The New Decade

Category : Christie

Happy first day of school parents kids!  In the social networking world, I can see parents rejoicing that the start of school is here and the busyness that it brings.  For me, it starts a not only a new chapter, but a new book in my life.  My dad loving calls it my retirement, but today begins my first glimpse of being a stay at home mom and freelancer.  Seeing that it’s only 1pm, I can say, it’s a fine balance.  :)

Gary and I like to do wild and crazy things around our 30th birthday.  Gary’s 30th birthday brought us his college undergrad graduation, signing on our first house and me being 4-5 months pregnant all without him having a job.  No stress, really.  But the Lord gave us the ability to buy a new home with minimal work to be done, an extended internship and finally a job at Calvin around Thanksgiving time and an easy labor and delivery with Anna!  For my 30th birthday, we decided to have me quit my job, buy a pop-up camper and try my hand at building Unity Design Group as my job all while maintaining the house, cooking and working on my patience spending quality time with the girls.  :)   Again, no stress.  In all reality, this is what I truly want in my life right now.  To be able to keep the laundry piles down, to keep the dishwasher loaded, attempt to make healthy and delicious meals, to take the girls to visit daddy on lunch, ride bikes, do crafts and domesticate them (we have kids to do dishes and laundry, right?).  I want to expand my freelancing to more clients, maybe get into the wedding world with invites, sell some crafts online and at craft shows, be apart of MOPS at church, use the talents God has given me in different ways rather than just at a desk job.

This past decade was filled with a lot of firsts, life lessons, joys and heartaches.  In my 20’s, I lost my mom to leukemia but gained new parental relationships and siblings that have blessed me beyond measure.  I fell in love with a man that I never dreamed of but has been more than I dreamed of, he’s my rock, my best friend, my partner.  I reached my highest weight of 267 (maybe more than that even) but have lost 81.5 pounds of that with a lifestyle change and I’m not done yet!  I had 2 beautiful baby girls who are the light of my life but have lost 2 babies that just weren’t fit for this world.  I’ve lived in dorms rooms, an apartment and now a beautiful home.  I’ve seen friends move away, lost friends but have gained so many more.  I’ve been challenged in my faith continuously and am looking forward to more challenges.

I’m taking on my 30’s with a hitch in my step.  To live it healthier, to be at my goal weight, to see my kids off to school each day, to support my husband in his dreams, to make our house a home, to love my family deeper and to become closer to our friends.  I’m so ready for this new decade and all it’s uncertainties.  So thank you 20’s for molding and preparing me for this new decade.


Category : Christie

So I really want to keep up on this blog but for whatever reason I go into writing funks and I just don’t have the wit to write about anything.  I like to throw in a bit of sarcasm in my posts but for awhile now, I just don’t have it.  I think I’ve narrowed it down to why.  Some of it’s just me and I get that way, the other part of it is selfish and the last part is an uninspired location.

So for the me part, I’m an all or nothing type of girl.  So when I’m on a roll, I don’t stop.  But once something comes up that throws my entire “roll” off the counter, I can’t seem to get it going again.  Take my crazy “wanting to clean the pantry at 10pm on a work night” event.  So I pull everything out, ready to tackle this project, throw out expired items, donate that “I don’t think we’ll ever eat that” food to the local pantry, go through the cook books, organize the cleaning supplies.  All in one hour.  I can do this.  Kids are in bed.  Gary’s watching American Chopper.  So as I pull out all the baking supplies, I realize I would love to get glass containers for all my flours and sugars, oh and get custom decals made up at the local printer to put on the glass jars that I’ll buy when they are 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  Crap, they aren’t on sale this week.  Oh and I need more shelving to utilize the space so we can put in garbage and recycle cans in the pantry so I don’t have to look at it sitting out the kitchen.  So I need to get the shelving from the Re-Store on my lunch break.  Crap, I need to measure.  And buy the pieces to hang the shelves on the wall with…. at Home Depot.  Oye.  So what happens?  I do throw out and get rid that unwanted food, but it all goes back in the exact same way with it looking a little nicer but nothing has changed.  All because I have grand visions but a slow and/or no budget for it execution.

So back to blogging.  I love the idea of it.  I love reading blogs everyday but the process gets to be a little much and not as inspired in the remaining hours in the evening between the girls bed time and ours.  I’m not saying I’m quitting this blog.  Far from it.  I just need to find that inspiration again.  Which brings me to the selfish part.  I need a laptop.  Maybe it’s more lazy than selfish, either way it’s fact.  I don’t always want to sit in my basement at my computer like I have been doing for the past 8 hours that day writing up a witty blog post.  I want to sit on my couch, with my feet up, watching tv and working on a witty blog post.  All while uploading photos to Facebook and the blog.  So yes, I have a perfectly good computer, desk and 2 monitors to said blogging but I just want to veg.  The 17″ HP beast of laptop is just that, a beast who’s ready for recycling, our beloved laptop of yesteryears that’s been there with Gary through all his schooling, vacations and many a night in front of the tv.  ::sigh::  So I need a new one.

Finally, the up-inspired location.  Our half way for over a year basement.  I really can’t take much more of it.  It’s painted a color I don’t want anymore with no doors on all the rooms and closets, no trim along the floor, windows and sills.  This is of no fault of either of us, really.  We took it as far as we could last year and there is sat.  It’s wonderful having warm floors and place for the girls, but it’s so mis-matched, it’s hard to be creative.  I’m thankful for all of that but it’s time to just git-r-done.  So it’s in the talks that with our tax money, we get this basement very close to completion (aside from a built-in cabinet and a bathroom).  Dave probably wouldn’t agree with the talks of said finishing, but I think we all need it to be over.  So no worries Dave, we’re still on the debt snowball, the extra’s just may go to “Christie’s Sanity” fund this year.  :: Side note – we’ll formulate a post(s) on our get out of debt plan, debt snowball, “envelope system” soon as we’re quite passionate about it and would love to share!::

So, I guess you could call this a whiny post.  I am, believe it or not, been called whiny a time or 2 in my life.  I’m in need for some change, some inspired place to be so I can create great posts for all you 5 readers out there.  :)   ::Sigh::  I wish I was a full time blogger, wouldn’t that be grand?  Oh well.  Life still is awesome and keeps getting better (I think the lap top and finished basement will top it all. Ahem.).

Thank you for listening.


7 Years and Counting

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010, Christie, Gary

7 years ago today I made the most important decision of my life, I said, “I Do”! The weight of that decision was heavy but I knew at the time without a doubt that Christie was the one who made me whole, the one who I needed to share everything with. What I didn’t and couldn’t have known at the time was just how right I was.

Christie and I spent the first 4 years of our life figuring out how to “do” life together. In that time we finished our educations, took vacations, had trips to the hospital, lost loved ones, laughed, cried and yes we even had some decent disagreements (OK you could call them fights if you got technical about it). Through all of this we were able to, by the Grace of God grow increasingly close to one another.  I could honestly say that at the end of those 4 years we had gotten pretty good at being together and loving one another.

Then it all changed, we decided to have a baby. We embarked on this adventure with me having no job, us still living in an apartment and no idea where life was going to take us. Would I be a stay at home dad and buck the trend of the ever providing uber man? At the time we had no clue. Within the 9 months that it took God to help Christie grow our Aanna, I graduated from GVSU, started and finished an internship at Gordon Food Service, bought a house and got a job at Calvin College.

Needless to say, all this change turned our way of life upside down. We definitely needed to re-learn how we “did” life from that point on.  Once again though with God’s Grace and our never failing commitment, we tackled this challenge. We had Anna on Oct 18 2007 and our entire world became right. It was painfully obvious to me at that point why I was here on this Earth. If it had not been obvious at the time, 6 months later it was certainly confirmed when God surprised us with our little squeaky. Isabella was truly a gift to us as we had no idea she was going to happen. As He usually does, God had a plan for our lives and our marriage and He put this into motion in our life by giving Izzy to us. Izzy was born Jan 13 2009 and at that point our life together went from moderately busy to crazy busy. Christie began calling it 2 under 2 and it was as busy as it sounded.

Now Anna is almost 3 and Izzy is working on 2 and things have evened out a bit. We have yet again relearned and re-defined what it is for us to “do” life. There are times when I look at Christie and the girls and I just can not believe that I am blessed as abundantly as I am. God is truly an amazing and gracious God.

Our most recent re-vamp of our lives has been to get healthy. I got a bit of a wake up call as Christie calls it last October. My Triglycerides were 493 which is way high and the doctor gave me a choice, take meds or change your habits. I chose to change rather than take a pill at age 32. So yet again we tackled a challenge and changed how we “did” life.  We are nearing a whole year of this lifestyle and we are both down by nearly 20 and over 20 pounds and we are feeling great.

I have said all of this up until now to illustrate my point that my decision 7 years ago to commit my life and everything that is me to Christie was nothing short of the best decision I could have ever made. Christie, you are the one person in this world that God set aside for me, you are the one that I love more each day than I did the day previous, you are my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night (ok – so the girls are sometimes  my first and last thought – but I think I get a pass on that one), you are the half that makes me whole and my true best friend. I can not wait to wake up next to you when we are old and wrinkled and be able to talk with you about all the amazing adventures we experienced together!

Thank you for choosing me!

Happy Anniversary Babe!

For all of you who read this blog, I can only hope and pray that your married life is half as good as mine. If you have a spouse as special as this, make sure they know how special they are to you, there is nothing more important!

Christie Vs. the Scale

Category : Christie

I would like to do a series of posts recounting my battle with my weight but instead of dwelling on the negative right now, I wanted to get this post out there because of what it means to me.

I’ve been on a slow and steady road of weightloss starting in September 2005.  There seems to be a trend over the years where my weightloss has been broken into 3rds.  The first third was between the time I started and when I got pregnant with Anna.  I lost about 25 pounds.  The second third was between Anna and Izzy along with the 10 months after she was born was another 20 pounds.  Then in October, Gary had a wake up call with this yearly physical and blood work.  His triglycerides were high and we needed to make a change.

So stepped up the physical activity with Gary working out a couple days a week, we changed our eating habits by taking out the juice and junk and traded it for veggies and more water!  I was finishing up a work out class and had the hair brained idea of doing some sort of event in the spring, like a 5k WALK.  Well Gary thought we should start strong and do a 5k RUN.  So I agreed, joined the GVSU gym and started training the week between Christmas and New Years.

So with all those changes in just a short period of time, I lost another 21 pounds and have reached an incredibly huge milestone in my journey.  I’ve entered, what Weight Watchers groupies call, Onederland!  I officially saw 199.5 on the scale, the first time ever I’ve seen that on the scale as I never really weighed myself before my weightloss.

That was only last Tuesday and the changes in my mind and body have been incredible already!  My self esteem is far more than it has ever been.  I don’t feel like I’m with the heavy crowd anymore.  I try to encourage other family members and friends that they can do it and have heard that I’m an inspiration!  Wow.  I never thought I’d hear that as so many others are an inspiration to me.  We went to a waterpark yesterday and I walked around in my bathing suit all day!  I’m usually running to get covered up by a towel or cover up, but yesterday I felt like I reached the other side and am ready to keep up the momentum to continue on my journey.

I have another 30-40 pounds that I’d like to lose but in the meantime, I’m going to hold on to this huge accomplishment, 67.5 pounds down and under 200.

I’m pretty pumped if you can’t tell.  :)

(Don’t mind the horribly painted toes or the lack there of…..  I have kids.)

I’m an addict

Category : Christie, Running

Ok, maybe “addict” is a strong word but I have a new “want” in my life.  I ran the 5/3 Riverbank Run on Saturday in 40:50 and I want to do better!  Did I just say that I wanted to run another 5k?  Sheesh, what has come over me?  Despite the 40 degrees, the misty on and off rain, the 5:15am wake up call on a Saturday morning, the stupid cold that started the day before, an emotion came over me that I’ve really never experienced before.  I was among thousands of others ready to beat their best time or to say they actually did a 5k in their life, it was a goal I never knew I had in me, that I never thought I’d do in my lifetime.  Maybe it was my weight, that I never thought it was obtainable or the way I talk myself out of pushing myself that much farther?  All I know is that is was amazing to be apart of this, to have my husband, my brother and my sister-in-law cheering me on the whole way, not just on Saturday but way before that.  It truly was a life changing experience for me.

Friday, Alex and Gary picked up our runners packets at DeVos which came with official runners bibs.  It was surreal that one of them was mine!  We all spent the night at our house, taking in a rip roaring game of Settlers and prepping our shoes with our electronic timers.  It was really fun to be together the night before, talking about how excited we all were.  We left the house around 5:50am so we could beat all the road closings and to prepare ourselves mentally for the crazy weather Michigan threw at us that morning.  We gathered with the thousands of others downtown GR, checking in our bags, taking in the excitement and anticipation of the hardcore runners in their “outfits” and the hesistant looks of those who may have been talked into this event.

We starting lining up around 7:15am as our race started at 7:30am.  They were broken into paces from 7 minutes to 12 minutes.  Alex split up from us joining the 8 minute mile pacers while Gary, Sheila and I slowly became enclosed by all the 12 minute mile pacers.  Next to us was a line up of Marines that were sure to whiz by us as we began.  They actually kept a good pace that we followed for a bit while we listened to their chants – just being with them for a few minutes you could hear in their voices how they push past whatever is in their head to keep going in training and out keeping our country safe.  A very cool experience.

The whistle blew at 7:30 and just a few minutes later we were jogging down the road.  Gary said we were in this together, so we would start together and end together and that we did.  The first mile I was doing alright, feeling pretty good, sticking with Gary and Sheila no problem.  Then we started to come to some hilly areas and I started to lose momentum and I eventually told myself I needed to walk a couple minutes.  Not for very long, but I wanted to run the whole thing if I could.  So I picked up the pace again shortly there after and ran a little bit more.  I ran up a hill but at the crest walked a bit again.  Finally Gary told me all we had to do was round the buildings and we’ll be at the finish.  I kept telling myself that I need to finish strong.  When I saw the finish, that was all I needed.  Gary asked if I was ready to run and I said yes.  We started passing a bunch of people, he grabbed my hand so we could finish together.  And we did it!  Gary, Sheila and I crossed within seconds of each other.  Alex caught up with us right away and congratulated us, asking if we heard him screaming us on.  I said no!  I was so in the zone I didn’t hear him.  It was truly an experience I’ll never forget.  For the first time I felt like I was in the same ranks of ability of someone half my size.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m about 30-40 pounds away from my weight loss goal and that is another story for another time.  But for once, I did the same thing as my skinny mini, crazy metabolism little brother did and that felt awesome.  This is only the beginning for me to do more than I ever thought I would and could do and that’s motivation enough to move forward in this new life Gary and I decided to take on.  And for that, I’m ecstatic!


The little engine that could

Category : Christie, Running

Gary declared earlier in the week that would be doing a family (including the girls and my sister-in-law) 5k run Saturday morning.  I’ll be honest, I tried to find ways to get out of it (too wet, too cold, too busy, etc) but when the morning came you couldn’t really pass up a little cloudy, 65 degree, little breezy Saturday morning for a trial 5k run.  We had Sheila stay the night, the night before as she watched the girls for us.  She was going to run with us but wasn’t feel well that week and didn’t want to chance it, so Gary and I were able to run together.  It was great!  He’s a driving force in my motivation to push myself a little farther and I did!  I only walked for maybe 4-5 minutes at about the 1.5 mile mark and did a last minute sprint at the end of our block to our house.  Let me tell you, I was tired as it was and running faster was a complete out of body experience.  It was an amazing accomplishment for me as I usually find a way to justify quitting long before I did.  It really gives me a big motivation for this weekend’s 5/3 Riverbank Run downtown GR, knowing now that I can do it and I’ll have Gary by my side every step of the way.