Thursday, August 5, 2010

I haven't been blogging in a while. I have been on a hiatus. I haven't been making jewelry either and it is very frustrating me. I have moved on to a different journey... for the moment.

I have 365 days till my neice gets married and I have some serious weight to lose in that time. I am hoping to drop around 70-80 pounds. I started on Sunday and have been doing pretty well. I am currently doing the Special K diet. I have SK for breakfast and dinner. Lunch I have been having Healthy Choice meals. I snack on Fiber One bars, fruit, or something else low in calories. I am mostly drinking water and crystal light.

I have been walking on my treadmill for about an hour a day. I am seeing small changes ... and I know I won't see anything major for a while.. but the small changes make me happy.

So ... I have 1 year to get fit and I know I can do this. I will keep you informed on my progress!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Goddess in the sun.

Ryan conked out after being in the water most of the morning.

Peter and I relaxing in the sand.

Enjoying my view.

Nathan and Ryan having a great day in the water!

Our camping adventure

So in the previous blog I had said that I had not camped in many years and wasn't sure how I would feel about going out in the "Great Outdoors." We camped at a rustic campground.. no electricity, no picnic tables, no bathroom.. nothing. We ended up having such an amazing time out there.. and plan to go back again.

We got out to Big Traverse Bay on Friday around 5:30 and had everything set up by 7pm. The kids were so good. We got them into their swimsuits right away and let them play in the sand with their toys while Peter and I set up our camp. The four of us stayed in one tent and had a screen tent next to us for Buck to sleep in. After everything was set up we had hot dogs for dinner, followed by play time in the water.. Lake Superior water. Which for those of you who don't live around here Lake Superior is very very very cold. I have never been in the water over my head. My husband on the other hand has swam in LS every month of the year.. Brave .. Crazy.. I call him both.

Anyway we ended our evening with a campfire and smores. The kids were in bed by dark which is probably around 10:30pm. We didn't have a clock around us, which is why I had such a great time. I would rather forget about time and just have a great time. Peter and I had wine coolers and then I was off to bed.

Saturday we got up and I can't even explain what I experienced at the water. It was calm. Completely still, the sun was shining and the sky had no clouds in it. It really was like a religious experience out there. It was very calming and peaceful. We had breakfast and the kids went back into their swimsuits and into Lake Superior. I would say they were in the water by 7:30am, but again I had no clock.. i could only tell by the placement of the sun in the sky.

After we got the kids situated on the beach I took the kayak out on the lake. I put my headphones on and drifted in the water, with the sun on my face and listened to Edith Piaf. Edith Piaf is a very popular (from decades ago) French singer. I had no idea what she was singing about, but her voice is so popular it was beautiful. I just drifted and every so often i would put my hand in the water just to feel how cool it was. I really have never felt anything like that. All the stress in my life was gone. I didn't want to come back to shore, but I thought I should give Peter a turn in the kayak.

The rest of the morning was spent making sand castles, swimming, giggling, and reading on the beach. I did go out on the kayak one more time around lunch time and it was just like the first time.. amazing.

Our day was pretty much that... doing nothing relaxing on the beach. We did have to take a drive out to Lake Linden in the afternoon. Peter and I needed a cold soda so we took a drive. At dinner time as the kids played in the sand I realized that my MP3 player had a radio on it.. and I got public radio. That totally made my day. I love public radio and too boot... Prairie Home Companion was on. We listen to PHC every Saturday night while we eat dinner at home. Smore and wine coolers ended our day.

We had fields of blueberry bushes around us. The boys and I picked for about an hour and we have enough to last us for a while. The only bad parts of the camping trip were the ants. They were everywhere and got into our stuff, but I had just get over it.

And there is the part of the no bathroom. For boys it is just easy.. but for us girls :::sigh:::, I managed.

By Sunday morning I was ready to come home. It was starting to storm out when we were driving back home. We all had a great time and we want to go again in two weeks. I am glad we had all day today to recuperate. We will all be in bed early tonight.

I only wish I could bottle up the sights, sounds and smells of this weekend. It was so perfect!

The view from our campsite. So quiet and peaceful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

So I haven't been camping in a long long time. The last time I went it was 2001. Today we leave for a few days for "rustic" camping on Lake Superior. It will be gorgeous.. there is no question about that. I am a tad bit worried about the outhouse situation. I am not.. fond of them. I will have to buck up and bite the bullet!

We are tenting it. My boys are climbing the walls waiting to go. They have been driving me crazy in every sense of the word since 6:51am this morning.

So I hope a bear doesn't eat me.. or some other strange creature. I will take lots of pictures and will do a follow-up blog on Sunday after we get home!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A low key kind of holiday weekend

I remember holidays when i was little as very stressful. My mother would go out of her way to make it "perfect". She wanted that Norman Rockwell kind of picture. It always seemed to go sour.. mainly because of my father and his controlling ways. I too took this attitude on for MANY years. Everything had to be perfect and if it wasn't I would throw a huge hissy fit. (my poor hubby)

Ever since I realized that I can't control every situation I have been looking at life in such a different light. I realize that why control everyone around me and instead just go and have fun and what is meant to be ... will happen.

This is the second 4th of July that I haven't been in my hometown of Ishpeming. 4th of July always seemed to be so darn stressful for me. (I always think of a certain 4th that my mom again...was trying to make perfect and she and my father got into a HUGE fight. My sister Vicki took me into her room and we fell asleep next to each other) I used to stress over getting ready for the parades and then what to do afterwards. I know maybe it sounds silly, but to me it was depressing and I ended up never having a good time. It seemed to be just a big let down.

So this year I just vowed to myself to make this a pleasant, non-stressful and fun weekend. I am surprised at how much fun we are having as a family. No crowds, just the four of us doing what we want to do. Friday night (2nd) we had cereal for dinner and watched Aladdin. It was around 92 degrees which isn't pleasant here.. at least for me and Peter.

Today (3rd) we packed up and went to the beach. We packed a picnic lunch and at sat in the Gazebo at the Calumet waterworks park. Lake superior was behind us and a lovely breeze kept us cool (today was around 85-90 again). After our lunch we we trotted down to the beach and I was surprised how empty it was. We had a huge stretch of beach all to ourselves. The boys dug in the sand, Peter went swimming in the lake and I went looking for rocks. It was so peaceful out there. It was just the four of us having a wonderful time!!! No yelling, no crying and most importantly no stress.

There is something about hearing the waves crash into the shore and how the sand feels against my fingertips that makes all the noise of the world go quiet. A hush that falls over and I can hear my thoughts clearly. When I am at the beach I feel at home. I love when we have a stretch of beach all to ourselves and we can sing, laugh, tell jokes and no one except the birds can hear us.

When I die.. I want to be cremated. I want my ashes to be scattered on the beach.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!! I hope you find your peace where ever you are.

Friday, June 25, 2010

branching out to find out who I am

Ever since I took my certification exam my school text books have been put away. I have been brancing out and trying to find different talents or hobbies that can fill the time in my days. The time that used to be spent on studying.

I started making jewerly a few weeks ago and have instantly fallen in love with it. I have talked to many different people who have said the same thing, once they started they just fell deeply in love with it. It really is a great stress reliever as well. I do have my jewerly posted on I told my husband that if I don't sell any pieces that it is ok.. because I have some amazing pieces of jewerly to wear!

I have also started to take up reading. I hated reading in middle school/high school. It was just such a chore. Now that I am able to pick what I want to read it is so much more fun. I have really enjoyed reading Jodi Picoult. I have a number of her books and once I start it is really hard to put them down. I find myself staying up late to finish the book. I have a few different authors I am trying to read through as well, but Jodi really seems to be my favorite.
One last thing.. I seem to be really enjoying photography too. I have to take pictures of my jewerly to post them online and I am having fun taking different shots, with different views, lighting and such. It may be something that down the road I may try to work on a little more in depth.
It is so fun when you can put away text books and work on being you. For so long I have been "Jackie the student", "Jackie the mom", "Jackie the wife". I am learning how to be Jackie.. just Jackie.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I have been thinking lately about how much I have changed in the past few years, specifically the past year.

I used to stress and worry about the silliest things, as well as the everyday normal things. Now when I think about everything my husband had to put up with (mood swings, depression, ..ect). He is such a patient and loving man.

After we moved up to Hancock from Ishpeming things started to fall down. I had MANY things on my plate and everything and everyone was coming at me from all angles. Peter was still working in Mqt. which meant he was staying in Mqt. M-F. Our house hadn't sold, I had started a new job, new town, new people, I had to take my certification exam ... the list can go on.. and on.. and on.

I was severely depressed and I felt like I had no one to go to. When Peter came home on weekends I felt like I had to put on a happy show because he was home for the weekend and didn't want to bother him with my issues.

In the past year I have worked through alot of my issues. I am more comfortable with who I am and where I am in life. I am not afraid of failure. The only way we learn as human beings ... is failure (at least a few times in our lives) I also feel like I am able to do things with Peter. I used to be VERY dependant on him. I went kayaking last week for the first time alone. Yes I know.. it's just kayaking, but to me it was amazing being out there on the water alone. I had this revelation while I was in the water paddeling. It was amazing. It was so peaceful out there, the birds were chirping and the water was rolling and there i was in the middle of it.

I am no longer a "nervous nellie" as my instructors at NMU used to call me. I am able to breathe and focus on issues. I don't stress over silly things and even big things I am able to just let it go over my head and just say "it is going to work out." I know that god loves me and only will give me as much as I can handle. No more.. no less.

Now part of my "newness" is also due to my medication I am on. I take anti-depression meds and it is amazing. I can fully enjoy life for what it is and am no longer stopping every few steps because of something in my way.

I enjoy everyday, because I seem to learn something and try something new everyday. I cannot wait for tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why are people living lies????

I am not usually a watcher of Oprah, but today as I was flipping through channels I came across it and thought I would watch it.

It was about Debt and something Oprah has started a series on her show called the "Debt Diet" Today was episode 4 of the series. She has 3 couples who are at wits end with money. They all have different stories, but all have one common theme they are ready to file for Bankruptcy. She has 3 experts, a panel of professionals who each help a family and give them a HUGE wake up call. They have steps they have to follow:

1. recognize how much debt you owe
2. track your spending
3. learn how to play the credit card game
4. stop spending
5. create a plan
6. take steps to grow your income

One of the couples had invited over a bunch (about 20) of their friends and told them they had a huge secret to tell them. Their friends were all excited and also worried about what this secret was. The couple came out and told each of them that they were living a lie. That what everyone saw on the outside wasn't true. The trips they took, the cars they drove, the clothes they wore.. all lies. They said they have over $43,000 in debt. They wrote the number down on a poster board for all their friends to see. The wife broke down and cried and was very embarassed. Their friends were very supportive when the couple told them to please not invite them out for dinners, coffee at starbucks, shopping and so on. Next week is the series finale and we find out how the couples have turned their lives around.

It got me to think.. why are people living a lie? I do it too. I have many credit cards and I honestly have a spending problem. I do ... there my secret is out. I love the way it feels to purchase something online. To have that brown box waiting for me when i get home from work. I am not ashamed to say this.

I work fulltime and my husband is a student. He is currently doing an internship with no pay... it isn't rocket science... we are really at wits end. The next six months are going to be tough, but he will be done with school in Dec. So there.. you all who read this.. know my secret. Peter and I have a massive amount of debt, we will be paying it off for many years. It is tough to get a grip on this, but we don't let this define who we are. We have 2 great boys, we are renting a nice place to live, have food on our table and gas in our cars.

What is your secret? Why are you living a lie??? Don't be ashamed... we all have one.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A day dedicated to dad's.

Today is a day that is dedicated to dad's. It's more than giving dad that new tie, making him breakfast or letting him grill for dinner. I have realized in the past year how important my husband is in my life and in the life of my boys.

Peter is such a wonderful husband. He is patient and loving. He never yells and if we have a problem (between he and I) we always discuss it in private.. not in front of our kids.

My childhood is a bunch of memories that have the same common denominator... fighting. I have made peace with it though. My father was very agressive in every sence of the word. He would pick fights with my mom and brothers manily. I never remember seeing my father happy. I remember my mom packing up a bag, and she and I went away for a weekend once and the thought of us going back home made me sick to my stomach, because i knew my dad would be there... waiting... to pick another fight with us.

I love that my husband has made nothing but great memories for me and our boys. I feel so blessed that he and I found each other in this crazy world. God is amazing and has a plan for us.. for sure!!! We aren't rich by any means.. but we are millionares when it comes to happiness, laughter and memories!!!

Have a great day to all the dad's, stepdad's, grandpa's and male role models out there.... enjoy!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

one of my favorite websites..ever!!!!

I came upon this website a while ago. I often go and browse it just to view the beautiful photos of food. When i visit this site I pretend that I am an amazing chef or cook and I can make these dishes. To me what is so beautiful about it, is how it is photographed. The lighting, the way the food is arranged on the plate. It is another form of art.

Wouldn't it be fun to be a food critic. Your job ... to eat food. All kinds of food. Not just any kind of food either.. food that is prepared and arranged perfect just for you!

Peter took me to a resturant when we were dating. It was my 23rd birthday and it was called "Cafe California" It was the first time I had ever dipped bread in oil and had waiters standing and waiting for me to ask for more of something. I can't remember what dish I ordered, but I remember feeling so special when i was there.
I have never had that feeling since being at that resturant. At least not to that degree. I hope you enjoy foodgawker as much as I do. Go and take a look. Grab a napkin.. trust me you may start drooling!!
ta ta for now!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

this n that

So I started making jewerly and I have found that I love it. I cannot express how much i really enjoy it. It is a great stress reliever and in the end I have a beautiful piece of wearable art.

I do sell my jewerly as well. is my site. My jewerly is very affordable. As of right now I am making earrings and bracelets. I am going to start making necklaces and rings after I start feeling more comfortable with my jewerly. I hope you can take just a moment and check out my website. I do offer a free gift with purchase with each order.

Thanks for checking out my blog!!! I