Bucket List · Carmen · family · goal · Goals · Uncategorized

Bucket List-Algebra

I can now say that I have conquered Algebra!  I received my final grade of “C”.  I will take it.  I so struggled with this.

I knew the material, just really struggled with the tests.  Overall, I did well.  I am so thankful it is done.  The anxiety with the tests was really overwhelming.  I tried my oils, medicine, and breathing techniques.  I still found myself staring at my test with – uhm – what is this? I LOVED this from Carmen.  My family has been incredibly supportive.

I have made it a goal to take six courses (two classes per semester) in 2018 beginning with Statistics (math again), and Nutrition.  I am not looking forward to the Statistics course, but I am the Nutrition course.  I think if I can get through this next math, I will be okay in school.  I know that I will struggle, but just looking forward to learning and growing.

So onward, right?  Happy to have a break for a couple of weeks.



Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · college · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Finals Week

I have one year of school left before I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, and finals week always stresses me out. It stresses all students out. I’m borderline between grades in most of my classes, and there is never enough time in a day to get everything done. Add studying and homework on top of working at an online retail company (where people call and get really mean). Ugh.

But with some coffee, and maybe some yoga if I can squeeze it in, I can get through it. Just a few exams stand between me and a break. That, and some of these classes I’ll never have to take again (as long as I pass – I should, but still).

Good luck to anyone else going through finals. We can do it.

Carmen · family · time · Time Flies · Uncategorized

Baby Girl

Baby girl came home last night.  So excited to have her home for the holiday.  Missing this little one, but grateful I have the friend in the woman she has become.

Beginnings Continued...

Hoping to get some things decorated for Christmas while she is here.  Not sure if we will get anything else accomplished -hopeful for some homework?  Nah…but just being able to spend some time with her will be wonderful.


Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · Craft · Knitting · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Knitting

I love hobbies that keep me busy. Kayaking, dancing, Nancy Drew (keeps my hands busy so it counts). This past summer, I helped out with a knitting class as part of the Kids on Campus summer youth program at Northwest Florida State College. I finally learned the basics of knitting!

I remember watching my family friends knit in awe, moving one thread around and making something bigger, like a scarf. After I learned the basics, I made a beanie. Once that was done, my ambitious self went to Michael’s, saw this magical soft grey yarn and the blanket pattern with it, and thought “next project”. It took me at least three times to count the 150 stitches to cast the darn thing, and I had to Google how to count rows because the pattern makes boxes within the blanket of 20 rows (I didn’t count correctly and my box looked like a scarf within a blanket). But now, I bought more yarn, and this blanket intended for a baby will probably be finished when the kid is three, but it’s keeping my hands occupied when I’m bored.

After this project, I might go back to something simple. Probably not. So if anyone wants a blanket, let me know.

If you ever wanted to knit or crochet but were too intimidated, just know – if a seven year old can figure out how to do it, so can you. Just remember to breathe, and don’t panic. Everything can be fixed.

Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Joys of Adulthood

The internet hates adulthood (or “adulting”). It means that we are leaving our beloved childhood behind for responsibilities like our own laundry, paying our own bills, and cooking food that doesn’t have the word “instant” on the packaging. But, there are a few things about being an adult that I’ve picked up on so far that are actually kind of awesome.

My family and I have always been close, but we’ve gotten so much closer since we’re all adults now. It would take an act of God to get my brother to answer his phone when I called when he was in high school. Now, he calls me, and we have typically 15 minute conversations. Most of it is about nothing in particular, some of it is general ranting and unsolicited advice-giving. I call my parents (mostly Mom, every day if not more) regularly, and when I ask for their advice, I try to take it instead of rolling my eyes and sighing like I did as a teenager. I’ll admit, they’re right 99% of the time. We can all have actual conversations with each other and enjoy our time together. It’s pretty cool.

Another hidden benefit of “adulting” is seeing the good consequences from your actions. Instead of going out to eat/drink every other day, you spend that money getting groceries to prep meals for the next few days. It takes more time, but my bank account likes it, which makes me happy. Instead of stuffing my face with butterfingers and various forms of Mexican food when I’m stressed, I take a walk outside or do some yoga in my room (exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy – Elle Woods, Legally Blonde).

These things can be done before you become an adult, but from what I’ve noticed in the relatively short time I’ve experienced adulthood, you truly come to appreciate the little things more. The sunny day on my day off? I’m going to the beach because I can do that. I’m excited about something at school or work? I’m going to tell everyone I care about because that rarely happens! I have enough money in my bank account after paying rent and other bills? I can go to that concert with that band I’ve always wanted to see!

Enjoy the good moments, breathe more, stay positive.


Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · kids · Random Thoughts · Uncategorized

Carmen’s Thoughts – Decisions

Life was so much easier when people made my decisions for me. Except nowadays when people try to tell me what to do, I get upset and don’t want to do what they tell me to do. Is this adulthood?

I have always been a people-pleaser. When I was a kid, I was a teacher’s pet every year, so my grades were amazing (and I rarely stayed in trouble, which was a huge plus). But even then, I spent more time trying to get everyone around me to like me, instead of figuring out who I was. Being told that you’re not good enough for someone is terrible, and assuming it because of how they treat you is almost worse.

Now that I’m an adult (kind of), I still try to get people to like me (because I’m awesome and everyone should like me), but I also try not to get fixated on if someone approves of me or not. It’s upsetting and disappointing, but I’m getting too old to waste my time being around people that I don’t actually want to be around me, or vice versa. Same thing with social activities. I’m going out a lot less than I was because I started to see my grades decline and my scale incline, when I’ve wanted it to be the other way around.

I’ve NEVER been the decisive kind of person (Mom will agree to that), but it is something I’m working on. I need to take charge of my life, and part of that is saying “no” to things that I really don’t want to do. It’s not easy, but decisions rarely are. Dad would tell me, “A bad decision is better than not making a decision at all”. I’d rather make a good decision, but taking action in general is better than watching your life go by and going with the flow because you’re too afraid to decide for yourself.

Take action. Unless it is harmful to you or others.

Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Carmen · Carmen's Thoughts · Guest · lupus · Uncategorized · WLS

Carmen’s Thoughts

Hey, y’all! It’s Carmen again. As most of you know, my mom has Lupus and had gastric sleeve surgery to aid with symptoms. I wanted to take a minute to talk about how this surgery from last year impacted me.

Before my mom had the sleeve surgery, Lupus kicked her butt. She had “down days” where she felt so fatigued and pained that she could barely move in her chair in the living room. She had to turn down outings with friends and family because her Lupus made her feel so tired (the “Spoon” theory is so great at explaining it).

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2016. It had been just a few months since Mom had the surgery, and I couldn’t keep up with her when we were Black Friday shopping. She had so much energy, and I didn’t know what to do! It was like she was an entirely new person.

This summer, we went to Disney World – Mom’s first time to Disney since the weight loss surgery. When she was first diagnosed with Lupus, walking around the parks took a toll, and we rented a scooter to help Mom get around. This time, I wanted the scooter. Sure, there were moments that we both wanted to sit on a bench in the air conditioning, but it was so amazing to see her so full of life and enjoyment.

Since Mom has all this new energy, I feel inspired (or obligated) to get in shape myself so I can keep up with her. My excuse that I’m a typical tired college student can’t work this time, because Mom is also going back to school while working full time at the college (it’s awesome that we call each other and complain about classes – FINALLY she understands). 🙂

It has been an adjustment, but it’s definitely one for the better. I’m so thankful that Mom would have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) as much now. She still has a down day or two, but instead of Lupus kicking her butt, she’s showing it who’s the real boss.

Bible verse · Carmen · family · Random Thoughts · Stephen · Sunday · thoughts · Uncategorized

Sunday Thought

Ecclesiastes 3:6 continued.

“…a time to keep and a time to throw away”

A lot has been going on this weekend.  We moved Carmen back to LSU on Friday, and Stephen began to move back home yesterday and today.

Carmen’s move, this time, has been more permanent.  We took more time going through “keepsakes” and disposing of items (donating some) that were no longer loved.  It was hard for her to let go.  It meant letting go of parts of her childhood.  Items that just couldn’t be parted with are in stored in the attic.

Her room was to be more of a guest room (she didn’t take her furniture or a lot of her books etc).  That was the primary reason of really not leaving everything in her room.  More of guest feel, but the ability to come home at any time and have a place to stay.  She is getting settled at LSU, and ready to conquer this school year.

But, now Stephen will be occupying her room on a temporary basis.  The majority of his stuff will be housed in the garage.  I don’t like the idea of not parking in the garage (very selfish I know).  Although, he was not thriving on his own with the people he was living with, he realized it before it got to be too much.

He is letting go of some bad relationships and behaviors.  Not allowing people that he thought of as friends continue to hurt him.  His move is harder.  It’s far more emotional than just some stuff being donated.  He has been hurt, and needs to feel secure in this decision.  My concern is not just some stuff in the garage, but his need to be back on a healthy track for his life.

Adjustments and changes.

Letting go.  Asking for continued prayers and good thoughts please.


blessings · Carmen · family · friends · Holiday · Random Thoughts · thoughts · Uncategorized

Happy August

Today is National Girlfriend Day.  I love these women. 

I love that Carmen and I are more friends now as she has gotten older. 

So very grateful for all of them in my life. 


Auburn · beginnings · blessings · Carmen · children · kids · Random Thoughts

Beginnings Continued…

I say in the title continued, mainly because I am tired of all of the endings.

I was on vacation last week (my staycation), and accomplished a lot , but not near what I wanted to.  But it is back to the daily grind with a little change.

My biggest accomplishment, I believe, are my children.  Carmen left today for Camp War Eagle (Freshman orientation), at Auburn. It is the beginning of her being away from home. It is the beginning of just Stephen and I as far as school is concerned.

But a wonderful new beginning for her.  She is truly excited, and for me it is bittersweet.  I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished.  Sad because she starts a new chapter in her life, full of adventure and without us.  Truly the beginnings of adulthood.

Carmen at 2 (daycare picture), and one of my favorite photographs of her.  Carmen’s smile is contagious. And, isn’t just like parents to remember them young and sweet.  One of my favorite commercials is a little 3 or 4 year old getting ready to back out of her driveway, and her Dad sees her like that.  But in reality, she is a grown woman. And the Dad just watches her go.

I believe her smile still is contagious.  She is going to have a great time at Auburn.  I also believe that we have raised her with a sweet spirit of fellowship and love.  I pray that God places in her path godly friends that are strong in their convictions.

He has blessed us with such a precious gift.  I love the woman she has become, and look forward to hearing of her beginnings.

Have a wonderful week.

Jerry Ann