I just have to praise my daughter for one moment. She deserves some praise.

Lilli started her freshman year in a new school last fall. She was ambitious and hopeful. She took AP World History because her previous history teachers were awesome and she’s always taken advanced placement classes when possible. She got to pick her schedule for the first time without input from us. (Truly! We did not encourage her to take this, it was news to us!) She had no idea how tough it would be.

AP World History is a class usually reserved for sophomores and juniors. It’s a college-level course offering college credit with weighted grade points. She didn’t really understand how grueling it would become or that it was for college credit. She just assumed this is the class she should take. The other history course offered to freshman was just regular old History.

She quickly realized the amount of note-taking and homework was unusual. A Bible-sized amount of vocab note cards later, she was drowning in stress and anxiety. This wasn’t even like any college course I’d taken. No notes dictated by the professor. Just endless excavation of words from reading. This was difficult for a 14 yo who should actually still be in 8th grade (she skipped 4th grade). Hell, it would be difficult for anyone of any age.

But she just found out–she got a 95 (A) on her final exam for the class! Honestly, I was overjoyed, but not surprised. I knew she could do it. Of anyone I know, Lilli could do it.

Lilli is smart. So are many kids these days. But what Lilli has above most, even her parents, is an undying work ethic. I’m so proud of that. So thankful for her constant devotion, integrity and bottomless strength. She inspires me.

She’s had her low moments in this class. Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling inadequate. Feeling like she’s in over her head. But she always rallied. With encouragement from us, she didn’t linger long in her feelings of vulnerability and weakness.

After the first week, she was ready to transfer. Through tears and shaky voice cracks, she was serious about moving to a less-challenging class. I asked her to try. Try until the end of first semester. “And if you still want to transfer, let’s do it,” I told her.

She tried. She finished. She succeeded. And she stayed the whole year.

We’ve helped, but she’s done most of it on her own. Just being willing to try was her biggest accomplishment. Pushing past difficulty and pain. Tackling this class has been the hardest, most challenging job she’s had so far. And she aced it.

Big lessons other than history learned here. Way to go, Pencil Princess. I am so happy that you’re my girl. So happy you kept going. You’re getting a huge reward from us! AND you don’t have to take World History ever again! LOL You’re a genius!!

You can change the world. You just have to change your mind first.


November has officially become a month-long thankful pack of sticky notes on Facebook. That’s great. Truly. But what about the other 11 months? 🙂

So I hesitate to join, but. I will.

I am thankful for so much. But this Thanksgiving, I am deep-down, toes-to-tassel thankful for my life.

Since 2012, and really before that, I have been sick. Heart failure. Twice. Thyroid cancer. Gastric bypass. Gallbladder failure.

And now, 226 lbs lighter, I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Even when I was young. Mainly because I also feel emotionally better. It feels like all the sickness is finally gone. I can just tell.

For years I struggled with a failing GB. Probably a decade, in hindsight. Also, I probably had a thyroid issue my entire life because I have been overweight from a young age.

Mom always said, “You were born hungry.” A mother knows. Just wish she could have told or shown the doctors where to look. Nonetheless, this was my destiny.

I am thankful for my trouble. It has taught me endurance.

James 1:2-4 NASB

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

(Perhaps missing/lacking a few organs, but otherwise, lacking in nothing. LOL)

It has also taught me humility. Patience. Joy. Peace. Understanding. Wisdom. Tolerance. So many things.

Under any other circumstances, would I be the person I have finally come to love entirely? I don’t know. God didn’t do this to me. But he knew how far I could go. He knew the traps. He knew the joys. He knew how strong I could be with him.

I truly did not think it was possible. To see 287.6 lbs again. That’s what I was yesterday afternoon, on the scale. I did not think it was possible to live past the age of 50. I did not think it was possible to ever feel right again. Out of pain. Able to walk. Able to work.

One year ago, I was preparing for surgery. High-protein diet to shrink my liver. Thanksgiving was the last day I could eat. I savored it. Thinking it might be my last tasty morsel before a lifetime of bland, tiny meals. Or worse. My last meal before operation table disaster. Dying.

But I made it. I made it to the next Thanksgiving. How wonderful to be on the other side. Maybe that’s what it’s like to go to Heaven. Thankful to be done and home at last.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Maybe this is what I needed for this ultra-thick head. Maybe this was my come-to-Jesus moment. Maybe this was my “fall on my knees because I have nothing left.”

I’m by no means done. I am just beginning again. And I am so thankful just to be alive. And 287. 🙂

Only 87 lbs to goal!!! 😀

Making People

Each of these people
Were made by two parents.
Molded and shaped
By opinions, thoughts and variants.

These two people
Made four more humans.
They didn’t do it perfectly.
In fact, our family’s in ruins.

Their legacy was not premeditated.
Their good intentions paved the way,
To Hell and back and there again–
Four lanes without delay.

This kiss and marriage caught some place
Between Heaven and Hell.
A dark, rock-hard place between their love
Is where my childhood fell.

Like a photograph that floats down
Behind a dresser, trapped by wall.
Forgotten with time, buried by dust.
Neglected, unseen by all.


Their love made me.
Shouldn’t I be thankful for this?
I couldn’t think of something more lovely
Than a passionate wedding kiss.

Thankful to be here. No matter what.



Fills my heart like an empty bowl
Pours in love to provision my soul

Makes my ways strong, straight, clear
Moves in and removes all my fear

Simplifies the hardest dance
Always gives me one more chance

I don’t deserve for him to bother
But graciously He is a merciful Father

Thank God


Sunglasses and Swag

The post office has decided to finally deliver mail from December 2016. So, I found a gift card in a Christmas greeting from a dear, dear lady. Thank you so much, Secret Santa!

Very secret Santa because I didn’t know about it until a few days ago! lol

Grateful nonetheless.

So here’s what I got for myself.

Sunglasses with bling and two necklaces for my daughter and me to share! I feel lucky, blessed and very thankful. Christmas in April! Yay.

I don’t treat myself often, so this was a nice surprise. Plus, I needed a new pair of glasses. I have sun-sensitive eyes as I get older and I keep losing, crushing (sitting on) and dropping my Dollar Store aviators. I’ve broken and lost a couple.

But I’m still mad at the post office. :/ lol I mean, we were missing checks, urgent mail and important correspondence! Dang! What’s the deal, yo??


I really feel like the worst possible things have happened in the last month. It’s been a struggle. Okay, not the worst, but some really bad shit. It all started early in November when I got a terrible leg infection.

Wednesday, November 2nd, leg infection. A cyst of epic proportions (Caused by a spider bite? I will never know.) gets rapidly worse throughout the week and I am in the ER by the following Sunday. Really painful, has to be drained, packed and bandaged. The next day, Monday, it’s just as bad and now I have a fever. Possible blood infection. Back to the ER and drained and packed again. Really super-pissed antibiotic to kill all the things that need to be killed and then some. I have a trip to take on Thursday by bus. I planned this trip for several weeks and now my leg infection is threatening my very important visit with my friend.

I get on the bus on Thursday and make it to St. Louis. I have to deboard the bus and call my husband. It is early (EARLY) morning Friday. I ask him to pick me up because I’m in excruciating pain. What a friggin’ nightmare. He does pick me up and is not upset and it’s actually a nice trip back, emotionally. Physically, still in alot of pain. When I get home, I basically lay around for a while with no bandages and let the sucking, festering leg infection just M-F’n breathe. Ah.

I’m trying to get my money back from the ticket, but no word yet.

But basically, I suffer through some stupid infection and miss my trip to Virginia Beach to see my friend. This was supposed to be my early Xmas present. Merry, merry to me.

Then Thanksgiving arrives. Long weekend. Everything seems to be looking up. Not. Thanksgiving day goes perfectly awesome. No fighting. No problems. Very thankful. Very full.

Boom. Black Friday-my husband, daughter and I get up to workout first thing. We drive up to the clubhouse at our apartment complex because we are going to run errands after the gym, so we’ll just leave from there in the car. Exercise. Come out to leave and the car starts and then immediately dies. F***!

We have to call for a tow. Call for a rental car. Find out what’s wrong. Get another car that we had been planning to buy, but waited one day too long.

Fuel pump on our SUV went out, cost to fix was $800 and the A/C, heater and power windows already don’t work. Not pouring any more money into that beast. The A/C and heater actually still functioned, but they were loud AF! Every time you turned on the fan, it sounded like a horn was being killed violently by a swirling helicopter blade. So. New car.

Having your car die and renting a new car and buying a new car in the space of two days could make you want to kill your spouse, try drugs for the first time or consider divorce to avoid paying sales tax on a new vehicle (that won’t actually work). But it will definitely make you yell at your spouse (if your name is Guy Maggio).

We did get a new car with brand-new car payments!!! Yay! No.

Also, I started a liquid diet from hell for my upcoming weight loss surgery. This could have the same effect on attitude as buying a new car on Black Friday. If I had a cat, I would have kicked it by now. Sorry, Kitty. But I have the Ketosis Blues. All protein diet. Protein shakes to shrink my liver to get to my saggy, stretched-out stomach to cut it in half! Eating all protein forces your body into ketosis. Fat burning. Be prepared to feel like you have the flu and the mumps at the same time. High protein diets can cause your lymphatic system to get CLOGGED! WTF???! I have swollen neck glands like you wouldn’t believe and that makes a thyroid cancer patient f’n nervous. Plus, now I have hives on my face for some reason. 😦

My husband is deeply unhappy and sometimes with me. I am struggling physically. I will be glad when my surgery is here, my liquid diet is over and I can have oxycodone. If I can’t have food then legally prescribed drugs for weight loss surgery are just fine with me. A girl has to grab fun where she can. I heard that you mostly sleep the first day after surgery, that’s fine. I would prefer a medically-induced coma until January, but anesthesia, oxycodone and a nap might just do it.

My weight is down to 438.6 this morning, so that’s the bright spot. Please God, help me. Or just take me now, Lord! Gah!!!

It’s hard to be a positive person when you live with Charlie Brown. No wonder Lucy was crabby all the time! So pardon my French, November, but I’m so f’n thankful to see you go!