Howdy old friendsÖitís about darn time that I finally update. Lots of stuff has been happening since I last wrote a true entry over a year ago. I finally feel like itís a good time to post. I miss journaling. It became such a part of me and then I felt lost without it. I tried a few other sites but it didnít feel like ďhomeĒ. This is my page, my accomplishments, and I donít want to see it gone from my life again.

Iím hovering around 173 right now. Iím exercising about twice Ė three times a week usually at Curves. I get between 6 Ė 10K steps in day. Chris and I will hit the YMCA once in a while but since spring hit, we have not been going as much as we were. Chrisís weight is up. Heís gained about 60 pounds since initially meeting me back in í03. This is beginning to worry me. Right now he is topping the scale around 230. He gained the majority of the weight when he quite smoking last year before our trip out west. Iíve been cooking as healthy as I can but itís difficult to stop him from snacking at night. I noticed that I gained my last five since December. Iíve tried going back to WW and even though Iím paying them, Iím not going to the meetings. Itís like Iíve lost my spark. Iím still searching for it but itís like my motivation has been zapped up from me. I know this is something that I need to work on and Iím not giving up. Fortunately, my eating is still decent for the most part. Iíve been struggling with mindless snacking at night but this has decreased some in the past few weeks. So Iím still on the boat.

In the last year, there has been a lot of transition. Right before our major trip out West in June of í05 (Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, etc.) Chris was permanently laid off from his job. They gave him two weeks notice. He did some part-time work at a local airport but it was not steady money. In January, he got a job offer for a claims processor for a major insurance company and he decided to take it. It offered him more security than he ever has known, he has a 401K, pension, benefits, and a nice vacation package plus the opportunity for advancement. The only downfall is that itís in Kalamazoo, which was an hour and 20 minutes from our apartment. So we had to move. At work, a co-worker found out that I needed a place to rent in Grand Rapids so she offered us her mother-in-laws 5 bedroom ranch in GR for $650 in rent so we jumped at the opportunity to get into a house. The glitch of the matter is that we can stay here for as long as she is alive. After that, they are going to sell the home and we will have to look for another place to stay. We moved here in early March and we are finally settling in now. Itís a terrific rental home but itís in need of some remodeling because itís a throw back to the 70s. I finally started to hang the pictures because of was hesitant to get too comfortable here but now itís feeling like home. Hopefully the woman will stay alive for about 2 years so we know what we will be doing by then. As for our property, we paid it off back in October and we decided that weíre not going to build our home there. Itís not feasible because itís so far away from Chrisís job and we decided that we like living in the city more than the country. Weíre going to hold on for it as an investment and if we get the opportunity, we will build a cabin on it one day. We have two small debts left (Chrisís financial aid and my Jeep Wrangler) so we are going to be debt free by February of 2007 so we are going to stockpile our money and just see where life takes us because we have no idea on where we are going to be but we both agree that the hour commute for both of our jobs suck. Currently we are spending about $700 a month in gas and I attempt to carpool at least 2-3 times per week. As for my job, Iím still working at the same place doing the same thing and thatís okay because the money is good. Iím busy as hell though and Iím in need of a well needed vacation (two more weeks to go!). We were going to go backpacking in Northern MI but his aunt came in from Delaware and she ďcannot put herself through the turmoil to drive backĒ so she is flying back and we are driving her car to DE and doing our vacation in Washington, DC, Philly, and Baltimore so Iím so excited! I havenít been to DC since í92 so Iím looking forward to it. Iíve never been to Philadelphia nor Baltimore so Iím counting down the days.

As for things in life, right now, there are some really exciting things going on for me but there are some sad things for me. I wouldnít necessarily state that this has been a great year for me personally. Iím not as content as I used to be. There are aspects of my life that I am happy with (like my marriage is awesome) but there are some sad areas concerning my relationship with my sister and Chrisís sister is extremely poor. This makes me very sad.

After my sister had the baby in November, she has virtually cut off herself from me. I've only seen her about 3 times since having her baby. When I call, I leave a message and she doesn't call me back. I leave a message and nothing...no calls. Early in February, I started to get upset when this first started to happen so by the tenth call I said "Carrie, can you please call me back to talk because if you are mad at me, we need to talk". After that, she called me a week later explaining to me that she has different priorities in life and she cannot call me as "promptly" as I would like. I understood but noted that I just wanted to hear from her. This went on for about a month where she maybe called once and back in March, she confesses that she was extremely angry at me for "sabotaging" her happiness because she thought I brought up a magazine to my parents cabin with an article that had MS issues in it and a new mom. She read it I guess and she thought she was sick again. Background info...back in '00 my sister believed that she has MS because she started to get tingles. She self diagnosed herself on yahoo health and since then, her DH has not allowed her to be back on the net. Because her DH has no insurance for them she cannot get the tests for the MS. The doctors she was able to see convinced her that she did not have MS so she got better for a while with no relapses until this happened. I had no idea that the magazine had this article in it or I would have never have brought it up to the cabin. At least I found out why she was pulling away. I thought we were on the right road. She was going to counseling for the issue I guess according to my mom. I called, she would call me back a week later. Then it went back to the same old thing. I would call, she would not call back. This went on for eight - nine weeks. I told myself I would call her back once per week. When she finally called me back, she said, "I thought you would eventually check up with me". Okay...? So we offered to stop by a few weeks ago to see them and she announced that they sold their house and are in the process of moving. We didn't even get a call announcing that they did this. So we stopped by their place when we were up north. It was a nice visit. Then I went across the street to my folkís cabin and they had professional pictures of my nephew. I had asked her previously if she had any done and she said no, she had not. I got upset. I feel left out of their life. I make all the connections. My parents want me to call her every week but I am at the point now where I just don't want to make the effort. It's emotionally draining to me. I thought I settled everything months ago but I was mistaken. Iíve gotten to the point that I realize that my sister is no longer the person who I used to know and I miss her. Itís like a huge gap missing from my life and I have to accept the fact the old her is gone now and thereís just no room for me. So this has been really hard for me to accept.

Life is definitely different from when I was posting regularly. Itís just a strange period in my life. It really cannot explain it. It just lacks that ďUMPHĒ that it used to, when it was running smoothly. There are things going right and there are things that are going wrong. At least everyone is physically healthy (I cannot ascertain that everyone is mentally healthy) but at least everyone is alive and kicking. I hope this year gets a little better and hopefully I can again make this a priority again in my life because I miss it. I need to write. The one thing that kept me on track is the journaling and tracking and Iíve been slacking on both. Thanks for listening and itís good to be back where I belong, take care all-Kellie

My Vistors Since July 3, 2006