Friday, May 22, 2015

A Few Things on Friday

Hello and happy Friday :) 

I really wish I had brilliant thoughts or stories to share but apparently a week of hospital visits, surgery, pain meds and sleep, lots of sleep - doesn't provide much in the way of riveting blog material. 

The good news is that my 2nd kidney stone procedure of the week went well yesterday. They were able to blast the stone and break it up so I can pass it. I'm still a little uncomfortable but I'm hopeful today is my last day of being confined to laying around all day. 

On that note, I do have a few random thoughts to share. 

One. As a result of all this down time, I've become hooked on Parenthood. How am I just now discovering how great this show is? 

Two. I think it goes without saying that I've felt like quite a hot mess lately but having my nails polished always makes me feel somewhat like I have it together. This color has been my jam lately. 

Three. Someone tweeted this yesterday and it really spoke to me. It's a miracle if I don't screw up an omelet. 

Four. I don't have anything planned for the long weekend and i just feel like that's not okay after last weekend was such a bust. I've just been so busy living it up in bed all week I forgot to make some plans. Oops. 

Five. Between my birthday and the kidney stone invasion this last week, we've had an abundance of sunflowers in our home thanks to sweet family and friends. I have to say having my favorite flowers all around the house has been a delight. 

And I think that's a good note to end on. Cheers to sunflowers and sunshine and all good things this weekend. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

An Unwelcome Guest

Hello friends. 

I wish I were popping in today to belatedly share some photos from another wonderful weekend, but sadly, that is not the case. I had big plans to celebrate my birthday with my mom and siblings, attend church with my hubby and a good friend on Sunday, maybe even go out for a few cocktails with my man Friday or Saturday night. Instead, I spent Saturday-Monday in the hospital thanks to a very unwelcome and quite aggressive kidney stone. 

If you know me at all, you know this is not my first time facing the joy of kidney stones. Nonetheless, I still can't believe this nightmare is back in my life.  

Here's how it all went down. 

I had an off-site company event downtown on Friday. I woke up that morning feeling fine other than the fact that I was a little hungry and exhausted from cutting out carbs. By about 10 a.m I'd started to feel some cramping in my left abdomen but didn't think much of it. I mentioned it to a coworker and figured maybe I was just hungry. By the time our group sat down for lunch, the pain had spread from my left abdomen to the left side of my lower back. Even having had kidney stones before, I still didn't think that's what this was. Denial, maybe. I made it through the rest of our event feeling just a bit uncomfortable but by the time I walked to my car and started the drive home, I started to get a little concerned. 

I called Jonathan and by the time we both made it home he was ready to rush me to the ER. I stubbornly refused and he settled for me staying put on the couch while he took care of dinner and whatnot. Both exhausted, we were in bed by 11 and when I was still up at midnight in excruciating pain, I woke Jonathan up saying it was time to go to the ER. 

By 2 a.m., I'd been given some pain meds and we were waiting on the results of a CT scan. The doctor finally came in a short while later telling us I had a very large (7 mm) stone and since the stone was too large for me to pass on my own, they'd be admitting me to have some sort of procedure over the weekend. I've had both a lithotripsy (a procedure that uses shock waves to break up kidney stones so your body can pass them easier) and a ureteroscopy (a small telescope is inserted to get to the stone so it can either be retrieved or broken up with a laser). Neither of these is very pleasant but I just wanted to get it over with so I could go home and get back to normal. 

We were admitted and in our own hospital room by 5 a.m and thanks to drugs and pure exhaustion were finally able to get some sleep. Saturday is a bit of a blur but the doctor came to see us and basically told us they wouldn't be able to break up the stone because of its size and location. All they'd be doing is placing a stent (a thin tube inserted to treat obstruction from a kidney stone) and hopefully that would help me pass the stone. 

They ended up taking me in for surgery to place the stent on Sunday morning and on top of everything else, discovered the stone has caused a kidney infection. They needed to keep me another night to treat the infection with IV antibiotics. I was obviously thrilled. 

I was finally discharged on Monday afternoon and thankfully, they were able to treat the infection but as for the stone, I left in the same condition I'd arrived in on Friday. I've basically been home since then praying this thing passes with the help of the stent. I'm still in quite a bit of pain and I'm taking pain meds and antibiotics which are giving me all kinds of uncomfortable side effects. I'm a little frustrated. 

I went through a few years of constant health issues including kidney stones and hospital stays and scary situations but I felt like those days were really behind me. 

Life has been nonstop lately in a really good way. We've had so many fun things going on in our social lives and with family. I've been staying healthy and active and was finally feeling like I was making progress and was just in a really good place then this comes out of nowhere and brings everything to a complete halt. 

Obviously I'm thankful as I know things could be a lot worse and I know I can get through this, but my goodness. 

Since I started working on this post, we've scheduled yet another procedure for tomorrow at noon. Hopefully the doctor will be able to get in there and break the stone up once and for all. In the meantime, any prayers and positive vibes you can send this way are really appreciated. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Because Fro-yo Isn't Low-Carb

With all of our celebrating lately, I’ve felt myself start to slip back into bad habits. The eating out, the drinking, the fun plans that started to replace workouts…it was all starting to send me way off track. I’ve been too good so far this year to let myself totally fall off the wagon, though.

My birthday was on Tuesday and I decided that would be my last day to indulge because let’s be real, I’m not crazy enough yet to skip birthday treats. Fro-yo, bread, lemon cake and wine were consumed and I didn’t allow myself to feel bad about any of it.  

To help get back on track, yesterday I started limiting myself to less than 20 carbs a day and for anyone who has done the low-carb thing, you know the first few days of this routine are pretty miserable. I’m talking zero energy and kinda feeling like you’re starving. By the end of day one yesterday, I was dragging and it was pretty pathetic. I’m not even going to lie to you, my 20 carb limit went straight to a glass of red wine and it was a godsend.

The good news is that after 3 days or so of this, I’ll be feeling pretty good and I’ll be buzzing with energy because of it. So at least there’s that to look forward to.

Normally I would be super down on myself because I got off track and lost my motivation, but I’m not. I feel in control because I didn’t let myself completely fall back into old habits just because I had a few bad days.

After just a day and a half of this, even though I’m struggling a bit, I feel better physically already. It’s good to know even after a few weeks of slacking, I can easily get back into good habits and feel great.

Now that I’m refocused on my goals and getting back on track, I’m sticking to what I know works for me to help me stay on board. I think we all have certain tips or tricks for helping us stay motivated and healthy. Here are just a few mine:

(one) Never skip a Monday workout.
It’s inevitable that even though I plan my gym schedule for the week in advance, there might still be day I can’t make it after all. It’s usually fine because I know I’ll make up for it the next day. Mondays are different, though. If I skip the gym on Monday, I feel like it sets the tone for the week and I’m already getting started on the wrong foot. I will do whatever I can to get myself there for even a short workout and I feel like it gets me in the right mindset to keep it up for the rest of the week.

(two) Prep a yummy go-to meal in bulk every week.
For a few weeks, I was on a Paleo Chicken Salad kick. I would make a huge bowl of this early in the week and kept it in the fridge as a “go to” meal in case I didn’t feel like cooking or didn’t have time to make lunch. I love this recipe, so it was something I knew I would still look forward to eating and it helped me avoid going out to eat or eating badly when I didn’t have something planned. This week, it’s a simple salad with grilled chicken which has been my jam lately. I made a HUGE bowl of this last night and it’s good to know we have several meals on hand because of it! Sure, the thought of eating the same meal multiple times a week sounds a little boring and it can get old, I guess. But for me, it’s better than eating out and beating myself up for making a bad choice.

(three) Find a new way to treat yourself.
Instead of treating myself to something like ice cream or cookies every now and then, I’ve found that there are so many other options for splurging that don’t send me spiraling totally off track. For me lately, it’s been acai bowls. This is already a pretty healthy option in general, but with all the granola I like to add to mine and all the fruit that goes into this treat, it isn’t realistic to eat these often with the low-carb focus. Making acai bowls my “sweet treat” every now and then is a much better option than what I used to choose and I still get the satisfaction out of it because if you’ve never witnessed me enjoying an acai bowl you don’t understand how much joy I find in them. Jonathan came home from the gym one night a few weeks ago to find me watching Friends and enjoying a bowl of this cool, crunchy goodness and I’m pretty sure he thought I was on drugs I was so happy.

What are your tips and tricks for staying motivated and healthy? I’d love to hear them!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Good morning, friends! I'm celebrating my 29th birthday today and it's already been quite a day so far. 

I have the day off work which is a nice treat and I woke up to the sweetest surprise from Jonathan. He obviously had to work today, but he planned a whole day for me and left me the most adorable note and itinerary for the day including cash and specific instructions for each part of the day. 

My man sure knows how to make me feel loved. I laughed and I cried happy tears reading his sweet note and I love how thoughtful this is! Surprises are my love language and I am in all my glory today. 

I'm at my first stop now enjoying a cup of coffee and doing some reading and writing at Starbucks. This is my happy place for sure.


Jonathan coordinated lunch plans for me and my sister so that is next up on my itinerary! It's such a treat because I rarely see her during the week, nevermind for an unexpected lunch date! 

After lunch I have a massage appointment booked for 3:00 and I have a hot dinner date at home where it looks like my man has quite the meal planned for me. What a day! 

To say I'm feeling the love today would be a huge understatement. I'm so thankful for this life and the people God has put in my path. I could stress about getting older and all that nonsense...or I could praise Him for giving me these 29 years and more to come. I choose praise. 

Hope you all have a happy Tuesday! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Life Lately

Well, hello and happy Monday! My goodness. We've been living quite the life lately. The month of May brings what feels like nonstop celebrations and with life just being a little busy in general, I am overwhelmed (in a really good way) with all the fun we've been having. Although, I do have to admit I am really looking forward to spending time in my own kitchen tonight cooking a nice meal. 

Where do I start? Let's see. 

We didn't have anything planned for Cinco de Mayo but made some last minute plans to meet my in-laws for a few drinks and dinner. We kept it simple and I'm pretty sure we were home by 10, but nonetheless, I'm glad we got out and did something fun! 

Last week, Jonathan's younger sister was in town for a few days so after a family dinner at my in-laws on Wednesday night, Jonathan and I met Nicole at Stonewood Grill Thursday night and she treated us to an amaaaazing meal as an early birthday gift for each of us.

I didn't get any pictures that night but I am stealing this photo from Nicole because we had chocolate bread pudding for dessert and it was life changing. 

Friday I met up with my friend (and new mommy!) Lindsay and her adorable baby boy for lunch. It is hot as can be in Orlando already but it was an awesome day to enjoy lunch and girl talk in the sunshine. I obviously soaked in every minute of baby time. Isn't this kid so cute?

Friday night we had big plans to celebrate my brother's 30th birthday. Our family met up at one of my favorite sushi places, Amura in Dr. Phillips and enjoyed a perfect dinner inclusive of a round of saki bombs for the table. Believe it or not, this was my first saki bomb and actually, a few of us hadn't had one before. It was pretty impressive to see that both my parents even joined in.

Props to my sista for getting a halfway decent photo of our group at dinner. This is no easy feat but this picture makes my heart smile big. 

What day am I on? Oh yes. Saturday. 
I made last minute plans to meet my BFF for lunch in Mount Dora on Saturday. After an awesome morning workout, I soaked up every second of the beautiful drive to Mount Dora to meet Taryn at the cutest little cafe. It's not always easy for us to coordinate a meet up when she is in town, but when we are able to, I'm so very glad we did. 

After a quick lunch with Taryn, I rushed back to our side of town to pick up a few picnic essentials before my in-laws picked me up for what ended up being an awesome afternoon. I guess every year the Orlando Philarmonic plays and a band covers songs from a specific group. This year, it was all Eagles songs. The Springs, a development in Longwood, FL hosts the event and you're able to bring your own food/drinks and set up wherever you want for the show. It was seriously an awesome time.

On Sunday, I drove up to spend the day with my momma. I spent weeks brainstorming what to buy her for Mother's Day when I realized we'd both be pretty happy girls to just get to spend the day together. We don't have mother/daughter days nearly as much as we used to and there's no better time than mother's day to do just that! I treated each of us to a deluxe pedicure and we did a little shopping. I can't say enough about how thankful I am to have such a close friendship with my momma. It was an awesome day!

Thankfully, I was able to rearrange my schedule this week and take today and tomorrow off of work. I needed a day to regain control of our home life after such a busy and fun few days and it felt pretty darn good.

I'm turning 29 tomorrow so this week is shaping up to full of celebrations and joy, too! Hope your weekend was a happy one!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Weekend Snapshots

Happy Tuesday, friends!

I'm sitting at my desk daydreaming about being back at the beach so I figured now was a good time to pop in and share a few shots from our weekend in New Smyrna Beach. We stayed at a friend's beach house literally right on the beach with 3 other couples and it was pretty great. We were blessed with the most perfect Florida weather and sunshine. Drinks were had. Games were played. Laughs were shared.

Oh, how I wish I were back there right about now with a beer in one hand and a good book in the other. Hope your weekend was full of happiness and sunshine, too!