craftiness. insanity. life.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

i love dressing

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

though i was not thankful that tino decided to knock some books off a shelf to an attempt to demand breakfast this morning, i am glad that he acted as my alarm clock at 7 am. i needed to start cooking.

hubby is working today. while i would prefer that we could spend every holiday together, his career in the er does not allow that.  we celebrated with his family (now very much "our" family in my heart) at the lake last sunday. i have plans to meet up with my family in a few hours. until yesterday at about 4:30 pm, i was okay with said plans.

i stopped at the store to grab some salad mix. really. that's all that i went in to buy. and then i noticed all the people buying last minute thanksgiving items. and i decided, on a whim, to grab some stuff for a small scale thanksgiving lunch for hubby and me.

so, at 7 am, i put the turkey tenderloin in the crockpot (hey, it's just the two of us). i diced veggies for the dressing (my jojo's to-die-for recipe!), peeled sweet potatoes, created pickle relish after discovering i didn't have any, and planned a timeline for the morning.

at 11:30, the meal was ready. hubby came into the kitchen. when he saw the mini "spread" (complete with cranberry sauce right out of the can--gotta have the rings!), to say he was stunned would be an understatement. "i didn't know you were doing all of this. you didn't have to do this. thank you" were some of the phrases he repeated over the next 20 minutes.

my response? i wanted to do it. i wanted to see him smile at the yummy food. i wanted to eat with him. i wanted to create another memory.

as we ate, we talked about how the rest of our days would go. i talked about eating more dressing and then spreading out the black friday ads with my sister. taking a power nap. shopping!!!

he talked about work being slow. he said that most of the patients would probably be those from the nursing home--the thought process being that family goes to actually visit them today, and then they take them to the hospital because they "look bad."

this made me sad. but, at the same time, it made me happy.

i am thankful that those who have to unfortunately visit the uab er until 1 am will potentially be assigned to david.

i am thankful that he will be there to comfort them. that his heart is big enough to work in such an environment.

i am thankful that i get to share my life with him, and to know that he feels the same.

i am thankful for life. for love. for support.

i am thankful. period.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

isn't it ironic?

my fragile ego suffered a blow today. many thanks to all who listened to my woes.

back in late summer, i responded to a "reality checker" email from all you on a whim. they were looking for people who had experienced a life changing event or crisis at christmas time, and had since changed their views on the holiday.

instantly, i thought: hmm, my now ex-husband announced he didn't care about being married to me anymore. four days later i checked into a rehabilitation clinic only five days before christmas. i think this should count.

so, i sent a short synopsis of my experience and was chosen to be part of a featured story.

i spent several hours responding to email questions (read: could only handle the personal disclosure in small intervals) and phone interviews from the article's writer. though, in the end, the process was good for me, it was very painful to reveal the intimate details to someone you don't even know (read: it's not easy to admit that you were so thin that it hurt to stand barefooted on hard floor. yet you fought to stay married to someone who vowed to love you but didn't make a judgement call and make you get the help you desperately needed). david and i even had to go out of our way to submit a picture to accompany the story (he had been working A LOT at this time. we didn't have a christmas picture to submit from last year because he actually worked last christmas day. we barely even had time to "celebrate" the holiday).

nevertheless, i was so excited about the possibility of inspiring other women to seek help.

and then i get a text from my sister yesterday. she subscribes to all you.

my story was not in the issue.

insert low self esteem. (and this is SO ironic considering that my therapist had just hit me with exercises from this book less than 24 hours beforehand). instantly, i thought "apparently, you aren't good enough to even include in a magazine. you don't inspire anyone. shame on you for thinking otherwise. stupid."

so, i lamented. i fumed. i hosted a GREAT pity party.

and then i stood up for myself. i contacted the editor. i expressed my anger in not being informed of the decision. before my ED, i would NEVER have even considered this. (mad props to LN for congratulating me on  doing this--love you sister friend!)

low and behold--i got a reply.

it turns out that the article WILL be included online. at the time, i was not very happy to even hear this. however, after many of my loved ones stated that they completely believe that this will lead to even more exposure for eating disorders and recovery, i am now happy. very happy.

upon reflecting on today's emotional roller coaster, it was a good exercise on regaining confidence in myself.

all you, in particular, gillian aldrich, thank you for stepping up. sincerely. i look forward to seeing the online version soon. (and yes, you better believe that there will be a link to it from this page!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


i stumbled upon this re-post tonight, thanks to an email from my "family." i needed this. badly.

i was particularly influenced by the first "way" to love yourself:

"sit down in a quiet, cozy space, enjoying the silence or listening to your fave music, and ask yourself what you believe, what you value, what your dreams are and what gifts you bring into this world."

it's no secret that i've been a bit blue lately. i decided that it's time to reevaluate my life. . .

1. i believe that life is worth living. that each day is a gift.
2. i believe that my job matters. that adults become better parents, and better teachers, because of what i do.
3. i believe that my presentations will lead to a greater understanding of child abuse, of neglect, and of safe sleeping environment.
4. it is my belief (and hope) that this will lead to less heartache in this world.
5. i believe that i have a purpose on this earth. a calling.
6. i believe that i am a strong voice for the rights of children. i believe in nonprofit work.
7. i believe that i am a strong woman. i am no longer a doormat.
8. i believe that everything in my life has led me to where i am now. [likewise, i believe that david came on that one spring break church trip to lead us back to each other 14 years later ;)] i am stronger for it.
9. i value love in its purest form--accepting flaws and quirks and everything else.
10. i value a good day's work. of giving it all you have.
11. i value my freedom to choose my beliefs, my job, my spouse, and my values.
12. i value those who have fought for this freedom.
13. i value the close relationships that i have at this time: my family, my friends, my ZTA sisters (yes, HGN, this includes YOU!), and my friends/coworkers. thank you for accepting and supporting me...
14. i value my tuesday night ladies (so disappointed i felt too crummy to come this week!!!). A LOT!
15. i value life, in general.
16. i dream of being a good wife. from the beginning until the end...
17. i dream of being a good mommy. one day.
18. i dream of being the best grandmother. ever! [ no offense vicci and linda ;) --i know YOU will both be THE BEST in our kiddos' lives!]
19. i dream of growing old with my sexy, smart, and absolutely, positively AMAZING husband
20. i dream of being the coolest aunt. period. [yep-hint, hint, sissy!...and, eventually, my brothers-in-law!]
21. to this world, i bring a love for children. every color, shape, size, etc.
22. to this world, i bring a respect for life.
23. to this world, i bring a respect for those who actively support those with a mental illness/trauma [family, obviously, but also old friends, "sisters," and colleagues (you know who you are-NSW, LHN and LF) and, seriously, if you haven't check out my gal nic, you need, now...]
24. to this world, i bring hope: that, even in your darkest hour, there is something better waiting for you. it may not be on "our time," but it awaits, nonetheless...

dear life: thanks for choosing me!

Friday, October 28, 2011

coming out of the dark (and, yes, this a reference to the gloria esteffan song...)

if you actually know me, you know that i derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from my job. in fact, i was so miserable at the job prior to this one that i gave up a good 11K to go back into nonprofit work. (what can i say, i love to see my work making a difference...)

my first year, i faced a lot of obstacles. 3 of the 4 child care centers that were slated to partner with us to my hiring fell through within one week of my accepting the position. after getting into my work, i proposed a different approach, and was told (*note interpretation) to go with it because there wasn't a wrong way to do it. and it worked. very well, actually, for my first two years.

i loved going to work. delighted in being amongst my families and their providers.

dang that two year only agreement.

when i left my "home" last year, i was sad. very sad. i had grown attached to those babies. and their parents. and their teachers.

but, at the same time, i was incredibly excited about the new grant that i basically wrote myself (my first ever--though with a great model). about my new curriculum. about the new opportunities.

i did not anticipate the challenges that i would face.

i just KNEW the families at the sites i had enrolled would be eager to sign up for services-making my job just as fulfilling as it had always been. after all, the directors were excited. the teachers were grateful for the extra help. . .

and then i sent out the enrollment forms.   ::cue crickets::

these past few months have been a lesson in patience. and tolerance. and acceptance.

there has been a lot of "self talk." of reminding myself that i have done all that i can do.  that the fact that enrollment forms have not been returned is not a direct reflection of me.

these statements were reaffirmed this afternoon.

i spent some "overtime" at one of my (soon-to-be, due to enrollment grant needs) four sites. there's really nothing quite like seeing a child "light up" at the sight of you. to feel that enthusiasm in his hug. to experience the pure delight in you picking her up. to hear the genuine appreciation in a parent's reaction to the activity you send home with her and her precious little boy.

yes, i've been in a rut. i've felt like a failure. but, this afternoon, i was reminded of why i do what i do. and, more importantly, was reminded of why i will continue to do so.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"and just like that, my runnin' days was over."

forrest gump. maybe you have to be from the south, and to have seen the movie in the theatre, to truly appreciate the beauty of the story. oh, and absolutely, positively adore tom hanks in this role.

my husband LOVES this movie. no, like REALLY LOVES it. as in, he can recite much of the three hours of script alone...

forrest is a simple minded man. most of us would hate to be this way, but it humbles me. to think about how much we try to complicate life. make such a big deal about everything. how much easier life could be if we just lived.

when he thinks he has lost jenny forever, thinks maybe he did something to cause it, forrest runs.  for years. runs away from life.

for those of us who deal with ED on a daily basis, this is such a perfect analogy for our lives...we run. from life. from stress. from problems. from anything and everything...sometimes, we just run for the sake of running. because it has become a way of life. but it really isn't life. it isn't living.

eventually, the running ends. "i'm pretty tired...i think i'll go home now.

embracing recovery, for me, it exactly like that. no more running away.

forrest runs again though, when he sees how close he is to jenny at the end.

and to hear jenny say "this is my old friend from alabama" both warms and heals my heart--to know that i am forever united to my 'old friend from alabama.'

and to hear "lieutenant dan, this is my jenny."and later, "he's the most beautiful thing i've ever seen" makes me sob like a baby...

it is time to stop running. i'm tired. i'm ready to go home. for good.

david, i will forever be your jenny.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

return to paradise, or "wow, i really have started to 'reframe' my thinking'"

we've been home for five days. i'm still a bit sad not to be in paradise, but i had a HUGE realization on friday.

so, i was telling a coworker i had yet to see since my return that our trip was wonderful. absolute bliss. except for getting sick on the last plane ride home (miami and i don't mix, apparently). then, i suddenly remembered what had happened on the way to paradise.

(insert story about how we flew out of miami. got about 30 very turbulent minutes in the air when the flight attendants booked it down the aisle just as the captain announced that we had "engine problems" but we "shouldn't be alarmed" (key: panic! anxiety! where are my coping skills???). eventually, we turned around. deplaned. re-boarded. ended up in mexico later than expected.)

anyway. point being--the old me would have lead with this story. made a BIG deal out of it.

yes, at the time, i was pissed. i was so freaking excited about our trip that it really upset me.

however, now, looking back, i see how i look at it now as a very positive episode. i overcame a negative thought. actually nearly eliminated it from the experience--it is the last thing i think of when i describe the trip.

it was not my "lead off hitter," so to speak.

just a little bump on the way to paradise...for anyone with ED, you know how hard it is to see the good sometimes (well, most of the time on some days).

and wonderful it was! perfect weather. funny commentary to adult entertainment. lots of time spent as close together as possible. wonderful food. lots of laughter. i'll spare you the intimate details, but let's just say it was splendid. period.

i cried the entire way to the airport on tuesday. no joke. david was worried. i told him it was a sign that it was a wonderful trip. we had a much needed time together. i savored every single second of it. my husband freakin' rocks. no, really. he is simply amazing. there are no other words to describe how he makes me feel. i told him several times how "hot" i felt in my bikini. how pretty i felt at dinner.

and it's not my body. it's my spirit.

david is helping me embrace myself. curves. "larger" clothes.

(by the way, this means NEW clothes, which is NEVER a bad thing [thank god for 50% off days at the thrift store where i score absolutely awesome steals on hardly worn clothes that are even better than the old navy and target finds i've outgrown.] **insert MUCH LOVE to lisa nunn. you are AMAZING. i love you. no, REALLY love you, beautiful lady!**)

it's made me think a lot about seeing things differently. something that is ordinary; ugly; boring; or useless can be made into something else. very easily (although sometimes (read: wine bottle project) time consuming).

so, here are a few pictures of my pinterest inspired creations...

became this! plus dollar tree flowers!
lower right two of these $.50 finds at on a shoestring (my new LOVE)

the first one of these from on a shoe string
+ DYI fabric flower = cute cocktails rings!
and another removable ring!
dollar store document frame + scrapbook paper and + wine corks
= DIY dry erase board
and DIY initial artwork! 

as you can see, i'm in a good place. a great place. and super happy.

david: i love you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

blue pants are okay

blue pants.  these are the ones that have fit nicely for a year.

this morning, they were too snug for comfort. and this is okay. not fitting into them does not mean anything bad. i just means that i am successfully becoming healthier. not fitting into this size is not unhealthy.

ED likes to say it is bad. very bad.

today has been spent separating myself from the ED thoughts.

kimberly knows that she is more than the blue pants. she knows that now the khaki pants, the jeans, and the blue pants are just numbers and standards that ED has used to try to brainwash her into believing that she is defined by numbers.

screw that. big time.

i'm developing more curves. hubby loves it.

and yes, i plan on spending a lot of the next six days naked. on my rooftop terrace. yeah, i said it (we're married. get over it. this is brutal honesty), and i'm proud of it. there is more of me to look at one year later.

screw you, ED.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the best medicine(s)?

i follow some very inspirational peeps on twitter. @healthyplace is a favorite of mine.

amongst the great articles and blog posts, they tweet some great quotes.

here's one from yesterday: "i know that laughter and sunshine can restore my soul." ~veronica hay

for those of us who deal with ED, this is so.very.true. scary true, to be exact.

i've spoken briefly about how isolating this disorder is--all consuming, really. when we "get inside our heads," it's hard to get out, much less laugh. and oh, how laughter can be a great medicine.

ED tells you that you don't deserve to be happy, to smile, to laugh. laughing until you cry isn't even comprehendable. the same goes with "sunshine." you don't want to be seen. period. if the sun is out and it's warm, more of you, literally, is exposed. blech.

these days, i am loving me some laughter and sunshine. if they are together, even better!

i am fortunate enough to work with some ladies that make me laugh at least 5.7 times a day, minimum. from donna thinking her chapstick is a gluestick, to leslie reading her evaluation comments, to lisa's random thinking out loud, my life is definitely NOT lacking in laughter. many days, i laugh until i cry, or almost spit out my drink (as i nearly did yesterday. thank you, donna!).

i'm extremely blessed to have a husband who loves to see me smile, hear me laugh, and spend time in the sun.  some of our happiest times are spent "sunning" at the lake while either reading, floating in the water, and/or laughing at the dogs/neighbors/some other random thing. in fact, our entire honeymoon was spent in the sun. and GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY how excited we are to return there in two weeks!

it's no coinicidence that this quote spoke to me: the  night of my wedding reception, my dad and i dance, laughed and sang along to the beatles:

"here comes the sun.
here comes the sun. and i say, it's all right.

little darlin', it's been a long, cold, lonely winter. little darlin', it feels like years since it's been here.

here comes the sun.
here comes the sun. and i say, it's all right.

little darlin', the smile's returning to the faces. little darlin', it seems like years since it's been here.

here comes the sun.
here comes the sun. and i say, it's all right."

for a family that barely survived in the shadows of life, it is to be in the sun again.

and i wouldn't be here now if not for my wonderful husband of nearly (as of saturday) one year.

that night, we all danced the night away (yes, even our parents, who both celebrate 35 years of marriage in 2011!), and ended with this:

"when you can't find the light that guides you through a cloudy day;
when the stars ain't shinin' bright and it feels like you've lost your way;
when those candle lights of home burn so very far away,
well, you got to let your soul shine
just like my daddy used to say.

he used to say the soulshine
it's better than sunshine;
it's better than moonshine;
damn sure better than rain.

hey, now people don't mind;
we all get this way sometimes;
you got to let your soul shine;
shine 'til the break of day."

my sweet david, i love you. thanks for the love, the laughter, and the soulshine. i absolutely cannot wait to see what the next fifty years will bring.

photo by morgan howard ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011


link: noun
1. one of the rings or separate pieces of which a chain is composed. 2. anything serving to connect one part or thing with another; a bond or tie.
we are all bound to someone, in some way or another, at some time, to another person.
we are linked.

what you choose to do with that link can effect the course of your life. some links are healthy. some links are toxic.

i have been linked to both, as have many of us. i know others who have had negative partnerships, whether it be co-workers, friends, marriage, or (the worst of all in my opinion) family.

how we choose to deal with the toxic links can frame our perspectives; it can shape our personalities and views on life in general.

everyone's story is different. how we choose to interpret the experience can significantly direct the course of our lives.
i've been through a lot in my 30 years. some healthy links, some toxic. some healthy, but at times toxic.  at one point, it would have been very easy to stop caring, to stop living, to give up on life, and true happiness.

when i think about my own "links," the chain of events that brings me to my present, i cannot help but shake my head in amazement.

what a wonderful place to be now.

was it easy, pain-free, or stress-free to get here? nope. would i trade it for the easy road, even not knowing what that is or could be? not a chance.

here's what i know: life is what you make of it. it's not always easy. it's not always fun. you don't always understand why it happens the way it does. but, having experienced all of the "links" in my past, i am where i am today.

and for that, i cannot help but be grateful, feel blessed, and smile.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

girlfriends, yet another form of therapy

dealing with ED sucks. big time. it makes you think you aren't worth other people's time, effort, or friendship. at my lowest point, i really didn't have any friends. i was too ashamed of the way i looked and too anxious about the situations in which i would find myself.

i even lost touch with some of the best friends i have (insert shout out to my zta ladies, and a BIG one to my roommate!), and probably will ever have.

thus, those who fight the daily battle of ED often experience social isolation. ED tells us we don't need any one else. in particular, friends (read: others who truly care about your health, happiness, and general well-being).

LIES. LIES. LIES! (he is SUCH a liar!)

i attended a great baby shower tonight for a sweet lady, hosted and attended by the wives of my husband's friends, whom i have genuinely grown to love and enjoy, and now consider to be my friends too.

tonight, i was reminded again of how lonely ED can be.

it's so wonderful to have the tools to fight him.  before 2008, i would have stayed home. and would have missed out on some F-U-N!!

on another note, i discovered that my experience might help a new friend and colleague, and i look forward to the positive opportunities that may await. (you know who you are--and i love you for your honesty, effort, and support!!)

as for "creating" tonight, i stopped at hobby lobby on the way to the shower to pick up a hot glue gun (had thrown out my old one a year ago) so i could finish my latest project.

here was my inspiration (thanks, anthropologie).

and here is mine!

cute, huh? not bad for a bit of fabric, scrapbook paper, and ribbon!

to my newest friends, thanks for the good times tonight--here's to many more (which should definitely include the dude who provided the musical entertainment--only on a lower decibel because we are old and find it annoying...)--love you all!

until next time....surround yourself with those that make you smile. and love yourself.

LIVE life. LOVE yourself. CREATE recovery.

Monday, August 8, 2011

eyes closed

i hate titling posts. there, i said it. the truth.

however, i think this particular title will show up on this blog frequently.

see, i wish i were an artist. true, there are many definitions of "artist." but, to me, the word itself always implies one who can execute a drawing or painting, of the realistic sense.

my personal opinion that i possess zero talent for this was confirmed when i was a pre-k teacher. i had recently become part of a literacy program; one of the activity suggestions was to "story tell" while drawing pictures. i drew a person. the children thought it was a dog. they became confused. i accepted my lack of talent.

so, anyway, i obviously have a love of and appreciation for art.

at the creek, a very sweet lady introduced me to a great way to "be an artist" in my eyes.

the concept is simple: paper, pencil, crayons/colored pencils/markers/oil pastels (you get the picture). close your eyes. put the pencil on the paper. for a few moments, without picking up the pencil, make lines all over the power (let your wrist freely move over the paper).

then, look at it. what do you see?

here's what i saw tonight.

do you see what i saw? a pregnant woman, lovingly looking down at her belly.

this is a woman who knows what she wants.

this is a woman who is experiencing another level of love, and family.

to be her, staying in recovery, moving toward "recovered," is a necessity.

this is who i want to be.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


so, tonight ED gave me a few reasons to not go to a support group: 1) your friend won't be there 2) you might have to sit in traffic and be late 3) you're too tired.

i'm glad that the rational brain won.

tonight, i was again reminded of what loving parents i have now, and had growing up. listening to others as they work through their past, i found myself almost ashamed of dealing with ED and not having all of the baggage that some of the other amazing ladies in the group are stuck lugging around.

then i remembered: unnecessary guilt=Ed thoughts. i stopped.

on the way home, i talked with a lady that has inspired me so much, and with who i hope to genuinely become great friends.  i found myself thinking "let it be" (yes, i love the beatles) and just live life. day to day.

overcome with emotions, i felt the need to call my dad, the one who literally carried me to the path to recover. instead of feeling guilty, i allowed myself to be grateful. and i told him (note: this is big. words are hard for many of us dealing with ED).

i am grateful to have had a happy childhood.

i am grateful to have had a supportive family.

i am grateful to have parents who approve of and love my husband. (BIG ONE HERE)

above all, i am grateful to be alive. life is good. very good. amazing, in fact.

and, i am fortunate to say, my family, the one i was born into and the one i now have through marriage, is a large part of that.

until next time,

LIVE life. LOVE yourself. CREATE recovery.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

wine corks=pendants

i've found a few uses for wine corks on pinterest lately. obviously, this has led to my saving them.

so, i saw this on etsy, and thought--i should do something like that.

tonight, i did!

i started by cutting the corks.

 then i spent some time flipping through magazines and clipping. i decided to paint one of them first, just to add some color. when i found the words and images i wanted to use, i modge podged (yes, that is a verb) them onto the corks slices.

next, i used my bead reamer

to pierce a hole at the top. then, i threaded wire through them to make a pendant.
 being the perfectionist that i tend to be, at first i hated the way the wire looked. it wasn't good enough. then i remembered reading being perfect in recovery, and decided that the wires made each pendant unique. and was genuinely okay with this.

lastly, i added it to a chain. voila!

until next time,

LIVE life. LOVE yourself. CREATE recovery.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

get serious. again.

so, in late 2007, december 20, to be exact, my father helped me regain control of my life. it hasn't been easy. at times life downright sucks. but, i'm done with existing. i'm living. and what a great life it is!

any other pinterest addicts out there? (it's okay. i won't tell).  this site came about at a great time. i was struggling again with ED (it seems to be a shadow for a lot of us for quite a while) when my awesome co-worker told me i needed to join (i'd already seen others talking about it on facebook, but had resisted so far). she sent an invite. i signed up.

now that my adoring husband has helped me "see the light" so-to-speak, i have decided to "create recovery" through the arts (and crafts). (yes, karen, i stole your note title here. forgive me.)

what will this blog look like? not sure just yet. expect some crafts. and some art. and some ED information, resources and, on occasion, some ranting.

that's me. take it or leave it.

here's my first simple project: create an attractive way to store my brochures at work. the problem? i work for a wonderful non-profit (read: tight budget. always looking to save money. or not spend it. i feel bad ordering office supplies. i also spend a great amount of time off the clock looking for free resources. which has led my recent explosion of brochures for my clients. which is good and bad.).

after a few days of "pinning," i decided to just begin by re-purposing some snack boxes with scrapbook paper. easy enough.

a cheap (because i already have tons of printed paper, and, let's face it, snack food boxes are easy enough to come by--especially when you work with a bunch of women) and simple storage solution. i plan on labeling the sides on a shelf in my office space.  i'll update with a picture when i have more so you can enjoy all the cuteness too :)

until next time, if you want to learn more about what it's like to live with ED, i encourage you to read this awesome book (or, encourage someone else to read it).

oh, and you can read more about my story in all you in december! (i'm a little bit excited!)

LIVE life. LOVE yourself. CREATE recovery.