Keeping it Real…

Hey, guys! Sorry I haven’t posted for a while.  I have been busy with book stuff.  As you know, my children’s book, No Cheese Please, is out in the world.  I have been keeping up with it as it has been Out In the Wild as my Instagram feed shows.

And so with all that great and exciting stuff happening, I must also tell you other things that are happening here.  Things I am not proud to admit.  Things I am ashamed to state.  Why do it then?  Why use this platform to share?  I have learned (it to me decades) in my life that it is not healthy to keep negativity and shame locked inside.  The damage it inflicts on the psyche is so devastating, some don’t come back from it.  I want to keep this blog real and let it be a true representation of myself.  The good, the bad, the ugly.

So, first.  I really feel like I identify as a………worrier.  (Did I make some of you nervous there?).  What I mean by worrier is with the impending social engagements I have lined up for No Cheese Please, I find I am so nervous and self-conscious for them to happen.  I have found myself putting off event planning because I get so anxious.  So if you all could say prayers to help me battle this, I would be most appreciative.

And funny, I thought the second “For Real Reveal” was a separate matter and only now as I am typing realized it is so closely related, they are practically conjoined twins.  If you will remember, months ago I shared that I had been struggling with my weight and its toll on me.  I was proud to show you that I had lost a good bit of weight and you all were super supportive.  Thank you.  I am ashamed to tell you I completely fell off the wagon after my hysterectomy and did not get back on when I could/should have.  As a result, I have gained all the weight back.  I believe this contributes to my anxiety over public events.

I struggle because I am a very determined person.   I believe I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to. The problem I have is my focus (that pin point surgeon focus) has only ever been able to be on one thing at a time.  Yes, I can multi-task BUT there is going to be one thing I will go over the top with and the others will get the basic (if anything).  The result of the past few months?  I published a book and I am enjoying it being sold all around.  I have done interviews and have events planned.  You can guess what had my focus and attention, yes?

The other result of this?  I have suffered.  My sweet husband has suffered.  Because believe me, when I am not happy with how I look, it manifests itself in so many random and unrelated things that he has to deal with as part of his “For Better or Worse” gig.  When I am overweight, it affects every aspect of my life.  Photos?  I hate having them taken of myself?  Dressing in the am?  Torture.  Shopping?  There are no words….

I even worry that my appearance will embarrass my children.  Studious is in college so she is well aware that I am not living a healthy life.  Clever, Dapper and Spicy are still young and I still worry about going into their schools.  I worry that I (even now) embarrass them.  I hate that feeling.

So, I am going to work on this and I am sharing it here for a collection of reasons.

  1. I am a writer.  Its what I do.
  2. I hope to encourage even one person (even if its me, it will be worth it)
  3. I want the accountability.  I mean, it will be hard to NOT make these changes after sharing this with you all.

My blog is still going to focus very much on writing and being a mom.  That is where my heart is and you all know that.  So I will not be making this a blog about weight loss/etc.  However, I do vow to share with you once a week a progress update.  You can expect these updates to come Saturdays as that is the day I officially REBEGAN my transformation.

Some of you will ask what it is I will be doing.  I plan on following the Ideal Protein protocol and also using the workouts from Bikini Body Mommy. The BBM currently has 4  90 day challenges.  I have started Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 1.0.  They are free workouts- check them out.

I do have before pictures I took on Sunday as well as my initial weigh in.  At this time, I am not going to reveal those.  I would like to revisit sharing at a later date.

In closing, I wanted to thank you for reading this novella.  And I hope you can help support me and each other in this.

As I have said before, “I want my outside to reflect the person I am on the inside”.

XOXO

 

Enter Stage Left…Marlin!!! Our Elf on The Shelf!

Holiday greetings, blog world!  For you early holiday decoration haters, I am sorry!  I had to do it this year!  Christmas celebrations are in full swing over here and we are having a lot of stress and fun all mixed together!

Every year we have a Christmas party at the BEGINNING of December.  So, this means we have to have all our decorations, both inside and out, completed.  Talk about motivation!  We have really gotten in gear with the help of good family bonding with friends that may as well be blood relation!  We are slowly but surely getting everything ready.  Deep breaths….

Now, back to important discussions and the reason for my posting today (when I should be working on decorating).  Marlin has officially returned!!!  Whoop Whoop!  I will tell you how this came about because as you know, Marlin typically arrives Thanksgiving Day.  This year, he came over a week early!

While unpacking some Christmas boxes, Clever, Dapper, Spicy and I came upon their ELF ON THE SHELF pajamas that Marlin left for them last year.  I  was telling the kiddos how I had to wash the pj’s before they could be worn when Clever asked, “Do you think if we wore them tonight, Marlin would come early? Do you think Santa would let him?”  Well, Gosh!  I thought we better give it a shot and LOW AND BEHOLD- Bam!  It happened!

marlin10He came with the sign up above saying, “I’m back!  Go to bed!” love, Marlin.  They weren’t thrilled about being told to go to bed but…they went to their rooms to find

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CHRISTMAS Bedding!  I don’t know how Marlin did it!  I guess traditional Christmas Magic!

Thursday night, Marlin left the children a special treat for breakfast!

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Special Christmas cereal is always a fabulous way to begin a day!

Friday night Marlin remembered the “Reason for the Season”, Jesus.  Which I thought was nice because we all can certainly get wrapped up in the commercialization of Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Jesus would have no issue with Santa and his elves on shelves.  A special spirit that brings joy and generosity to the hearts of children?  I think Jesus would say that is right up his alley!

marlin8And last night, Marlin replaced a photo frame with a selfie he had taken a while back.  I think it was a shout out to our Glenn and Marlin’s way of letting us know he thinks Glenn really special, too!

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I will keep you all apprised of Marlin’s adventures and shenanigans for 2015.  I have to admit that I am hoping he will not find our home too boring this year!  Last year, we were traveling and Marlin got to go on some pretty amazing adventures (which I will be showing here as well).

THROW BACK HOLLY STYLE: 2014

marlin11Marlin playing a guitar in a shop in Jamaica!  Ho! Ho! Ho, Mon!

ps- Just a suggestion to all my friends out there who also have an elf visit you:  we have been photographing Marlin every morning that he arrives.  Then I put together a coffee table book that helps us remember all the fun times we had that year.  The kiddos LOVE looking back through it and I bet it probably helps keep Marlin on track and original so he doesn’t do the same things year after year!   🙂

Let us know what you all have planned for your elf!  Who knows, maybe we can feature some of your photography here!

XOXO

 

He is almost here……

Hey guys!  Hope you are having a great week so far!  Thank you for all the messages and comments.  Talking with you has been great!

I wanted to real quickly come on here tonight (this am if we want to be technical) and ask you how many of you do THE ELF ON THE SHELF?  We started it back in 2012 with our little ones and let me just tell you, it has been a ball.

Our guy, Marlin…

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I will just tell you tonight that we named our Elf Marlin because that is the name my husband wanted for our children.  He is an avid fisherman and our children’s names fall in line with that theme but I just couldn’t name one of our children, Marlin.  Nothing against it, truly.  It just wasn’t for me.  SO, I thought, I would name something Marlin- and that special someone was our ELF ON THE SHELF and he has turned out to be a pretty amazing and fun guy!  Our Christmas would not be the same without him, that’s for sure!

We are super excited for his return this month and I just bet he has so much fun stuff in store for our family!

I did, however, kind of wanted to take you all on a journey of where Marlin has been, what he does during his “down time” and ways I have come up with to keep his memories intact for the little ones for their whole lives.  I hope you all will stay tuned!

Here is a photo of Marlin in Haiti last December.  He was in Labadee just soaking up some sun!  That is the cruise ship he was on.

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XOXO

Progress Report & A Recipe!

Progress-ReportHey guys!  Just a brief check-in to let you all know how I am doing since starting my healthier lifestyle change Monday am.  For all you knew, I wasn’t posting because I had gnawed my hands off because I was starving!

Well, rest assured, that is NOT THE CASE!  My fingers, hands and my whole being, for that matter, are all intact!  I am doing well, sticking to it and forging forward!  Has it been easy?  Of course not!  Will it be SOOOOO worth it?  You betcha!

Also wanted to THANK ALL OF YOU who reached out to me.  WOW! You guys are amazing and supportive and I am in awe of you all!  Keep up the contact!  I am loving getting to know you all and supporting one another!  We can do this!

Fun recipe to share (hubby didn’t like BUT EVERYONE ELSE DID)- he is kind of picky (that’s how he scored me!)

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower-Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower – chopped
  • 1/8 cup onion powder )
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a 5 quart saucepan, add all ingredients.
  • Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes.)
  • Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.

I got this recipe from http://www.andoverdietcenter.com  Feel free to check it out for lots of lean protein recipes!

XOXO

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“We are the Champions, my friends…” ~Queen

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This is the song that played in my head when I found…wait for it…the Damn Hermit Crab!  Woohoo!  We sure missed Mr. Crab and he was safe and sound in a bowl that was actually under the table that had his condo on it.  His condo is about 5 inches off the floor so it was not a far fall.  He was very happy to see us and is thrilled to be back in his habitat.  I was thrilled that my children weren’t involved.  Though to be honest, the hubby doesn’t buy it.  He still thinks Dapper may have had a hand in mishap.  I will keep my mom blinders on indefinitely.  🙂

Speaking of Dapper, he has reached a huge milestone today- the big 05!   I guess that makes him Under the Hill!  He had a great day.  At school he was the center of attention for his special day and tonight he opened lots of good loot.

As he told me before he went to bed, “Being 5 is the BEST!”

I just kissed his head and thought to myself, “No, babydoll.  Getting to be your mom is the best! ”  Happy Birthday, Dapper!!!  May you have a lifetime of amazing adventures and enduring love!

XOXO