What Does That Mean?

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Ever wonder why my blog is named “Finally Finding Me”? Well, let me tell ya.

I started blogging at a pivotal time in my life. I had experienced post partum depression after having two of my sons. I had gone through a lot of issues with self-esteem and self-worth that had negatively affected my marriage. I struggled with alcoholism and had not been the mother I should have been to my sweet boys. I had been an absolute mess for years.

After a medical emergency that put me in an amazing position to come to Christ (I’ll blog about that some day), getting alcohol out of my life and focusing on God first and letting Him heal me and restore my family…I decided it was time to start blogging. I find writing to be extremely therapeutic. And so, Finally Finding Me was born, because I felt like I was finally finding me after all of the junk I had eliminated from my life.

Now, do you completely find yourself in one instant and that’s that? Absolutely not. I’m still finding me in different ways, but for the most part, I would say I have a pretty good grasp of who I am and my worth. That being said, I still have my struggles and allow the negative voices to creep in every now and then and I have to remind myself of Whose I am and just what I’m worth.

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled big time with body image and bad feelings about my weight and things like that. Having gained 16 pounds in the past four months for seemingly no reason that I can pinpoint besides it possibly being connected to some health issues I’ve been having has really been a little rough on me. To be honest though, I told Brian a couple of weeks ago that while I’d of course like to be thinner, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. That is the absolute truth. I told him that I just feel like I like the person I am and who I am becoming.

Now, as I was starting to pack for a big camping trip today and realizing how many of my clothes don’t fit because of my recent weight gain, I was feeling slightly bummed about it, but certainly not to the point that I used to would have been. I instead was thinking about how that wasn’t going to affect my time or ruin my fun. That was something that really made me realize just how far I’ve come, because the old me would have ended up crying and yelling with frustration. Not anymore.

You know what really made a huge impact on me though? A friend had stopped by to pick something up from me and we were talking about how she had to tie some of her daughter’s tank top straps in the back with a ribbon to keep the straps from falling down and she had to have her wear belts with all of her pants and shorts because she was so skinny (she is 10). I said “I can’t say I’ve ever personally experienced that.” and kind of laughed. My friend went on to say, “I see pictures from when I was younger and I was tall and skinny like that and then something happened, I think it was called kids.” We both laughed and then she said “No, really though, I love my body.” She went on to say that sometimes her kids make jokes about her belly and stuff, but that she truly loves her body. You know what? That made me realize that I’m actually learning to love my body too.

No, I’m not skinny. In fact, right now I’m pretty chubby. But you know, I’m realizing just how little that really matters to me. Of course, I don’t want to be unhealthy, but I also no longer care about working hard to make my body look a certain way. I want to be active and try to eat decently, but I refuse to have to obsess over every little thing I put in my mouth or force myself to do workouts that I hate.

I just want to be happy being me, whatever that looks like. No matter what my outside looks like, my inside doesn’t change and I’m really liking who I am on the inside. I think that right now, more than ever, my blog title fits. I’m Finally Finding Me.

July ipsy Glam Bag Reveal

Here it is! My ipsy bag for July has arrived and here’s the video of me opening it up and checking everything out! Will I like it? Will I love it? Will I be disappointed? You’ll have to watch the video to find out…

As usual, I will be writing up a post (probably next week) that will go over the products from my bag in detail and let you know what I think of them, after having tried them each a few times.

If you are interested in checking out ipsy for yourself, you can do so by clicking HERE!

Headaches, Throat Lumps, Weight Gain and Exhaustion

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These are just a few of the things I have been dealing with over the past couple of years. I have had freezing cold extremities, total brain fog, etc. that I have been dealing with and tried to tell doctors about and was brushed off and even talked to condescendingly, instead of taken seriously about something that was really bringing me down.

I rarely go to a doctor, like maybe once every couple of years (besides my yearly womanly checkups) and I am pretty much a toughy when it comes to pain or just dealing my way through different things, but this has been going on for years and was really starting to make me feel depressed. I mean, how discouraging to be treated like you’re making things up when you try to tell someone about something that is very real and upsetting to you.

Well, just before Christmas, I started getting this pain in the left side of my neck and jaw and even into my ear. I got where I could feel a distinct lump in my throat on the left side, yet nothing was able to be felt from the outside, but that area was extremely tender. It scared me, but with the excitement of the holidays, I tried to ignore it and it eventually went away. A few weeks later though, it returned and even worse than before.

I am a migraine sufferer and they take me down for at least two days a month and the next time I got a migraine, the pain in my neck and ear intensified. After that, the pain would come for a few days at a time and then kind of go away. I kept trying to ignore it and just shrug it off, but then it got so bad that it was actually starting to scare me.

I made an appointment with my primary care physician and promised myself that I was going to make sure that it was looked into and that I was not going to be dismissed. My doctor was really awesome and agreed that it needed to be checked into. He did blood work and said that before we got into any kind of scans or anything, he would like to send me to the ENT to do a scope into my throat and things like that and asked me if I was ok with that idea. I told him I was and they made me an appointment to see the ENT.

About a week later I went to the ENT and he did a scope and said he couldn’t see anything of concern, but that my left tonsil was larger than my right and that I had a couple of pockets in it that were large enough that food particles could get in them and that being a migraine sufferer, I am more sensitive to things and feel things more than other people might. He decided to have me try taking an antibiotic and a steroid to see if that would help and set me up with a follow-up appointment for 6 weeks later. I was excited and hopeful that that was all that was going on.

Well, a couple weeks later I was still having issues with my throat and ear and then I got a migraine and pretty much thought I was going to die. The pain in my ear especially was so intense that I felt like I was losing my mind. I have never had one so bad. I gave it a couple days and even after the migraine was gone, I was still in so much pain that I basically began to panic a little. I have never felt so incredibly miserable and in so much pain in my life (well, besides childbirth, but you expect to feel that way then).

I knew it was more than a tonsil with a food particle stuck in it and since I had finished the antibiotic and was almost done with the steroid and had gotten no relief and instead felt worse than ever, I knew I had to have things looked into further. I called my doctor’s office where one of the girls in the office typed up all the information and sent it back to the doctor and after he saw it, she called and said that he agreed it was time to do some kind of a scan and they set me up for a CT scan of my neck.

Fast forward to 2 weeks later and I got the results that the CT scan had found nodules on my thyroid and the doctor wanted me to go in for an ultrasound of my thyroid. I have that appointment today at 3:40. The results from the ultrasound and the CT scan will be sent to my ENT for my follow-up appointment next week.

I cannot tell you how thankful I am that I trusted my instincts and stuck to my determination that I was going to be taken seriously and have things looked into. I have gained 16 pounds in 4 months, could pretty much sleep all day every day if someone would let me, have feet and hands that feel like ice the majority of the time and just all around feel cruddy a lot of the time. It makes me feel really down sometimes and I am just so over it.

I don’t know what today’s ultrasound will reveal or what the next steps will be, but for now I am just thankful that my doctor cared enough to hear me out and take my concerns seriously. I am praying for answers and for a plan of how to start feeling better, without this being anything serious.

If you would, please say a little prayer for me. I know the power of prayer and I will be very thankful for any that are sent up for me.

I will be sure to update with what, if anything, they find and how things are going along the way. I’m just so ready for answers.

Yummy Dips

Seeing as I’m having a party today and snacks for that are on my mind, I thought I would share some recipes for some easy and delicious sounding dips with you! I made a cheese ball and a dip yesterday for my party for today, so that they get nice and flavorful by the time my guests arrive and just before they come, I will be whipping up a hot dip as well. Dips are just an easy and practical snack to have at get-togethers and I always like to try something new. So, if you have a party coming up or would just like to make a little something for you and your family to snack on, here are some ideas for you!

Here is a BLT Dip from Taste of Home. Doesn’t it look soooo good?! I’m thinking I would probably like to have it on little pieces of french bread or something like that. You can click the picture to see the recipe.

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Next up is this Fresh Feta Dip from Six Sisters’ Stuff. I am a HUGE fan of feta, so this instantly reels me in. Then when I see avocado and garlic salt…well, you’ve got me. Man, I wish I had some of this right now! (Again, click picture for recipe.)

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My last dip recipe to share for the day is this Buffalo Chicken Dip. I had this for the first time a few years ago when my cousin made it as a snack for everyone when we were camping and WOW, is that good! I personally like it best with tortilla chips, not “chicken flavored crackers” like this recipe mentions though. (As you’re probably guessing, you can just click on this picture for the recipe as well.)

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Orange Dreamsicle Cake

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Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and I decided I wanted to make him a cake that we hadn’t had before. Something fun and new to celebrate him. As I mentioned before, I really like light desserts and especially in the summer, so that was a criteria I was looking for. Also, I finally got a bundt pan a few months ago (I know, it’s weird that I’ve never had a bundt pan before, but I do now, so give me a break) and I wanted to use that. LOL

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I decided on an Orange Dreamsicle cake and I’m sooooo glad I did because the whole family was raving about it. So, here’s how you do it.

Get yourself a boxed white cake and make it in your bundt pan (of course you could make this in any kind of pan, but it wouldn’t look nearly as lovely).

Let your cake cool and then poke a bunch of holes in it while still in the pan (I used a little straw, but you could use a skewer or something like that).

Now mix a small box of orange jell-o with 1 cup of boiling water to dissolve it and only a 1/2 cup of cold water. Proceed to pour this all over the cake. It will seem like a lot, but it will soak in.

Stick that baby in the fridge for 2 hours. About an hour into that time, get out an 8oz. block of cream cheese and set it on the counter to soften.

Once your cream cheese is softened, mix it in a bowl with 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar. You can use a mixer if you want, but it can easily be mixed by hand too.

Take your cake out of the fridge (this should be at least 2 hours after you poured the jell-o into it), flip it out of the pan and onto a plate or cake stand and frost it, then stick it back in the fridge for about an hour.

Take that gorgeous cake out and slice yourself up a little bit of heaven. Oh my goodness! The cold cake and frosting is so refreshing and delicious!

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Here’s the rundown of ingredients again for you, as an easy reference…

1 White Box Cake (Prepared)

1 Small Box Orange Jell-o

1 Cup Boiling Water

1/2 Cup Cold Water

1 8oz. Brick Cream Cheese

1 1/3 Cups Powdered Sugar

Super simple, super yummy and I guarantee you’ll love it!

Share a Song Sunday

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Today is my amazing husband, Brian’s, birthday! In honor of him, I would like to share one of his favorite songs. He had this as the ringtone on his phone for a really long time. It’s an awesome song and I hope that you will like it too. I love it. Makes me happy listening to it as I type this up. Just a testimony to the kind of man my husband is. He knows what is truly important and knows Who all the glory belongs to. That’s what makes him such an amazing husband and father. God first and then his family. Just as it should be.

Wish List of the Moment

Oh stuff. Stuff is fun. Let me be clear that I am not a “stuff-focused” person by any means, but I still like some good stuff. So, here is my wish list of the moment of some pretty nifty stuff that I think would be cool to have. Check it out.

I totally want a super sweet Beach Cruiser like this one. I need a new bike and I’m all about the vintage look of these bikes. I can totally see my dorky butt riding this around the campgrounds when we go camping. These things are awesome!

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As you may have noticed if you follow my Instagram, I am loving Alex and Ani bracelets. I have two so far, but there are definitely more I want. Here are a couple of the ones on my wish list.

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I’m a huge fan of the Life is Good brand. I got a tire cover for our camper off of Zulily sometime in the winter and I absolutely love it! Well, I love zip up hoodies and when I saw this one, I thought it was perfect. I love the color and the simplicity of it. So cute!

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I would love some plastic adirondack chairs for on my deck. Just something I can go out and sit on without having to get cushions out like I do for my patio table chairs. I like that they lean back a little and you can get the little ottomans to go with them too.

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So there are just a few things I think it would be fun to have. What’s on your current “wish list”?