Friday, October 17, 2014

It's Been a While

I haven't updated this little space of mine in quite some time! My goodness. We had a GREAT summer, and have officially got into the back to school groove. So let's play some catch up.

I left the only industry I had ever known, and entered into some untreaded waters at the very beginning of the summer. This company had everything I was looking for in a company, it just wasn't exactly the industry I imagined it would be. I had high expectations for a company I wanted to be a part of, and this one has not disappointed in the least. So, I can easily say that I have never been more happy to not be in the energy sector and oil and gas. Not to mention, it is practically in my backyard and I could easily walk if I really wanted to. I love my department, my boss, and the higher ups. We work hard, and we play hard. I love the fast pace, constant change, and challenges it all entails.

We had a GREAT summer! Much fun in the sun was had, and if you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen many pics from Baby Bears' swim lessons. They were a rocky start because of the instructor, but we switched instructors and she rocked those classes! We are so proud of her.

Speaking of Baby Bear, this girl has been dropping teeth like nobody's business! She has NO teeth! She gave up on an ice cream cone and ate it with a spoon! I think we may need to setup a gofundme account if she keeps losing them at this rate. That tooth fairy must be exhausted!

I honestly haven't been around much because I have NO time. I won't have a life again until the beginning of 2016 (and there better be a killer welcome back party)Yes, I'm still throwing my hands up in the air sighing in disgust. There's so much I want to pour my heart and soul into, and I just can't right now. Damn you responsibilities.

On that note, school has been kicking some major butt. All I have to say right now is eff you statistics! These last 5 weeks have been torture and hell. BUT I got a 93 on my final, so I guess it was worth it, but I couldn't have done it without a little help from my friend. She taught me, and taught me well. Will I remember a month from now? Probably not. Oh well, on to the next one, and the one after that, and that trend will keep on until 2016. Yay.

Baby Bear is in her first year of cheer and absolutely loves it. She only begged to do it for years, so I finally caved. We won't mention that she wanted to quit right after the first practice.

I also got back into fostering in March, and I love it. They get to find amazing homes with people who love them and want them, and that's what matters. We had a pup come in that we were only supposed to keep 3 or 4 days, who has become a permanent member of our family, and we just love her!

Our current foster baby


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another Year Has Come and Gone

I honestly cannot believe it has been 2 years since I have gone through the most gut wrenching experience of my life. It feels like it has been a lifetime, but it also feels like it was just yesterday. I don't usually get all serious here, but this happens to be one of those instances.

I still remember every word and every detail from those short 24 hours of holding on to faith and hope.

I won't be sharing every little detail

Mr A, Baby Bear, and I were all sitting in Subway eating lunch when I got the call from my Dad that my brother was in the hospital, he told me what happened leading up to him being taken to the hospital, which sounded like a stroke, but they found bleeding on his brain and he was being transported to the medical center downtown, in critical condition. We dropped everything at that very moment.

We made it to the hospital and there was a lot of waiting. We walked across the street to one of the only places open, which happened to be Chipotle and brought it back. I could hardly eat. The doctor finally made it in to speak with us and mentioned a blockage, where a clot had been removed from the back of his neck to re-establish blood flow to his brain. They said he was doing okay, and we were able to see him. I remember standing at the foot of his hospital bed as they were testing his reflexes, which were responsive, then they did the flashlight in his pupils and they dilated. The doctors were in good hopes, and we were told to go get some sleep.  I went and picked up my brother's son, who was 2, and my daughter to take them to my house. I held those babies tight, tucked them in bed with lots of hugs and kisses. We were hopeful all was going to be okay. Until I got the call. The call to get the kids dropped off at school and come right away, and I did.

I got to the hospital, and was told his brain started swelling through the night, they put a tube in to relieve some pressure, but hours later as we were all around his bed, that is when the words nobody should ever have to hear came out of the doctors mouth. He said they have done everything they could possibly do. He then went through the motions of explaining their findings, how much in shock and disbelief they were that a 33 year old would have these symptoms. He was pronounced brain dead. I remember them doing the flashlight test again with his pupils, and there was nothing. It was a blur, but yet remember every detail, including the woman hacking and puking behind us, while we tried not to laugh. And the doctors that kept saying there had to be some underlying cause they just could not see. An underlying cause. I threw myself over my brother's warm body and sobbed. I have never been so shattered and heartbroken in my entire life. I was at the hospital all afternoon. Forced into lunch at Chipotle again. So many people showed up, and I was grateful that we all had the support. I don't remember the drive home. I pretty much cried all the way to Baby Bear's school, and in the parking lot before pulling myself together to go in and get her. I bawled in the driver seat as she sat in the backseat because I knew just as much as I was broken at the time, I was going to have to break her too. We did everything together. His son and my daughter were being raised almost like brother and sister. She still cries, and misses her Uncle to this day.

The next days and weeks were just a blur. Everything happened so fast, but it was slow motion at the same time. People came and went, and then there was the silence. The stillness. It all sank in. That is when it was real. It was almost as if his passing was not to be spoken of. Maybe it was just uncomfortable, maybe they just didn't know what to say or do. I did have my one constant  that was always sending random texts asking how I was, and I appreciate that from her more than she will ever know, because when I felt my loneliest and when nobody was saying anything, she was always reaching out. It was hard for me to believe, only one person, out of so many cherished friendships.

Grief can be lonely. The world keeps on going, when all you want is for time to stand still, and that is the reality of it. I had to remain strong for my child. I had to hold it together for her, and I still do. If I lost it, so would she. That is just the kind heart and spirit that sweet girl has. I would cry in the shower, or on the way to Baby Bear's school when she couldn't see me from the back seat.

The first year was the hardest. I always wanted to pick up the phone and call him about something that just happened, or to just chat like we did daily. Then of course you realize you can't. Habits die hard, especially when you lose your person, your best friend. Someone who has been there since the day you were born. I can still hear his voice, and his laugh.

I still to this day do not eat Chipotle.

That first year brought me a new friendship that I cannot imagine life without now. Some days she is the only person I talk to. I was given 2 amazing co-workers that I will have lasting friendships with, who I also cherish and appreciate, even if most of the time we are laughing at my expense!

He has been with us everywhere since his passing. Baby Bear has certainly never been in any shortage of ladybug encounters since his passing. I still see him and feel him, and can hear his voice of reason. It took time to notice the little and subtle things. If anything, he has lead me to living in the moment, to really enjoy my daughter more, and most of all, he had brought Mr A into my life a couple years before he passed. It's funny how that works sometimes, isn't it? He was making sure all of us were taken care of before his passing. Not just me, but his wife and my younger brother too. I do believe in God, and I do believe in a higher power. There have been feelings and instances that I can only describe by true acts of God. In my darkest days and darkest moments, I know he is always there watching over me. The feeling of a brush across my forehead when I was going through some of the worst days and worst pain imaginable with my scleritis, looking up and nobody being there, repeatedly, to the way Little Miss Sunshine looks at me on occasion. I just cannot explain it any other way. It is a presence, you just feel it, and you know they are there.

I recently had the TV on for background noise about a month ago after my cousin's passing (which also hit our family pretty hard) and something told me I needed to watch what was on. It was Mystery Diagnosis on the Discovery Channel. (My brother's autopsy results weren't exactly conclusive) This brought some enlightenment for me. I have always been a "why" person, and it may or may not have been the case, but I think it is closer to anything else I have seen to what may have caused such an ending to his short life. Start it at 24:00 minutes in, and that is the story (ignore the subtitles).

I don't believe in coincidences, and today is the official release date for Heaven is for Real, and I will be going to see it tonight, which  couldn't be more perfect timing.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why I'm Not a "Blogger"

I have read through countless posts on what makes you a blogger. You're a blogger to be successful, etc. Well, I'm nothing on any of these. So I've made a list of why I am not a "blogger"

  • I don't blog every day. 
I blog when I feel like it, and if it is a day, two days, or a week that I don't post so be it.

  • I don't schedule posts

  • I do not own a planner.

 My phone is my planner, and my day to day scheduler and task doer. I have never written out a blog post on paper, or ideas. My ideas run through my head 24/7. This brain never stops!

  • Vacation really means vacation. I won't have activity on this space of mine until I'm back, or if said vacation really sucks.

  • I don't always take pics. I mean, we had a jam packed weekend with a carnival and all. And not 1 pic was had.

  • My #ootd tags are NOT outfit of the day posts, they are in fact one of those days posts


What technically does not make you a "blogger" to others standards?


Monday, April 7, 2014

Junebugs and Serial Killers

For those of you that don't know, my dog is pa-thet-ic. You cannot just open the back door, let her out, and have her do her business. You HAVE to stand outside with her, or she is just staring at you through the door and will not go.


Mr A was recently out of town the other weekend, doing guy stuff with my Dad. That also happened to be the the night Baby Bear had a mini meltdown over a tornado warning.

Anywho, it was late and Little Miss Sunshine HAD to go out. I'm not going to lie, my backyard is pitch black at night. You cannot see anything! I'm never back there by myself, so I never really cared. Until that weekend. I knew I had to take her out. But I was really uneasy about it. All I could think was, if I turn on the light, I'm going to be attacked by dozens of junebugs. I was wearing my favorite fleece pajama pants. So those june bugs will buzz straight to me and stick to me like velcro, all the while being attacked by Little Miss Sunshine, as she jumps all over me prying each and every single one of them off me so she can play with them first, then squash them (not that I know this from experience or anything), or do I leave the light off  and wait for some serial killer to jump out from the bushes and stab me to death. What would you do?



Saturday, March 29, 2014


Well my surgery went well for all those that have asked. For those of you that do not know, i had surgery last Wednesday to fix the deviation in my septum, remove the bone spur, clear blockages, and open my sinuses. A lot of slicing and dicing up in that little place. The last thing I remember is asking the anesthesiologist if whatever he was putting in my IV was supposed to burn. Ha! Then I was awake and felt like I was going to ralph all over the place. So they hooked me up with something for that. Baby Bear came in, saw me, and cried. My surgeon threw in that he went ahead and removed my adenoids too. We went home (I had to keep my eyes closed the entire car ride because I started feeling sick), and I went to bed. Baby Bear cried some more and brought me stuffed animals to sleep with. Poor thing was worried about her Momma and uncertain I was okay because she saw blood.

This was me through Sunday.

I'm not going to lie, when I woke up that mess was pretty darn painful. I had a "bunny mask" on to catch all the blood drainage and had to sleep with my head at an angle. No, I didn't have black eyes, or bruising, or even any packing up there. Thank goodness! The worst part was waking up. It was the absolute worst. My throat was killing me and I had the most pleasant taste in that mouth of mine. I honestly have to say Wednesday and Thursday really were not that bad. Did it hurt? Yes, but it was no big deal. Friday and Saturday though, those were the worst days. There was so much pressure in my head, and my teeth were killing me. Ice packs and hot showers were my BFF's!

Oh, and eating with that thing on my face, impossible. I drank exclusively through a straw too because of that thing. I salute all you guys with mustaches, and will never, ever date anyone with one because I now know what that stuff catches. Yuck!

Monday was my follow up appointment. I honestly thought he was just going to take a look to see how I was healing. Boy was I ever wrong. It gives me the jeebs just thinking about it. He suctioned that thing out like there was no tomorrow. The sound completely creeped me the eff out. You can add that to the list of things I cannot tolerate. It was like a shop vac slurping up a crap load of water, but in my nose. After that I was a little raw, but still shuddering just thinking about that awful sound!

Another thing, I'm super OCD about my nose, I was before this, and I cannot stand for anything to be in it. Boogers are not allowed in there-ever! I will immediately go into a restroom the second I feel anything there and get that sucker out and gone. So, all the gunk that has popped up after that suction, is driving me bat shit crazy!

I am still getting headaches on the daily, but I am sure that will subside, just like the teeth and pressure subsided. I'm going to have weekly suction appointments for a bit, so I get to do it all over again Monday. Joy.

 Oh, and I have finally sneezed, through my mouth. Not brave enough for the nose sneeze yet because I'm still a lil tender up in there.

On another note, I have not had oily skin in years. It has always been on the dry side. I think these antibiotics I am having to take is making my face super shiny. It is nuts. My entire face and nose is completely broken out, and it blows!

WTF is all of that?


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Recipes While I Recoup

If you follow me on instagram, pinterest, or snapchat (mysafehavens) you would notice the pictures, recipes, etc I have been using and posting for my vegan lifestyle. It has actually been a pretty easy transition, since I had already cut out all red meat for my liver, but it can get complicated as well having 2 meat eaters in the house! This is what 2 of our dinners looked like last week

Now, my taco was easy! I gathered black beans and avocado and placed it in the Ninja, then warmed them in a pot. I topped it with fresh tomatoes, sauteed onions, and bell pepper, and fresh salsa.

The avocado was pretty quick and easy too. I squeezed some lime juice, drizzled with agave nectar, and stuffed onion and tomato in the center, then sprinkled chipotle chili powder over it. Placed in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes and it was all ready to go. I also made this the same way, topped with black beans and sun dried tomatoes as well.

I just wouldn't be a good friend if I didn't share some of the best, real deal, black bean brownies on the planet. They were gone so fast I didn't even get a picture! Baby Bear and Mr A were both fooled with these. I wish I could take credit for these, but these are all Chocolate Covered Katie. They're gluten free too! Here is what you will need

Black Bean Brownies

1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired, I did)
1/2 cup quick oats (40g) (See nutrition facts link below for all substitution notes.)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar (75g)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
optional: more chips, for presentation

Black Bean Brownies Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What's Happening Now

If you follow me, you saw the CT scan I posted last week on social media.

I am having surgery tomorrow! I'm actually heading out to my pre-op appointment in a few minutes! Of course, when I told Baby Bear I was having surgery, she got real excited, and squealed "you're going to have a baby"?! I couldn't help but laugh. She then got upset that she would not be allowed to watch the actual surgery be performed.

 I am a little excited, and kind of nervous at the same time. I didn't think about it, I just scheduled it. I am hoping this offers some relief, since we have exhausted all other options.  I just have reached my breaking point of being sick for the last 6 months. I have time off, so I may as well, right? So off to sinus surgery I go. They're going to fix my deviation, remove blockages and open up the sinuses, and I'll actually be able to heal since I am not around all the irritants anymore. I think it's a win win.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My New Lifestyle

I know I haven't updated this space in quite some time. Things have been insane and I can finally breathe. Thank goodness because I have missed all of you terribly. I have been consistently ill since October. It feels like it was ages ago the last time I felt well. It just sucks!
Needless to say, I have had enough. I have grabbed the bull by the horns and taken control. I quit my job! What? I did what? Yes! I quit! And I am completely happy and super excited about it. I am enjoying my time off before I start my new job. I see it as the best of both worlds. A vacation, and still being paid for my availability. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself.

With me being ill for 6 months, I have been unable to consistently take my treatments for my RA, (for my new followers, you can read the story here and here). I have yet another lifestyle change (you can read previous posts here, that helped) to hopefully kick my butt into remission so I do not have to inject myself once, sometimes twice a week. Thank goodness I don't have a problem with needles (as long as someone else is doing the stabbing). So, I have moved over to a vegan based diet. Think vegan, but welcomes seafood. I have moved over to this raw/vegan lifestyle because after speaking with someone that was diagnosed with RA when they were a child, and are completely off meds due to this lifestyle, I figure what the hell, it is worth a shot. If it works, why not? I mean, it can't hurt anything. Stay tuned for some yummy recipes I will be sharing.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

January- Please Move On....

My goodness, well look who it is!  I have finally had time decided to grace all of you with my presence! Are you as excited as I am?

This month has been absolutely insane. Can we just go back and pretend January never happened? That would be great, thanks!
I have an overflowing plate. I am tired, worn out, and just down right exhausted. Work has taken most of my energy, and I have really felt so burned out as of late. So many big things are going on in that realm of my world that I have had nothing left for months. Helllooo do you see me over here? I'm effin drowning, and you just keep throwing more water in my face! I really cannot bring what is going on with all of that here just yet, but I will definitely be writing a post on all of this soon!

If it weren't enough that work is kicking my lil patootie, school has been insane. Not just mine either, Baby Bear's too. I really struggle with wanting to be the perfect school mom for my child, making her the cutesie shirts and crafts for all her school projects, and teacher gifts, but there is just not enough time in the day for me to do what I want to for her, and I really have been feeling so crappy about it. The Mommy guilt has been kicked in full force here. How do you working mom's find all the time?

By the way, in case you didn't know, I'm in Houston. We have had not one, but two city shutdowns less than 5 days apart. I'll be guest posting all about this soon, so keep a lookout on Jenn's blog for it!

This is all I have for you for now. School, dinner, and more work are ahead of this gal. Wait...what? Work? It's 7:30pm! Yeah, this has been my life as of late!


Monday, January 13, 2014

I Love Justin Bieber!

This is a phrase I have heard many times from the mouth of my Baby Bear. Her eyes light up, she gets giddy like a little school girl at just the thought. Then the excitement bursts through her little body until she cannot stand it anymore and out it comes  "I love Justin Bieber!" as she's kicking and squealing with the biggest smile on her face. Then follows "Bieber Bieber Bieber" She claims she is going to marry him.

This has become so much worse since we have moved. Before, it was every now and again, and now she is just completely obsessed with this Bieber character!

I mean, what's not to love, right? Only his name makes me cringe every.single.time.

If only it really were the real Justin Bieber she was obsessed with, and completely giddy over, I would have put a stop to it long ago.

Let me introduce you to her "Bieber" who and what she calls Justin Bieber, and the guy she is obsessed with.

Texans know what this is all about, but for those of you that are not native, let me tell you what is a must on every Texas road trip. One word. Buc-ees. This place is known for the cleanest restrooms, their awesome fudge, beaver nuggets, and jerky. 

Oh, and we cannot forget the Bieber beaver This is the best place to stop on our half way mark to Dallas, driving to Austin, and San Antonio. They are kind of a big deal here. Not to mention there is one in our backyard now (not really). Now, the one we live by is what I like to say is not a real Buc-ees, as in it does not have what the others have, it is a small version of them, and that is fine by me, because that means my road trip stops are still some of significance.

So yes, every time she sees this store/gas station she loses it. She is in love with the Buc-ee the beaver, but alas she says Bieber, and just so happened to add Justin on to it. I am perfectly okay with her never knowing the real Justin Bieber, and she can collect all the beavers she wants. Yes, I'm kind of rewarding her for it, and I don't care!

She is "Bieber' s" biggest fan


Thursday, January 9, 2014


I cannot believe it has been weeks since I have updated this little corner of the great big blogosphere that I call mine!
If you remember, the last update was about our new house. The week of the move, Baby Bear came down with the flu! So for Christmas we spent the day at home instead of with family. She had a good Christmas regardless, and we made sure of that. But I do have to brag a little. When she saw what Santa brought her, she said she got everything she had ever wanted; and she hadn't even opened presents yet! I honestly think she forgot about them. She then went on to say that next year she does not want to ask Santa for anything because she loves her family more than presents. She melts my heart. Her Poppy and Nanny came by later that evening and finally opened her gifts.

After she was fever free on her own, we took her to Santa's Wonderland. It was cold, but she had a blast and really enjoyed it. The lights are amazing. If I could find my camera in all these boxes that are my current surroundings I would show you some. So this is what you get.

After Santa's Wonderland is when I came down with the sickness. Flu and bronchitis, oh my. I'm still coughing here! There were none of our yearly visits that normally occur this time of year. We were a little sad about not seeing family this year.

But for now we are all moved in and just trying to get settled in. Work has been crazy, the house has been crazy, and I'm close to going crazy. Baby Bear decided she wants to bite the bullet and go ahead and go to her new school, so now I have withdrawals and enrollments too. Not to mention the crazy ups and downs with the entire move (that's a post for another day).

On a different note, I do have something I would like your help with. I love my family as much as Baby Bear does, and we all know the power of prayer. My cousin, Jeromy, has been in the hospital since Thanksgiving. He is still in ICU. He is in a delicate state at this time and it is still a lot of touch and go. He is still so young and one of the most generous people you could ever meet. I have looked to God to surround his body with healing and for the fight I know Jeromy has in him. If you would please help us continue to pray for more strides in his healing, and for our entire family, especially his immediate family, it would be greatly appreciated.