sometimes uneventful and other times unbelievable!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

A week from today will be Christmas Eve!! This Christmas season has flown by but really this entire year has flown.  I feel like I just packed up my Christmas decorations from last Christmas.  I've now brought them all back out again.  I love my ornaments and the ones that I most treasure are the ones that my boys made when they were little.

 I have one ornament on my tree that my parents use to put on their tree every year.  There is nothing special about it but it was my favorite ornament growing up.  Thank God they kept it all those years and that I actually was able to get it. 

Then there is the ornament that I painted myself in the 2nd grade.  I remember when I painted it and was so very proud of myself.  It has been on my Christmas tree ever since I painted it.  Here it is...a pair of old timey ice skates. 

And then there are the new ornaments that represent where I live....the good ole south....so here's to all of my family and friends.......

Friday, October 07, 2011

This is Jack....he's our half chocolate lab/half weimeraner baby! We love him.  He has a brother...Winston...who is full blooded black lab.  They are inseparable and do everything together. 

Jack is very spoiled and wont' let me take Winston's picture!!! One day I'll get Winston's....

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Happy Sunday! I woke up fairly early and I'm now enjoying this nice cool weather coming in through my windows.  I slept like a baby last night with the windows up.  Oh I love the season of fall.  My big maple tree that shelters my deck in the backyard is starting to shed her leaves.  They are starting to turn pretty shades of red.....it's just a beautiful tree. 

Along with the changing of seasons becomes a problem with my wardrobe.  Since losing 78 lbs since November of last year I now have limited clothes to wear for the fall/winter seasons.  I'm having to buy all new clothes and I must say it's been fun! In the  meantime I am trying my best to sell my other clothes so I can use that money to buy more.  What a problem to have!!

Now the goal is to incorporate more exercise into my daily regime.  I'm already walking 3 miles a day but I need to add some weights to that regime.  I've learned that through this who process that I have to just take one day at a time and take baby steps.  You are more apt to succeed than fail.

Here's to being healthier...  :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011



This morning my husband is having surgery to have a spinal cord stimulator implanted AGAIN.  I am sitting here at the surgical center waiting for him to get out of surgery.  I didn't want to dress up to just sit in a waiting room but I didn't want to go without NOT wearing at least 1-2 pieces of Stella & Dot.  Though I'm dressed casually I still managed to put on some great earrings...the new Jezebel necklace and a fabulous bracelet.  Even if you are sitting in a waiting room, running to the grocery store, picking up dinner from your favorite restaurant, you can still look fabulous! The good thing about Stella & Dot is you can have an old t-shirt on that looks shabby-add a piece or two of Stella & Dot and you look totally different and fabulous! This is like no other jewelry....very hip....very INSTYLE...and very"IN"..

SHOP MY ONLINE BOUTIQUE AT:  www.stelladot.com/maryclark518

Monday, August 01, 2011

Today was a nice day! It was a busy, but productive day! Since losing all this weight one of the fun things I do every morning is figuring out what to wear to work! Today I decided to wear a favorite new blue shirt over a black sleeveless shirt along with black slacks.  And for accessories...it was my BRAND NEW STELLA & DOT ISADORA PEARL BIB!  I really love this necklace!
Here is a pic of me wearing it today...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm so excited about Stella & Dot's new Fall Collection for 2011!! I've got some new pieces coming! If you have never checked out Stella & Dot...you need to.  It's getting bigger and bigger and debuts in the UK September 1st!!

Check out my online boutique:


While you there...look around the website and see what we're all about! I love this company and the possibilities are limitless.  Now is the time to get in on the ground floor of a huge fashion movement!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Last night we had our Journey Team from church over to our house.  It was combination get together.  We celebrated the upcoming marriage of two of our JTeam members, Shannon & Paul and the 50th birthday of my hubby Phillip!  His birthday is actually today, July 9th! Happy 50th Birthday Hubby!
It was fun having my jteam over and getting together.  We don't meet regularly during the summer because of everyone going on family vacations and so forth so we were all glad to come together.
Everyone made an appetizer that Shannon and Paul might like to serve at their wedding.  It was "tasting" and boy did we all taste.  There were some great appetizers made and Shannon and Paul were able to come up with a list of them they liked.  Now we are all going to make the appetizers they chose for them as a wedding gift to them.  It will be great! I was able to eat most of the food but of course not much at all.  One of my favorite things were the chocolate covered strawberries.  OMG! Maribeth Weikle you made the best ones I've ever eaten.  They were perfect. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lately it seems I watch a lot of "reality tv shows".  The newest shows are Cupcake Wars, Swamp People,
Buck Commander, and there are many many more.  It seems that everyone is interested in the daily life of everyone else.  It got me to thinking if anyone would be interested in my daily life?  Would you want to watch me roll out of bed at 5:15am most mornings to let the dogs out, make the coffee, feed the dogs, and get dressed to go walking at 5:30 am? Would you want to watch me pick out my clothes to wear for the day....watch me deal with members....and watch me go on my shopping trips?

I don't hunt alligators....I don't hunt deer....I don't fish ....I don't have 19 kids and counting.....and I'm not a police woman!!  So I think if I did some exciting job or had some off the wall hobby I could be famous!! So all fo this got me to thinking....what could I do that everyone would be interested and would want to watch me everyday?  If you come up with something....please let me know. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I started walking to increase my physical activity.  Walking is really a great exercise.  It's not hard on your knees or your joints and fast walking will get your heart rate up.  My sister and I have been getting up at 5:30am to walk.  We have worked our way up to 3 miles in the morning and 2 in the evening.  I feel so much better when I walk and I'm starting to crave the walking. 
So this past weekend I went shopping to buy me some cool tank tops and shorts to go walking in and I must say it was a new experience for me.  It's been so long since I shopped for exercise apparel that it was actually a little difficult to realize that I'm in smaller sizes now.  Hopefully with my walking regime I will lose even more weight.  I thought about carrying some hand weights when I go walking.  I'm still thinking on that one. 

Here are some benefits of walking taken from the Mayo Clinic:

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. Walking is a form of exercise accessible to just about everybody. It's safe, simple and doesn't require practice. And the health benefits are many. Here's more about why walking is good for you, and how to get started with a walking program.

Benefits of walking

Walking, like other exercise, can help you achieve a number of important health benefits. Walking can help you:
  • Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
  • Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
  • Manage your weight
  • Improve your mood
  • Stay strong and fit
All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking. It doesn't get much simpler than that. And you can forget the "no pain, no gain" talk. Research shows that regular, brisk walking can reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging.

Preparation helps avoid injury


Image of woman using proper walking technique Proper walking technique
Walking isn't as likely to lead to injuries as other types of exercise. Still, take time to prepare yourself to prevent injuries, such as blisters or muscle pain.
Get the right gear
Be sure to wear comfortable footwear. Choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. Before you buy a new pair, be sure to walk in them in the store.

Also dress in loosefitting, comfortable clothing and in layers if you need to adjust to changing temperature. If you walk outside, choose clothes appropriate for the weather. Avoid rubberized materials, as they don't allow perspiration to evaporate. Wear bright colors or reflective tape after dark so that motorists can see you.
Use proper technique
Walking is a great exercise because it's so simple to do. But using the correct posture and movements is essential.

Warm up
Spend about five minutes walking slowly to warm up your muscles. You can walk in place if you want. Increase your pace until you feel warm.

After warming up, stretch your muscles before walking. Include the calf stretch, quadriceps stretch, hamstring stretch and side (iliotibial) stretch.

Cool down after each walking session
To reduce stress on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by walking slowly for about five minutes. Then, repeat your stretches.

So make it a goal today to do some walking.  It's easy...and it's FREE!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Two weeks ago while visiting Hilton Head Island, SC I started watching Cupcake Wars on television.  I really got into it and thought I might could get into cupcakes.  I've never been into baking and last Christmas made the decision to never bake at Christmas time again.  I'm famous for buying everything I need to bake...all the ingredients and so forth but then when it comes time to actually make whatever...I never do.  I get lazy and claim being too tired.  So after spending money on ingredients that I never used I decided to quit doing this year after year.  But after watching the cupcake wars I thought maybe I might enjoy making these instead of all the fancey cakes and desserts.  I mean how hard it is to mess up a cupcake?  I figured it would be easier to make small cakes then trying to make this perfect cake that isn't leaning or whopsided.  So in the last week or so I have bought two cupcake cookbooks, cute cupcake holders, decorator tips, and tons of ingredients.  

So today I decided to try my hand at cupcake baking! My first recipe was a chocolate/peanut butter recipe.  It was all made from scratch and so was the peanut butter icing.  I didn't taste them because I can't tolerate too much sugar or cakes.  I had hubby and son to try them and they said they were delicious.  Then I made a batch of a basic butter recipe then I used a can milk chocolate icing along with some colored sprinkles.  My sister in law Kim came over to do a taste test and loved them both.  So.....tomorrow I take what I've made to work to see what my co-workers have to say about them.  

My next kind of cupcake is going to be a key lime cupcake....with a key lime filling.  Yum....maybe I can figure out how to make margarita cupcakes....  :)
While taking my nightly walk last night I started thinking about all the houses and the people that live in them in my neighborhood.  It use to be that you knew your next door neighbors, the people who lived across the street and the people who lived down the street and up the street.  You would even know the people that lived two streets over.  But in this day and time we do good if we know our next door neighbors.

I was walking several streets over from my street and I started thinking.  Who are these people?  What are their names?  Do they need neighborly support?  It's sad that we have all become so hermit like.  We go to work, go to the store, go to school, and live next to people that we do not even know their names.  It's sad that so many neighborhoods have been come so stand offish.  In addition to not be so friendly I think it's a lack of security as well.  Not that your neighbors need to be all up in your business and you in theirs but we do need to be aware of what is going on in our neighborhoods. 

Make it a goal to meet someone in your neighborhood that you don't know! It's so much easier to be friendly than not! Here's to a more friendly neighborhood!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Today I went to a baby shower that was at 10:30am.  I really liked going to a baby shower that early.  It made me get up  and get dressed and then I still had most of my day left to do what I wanted to or needed to do.  Hubby and I ended up heading over to Old Navy to get me some $2 tank tops.  I needed some because its only 100 degrees around here...and I need them to wear when I go walking.  They were picked over but I did get several of them and a few of some others that were a few dollars more.  I also bought two pairs of shorts to workout in.  They were a little tight but a size up would have been too big.  So I was happy with my purchases. 

Then we walked next door to Michaels and I bought some more cupcake holders and some tips to decorate the cupcakes with too.  I'm really into this cupcake making and I have yet to make the first cupcake.  Maybe tonight I will have enough energy to make some.  Of course I wont' be able to eat them but someone else can enjoy them. 

Now I'm to Lowe's to pick out some new handles for my cabinet in our bathroom since I painted it black.  It's going to be an offwhite/black bathroom.  It's not my choice for now...but it will do until I redo the whole thing in the fall. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Since losing my 70lbs....I have had to buy an entire new wardrobe.  At first it was hard to find clothes and I was limited as to what I could wear.  My big clothes were quickly becoming too big but it was crazy to even try to buy anything because you wouldn't wear it long at all.  I can remember I bought a pair of black slacks to wear to work but they were too long.  I lost more weight before I could even get them hemmed.  That was a bummer! Then I got to wear I stayed at certain sized for about a month and a half...then I would move on.  Now I've been in the same size for about two months but I can tell that those clothes are starting to become a little big on me.  It's a great problem to have but it has cost me a fortune. 

The place where I have found the majority of my clothes is on EBAY.  I have found some really nice clothes...New With Tags for dirt cheap...and nice name brand clothes at that.  For about a month I had several packages coming to my house daily.  It was fun!

I have a friend that sells some great lines on EBAY....like Chicos, White House Black Market, and Loft. You can find her under sellers as:  nanancy123

Check her out.....

I'm a big fan of EBAY....it saves you money, time, and really it's safer....than being out there in this crazy world we live in. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Today I got a haircut.  I didn't really want to cut my hair but because of my weight loss surgery I am losing some of hair.  It is getting thin but I did have very thick hair so I could afford to lose some.  Anyway...I went to my hairdresser and we talked about 30 minutes about what kind of cut I was going to get and what all I could do to make my hair healthier.  Finally after going back and forth I decided on  a more layered look than just chopping it off.  I bought some hair products to help with the breakage and to make it look fuller.  I can still pull it back in a pony tail but I have a much better look when wearing it down than I did.  I was really scared I was going to have to resort to a wig......

NOW.....will I be able to fix my hair in the morning????

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Yesterday I met a woman that absolutely broke my heart.  But at the same time I was amazed at her courage and her faith. She was an retired older black woman who was dressed nicely but casually.  She came in with an issue with her account that I had to get our back office to do some research as to why a transfer had happened.  While we were waiting for a call back I sat there and talked to Ms. P. 

This woman had buried a husband of 52 years in 2008.  She lost him to cancer.  Two years later she buried her only daughter (who had 7 children of her own).  She too died of cancer.  Last September (2010) she buried her 25 year old grandson.  He had a recording studio and was gunned down as he and two other guys were leaving.  This family sang gospel.  They never caught the shooter/killer.  But they believe he was mistaken for someone else.  Then just (3) weeks ago she buried a son.  He was working construction in St Louis and fell off the house they were building and died. 

As I sat that and listened to all of this horrible stuff I was also amazed at the courage and strength this woman had.  She never shed a tear but told me about her family with the biggest smile. I kept thinking to myself how is this woman even getting out of bed every day?  Then I answered it.  The only way she is able to function and move on with her life is through the grace of God.  Only God can pull us through such horrible events in our lives.  I can't imagine NOT having HIM in my life. 

She reminded me that we have to thank God for not just what he is going to do for us but what he has done for us.  She kept saying that she thanked God everyday for giving her Mr. P and her children for as long as He did.  She told me that she was going back to work at her little part time job.  She stated she really didn't need to work but did it because she enjoyed being out and about.  She couldn't stand staying at home and doing nothing. 

I loved her attitude and her very strong faith.  I can't imagine burying one of my children much less two.  When she got up to leave my office she told me that she was holding me up but she enjoyed talking to me.  I believe she needed to talk about her family and I needed to hear her story.  Her faith gave me hope that I can handle anything with God's help.  Thank you Ms. P for sharing your story.

Then as an added note:  Today I found out that an elderly couple that we have been really working with and their daughter both died yesterday.  The man died first and then 15 minutes later, the Mrs. died.  They were both in bad health but she still had a good memory and mind.  He did not.  I believe when they told her he died ...she couldn't handle it and died.  They were in their late 80's. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I love this time of the year! Spring reminds me of everything being fresh and new.  The new leaves coming out on the dead looking dreary trees along with the beautiful flowers that pop up after being dormant underground for the winter-all welcoming signs of springtime.  Along with the beauty of spring is a time to get ready for our own so call beauty.  I call it "unleashing of the flesh"...a phrase I got from my good London friend, Vicki Day.  It's a time when so many people ALLOW their flesh....toned or  not toned to be unleashed on the rest of us. This unleashing has prompted me to become sort of a "fashion police" on our summer attire.  We all have our imperfections but some of us don't quite see them.  If you weigh 300 lbs you probably do not want to wear boy shorts and a tank top during the summer.  It just doesn't look the same as if Angelina wore the boy shorts with a tank top.  Get my drift?  I use to say that I had the disease opposite of anorexia.  When I would look into the mirror I would think I was skinny but I was really very fat.  I have determined over the years that  a lot of people suffer from this very same disease.  They desperately need help and might even need to attend some support groups if any exist.
I've been reading Dave Ramsey's book, The Total Money Makeover and so far I like what I've read.  As Dave put it in the book, we all have to look into the mirror and realize that WE are the ones responsible for the shape we are in...whether literally or financially.  Until we get out of the denial stages that we are what we eat...things will never change.  If you keep doing what you're doing you are going to keep getting what you're getting.  Do you like what you are getting?  Do you like the way you look?  Do you like the way you feel?  Is your health where it needs to be?  Those are the questions that I asked myself last year when I was contemplating the gastric bypass.  I finally realized that I was getting no where with trying to lose weight on my own and I felt that I didn't have another year to try to lose it before something major came back to bite me in the butt.  So I made the decision last March and I am so glad I went through with the surgery.  I feel better than I have in years.  I know I have added years to my life.  I am no longer on any medications except for my daily vitamins of a multi, calcium, and B-12.  How awesome are those beans?  I have more energy than ever and the one thing that I absolutely love being able to do now is cross my legs.  It's really not a good thing for your veins and legs but I do love to do it. 

So now with springtime here and summer is fast approaching I am working on exercising and toning up that flesh that I might be forced to unleash.  I would hate to make people sick so I'm going to work on it. 

As of this morning I have lost 59.6 lbs.  My goal is to lose 40 more and then I will be satisfied. 
I really don't care what I weigh so to speak but I do care that I'm healthy and that I feel better. 

So here's to UNLEASHING OF THE FLESH.....  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The past month has been very eventful.  It started off about 3 1/2 weeks ago with a kidney stone waking me up out of a deep sleep at 4am in the morning.  I had no idea at the time it was a kidney stone and was in extreme pain.  Since I had the gastric bypass surgery my sister (who lives across the street) decided against driving me to the hospital and called an ambulance. 

I had never been in that kind of pain before except maybe when I broke my left arm really bad.  Anyway...it was awful and I was begging for relief.  After having a CT scan at the emergency room it was determined I had a 2mm kidney stone that was only half way to my bladder.  I got two pain shots at the emergency room and then they sent me home with 7 prescriptions.  Almost two weeks after the emergency room visit the kidney stone decided to move again which caused me great pain and literally put me in the bed for the weekend.  After the weekend was over the pain subsides and I go on with my days.  Then this past Wednesday I get a phone call from the a nurse out of the radiology department.  She states that when the radiologist was looking over my CT scan that he saw something suspicious on my pancreas.  As you can imagine this news turned my world upside down.  I get an appt the same day with my primary care doctor and they get it set up for me to have another CT scan but with contract (the dye).
I get the contrasting CT scan the next day and on Friday I hear from doctor that everything is okay with my pancreas...THANK GOD....but my liver enzymes are slightly elevated by it could be because of the surgery.  Also my beloved kidney stone has now made it's way to my bladder.  So hopefully I will be passing it very soon.

As far as the gastric bypass surgery is concerned I'm doing great!! I've lost 52 lbs. so far and trying to walk at least twice a day.  I basically eat to live not live to eat.  I'm never hungry and only eat because I have to eat.  I still crave chocolate but I don't eat much because one I don't want my much and two too much will make me feel bad. 

That's been the last month....