher than normal caloric intake considering each one is 5 calories (and I've had a gazillion).  Last Monday I went to the doctor and was told I had bronchitis.  I sound like I've smoked 24 packs of cigerettes a day since I was 4 years old, and I feel about the same. I'm recovering but I still don't feel like myself - or spending much time in front of the computer.  ::sad face::

I just wanna be doing this..

St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patty's Day!!
From my Crazy Crowd to Yours!

I think my Snooki-ish hair really makes the picture... Don't you?

Saturday Goodness

I got to second shoot for another photographer today for a fun and beautiful couple.

I'll spend the rest of the weekend editing. :)

Thursday Thirteen | Deserted Island

Today I'm linking up with Aunie over at Aunie Sauce
For her :
Aunie Sauce

Today's topic is

1.  Obviously I would want Derin with me.  I want him with me on the regular now - but if I'm stranded on a deserted island, I would most definately want him there.  He's the smart one.  He knows how to hunt and forage for food and make shelters and all those important things that would need to be done if you were, in fact, stranded on a deserted island.  Plus, he'd add some humor - and if you're by your lonesome on an island you're definately going to want someone who can make you laugh. And he does...make me laugh.

2. My Dogs.  I would miss them too much if they weren't around.  As long as I could keep them safe and they wouldn't be eaten by like a ... panther ... or something, then I would most definately have them there with me.  They drive me insane sometimes, but they bring me so much laughter and love I would never want to be away from them.

3. Chapstick.  Chapstick. Chapstick.  OMG!  I would go sooooo crazy out there on an island with that sun bearing down drying out my lips with no chapstick.  I have to have it with me at all times.

4. My fingernail clippers.  If I get a chipped nail or something, I mess with it until I eventually break it all the way off or bite it - which I don't want to do, so I always try and have nail clippers with me.

5. A phone and cell service.  How likely would it be that a deserted island would have a tower within service distance??  Pretty unlikely...but, in a perfect world if I were stranded on an island I couldn't live without my cell phone.  Plus, on my phone I have all my kindle books so I'd have my "staple" books that I can read over and over and over.

6. A portable DVD player to play...

7.  My FAV DVD's that can be put on repeat and I never get tired of them... but of course I'll need.

8. Plenty of batteries.  For the DVD player as well as for a ...

9. Flashlight.  I'm not walking out into the dark to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and not be able to see where I'm going.  MUST have a flashlight.

10. A bathing suit or two.  I'm not one for swimming naked with fishies. 

11. Alcohol for libations.  All we'll be doing is hunting and foraging and laying on the beach - so I'll definately need a way to take the edge off. Haha

12.  A fresh water source....So I don't die of dehydration. 

13.  My bible.  This one is pretty self explanatory. :)

Happy Thursday!

Current Color Obsession

I'm kind of getting into a springy type mood with all the warmer weather we're experiencing here in North Carolina, and I am currently obsessing over the color Coral.  Not only for clothes but for the home.  I looove the bedding below.

Source: via Stephanie on Pinterest

And my favorite color combo is Navy, White and Pink or Coral (if you couldn't tell by all the pink, navy and white I have going on on this blog)  Isn't this little skirt/tank combo adorable??

I love this necklace too - it is so different.
Source: via Niki on Pinterest

It's Official

My first day at my new job.  I spent all day in orientation but it wasn't bad, because I was learning about good ole Ralph. :)  I'm super excited to start on this new journey. 


Someone is spoiled in our house...

I'm not naming names, but... I'm thinking that maybe this someone has got it made.

Wishing we could keep this Sunday that lazy ... but we've got places to be and people to see. 
Have a wondeful Sunday :)

Happy Saturday

I got to take pictures... and spend time with a precious pooch this afternoon. 
Win Win.

Happy Saturday :)

Primal Eating and Breaking the Bank

Back before Christmas (and then in my resolutions after...) I made the announcement that my diet and exercise would be a priority.  I did awesome....for about 3 weeks.  And then Christmas rolled around.  And again, I was crushed by my wagon as I fell off and it rolled over me - backed up- and did it again.
A few weeks ago a friend posted a picture of herself on Facebook and she looked good, really good.  Not that she didn't look good regularly - but she'd had a baby within the past year and I knew she'd been paying a lot of attention to her diet and exercise recently.  She looked really good and she seems really happy.  So I thought to myself, self.... you need to get yourself together.  I reached out and asked her what she'd been doing - because I knew just from seeing posts on her Facebook that it was a specific type of diet. 
She responded back that she'd been following what was called the "Primal Eating" movement, another 'diet' that closely resembles it is also called the Paleo diet.  In researching over the past week, I've found that it's called Primal or Paleo because it is suppose to get us back to eating what early man ate - back when the only option for food was what they could hunt or gather...No McDonald's just down the road, no Pizza Hut easily delivered. 
Basically, this diet means that you no longer eat grains, wheat, flour, gluten or processed sugars.
  It is also recommended that you generally stay away from processed foods altogether.
Frozen dinners be gone.
Fast food options no more.

So the hubs and I went out grocery shopping this weekend in hopes of stocking up on foods we can eat this week since today marks our first day of attempting to cut out all of that stuff.  It was recommended on this diet that you purchase grass fed meats and dairy products (Paleo doesn't recommend dairy products at all, but Primal is a little more lax about it)  
Well, let me tell you.  That stuff ain't no joke.  Organic products in general are expensive -- but grass fed?  Through the roof.  6 bucks for a carton of eggs.  SIX WHOLE DOLLARS.  Needless to say we didn't stock our pantry with all organic veggies and grass fed meats and cheeses.  I won't be breaking the bank over it.  We got a couple of organic things here and there - but I think we'll just focus more on eliminating the grains, flour, and processed sugars and worry about getting to the heart of "natural" eating when we can afford to do it.

Anyway -- just to make myself accountable, I'm putting it in writing... Or, I guess it should be typing it?  Whatever. I'm saying it here.  Today is Day Uno of "Primal" Eating.  We'll see how this goes.  Lunch: Organic Salad with Roast Chicken.
Dinner will be: Grass Fed hamburger patties with onions and mushrooms with a side of asparagus.
Yummmm (that's partially honest and partially sarcastic.  While I love a good salad and then hamburger with onions and mushrooms...I love some good old mashed potatoes as a side, so this will be an adjustment, haha)

My Organic Salad for lunch today :)

Friday Letters

Linking up today to write some letters...

Dear Moose Cafe Thank you so much for the awesome biscuit and apple butter I was served for was scrumbdiddilyumpchious.

Dear Farmers Market, Thank you for the awesome two-fer deal you had on strawberries today.  Two packages for 3 dollars.  Yay!!

Dear current job, I have one more week with you - lets make it a good one!

Dear Hubs, looking forward to date night tonight.  I always love dinner and a movie with you :)

Dear anyone who reads my ramblings, you are AWESOME! I really appreciate it.