Year By Year

I came across this Instagram photo the other day and it got me thinking about all the changes I’ve gone through in the last few years.

2016 (April): In the pic on the left I had just started on my journey to becoming healthier, and had already lost about 25 lbs. In this picture, we were in Florida (with my ex-husband) as a family on vacation. It was the first time the boys or I had experienced the ocean or even gone on a family vacation, ever. I thought my life was going well, even though my relationship was on the rocks. I figured we’d work it out. I was working full-time, as was my husband. We were financially stable for the first time in over a decade. We were renting a house, and after we were done on this vacation we went home and bought a new vehicle. I had no idea what was in store for me in the future.

2017 (May): A year later, in the pic on the right, I had lost 60 lbs. and had a Panniculectomy (surgery to remove loose skin on my belly). Pictured here, I’m showing off my new, leaner body. My husband and I had split up and divorced. I had moved twice since the beach pic. At this time I was dating a life-long friends but he was incredibly verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive. I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt because of our history, and I wasn’t thinking much about myself. I had been fired from my full-time job due to performance issues, which, looking back, probably had a lot to do with that abusive relationship. I wanted to be home a lot because not only was I worried about being cheated on, but I was worried about the safety of my children.

2018 (April): Jarrod and I had traveled to NC and I got a tubal ligation reversal. During that year, I started a new job delivering pizza at Pizza Hut, I kicked my abusive boyfriend to the curb for the sake of my kids, Jarrod and I found each other (at work) and fell head over heels for each other in a matter of days, we ran off to Colorado and got married, I got a panniculectomy revision and breast reduction, we merged our families into one home, and we decided to expand our family.

2019 (April): The final picture in this series… Jarrod and I and our new baby, Felix. In the course of the year, Jarrod had a vasectomy reversal, my middle teenage boy, Evan, had some serious mental health issues that needed to be addressed throughout the year, two of Jarrod’s girls went to live with their mom, I fought a serious infection from my breast reduction resulting and 2 extra surgeries to clean out the infection and a lot of antibiotics for several months. I went through an entire pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby. Jarrod lost his job at Pizza Hut after Felix was born, and I’ve been staying home with Felix, which has caused us financial turmoil. But he has since found a couple new jobs and things are finally starting to look brighter.

So many changes year-by-year, it really makes me not take anything for granted. I never imagined back in 2016, that I would be where I am now in 2019. In fact, if anyone would have told me, I would have thought they were a fool. I am so very grateful for what I have now, who I have become, for my amazing best friend and husband, and for my growing family. Here’s to seeing where we are in another year.

Jarrod’s Surgery

Jarrod had his Panniculectomy on February 28th. The surgery went perfectly and Felix and I were able to stay with him during his 2-night stay. He came home from the hospital yesterday. He’s doing so well! He has definitely handled this surgery better than I did when I had it. I’m impressed.

Jarrod in his hospital room after getting out of ICU.

Busy Week

So much going on this week! For those who care to keep up…

– Evan will finally be coming home from Orchard Place on March 11th (after over 8 months away) and starting back at the high school here. He will be here during the week and at Orchard Place on weekends for a couple weeks for the transition home. We’re hoping it goes well, and I believe it will. But the door is still open for him to go back if we hit any major hiccups.

– Felix was not gaining weight his first 2 weeks, so we had to start supplementing his breast milk with formula to help him gain weight. I must not be able to produce enough milk for him since my breast reduction. But anyway, he had a weight check today and he’s gaining now, so we’re finally on the right track!

– Jarrod is having his long-awaited skin removal surgery later this week. I’m so proud of him for maintaining a healthy weight and being able to pursue a healthy self-image as well. He’s going to look and feel amazing, same as I did after I had the same surgery. So it’s MY turn to take care of him like he has done for me so much over the last year. Keep Jarrod in your thoughts for his surgery and recovery, please.

There is, of course, plenty of other stuff going on, but those are the big points for us right now… I’ll update as things move along.