Our Lost Ones | AprilNoelle.com

Our Lost Ones

2016 ended with a bang ~ and not a good one.

This world lost a host of widely known celebrities that have shaped our lives –

  • Carrie Fisher, a champion for female empowerment
  • George Michael and Prince shaping many memories
  • Big Ang, who brought us some great entertainment on Mob Wives

just to name a few off the top of my head. But so many more recognizable people died as well.

Our Lost Ones | AprilNoelle.comThat doesn’t include the people who passed who touched us personally. Just in the last week, I’ve had a friend lose her brother and my “Big Sis” died.

Lori Anne was a mentor, a confident, a leader. As sad as I am that I’ve lost her, I can’t help but think about how many lives she touched.

She’s the one that introduced me to the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in Orange County, an organization with which I still volunteer today. She was the biggest cheerleader of me becoming a stay at home mom, always making me feel better about my decision when so many people asked me “why I am wasting my law degree”.

More importantly, after posting this on Facebook, the sheer number of people who reached out, not just to comfort me, but because she had touched their lives too.

She showed me how to be strong against adversity and how to be grateful for the life I’ve been given.

I spoke with her just last week, and although there were some issues, she was positive, enlightening and always left me with words of wisdom.

Even in her death, all I can think about is how she was happy until the end, at least that’s what she told to the world and how she sounded on the phone. She told me that she had to put her health in God’s and doctors’ hands and her only responsibility was to live her life the best way she could.

So, to her I say, Rest In Peace “Big Sis”.

To everyone else, are you living your life the best way that you can?

 

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A Day in My Life ~ #AAF with Jenessa {Mothering in Real Life}

A couple of weeks have passed since my last #AskAwayFriday. This school year has been great for my son, but taxing on me. My son is now in school 2-3 days a week from 8:45 to 5:00. He’s in a several clubs after school, so I have the two LOs all day. Having my son around means that I can get a break as he entertains both of the girls. I haven’t had that, since he has chores after school, then dinner, then bedtime. The process for putting my daughters to sleep starts at 9, but often doesn’t end until 10. Quite honestly, after all of that, the last thing I want to do is blog. Feel free to leave me any comments on how to cope with this schedule, it would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and I have an AWESOME giveaway going on… Mommy Needs a Vacay! It’s a free vacation… check out the details HERE!

I have also completed a 30 Day Fitness Devotional. I have not put together an entire post, but if you’d like to review it for me, and give me your honest feedback, from what you get out of it to changes or clarifications, please click HERE and fill out the form.

…on to #AskAwayFriday…

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers! By offering a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Now to welcome our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts… NEWAskAwayFridayHost550

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera, Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter, Christy from Uplifting Families, Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings and Amber from Bold Fit Mom
So…grab the brand, new button, follow our amazing hosts and co-host, hop through the great link ups and make some amazing new friends!

#AAF photo AAFBadge200_zpsb37e620f.png

This week, Jenessa from Mothering {in Real Life} hits me with some hard questions. As a wife and mother of three, she has a lot of experience where I’m just learning. She delves into detail about her children, her marriage and her bouts of depression. She keeps things real. Make sure you check out her responses to my questions.

Jenessa AAF

1) Tell me some random facts about yourself, that you haven’t shared on the blog before. I’m right-handed. I don’t like mushy foods like peas or bananas. I loved school, but hated taking tests, even though I would get an A on most of them. Does three constitute some?

2) What are each of your children’s favorite: movie, tv show, food, book, color, article of clothing. Bad mommy! I have no idea for most of these. I know Bee loves Frozen, Cinderella AND Ariel. Her favorite color is blue. Her favorite article of clothing is the Cinderella dress I bought her from Costco. I know Bunny loves to draw and Minecraft. His favorite color is green. He loves Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton books. Butterfly is too young for any favorites yet.
Cinderella 1
3) What fall season premieres or new shows are you looking forward to? So many! This fall lineup looks awesome! Thursday nights will be dedicated to ABC with Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. I’m looking forward to the Gotham, Black-ish, Forever, Gracepoint, Stalkers, Madam Secretary, The Mindy Project. Seriously, I can go on! I’m a bit of a TV-aholic!
4) What advice would you give to someone starting on a weight loss journey? Take it slow. Find something you know you can conquer. Those small victories will encourage you to keep going. If you’re addicted to soda, but you’re sure you can kick it, do it! You’ll feel great when it you conquer the first thing, then move on to the next! And remember, you didn’t gain the weight over night (at least most of us), don’t expect to take it off overnight. Two pounds per week is reasonable, and that’s likely still faster than you put it on.
5) You have been through some rough times in your life. What is something that helps you get through those hard times? God, my husband and my kids. A church service, a bible study or self-study can really put things into perspective. A hug from my family really can change my mood. A drink or two is helpful too!
6) Name 5 things you love about your husband and 5 quirks he has that drive you crazy. Five? Oh goodness.
LOVE His:
  • Kindness,
  • Willingness to accept me as I am,
  • Willingness to clean if I haven’t,
  • Strength, and
  • Love for his kids.

Drive me crazy, his:

  • Ability to only think about him,
  • One-track mind,
  • Indecisiveness,
  • Lack of desire to change, and
  • Lack of willingness to break the speed limit.
7) I dare you to post a picture of the messiest room in your house – without cleaning it up first! I don’t really have messy rooms. I have messy areas. This is my side of my bedroom. The rest of the room is clean.
wpid-my-side-of-the-bed.jpg.jpeg
8) What are your favorite blog resources or websites? SITS Girls, Blogelina
9) Describe a typical day at your house. Right now, it mainly consists of me trying to figure out how to put down Butterfly long enough to get anything done without screams and fits of tears.
We wake up (all in my bed because my bed seems to be everyone’s favorite spot). I spend about 20 minutes trying to wake up, because I’ve been awake for an hour or two in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. Then I feed the girls breakfast, which Butterfly promptly refuses to eat, and sits in her chair screaming as I try to make Bee the rest of her breakfast. Then I turn on some educational television, of which Butterfly enjoys on my lap and Bee watches while she eats. Then, lately, I’ve been trying a more educational approach all around, so we are learning the calendar, how to write, numbers from 11-20, and sight words. Around 10, I try to put Butterfly down for her nap by nursing her to sleep, just to have Bee wake her up as soon as I put her in her bed. Then, an hour to two of fussing, whining and crying until lunch, which Butterfly WILL eat on her own. Then, I nurse her to sleep for her nap, which she can sleep up to two hours, if Bee doesn’t also wake her up from that nap. I play games with Bee, until Butterfly wakes up. Snack time for both girls, then movie/fun tv time ~ normally Netflix or something on Demand. If I can get Butterfly to play, I’ll start dinner. Otherwise, I wait until I get my son. He comes home, plays the piano, does his chore, then he’ll watch the girls while I start dinner. THANK GOD for no homework!
Hubby comes home around 6:30 or 7, then we eat, he bathes the kids, and then the bedtime ritual begins. Read a book, Butterfly nurses, Bee is patted on the back on my husband’s lap. Butterfly lays down in her bed, and it’s normally about 9-9:30. I’m exhausted, enjoy a glass of wine, watch something on the DVR, go to sleep and start all over again!
10) Tell a funny story from your childhood. If any friends or family read this, feel free to pipe up, because I can’t think of one. My childhood wasn’t fun or funny.
That’s it for this week’s #AskAwayFriday… check out the other posts, and of course, Jenessa’s!
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Working Out is Hard to Do ~ #AAF with Liv {Live from Surprise}

For some weird reason, I think my life is going to get easier and I’ll get more time to do what I need to do. This week, both my girls were sick and I spent the week schlepping them to the doctor and nursing them back to health. We even had two cars this week, only for it to be raining with two sick kids for us not to enjoy it. Alas, I look forward to #AskAwayFriday where I can get to know another blogger, instead of thinking too much about this one. 🙂

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers! By offering a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Now to welcome our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts… NEWAskAwayFridayHost550

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera, Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter, Christy from Uplifting Families, Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings and Amber from Bold Fit Mom
So…grab the brand, new button, follow our amazing hosts and co-host, hop through the great link ups and make some amazing new friends!

#AAF photo AAFBadge200_zpsb37e620f.png

This week, I exchange questions with Liv from Live by Surprise! New to the #AskAwayFriday scene, she’s jumped right in with some great questions. She is a momma of three that has found happiness with her second husband that could not be fulfilled by her first. Her story is one of inspiration, showing us her vulnerabilities of struggling with her ex, and making a great life with her husband, three children and a dog. Introducing Liv!
Live by Surprise 1
1). Do you feel like you’re a niche blogger?  If so, what niche do you fall into and why? I started my blog with a “niche”, weight loss, but as I started doing more blogging, I realized I wasn’t interested in only blogging about weight loss, especially considering 18 months out of the four years I’ve been doing it, I’ve been pregnant. It’s no fun, at least for me, to blog about health and weight loss, when your cravings are sweets, junk and carbs! I love talking about money and making sure women make wise money decisions because historically, we don’t pay that much attention, but when divorce is 50%, you want to be prepared to take on your money portfolio and keep yourself on track! I will be started a new site just for this shortly about women helping women take control of their lives and getting the support they need to succeed!
2). For new readers of your blog (like me) can you explain what the 100 lb Challenge is? Oh, there’s technically no “100lb Challenge”. Although now that I think about it, I really should have one. It’s 100lb Countdown, and when I started this blog, I was 260 pounds, mostly from depression. I’m currently 230, and I’m working to get down to 160 (hence, 100 pounds). Working out is hard to do with the little ones around. I would love to run an actual challenge, but I have to get some other folks involved! With three kids at home, I’m normally swamped dealing with them.
3). Which of your blog posts most represents who you are? The ones that are just are… The ones that don’t have a blog hop attached, or a sponsor, or a point. I don’t do many of them, even though many of them are in draft. However, I love to educate people, especially women, as I mentioned above. Those are more “me”. It’s hard for me to sell, even if I’m selling me. I normally feel that proof is in the pudding, but after you graduate from school, the proof is a little harder to grasp and show off in concrete terms.
4). You are pretty active on social media.  How do you use it to increase traffic to your blog?  What’s your favourite social media site and why? I love Twitter mainly because I find it least invasive. I don’t know why I find other mediums invasive, but because of the speed of Twitter, even if you tweet something multiple times, people are likely to only see it once, if at all, which makes me feel more comfortable in using it. I’m not that active, at least not as active as I want to be. I use tools like Triberr and Tweetily to make sure my timelines are active, because I don’t want them to go dormant. I would love to be able to carry on more conversations using Facebook, but when a post is only shown to 10 out of 900 or 20 out of 4000, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that. Wait, did I just go on a Facebook tangent, I think I did.
Just in shear numbers, the more times you post your information out there, the more likely people will find it. Since people are being bombarded with posts and mentions and whatnot, Twitter is something I feel comfortable with. Always moving, ever changing.
5). How long have you been doing #AAF?  What has been your favourite question so far? I think I’m at about 20 weeks, which means about 5 months. I had to dig to find my favorite question. I’m not sure that I have a favorite, but one that really touched me was from Carol: What is the most important thing that you want to teach your children? I want my children to be honest, hard working and smart individuals. I want them to find something the enjoy and work hard building it and making it grow. However, I want them to work smarter and not harder, when they can.
6). Summer has just started.  What are your summer plans? I don’t really have any summer plans even though summer has been very busy. We’ve already been to Orlando, South Carolina and a slew of other activities. I think this is definitely the mos active summer that I’e had since I’ve had children and loving every minute of it.
7). Like me, you have three little ones at home.  What do you find the most difficult with having that many? When they are all unhappy, restless or nasty. They seem to feed off of each other, and I can’t say I have the best coping mechanism. They become crazy, I become frazzled. They each have their way of dealing with it too… Bunny becomes hostile, Bee becomes loud and Butterfly becomes whiny. My head starts to hurt and separating them seems to be the only solution.  What do you think is easier than just having one? They take care of each other. Just as crazy as they can be together, they also love each other. They will play with each other and spend time laughing and tickling each other. The television turns to something they all can enjoy and mom can get a few minutes to clean or whatever.
8). What is your favourite book of all time? I’m not sure I have one. When I was younger, I read like I ate, all the time and out of necessity. I digested books, like I did food at the time. I didn’t savor the moment. I enjoyed the book for what they are. I really enjoyed War and Peace, which was a challenge read that I gave to myself as an adult. I love James Patterson books, the ones he wrote himself, not the ones ghostwritten.
9). Do you see your personality traits in any of your kids?  Which ones? Goodness, I see so many. In Bunny, I see my quiet intelligence. It makes me question whether nature or nurture is what is ingrained in the child, because things I don’t feel that I “taught” him, he shows. Bee showcases my stubbornness. Although, as a child, I was quiet and reserved, inside I hated so many things around me, which Bee seems to easily exude any dislike or hatred. Even when I didn’t say anything, many felt my unhappiness. Butterfly seems to share my short-temperedness. I’m amazed at how an eight month old can roll her eyes and not want to jump in the drama of the older two.
someecards.com - I can't wait for the day when I can drink with my kids instead of because of them.
10). What’s the best part of being a SAHM? Today, Bee and Butterfly didn’t feel good. I was able to sit with each of them in their grief, and nurse them to sleep. I may have not been able to take away their illnesses, but by being there, I know that they felt comforted. Even though having two sick children really sucks, those are the best days, the days that I don’t have to apologize for not coming in to work, the days that my husband doesn’t ask why dinner isn’t on the table, the days where holding my children are the most important task of the day.
And that’s it this week. Liv responded to my questions too! Make sure go over there and see her responses! Check out my previous #AAF posts!
Did you know that there’s an awesome Build Your Bundle – Homeschool Edition sale next week? Would you like to be an affiliate?

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“We Make a Great Team Together” with Link up!

Summer has officially started in the 100lb Countdown household. Bunny has successfully completed 4th grade and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief for a more relaxed schedule. Overall, he has done well in school… and the struggles are for another post. He has asked consistently since my mother moved to South Carolina seven years ago to go and visit. This year is the first time that this was a possibility.

Getting him there was another story. As someone has who hasn’t had a consistent relationship with my mother, my husband was hesitant, to say the least. Since I knew the background, and I knew he knew the background, I had made the decision (after we agreed that he would go) that I would drive up my son alone and return. I’ve made the trip several times ~ no, not from here to SC, but from where I lived in LA to law school. They are approximately the same distance away.

However, the entire family here was against me making that drive alone.

And I was grateful for that. Who wants to drive seven hours alone?

What came next was surprising… my husband would be the one coming with me.

YES… I’m doing cartwheels in my head!

We get ready to go… and the hammer drops. I’m doing this because I don’t think my wife and child should be riding alone for that distance.

How noble of you!

After much discussion (as I said, we don’t really argue), he said that he was unhappy with this particular decision, but he couldn’t let me go alone. He wouldn’t want anyone to think he’d be ok with his children riding alone.

Well, not so noble.

He started to feel ill… coming down with whatever illness my Bee had the night before…during the drive. I drove the last two hours.

Upon our arrival, he was as nice and gracious as a sick person could be. We opted to stay in a hotel for comfort and to not spread the illness unnecessarily. He participated in everything, with a smile on his face (kinda, remember, he was still sick) and tried to enjoy it all while we went sightseeing and ate sushi for lunch.

After all was said and done, and we left my son to spend the next week with my mother, I thanked him for his good spirit. His response:

teamwork

With this, I know he’s got my back and through our discussions, he knows I have his. We are a great team. I love him so much for all of it!

 

Happy Fathers Day
Happy Father’s Day, hunny! I love you so much!

More on loving my husband here written way before this post was written!

dear-darling-husband

 

 

This has been added as a part of this week’s sentence… DEAR DAD…

FTSF

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Yesteryear ~ #FTSF

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday is a letter to mom. After much consideration, here it is:

wpid-yesteryear.jpg

Dear Mom

I know I missed a few calls
Me and the kids were out chasing balls
I know you were just checking in
We’re all good here, daily living

I know you want to return to yesteryear
A time where I talked off your ear
I agree it was a great time way back then
We had a lot of fun times on level 10

Things are not the same now,
The trust is gone, it took a bow
Things said and done can’t be taken back
An apology is not enough for me to backtrack

I’m not angry, all is forgiven
It’s not your fault that you were so driven
Your life was hard, I must admit
Too bad, there’s no way for me to fix it

I love you and accept you for who you are
I know I have to keep my distance afar
Maybe one day all this will change
But for now you must accept our long-range

This has been another edition of #FTSF!

I was nominated into the top fitness bloggers over at Voice Boks! I’m so very late on getting in on this contest. Please go over and click by Friday to get me into the top 10!

FTSF

 

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