Screw You, Cancer…

This is Aunt Debbie’s granddaughter, Izzy. She’s only 4 year old, and she had surgery a couple of weeks ago. Now she’s back in New Orleans facing 18 months of treatments starting today, followed by another surgery.

Children's Hospital New Orleans

Our hearts are broken because her journey will be rough, but I’m thankful that God is strong in our weakness. I’m also thankful that He is the Great Physician.

If you pray, please pray for complete healing of this little girl and for comfort and God’s provision for her family.

This Is My Life, Not Yours…

Last weekend I was told that my biological clock was ticking.  I even received links (that I didn’t bother reading) about the risks involved in having a child after 35.  No…it was not my family hounding me about having a baby, but I felt personally attacked by someone who would tell you he loves me.

First, let’s take a breather and remember that I’m only 32 years old.  I’m not too old to have a kid, start a new career or to wear bright blue nail polish, even if some people in my life see fit to make me believe otherwise.  I’m in my early thirties.  I live alone, and I take care of myself, and I’m proud of myself for making major changes in my life.  I’ve experienced tremendous emotional growth, and I’m still changing.  I went back to school last year to pursue a degree in a field that has opened up an entirely new world to me, and I have recommitted to finishing what I started in weight-loss.

I’m 32 years old.  I don’t have a husband, nor am I in a healthy, happy relationship that would make me consider bringing a little human into the world at this point.  I’m not sure why it’s so important to married and unmarried people with kids to project those desires on me.  I’m a terrific aunt, and I love my niece as much as I could ever love a person.  Of course I’d like to experience that kind of love with a child of my own, but I’m not ready.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready, and that’s okay with me right now.

Having a child has never been a serious consideration for me because I’ve never been married, and for most of my adult life, I have been obese.  I realize that women my size often give birth, but I personally don’t see a reason to put myself and a tiny, helpless life at risk because of my size.  I feel more comfortable at this weight than I did at 400 pounds, but a child wouldn’t be on my agenda at this point, even if I had already fallen in love and married The Future Mrs. Kenz whom I’ve discussed here before.

It’s not easy to express how hurtful it was to hear that I have a couple of good years left before I should turn to adoption, or simply not bother.  (Adoption sounds like a wonderful idea, by the way.)  I know that the person who shared the statistics wasn’t being cruel intentionally, but he failed to see why his assertion that the only way to do it is to do so by 35, hit a nerve with me.

I would love to fall in love, get married, move back to the city I want to live in most, buy a place and live happily ever after – all in the next 2.25 years, but who knows if that’s in the cards for me?  What I do know is that shoving statistics down my throat from doctors who have never met me or examined me, and reminding me that 35 is the cut off before I’m “high risk” definitely won’t make anything happen any faster.  If anything, it will just squelch my desire to make any of it happen because I’m already “too late.”

Whether we are sharing our lives on the internet, or we are simply opening up to people that we deem trustworthy, we subject ourselves to thoughtless judgment.  If you know me, you know I’m no stranger to that realization, but I have also learned throughout my journey that sometimes showing love and respect to someone is more important than being right.  Sometimes taking feelings into consideration is more important than winning a debate, especially since changing someone’s mind is a difficult thing to do.

So if you think I’m too old to have a family, get a new job or paint my fingernails bright blue, then get ready for some major disappointment.  I’ve created goals and achieved success in my life before, but I’ve done it on my terms and in my own time.  This is my life, and I will live it in a way that brings joy and happiness to me and the people I’m lucky enough to love.

Until then…I’ll continue to wear blue nail polish if I want to.

nails

There’s A Big Smile Plastered On My Face…

Yesterday was an incredible day from start to finish.  I woke up in our nation’s capital.  The sun was shining brightly, and I had so much fun that I can’t even share it all here.  I had sushi for lunch and skipped the cupcake.  Don’t worry though…There are cupcakes in my future, and I’m not-so-secretly hoping that my NYC cupcake fairy makes an appearance this weekend too.

While I was enjoying what was already a special day, I received a video message from my niece who woke up and reminded her mom that it was my birthday. (She’s three. How cool is that?!)  She insisted that they make cupcakes; the kid is already indoctrinated with her auntie’s love of cupcakes. (Thankfully, she doesn’t seem to love them as much as I do.) She called to ask me what time I’d be there.  Sigh…  I explained that I would visit her soon though not today, and we had a fantastic chat before she sent me the best video message ever.

 

I also received an incredible message from my friends from the Great North.  Seriously…Tara and Meegan made me smile huge!  I wish I knew how to embed their video, but since I don’t check it out here!

I received lots of love from my family and friends all day, and I was reminded that I have countless reasons to be thankful for my life and the people in it.

Now it’s Friday, and I’m headed to New York.  I should reach my old stomping grounds this afternoon.  I’m looking forward to the stellar weekend with friends that I mentioned in a previous post, and it’s so nice to know that ‘the suit’ will give me his cupcake if I want it.  (I’ll get my own, but it’s still good to know. hehe)

It will be interesting to see how I feel about food this weekend.  Recently I blogged about how I don’t have a desire to overeat when I’m around him. Was that a fluke, or is he the magic cure?  I suppose we’ll find out soon.

My birthday was fantastic this year, and I still have an incredible weekend to look forward to.  If I weren’t me, I’d be jealous of me today. :)  I’m thankful for all of the people who love me and care about me who go through the trouble of making me feel special often, especially yesterday.  I love you too. xxoo

I had a great day and a great workout, and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend in my favorite place with most of my favorite people.  Until Monday, Friends…

 

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And this week’s Kenlie’s Cook At Home with Calphalon Challenge grand prize winner is Joelle! Congrats, Joelle!  Enjoy your new 7 qt. Digital Slow Cooker and Calphalon Unison 8″ and 10″ Omelet Pan Set!  Look for an e-mail from me to claim your prize.  Thanks to everyone who participated, and thank you, Calphalon!  Let’s do it again soon!

Family, Friends and Cupcakes, Or Kenlie’s Favorite Things

Yesterday I mentioned that it has been a busy week so far, and yesterday was no exception.  I didn’t get to spend much time with my family, but I did have a good conversation with my sister before school.

I’m always thankful for my friends, but I was particularly thankful for ‘the suit’ yesterday because he entertained me from the moment I walked into class.  I didn’t really want to be at school because I wanted to be with the fam, but he made it fun like he always does.  (Seriously, he’s hilarious…Ha!)  Between J and ‘the suit’ I should probably feel guilty for enjoying class as much as I do, but I choose to embrace it instead.  He made me laugh, but he also listened and encouraged me today because he knew I needed that.  And while I don’t plan to elaborate further, I just want the universe to know that I’m thankful for that guy.

When I arrived at home there was a package of cupcakes waiting for me from Georgetown Cupcake in Washington D.C.  Has anyone seen their show on TLC?

Thank you the cupcakes, Friend! =)

I’m leaving New Orleans at the end of June to spend at least a couple of months living in the D.C. area, and someone I know there (who knows of my love of cupcakes) wanted to share a sneak peek of the awesomeness that is DC Cupcakes.  Whoa…

After trying a few bites I can tell you that I’m glad that place is in Georgetown because I’ll have to stay away from it most days.  Damn, the cupcakes are good!

Today is going to be a another good day because I’m spending time at the beach with Steph and Hannah before we head to dinner with Mom and CJ in the evening.  I’m definitely looking forward to the sunshine and sand.  (And I’ll wear stronger sunscreen than I did last week!)

What are your plans today?

 

***Oh, just one more thing!  I’ll tally up this week’s entries for the Calphalon challenge and share the winner on my blog tomorrow.  From what I’ve seen so far, this challenge has been awesome for some of us so far!***

 

Quality Time

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s true.  I’ve been incredibly busy since my sister and niece arrived on Monday.  In addition to my regular work, conference calls, etc. I’ve been spending as much time as possible with my family.

My sister turned 30 yesterday so we celebrated with lunch, wine and shopping.  Stephanie, Hannah and I shared a piece of caramel pecan cheesecake at Copeland’s before buying new handbags.  Can you guess which one is mine?

What do you think? Did I choose the flowery Fossil print or the white leather Sak?

In addition to lunch and shopping, we played with Play-Doh, sidewalk chalk and bubbles.  Check out our super cool chalk designs!

We are talented. We know...

We also visited with friends who are really more like family.  My sister and I have known Brother Harris and Aunt Doris since we were born, and now they know Hannah too.  Mom joined us as we picked up boiled crabs and snails for dinner (no, not kidding) and Brother Harris and my sister convinced Hannah to hold a blue crab.  She’s fearless so, of course, she did it.

I have loved this guy and his wife since I was younger than Hannah is now. I'm so happy that she knows them too!

In case you're wondering...No way! I did not eat this for dinner.

And that’s not all that my fearless niece accomplished today.  She also rode a Harley.  To be clear, she only stayed on for a few hundred feet, but she loved it.  I think the following picture says it all.

Check out her face...and her death grip!

She makes me so giddy!

I didn’t sleep much Monday night, and Tuesday was extraordinarily busy.  But I had a great day with my family followed by a core workout and a much-needed conversation with someone who matters to me.  I was reminded that in spite of life’s challenges I am blessed.

I have class today which means I’ll be missing some fun family stuff, but I’m looking forward to more of it this week!  Right now, I’m looking forward to getting a few hours of sleep!

What’s happening in your world this week?

Happy Birthday Hannah!

I cannot believe that this kid is going to be 3 years old Sunday!  I’ve loved my niece since before she was born, and everyday I love her more.  She is awesome and adorable…Don’t you agree?!

I’m so lucky to be this girl’s Auntie!  Join me in wishing her a happy birthday! xoxo

 

A Few Updates

Yesterday was weigh-in day, but I want to give you an update on Dad first.  I also want to thank everyone who prayed for him, sent encouraging vibes or encouragement….I love you for always being here for me…thank you.

Dad is home from the hospital now, and he did not have a stroke.  The doctors think that he had issues due to medicine that he was taking.  I’m not sure that I buy that, but I’m a thousand miles away…and I’m not a doctor.  He’s still coughing so much that he has trouble getting through a phone call, and he sounds tired.   He still insists he’s fine, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop worrying right now so please just keep the prayers coming.  Thanks.

In other news, I’m down another 2.2 this week which means I’m still headed in the right direction…finally.  I’ve worked out 6 out of the last 7 days, and I was so sore last night that I decided that my body needed rest.  Today I’ll do cardio, but I’ll give my body another day of rest from weights and floor exercises.

Last night I bought my first container of whey protein powder so I’ll try it in a smoothie for breakfast today.  After posting about the Weight Watchers smoothies, several of you noted that protein powder would be better so I’ll see how this goes.  Do you drink whey protein shakes?  I plan to add milk, spinach, strawberries and a banana, and I’m guessing that it will leave me feeling full and satisfied all morning.  We’ll see.

And one more thing…My friend, Janna, and I are hosting a Valentine’s Day Swap, and we’d love to have you take part in it with us.  If you’re interested, check out the details here, and don’t forget to sign up by Tuesday!  Do you want to be my valentine? <3

 

 

Dad

My dad was in an accident earlier today, and though he insists that he’s fine now, he’s in the hospital.  He was taken to the ER where they ran tests, and it seems as though he may have had a stroke though they won’t confirm anything until tomorrow.  He seemed much better tonight, but I just want to be there with him.  We’ll see what happens in the next 24 hours…

If you pray, please do that now….I’ll update more later when my brain isn’t so scattered.

Greetings from Oklahoma

Cal and I arrived in Oklahoma this evening, and we spent the evening with Dad.  We had some drinks and watched the debate while I knitted a scarf and Dad and Cal had their own little intellectual and theological debate.  Check out the scarf I made. :)

Sitting on the floor, entertaining myself…:)

I have so much to say about my plan to lose more weight in the coming weeks.  Cal’s mom, Patti, shared her philosophy on weight-loss, and I’ve decided that her plan will work for me too. We shopped yesterday from around 3pm until midnight.  It seems I  have finally met my match…ha ;)  Actually, she shopped much more than I did, but I had a great time with her…and I would guess that I burned quite a few calories walking because we literally didn’t sit until we hit Saks just before they closed. I picked up a couple of things, but I still have shopping to do!

Opening the first of her prezzies from Auntie! :)

I’ve also taken some time to workout at Anytime Fitness this week – totally confirming that I made the right decision between gyms.  I can go anytime, literally…and that’s precisely what I need.  It makes it really hard to come up with excuses not to workout when I can do it anytime and almost anywhere.

And while I’m here at Dad’s, working out with be more awesome than usual because after cardio, I’ll hit the pool.  I plan to swim at least a few miles over the next week, and I’m really looking forward to how that will make me feel.  I’ve kept my eating under control over the last couple of days too so I’m moving in the right direction, and it feels good.

I’m tired so I’m going to sleep, but I have to say that I miss you guys.  I hope you’re all enjoying this busy yet awesome season.  Sending out some virtual hugs to you……Good night from Oklahoma! :)

 

Catching Up On Stuff

Everyone knows I struggle with food, but you may also know that I enjoy a good workout. I’ve been wanting to challenge myself to do something different – something that will help me climb out of this rut that I’ve been in this year, and I’ve decided what that challenge will be.  I’m going to do Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred.  Yep, I’ve pulled out one of my old favorites, and I completed level 1 last night.  I plan to do it over the next 30 days, taking no more than 2 days off from it during that time.  Level 3 is my favorite, but I’ll get to that at some point over the next month.

Maybe my eating needs work (okay, it needs a lot of work!)  But exercise has always been my saving grace, and it felt so good to sweat last night!  I’ll still hit the gym, but before I lay down at night, I’ll have completed at least one level of the 30-Day Shred which means I’ll do it in three different states because I’m traveling a lot over the next month.  Does anyone feel like accepting this challenge with me?  If so, leave a comment, or shoot me an e-mail.

In other news, I had an amazing trip to my sister’s house last week (so amazing that I didn’t even make time to blog) so I’m going to share a few of my favorite pics.

I ate this red velvet pancake and skipped the others...it was amazing.

Red velvet pancake...nope, not kidding..

Choomi!!!!!!!!!!! <3

The kid loves to decorate cookies!

Katy made these!

She met Santa after we saw Happy Feet 2!

Last week was fantastic, and this week has been great so far.  Cal came to see me yesterday, and he’ll be around a lot this week.  And we’re taking a little trip together after a wedding that we’re attending the week after next so life is fun, and I’m thankful for that.  We’re doing a taste test for dinner this evening, and I’m looking forward to talking about it on my blog!  Of course, I’ll have to post a picture or two.

How did everything go for you last week?  Did those of you in the US enjoy Thanksgiving?  Did you eat well? Workout?