Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 ends - post 200

 This is my 200th post finally. It will be brief, but I felt the need to get it in before it was a new year. 

 On January 1st I set my walking goal for this year. I decided to try and walk 2012 miles, like so many others. It would be a challenge, but I really wanted to see if I could do it. 

 As of this moment I have walked 2881 miles. 

 I did it  :) 

  Here is how my year started 


And here is how it ended 


There weren't a lot of changes, but there were a LOT of miles. 
  I also started running this year and ran six 5ks. These were all virtual 5ks and not races with other people, but I still ran them. My best time is 29:45, which I still find hard to believe. 


here is my funniest run (not really a 5k)



COME BACK NEXT YEAR AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN MY LIFE. 

THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE READING THIS ARE SPECIAL TO ME. 

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY AND BEING A PART OF MY BLOG. 



Bring in the new year - stats (Nexercise)

The Tale of the New Year's Fail [Infographic]
courtesy of Nexercise.com

Friday, December 28, 2012

Healthy Choice Baked Entrees

I belong to Crowdtap and they had an offer for me to redeem a $1.00 off coupon to try the NEW Healthy Choice Baked EntrĂ©es. They offer freshly-made pastas, crisp vegetables and wholesome ingredients that have a baked-from-the-oven taste.

 We headed to the Commissary and I chose the Chicken & Rice Cheddar Bake and the Roasted Chicken & Potatoes. The price was very reasonable, even without the coupon.


 Last night I finally tried one of these. I chose the Chicken & Rice. Instructions were simple; just cut a slit in the cover and microwave. It took less than 4 minutes. 


 Everything mixed together well after it was cooked. I enjoyed the cheesy flavor and the combination with the rice and chicken. The more I ate, the more I wanted. Why does this always happen? Sometimes I really wish that serving sizes were larger, but in all honesty I am glad for the portion control. 


 Because of the cheese, this particular meal has 220 calories. The Chicken and Potato says 180 calories. 

If you like TV dinners, and you like HEALTHY, I highly recommend that you give these a try. Heck, I recommend them even if you don't like healthy. They have six varieties, like Four Cheese Zita Marinara (310 calories) and Fettuccini Alfredo Bake (270 calories) 

You can find them all listed here:



Let me know what you think  

Thank you to Crowdtap

(these opinions are my own)




Saturday, December 22, 2012

Six Word Saturday (video)




THIS VIDEO ALWAYS MAKES ME LAUGH !!



I DIDN'T KNOW SHE MADE FACES

UNTIL WE WATCHED THE FINISHED PRODUCT

SHE'S 23 NOW - TIME SURE FLIES
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

No more naked oatmeal for me





Have you ever tried Torani syrup? They have over 120 flavors in Regular and Sugar Free varieties. Normally I am not a big fan of sugar free, but they are my choices now when I do purchase them in the store. We started purchasing them about a year ago. I love adding a splash to my morning coffee. Our Commissary only has about 5 varieties of flavors. I can't imagine how hard it would be to choose from over 120.

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks & Torani. They provided me with 2 bottles of Torani Syrups plus a recipe booklet, and coupons.  How lucky am I? 


I RECEIVED SUGAR FREE SALTED CARAMEL 
AND GINGERBREAD


Before I go further I would like to share a link with you so that you can save $1.00 on your next purchase. You can find the link below this pretty picture. 





I have never used the syrup in a recipe, but I am very tempted after reading through some of the other blogs. I did decide to dress up my oatmeal one night with the Salted Caramel. 


 I diced up some apple, and added some raisins. 

The Salted Caramel really added some great flavor. I love how it gives it a sweet taste and is sugar free. This was the best bowl of oatmeal that I have had in a long time. I will definitely be doing this again. 



DID I MENTION HOW GOOD IT IS IN COFFEE?
That is how I have been enjoying the Gingerbread syrup. 

Here is my Torani collection. 


Now I am going to find some recipes. 
Let me know if you have a favorite. 

Thank you SheSpeaks and Torani 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

AFTER MY POST YESTERDAY IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE TO PULL OUT SOME OLD PHOTOS OF ME AND MY GIRLS 
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LIFE IS GOOD 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ali is my new therapist

Ali over at www.runningwithspatulas.com asked this today:

 Question – have you ever try to push negative feelings aside? is there something for you that triggers sadness around this time of year?
 
Since I couldn't fit this all in the comment section I had to make my own post. 

 
 Dear Ali, (my new therapist)

   I do try, but I don't like holidays.
   I also have Dad issues, and Mom issues, and all that comes with it.
 
 I didn't feel much love while I was growing up. My mother never read me a book, we never went to the store together, she didn't teach me how to be a wife or a mother. What she did teach me was that "do whatever your husband wants and you will be happy". I took this advice into my (first) marriage, and I failed miserably. 

He was abusive physically, verbally, and mostly mentally. After five years of this treatment I gained enough strength to file for a divorce. Short version is that he convinced me that I was worthless and a crappy mother and that our children would be better off in his care. He promised that he would drag me through the mud and force our children to sit through the court hearing while he shared how bad I was. I believed him and I surrendered custody, thinking that I would enjoy my time with them often. 

 In my mind it would go something like this: He would go to work and I would have the kids during the day. We would switch off on weekends, and everything would work out great. His family had money and I just wanted my girls to be happy. Somewhere I had learned that money equals happiness. Mistake number one. My girls were 3 years old and 13 months. Oh, it still hurts my heart to say that. My baby was only 13 months old.

My plans went nothing like I thought they would. Our divorce was finalized very quickly, because I asked for nothing. I was just a silly 23 year old who agreed to whatever he wanted. All I wanted at that time was to be out of an abusive relationship. I believed that I was bad and it would be wrong for me to raise them on welfare. (yeah, that's what I thought the only alternative was) Within weeks of our divorce it was very clear to me that he thought he still had control over me. I would call to talk to the girls and he wouldn't let me. Keep in mind that this was in 1987 and our divorce papers only said "reasonable visitation", which I found out later meant if he decided that I could see them. He never decided that I could.

Imagine being so close to them and not having contact. He basically told them that I left them and I would not be back. Every day I called and he would insult me and hang up the phone. The police said they could do nothing. They told me to get a lawyer and go back to court. I had no job, no support from family, and no confidence.

What did I do? I ran far away.

A man that I had met invited me to California to visit and bought me a plane ticket. Three months after my divorce I was on a plane, running flying 1200 miles away, and I never looked back. What was supposed to be a visit actually lasted 15 years, but that's a whole other story.

I still called the house to talk to the girls and he would tell me that they were better off without a mom. I seriously thought that he had told them I had died. Looking back now I cannot believe that I didn't fight harder. It pains me to know that my self confidence was so shattered that I didn't know that there was something that I could do. If I could go back I would slap myself HARD. I would also slap a lot of other people who I think should have stood up for me. Not one person in my life told me not to give up custody of my girls. Not one person told him that he needed to let me talk to them. Everybody accepted things as they were.

Birthdays and holidays would come and I curled up into a fetal position and bawl for hours. I screamed at the top of my lungs on the shower floor, begging for help from above. Many, many hours and days were spent with tears streaming down my face as I ached to be with my girls. I did send gifts and it was reassuring to me to know that they did receive them. Many tears were cried on those presents as I crafted them specifically for my girls.

Finally a day came when I would return to Nebraska. It had been 18 months but had felt like a lifetime. During that time I was finally able to talk to my girls on the phone and my mother would send me photos in the mail after he would bring them to her house for a visit. I cherished those pictures and hated them all at the same time. My baby girls were growing up without me, just like he said they would.

So here I am now, back in Nebraska, and I call him to ask if I can see the kids. After many tries and a lot of begging on my part he finally agrees that I can come to the house and see them. And this is where it gets even sadder for me.

My sister drops me off at the house. How strange it was for me to be there again. It was probably the most excited that I had been in a very long time. I was FINALLY going to see my girls. Seeing him repulsed me as all of the bad memories came flashing back at me. I entered the house and looked for the girls to come running into my arms, but they are nowhere in sight. And he says to me:

"I have changed my mind and put them to bed. I don't want you to wake them up and confuse them, but you can sleep here and you can see them in the morning." This hurts me, but it also makes perfect sense. (sigh) The last thing that I want to do is upset my girls or to confuse them. As I am writing this I want to scream out at the young me. Why didn't I run into that house and call for them? Why didn't I push my way into their bedroom and announce "MOMMY IS HERE!!!!!" Why did I let that man control me to this point? Those answers will never be known.

I cry and I beg some more, but he doesn't budge on his thoughts. He convinces me that I should sleep in his bed and he will sleep on the couch. We wouldn't want the girls to wake up and see me on the couch in the middle of the night would we? (yes asshole, we would) I want to leave, but I am so afraid that if I walk out that door I will never gain access again. Certainly I can last just one more night, right? So I go to the bedroom; the one that had so many bad memories, and I try to sleep. My girls are so close and yet so far from me.

Somehow I do fall asleep; I imagine it is from exhaustion. The next thing I know, he is there with me. He covers my mouth and demands sex, something that he had done often while we were married. He whispers to me in his evil way, telling me that I will ALWAYS be his and that he can have me any time he wants. I am so afraid to scream. So scared that the girls will hear my muffled cries and come to investigate. I fight for as long as I can and then I surrender to him, one last time. Once again he has crushed me and I feel that I have nobody to blame but myself. I believe what so many victims believe. He raped me and yet I felt that it was my fault.

And he says..."I hope that you can't get pregnant." I know that I was already pregnant before I had arrived, and I am thankful for that.

And then he says...

"I changed my mind and I don't think it is a good idea for the girls to wake up and find you here in the morning. Help me get them into the car so that I can take you back to your sister's."

HUH???

I am numb, I am confused, and I am beat down to nothing once again. Within five minutes I am sitting in the front seat of his car with my baby girl (now she is 3 years old) laying in my arms, sleeping. I am kissing her face over and over, wetting her precious cheeks with my tears, but I am not speaking a word. I want to bottle up that moment and save it forever in my mind.

Our oldest daughter (now 5) is wrapped in her blanket on the back seat. (this was before the car seat laws). He pulls up to my sister's house and tells me to get out of the car. My oldest daughter wakes up and stares at me. I will never forget the way that she says "Momma??" as she looks at me. Tears are rolling down my face as I look back into her beautiful eyes and I tell her. "Momma loves you babygirl. I will see you tomorrow." As sad as that memory is to me, it is also one of my most loving memories. My babygirl still knew who I was, and that meant the world to me.

The "tomorrow" doesn't come, because he changes his mind again and forbids me from seeing them. I am sure that my little girl thought that she was dreaming it all. What a nice dream that must have been for her. I call the police and I ask for help, telling them that he won't let me see the girls. There is nothing that they can do. I do not tell them about what happened that night in the house, because at this point I still feel that it was my fault. Oh, the things we would change if we could go back in time, right?

  (side note: Years later I called the police department and filed a report. Too much time had passed to act on it, but I could still file a report. Some time after that he admitted to me on the phone that I did say no and he forced himself on me. I think he even said he was sorry)

Flash forward to July 1990.

   I visit Nebraska with my 2nd husband, my 11 yr old step-daughter, and my little girl who was celebrating her 1st birthday. It had been another 18 months since my last visit. There had been more talks on the phone and more gifts sent in the mail. My girls were now sending me drawings and postcards in the mail. Holidays and birthdays were still very hard for me, but my little baby girl had given me new hope. I call her my lifesaver. She taught me that I really was a good mom, and that I was needed.

The asshole tried to keep me from the girls, but I had grown a backbone and insisted that he let me spend time with them. It was a brief visit, maybe lasting a week, and I had an amazing time with the girls. They came to my mother's house with us and even spent the night. It was the beginning of new hope for me. It was so wonderful to have my three girls (four, counting my step-daughter) all together. We went shopping together and the girls were such happy little girls. To this day I am in awe when I think back to that time. If people saw us together they would have never known that we had been apart for so many years.

We kept in contact much more often, although I have to admit that I didn't call them nearly as much as they would have liked. Fear of the unknown always held me back. By that I mean not knowing how he would treat me when I called. Just hearing his voice on the phone would send my head spinning with flashbacks of so many things that had happened in the past. He often belittled me and I would pass the sadness and anger onto my new husband. Every 2 or 3 years I made it back to Nebraska for a visit. He stopped trying to keep them from me, and I stopped letting him control me. The girls got older and they were able to speak up and tell him when they wanted to talk to their mom. Yes, I still cried on their birthdays and holidays. There was always something missing.

  For many years I had referred to the older ones as my "other girls" and now I am happy to say that I have not used that term for over ten years. It always made me sad to say it, but that is just how it came out when I talked about them. It was very hard to try to explain to people how I could have two daughters that live in another state and even harder to explain that I gave up custody. I am sure that I was judged by many and a lot of people probably thought that I "lost" custody. I don't really know which is worse. I made the decision to not have custody?? Really?? Who does that??

Somebody who wasn't raised with confidence; that's who. Somebody who was taught to do whatever the man said; that's who. Somebody who was told that she should just keep her mouth shut; that's who.

Let's do another flash forward, shall we?

2002 I leave California, basically running again from a bad marriage. Things are much different this time. I am older, wiser, and I do not give up custody of our child. She is 12 at the time. She would have it no other way I am sure, because I am a GREAT mom. (smiling)

Because there is a whole other story in here that is unrelated I will skip to 2004, where I move back to Nebraska, and I am close to my girls. I am there when my middle daughter has a terrible car accident and we don't know if she will survive. Her father does his best to keep me from seeing her in the hospital, but eventually I am allowed to see her. Can you believe that somebody can be so cruel? I won't dwell on that, because she recovered fully and it all turned out fine. ASSHOLE !

My girls are all amazing and I have a great relationship with each one of them. I was there to watch my middle daughter graduate high school. I don't remember if I saw her first steps, but I did get to see her walk to get that diploma, and I was so proud to be there. Both of her sisters sat with me, and I have to admit I felt a little smug as I glanced at the asshole and his family.

He couldn't keep my girls from me. He couldn't kill the love that I had given to them when they we just tiny little girls. He may have broken down my spirit over and over again through the years, but he could NEVER remove the bond that I have with my girls.

I did leave Nebraska again in 2007, when my youngest daughter graduated high school She attended the same high school that I had graduated from 25 years prior. The same high school that my mother had gone to 25 years before me. It is still hard for me to be in that state. My whole family lives there, but I just can't do it. Holidays are still difficult and I am usually the last one on the list when it's time for people to make their rounds. It gets old.

The girls are all adults now and I have spent a lot of time with them over the past 10 years. You may have found this a hard post to read, and I must admit it was pretty hard to write as well. I cried some heavy tears as I put these memories in writing, but I found it very therapeutic. It makes me sad when negative things can hurt us so many years later. There are times when I don't understand how it all happened and in all honesty I really can't believe that this was my life.

If you know anybody who is keeping their children from the other parent, please try to talk some sense into them. And if you know anybody that is going through what I went through, please tell them to not give up.

I used to tell my girls that once they turn 18 nobody can keep us apart. Yes, we missed out on a lot, but we have an amazing future together.


Ali rocks..  go check her out 
 www.runningwithspatulas.com

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My six words


CLICK THE BUTTON ABOVE TO JOIN US FOR 
SIX WORD SATURDAY
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Perimenopause is really pissing me off






or maybe it's my thyroid



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

KIKKO - MAN THAT'S GOOD



Kikkoman Soy Sauce Brine 

 I finally got around to cooking that chicken, and it was possibly my best chicken ever. Let me take you through the process .... c'mon along 




 #1 Get yourself a chicken, remove the giblets, and rinse that naked bird. A little spank on the bottom, to show him who is boss, never hurts.


#2 Since I am a rebel I did not use the recipe that I found online. I will share it with you here and tell you my changes. 

~  1 gallon of water (easy breezy right?)
~  3/4 cup Kosher salt  (I used 1/2 cup of table salt instead)
* recipe says that you can use 25% MORE table salt if you don't have kosher salt. I could not get myself to use over a cup of salt, mostly because it would have depleted my salt inventory, but also because THAT'S A LOT OF SALT!!
~ 2/3 cup sugar
~ 3/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce (pert near the whole 10oz bottle)
~ 1/4 cup Olive oil 
 

#3 You put all of that in your big cooking pot and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Photo included in case you don't know how to stir.  


#4 Grab that chicken and give it the plunge


bye bye little chicken

#5 Make room in the refrigerator and take a nap for 4 hours 


mmmm  cupcake !!

 

mmmm  beer  :) 

#6  Wake up from long nap, remove chicken from it's bath, rinse and pat dry. (the bird)
 
#7 Prepare as usual - here is a peek at the spices I use to rub down my chicken, inside and out. 
 
     2 tsp salt - 1/2 tsp white pepper - 1 tsp paprika - 1/4 tsp pepper - 1/4 tsp garlic powder - 1/2 tsp onion powder




Normally I would bag the chicken and put him in the refrigerator for 4 hours before cooking, but since the little guy had already spent half the day inside the refrigerator I spared him that. 


#8 Cook at 350 degrees. 20 minutes per pound, plus additional 15 minutes for good measure. If you know your chicken, you will know when it is done. 

It will look like this when you cut into it


Can you say JUICY ??!?!?!


Can you say DELICIOUS ?!?!


Can you say...
 DING!!!  DINNER IS SERVED !! 

IT WAS VERY TENDER AND JUICY. SIMPLE TO DO, AND I WILL BE DOING IT AGAIN. 


THANK YOU SMILEY360

#Recipe #JuicyBirdProject  #smiley360 #ThatsAlotOfhashtags




I received a free sample courtesy of Smiley360 
 (in all honesty, the free sample got lost in the mail, but I think they are re-sending)

All opinions written here are my own - imagine that

Monday, December 3, 2012

I've committed myself

     TO START RUNNING AGAIN
             
    MAYBE ONCE 

       MAYBE TWICE
                                     
      MAYBE FIVE TIMES (OR MORE)
                                                 
NEXT YEAR 


 “5 by the 5th” 
 a virtual race series in which we run a 5k or 5 mile run 
by the 5th of each month (for time or for fun), 
from January to June, 2013.


 SOUND LIKE FUN ? 
            
  WANT TO JOIN IN ?

http://www.mommyrunfast.com/5-by-the-5th-virtual-run-series-registration-is-open/



Resolution Run and a Virtual Run Series

Registration is open!


~~~>  CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT IT AND SIGN UP

Thank you Laura at www.mommyrunfast.com


Sunday, December 2, 2012

six word saturday


WE'VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 500 MILES 

DEAR FITBIT, 

   I THINK I LOVE YOU. 

 WE HAVE BEEN ATTACHED AT THE HIP (AND SOMETIMES THE BRA) FOR 68 DAYS NOW. WE HAVE WALKED 507 MILES (932,323 STEPS) TOGETHER AND HAVE GONE UP (AND DOWN) 1974 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS. 
  
 WE HAVE LISTENED TO APPROXIMATELY 2575 SONGS TOGETHER. 


 I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE FUTURE BRINGS. 

* average time per mile=18 minutes = 152 hours = 6.33 days of walking

total for the year = 2657 miles = 33 days spent walking

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HAVE YOU DONE YOUR 6WS POST? COME LINK UP. (CLICK THE BUTTON ON TOP)