Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Ole Grey Mare...

So, I have established several times that I turned 30...and yes, I knew this would bring some changes. However, I did not expect to become OLD overnight. There had been some things here and there which were making me feel a wee bit aged, but for the most part I thought I was still doing good.

No, no. I was blind, but now I see! Let me give you example number one...

I have these ridiculous lists I have to make in order to accomplish anything. They can be quite extensive. Unfortunately, if it is not on the list it is not going to be completed. For some reason I am having trouble remembering my medication. This is a big no-no. Put it on your list, you say? That's it - I can't even remember to put it on my list. I obviously have this medication prescribed for a reason, and therefore need to be taking it regularly. When I forget, it gives me a terrible headache - not to mention the lack of pain relief throughout the day. I hate having things out on my counters and I try to keep them clear of randomness (this is my OCD). But if I put them in a cupboard, I don't remember to take them. So, I compromised by putting them on the counter in the master bathroom, but I never remembered to take them there either. At one point I put them in my lunch kit, and when I had my 10am break each morning I would get into my lunch kit to get my snack and I would remember. It was perfect...but now I am at a different job and no longer have to take a lunch. I have tried keeping them in my bag, in my car...but if they're out of sight, they're out of mind...until I start to physically feel it. By then, it's too late. When I do happen to remember my pills exist, I can't remember when I took them and when I didn't. Did I take my pill this morning? Did I take my pills tonight? I'm 30 and senile. In the efforts of finding solutions to these problems, I purchased this...

Thirty and...using a pill dispenser. This $5 case has made me suddenly feel 70 years old. Now I just have to remember to fill it.

Medications are not the only thing I have been forgetting. Which leads me to example number 2.  Normally, everything has a place in my world. But it seems that I can't find anything lately. Bank card, keys, cell phone...I can't seem to leave the house with all 3. Since I need the keys to physically leave, that is usually the one item I do have. When I do manage to remember my cell phone, I typically forget it wherever I have gone - leaving it at work, my sisters, etc. I have yet to leave it at the Wal-Mart, so it could be worse.  There have been a few full days and early mornings for me lately, and I do my best to get ready the night before but I still manage to forget the items I put aside on the table, bar or counter top. My biggest problem is that when I plug in my cell phone, I forget to get it and put it in my bag. But then I discovered - anything that I need to remember to put in my bag in the morning I put with my bra. Because somehow I do manage to remember that each day. So, when I go to put on my bra, I see it and put it in my bag. Problem solved. Well, the problem of leaving items behind. But, is my solution a problem of its own? Before long my bra will be with my cell phone, my pants in the fridge with my snack and my medication with my shoes. When I start to forget things like my bra...we have a real problem.

So, now that we have me dressed, packed and medicated - I need to manage to keep up with the times. I give you...example number three. The final example and really, all the example I need to prove my point. I'm scrolling through my FaceBook one evening and there's this funny little video and it's titled Netflix and Chill. Hahahaha, it was so funny - I'm going to share it ...TO REBECCA'S WALL. The next day there is another funny little Netflix and Chill post and I share that one as well, and another, and another. I love to Netflix and Chill. Sometime down the line, I scroll across a post similar to this:
Daughter: What is Netflix and Chill?
Mom: I means you're hooking up...

Say whaaaat??? Netflix and Chill does not literally mean you Netflix and Chill? Because I LOVE to Netflix and really Netflix and Chill. Those are my favorite days - snowy or rainy and I can just bring up good ole Netflix and lay on my couch and chill. Is this not what Netflix and Chill means??

Apparently not! Apparently Netflix and Chill is some kind of code...a very messed up code. Now, I've shared 100 posts about Netflixing and Chilling because I ACTUALLY Netflix and Chill and now everyone on my FB thinks I'm highly active or just...seeking action.

When did I get so old that I stopped knowing the lingo? I feel like I am going to have to Google everything before I share it now, because things like Netflix and Chill do not mean Netflix and Chill.

While I'm panicking about all my Netflix and Chill posts, I remember a photo of a bunch of people - mostly teenagers mind you, standing with a banner that said 1st Annual  Netflix and Chill Festival. Guess what...I shared that shit... Why? Because I thought it ACTUALLY meant Netflix and Chill!! I thought it was awesome and wished I could attend. However, now I do not - I deleted my post and am now praying for these teenagers and their festival. Someone call their parents!!

So, now I am really weirded out on FB. I don't dare share anything, I am a little leery of even posting the most common things. Last weekend, I took my niece to a university open house and we met up with our cousin for lunch. It was a lovely time, I wanted to give a little shoutout, something like "had an awesome time at lunch today with Emilee"...but I didn't dare. God only knows what that means! Nothing is sacred anymore...not even Netflix. So, when I say Netflix and Chill...I actually mean Netflix and Chill. I am not as inappropriate as my FB is portraying me to be.

PS. Alanis Morisette's Jagged Little Pill album just celebrated its 20th Anniversary...just let that set in for a moment. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015


I realize it has been quite some time since I have visited and checked in, let alone write a little something. Last post, you all discovered my upcoming career move - a huge decision, which also happened to be my 30th birthday. It has been approximately a month and even though things are still a bit chaotic - you all deserve a little update...The hiatus is over - I'm back!!..(with a funky, fresh new look for my blog).

From the point of making the decision to leave not only my job, but my entire line of work - until the day I actually started my new job equaled 12 days exactly. They were the 12 most grueling days I think I've ever lived, and I've had some pretty rough times. That idle time made a mess of me. I stressed so much over my decision during that time. It really wore me down. I just wanted to jump to my first day so I could stop stirring over my decision...put some actual logic behind my emotions. I didn't even care if it was right or wrong actually - I just wanted feelings that were based on something real and not just thoughts. I was driving myself mad.

I sat in my living room on the eve of my first day and realized I felt nothing. All of the typical emotions you might feel under those circumstances: excitement, nervousness, anticipation, fear...very normal emotions...I felt none of those things. I only felt relieved that the crazy mess of a person I had become would finally move in one direction or another.

The morning arrived - I was starting a new job and I was a mess. I wasn't even nervous about the job, about my first day...I was just nervous that I "wasn't myself" - although I wasn't sure what "myself" felt like anymore. It wasn't a very good feeling to have on that day, a day I needed to be on my game.

My work has dominated my life. It was the biggest piece of me - the piece that really made me me...and then it was gone. I worked all.the.time. On paper, I worked 8:15-2:45pm. Most days, I would get home between 4pm-5pm. I would have supper and I would continue to work in the evenings. I was always trying to find new research, new methods, new resources, constantly communicating, brainstorming, stressing, convincing myself there is an answer, putting things together and squeezing in whatever I missed during the day. I could have worked 24/7 and still found more to do. I would do this until 9pm-10pm. Anything I was involved in (Girl Guides, Library events) really got the short end of the stick. I don't think people realized how much I lived and breathed my work. I loved it, I loved every minute of it -I thrived on knowing I was doing something good, that I was successful. My job was my life. Everything else got half fast parts of me. Friends, family, hobbies - if you can call them that. Work was my hobby. I tried different things, but I never committed because I would always make an excuse and stay home.

I need to be better at being more than work and doing things for me, that is something I hope to do with this job. But at that moment when I was lying wide awake in my bed realizing all that was gone, I panicked. I knew that person, I knew her very well. I knew the routine, the expectations, the abilities, the goals. I woke up - brand new 30 year old me and I was supposed to be this whole new person. I was supposed to feel amazing. I might be - someday. But I really needed that on that day, and not only did I not have it - but I didn't even recognize myself.

My career is gone and I'm not sure who I am without it. I'm not sure to expect from here on out, who I could be or if I will even enjoy this person. There was just too much unknown during that time. I'm not big on the unknown...anytime.

The next 2.5 weeks flew by. Ya know, I really enjoy this thing they call the insurance business lol.  I'm busy learning and being challenged all day and studying for my insurance broker exam in the evenings, which I am so nervous about. In terms of the content of my job, I love it. However, it has been difficult for me. 

I worked in my previous field for over a decade. Even starting out in that field, I had worked with children and youth before as well as earned some education and knowledge to help me out. A lot of my work came naturally to me, but I also worked hard and excelled at any job I took on. I was a go to person in many of my positions. Most of the time, I don't feel very successful in life - except when it comes to work. I was very confident and successful at work. It was the one area where I felt I was doing something right. It was nice to have that. Maybe that's why I gave so much of myself to work. Now, suddenly - that is gone. I go to work and feel completely lost. I worry that I'm not catching on quick enough, that I'm not going to get it, that I'm going to fail this exam, that I've made such a big decision, such a big move and I will not find success again. I go home where I can't seem to find success either - not enough time, not enough money, not enough me. I have been really frustrated with myself. However, as I write and realize it has only been 2.5 weeks...I also realize I'm probably being too hard on myself.

It HAS only been 2.5 weeks...I need to accept that I can't just be good at everything. It will take time and a lot of hard work, but I CAN find success. I'm going to be a kick ass Insurance Broker - someday. Probably many, many somedays from now. But...someday lol.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Today, I turned 30.

Today, I also reflected back on this year and the hopes I had when starting this journey back in January. I said it would be the Year of Brittany. I haven't always stayed true to this concept, but I have certainly put more effort in than I normally would have. I look back and think about the goals I set, the progress I made and what I have left to accomplish before I head onto 31.

Today, my goals have suddenly changed. When I started this blog I was taking classes, pursuing my education degree and working in the school system. I wanted to make healthier choices and lose weight. I wanted to work on staying positive and feeling blessed, actually mapping out my goals and how to accomplish them as well as following through. So many things…

I have hit many brick walls this Summer. I have also had a few doors open for me. This week in particular has had many up's and down's. My emotions (yes, I do have some…) have been all over the place - quite literally.

Today, I turned 30 - and instead of having a giant birthday blow out or a weekend away before school begins…Today, after a terribly frustrating Summer...I made the decision to leave a job that I love.

If anyone had of asked me in June, I was going to be finishing my days at CICS. However, this was not a rash decision - with my new knowledge it was the right decision. I imagine it is easy to storm out of a job that you hate - slam the door, flip off your boss, whatever your go to gesture might be. But what about one that you don't hate?

This all just happened. So - the guilt, excitement, sadness, nervousness, intrigue, etc. has been condensed into a short period of time. If nothing else, today I feel relieved that the week has finally come to an end.

I have actively been a Child and Youth Care Worker for 10 years, and I've gone as far as this title will take me. I've been a personal care worker in group homes, for home support, as well as an autism treatment facility and then I was lucky to obtain a job in the school system- on a wing and a prayer. However, the first year was really difficult. But I survived! Only to discover my position was being cut. I was hired back for another position, but the capacity of my job changed. Then, more changes for 2015-16 school year. After 10 years of hard work and dedication to the field, as well as moving around - one would think I would be at the height of my career, but somehow I am moving backwards.                                      

I spent the Summer fighting tooth and nail for my future. The only way to move forward is to do what I was doing - build on my education and when I was finished, I would hopefully have more opportunities to feel professionally fulfilled. Upon discovering I could not be approved for additional student loans, I had to face the realization that this was it for me and my career. I'm 30 - probably 30 years away from retiring. Can I really be happy for 30 more years, knowing I can't continue to grow? Not me personally. I lived and breathed my circle of friends stemmed from my has not just been a job to me - but who I am as a person. I'm very emotionally invested…but the fact is that someone will step up to the plate and everything will be okay. I'll be okay, they'll be okay. We all just might even turn out better than okay.

It has taken me all Summer to accept this fate - to accept that after 10 years in this field, working hard and hopefully making a difference somewhere along the way - that I've come to a dead end. Do I sit at my dead end until the end of my days? Or do I want to go back and try a new destination?

Today, I started on that path to a new destination. The only thing that is constant in life is change - someone said that. I should google it and make a proper reference, but this week has been mental exhausting and I can't be bothered. This field is all I've ever known, all I've ever done. Change is scary, going into the unknown is nerve wracking, saying good-bye is hard…But I know my value and what I have to bring to the table and I have more to give - somewhere.

We all deserve to be happy - and I think we should continue to make changes - no matter how frequent - in order to find it. Today, I turned 30 and today I made a life changing decision.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015


It seems lately that I'm playing a terrible hand at life - over and over. I don't know what kind of game it is, and I hate to be cliché, but it really is a bit like a bad dream I can't wake up from. I know things could be much, much worse...but I'm having the kind of Summer where each day brings a new dilemma and I'm trying to be a good sport...but I'm losing steam.

I have been adulting so much lately, it's exhausting. I have all this stuff I'm trying to sort out and the obstacles are never ending. I've been really good, too - not avoiding any of it - I'm actually working at it consistently. But, I must say it is far easier to avoid it. Either way, it is not being resolved so why exhaust myself? Oh right, because this is adulting. Pfft.

Last Wednesday (ya know - Weigh-In-Wednesday) I had had a kick ass week...adulting and all! I wake up and I am ready for it, I'm looking forward to it. I have an appointment up river, an adulting kind of appointment. Now, when your appointment is at 10 and you're back to your car by 10:03... that's not good - regardless of the appointment.

I am losing at my game of life...I can hear it taunting me - Checkmate, bitch.
I'm sitting in my car, trying to fight off a break down. I tell myself to pull it together so I can at least drive myself home. Next stop? McDonald's of course - because this kind of adulting calls for gross food that you think will make you feel better. Why do we think it will make us feel better? Sometimes it even does, but when you're not used to eating it, it actually only makes you sick.

I roll up to the window...they're not serving lunch yet. Okay, this is a sign, Brittany. Pull away from the window and exit the parking lot. This is your chance to make a better decision. Yea, that would have been far too responsible and adult like. So, naturally... I wait. 


Yup, that's right. I wait for them to serve lunch. I order what I consider an effective amount of emotional aid - for $9.32 (another indicator this is a bad idea, it can't be real if it's that cheap). Then, I'm finally headed home.

But is weigh in Wednesday folks!!! WEIGH-IN-WEDNESDAY and I just ate my weight in McD's. Checkmate.

I spent the rest of the day in bed but actually did haul myself out when it was time for TOPS so I could face the music. I had my day of doom - the day I just couldn't handle another loss. I think we all need one every once in awhile. When the sun pulled up the next morning, I reminded myself it was a new day and new possibilities would be waiting, I just needed to find them. It was time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and move on.

A new week arrives, even though I have yet to sort out my situation, I've continued on every day since. I intended to run some errands and grab some groceries on Tuesday, when my friend called needing someone to watch her son, so I offer to take him with me. No big deal, he is a great traveler and it was going to be quick (yea...)

We left right on time - approximately 9:30am. We had a bunch of little errands to run and finally it's time to get groceries before heading home. It is 11:30am, so we're doing well on time. We'll be back early afternoon and still have time to enjoy the day.

I always have a very meticulous shopping list, so we slide right through the Super Store grabbing items. We are now overflowing and heading to the register. Bennett has even selected a lovely TMNT bath scrubbie, so we're all content. I load up the car, we head over the bridge, decide to grab a quick lunch and then we're off to Walmart for a handful of my American preferred items. I am very impressed with our timing - it's just about Bennett's nap time, which is perfect as he'll sleep the whole ride home.

I'm happily pushing the cart to the car, I pop the trunk and begin unloading our items. As soon as I heave out the large bag of kitty litter, the cart starts to roll backwards, so I toss my keys on the ledge of the trunk so I can quickly snag the cart. I continue to unload the remaining items and once I'm done I lift Bennett out and slam down the trunk.


As soon as it closes, I instantly remember the keys. Right, I didn't unlock the car. Shit. I quickly look to see how far down the windows are and I'm pretty positive I can reach the lock. I stick my hand in and I'm a bit short, but a lovely young man unloading next to me offers to try and VOILA! Success.

I knew the alarm would start to go off, but in my head - all I had to do was use the trunk button on the door, pop the trunk, get my keys and shut it off.

That is apparently not how this works.

I'm pressing the button and NOTHING is happening...The trunk will not pop. WTH? I then crawl into the backseat, hoping to lay down the seats and crawl into the trunk, however those are locked as well. This car is locked up solid.


I shut the door and after a minute the alarm stops. I stick Bennett back in a cart and roll on down to the automotive department. I explain my predicament.

Me: So, do you have a tool or a device I could purchase that will pop open my trunk?
Walmart Man: No ma'am.
Me: Really?
Walmart Man: Well, no ma'am, because then people would use it to pop open trunks that do not belong to them.

Okay, okay Walmart Man...Dumb idea, I get it!

I head to the service desk and ask if there are lock smiths in the local area - and by golly, indeed there are! The local True Value has a lovely locksmith named Ray. Good ole Ray...I called and while he's asking me a serious of questions about my car, Bennett decides to hang up the phone. I call back and we start over. 

Ray says there is nothing he can do to help. My car has gone into security mode, which means everything is on lock down. Nothing in this car will work until it is out of security mode and the only way to release it from security mode is to start the car. Frig sake.

Or should I say, Checkmate.

My only option is to call home and have someone drive the spare key to me. I really hate to do that, on this nice Summer day, but I am out of options. It's about an hour drive. What a pain. But I don't have a choice.

I go back into Walmart to the service counter and expain that Ray is unable to help, could I please make another phone call.

Walmart Woman: Sure - no problem.
Me: Okay, thank you - but it's long distance.
Walmart Woman: I'm sorry, but we're really not supposed to make long distance calls.
Me: I understand, but you are my only hope here!

Poor Walmart employees, they really wanted to help. But at Walmart Jail, you have to have a manager code to make long distance calls. This poor employee acted like an abused puppy dog at the thought of having to retrieve the access code. After much persusasion, we got the code for me to make ONE long distance call.

Have you ever been faced with ONE phone call before? It's not easy to decide who or where to call, especially in the summer when you're not sure who is working and who will be home. I decide to call my grandparents business. A lot of my family works there and I thought, if nothing else, they can make additional calls to find someone for me. My sister is there - Hallelujah! I attempt to explain my situation and ask her to find someone to go get my key and come save me. But I can't call back, so I'm going to trust you with this job and sit here hoping for the best.

At this point, I just feel bad for Bennett. I keep hoping I will see someone it would be okay to send him home with. I will close the place down, I'll sit here all night, I don't care - but I can't make this poor kid sit here. Then, by the grace of God, in walks my Aunt.

I have to return to my car and purposefully set off the alarm so I can get his car seat. But, because we're in security mode, not even the seats will move - so I am trying to crawl through my car and into the back to get the seat. Do you know me? I'm not a little girl. This was a difficult task.

I manage to wiggle through, unlock the belt and start heaving on the seat. It will not come out...I have no idea why...I heave and heave and heave....

At this point, I feel a melt down coming on. This is going to be my moment. I've made it through all of the above, but now I'm going to break down over a car seat.

Checkmate? I don't f'ing thing so. I step out of the car, take a deep breath, tell myself to pull it together and when I look down, I remember I have the car seat installed properly and need to remove ALL of the buckles, not just the seat belt. Oivey. I crawl back through, manage to release all of the buckles and pull the car seat out.

God love that kid! He was such a good sport, completely unphased by the whole event. We roll back inside, car seat and all...we get changed, juiced up and meet up with my Aunt.  Bennett is blowing kisses to Walmart as I get him settled in the car. Wish I could do the same. And, he's off! Phew.

Again, I'm willing to close the place down. I just wanted to get him on his way. I plunk down on a bench and along comes this older lady, who wants to share it with me. Sure, why not. She chain smoked and carried on about Mariah Carey's divorce (didn't know Mariah Carey was getting a divorce)...but it wasted time. It got to be too hot and I was only stressing about my groceries while I was starring at my car, so I excused myself and decided to plunk down at the service counter bench instead.

When I arrive at the service counter, I discover different employees - there has been a shift change! AHA! I go to the counter and tell them all about my predicament, not leading on that I've already been there and already made my ONE phone call. Sure enough, new code and another phone call!! BOOYAH! I use this one to call Bennett's Mom and fill her in on what is going on and that he is en route with my Aunt.

I am contemplating buying a book, because I have no idea how long I'll be here, when I hear my name - it's my mother! She is surprisingly prompt. I don't waste any time getting on the road. The first thing I notice is that in the process, I assume of heaving on the car seat, I managed to break off my rear view mirror. Whatever.

I book it home and when I arrive, the groceries have been in my car, on one of the hottest days we've had so far, for 6+ hours. So, in the making of this Life of A Rice Adventure - after all that - I did have to throw out the meat, frozen foods and one carton of eggs.  But, it is what it is, tomorrow is a new day and I didn't have to close up Walmart. Gotta look at the bright side, the view is always better from there. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Right to Bare Arms

I had missed about a month of TOPS meetings and when I finally was able to return, I had the very unpleasant experience of having gained 6.8lbs. As you read last week, this was terribly disappointing.  But, it was of my own doing.

This Wednesday, I had a pleasant surprise at TOPS. I lost 5lbs. and was loser of the week! I have almost lost what I had gained during my hiatus. I joined TOPS in mid January, and although I have lost weight - I seem to lose small amounts consistently and never have big weeks. So, this was my first time being loser of the week. I was excited, but at the same time - shocked.

I hadn't really worked for it. While I am not as off track as I have been for the past 4 weeks (if not more) I certainly wasn't working as hard as I had February, March or April. I've been yanging and yanging about needing to get back on track. Little things here and there have encouraged me to do so, but apparently not enough to actually do it - until now.  That 5lb. loss and loser of the week have me motivated and kicking ass again.

The house is full of fresh fruits and vegetables. I dug out my water jug. I signed into My Fitness Pal  and most importantly I got off my ass and got going.

I'd love to really kick ass and get back to my 30lbs. this week. But, that's a bit unrealistic, so I am just going to work my ass off and see what happens. I am back on my 4 step plan - sleep, exercise, healthy eating and water.

My orthopedic surgeon said no more running, which I initially was quite sad about - because I really enjoyed it. After I thought about it, the parts I enjoy the most involve the peace and quiet of it all. I am sure I can enjoy the same aspects with a brisk walk, with less impact on my knee. I also want to incorporate some strength and target some areas of concern. 

For example, I am very strange about clothing. I typically have on multiple layers. A tank top, a shirt and a sweater - always. For some reason, I feel more comfortable this way. As if being physically covered makes me emotionally covered...less exposed. I am so anxious about social situations and these little things somehow help.

But it is too damn hot to live this way, and I have a right to bare arms - sweaters are just not possible at this time. It's time to go sleeveless, and I need to be comfortable. So, I am starting an arm work out plan. I'm going to do it every other night for 6 weeks and see what happens. Tonight, my left arm is measuring at 15 inches and my right arm is measuring at 16 inches. I'm excited to see the difference in 6 weeks.

I am also excited about another potential progression. When we attended the Eric Church concert something exciting happened...I purchased a female shirt from merch. What's so exciting about that? Well, as a plus size lady - I have never been able to buy a female shirt at a concert. They're typical made small and may only be available in large or extra large, much too small for me. I usually have to purchase uni-sex or male clothing at events.

This was a prime moment for me in this journey. However, the shirt does not fit as comfortably as I would like, a little snug for my personal preference. You may recall, back in June I said I didn't want to focus on numbers quite so much. Instead, I wanted be a good example and focus on making healthy life style choices and being a good person - because that's what matters. So, for the 6 weeks that I work on my arms, I am also going to forget about the numbers. Instead, I am going to focus on making healthy choices, being a good person AND feeling good (aka comfortable). My hope is that in 6 weeks, this shirt will make me feel better than it did when I purchased it.

The countdown is still on...30 is creeping up and I am eager to see what I can do in the next 39 days. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Thirty and...A Country Fan?? Take 2.

Oh boy, do I have a treat for you today! As you know, country is not my preferred music genre, but I found myself yet again - at a country concert with friends Becca, Courtney & Terra.

As the time approached and I anticipate that actual Eric fans are becoming excited, I came across this lovely Eric Church e-card. Now, since I only know one line, of the chorus, of one song  (Drink a Little Drink, Smoke a Little Smoke) I have no idea what any of it means - but I'm trying to hype everyone up, so even though it seems like it might be somewhat inappropriate, I share it...complete with tagging all of my concert going friends. But when Becca received her notification, she busts into laughter and says "Do you know what that means?". She proceeds to read me the lyrics of Wrecking Ball. Holy moly. FAR.MORE.INAPPRORIATE.THAN.I.REALIZED. Woops. Sorry, FB friends!!

The big day rolls around and for once, I am not prepared. Becca comes home from work and I'm not showered or packed. We're not off to a good start, as I was running very late - not like me at all. Normally, I am a very prompt person. Then, as we were about to finally leave Becca, who has recently become a very prompt person is frantically looking for her brown sandals.

Her: I can't find my sandals. I'm going to have to wear these.
*sporting neon pink and green Nike's*
Me: Uh, no...
Her: Well, I need my brown sandals, but I can't find them.
Me: They're probably in the closet.
Her: No, they were right by the door.
Me: Weird. I don't know. What do they look like?
Her: They look like...THAT!
*pointing at my sandals*
Me: These?
Her: Yes, those.
Me: These aren't mine?
Her: No, they're not.
Me: Well, I kinda liked those neon shoes on you...
*insert chuckle here*

So...after surrending Becca's brown sandals - then I was without matching shoes. I grab a pair that do somewhat match, but I know are going to hurt my feet and figure I'll invest in some brown sandals while we're away.

We spend most of the drive catching up - we're used to seeing each other daily and had some updating to do. We arrive in Bangor, check into our hotel and head to the hotels restaurant to grab some wings before the show. We are walking down to the waterfront, where the concert will take place and already my shoes are killing my feet - which I knew was going to happen, but I had to match. Damn that Becca for taking "my" sandals. I should have just worn the black ones, I thought.

We grab some merch - and of course, I decide to purchase the HOLY WREKCING BALL shirt, due to my unfortunate misunderstanding of the e-card. We're right at the helm of the crowd and after they open the gate, we find the prime location - smack dab in the middle, where we know Eric will be singing directly to us. We had a great spot - we thought...

The opening act had enjoyable music - but I wasn't so sure they were not possessed by the devil prior to the concert. So, I just listened and tried not to make direct eye contact, as I was a bit worried about the repercussions.

Now, it would not be a trip with the Rice's if we didn't manage to land ourselves right in the middle of pure entertainment - if you can call it that. Throughout the concert I looked out into the swarm of people and everyone was having a great time, a pretty good crowd. Somehow, the craziness just seemed to be a small circle, surrounding us.

First off - to our South East, we have a group of people who are definitely there for a good time. Which is great! They were rowdy...and interesting. A lot of bumping and grinding. I spent most of my night in one of the women's arm pits as she was raising her hands up clapping and jumping around. But at least she was deodorized.

There were a few small tiffs - a little pushing and shoving, some cursing...we had a little visit from Security, trying to work out a disagreement between the young girl beside us and the Bigfoot behind us. As we're just coming down from one excitement, another was always on the horizon...

We're talking casually and next thing we know, to our West - the very sober and quiet lady who had actually said once or twice that she needed some air falls to the ground. Her friend scrambles to collect her. When she stands her up, the lady has come to and said she was okay and chuckles. Oddly, she didn't seem disoriented but as soon as the words leave her lips she's going down again. We help her friend scoop her up and suggest she get her out of the crowd for some air. As we're trying to make our way through the people she goes down again, taking everyone with her. A few of us manage to get everyone back on their feet. But she keeps coming in and out and it was taking us a long time to try to get her to an open area, so I suggest we just carry her and that we did. Thankfully, the crowd wasn't too large at that time and after making the decision to just carry her out, security noticed us quickly and ran over to help. I really wanted to wait and make sure she was okay, but medics were quickly on site and I knew she was in good hands. I also knew if I didn't make my way back to my friends, I may never get there. So I scrambled back into the crowd - but it wasn't easy, people are not kind about letting you back in - but I got there with some persistence.

We're standing and waiting, the stage set up seems to be complete, and has been for a little while. I'm sure they'll come out at a set time, but the crowd around us is becoming impatient. Although, regardless of all the ancy actions - nothing beats the female Steven Tyler look alike, who beings chanting "What the F...What the F...What the F..." Except, she used the whole word.

Oh much has happened and the show hasn't even begun. My feet are hurtin' so I decide to take a joking jab at Becca about not letting me wear the brown sandals that will match my outfit, and realize all of my friends are looking at my like I'm crazy. Courtney says, "Brown sandals to match your dress, leggings and hat that are black?" I look down. Yup. True story. In my head, my dress had brown in it. But it in fact did not. My feet are throbbing for nothing! It wasn't necessary at all. Leave it to me!

The concert begins and all is well...It was a delightful show. For some reason, even though we had been there for hours, the young girls to our East decided to consistently smoke all of their weed  during the last 30 minutes of the show. So, we enjoyed the remainder of Eric through a thick fog. I sang the one line, of the chorus of the one song I knew, and man didn't I kill that one part!

I had a great time with some great friends, and I'm sure there are many more stories (one in particular I will not share, Meg LOL) but these are the highlights. And for the record, I bought myself some brown sandals before we headed home...just in case I find a brown outfit to wear them with.

Good Girls Never Miss Church...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Let's Play Ball

Long ago - back when I started this journey as well as this blog, I vowed it was going to be all about me and I was going to focus on what I needed to do. Man, I suck. I haven't been very good at that - especially lately.

I never really did get it...but then there was end of school year craziness, moving right into celebration chaos. To make matters worse, I just continue to take on tasks that throw a curveball directly at my routine. I am a creature of habit - I do not do well out of my routine, and since I know this, I need to consider this when making the decision to take things on. Right now, I NEED my routine. I need to think...How will this change my routine? Can I readjust? How will I do that? Is that something I will actually follow through with? Do I just need to say no? I have not been following this thought process.

I'm sure everyone can have a selfish bone when it comes to something, at least one thing. But most of the time, I am a yes girl - regardless of how badly it detours me from my own life. I typically will change it up - however, whenever, whatever. Whatever anyone needs, I'll do it. Whatever I can do to help, I'm there. Obviously, these are probably good qualities. But right now is not the time - I need to have a selfish summer - what do I need, what will help me? I keep thinking about how things need to change. I've been off track for too long. Days just kept going by and no changes have been made. 

The Bay of Fundy International Marathon couldn't have rolled around at a better time. Many of my readers are probably local - and therefore, know all about this event. But let me recap for you. The BFIM is an amazing experience. This is the 3rd "marathon" to take place and I've volunteered at all three. It has become one of my favorite days of the year and one of my favorite events to take place locally. I say "marathon" because this event includes a full marathon, half marathon, 10k and children's fun run. Something for all ages and abilities!

My first year, I stopped by and helped at a water station that my cousin had organized. It was so
much fun! In your head, it seems like a long time and you assume it will be monotonous - standing in one area, pinching your little paper cup, shouting "Water, Water" or "Gatorade, Gatorade". But it is so much more! Even though they're running by, there is so much interaction and so much hype - the time flies by and you are left at the end of the day a much happier person.


Year 2, I worked bib pick-up and organized a water station. I will not go into details about how absolutely amazing bib pick-up is...getting to greet, meet and chat with each runner...learn where they're from, their story, their goals...I fear that if I express the awesomeness of bib pick-up, someone will try to steal this job from me and I.WILL.TAKE.YOU.DOWN.

Bay of Fundy International Marathon...Check it out: Here.
This current year, I worked registration as well as course marshall, helping to guide the runners in the right direction. It's amazing how the runners take the time to personally thank you for coming out and volunteering. They're so appreciative and humble. Here I am, just standing on a line, pointing in the correct direction while these guys are running 26.2 miles for crying out loud!! If you have yet to volunteer for this incredible event, mark it on your to do will not regret it. "We" need all the extra's we can get to help cheer them along and reach their goal. It's far more important than you realize.

Not only is the marathon amazing for all of the reasons above, but it also gives you a big boost. Like I said, you leave this event a happier and better person. Satisfaction guaranteed! Once again, BFIM  perked me up and I have redeemed my motivation. The fun is over, it's time to pull it together. We had practically 700 runners who find the time and gumption to train and run these marathons - so there are no excuses. I've been negligent. 

Now that we have July 1st and 4th behind us, I have to put an end to this. I have a goal and I have a deadline and I DO have the time, I just need to keep it that way. No more interferences. Time to focus on the end game.

I stepped on the scale today...and it is NOT pretty. Not only have I gained - but I gained several pounds, pushing me further from my goal. I am really angry with myself. My goal was very tangible, but I lost sight and unfortunately, I don't think I have enough time to recover my losses and reach my goal.

I can't let that bring me down. It is what it is. I messed up. But, that doesn't mean I have to give up. So, it's game time. Let's play ball!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Carbs & Corn Syrups

It is the end of the school year - and if you work at a school, need I say more? Just trust me on this...emotions and stress levels are high! As you all know, I am an emotional eater. My family does not express emotions - we don't cry, we don't say mushy things, we don't hug and there are certainly no I love you's happening. Apparently we do have so called emotions, because I tend to eat mine instead.

It really wouldn't be very fair to say I am struggling...this is mainly because I am not trying at all!! All of my energy is currently focused on end of school year survival. I am drained and apparently, according to Becca - eating us out of house and home. I am officially off the wagon.

I don't intend to stay on the side lines, but I've decided to accept that right now is not the time. I only have so many days left of school, and when school is done, I will pull my shit together and jump back on the train.

However, in the mean time, we can't keep manage to keep groceries. It's like a competition to see how fast I can get rid of them. I am also eating things I haven't had since December - Pepsi is back on the menu regularly, I've certainly had my fill of PB cups...oh, and the chips...the dip...which apparently does count even when it is veggie dip.

When I am stressed, since I don't know how to release my feelings in an emotional or physical way, the best solution seems to be carbs and corn syrups.

This person, sitting here typing to all you fine folks is someone I haven't laid eyes on in a long time. I think she might in fact be worse than the person I was before. I keep catching myself not even sitting down to eat. If a woman stands while she eats, and immediately tosses the evidence - did she really eat? Pretty sure she did. Eventually it's going to appear...on the scale, on hips, on my chin, places I didn't know it could go...

It is quite likely, especially lately that you will hear the words "the struggle is real" from me daily. It has never been more true - the struggle IS real!! I'm not even attempting to fight it off. I can't stop feeding myself. I am a true example of a train wreck that you can't turn away from.

The only thing on my mind or on my plate are carbs and corn syrups. I know I need to start reigning it in, that I need to get back on track. So, I decided I needed a physical and/or mental activity to turn things around. Therefore, I am going to head out kayaking. That will help, I thought.

I thought wrong. I'm not sure why I was so confident in this activity. I enjoy kayaking, but I have not always had the best experiences. I wouldn't call this a 10 for 10 activity. I'll spare you the story of when I flipped my kayak into the chilling ocean in April...and move right onto the time the beaver tried to take me down.

Yes, you read that correctly, Miss Proud to Be Canadian, is not so fond of beavers. Once upon a time, back when I apparently could lay back and enjoy kayaking, Becca and I loaded up for a quiet day on the water. We arrive, we unload, we sit, we paddle to the end, we paddle back...At this point, we're just drifting around and hanging out. Suddenly - splash splash..."Oh, look...a cute little beaver. How nice!"

No - not nice! I can only assume that this beaver may have had young nearby, but for whatever reason - it did not want me in its lake. Just me. It was taking me down! It came up on one side of my kayak and flapped the boat quite sternly, dunked, popped up on the other side and did the same. It did this repeatedly, continuing to get more aggressive. The kayak started to bob side to side. I worked to keep my balance - but I wasn't sure it would be smart to put my paddle in and try to move out of harms way, or whether the beaver would be threatened by this action. As the flaps became more aggressive - I really had no choice, and I dunked that bad boy in and shoved off, trying to quickly exit the scene. The beaver followed along and flapped for a little bit, but eventually I got ahead or she gave up...Not sure which. I am not ashamed to admit, I was scared of that furry thing - tipping was NOT an option. Becca will often tell you I exaggerate the seriousness of most situations, but she totally has my back on this tale.

Now...Skip ahead to the present...Here, I am in need of a mental detox and for some reason I decide to try to find inner peace in the middle of the lake. We load up, we arrive and we unload.

Ahh...just what I was looking for. Physical outlet, sun, peace, quiet and even a dog frolicking on the beach over yonder. I can just imagine Louis' "What A Wonderful World" playing softly in the background -  when suddenly the record needle comes to a screeching halt.

I spy my first beaver dam.

My blood pressure begins to rise. I paddle harder.

Phew. Out of sight,out of mind. Except..there's another and another and another...

Pretty sure the world record of beaver dams in one given location has been broken.

With each dam we pass, my blood pressure rises.

This is NOT stress-free...Why didn't I pack a snack??

I finally get to the end, we swing around to head back and I can't even believe I have to pass all of these dams AGAIN.

As we're heading back, the wind suddenly picks up. While it's common to have a bit of movement in the ocean, I've never had such an experience in a lake before. The wind is pressing hard against us, the swells are coming right up over the front of the kayak and the water is splashing me in the face.

All I can think is - I am NOT staying here with the beavers and I am not going under!! I start to dig in, I have never kayaked so hard...and poor Becca - I didn't wait for her, nor did I look back to check on her. I just knew I was not risking tipping, flipping or anything in between that might land me with those beavers.

If I had to provide an example of what this scenario looked like, I would say Cruella DeVil...I was like Cruella, except in a kayak instead of a roadster - but the same look of insanity, and probably the same hair style.

When I came to the home stretch, I could feel the relief flush through my body. At this point, I did turn to ensure the beavers didn't have Becca, who was indeed behind me. This yak of solace to get me back on track was a bit of a fail.

But, thankfully tomorrow is Friday - the last day of school and the end of my carbs and corn syrups.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

End Game

Recently, female students from my school attended a Girl Empowerment Summit hosted by Fearlessly Girl, an organization founded by Kate Whitfield. Fearlessly Girl creates movements to increase leadership and empowerment among young women, and encourages working on positive self image, decreasing girl-against-girl bullying and more. From there, these students decided that our community could benefit from bringing some of this knowledge to our school.

Between college and my time working in the field, I have 11 years worth of stories, stress, set backs and successes with children and youth facing these issues. I've encountered so many who have sadly turned to unhealthy and dangerous ways of coping. It's important to work on setting up effective strategies while facing challenges - but getting to the root of the problem is really the best solution. If we could work on bullying in general, we may not have to work with so many who are being torn down by it. So, I of course wanted to help. We got together to begin planning. As we are reviewing our Fearlessly Girl book (available here) we are discussing body image...rocking what you got, beauty-full you, self esteem make overs, etc.

It really had me thinking...I've been so public and up front with this journey, but have I given the wrong idea? I like to joke around and poke fun at some of the things I do - But plain and simple, this is all about feeling good. I don't want the girls in our community, my own family, or any random female who might stumble upon my blog to get the wrong idea. The effects of my weight were mostly mental, but were not extreme. It wasn't okay and I should have worked through it then. Now, I'm much older and the effects are more significant...mental, physical and magnified. Those minimums turned to maximums - I am far from comfortable and capable, and there lies the issue.

I don't want any visitors to begin to read about my journey and think I spend my days putting myself down in front of a mirror or on top of my scale. I also do not want them to start thinking about themselves and feeling like they need to change. Happy and Healthy - this is how we should be gaging our success.

I should be representing a population of girls my size and encouraging them to love themselves, be proud of themselves, don't hide it, be who you are...But, as you've read - I was not happy and healthy and needed a change. I have the utmost respect for any other curvy lady living that way...and I hope to join you. I just have some work to do first. It shouldn't be about what I see in the mirror, see on the scale or what size my pants are. Happy and Healthy - that is the end game.

For this journey, the best way to track my progress has been Weigh-In Wednesday. But, I know it's not about the number. My TOPS leader is always reminding us that we are more than the number on the scale. Yes, I use the scale to determine my successes - but it is simply to help me know that I am on the right path. I would really hate to give the impression that it means more than it does, and I'd hate to have my journey encourage someone else to think that way.

While, I'm not quite ready to set myself completely free from the scale, I do think a scale make-over is in order. I talk a lot of numbers, and this needs to change as I do. A good project to work on would be to find some more creative and encouraging ways of determining my success. I am going to try to J.Law it up for a little while. In the spirit of this post, and J.Law'ing it up - I will not give a specific update, but let you know that my TOPS meeting last week was positive - and I felt good. Success!

As I strive to be a positive role model, I don't strive to be "thin", or have my hair and make-up done every day, or wear the right things or wish I didn't have a lazy eye. My end game does not have any specifics on appearance or weight. I want to feel good, I want to be comfortable, I want to not feel anxious. I want to be confident, I want to be proud - I don't believe I have to be 131 lbs, have flexing oblique muscles, or only one chin just to feel that way. I have an idea in mind on how comfortable with life I wish to be. That's my end game.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

On The Road Again, Take 2.

Just 2 days later, hardly recovered from our day trip to Fredericton - Becca and I head to Bangor. I know what you're thinking: I'm headed to Bangor to cash in my reward weekend. Aaaannnt - wrong.

I had to cancel the overnight for financial reasons. Then, because the spa we were attending is not open on Sundays, we had to cancel that as well. Instead, I book a pedicure with my local lady (insert shout out to Mermaids Reef Nail Salon). Then, I received the call to come to Fredericton and had to cancel. I like to keep my little puppy dog familiar with her amazing boarder (insert shout out to Whistler Boarding Kennels). However, in the night she dug at what we believed to be a hot spot and opened it up...between her boarder and I, we decided it was not best to send her.

So...we went from over night in Bangor, Spa Day, Tattoos and more...
To...quick trip to Bangor for tattoos - because I was holding onto at least ONE thing from this weekend.


It is the night before, and since I had to cancel my pedicure appointment, my feet are in horrendous condition from not tending them most of the winter. Something needs to be done...I decide I am going to try the Listerine Foot Soak.

Of course, every recipe online is different, so I do my best and combine: 1 cup of Listerine, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar. It says to soak for 10-15 minutes. My feet are BAD, so I soak them for 20+. This may be where we encountered the problem. I remove my feet and they are GREEN. I would have even preferred blue...because this green hue very must reminds one of middle stage gangrene. All of the online tutorials claim that the dead skin will just flake right off. I can't say this was true for me...However, like I pointed out - I have terrible feet. Perhaps this might happen for someone with less of an issue. But I went to the tub and scrubbed on them, trying to remove the green tint and must say, apart from their coloring, they look much improved.

Thankfully, the next morning I applied a sugar scrub and quite literally scraped the green off my feet. Phew! We start off for Bangor and it is downpouring...Ugh.

Becca drove to Fredericton, so I was going to drive us to Bangor. I'm sure she regretted this within the first 15 minutes. I am quite night blind...and by night blind I mean dark and cloudy blind, rain blind and snow blind. Basically if it is not a semi-sunny day, I can't see. If it is TOO sunny I also cannot see, as I have sensitive eyes and they water ridiculously. Thankfully, I have learned how to cope and am rather good at navigating blindly.


For the first hour and a half, we are just that, navigating AND hydroplaning blindly. But we haven't hit anything yet, so I assume we are still on track. Thankfully, the last hour of the drive was the perfect happy medium Brittany driving conditions, and we arrive to the tattoo shop (yet another shout out, to both Diversified Ink as well as my tattoo artist Siobhan Alexander.)

First things first..."Can we see your ID?"

Why of course you can, then I realize my passport is back in the parking lot, locked in the car. I decide to run out and get it. Why? Because I can't display my driver's license in public.

Let me explain to you how awful it is...I have avoided any human contact with my driver's license to inthe very best of my ability. Normally, something like this does not bother me at all - this should indicate just how terrible it is. Becca had yet to see said license, until merely 2 days ago.

On our way home from Fredericton, my license comes up (can't quite recall how) and I make it very clear she is not to see it. She bugs and bugs, so I finally give it - it's just one person. I slowly pull it out of my wallet and hand it over.

Dead silence...

She's speechless...?

Nope, I look over...her head is tilted back, her mouth wide open...She is laughing beyond hysterics. It is one of those - I'm laughing so hard, sound is not even coming out my mouth - laughs. Finally, she gasps for air and a roaring, rolling laughter comes bursting out. I know it's true...I can't even help myself, I join in.

Her: OMG!
Me: I know...It's like I'm wearing a fat suit...
Her: And then ate your own leg...
Me: I know!
Her: Why didn't you take a new one?
Me: I did! I took like, 4!
Her: And this was the best one?
Me: They were all like this, I decided that must be what I look like.
Her: OMG, no...But you should never wear this scarf again. Neither of us can compose ourselves. Flash ahead 2 days...

Me: I need to go back and get my passprt.
Her: Just use your driver's license.
Me: I can't let anyone see that!
Her: They're not going to use it for anything, they're just going to check it.
Me: Ok, fine...

I hesitantly hand over my license...a moment goes by...the lovely lady behind the counter hands me back a form...WITH MY DRIVER'S LICENSE PHOTO COPIED AT THE TOP. This has never happened to me before. My photo is now officially out there. Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts....

In a matter of minutes, I was laid out on a massage table being inked and only randomly recalling the dreaded driver's license. I introduce to you, the result of my Diversified visit:

In honor of my Rice family - a little lobster, representing the family business, which my grandparents worked their asses off to create, and where each of their children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren have worked, learned and had the pleasure of growing up.

A wave featuring Maya Angelou's Still I Rise - Here's to overcoming obstacles!

The weekend did not go as planned but it ended rather well. We of course grubbed up before we headed home. We were so excited to be in a city and have a variety of options that we couldn't decide where to go. Following supper, even though I was full, I just had to stop to Cold Stone Creamery before we left Bangor. Thankfully, there was no time for anything else - we had to get back home, because it is likely I would have roamed around Bangor hitting up food joints all day.

Naturally, Wednesday rolls around and I gained 1 lb, saying good-bye to my 30 lb. loss. I must say, it was well worth it! I laughed it off. Sometimes you have to relax for a weekend and indulge a little. The real test of commitment is getting back on track afterwards, and that is what I am working on this weekend.