Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Long Sleeve, Long time no post....Long Update!

 The saying it true... time flies when you're having fun!  The past 6 months have been a roller coaster of highs and lows, but having an incredible partner to get through things has made life much better!

Some quickie highlights:

  • I lost my job in June.... While scary,it has been great to be able to participate more with the kids, go on field trips, pick them up earlier, etc.
  • We went to Vegas in June, Washington for Labor Day Weekend, and Monterey and Carmel a few times in between!
  • I have inspired four friends/family members to get WLS... all of whom are experience incredible success.... so proud of them!!

One big item: I am the mother of a KINDERGARTENER!  I am not sure where the last 5 years have gone, but Aidan started K in September.  She is doing awesome, and is adjusting very well to life as a "big kid".
Benji started his second year of preschool and according to his teachers is very "popular".  All the kids like him and he is very friendly and kind.  That's my boy!

The biggest news that I have to share is....... B and I are engaged!  

 I know what you want to know... what is the proposal story???!!  Uh yeah... I wish that I had an incredibly romantic and heartwarming story to tell you, but the reality is that it is no one's fault but my own that I do not.  If it was up to B, I am sure it would have been incredible, but quite frankly, give a this girl a gorgeous diamond ring to try on and it's not coming off!!
We knew very early on that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together but were not "officially engaged" until October 13.  We had gone and chosen my engagement ring/wedding ring setting and purchased it, and B was in charge of getting the center stone on his own.  Well, he did GREAT and because of it the setting could not accommodate it.  So... back to the Jewelry Center in SF we went!  As it turns out, we found an AMAZING setting (truthfully I am way more in love with it than the first, so yay on that!) that the stone just fit right into.... they set it then and there!!!  So I quickly revised my request for a memorable proposal and told him it was fine, I loved him, and the rock was not coming off my finger!!!
I know you're nosy... so I posted a closer pic of the ring.  It has a "halo" that sort of sits under the center stone, and it is designed to look like two strands of diamonds are intertwined on the sides. My romantic fiance was the ultimate decision maker on the set and he said "I think you should have this one... it is fancy like you!"  Indeed it is, and I LOVE IT!!!!  I am such a lucky girl.

As it turns out we had a previously planned overnight bed and breakfast trip to Capitola by the Sea, so it was a nice chance for us to celebrate our engagement and dine at a very famous restaurant.... the Shadowbrook.  It was SO FUN! Two very good friends of mine had their wedding there before we met and it was very neat to see where their magic happened.  Alas, we figured that since we had a date (preselected this summer actually!) and I finally had my ring.... it is indeed official.  I will become Mrs. S in early 2014!  Las Vegas here we come!!

So.... how can I not follow up engagement news with other exciting major news.... we are moving!  As in "in together"!  There were a few reasons that we decided to move but my personal favorite is because we were just ready to start our lives together.  Others include the fact that B works within 10 minutes of our new home about 85% of the time, cutting his commute by about 75%, the fact that I was living in a one bedroom apartment in a bad area with two children.... and also so that Aidan and Benji can attend school in a great district.  All wins, in my opinion!

Now all that is fine and good, however finding a rental in the Bay Area proved much more challenging than we had anticipated.  B had originally said let's start looking in the Spring.  But we started browsing... and then touring... and then applying... and the process was much more disheartening and frustrating than either of us had anticipated.  The inventory is slim, what is out there is about 75% yuck, and because of our family size and needs (3 kids, a dog, need for storage/office space....) it severely limited the already sparse options that were out there.  We also started our search in the East Bay and ultimately ended up on the Peninsula, which makes me extremely extremely EXTREMELY happy!!!  I have always wanted to live either back in San Francisco, or on the Peninsula, but those are both very UN economically friendly... B made my wishes come true!  And yes, we are selling our souls to live there but in the end, quality of life, excellent schools, proximity to work, and the fact that we are living in serenity makes it all well worth it!

You see, the house we ended up with is a very rare occurrence in the Bay Area.  We are living on over an acre of land!  I think that I grew up on about a 5,000sq ft lot in the city.   So.. not what I am used to AT ALL!  And 99% of the homes we looked at had very small yards, or no yard at all, just a deck.  I am ok with that to be honest. But the minute we drove up to our new house I surprised myself with how I fell in love with the land.  It is so peaceful and just down right beautiful.  I thought of the kids "hiking" in the yard, crossing the little bridge, seeing deer, playing on the tire swing, riding their bikes... and I just knew it was a wonderful option for us. Now, as the above paragraph stated, just because we wanted to live here didn't mean we could... we had to apply.  And get approved.  That took over a week!  And after being let down twice before I tried not to get too attached to the place.  But, God works miracles and we now have a place to call HOME! OUR home.. which is the most important thing.

I must say, the day we signed the lease was incredibly meaningful to me.  B and I were officially starting our new life together.. it was a day that I had been looking forward to for months.  And once our landlord left us to explore our new home we just gave each other a huge hug.  We did it!  ( Sounds like marriage, right?!.... I think the only day that can top this will be our wedding day!)
Home Sweet Home

And now onto our new home!  We are proud residents of Los Altos Hills, CA.  The best way to describe it for non Californians... we live about 5 miles west of Stanford. In fact Aidan's assigned elementary school is ON Stanford property, which I am very excited about!  Below are some photos of our land and home.

View from the hill above the house (home is to the right)

Our Pear Tree

Bailey, B's son using the tree ladder! 

The Family checking out their new digs!

Pearl, my parents' dog smells something fun!

Our Den/Playroom

formal Dining Room

Living Room (formal dining is to the left)

View of entry from the living room

View of entry from the front door as you enter (That is a wood burning stove!)

View of Breakfast Nook and Kitchen from the laundry/mud room

Bailey's Room

Hallway from entry way.. that's bailey's room first, Aidan & Benji's next, and the guest bath straight ahead

Aidan & Benji's room... there is a meyer lemon tree right outside that window and there is a little birds nest in it!)

Master Bedroom (check out our redwood deck through the window)

View of kitchen from the entry.  It is a small galley kitchen... B is going to have to adjust!

So you see, lots of exciting happenings in my life lately.  I know this blog started out about my weight loss journey but at this point, that journey is strongly interwoven with living my life.  Every day I think about my weight.  Every day I have to make choices (and lately have really been struggling with my eating habits!).  And ultimately my success or failure is my own choice.  I know that now.  I have been given the greatest tool in conquering my battle with my weight and have achieved great success.  Today marks 1 year and 11 months since I had the vertical sleeve and today I am AT goal.  I weighed 145 this morning.  That is up about 10lbs from my lowest weight.  While I know that some bounce back is expected, it is stressful.  But also I look back at nearly two years ago and I would have given my right arm to weigh 145lbs.  So in the long term, I am proud of my success.  My goal is to stay healthy, to live my life, and most importantly to BE HAPPY!

I feel like this time last year I was miserable.  Yes I had lost a whole lot of weight and was feeling great, I was also beginning the end of a very unhealthy relationship.  The past year has been spend rediscovering the beauty of happiness, building a love that I never knew could exist, and enjoying my children.  I have also had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and start fresh.

When I say "I am the luckiest girl in the world", I mean it.  There are some days I literally think to myself  "Is this my life?!!!  How did I get so lucky?!".  I have been given the opportunity of my life to start over, and I could not be more grateful.

So while this blog started out about weight loss it is ultimately about life changes. Life is a long road, so the title "My Long Sleeved Story" will forever fit.

Last pic... the three kids who I get to share and experience this amazing life with.. my two and my "bonus" child.
Indeed, I am blessed.