another mom balancing faith, family, friends, work & life with coffee

Hump Daaaaay April 8, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 6:59 PM

OK.  Slept in this a.m.

I’m a sore everywhere whiny baby.

Slept terribly.  Tossed and turned.  Hot.  cold.  Grumpy mama this a.m.

But…….the clothes are ready to roll for the a.m.

So, bring on Thursday!



One day at a time April 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:24 AM


Don’t worry, I won’t possibly keep this up daily; but here’s a couple of updates for you. :mrgreen:

OPI gel polish system: my nails looked great all week, despite only one coat. The tips were wearing off slightly by the end of the week, but overall… Fantastic hold!!  Also, regular nail polish remover worked just fine.

Day 2 of “back at it”:  I did it. I’m sure to be a sore and whiny baby tomorrow with all muscle groups aching, but I did it. Also, food wise….. Pretty good.  Pretty good. So, there’s that.

Baby steps. One day at a time.



For the love of cupcakes April 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 12:00 PM

I love cupcakes.  And cake.  OK.  Cookies, too.  Total and complete sweet-tooth.  If I could live off those 3, I would be ALL.  IN.

This past week I had my annual physical.  You see where this is going, right?

Actually, I also had recent labs, mammogram, eye check, teeth cleaned…the whole shebang.  And really, the only thing I’m monitoring is my possible “ocular hypertension”; which I am fairly certain is more a result of my irrational inability to stay still for the air puff test portion of the eye exam as well as letting the numbing drops work so the machine can get up close and personal with my eyeball.  I just cannot.  Seriously.  If I were being interrogated and that was the method of torture…I’d sing like a flippin’ bird.  Anyhooooooo……

My M.D. (who I just love) declared  me “perfect”.  To which I laughed out loud and said, “that’s a strong word….”perfect””.  So, she said if she was nitpicking, I could lose 20 pounds.  Basically, fit and fat.  What can I say?  I love cupcakes.  I simply won’t apologize for it.  Life is too short.

The bottom line is this:

  • My husband loves me:  fluffiness and all.  That is the mot important thing.
  • I am actually comfortable in my skin.
  • Maybe it’s age, but I don’t obsess over being buff or a size 2.  Would it be great?  Meh. Probably more fun shopping for clothes, but is it going to change any aspect of my life dramatically or fix any problems?  Nope.
  • My labs and all subsequent annual tests are good.   I’m not on any medications.   I have a wonderful marriage and awesome kids.  My shorts size isn’t going to change any of that.

With any pros there are cons.  So here is the flip side:

  • I have a family history of heart disease and hypertension.
  • Although I am comfortable in my skin, I don’t love my double chin (but really don’t like cosmetic surgery for a fix—–for me, no judgement here)
  • I know better regular choices will increase my energy.

But ya’ll……I’m here to tell you, getting there and staying there (if you aren’t genetically coded for that) is some seriously hard work and crazy hard work.  Not to mention time-consuming.  I work full-time and have a busy family.  It’s going to take some patience, planning and realistic expectations.  Which I am working on right now.  Hard to work toward something if you haven’t decided what that “something” is.

One thing for sure, I know that whatever direction I go, it will be a realistic way of life and believe me……there will be cupcakes.



Lenten Recap April 4, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 11:05 AM

Holy Saturday.

In preparation for Easter these past 40 days I come to this day and berate myself for not living up to my own ridiculous Lenten expectations.  (I do this during Advent, as well) I am learning to stay off Pinterest, so that helps, but still.  So many traditions.  Prayers.  Fasting.  Penance.  Mass.  Reconciliation.  Sometimes, forgive me, there seems so MUCH to do. 40 days really isn’t that long.  It gets a little overwhelming.

Today, I started down my traditional self-flogging road of checking off the list of what I didn’t do this Lent and then I stopped. That’s NOT what this is about.  This Lenten season.  I reminded myself that this one I approached differently.  It’s not about the pomp and circumstance, it’s about the relationship we have with Christ and the gratitude for His sacrifice which leads to our eternity.

This Lent, I had NO expectations.

This Lent I had no plans.

This Lent, I let God lead.  Quietly.  Softly.

And lead He did.

He led me in prayer, without ceasing this season.  Quietly and without overwhelming me.  He led me to pray with friends, for friends, for our nation and for our world.  Throughout the day.  In the early morning darkness.  In the quiet of the evening as I wait for my boy to get home from work.  It hasn’t been in Adoration.  It hasn’t been in a family Rosary.  But it has been.  And it has been continuous.

Fasting.  Traditionally, not my best work.  But this Lent.  Each Friday He led me away from meat without even thinking about it.  Fasting days, I barely ate and I barely noticed.  But He’s been guiding me in fasting from gossip (not completely free here, let’s be honest).  Gently, guiding me and whispering Truth, holding my tongue and looking for the good that lies in all of us.

Penance.  Well.  We are raising 4 teens and tweens here, folks.  Penance is a daily reality.  (kinda kidding, kinda not)  He’s led us (because the Hubs is my helpmate for sure and we absolutely keep each other in check here) to be gentler in dealing with these raging hormones, drama and growing pains of adolescence.  He’s teaching us to see with His eyes, to remember our own youth and to call on Him to fill our hearts with grace in the moments that test us to the core.

Almsgiving.  Time.  Talent.  Treasure.  It comes in many forms and there’s not been any particular project for Lent that I’ve focused on, however, He has given me multiple opportunity to part with Time, Talents and Treasures these past 40 days.  Not one instance was convenient or easy, but I didn’t walk it alone.  What more can I ask?

So Lent.  Absolutely not what I expected this year.  In fact, early on, my dear friend explained to me the idea of a “progressive Lent” that increased throughout the 40 days.  To some extent, I believe that’s exactly what it was and what it is.  God is so good.

So today we mourn and tomorrow we rejoice.  Ever grateful that no two journeys are alike.




On the lighter side… March 30, 2015

Filed under: clean eating,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 7:31 AM

To lighten things up….a little fashion PSA for you.  Although, generally I am NOT your go to person for all things fashion, I may be a little late to the party on this one, but sharing anyway!!

Nail talk.  I am blessed with good nails.  (thanks, Mom).  I even have to chop them down about once a month because when they get long, I can’t type well at work.  But they are strong.  And I love polish.  BUT…..since I wash my hands a million times a day it’s useless to paint them due to peeling within a day and then they look like crud.

I love a pedicure but am fairly convinced that I picked up a fungus at one pedicure that is just now growing out and therefore I’d rather paint my tootsies at home.

And the time.  Personally, I just don’t enjoy giving up the half hour or hour in the nail salon.

Enter gel paint.  I’ve been fascinated at the lasting power on friend’s nails with the gel, but haven’t wanted to purchase the light and all that. Too much hassle.  Then I heard that OPI has a no-light gel system.  Since I love me some OPI (and totally not sponsored BTW), I headed to ULTA to scope it out.

Here’s the down low:

  • A little more expensive than the usual OPI (about 12.50 a bottle).
  • There’s a base primer and a top coat/lacquer
  • There weren’t a ton of colors (but then OPI does color seasons…so you just stock up and roll with it)
  • I did two coats on my daughter, one coat on myself
  • I should have done two coats, but it’s a beige color so it doesn’t look bad at all, but after looking at her nails, two would have been better
  • I’m curious if a regular OPI color will hold up with the base and top coat the same, so yes, that’s next on my agenda to try it out
  • I haven’t take it off yet, but it will take a bit of extra effort and time
  • I’m going on day 3 and looking fabulous.  even after house cleaning, dishes and laundry

There you have it!



The unanswered “why”? March 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 10:11 AM

Palm Sunday.

This afternoon I will attend the funeral of a precious 6 week old boy.  Born to two sweet young friends who I’ve seen grow in their budding relationship in their twenties,  go to school, marry and the birth of their son. The sweetest, kindest, gentlest couple you’ve ever met.  It’s been a heart-breaking week.  To say the least.


Yesterday was the anniversary of a dear friend’s daughters passing.  Next week she would have turned 16.  It hit me a little harder this year. The memories of that time rushing back, so fresh, so raw, so utterly painful.


A very dear friend’s grandson is currently struggling in the NICU.  A micro-preemie born to another precious couple who have already dealt with tremendous trials of health and working their wedding vows the past couple of years.


Today, we welcome a king with palm fronds and cheers and in less than a week “we” will cry out to trade his life for a murderer, one who deserves his death, not the freedom he ultimately receives.  Yet, He goes willingly.  A mercy we do not deserve.


I go into this Holy week with a heavy heart and “whys” that will go unanswered in this lifetime, but a hope and promise of an eternity defeating death that I do not deserve.

I don’t know why.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11



Anorexia, it’s not just for girls March 11, 2015

Filed under: Changes,Faith,Family,Kids,Lessons,Life,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 10:13 PM
Tags: , , ,

I write this in hopes that a family dealing with this on the “boy’s side” of things might be encouraged and possibly even be helped.  Although, I will absolutely preface this by saying I am NOT an expert here.  What I AM, is a mom with a rock-solid mother’s intuition.

It started rather normally enough with a 15 year-old entering summer just as his body went through that growth spurt that 15 year-old boys do….5ish inches upward in a matter of 3 months.  Summer for this particular child also meant days filled with skateboarding all over the city with friends.  Pretty much EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.  ALL.  DAY.  LONG.  And I am talking 7 a.m until dark or later.  A hearty protein smoothie to start his day off followed by hours of skating with bananas, water and protein bars were a recipe that concluded 10 weeks later with a 6 footer at just under 130 pounds.  Down about 20 pounds and up roughly 5 inches.  Truthfully, this kid was so busy all summer having fun that I don’t think we grasped the hugeness of the growing and changing until summer was almost over.  I mean there were small signs throwing up red flags for me, but not enough to convince me I wasn’t just being a paranoid mother.  Baggy shorts and big t-shirts hide a lot.  or a little.  We weren’t really worried though because when you burn those calories all day and grow at the same time, it’s pretty obvious what is going to happen.  But still.

Anyway, the pediatrician didn’t seem concerned, even when I point-blank asked if this might be a bit too much, too quick.  So it must be alright.  Right?

When school started back up, our sophomore had a new-found enjoyment in his new physique as well as an interest in eating cleaner.  It was a great opportunity to have many, MANY, MANY talks about food as fuel, getting enough calories, exploring new recipes, hitting the farmer’s market and finding new food blogs (a favorite being chocolatecoveredkatie).  So you just don’t complain when you have a kid whipping up “healthy” desserts and various brussel sprout recipes.  Because broccoli is good for you.  And still that nagging persists.

A disturbing trend started about roughly the same time with an obsession involving food challenge videos on you tube.  The crazy ones…the cross fit dudes who sit down and eat 10,000 calories in a sitting….that kind of crazy.  I lost count and I lost interest after the first 2 or 3, but I didn’t stop taking mental notes of the fascination and the jealousy that wrestled together in the mind of this shrinking boy.

Slowly, other subtle things were occurring such as not partaking in the homemade cookies, being critical of what other family members were eating, small amounts of food being eaten at meal times, “I’m not that hungry” out of the mouth while the eyes linger longingly, etc, etc, etc.

Then came Halloween Horror nights.  Creepy enough but then apparently our zombie lover had a bad Moe’s experience which ended the HHN trip 2 hours in.  Fortunately, our good friend lives close enough that he picked him up and brought him home to vom and sleep.  2 days later we were in the ER with dehydration and down to 117 pounds.  It just got real. And that’s a deep, dark, ugly hole.

Thus the beginning of the delicate dance of addressing the issue and guiding him back to normal.   Many nights the Hubs and I lay in bed talking about what the hell do we do.  Neither of us had an answer.  And, I might add, it is NOT the time to get up and start googling boys and anorexia.  Sleep and peace left on a vacation together after that.

I picked the brains of friends throughout the summer and fall.  Friends who are nutritionists, moms, professional athletes, friends who suffered with anorexia and bulimia as kids and lingering body and food issues.  I called around to find counselors that were familiar with boys and anorexic behavior.  Pickings were slim, I’m here to tell you.  By slim, I mean I found one counselor that sounded like he could potentially help us.  Maybe.

The saving grace, and I do mean GRACE (capital GRACE) was that he was open to discussion.  And mama likes to discuss, so we had many discussions with the Hubs letting me take the wheel on this as he wrestled with his own demons of where/how/why this was happening and the helplessness that is so intricately woven in those questions.  While our son could not wrap his head around the physical need for 4,000 calories a day to meet his body’s needs, he DID hear what I was saying.  At some point during a particularly frustrating conversation I flat-out told him that if he kept going with his plan that his body would fail him and he would die.  Something finally clicked.  Just a bit.  The teensiest of a bit.  But the seed was planted.  His response to me was that he didn’t appreciate that I thought he would kill himself.  To which I had to re-explain myself that it wouldn’t be intentional, however, if he didn’t start giving his body what it needed calorically and nutritionally, his body would take it where it could get it.  Some fat here, when that ran out….some muscle here…and the heart, well….it’s a big ole muscle and if you take from it, it just doesn’t work.

He agreed to meet a sports nutritionist that I knew from the Y.  Thank you sweet baby, Jesus!!  We met monthly, measured, discussed, strategized and I just sat back and listened.  The hubs and I could want it for him all day long but he had to take ownership and do the work.  It was a grueling one step forward and four steps back process.  By about month 3 or 4 he was finally making some gains.  Up about 7 pounds and with a new-found vegan diet that made him feel healthy and satiated and less conscious of what he was eating, he was slowly coming back to us.

This past fall he bought a Jeep Cherokee.  Working at Dunkin Donuts pays off (the irony, I know…believe me, I know) and the kid finally had wheels.  After the wheels came dreams of “‘muddin”” and he joined a jeep club.  His first foray out with the club finished with a good old-fashioned BBQ in the woods.  Our vegan came home ecstatic, adrenaline-rushed and a belly filled with chicken.  And cookies and ribs.  He declared a vegan death.

The reality lies somewhere in between though, as he feels most healthy and energetic when he sticks to a mostly vegan and clean diet, however, he has FINALLY embraced the fact that he doesn’t need to firmly lie in one camp or another, but can incorporate them all to meet his needs.  He’s found a happy medium.  He’s also found a new job.  Pizza delivery dude.

So was he a full-blown anorexic?  As I stated earlier, I’m no professional, but he hit many of the behaviors solidly on the head. There was no obvious trauma or drama during that time to pinpoint why.  Somehow, his grades never suffered.  This kid may be in the current state of Prodigal Son with the Lord, but his parents, never stopped praying.  Their friends, they prayed.  His siblings, they prayed.  Holy water…you know it.  Blessed salt….right on in that dinner.  There is no giving up.  There is no black or white answer.  Eating disorders can differ with each and every person.

For now, he’s good.  Is he “cured”?  He’s finally up to a 32ish waist from a 28 and I no longer see every vertebrae in his spine when he’s shirtless.  However, I’ll say that addiction runs deep in this family, both sides.  Addiction and control, they go hand in hand and he will always struggle with control.  Of course we all do on some level and at some point, he will be mature enough to know it’s a demon he will always need to acknowledge.  As for right now it’s one day at a time.

I’ll take it.  2 years later.  I’ll take it.



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