Sunday, May 25, 2014

The post about a final sale, eating cake and Niagara Falls fireworks

My current home and my new house.
  • I feel numb. Late last night I signed the final sale agreement for my house. I was overcome with a huge wave of emotion and after I completed my last signature, I put my head down on my dining room table and sobbed like a little girl. I love this house! It breaks my heart to sell it. But I have to do what's best for Julien and his future. I had to jump through a ton of hoops for the buyers and there is more work to complete before closing, but it's done. Signed, sealed and delivered. My real estate agent is awesome. When I had my little breakdown last night, she said, "Leigh if you want, I can make this all go away, and make the new house go away too." She basically told me that if I wanted, we could stay and she'd just resell the new house. The thought crossed my mind for a millisecond, but I know what's best for my boy. It's just hard to let go of this house because of the memories. The most significant being that Finn lived his entire life here. That makes me so sad that I'm leaving his only home. All I can say is that the new owners had better love this house as much as I do.
  • If this deal fell through, there was another buyer waiting to purchase the house. Although we have a ton of work to do before closing (replace the plumbing stack and put a new drain and pipe in the basement), I wanted to work with the buyers we sold to because the other buyer was going to rent the house out. That made me want the sale to go through even more. Regardless of the fact that it would be easier for me to grow a third nipple than have to deal with the list of demands that need to be done before closing, I do not want renters living in my house. I know there are good renters and bad renters. I used to be a renter. But how could I be sure that good renters would move in. They wouldn't love my house like an owner would. So I agreed to do whatever I needed to do so that my buyers were going to be true to the integrity and character of the home. They loved all the period details of this house, so I know that we made the right choice.

Paleo pumpkin loaf and me eating a piece of heavily frosted cake.

  •  My first week of training for the Stockholm Halv Marathon is done. Did I run well? Nope. Still struggling like no one's business. I never thought I'd see the day where running became such a chore for me. I know it's not the running, it's the shit going on in my head. That's what's messing me up. But until my stress is under control (not likely until August), I'm anxious as all get out. And I will not stop running. I can't. My muscles will turn to mush and if I keep eating the amount of food I do now, I'll gain weight. The only reason I can eat as much as I do is because of the running. I can't start measuring and counting calories now. I haven't done that for years. Running gives me the freedom to eat until I'm full. 
  • Last week I made a Paleo pumpkin loaf for team meeting. Don't ask me for the recipe, because I made it up as I went along and didn't know if it would turn out. It was a huge hit. I will try to recreate it and then post the recipe. Even the non-Paleoists loved it. 
  • I was on snack last week for team meeting, so I brought in my frozen Mother's Day cake that we forgot to take to my in-laws on Mother's Day. I was dared to eat a I didn't! Staged the photo above for Instagram though. My husband saw it and said, "you didn't really..." Nope but I did get purple icing all over my pants. Never again!
Friday night fun in Niagara Falls.

  • Last weekend was Victoria Day long weekend and we were still crazy busy with re-wiring the house.  So Julien didn't get to see fireworks. There are fireworks every Friday, Sunday and Wednesday over the Falls until Labor Day. So I promised Julien we'd go to Niagara on Friday and see the fireworks. We headed out after dinner and Julien got to play in the arcade for a couple hours before we walked down to the Falls for the fireworks display. Should have been a spectacular sight! Nope. Couldn't see anything because of the smoke and mist from the falls. Heard the fireworks and saw the big bright cloud, but sadly no actual fireworks could be seen past the first few minutes. Julien said it was a bust. But we still had fun. 
  • Now that the house is sold and Uncle John can't begin the work that needs to be done for a few weeks, I guess we start packing and purging. There is a ton of stuff I can get rid of. And I need to. Although I feel such heavy sadness right now, I will always have my memories.  Moving to the new house will build a whole new batch of memories. Julien growing up, graduating from university and hopefully one day bringing his own family to visit. I need to look forward and focus on his future. Memories are a powerful thing. And just like the loved one's I have already lost, this house will live on forever in my heart.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The post about a conditional sale, halv marathon training and a Succulent Bondmaiden

Holes! Lots of freaking holes in my ceilings and walls:-(

  • This is easily the longest I have gone without writing a blog post. So much has happened in the last week and a half its hard to keep up. My house has been conditionally sold. House inspection happens tomorrow. I'm not worried. They came back with a contractor to assess the basement and already know what they're dealing with there. We also faxed them our previous home inspection from 8.5 years ago. Nothing much has changed.
  • Except the wiring. Uncle John came to "clean-up" the old knob and tube wiring in the basement He came last Wednesday. He just left yesterday. Turns out the 2 wires that were visible in the basement couldn't easily be replaced and while checking out the outlets upstairs, he saw that the entire house was still wired with knob and tube. So he spent the last 6 days re-wiring my house. I no longer have any knob and tube present in my house. He even cleaned up the attic wiring. That means holes in my walls, lots of swearing and the tension has been high around here to say the least. But Uncle John was a God send. And my price for his 6 days work? To take him out for a few drinks.
  • The buyer's home inspection is happening tomorrow and there is still some drywalling/plastering to do. But my neighbour who I'm hiring to clean everything up can't do it until after the home inspection. The buyers know the house has been re-wired, so I'm hoping it won't be an issue. All will be done by week's end.
  • Along with the home inspection comes my basement drain being scoped with a camera. The water drains slowly and the buyers noticed while I had the dehumidifier running. They're paying for the plumber to do this. Uncle John has given me the worst case scenario and he says he can fix it, no problem. It can be a cracked clay pipe (old house), or hopefully, just an obstruction that can easily be snaked. Either way, I'll take care of it. I'm not letting this sale fall though.

LMAO! Text msg between hubby and I last week. He found someone's dirty book stash in the basement.

  • My running's been completely off and I've been eating nuts like it's my job. So on Monday, I kicked the nuts and made a training schedule for the Stockholm Halv in September. I am officially training again and it feels like a HUGE weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I hated not having a goal to work towards.  I still need to get my ass into the gym. That will happen once we move into the new house. Closing is July 4th for my new house and July 8th for this house. Things are going to be super crazy until then.
  • I've felt lazy and unmotivated over the past couple of weeks.  I don't feel strong and my runs have been real difficult. I have not been enjoying them. I hated writing that, but it's the truth. I'm hoping that getting back on a schedule will bring my running mojo back. My eating's been on plan, but because I feel so unmotivated, my confidence in every part of my life is slipping. Running and the way I view myself taking the biggest hits. When I feel lazy and unmotivated, I don't feel great about myself. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction therapy is helpful, but perhaps I need to return to my "self-love" assignments again. It's been a while since I've said anything I like about myself. I see my therapist in a couple weeks. I need to show progress before that session.
  • Work has been another huge stress in my life. I have had some major deadlines to meet this month. I had to develop and teach a training to foster parents which happened yesterday. I should become a public speaker. I finished the powerpoint on Friday, Monday was a holiday and I didn't look at it again until yesterday morning just before the presentation. I did my 2.5 hour presentation and sounded like I knew what the hell I was talking about the entire time. My co-worker Cathy is equally, or maybe more talented. She presented a part and didn't see the Power Point until yesterday morning, five minutes before she spoke. Neither of us even had a waver in our voice. Either we're very talented speakers...or just numb. Cathy's talented, I'm numb.
  • So I'm going to end here. Just a quick check in. Don't want to whine and moan too much. Thank you to everyone who's been checking in on me. I'm behind in emails and messages again. I'll get back to you by the end of the week. Promise. I leave you with a collage of Succulent Bondmaiden being passed around to various members of my family.

Neither hubby or baby wanted their faces on camera. Don't blame them!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The post about a dank basement and a Happy Mother's Day

This is my dark and dank basement. That's a newer high efficiency furnace!
  • First, right off the top, my house has not been sold. There have been two return potential buyers that have come back with contractors to make a bid on the basement. Geez. People are acting like the house is inhabitable with the basement the way it is. It is damp and old. One hundred and twenty four years old to be exact. But it is not moldy and the foundation is not crumbling. I spoke to my real estate agent on Saturday and burst into tears because I am so stressed out right now. She was great in reassuring me that everything would be fine. She told me that she has sold homes with much worse basements than mine and that we will find a buyer for my house. My basement looks no different than the day I bought it. And even though we knew the basement was ugly, I fell in love with my house right away. We use the basement strictly for storage and my cat's toilet. It has never flooded. It is a cellar. And in my opinion, the pluses of my home far out weigh the negatives of the basement. This is a century home. They have dark, dank basements.
  • Yesterday my husband's Uncle John came by and started cleaning up the wiring in the basement. He put four additional lights in for me, started to remove the dead knob and tube wiring and installed an electrical outlet. The only outlet I had was attached to an old light fixture. The whole job cost me $22 (for electrical supplies). He won't take money from us. He's a saint that Uncle John. He'll be back in a couple of weeks to finish the job. And this has relieved a bit of my stress. Thank you Uncle John!
This is the second season that I can fit back into my maintenance spring/summer wardrobe.
  • The anxiety that I'm feeling right now has caused my eating and running to be off. I'm not eating well. And by not well, I mean not enough. I have gotten a few comments saying that I have lost some weight. That may be true, I haven't been on a scale in months. My pants are a touch looser. But I don't think there's a big change in the way I look. I'm not eating enough and drinking too much coffee. And my sleeping is completely effed up. I'm still going to bed by 10:30ish. Sometimes it's 11:30 before I get into bed. Either way, I still wake up between 3:30 and 4 am. That's when the coffee drinking happens and I wait around to run when the sun comes out. 
  • I've been running every other day. Not my strict 5 days per week like I do when I'm training. When I run, I think too much and thinking too much causes me anxiety. I just want to sell my house so I can get back to my regular routines. I feel like I'm in limbo right now. And my runs have been brutal. I was running much better before the Around the Bay 30K. I ran that at the end of March and even though it was much colder and snowy during training, I felt more confident then than I do now. I'm struggling and I'm sure it's due to anxiety. Hopefully things will get back to normal over the next couple of weeks and I can focus on training again.
  • I went to the chiropodist last week. They gave me temporary metatarsal pads for my orthotics. In theory, this is supposed to help with my crampy toes from the Morton's Neuroma. I ran in them on Saturday, and they came off! I'll have to go back this week and get them re-applied. I've had them on my orthotics before, but because they didn't immediately cure my issue, I gave up on them. They placed them in a spot they think will be most beneficial to me, but the jury's still out on whether or not they will help at all.

Mother's Day brunch a day early with my guy:-)

  • Let's change the direction of this post to a happier one shall we? Hoping all the mothers had a good day today. I celebrated Mother's Day over two days. It started on Saturday. We had to be out of our house for a 10am showing, so we went to have an early Mother's Day brunch. It wasn't crowded and we got to enjoy our meal without the chaos of crowds. It was a good decision. Eating out on Mother's Day is always a headache, and sometimes impossible to do because you just can't get a table.
  • Then today was celebration day number 2! We had to be gone by 11am for a showing. We went to my in-laws for the day. I got to spend the day with a bunch of special people. Although Mother's Day is a celebration of my relationship with my beautiful boy, it's also a day of reflection about the two women who have impacted my life the most. My adoptive mother and my birth mother. Both played pivotal roles in my life at different times. They have both passed on. And even though I miss them and think of them every single day, my memories keep them alive. They are always in my heart:-) xxx

Some snaps from today. A family pic, my sister-in-law, Julien's gift to me.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The post about a hectic and nerve wracking week

My Saturday...Was homeless all afternoon due to house showings. Started out in a bar, went to a shed raising where I was the project manager. Resisted the salt and vinegar chips. I may have had too much wine to drink...

Sunday's run. Broke my running shades. I've had them since the beginning:-( I crazy glued them back together and got my finger's glued together in the process. Accidently turned my running app off at the top of the mountain.

  • I have been neglecting this blog BIG time. And everyone else's blog for that matter. And my correspondence. I have a dozen messages waiting for reply in my in-box. I promise, I will get to them real soon. I answer every email I get. Just bear with me please. This time, right now, is hands down is one of the most stressful times in my life. My house has not been sold yet, and even though I know it will sell, I can't handle the pressure of owning two properties at once. Lots of interest, but no written offers. I live in a century home. My basement is dark and damp and is solely used for storing Christmas decorations and my cat's litter boxes. I never go down there. Apparently it's putting people off. I have been here for 8 years. It has never flooded and looks no different than it did when I moved in. My 2 foot thick stone foundation walls have not eroded! I have two return viewers today who are very interested. Fingers and toes crossed...I need to get this done!
  • Between the house, family, clients and tight deadlines at work, I feel like I'm being pulled in many different directions right now. I need a big ugly cry, but don't even have the energy to get that done. My sleeping is completely off. I'm waking at 3:30 am every morning, and not able to fall back asleep because my stomach is in turmoil.
  • Even my running has been off. I'm struggling with my runs. Not sure what that is all about. Lack of focus, nothing to train for? I'm confused. But I'm still running so that's the important thing. I really need to join the gym and add something else to my routine, but I am sorely lacking in funds and time right now. The next few months are going to be crazy. I'll be moving house. I just want everything to be done. 
  • I'm not eating great. I go all day without eating because my stomach is full of anxiety. Then I eat whatever my husband makes for dinner. I'm not eating off plan, but I should be eating more throughout the day though. And I'm eating more nuts than I should at night. The majority of my food intake happens at night. I'm not eating enough and perhaps that is why I'm struggling with my runs? Not eating enough and drinking too much coffee. Hmmmmm.
  • A short post with a lot of pictures to let you all know that I am ok. I'm just busy and stressed. I'm still alive and kicking and I know that all this stress shall pass. On a real positive note, I haven't been taking the Adivan at all. I am using the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction therapy and keeping myself calm. I am learning to control what would have been full fledged panic attacks. That is good no?
  • Thanks for all the support and lovely messages. They really brighten my day:-) Fingers crossed I sell my house this weekend so that I can get back to my regular routines! I hate lacking focus and whining and moaning:-( xxx

Spring weather has me feeling better about myself. I am feeling worn down though. I'm not gonna lie, I've filtered the shit out of these photos! Heavy bags under my eyes is my new look. No idea why my lips are white in the bottom left pic...

Stuff I ate at work yesterday. Dragon fruit (tastes ok, like kiwi but not much flavor) and baby bananas are adorable. I ate waaaay too many of those Cashews. Salt and vinegar chips were one of my binge foods. Those were dangerous to be around. Sat through training all afternoon and nodded off several times. That's what happens when you've been up since 3:30am.

Friday, May 2, 2014

No Gains, No Grains - Changes in my family

A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is about changes that happened within my family after I went grain free. I went grain free in September 2011. At that time I started following a high protein, low carb, low sodium metabolic diet developed by Dr. Pat Poon in Toronto. This how I lost the majority of my weight (132 pounds). During the weight-loss component of my lifestyle change, which lasted 15 months, I was the lone grain-free person in my household. I cooked for myself and my family separately. I was able to make certain dishes that we could all eat, but more times than not, I made my own meals.

As I was approaching maintenance, I began to panic about eating processed carbs again. This is how I became morbidly obese in the first place. I'm a binge eater and my binge foods of choice were always processed carbs (ie: bread, crackers, pasta, potato chips). I knew that I could not just have "a little" of these foods. Then I stumbled upon the Paleo lifestyle through some of the blogs I read. I had eaten grain free for 15 months already, and the thought of reintroducing grains back into my diet caused me a lot of anxiety. So I did a bit more reading about Paleo, and decided to continue my lifestyle by switching to Paleo for maintenance and cutting out all grains, processed foods, refined sugar, dairy and legumes. It seemed simple and fool proof to me. I need structure in my eating and Paleo provides me with that.

My husband started running in June 2012 and although he was never obese, he had about 20 extra pounds on him. He decided to give Paleo a try with me and we have both been Paleo for about 14 months now. By switching to Paleo, he has shed his extra weight. We are both long distance runners and our diets do not hinder us from completing long runs. Contrary to popular belief, I do not need grains or processed carbs for energy. I perform just fine eating grain free while training.

My son does not follow our lifestyle. Although we model our eating habits to him and he makes healthier snack choices (ie: apples and almonds are his favorite), he still enjoys eating grains, dairy and his peanut butter (which is a legume). If he decided to go Paleo one day, that would be his choice. He's watching us very closely so it's important that we lead by example. He often asks me which foods are healthiest and makes his food choices according to my answers. We still eat as a family. Julien gets pasta with Bolognese sauce as opposed to spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce. It's easy to tweak a meal so that everyone is included.

Julien doesn't remember me morbidly obese. In the summer of 2012 I had already lost 100+ pounds and we were looking at old photos where I was 300+ pounds.  He saw my "before" picture and asked who that lady was. When I told him it was me, he looked genuinely confused and a little upset. I asked him what was the matter and he said, "mommy, that's a big lady". I explained that I had a lot of "illnesses" at that time (hypertension, joint pain, back pain, digestion issues) and once I changed my eating and started running I became healthy.

When Julien sees pictures of me now from when I was heavy,  he refers to those pictures as when I was "sick". He tells me that he's glad I'm healthy now because it means I'm going to live for a long time. That is why I continue to eat the way I do and follow my grain free lifestyle. I became healthy so that I could be a part of my son's life instead of just watching him grow up. Anytime that I think of eating off plan, I remind myself that nothing tastes as good as enjoying my son's childhood. He is my motivation and my inspiration.  I'm the one who makes the choices for what I eat and I can choose to go back to my old ways or I can choose my son. My son always comes first, hands down.

Hubby and I pre and post our "grain free" lifestyle.

 I invite you to go and look at my BBF`s (best bloggy friends) and read about how going grain free has changed their families.  They are awesome women and mentored me through my transition into Paleo. They inspire me each and every day and I'm proud to call them friends. Check them out, leave a comment and tell them Leigh sent ya:-)

Against the Grain
For Life
Living the Life
Garden Girl

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I know it's just a house, but it's my home

The real estate pictures of my house.

Today, right now, this moment, is one of the hardest times I've had since Finn died in November. My house is officially up for sale. I didn't think I'd feel so shitty this morning. The week seemed like it was done in slow motion. I was just plodding along, doing what needed to be done. I felt nothing until I woke up this morning. I knew the minute I opened my eyes that I felt extreme anxiety. I'm supposed to be running right now, and I can't get myself out the door.

I have a huge emotional connection to this house. I fell in love with it the minute I walked through the door. I just felt it. I knew instantly I wanted to buy it. Shortly after we moved in, Finn joined us. He lived his entire life here. I still picture him playing in the yard and sitting in his front window seat. His life was cut short for reasons I'm still angry about. But I have to accept them. All I have left are his memories and his ashes.

Julien was brought here after he was born and all his baby memories and early childhood memories happened within these walls. I know they will live on forever in my mind, just as Finn's will, but I can't help but feel as though I'm letting go of a time in my life that was so important to me. I have a new house that I will build new memories in. And I know that eventually it will feel like my home. It just breaks my heart to leave behind the home I love so much. Selling is the best decision for Julien though. He needs friends to play with and he's going to a better school. But it doesn't make it any easier to leave the house that means so much to me. My heart is very heavy right now.

My strongest memories.