Ten (Reasonable) Resolutions For 2014

Every year people make resolutions for themselves. Many seem to fail because they either aim too high, or give up the moment they deviate from those planned resolutions. So, this year, I am trying to set some realistic resolutions for myself. I am finally at the point where I’m happy with myself, so I don’t want to change, just make improvements.

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1. I will try to cut myself some slack. As I said last year, I’m my own worst critic. Working on changing that is something I still need to work on.

2. I will do my best to cherish the little moments in parenting. Sometimes it’s easier than I like to admit to get caught up in life, and when your child hits a stage you’re not particularly fond of it’s easy to unintentionally focus on the negative. My boy starts middle school next year, and it feels like time is slipping through my fingers. I will enjoy every bit of it that I can before he hits that “too cool for Mom” stage.

3. I will remember that even on those “bad” days, my boy is still a sweet child with a big heart, who is far better than just about any other kid I know.

4. I will try not to compare myself to others and their accomplishments. I have one degree, and I’m working on my second. I may not be reaching that goal as quickly as some others, but I’m working towards it. Regardless of anyone’s judgments, I will do things at my own pace. There is no set rule as to what age you need your degree by, or how long it has to take you to get it.

5. I have worked hard to accomplish what I have accomplished, and I will not let anyone make me feel otherwise. 

6. I will try to stop beating myself up over my weight. I had foot surgery. I have hypothyroidism. My goals CAN be reached, but they won’t happen over night. So I will keep reminding myself not to get discouraged, not to give up, and to keep trying.

7. I will try to make more of an effort to get in shape. It may be a slow process, but some progress is better than no progress.

8. I will try new things! I want to try new foods, try new hobbies, try new books that I would normally never reach for… I just want to experience new things.

9. Again, let go. It’s disappointing when someone you felt was a friend changed somewhere along the way. But, such is life. You have to let go and move on. That’s exactly what I’m working towards, and I’m happy to say it’s not as difficult as it may have been in the past.

10. I will try to slow down. It’s easy to get caught up in all that needs to be done. I have a tendency to just keep going, and going, and going.. until I run myself into the ground. So, I will remind myself that at the end of the day, it’s okay if there’s still a load of laundry to do, or still a few more dishes. It’s not the end of the world. It will get taken care of.

I personally think these are some pretty attainable goals. The key is to try, rather than give up the moment you slip on any of your resolutions. We’ll see how well it works out! How about you? What are your resolutions?

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14 Free Holiday Fonts!

I’m finally back to being able to blog again (now that finals are over, yay!) and I’ve had the itch to be festive! I have some Christmas crafts lined up to blog about, but first I thought I’d share some of my favorite holiday fonts with you all. I’ve been a font addict for quite some time now, and these are just a handful of my favorite holiday fonts. These are the perfect touch for holiday crafts, printables, and whatever else you can think of!

xmas fonts

1. Champagne & Limousines

2. DH Snowflakes

3. Christmas Card

4. Cocktail Bubbly

5. Kingthings Christmas

6. Christmas/Flakes

7. Christmas Tree

8. Candy Cane

9. Kringley Christmas

10. Christmas Snow

11. Christmas Eve

12. KG Christmas Trees

13. Christmas Ligtness (yes, this name is not spelled correctly – I double and triple checked)

14. Hultog Snowdrift

Enjoy!!

xmassig

Morton’s Neuroma: The First Two Months Post-Surgery

DISCLAIMER: I am writing this so that others who are, have been, or will be in this situation have some insight into what it may be like like. Everyone’s experience is different, this is just mine. I am not a doctor. I’m simply going with what my doctor has told me and my own personal preferences. I try not to get too graphic, but some of this subject matter may still be quite unpleasant to some people. Please consider yourself warned.

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I’ve been eager to give you all this update, as I think it’s a pretty important one.

Last week was my two month mark since my surgery. I can’t tell you that it’s been easy, but I will tell you that at least for me, it has been so worth it.

At my one month mark I was still struggling quite a bit, and keeping my foot bandaged. My podiatrist checked the incision, said it looked great, and told me I could go back to wearing regular shoes. Considering I was still in a good bit of discomfort, you can only imagine the look I gave him in response. Not going to happen buddy. He may have felt I was ready, but I certainly didn’t. I thought about it quite a bit, but the idea of putting on my regular shoes didn’t feel right just yet. So, I went with my gut, and I’m glad that I did. I gave it a little more time being wrapped up and in the surgical boot.

Just a few days after that appointment I felt some unusual tenderness in my foot, and when I went to check on it, had an instant moment of panic. The incision was coming open. Or so I thought. Yes, definitely cue the panic. I called the doc immediately, and the girl that answered the phone went to ask him about it. Amazingly, she said it was normal. The doc said it doesn’t always happen, but it can. As long as it’s just the skin pulling away and there’s no sign of infection, it’s alright. He told me to keep a close eye on it. So of course, I did. The top few layers of skin continued to pull away, which despite being normal, still made me pretty nervous. It felt tender in a new way that I wasn’t used to (to the extent that all you had to do was run your finger over it). It wasn’t necessarily a painful feeling, but it wasn’t a nice one either. As the skin pulled further away, I was surprised to see that the actual incision was hardly even visible! It turns out, my doc really did a fantastic job. There’s no scary looking scarring at all, just the new layers of pink skin where the older layers have pulled away. The tenderness is slowly subsiding.

I have continued to keep an eye on the incision and the skin around it, but so far, so good! I mustered up the courage to put on my regular shoes again. It was pretty uncomfortable the first few times, but I’ve adjusted. I no longer have to keep my foot bandaged, and, amazingly, I can even walk barefoot! (Though, I try to restrict that to carpet to be on the safe side). Don’t get me wrong, if I overdo it (like heading to Home Depot, Target, and Walmart all in one trip) then yeah, I definitely end up in pain and regretting it. My doc said that is normal too, as well as the tenderness I still feel. It may even be another two months before that goes away. Honestly though? I can live with that. I’m able to get up and clean now, and walk down the road to check the mail, I can even drive by myself! Sure, I feel the tenderness when I do all these things, and I have to take more breaks than I used to have to take. To tell you the truth though, even my worst day of “discomfort” is nowhere near the kind of agony I was in before the surgery.

I know I made the right decision for me. I’m glad I did it.

xmassig

Morton’s Neuroma: Surgery and Starting Recovery

DISCLAIMER: I am writing this so that others who are, have been, or will be in this situation have some insight into what it may be like like. Everyone’s experience is different, this is just mine. I am not a doctor. I’m simply going with what my doctor has told me and my own personal preferences. I try not to get too graphic, but some of this subject matter may still be quite unpleasant to some people. Please consider yourself warned. This is a lengthy post!!

Crutches

I have to admit, I’ve been feeling the urge to blog frequently, but my energy levels have just been totally depleted as of late. Maybe it’s the healing process, maybe it’s the awful heat, or maybe my body is just trying to catch up on all the rest I’ve missed for I don’t know how many months. I’ve been more active on Twitter than I have on here because, let’s face it, it’s easier to scroll through Twitter with your phone in your hand and one eye open than it is to type out a blog entry from your phone. On top of that, WordPress for Android and I, we haven’t been getting along so well.

This has been an interesting couple of weeks!

August 7th was the date that was settled on for my surgery, and I was one big giant mess to put it nicely. The closer the surgery date got, the more frantic I was. I was trying to clean like a madwoman, make sure all sorts of things were taken care of, and changing my nail polish on an almost daily basis. Yes, I’m weird. I do that when I’m stressed.

I ended up having to fast the night before which did not make for a very happy girl. Seriously, if you deprive me of my coffee or my tea, things have the potential to get ugly. But somehow, I managed with everyone around me remaining unscathed. I was scheduled to go in at 6 a.m. to prepare for surgery at 8 a.m. I was told to go in in comfortable clothes, with no nail polish, makeup, lotion or jewelry. I understand all of these requirements entirely, but talk about a blow to my girlishness, yeesh! I was the first patient to arrive at the building, and it didn’t take long before they were leading me back to change and get an IV started. The IV process, I’ll tell you, was not pleasant. The first attempt by the nurse to place the IV was on the top of my left wrist. It just didn’t go well at all, (lots of bleeding) so she moved the IV placement to the top of my left hand. Again, it wasn’t very comfortable, but it seemed to work at least initially. After some time though, they started to administer medication through the IV and that’s when we ran into trouble. I noticed a very strong burning sensation on my left forearm and looked down to find that it appeared to be swelling. Well, it wasn’t so much swelling, as  medication was leaking into the tissue. Not fun folks, not fun at all. They finally switched the IV to my right hand, and all was well with that.

By this point I was pretty nervous, and the nurses could tell. I’m truly thankful that they were so sweet and patient with me. I waited for a little while, but it wasn’t too long before the anesthesiologist came in to speak with me before the procedure. She was very helpful, answered all my questions, and explained how everything was going to work. She determined that they were going to do a nerve block for me, and would only resort to something like general anesthesia if absolutely necessary. She preferred not to do that, and felt I would be just fine. (Thankfully, she was right, so no general anesthesia was necessary.) The nurse filled in the anesthesiologist on the IV incident, so the anesthesiologist decided to go ahead and give me my versed before I was wheeled in for surgery. She told me not to be nervous, and that “this will make you feel like you’ve had three margaritas” which of course, wasn’t a bad idea to me at the time! After a few moments I mentioned to her that I could feel a slight burn around the IV site. She said that’s the versed, and the burning will pass. The same moment she said that I suddenly started to feel pretty good. I remember saying “Woah. WOAH.” grinning, and that was it folks. That was it.

I seriously don’t remember a single thing from that moment on, until my mother came to get me in recovery.

Versed does not just cause sedation, but it causes a period of amnesia, so I still have no memory of the surgery or parts of a few hours afterwards. I know I was very sleepy, and a little uncomfortable, but I wasn’t feeling any pain. All I remember is immediately wanting coffee which was luckily already on the agenda for my mother (even though when we pulled up to the Starbucks drive-through, I was in the passenger seat snoring. Apparently it gave the server quite a giggle.)

I was not really in pain initially when I got home. My mom immediately helped me get into bed and we got my foot elevated. The majority of my foot was still numb from the nerve block (which actually lasted a few days). I had been prescribed ibuprofen and some hefty pain medication. Though the instructions said “take every 4 to 6 hours for pain as needed” I did not take it consistently. If I started having quite a bit of pain, I would take it, but it would knock me out or make me incredibly loopy so I didn’t like that too much. (Note: Always determine the medication routine that is best for you with your doctor. I’m not saying to do what I did, as I only did what worked best for me and my stubborn streak.) There are times when I probably should have taken it, but didn’t, because I didn’t want to sleep during the day. I wouldn’t suggest following in my footsteps.

It did not take long for me to start experiencing some serious discomfort and swelling though. I have the benefit of having an Ergo bed, which made adjusting my position incredibly easy without needing someone to grab some pillows to stack under my feet. For the first several days if I even kept my foot below my heart for any period of time, it would start to swell back up. One day it even had me a bit scared, because the entire foot was hot to the touch, painful, and felt hard as a rock. I could hardly even move my toes. Constant elevation and an ice pack were what finally brought it back to normal. Strangely enough though, a few days later it was just the opposite. It became incredibly painful, and frigid, as if I had stuck my foot in the freezer for a few minutes. Even after wrapping it in multiple extra blankets, it took a good bit of time for the temperature to return to normal. The most surprising part of both instances were that I had done nothing differently. I was in bed, relaxing, the temperature in the room was nice, and I otherwise felt fine.

During the first week and a half especially, I had to use an ice pack frequently. They did send one home with me from the hospital that I could strap to my foot, but be careful with those, as mine started to deteriorate after the first couple of days, and you really need to keep the dressing on your foot dry. (Tip: To keep your dressing dry when using an ALWAYS wrapped ice pack, place the ice pack under your knee so that it cools the blood flow to your foot without potentially getting your dressing wet. This made a world of difference for me and was much easier than trying to balance the pack on my foot. – Do NOT use an uncovered ice pack by itself!) I experienced a burning sensation at the incision site, some random painful spasms now and then, and throbbing off and on. I can’t tell you whether you will experience these things or not because, again, everyone is different. Though my doctor told me this was all normal, if you do experience something that feels strange, it is really better to call your doctor and be sure. I was not allowed to remove the dressing the first week I was home. After that I went in to the doctor and he changed my dressings and checked on the incision. After that, I was allowed to (gently) wash the incision, and to redress it myself.

Now if I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now. I am not a graceful person. At all. I can trip on flat surfaces with nothing around, and if there is something that can be run into, some part of my body will likely discover it by accident. That being said, being on crutches just makes me one big (sort of) walking disaster waiting to happen. I have lost my balance a few times and landed on my healing foot. The first time, I caused it to start bleeding again. Thankfully after about the first four or five times I landed on it (I told you I’m not graceful!), I managed to start getting the hang of walking on crutches. Sort of. Mostly. I think. (Note: If you will need crutches, and purchase them ahead of time, I would suggest practicing with them if you’ve never used them before!) I definitely, definitely should have practiced first.

I’m now just past the two week mark from my surgery date, and things are certainly better. I still have pain, and some days it’s enough that I need to take the heavy duty pain medication, but those days are less and less now. However.. I have not made as much progress as I was hoping to have made by this point. Despite the podiatrist saying the entire healing process would likely take two months, I for some reason had it in my head that maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t be that long. I had planned on being back up and moving around frequently, cooking, cleaning and tending to my usual mom/wife activities. Well, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I have a pretty dark and ugly bruise on the top of my foot, presumably from the trauma of the surgery. Though the enormous green and yellow bruises from my IV spots are finally fading. I have always been a slow healer, so you would think I would have taken that into account.

Eh… not so much. I am still stuck in bed quite a bit, or on the couch, or in the recliner. I tried walking on my still healing foot for the first time two days ago. I’m not proud to admit I was tearful through the process. It hurt. It was uncomfortable, but I did it. I’m taking it slow, despite the fact that that drives me nuts to do so. Slow or not, I do see progress, and that’s what’s important. I’m truly grateful that I have my family to be there and help me out. Things would certainly be far worse without them. Despite my frustration at being out of work, I remind myself that everything happens for a reason, and on the upside it does make it a little easier to focus on recovering. Luckily my incision is healing up nicely, albeit slow, and it looks far better than I thought it would. You know, minus the pen marks the doc left there from surgery time. ;)

The best advice I can give is let yourself heal. Call your doctor if you have a question. That’s what they’re there for. If you need help, ask for it. Your health is important. I hope this was at least a little helpful to those of you dealing with this same thing. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment or send me an email!

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Links to my other posts regarding my Morton’s Neuroma experience:

The Back Story

When It Rains It Pours

Beauty Geek: Ipsy July Review

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts, you’ll probably understand why this review is a bit delayed! But hey, better late than never, right? (And not as late as I’ve been before!) ;)

The bag this month is cute. The Ipsy logo being stuck on the outside of it detracts from it a little, but it’s cute nonetheless. Bright pink? That’s usually an automatic win for me. :)

JulyReview

{Sorry for the not so great picture!}

BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow Trio California Collection – Full size palettes retail for $17.95 but are often on sale at bhcosmetics.com

I’m already a fan of BH cosmetics and have been for a while. I have two of their palettes so I definitely wasn’t disappointed in getting this mini palette. In this palette is “Hollywood” which is a very rich purple shade, “San Francisco” which is a warm brown shimmery shade that I just love, and “Malibu” which is a gorgeous bright shimmery gold. Much like the other BH Cosmetics shadows I have, the pigmentation on me is relatively strong. Not too strong, but just about the right strength. It’s buildable, easily blended, and can also be applied lightly if need be. I’d say this little palette is a win!

Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Fuchsia Flirt – 6 piece crayon kit retails for $25 at popbeauty.co.uk

I have a similar lip crayon from Victoria’s Secret that I just love, so I was excited to see this peeking out of my bag! I almost immediately went to try it on and… woah. This is not in the normal pink range that I wear. I am a lip junkie. (I think I’ve mentioned that?) but I have absolutely nothing else that is this shade of pink. This is like Barbie pink y’all. That’s the best way I can think of to describe it. I was really unsure whether I liked it or not, because it’s so different from what I’m used to wearing. But, that’s part of what I love about Ipsy, it makes me try new things that I normally never would. Often times, I love those new things!

This crayon doesn’t last all that long though. It makes me think of a normal wearing lipstick. It’s smooth, not sticky, and well pigmented. However, do not put this on if you have or have recently had dry lips. It will make it stand out like a sore thumb. Exfoliate your lips first, then give it a try. The biggest downfall about this crayon for me was that the lasting power was just not there, and it settles into the tiny lines on your lips really quickly. I will for sure try using this layered with other lip products, and maybe over lip primer, but at this point I wouldn’t repurchase this.

Coola Mineral Sunscreen SPF 20 – Full size retails for $36 at coolasuncare.com

After a recent sunburn, I was really excited to find out I got this in my bag. The moment I put it on though, I changed my mind. It didn’t seem to absorb at all and left my skin feeling really greasy. On top of that, it says it’s “unscented” but I will tell you, it’s not. I do not like the smell. At all. I’m sure this worked out great for other people, but for me this destined for the trash if no one I know would like it.

Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof hair spray – Full size retails for $18.95 at Ulta.com

It’s monsoon season here, which means my thick naturally curly/wavy hair reacts to humidity by going POOF! and resembling a poodle. Amusing, yes. Attractive, no. So this spray was something for me to celebrate over. To my very pleasant surprise, it really helps! I knew I was going to be outside and we had big black rain clouds all around us, but even while wearing my hair down and straightened, my style didn’t poof up at all. I do believe I love this. Love love LOVE! I’ll try it a few more times to be sure, but if it keeps up the same kind of performance, I will dish out the money to repurchase the full size!

Demeter Salt Air Roll on Perfume – Retails for $10 at demeterfragrance.com

I love perfume because quite frankly I’m a little obsessed with things smelling fantastic. (That would be why I also have TONS of candles, that I organize based on season… but that’s for another post.) So despite the fact that I really wanted to get the Benefit Benetint in my bag, I thought this would be great. The verdict? It’s ok. It smells clean, but doesn’t really thrill me. My husband had the same reaction. I might hang on to this, but I’ll likely see if someone else would like it instead. Would this qualify for a repurchase? Not this scent, I don’t think.

This bag wasn’t bad, but I do hope next month’s ends up being better. What did you think of the July bag? Were you happy with the items you received?

(Please read the disclaimer page for information on beauty reviews)

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Morton’s Neuroma: When it rains, it pours

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Well I won’t get to wear any pretty shoes for a while, that’s for sure. :(

It’s official.

My podiatrist took another round of X-rays, and I am definitely going to need to have surgery (cue the internal panic attack). I myself have a bit of a warped sense of humor, so when my podiatrist walked into the room after reviewing my X-rays and announced “The bones in your foot are doing a Spock.” (along with the accompanying hand gesture) I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. That definitely helped to relieve some of my stress. At least temporarily.

You have to be able to find the humor in the situations life throws at you. I for one would not have survived all my experiences if I didn’t have the sometimes off the wall, just a teensy bit twisted sense of humor that I do.

Anyway, the doc also confirmed that my total recovery time would likely be about two months. That of course, caused my panic to resurface. I still can’t wrap my head around two months. I’m unsure whether crutches or a boot will be used. I’ll find that out when I go to my pre-op appointment, which is scheduled for this coming week, and surgery a couple of weeks after that.

To pour salt in the wound, my job (and that of my co-workers) has been halted indefinitely. There’s no telling when or if it will be brought back. So, I’m out of work, and desperately searching for legitimate remote work that I can still do from home. The job market isn’t that great, I’ll tell you.

I’m going to be point blank honest with you all here. I’m stressed out, but more than anything I’m kind of scared. I know, that probably sounds silly to most people, but it’s how I feel. I try not to worry, but sometimes I really just suck at not doing so. I’m nervous about the times I’ll be home alone trying to take care of the animals (the puppy in particular) and the house. I’m nervous about the idea of recovery taking a total of two months. I’m nervous about not finding any new work. I’m just flat out nervous.

When it rains, it really does pour. Despite that, I’m hanging in there. I have my moments where I flip out a little bit, but I’m really ready to get all of this done and over with. I’ll certainly update on this again soon. Cross your fingers for my sanity to stay intact! :)

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Links to my other posts regarding my Morton’s Neuroma experience:

The Back Story

Surgery And Starting Recovery