The girls had a sleepover with their friends last night. They stayed up partying until 2 AM! Apparently they had made an agreement to stay up all night, but yours truly threw a wrench in that plan ;-) They were all up bright and early, but a good time was had by all...
When I went down to the basement to survey the damage, I realized that they did not just party into the wee hours, they also wrote some serious poetry!
For several months Tahlia has been complaining that her room was "too baby-ish". In her defense, she has had the same room since we came home from China. The only thing that changed is that we replaced the crib with a bed. Here is her room the way it used to look. I wish I had more before pictures, but I never even thought to take any...
Cute, but too much for a little girl... Now Tahlia's room is better suited for a second grader:
She now even has a little corner with a mirror where she can fix her hair and change her earrings and stuff ;-)
We were lucky to meet up with one of Jazzie's orphanage sisters a few days ago... I cannot tell you how special it is to see them together, knowing they shared the first 9 months of their lives together in China....
There are some people in my life who's marriages are either in trouble or are completely over. It makes me very sad for them, but it also reminds me how extremely grateful I am to have a husband who has my back, who treats me like gold and who loves me unconditionally.
Like I mentioned in my last post, I do not have a lot of pictures of myself from the last 10 years or so. For the past 15+ years I've struggled with my weight. I did a lot of yo-yo dieting, but never reached a point where I felt truly, 100% comfortable with myself. There was a lot of self loathing and I spent many, many hours talking negatively to myself. So whenever I saw pictures of myself I would think how ugly I looked, how fat I looked, how horrible I looked, etc and I would promptly delete them.
On the rare occasion that I did post pictures of myself, I was either hiding behind something or someone, they were taken from a flattering angle or it was during one of my lower weight (but far from ideal) days.
The following pictures are in the family reunion albums. I couldn't scan them, so I took pictures of them. The quality is not the best, but you get the idea. These are hard for me to look at, let alone post them here for everyone to see, but I need to remember where I am today. I need to remember how good I feel today; how much more energy I have and how much more confident I feel. I need to remember how I could NEVER go back to the way I was, because I actually like who I am today :-)
You may remember my key chain post from a while ago. Ever since I started Weight Watchers, I've been earning charms to add to my keychain for every major milestone reached (25 lbs, 50 lbs and most recently 75 lbs). At today's weigh-in I received this:
As of today, my total weight loss is 101 pounds!!!!I can hardly believe it myself.
During our recent family reunion in Maryland, I was looking at picture albums from past reunions. It is our family's tradition to take a picture of each family that attends. The pictures are put in an album which are then displayed at next year's reunion. I never kept a lot of pictures of myself before I started losing weight. I always hated the way I looked and almost always immediately deleted any pictures with me in them. So to see pictures from years past was a bit shocking to say the least. It is truly amazing to look at myself in those pictures; I hardly recognize the person staring back at me. I will try and scan some of them to post here on the blog. For now here are some photo's of me taken today; the day I officially became 100 pounds lighter:
While Alex and Winnie were here, I looked over at one point and saw Jazzie and Winnie sharing a chair, playing on their i-Phones (well, Jazzie is using mine; much to her disappointment she does not have her own):
These two wonderful people hosted our family reunion this year. Typically, our family reunion is hosted by a family member who rents a shelter in a park. Very seldom do we have a reunion at someone's home. Not only that, the reunion typically lasts for several hours, not several days.
However, since uncle Ed and aunt Maria live in Maryland and run a Bed and Breakfast, they invited the entire family to come to their beautiful home. They own an amazing property and having 50 people stay in their home for several days was no small feat, I know.
When it came to leave, I went to thank uncle Ed and aunt Maria and I was overcome with emotion (didn't see that coming!). I just wanted them to know how grateful I was for everything they did while our family was there. They went above and beyond with the food, the activities and their hospitality. We truly had an amazing time and I am so grateful for the memories we were able to make for not only Jazzie and Tahlia, but for all of us. With my family living so far away, I am extremely grateful to have married into such a loving and fun family.
If you are looking for a place to get away on Kent Island along the Chesapeake Bay, I highly recommend Maria's Love Point Bed & Breakfast. Not just because they are family, but because their place is amazingly beautiful, because you will be showered with kindness, because aunt Maria will cook you a gourmet breakfast and because you can visit Washington D.C., Annapolis and Baltimore, all within an hour. Check out their website here.
Uncle Ed and aunt Maria, thank you for your kindness, for making all of us feel so welcome and for ALL the memories. I appreciate each and every single thing you did to make this the fabulous experience that it was for the entire family.