I'm on a new journey to pay-it-forward & with the support of my Groupies/friends...

I'm writing a LAP BAND BOOK!!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

7/31/10 Scale Whores Anonymous- CHALLENGE!!!

OK, you SWA members and new initiates (keep those blindfolds down and stop giggling or I'm getting out the measuring tapes) and yes, Gigolo's...remember the 'G' is just silent in all men should least when I'm talking...shhh...(Andrew) that means remind me of DH...or is that our gigglers making all that noise LOL!...I've decided that our next biannual August 'meeting' needs to be a little more interactive (or maybe it's just that I'm busy and I need some serious help...thanks for the wine Darlin'1). If you're a Scale Whore, then you're probably also someone that finds great gratification in awards, followers, and bling (not to mention that you're all comment whores too) you're just an all-around-whore (just ask the Mama Pimp)...and that's what I'm offering you...

...awards, followers, bling, and comments...disguised the way 9 out of 10 WL experts agree works best...

...NO! NOT a (cover your ears) D-I-E-T (have you learned NOTHING here LOL?)...

...A CHALLENGE!!!! Yes, all you little competitive Scale Whores get to join another challenge!!! Oh what fun!!! And this one will only cost you a little time (and dignity). Whores, feel free to grab your 'Challenge Logo' below:

...and for our Gigolos:

Get your coupons clipped and sign up now for your rebates! Here's how it works/the rules; we Bander's (see #1) love rules, so I'll make this long and complicated...actually it's super easy, I'm just making it LOOK long and complicated so this looks more official than it is:

1. No (Draz), you do NOT have to be a Bander to enter...just a Scale Whore (Gigolo...Sam).

2. No (Kathy), you do NOT have to be a Blogger to enter (read *).
Complete at least ONE (but no more than 10,000,000) posts.

* Non-Bloggers (this is kinda like my Dad talks about DH being a 'non-Catholic'...he thinks it's hilarious LOL):
No worries if you don't have a blog...'cause you'll WANT the bling, even if you don't care two hoots (hoot, hoot) about followers or WL awards (although since you can't post the award on your non-blog you could always print it out and pin it to your shirt...who doesn't want to wear a 'SWA' award around pinned to their shirt every day, like me...I'm just sayin'. OK, you non-Bloggers...I'm loaning out my blog for your get to be a 'guest blogger' for the day (even anonymously...but then, I might take credit...if it's creative/funny!). Just send it to me on e-mail (sidebar) and I'll post it here.

3. The title of the post MUST include (in some shape or form) our group name or acronym...that's "SWA", or "SwGA" for you silent but deadly ones (geez, men and they ever stop laughing at farts?).

4. To be officially entered, send me a link to each of your posts (email- sidebar, or leave it under comments for the current post) and I will add it to the SWA page; look at the top of my Home page and click on the 'SWA' page (that makes you an official-blog post carrying-member of SWA). Others can link to your post there and you'll get new followers or un-followers depending on your level of creativity. See, you're an instant celebrity AND you get instant gratification...kinda like Paris Hilton (sex, I haven't seen it, I'm just guessing about the gratification part). So there's some new followers for you (hopefully). I'll try to post the links periodically on my blog as well.

5. Posts must be posted and the link sent to me starting tomorrow and by August 31st, at 12pm...or whatever time it is in your country or 'Land of Oz' (Cara)...does that mean I have to stay up all night to watch you (Sally)?...yes, THIS year, you twits...or is that Twitterers?

6. On or about Sept. 1, 2010 I will link to each of the posts and tally up the number of comments that have been left under each of the officially entered posts for the top prizes. Translation; comments will equal votes....yes, I can see your wheels turning in evil pay attention...

-NO, you don't get to combine your number of comments from all 10,000,000 of your SWA posts...I'll be looking for your SWA post with the highest number of if 'funny' didn't work for you in getting comments...try an 'informational' how-to 'how weighing myself hourly and making a spreadsheet helps me lose weight' (maybe you'll get lots of sympathy comments).

-NO (Jen), each person is only allowed ONE comment under each post (so no 'friend' can help you, but having friend(s) plural (Amy) is an advantage as they can each comment once).

-NO, you may NOT comment under your own post...anonymous comments will NOT count toward the total unless both a name and a Blogger address (or an email address is given)...I know you young gals still have your 'Baby Name Books', so an anonymous comments with a just a name (Elvira & Ezekial) will NOT count.

7. Three (there have to be at least three crazies out there, right?) top prizes/homemade craft projects that I will be creating with my own two hands...side note (ie. another long off-track ramble) have you seen the site 'Homemade Hilarity' yet? As an ex-art teacher it's right up there with
(I must have a dark side that secretly likes to laugh at others...that is until I see myself on one of these sites)...these are all homemade crafts that people make to SELL...not to be funny...seriously...check it out...unless you're in the side-business on Etsy of selling crocheted wine cozies that look like Sponge-Bob that you created after drinking a few (sorry that you girl?);

...OK, I'm back....where was I?...Three top prizes will be awarded...and the (homemade) prizes will have lots of bling (who doesn't like to be bedazzled?). If need be (and if I have my act together again before Sept....not likely) I will be showing you the lovely prizes so that you will be oh-so-motivated to participate...or maybe you'll want to retract your entry once you see my crafpt maybe 'no' to the pre-show...hey, was that iambic pentameter?

8. Challenge Theme: For this very first inaugural 'SWA Challenge' ('cause you know the demand is going to be high for many, many, more...maybe for each bi-annual meeting?), let's keep the first theme loose...and because I'm feeling a little 'Martha' talking about crafpt projects and all...Tell us somehow in your post how/why/that:

'Being A Scale Whore (Gigolo) Is A Good Thing'

...umm YES, where have you been...didn't you read our 'Creed' or the 'Qualifications for being a Scale Whore'? Get thyself to the SWA page above and read!...we Scale Whores think weighing yourself regularly is a good thing for WL...

...NO, OK you want that other 12-step group 'How to Wean Yourself Off the Scale'...they're down the hall and to the right (and they must be missing the WL gene).

OK, now let me share a few ideas to get your fat cells jiggling (yes, we'll always have our fat cells...OK, I will)...get creative to get those comments (begging is also allowed...

- A post telling how being a Scale Whore has helped your WL (or got you sent to WL rehab)...NO (Lori), length doesn't count, only comments...yes, you can beg for them.

- Photo (yes, it can be as simple as a single photo) of you on your scale...maybe 'hearting' it (Gen); yes, I've seen all those 'piggy photos' you love to post in the other challenges (your toes on the scale)...or maybe it's a time lapse vlog of the next 100x you're on it set to music (no naked photos allowed...we have standards/don't have an 'adult content' warning).

- An 'Ode to My Scale'...done in Iambic Pentameter of course.

- Re-write the words to a song telling us about your journey with your scale helping you (I'm partial to this one...DS2 has been writing funny songs about me all day and coming to serenade me on the guitar).

- An SWA craft project (d*mn glue guns...get out the ice and aloe again will you Lena?), my headband isn't quite finished to show you yet...I'm working on it, I'm working on it!


One other piece of biannual meeting business:

SWA Medals/Trophies:

All SWA Members are to go and claim their official 'SWA Medals/Trophies' for WL over the past 6 months (find them and the details on the SWA page at the top of my Home page here). And just because I can, I'm making it even easier to reach your medal goals this have between now and Aug. 31 to go and claim your medal, so if you're 'not quite' to the Silver medal you covet, then keep working as you have until Aug. 31...use that scale often! Let me know if you've claimed one/which one and I'll post your name/link on the SWA page.

Friday, July 30, 2010

7/30/10 Need More Followers? Me Too- Drivel Scribbles; I need Tech help (Facebook, Blogger, Counters, Twitter, OH MY!)!

If you need some support and new followers, please add a link to your blog in 'comments' below.

I'll apologize for the fact that I haven't kept up very well with my new followers the past few months (I'm so sorry and I'll try to find you). If I'm not following you yet, please hit me over the head and tell me here!

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Thursday, July 29, 2010

7/29/10 Tough Love

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7/27/10 The Bookmobile

Thanks again to those two who offered to loan me their LB Books (emails sent)...I didn't even think about asking all of you to borrow thank you once again for being so much smarter than me...I can always count on you guys...and you can always count on me to do things the hard way so you can see the error of my ways, especially with the Band one of my LB friends, Diane, keeps telling me 'I think all these things keep happening to you so that you can write about them and help others.' Hmm...that sounds SO much nicer than 'I'm an unlucky-idiot who doesn't listen the first time, likes to test things, and is always looking for a better way to do things...which 9 times out of 10 means an epic FAIL (read, cover your ears...'DIETS').'

Anyway...I digress (it doesn't take much does it). Anyone else having LB books they'd let me borrow, I'd appreciate the loan!

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Mom called this morning. Her 'herb event' (Guest speaker/chef she hosted) went really well over the weekend (at the downtown conservatory -large greenhouses/park). Her surgery was yesterday (sinuses/outpatient) and my middle sis kept me informed all day as to how things were going...Mom sounds great today, which is amazing as I expected her to at least sound all stuffed up from the packing that's still in...they found a lot of infection and had to remove some bone even and I'm surprised she's doing this well the day after as they said she'd be really sore (Mom's a nurse and is always 'fine' and never complains). I read her the riot act several times about not overdoing it with the rest of the move/boxes...I hope she takes it easy, but I know her too well to think that will happen!

Well, I'm off to get ready for the LB Doc...I'm sure this will be an interesting visit...if it's not, it didn't go as planned (like most of my plans)...stay tuned!

Monday, July 26, 2010

7/26/10 Monday Musings

- As of an hour ago, we've now got a last minute trip scheduled to the shore before school starts. My SIL/DH just bought a place this summer at Cape May so we're going to meet them there not this, but next Thursday...guess I'll be breaking out the bikini again...yikes.

- I'm back to writing with a new vengeance today...I wrote all morning about maintenance and outlined a bunch of new things as well. I've learned that taking a break from writing can be a good thing and that I can't force feed it...I'm sure real authors can and have ways to keep themselves inspired, but my busy life this summer was making it impossible to carve out chunks of uninterrupted (read 'three teen/twenties' constantly interrupting me) time to get creative and it was getting stale and tedious...and that's just not me!

- I stopped by Barnes and Noble today to pick up a few Lap Band books to start reading at the shore...and was surprised to find they didn't have ANY (the only WLS book they even carry was 'WLS for Dummies' and after perusing it for a half-hour I realized it wasn't worth buying...nothing we all haven't heard as it's a very generalized book about all WLS). I've been putting off reading any LB books until I had at least the full outline/structure of the book all worked out so that I wouldn't be influenced or start questioning myself. It's probably for the best they didn't have any as my DH's family doesn't know about the blog or the book and they'd be wondering why I was reading these post-op. I'll just have to order some to read this Fall.

- I keep forgetting to share a few things, like I went shopping again right before I left for Ohio. Ten more tops and a sundress.

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Blog

- Also, I'm not sure if I told you that I called and moved my 'refill' appointment up...a month. It's tomorrow afternoon. I've got lots of thoughts on the refill and what I'm aiming for this time (I've got some new thoughts on where I was/want to be), but I'll save the details for now. Here's hoping the Doc doesn't toss me out on my ear when he sees I'm in a month earlier than he said...I'll let you know.

- Oh and I've gone from a full 7 pounds up to reining it in to about 3-4 now...Doc will probably say I'm doing fine LOL.

Happy Monday all!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

7/24/10 Home Again, Home Again...Jiggity Jig!

I'm home! Exhausted, but home! It was my fourth trip out to Ohio and the big move is done. We got all their necessities unpacked; the kitchen, the food, the bathrooms, the's beginning to look like home. The boxes are out of the way and they're in good shape for Mom's sinus surgery on Monday. They've still got a garage full of stuff to sort through slowly, but they'll get through it before the weather gets bad this fall so they can get the car in the garage. Here we (Dad stayed at the new house) are in the old house after cleaning it for hours, and after three days of moving things...we're all sweaty and beat! Here I am in the place where my old bed was in the room I shared with my older Sis (I lost count at 50 new bruises I now Sis told me that I 'must have a blood disorder.'...I told her 'she has the disorder, since she has no bruises!'
My middle-Sis and I had fun running out to buy them a new small deck set and the railing planters (we put some herbs and flowers in them for Mom to continue her herb gardening) for their new little deck to surprise them while they were at Drs. appointments.

Have a great weekend up...I know I will!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

7/21/10 A Fond Farewell

Good Morning peeps! It's been a crazy ride here in Ohio, and I'm taking a break from all the packing and unpacking before the folks get up to remind you that I'm alive (and the internet was set up yesterday here in the new place).

The closing went off well on Friday. They found out at the closing that the wife of the couple buying is a teacher in the same school system that my Middle Sis teaches for...she's the daughter of the guy who was Principal of the High School when I went there! Mom also got another nice surprise as the husband of the buying couple was a horticulture that made her feel better about leaving all her lovely gardens.

I arrived Sunday morning and we've been packing and unpacking ever since. The mover came on Monday to move all the big furniture, but with the help of all our vans and my brother borrowed a giant Mercedes box truck from the dealership, we've moved everything else and their new one car garage is packed. I'm so happy that the layout I did for them (on my 'architect' computer program, with all their furniture) worked out well. The new twin single is starting to look like home.

Yesterday we went back down to the old house for the final cleaning. It got emotional at the end...even my brother cried (I haven't seen him cry, well probably since were kids and we four sisters sat on him and poked him for being mean to us LOL...he's as sentimental as the rest of us). We took pics (sorry, I'm on Mom's computer so I'll have to share mine later) of us lying on the floors of each of our old bedrooms where our beds were...that was a laugh as we are all SO sweaty (can it get any more hot and humid?), sore, and tired that there were lots of groans getting up and down. We had a toast of lemonade the neighbor had brought and told all our favorite funny stories of the house; ripping the banister off the wall, marker on the wallpaper, plays we put on in the basement, etc. Then we said our final goodbye to our/their home of 44 years.

I should be back home in a few days if things go well on this end. Mom goes in for her sinus surgery on Monday, so I want to get them in good shape before I leave. Ooops Mom's up...stay cool peeps!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

7/17/10 A Lesson From a Teacher

Do you have people who know you and support you completely? Besides your spouse/significant other (and no, your parents don't count either)? We all need at least one someone like that in our life. My siblings are that for me...if I said 'I need you.' any of them would come.

I received a little gift I want to share with you as there are lessons here for us all...and they came from a Teacher...let me tell you about my middle sister. She's one of the best people I know. Seriously. She's one of those people who has touched so many people's lives (she's an elementary teacher), I know sometimes she hears that from them, but I wish she could hear all the good that she's done for each person. She's one of those people that gives selflessly. My Mom is another one of the best people I know...remember we dubbed her Saint *Name*...and this she is like her in all the best parts, which is a high compliment indeed.

Having 4 siblings growing up in a kind of crazy environment and her being three years younger, we didn't get that close until we were grown. Usually she's so busy with her four boys and work that we don't get a lot of time to talk during the school year. We spend more time together during the summers and I miss doing vacations together as our kids have gotten older and busier.

She had a tough period this year, not with teaching or her current job, but with some office politics/people that were incompetent, that effected some new things she wanted to get involved in that everyone thought she greatly deserved (that were also selfless), but didn't happen for her...yet (you know it's coming Sis). I can tell you out of her trials and tribulations, once again, she has effected others in a great way...she's effected changed in her organization that is already helping others and will continue to grow (and most that are helped will never know that she made that change that helped them, but now we all know!).

I tried to be there for her as a sounding board through all the ups and downs (they put her through the wringer for a long time) as she couldn't do this with her co-workers/friends much. I'm so proud of her as there were so many times that she had the opportunity to give up, or just decide not continue to the next step, and she never did that.

Here's my sister in a nutshell. She slips a present in my luggage when I came back home after my last visit a few weeks ago. My DH noticed it and told me on the way home, but I didn't get a chance to sit down and read it until about a week ago. I'm sure she's wondering why I haven't mentioned it yet or thanked her, but I wanted to really take the time to think and thank her was one of those rare gifts that blew me away. Seriously. My DH knows me very well and if he had picked this item up even he would have never thought that it would mean so much to me. I want to share with you what it was because there are lessons in this for all of us...I know it's a long post, but hang in there and you'll learn some things...hopefully some that will apply to your Band journey. was...

...a little tiny book...

...Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

The book has a wrap around the cover that reads "An adults version of Dr. Seuss's Oh, The Places You'll Go! - a pocket-size guide to finding your way in life" -Newsweek

OK, right there I started to freak out. I'm sure I never told my sister that one of the gifts that I gave a few people in my life in the work world that I really admired (usually when they got a promotion) was that very Dr. Suess book...I'm crazy that way (take any life situation and I can find you a line from a Dr. Suess book that applies to it...I swear it's true). In fact, I had planned and was looking forward to when the her work stuff worked out in her favor to sending her a bouquet and that favorite Dr. Suess book, and get this...

I. Already. Bought. It!

How much of a coincidence is that?! D*mn, yes now I realize, a good sis would have sent it thought was that it might rub salt in the wound since it didn't happen for her (yet, Sis), but I now realize the time you need to get inspiration from your cheerleaders most is when it's not happening for you, that's why she's the good one...she realized that...yes I'll do it...NOW.

I started to read the little book...Sis added a note thanking me, and telling me she saw this book and thought of me and congratulated me on the WL. The book is set up very creatively like a children's book (even fold out pages, etc.)...OK, creative is my thing...I read on. The author discusses his love of sports as his passion and how it has led to different jobs along the way that he's loved and how work has always felt more like 'play' (yes, he played soccer for awhile, but then the jobs were as an athletic trainer, then he worked for Nike, and now is a corporate consultant and speaker). OK, we've all heard that we should follow our 'passion', right? Not always as easy as it sounds; if you're interested in figuring out yours, read on, or you can skip to the 'Band/your journey' part below.

Then he asks you to figure out what your passion is...hmm...this was easy for me because I'd already done the work long ago to figure it out. For most people it's not as easy as 'sports'...I'd suggest you trace back through your jobs and think about them hard...even in a job you hated, was there a eensy bitty piece of it that you enjoyed? How about in a job you loved, what specifically did you love doing? Could you state it in just a few words? DH and I have had this discussion over the years and I think I've shared before that his is 'Finding Things'...he's great at it and he loves's been a thread through many of his jobs and in his current one he's the one that pulled together several elements and businesses across the world to help form their current business in the wouldn't have happened without him (and don't get me started on the collections in our house he's 'found'...even with some of my collections, he's the one that does most of the 'finding').

It's funny to me now to tell you that I've shared this in detail near the beginning of the book...My passion is 'Creative Change'...tracing back through my jobs and volunteer work, this is the piece I love...even in jobs that didn't require this I was always a 'change agent'...I just can't help it...I see things differently than others and it drives me nuts until I 'fix things' for the better, whether that be; people that need to be moved in more appropriate jobs (underutilized or in the wrong job), better utilization of tools, or changing how we do things. In my last job figuring out my passion, and having others around me start to see me as a 'Change Agent' led to some wonderful things for me...little things like I was allowed to attend a small group in the company (all about creativity) which brought in guest speakers now and then to talk about creativity and I brought pieces to share back to my group. Later, I was selected, after a long process of applications and interviews along with one other person to lead a team of people to set up a few days for everyone in our department (thousands of people in a Fortune 500) where the focus was 'change' and how we can improve processes and interactions in processes. Then I finally got my 'dream job'...the company started and hand picked an elite group of 100 people across all departments to set out to effect change in business processes, both internally and with customers who wanted our help. My job was all about my passion; 'Creative Change'.

Then the author started to make me think as he talked about not losing sight of your 'red rubber ball' and that you need 'courage, strength, and imagination' to follow your passion...hmm...this got me thinking about where I am with the I'm trying to effect 'Creative Change'? Did I see a need in a process that needs to change? Well, yeah...I'm trying to do the book because our Doc's don't give us all the information because they're not banded...I'm trying to do it to help people along in their journey with information that would have/did-from others, help me. So back to those three words 'courage, strength, and imagination'. That's just what I need right now; 'courage, strength, and imagination'.

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Now please thank my Middle Sis (not me) for the lesson (someday she may see this...I love you Sis)!

Friday, July 16, 2010

7/16/10 A Vist

My in-laws arrived Tuesday late afternoon. DH actually made it home just before they arrived (brownie points for him...that, or he wanted to see the 'big reveal'...he was into the surprise factor, not me...DH told his sis about my LB, but not them...we haven't seen them since last August).

We had a very nice visit with them...we didn't really do anything much, mostly just talked and visited. We spent a lot of time on the patio just hanging out. I had the kids set up 'Mario Party' on the Wii yesterday (it's pretty much like playing a board game with a few short 'shooting gallery' type games along the way) and they had a wonderful time...the in-laws eventually got better at it and did too.

We could only get all three kids together for a meal for lunch yesterday so the Granparents too us to lunch at DD's workplace (upscale Mediterranean restaurant, not a chain) and we had a great time and they loved the place.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

7/15/10 Chocolate is the Devil's Spawn

DS2's Birthday was on Monday (sleep over party with teen boys...yes, with the in-laws arriving the next day...I'm certifiable) and I made him a cake with a new 'twist' my oral hygienist had told me about (am I the last person to learn about 'spoon cakes'? Tip 1; just say no. Oh, and Tip 2; don't eat breakfast before you go in for a cleaning...this was back when I had my sweet spot and I was sweating for 30 min. trying to hold in belches while she had her hands in my mouth). I made chocolate (or other) sheet cake (I added chocolate chips), and the 'twist' is that you poke holes in it with a wooden spoon and drizzle sweetened condensed milk (and other heart attack things, if you want, like; ground up Heath bars or carmel down into the holes) and she tops it with Cool Whip, but I did fudge chocolate frosting. I resisted the leftover cake last night, but I'm up early this morning with the beginnings of a migraine and came down for some food and my pills. Someone had put my piece in the fridge...still on the plate...with a fork...and it was calling my name...'CHOCOLATE'! I'm was probably at least 1000 calories, and yes, I'd had a piece on his birthday (and no, chocolate doesn't make my migraine's worse...if only...but life is not worth living without chocolate).

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

I called my Doc's office and he's back next week...unfortunately I'm not, so I moved my fill appointment up to two weeks from way is this girl waiting until the end of August! Tip 4; When trying to move up an appointment, call them and tell them you're gaining weight and that you might be naked soon...I'll let you know if the Doc takes pity on me a month early.

Got to run...the in-laws are up and I need a shower! Stay cool my peeps...another 90+ day here!

Friday, July 9, 2010

7/9/10 How Is It Friday Already?

Busy, busy, busy! I swear I haven't had time to pee this week (and you know that's a problem with my bladder). I'm taking a break from cleaning for a quick update:
  • Shoveled out from the long holiday weekend...I'm still doing laundry...ugh.
  • The kids have had a lot going on this short week and DS1 leaves in a few hours for a weekend back at college for an event there so I have to get him rolling soon (he's taking the furniture he bought at the garage sale out to the frat house).
  • Sorted the rest of my sewing pile and my whole closet (I had piles all over our bedroom and DH was complaining about all my land-mines he'd been tripping over in the dark in the mornings...he was threatening to start turning on the light...can't have that! I need my beauty sleep...or a face lift!). I've got LOTS of tops I can alter to make them work for me...sewing a straight line down a seam is the extent of my sewing expertise (and patience). Oh, and I tossed most of the 'mending' as you if anyone in my family comes looking for something I'll be blaming it on you.
  • My in-laws arrive on Tuesday and DH informed me he told his sister about my LB, but not his parents...he wants me to 'surprise' them...hmm, not sure how this will go over as his family is can I say this...'Just eat less, exercise more'...and they've seen me on all my yo-yo trips up and down, so it should be interesting (oh and his Dad and Mom are a Physician and Nurse).
  • I'm shoveling out the house (did I mention my in-laws are coming?)...I think I must have forgotten 'Spring Cleaning' this year...sometimes my 'oldtimers' works for me.
  • My family has been calling a LOT again this week...they've got next week to finish packing the folks before the big move and there's a variety of opinions on when I should arrive/leave and how I can be the most help (apparently, or so they're telling me, I'm a better 'unpacker' than a 'packer''s the 'almost OCD'...I'm wicked at organizing things).
*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Got to run...DS1 is up...before noon LOL!

Monday, July 5, 2010

7/5/10 Happy Fourth Fifth of July!!!

We're back from my folks for our last 4th of July at their house and it couldn't have been a better weekend (well, it could have been a little cooler as it was pushing 90 degrees). The old house is sold (closing on the 16th) and it's been all good news for them. They were set to move into their retirement village, but not into the exact model they wanted, so they were going to move and then have to move again when one opened up (they're first on the waiting list). Get this, last week the model they wanted with the sunroom on it opened up as the buyers who had been holding it for 7 months decided not to move yet…their home wasn't sold and their time was up. I don't know how things could go any smoother for my folks…they're so blessed, and I'm so thankful!!!

We arrived Friday afternoon to stay at my youngest sister's home and then we drove up to see my parent's new twin single (the sunroom will make a huge difference as with two bedrooms and one great room it gives them somewhere to get away from each other when they need their own space (I call it the 'sanity room'...going from a four bedroom two story they'll need it). They have a nice couple next door in the attached single, and my parents seemed really happy about the home they bought there. I'd put their house plan and all the furniture they're taking on my architect software so I took some final measurements while we were there and had it all ready for Mom to print/look at before I left (with the program you can even take a 'walk through' of what it will look like with the furniture in it.).

We spent the weekend with all four of my siblings, so it was really nice to have almost everyone there; my older sister from Chicago (with their two boys/her DH and DD stayed home), my middle sister's whole family (they have four teen boys), my younger brother, and my youngest sister's family where we stayed (they have two young boys). My two oldest went downtown with their cousin's (my middle sis's two oldest boys are almost the same ages as my DD and DS1, so they've grown up as close cousin's) for the city's big fireworks display while the rest of us visited with the family. We had plenty of backyard fireworks shows over the weekend (yes, we had to stop in Ohio to pick some up on the way in). We took the kids to the pool on Saturday, and yes, I did….I wore my bikini…I was asked how long it had been since I'd worn a bikini…ummm, about 20 years…I'm guessing my lotion tanner wasn't enough to fool anyone that my belly hadn't seen the light of day for eons…no matter…I appreciated my new, albeit pale, belly.

Sunday was the best 4th of July ever! I'm sure I've told you how my parent's moved into their home 44 years ago and it was in the first 100 homes (Phase 1) of what is now a 2,000+ homes, elementary school, 18 hole golf course, development. My parents were the first 'Chairmen' of the community's first 4th of July parade (my Dad was President of the Civic Association and it was his idea). It's been a part of our year ever since (their street has entered a float every year and I, and my kids have ridden on plenty of them). Since it was the 40th Anniversary of the first parade, this year's committee asked them to be the 'Grand Marshall's' of the parade (the theme for this year's parade was 'It's the 70's All Over Again') and they were so touched and honored that they were asked (and what perfect timing with the move). My brother (in the retail automotive industry) borrowed a new Mercedes convertible to drive them (and DD was the 'co-pilot' and videotaped them along the way). They had a special breakfast at the Club with the committee and judges and they had a blast during the parade (Dad was laughing recounting hearing someone say 'I didn't know he was still alive' LOL)! All the past-chairmen get to decorate a golf cart and ride in the parade so the 4 oldest teen grandchildren rode on the cart too. The couple (and their 6 mo. old daughter) that is buying their home came to the parade at Mom and Dad's suggestion (through their Realtor) and they made a point to find my parents as they lined up before the parade and introduce themselves…they were SO happy to meet them and I think it really helped my folks to know that they're turning over their home to a nice family.

I had prepped and started a 'Note To The New Owners' paper to leave in the house, where we each wrote down some of our favorite memories in the house and told them how much they would enjoy raising their family there (making a copy as a surprise for Mom and Dad). Yes, there were lots of teary moments and even a few blubbering ones, but most were not in front of our parents, so it was really a very happy weekend for them (I'll be back there for the move in two weeks, so I'm sure that will be emotional). I was also really touched by my children's reactions…we're the ones who have moved a lot and have lived in 7 different houses, so for my kids, especially the older ones, my parent's home is really the only stable 'home base' they've known. My youngest gave up being with his two closest cousin's on Sunday night so that, as he said, he could have 'a last 4th' fireworks at his grandparents'. It was the perfect evening and a perfect weekend.

We took lots of pics in front of the parents, my 4 siblings and me (yes, the 'baggy star shorts' are old and awful...I forgot to buy something for the Fourth LOL).

My three sister's and I. We laughed all weekend...until we cried...and then we laughed was a blast. From the left: My 'Middle Sis' (She's the elementary teacher. I'm SO proud of her...she's lost a LOT of weight and was now in some of my 'sisterhood' Capri's in a size 18 and they were swimming on her...AWESOME as she's the one with medical problems/diabetes/strokes and I worry about her, so I was surprised and THRILLED!). My 'Older Sister' (She's the PE Special Ed teacher and just returned from coaching the USA Special Olympic/Adult Boccia team in the International Olympics in Lisbon. She and her DH adopted two Downs Syndrome boys and they have a DD of their own.). And the baby, my 'Youngest Sis' (She's at home like me and busy with their two small boys/one is my Godson. I can't believe how fast my little nephews are growing up...they're just makes you appreciate the days we get with our kids even more.).

I hope you all had a GREAT 4th (and for my international friends 'a great weekend')!!! The grandkids (minus one-my niece)...cheaper by the dozen! My three are far left in the green shirt- DS2, to the left of his Grandad- DS1, and the only granddaughter- DD.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

7/1/10 Too Thin?

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book
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