Celebrating the Blogginess

So, I didn't get to coordinate these two things together, but I'm celebrating them together anyway. Because it's my blog and I'll do it my way! ha! My one year blogiversary was September 25th, but this is my 200th post. Time to answer all of those questions I asked for.

Y'all came up with some great questions. I was surprised that anyone wanted to know this much about me! I'm terrible at thinking of good questions, so I am impressed!

Off we go......

My first questioner (I totally just made up that word) was AnyMommy. If you do not read AnyMommy's blog, you should do that now. She is amazing and real and I just love her, as well as admire her.

Anyway, her question is:

What's your favorite book and why.

Now AnyMommy, can any reader ever actually answer this question with ONE book? I don't even know where to begin. I love books, love to read. My recently read favorite is I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. Another favorite is We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. An all-time favorite is The Green Mile by Stephen King. There are many movies out there that I've never seen, but I've read the book! As for why, I like books that move me and make me think, and if they make me think about them for a long time after I've finished the book, that's even better.

Speaking of making me think, Lauren has a knack for doing that on her blog. She said:

Ok I'll be bold and ask a tough question. Since you lost 100lbs what happens to the skin? Does it bounce back or is it a problem for you?

Oh, the dreaded skin. It's basically a crapshoot. Some people have more elasticity than others. I think I'm in the mid-range. I have some sagging skin, but it's not that bad. Also, it does tend to firm up in time, and I'm already noticing a difference.

Tracy from Priceless Journey asked:

If you could travel anywhere-where would you go and why? What has been the favorite place you have traveled to thus far and why? Rnadom but I love to travel-so thought others might too.

I LOVE to travel! Our dream when we retire is to get a motor home and travel all over the US.

If I could go anywhere right now, it would be England. My in-laws are from England and they have told me all about it and I've seen the most amazing pictures. I'd love to visit, and meet the part of J's family that still lives across the pond.

My favorite place we've travelled to is the Bahamas. Last year, we cruised to Freeport & Nassau. It was amazing, and I got to snorkel for the first time. We truly loved it!

Little Grumpy Angel asked:
what do you consider your greatest weakeness and how is your progress in overcoming it.

My greatest weakness is letting what other people say or think bug me. I used to be really bad about this, but not any more. I have to actively pay attention to my thinking, and when my thoughts drift into that mode, I intentionally pull them to a positive track.

Feener from MommyVents asked:

i see the cure chiari ribbon, what is that all about and are you touched by in personally

My son has Chiari, so this is definitely very personal for me. I told his Chiari story in five posts, which you can see here.

Kel from Cafe Kel says:

So my question is - based on your experiences, divorce, weight loss, love, life ... what is one thing that you've learned that you feel is a piece of advice we all should know?

There are many things, but to choose just one...don't take things too seriously. ENJOY life. Live, laugh, love!

Wep of WepRuminations inquired:

With the divorce, how did you it was time to stop trying to fix things?

When he had an affair. That, my friends, is a deal-breaker! Which brings me to the next question.....

Jill from Caffeine Court asked:

Okay, I'm nosy. Why did you get a divorce?

To fully answer this would take up at least a whole post, and who wants to post about that? lol I had a really terrible marriage. Abuse, drinking, the whole nine yards. I almost left several times, but I was scared and dumb. Finally, he met someone else. I found out, and everything hit the fan. Long story short, that was what ended the marriage, and I will forever be grateful for that!

MamaHut said:

OK my skinny little friend...am I crazy or did you take pictures of you and the kids off of your blog.

I don't think I had any permanent pics of me & the kids. Maybe my profile pic was of myself & the Princess a while back? Many of my posts have pics of me and the kids, though.

I think Adrian from Adrian's Crazy Life asked a great question.

I've seen some pretty strange posts lately - basically stuff I didn't really want to know about people and their personal lives. How do you decide where to draw the line on what to share on your blog and what not to?
Also, Mrs Bear asked something similiar: Are there any topics you've found that are off limits when you're blogging?

This is such a good question and definitely varies greatly from blogger to blogger. I have read some posts that absolutely floored me. TMI, people!
I will not blog about my sex life. I may make a cutesie reference to alone time, but that's it. It's just out of my comfort zone. I don't say much about issues with my family (meaning parents, siblings, etc). For one, things are going well now so I don't have much to say, but also, the internet is a big place and I wouldn't want any family members to stumble onto anything. I would never post anything extremely personal about my kids, because that violates their privacy. And I don't like to post a whole lot about my past with my ex, because for one, there's no point in stirring up all that negative energy, and also, his wife reads my blog (NOT by invitation!).
So basically, for me, I just have to stay within my own comfort zone.

My local friend, Irregular Tammie, asked:

1. Where do you get the dogs that you foster? Do they come from animal shelters? How did you get started doing this? I really know nothing about this topic so feel free to talk to me like I'm retarded.

Totally not retarded! Our dogs come from shelters all over Florida, South Georgia, and in some cases like big puppy mills being shut down, they can come from all over the US. We very rarely take in owner surrenders directly. We let our local shelters know to call us when they take in dachshunds. J and I really wanted to do something to help out the rescues and didn't really know where to start. We were helping a local rescue group some, but we didn't feel very welcome or needed. I did a google search for Florida rescue groups, found DARE, emailed them, and here we are! You should come visit us at Petco next Sunday.

2. About your weight loss: Are you worried that when you get to your goal weight(if you're not there already) that maybe you won't be happy? {I hope that question isn't too personal.} I'm just curious because as a teenager I was chubby and I kept thinking "my life will be better when I get thinner." As i grew up and got thinner, life was basically the same. Of course that was a long time ago and a teenager is a lot different than a gal in her thirties but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

I think if I'd done this at a different time in my life, that would've been a problem for me. When I wasn't happy at all with my life, I was sure if I just lost weight, everything would suddenly become wonderful. But at this point in my life, everything else is wonderful. My weight was the only negative, and it was holding me back. So, this is just something I did for my health and for myself, but not in some quest for elusive happiness.

3. What do you do to teach your kids about healthy eating and body image? Again I ask this personal question because it's something I think about often as well. I know that I eat (and want to eat) when stressed, but I know this is unhealthy and don't want to pass this behaviour onto my kids. Yet at the same time I want them to enjoy food and be happy with their bodies, no matter what they look like. It's a balance. How do you strike this balance? Has it gotten easier since the weight loss?

I wish I had an answer for this, and it's actually gotten harder since the weight loss. The kids see me looking at labels and avoiding certain things, and they pick up on that. Especially the youngest, who shouldn't be worrying at seven years old! I was a big-time stress eater and I think I may have already passed that on to my preteen daughter. I am trying hard to reverse any damage I've done, and I really stress healthy eating and everything in moderation. Moderation is a big part of my life now.

John Deere Mom wants to know:

If you had to live on one food only for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Which movie can you recite the most lines from?
Granny panty or thong?

That first one is hard! I think I'd have to say pickles. I have a strange obsession with them and I don't think I'd ever get tired of them!
Movies lines, definitely Forrest Gump. I love, love, love that movie, and my kids can quote the lines too. Second place would be Toy Story.
As for the last question, somewhere in between. I wouldn't call them Granny panties but I do NOT wear butt floss! :P

Semi-Slacker Mom asked:

Are you planning on getting any surgery done when you reach your goal weight? I definity am! 3 babies did a number on my tummy!

Right now I'm undecided. It's a wait and see thing at this point.

Groovy Mom over at Don't Forget to Flush posed this question:

If you could sell your house, all your belongings, and start over with your family somewhere else, where would it be, and what would your life look like?

This is a hard one, because I'm not very well-traveled so I have a limited knowledge of what's out there. Honestly, I love where we are moving to, it's like a dream come true. But my first choice for relocation would be St Augustine, Florida. I love that town and feel a sensation of peace when I am there. After that, I'd choose England. I haven't been there yet, but J's relatives are all from England and I've heard so many stories & seen beautiful pictures. Third choice is California because everyone I've talked who has lived there loved it, and they say it doesn't get HOT like it does here! As for what it would look like, honestly, much the same.

Melissa asked:

Why did you start blogging in the first place?

An online friend of mine mentioned having a blog. I had read a few blogs off and on, but didn't really 'get it' at that time. But I started reading my friend's blog and venturing around the blogosphere, and I was hooked. I knew I had to be a part of it all!

From ABun'sLife:

Do you feel like your whole family has benefited from your weight loss journey?

Most definitely!

Do you feel like you will have to have further surgery to remove excess skin or has it gone back pretty well?

I'm hoping not to need further surgery.

How many dogs will your hubby allow you to keep as your own if your heart feels like they should be yours? :)

We have an agreement about this. The first time we adopted a foster, it was because HE was the one who fell in love! I was determined not to keep this dog; he was young, adorable, and definitely would be snatched up quickly. But he and hubby totally bonded. So, finally I said we could keep him...IF I could foster and/or adopt as many dogs as I wanted, with whatever issues they might have (I'm a sucker for one-eyed, 3 legged decrepit animals). I don't go crazy with this power (heh heh). The funny thing is, when I first tell him we're getting another foster in, he doesn't say anything but he gives me this look like "Another one?" Then once he meets the dog, he falls in love and is ready to keep it forever. He's already telling me how hard it's going to be to give up our newest foster. He's such a softie!

Momisodes asked:

If you had the chance to go back and "redo" 1 thing from your past, would you do things differently? If so, what would it be and why?

I wish I could've met my current husband before I met my former husband! But, I think life was supposed to work out this way. I had to endure all that crap to appreciate what I have now.

From Kelly, my fellow Gator fan:

What was your breaking point before the weight loss surgery?

Just the usual stuff, mostly. Tired of being overweight, tired of losing weight only to gain it back. Fear of diabetes (it's in my family) & the possible limb loss that sometimes occurs with that really freaks me out.
Tired of buying cute outfits that looked like crap when I put it on! Tired of back pain & other medical issues. I was scared for my health.

What was your heaviest weight?

253 lbs!

Can you post before and after pictures?

This picture was taken last Halloween.


And this was taken just last weekend:

From Tinabean:

What is your favorite song & why?

This is another thing I can never pick just 'one' of. I have so many songs that I really love, from almost every genre of music! Some of my favorites are our wedding songs; God Blessed the Broken Road by Rascall Flatts, Amazed by Lonestar, Me & You by Kenny Chesney, Everything I Do by Bryan Adams....

Who is your go to person when things start to overwhelm you?

Definitely my husband. He is truly my best friend, and he can always calm me down. He knows just what to say and do to make things better. We are 2 peas in a pod, we are so perfect together!

Where was your best vacation & why?

Definitely our trip to the Bahamas. I didn't even have any burning desire to go, but my Mother-in-law (along with J's aunt & grandmother) decided to send us on an all-expense-paid cruise as a Christmas present. It ended up being one of the best times of my life! Snorkeling was like a dream come true, and it was just so romantic and relaxing.

What was the breaking point that made you decide to loose the weight?

see above =)

What is your favorite comfort food?

Chicken & dumplings, although I haven't had them since surgery. And of course, chocolate!

Robin says:

My question:

If someone cuts you off on the road, what would do?

a) Flip them off

b) yell loud obscenties in your car

c) take a deep breath and let it go

d) all of the above

My answer is actually b & c. I yell and call them names, then I let it go and forget all about it.

WHEW! That was harder than I expected! I hope this wasn't too terribly boring. Thank you for all of the support you have all given me.
And I hope y'all are all still around for my 300th post! :o)


Tammie said...

i loved reading all of this. it was informative. and i love how you answered even the most personal of questions.

Mamahut said...

If somebody ever say's "ask me a question", I will try to sound intelligent! I get sqirmmy asking people personal questions. It's nice to know ya even better.

I am going to call around and figure out who I can help by fostering. We are starting to put up the fence around my yard today. They will have to be smallish dogs even though I love, love golden retrievers, St. Bernards, Great Pyranees...they are not quite small enough lol.

Lauren said...

I didn't realize you had the surgery. I knew someone who did that. She had a lot of complications for a year. I hope you are doing better than that. Thanks for answering my question. This was a great post. Very interesting and open and honest.
:-) People keep writing that I make them think. I never ever thought about me or my posts that way. It's nice to learn though.

John Deere Mom said...

Loved this post! It's so fun to find out more about people. BTW, you look awesome!

Kel said...

Thats awesome! Congrats on the 200th post...sounds like you've had an interesting journey thus far, here's to many more!!

A Buns Life said...

Loved your answers!! And of course I will still be around for 300!!

Huckdoll said...

Happy Anniversary!

Awesome questions and even better answers.

You know I'm with you on the RV dream...perhaps we'll meet up in a KOA when we're retired :)

Oh, and I find your stories about your marriage and meeting your current husband simply inspirational. Thank you!

Wep said...

Happy Blogiversary and 200th post :)

Jo-Jo said...

Happy Blogaiversary and 200th post! I learned alot about you!

Kellan said...

Congrats on your 100th and on your blogeversary! Loved reading about your life. I don't think pickles would be my choice for food - ha!

Take care and have a good week - Kellan

ElizabethSheryl said...

yay, I love posts like that!

Aubrey said...

What a great Q&A! Congrats on your 1 year blogiversary & 200th post!

I learned so much about you today! Love it!!

mrsbear said...

That was a really cool idea. It was great to learn more about you. And congrats on the 200th post/blogiversary. You look great BTW.

anymommy said...

I loved this! A great post. Also, you look absolutely fabulous. I really liked Wally Lamb's books and I've added We are the Mulvaneys to my reading list. (Like I ever read anymore, but I added it!)

pixie4bears said...

Thanks for this, I feel like I know you a lot better now :) Happy 200th!

Aleta said...

What a great idea for a blog! (Mind if I borrow it?) I love that it gives your readers the chance to ask questions and then gives the readers the opportunity of reading your response.

Your stories are inspirational.

Kathryn said...

Happy 200th and blogoversary!
Great answers! Very honest. :)

MoziEsmé said...

Happy blogiversary!

And I loved your advice to enjoy life!

DFTF said...

Wow! Lots of great questions and great answers too! Congrats on 200 posts!

Momisodes said...

Wow, your readers gave you some great questions! I really enjoyed reading this and loved your honesty :) BTW, you look FABULOUS!

p.s. I love, love, love chicken and dumplings :)

Rhea said...

I learned a lot about you from this post!! Impressive.

gingela5 said...

Great post! I feel like I know you so well now! And that is TRULY great that you foster dogs! I would love to do that but I'd keep every one of them. Plus my current dogs would probably get a little jealous!

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

hi cyndy,
congrats! i'm glad you joined the bloggysphere, too. you add a positive sweetness to it with every mark you leave.

thanks for the dear daughter comment tonight.


Mrs4444 said...

Abuse? Drinking? Why didn't you just stop? JK Glad you lived happily ever after...