Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am Hopeful

The feeling of being hopeful has always been extremely important to me. (I think the word "hopeful" itself is so beautiful.) There have been many times in my life where hope alone has kept me going. Some people need happiness, love, and I don't know what else. But what I need is hopefulness. I need to feel like things can get better. Possibly, in the future, there are good things that could happen that I may be involved in. I need to be hopeful. (And I mean this in the most Un-Obama kind of way possible.) I need real hope... like the kind you find at Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I am doing better tonight. I am feeling hopeful. I have been so discouraged by my injury and my setbacks lately. It is so easy when one is down to just focus on sad things and sit in negativity. (My kids are naughty. I miss my Mother. My husband travels. My foot hurts. Please Sarah... Pull it together!) But tonight I am feeling better. I am hopeful. For the first time since my surgery I am noticing a change in my pain level in just one day. Jack made me sit in one place for 5 hours w/ the TENS unit on. When I got up I could notice a difference in the pain level, from when I had sat down. Its not huge news... but enough to put a smile on my face.... enough to make me hopeful. As I hobbled to my bed tonight I thought "This doesn't hurt too terribly bad." When I looked in the mirror I actually was smiling about it. Ahhh. Hopefulness. Think about it... what makes you hopeful?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Wound

I took the bandage off my foot today. Look w/ caution. It is gross. I have a close up shot too. But I decided not to put that up. My foot and leg are pretty swollen, as you can see. It is also black and blue around the top. Ugh. I cannot wait for this to all be over.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Well, it is time for a bigger family vehicle. Check out my new ride!!! Yes- that is a bright, red minivan parked in my driveway!!! Yay!!! I have wanted one forever. Things were getting bad around here w/ my old clunker. I was driving a 13 year old car. She was faithful but I was starting to have some disturbing problems. For instance- it was shuddering really bad when you put it into reverse while running the air conditioner. Also, sometimes it didn't like to start. And it had been making some noises. People had been telling me I needed a new car for a long time. I've been ignoring them. I don't like to spend my money. Then my Dad hinted that I needed a new car. Hmmm? Dad also doesn't like me to spend my money. Then he started calling me about cars that he was finding. So I started paying attention. If my Dad thinks I need a new car... then I really do need a new car. Yesterday, my Mother, the children, and I did a little van shopping. Actually, I shopped online beforehand and knew exactly what I wanted when I went in! I bought it myself and am very proud of that. I actually got a pretty good deal.... well, as good of a deal as you can get when you have to give someone else money for something. I am happy to have done this all w/ barely being able to walk. Thanks Mom for taking care of the kiddos! I LOVE my new van!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 3 Post Op

I had my post-op check up today. My doctor removed my bandage and put on another one that is smaller and less cumbersome. We took some x-rays and he checked my stitches. He said that I am progressing as I should be. My foot is bruised badly and really swollen but he says that is normal for 3 days after the surgery. I can take the bandage off in 3 days and put on a large band-aid. And I can drive then if I am not in need of pain meds. Then, in 10 days, I have to go back and get my stitches out. My foot does hurt more than I expected but I am adjusting to it and everyday it does hurt a little less. Overall I am feeling pretty good. Here is another shot of me keeping my foot up... this is all I am doing lately!

Friday, July 31, 2009

This is the day...

Well, it is done. The tibial sesamoid in my right foot has been removed. Thank goodness. This is what I am dealing w/...

(The black box is a TENS unit that I need to be hooked up to for the whole weekend.) My doctor says the surgery was definitely necessary. Doc said the bone was in the complete WRONG location in my foot. He said all the tissues, tendons, and ligaments in the area were extremely inflamed b/c of it being misplaced. He said there was also a lot of swelling and broken blood vessels in my joints. Geesh. What a mess. He said there was absolutely no way this would have EVER healed w/o the surgery. I am so thankful to have it over w/. When I woke up in the recovery room I had a funny conversation w/ the nurse. I was really drowsy and don't remember it all but she told me about it afterwards. It went like this.

Me- "I am going for a run."
Nurse- "Not today, you're not."
Me- "Dr. Brown told me I would be able to run in 3 weeks."
Nurse- "Well, okay. You can run in 3 weeks then hon."
Me- "I know I can. I am running on August 21st."
Nurse- "Not that you are counting days or anything."

I am actually in a lot of pain right now and am blogging to try to take my mind off it! My local anesthetic is wearing off now. I am on oral meds but they are not cutting it right now. Thanks to everyone who said prayers and sent texts and called. It has meant a lot to hear from you today. This has been a long road. I am so grateful to everyone who has been supportive of me these last few months. They have been rough to say the least. I am sorry that I've talked about this so much. It is onward and upward from here!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I love ya, tomorrow!

I am so excited for tomorrow. After my wedding and the births of my children, tomorrow is basically the next best day of my life. Tomorrow my tibial sesamoid bone will be removed from my right foot. Ahhh. I feel better just thinking about it. I am so happy I am almost giddy w/ anticipation. Thank you to all the people who made this possible. Mom for coming down to help me, Anna for watching my children tomorrow, Jack for financing all the medical bills. It takes a lot of great people for an event like this to be pulled off. Say a prayer for me that all goes well. I am sure it will... my surgeon is a genius. I will have to practice a lot of self-control so I do not kiss him. I can't wait for all of this to be over. And that will be tomorrow... after all... tomorrow is another day. Peace.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

B is for Bees

This is my first ABC Wednesday post. When I took this picture I thought- "Wow, I could join that ABC meme!" My nephew has a knack for finding bugs. He found this under my deck! Just in time to be my letter "B" post. (If you enlarge this it is pretty scary!)

To join in the ABC Wednesday fun click the badge to the right.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Welcome to the World Helaire!

"The happiest days are the ones when babies come." Melanie Wilkes in Gone With the Wind

I have a new nephew! My sister, Ria and her husband Edwin have a son! And is he BEAUTIFUL! (But of course... you should see his mother!) I can't stop looking at his pictures. Ria and baby are both doing great- btw. Helaire Dennis, welcome! You are loved! Please go to Ria's blog to congratulate them and get the stats.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Soon Enough....

I will be doing this again. Soon enough.
I know I have been totally absent on my blog lately. And to tell the complete truth... I have been really down. My foot has got increasingly worse... like by the day. I am unable to walk w/o pain now. And I don't know if any of you have ever had constant pain but.... it really wears on your spirit. It just drags me down. So I haven't wanted to blog or even talk about this lately. HOWEVER- that is all about to change! A week from tomorrow I am having surgery! My doctor is removing the bone from my foot that is causing the problem and I really can't wait. Some people don't like surgeries and try to avoid them. Here is my rationale... If you have tried other reasonable means to fix a problem, you've done research on the outcomes of a procedure, you trust your doctor, and do you really need this problem fixed- then I am down w/ a surgery. And I am sooooo at the point right now. So it is under the knife I go! I am going to work hard to keep up w/ my blog these days... I think it will be good for my preparation for surgery and my recovery afterwards. Peace.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Exercise Partners

Baby Jack wanted to do Pilates w/ me yesterday. This was so funny.... Check out the pics.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My BFF Denise

Something else that is familiar to me is my favorite pilates workout. I love this Denise Austin pilates DVD. I have seriously been doing this workout for years. (I know I had it before I got married and that was in 2002. So it has been at least 7 years.) I had it on VHS until we moved to this house. Previously, I insisted on keeping our old VCR plugged in and running for the sole purpose of doing these workouts. When we moved to this house we tossed the VCR and I bought it on DVD. It needed to be done. She does 2, 20 minute workouts here. They are both good. The second one is a little challenging for me to do on my foot so I just do the first one these days. But it is wonderful. I have her entire monologue memorized- all her directions and pointers. My favorite thing she says is: "Your spine is your lifeline. Keep it healthy. Keep it supple. Keep it strong." Totally cracks me up every time. But I do love this workout!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A return to the familiar

Ahhhh. There is something so nice about doing the same old thing. After a few hectic weeks here at the Napier house, I've pulled our schedule out of the dustbin! It has been so hard to fit in trips to the pool for lap swimming. (Not that I WANT to lap swim.) And eating healthy? Ha! I actually had a bowl of Lucky Charms for dinner one day last week! So in an effort to reign things in around here I've pulled out my charts. Charts for the children. Charts for me. Charts for our food. Charts for our time. It is really so much simpler when your day is pre-planned. And much easier to fit in a workout! I also went to my center and got a weeks worth of Jenny Craig food. (Read- yummy!) I LOVE getting up in the morning and being told what I am going to eat and when I am going to eat it. No fuss. No guessing. Just delicious, wholesome, easy to make Jenny Craig cuisine! I've gone back to eating JC's food a few times since I reached my goal in April of 2008. But this is the longest I've gone w/o it. I think it has been at least 3 or 4 months. I was due for some good meals! In the workout area- I made it to the pool for 45 minutes of swimming at 8 am this morning. Whew... I am beat. Well, according to my schedule it is almost time for bed. Peace out!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Do You Remember?

I was so sad to hear that Michael Jackson passed away this week. What a shock! The past few days I have thought a lot about his family... especially his 3 young children. I have also found myself listening to all his music. Wow- what a great artist he was! I am surprised that I know almost every song. I have been a Michael Jackson fan for as long as I can remember. This is no exaggeration. My older sister LOVED him. And you know what younger sisters love... anything their older sisters do. I can honestly remember singing "Beat It" at 5 years old. In second grade I carried an MJ folder to school. I have searched all over the Internet to find a picture of that folder... and here it is.

Yes- that was the photo on my folder! I remember it distinctly. And this is how I think of him really. I listened to his music through grade school, a little in high school, and then a lot more in college. In recent years Michael has not been high on my radar. When I would see a news story on him- like about something weird he had done or the allegations that were brought against him- I would always just feel bad for those involved... including him. He was such a tortured soul. It is really sad. I've spent some time the past few days watching his videos. There is something charismatic about how he sung and performed. Like he really loved what he was doing. (Go watch "Will You Be There" from the movie "Free Willy".)

Anyway- I know there are much bigger MJ fans and fanatics blogging about him these days. I just thought I'd mention him b/c I really have always loved him as an artist. He made an enormous contribution to music that will be reflected throughout history. And I am sad to hear of his passing. His life was full of public controversy and inner battles. I truly hope that he is resting in peace.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I love this picture of my Dad and me.  This was the last race we ran together.  It was last November just a few weeks before my family moved out of state.  It was so freezing cold that day.  We weren't prepared for it and we were really taken by surprise.  (That is what happens when you live in Ohio and have to run indoors all winter!)  I remember we both felt like we had inhaled icicles.  But we both raced well and had a lot of fun.  The post-race bagels were great there, remember Dad?  Then I think we went to "Half-Priced Books" afterwards.  Ahhh, what a great day!  Happy Father's Day, Daddy.  Everyone says that I am a complete and total carbon-copy of you.  I think that is pretty cool!  Thanks for teaching me so much about life.  I'll never forget- there is no free lunch.  I love you so much!

Not much else is going on here today.  It was nice to be able to spend a Father's Day w/ Jack at home. The kids loved making the day all about Daddy.  Lisa and I made a little treat for him... It is a cupcake golf course!!!  And it turned out delicious if I do say so myself!  We got the idea from Martha Stewart.  Check out the pic below.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cortisone Injection Today

I am headed out the door in a few hours for my cortisone shot in my foot. Not the most exciting plans.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

And the results are in....

My MRI came back today. My foot is not broken. No tendons or ligaments are torn. I have swelling of the actual sesamoid bone and surrounding tissue. The doctor says my bone is "bruised" or he also called it a "pre-fracture". This is good news. It doesn't have me running a race next week but I am not in the operating room either. The plan of attack is- a cortisone injection next week and then 2 weeks of either a cast or the boot again. I have to be non weight bearing on the ball of my foot. Right. This basically amounts to a severe case of sesamoiditis... that has gone on for months. A quick Google search will turn up plenty of people who have sesamoid problems that they can't get to heal. I am talking over years sometimes. The sesamoids have poor blood flow and are difficult to immobilize so healing takes a long time. Some people elect to have these bones removed when they don't heal.

I am trying to remain hopeful that this will be better soon. I must admit... I am getting discouraged.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Still waiting....

No results on my MRI yet. I am trying to be patient. Meanwhile... I just finished day 3 of potty training Baby Jack. He had no accidents today! I am a little skeptical. Like I think tomorrow he may completely regress and be going all over the house. We will see. He is a riot running around in his Cars undies! If he is really trained I will be in shock. Not to mention- extremely happy!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I am sorry to be ignoring my blog lately.  So much has been going on.  But no running has been going on... that is for certain.  I miss running so much.  I had a bone scan done a few weeks ago and it came back negative for any fractures in my foot.  I was pretty surprised.  So Tuesday I head back to the hospital for an MRI.  My doctor says the best case scenario is I've just pulled a tendon in my foot and we can do some cortisone shots and some PT and I'll be up and running.  He also tells me the worse case scenario is I've ripped a tendon and will need surgery to repair.  Ugh.  I really hope it is not that.  I am thinking it is just a little pull that hurts so bad just b/c it is in a bad spot.  Hopefully I'll be back to training in a couple weeks and maybe doing a half-marathon in November???  Well, here's to hoping!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Good Housekeeping Video

Here is an interview I did while on my photo shoot in New York City.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh my sweet baby boy....

My little guy recently got all his beautiful, blond locks cut off.  I've been cutting Baby Jack's hair since birth but for the past year have kept it on the longer side.  I knew it would have to go for the summer.  What I didn't know is that he would appear so grown up!  Where is my sweet baby boy?  So her are some pics of the hair... before and after.

Two days before it was cut. (We are at a museum.)
The back of it. (He is petting an alligator.)
A picture on Easter Sunday. This is my favorite recent pic of him.
The haircut!!!  
Doesn't he look so grown up? And ornery?  I know he couldn't have a bowl cut forever.... but. Sniff, sniff.  I am dealing.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My Menu

Jack is home right now and he really wanted me to change up some of my meals.  I get into a pattern w/ cooking sometime and forget to look for and add new recipes to my menus.  So I started digging around in my recipe box and looking through my new favorite magazine I get... Everyday Food.  (Thanks for the recommendation Anna.)  In this issue there were lots of spring and summer meals to make.  I added some easy ones for Jack to do while I am working.  So I put them all together and presto!  New meal plan!

Saturday- (Jack's night) Cheeseburgers, chips, and strawberry milkshakes
Sunday- Three-cheese Spaghetti Pie, Quick cheese biscuits, and corn
Monday- (Jack's night) Homemade Pepperoni Pizza w/ peppers 
Tuesday- Chopped Chicken Salad w/ Italian Bread
Wednesday- Grilled Steak w/ tomatoes and scallions, and baked potatoes (see pic)
Thursday- Chicken and Rice casserole w/ peas
Friday- My favorite! Steak Fajitas from "A Year of CrockPotting"

We've been making milkshakes and putting strawberries in everything from the bunch we picked late last week.  Everyday Food had a great section of strawberry recipes too.  I made the Strawberry Icebox Pie and the kids and Jack have been eating a little every night for dessert.  They love it!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Baby Jack is Happy!

I really did need to get that sad picture of Baby Jack moved down. He is doing much better now. Here is a picture from our recent trip to a local strawberry patch. We love doing this! Sorry I've been neglecting my blog lately. I've started working an at home job and learning how to do it has taken up a lot of my time. BUT- never fear! I have a list right here on my desk of several fun and exciting topics to blog about! So more will be coming soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

More Broken Bones

As if my broken foot wasn't enough....

If you know my little boy you know that he is ALWAYS smiling so this is a rare picture.  Yes.  Baby Jack broke his arm.  He is only 2 years and 3 months old!  This has been a rough week.  Baby Jack doesn't understand what happened to him.  All he says is "My boo-boo hurts me."  Or, "Cast off."  Ironically, Lisa broke her leg at 2 1/2.  She was a little more mature though and could understand what had happened and why the cast was on.  Please keep him in your prayers.  He is not handling this well.... and neither am I!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Secret is Out

Over the past few months I've been keeping a little secret.  I've hinted about it here on my blog but never really said what it was.  Well, the cat is out of the bag!  If you look in the pages of Good Housekeeping magazine this month you will see a picture of... Me!  Yes, that is right.  I am representing Jenny Craig in an article that Good Housekeeping did on women who lost weight in a healthy way after trying diet pills before.  Check it out.

I could say a million things about this article and my experiences.  It would take forever.  What I will say is that I am in LOVE w/ Jenny Craig!  This company has given me my life back.  I am just honored that I was chosen to represent them in this publication.  It is always nice to receive recognition for ones hard work.  I had an amazing time in New York City on this photo shoot.  It is something that I will never forget.  Pick up a copy if you get a chance!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Swimming Again??

I started lap swimming again recently.  Ugh.  For those of you who don't remember how I feel about lap swimming think about these things.... a funeral and a terrible hangover.  Lap swimming falls somewhere in between those two events.  BUT- cardio must be achieved!  I must go on.  So I joined a local gym, which is fabulous, and jumped right on in.  As much as I hate my injury- I hate being sedentary even more.  So on with the swimming or whatever.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What are you eating?

The latest yummy thing I've found... or Anna found... is weight watchers ice cream cups!  They are delicious.  There are 140 calories in the "Cookies and Cream" and "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough" flavors... and maybe another kind too.  There is a decent amount of ice cream in them which is rather important.  Try them out!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

One year and counting...

 Yay!  Today is my maintenance anniversary!  That means- I have maintained my weight loss for one year!  Whew- that was tough!  Maintenance has been the hardest part of this process- BY FAR!!  I am learning something new everyday.  I have never posted my actual "before" picture on my blog.  Well, here it is.  In all it's glory.  I've also posted a few from throughout my journey.  I'll give you a little rundown...

April 1, 2007- I am 6 weeks postpartum in this picture and a size 18.  I feel just as bad as I look- trust me.  I've had to doctor the pic a little bit b/c I was wearing black against the black carpet at the Jenny Craig Center.  I loved that velour maternity sweatsuit from Mimi.  Thanks Mom.

May 25, 2007- My sister Ria's wedding.  I had lost 13 pounds here and I remember thinking "Good thing I lost weight for the wedding."  Dress was an 18, but had to be taken in a little... probably in a 16 here.

November 7, 2007- I am about half way to my goal here.  This is where people started telling me I looked fine and didn't need to lose anymore weight.  I know they meant well but it got annoying b/c my BMI was still unhealthy and I knew it.  Size 12.

January 26, 2008-  I am feeling really good here.  (This pic is after a run.)  I was a size 10 and I was soooo happy.  I went shopping for new clothes for the first time just before this w/ my sister Grace.  She kept bringing me size 10 jeans and the kept fitting!!!  I was in shock.  I can remember I was really starting to gain confidence in myself around this time.  For the first time, I KNEW I would reach my goal- it was just a matter of when.

February 29, 2008- I LOVED these Levi's jeans!!  I got them at Plato's Closet (where I bought most of my clothes while I was losing weight) and I wore them for days on end.  I would even sleep in them.  Anyway, they were a size 7.  Ha!  Odd sizes are juniors clothes... haven't worn them since before I had children!  I was so happy to be in these.

April 26, 2008- GOAL!!!  70 pounds gone!!!  My goal weigh-in was so awesome.  It was early in the morning... like 7:15 am or something.  My consultant and all the girls at the center were so excited for me.  I texted everyone- in all time zones even though it was early.  I was so over the moon this day. I hadn't wore a size 4 since freshman year of college!

I am so thankful to my friends, family, and everyone who has supported me during this process. If I had to name names of the people I am forever thankful to it would be: Jack, Mom, Dad, Anna, Tara, Ria, Grace, Holly, Tonya, and my amazing consultant Melissa!  W/o all of these people I seriously could not have done this.  You are so far above me- I'm like ropes on the Good Year Blimp.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Mozzarella Cheese

Monday, April 20, 2009

2009 Boston Marathon

Today I watched the 113th Boston Marathon.  I love watching marathons.  I know that sounds silly.  Most people think "All they do is run.  Nothing happens until the end."  I know this but I still can't pull myself away.  I watched every second of the elite women and elite men's races.  My favorite runner, Kara Goucher, was running.  She holds the record for American Women's Fastest Marathon Debut.  She ran it in November 2008 at the NYC Marathon in 2:25:53.  I was soooooo hoping that she would take first today but it was just not to be.....  However, she did get 3rd place and ran a great race.  Way to go Kara!  I was sad for her to not reach her goal of winning.  When she cried today I had to hold back tears.  

I have followed Kara's career over the last few years and it has really inspired me.  Every time I watch her run I am just amazed at her toughness.  I wish I could run like that.  I wish I could do what she does.  It is really awesome.  I would love to run a marathon someday.  And of course, after a runner says that the next thing they say is... "I'd love to run The Boston Marathon someday."  Realistically, I don't know if that kind of distance is in the cards for me.  I get injured so easily it seems.  If I ever do get to run a marathon I would have to train very carefully.  I could probably take a few tips from Kara's training... she battled injuries for several years after college.  But- I seriously don't know that I will ever run that far... and that makes me feel kinda bummed after watching such a beautiful race today.

As for Kara- I am sad for her that she did not win... but happy for her that she has so much talent!  I'd love to run like that just one day in my life!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So- it's come to this....

Here is the latest.  My foot is most likely broken.  I am going to have a bone scan done next week.  I need to have a scan b/c it is probably a small fracture in a small bone.  My new podiatrist said he would just have a hard time believing it is not broken b/c it is still so swollen after over a week of not running.  The x-rays are inconclusive.  They show something but I need more x-rays and the scan.  Grrrrr.  This is not good.  I am in a boot for now.  (See pics.  I took the second one in a high heel b/c it is the only shoe that is high enough to allow me to walk level.  Don't think I can wear this look out.)  This damn boot is enormous.  But I am really hoping to stay in the boot as opposed to going to a cast.  He said he might let me stay in the boot if it is broken... we will have to see how it is healing.  The doc said what most likely happened was I sprained it a few months ago and it just never got to heal.  I kept taking little periods of time off but never long enough.  So I just ran until I broke it.  Ahhhh!  Are you kidding me?  I now need to be off running for 8 to 12 weeks.  I really can't think about that now.  I'll think about that tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My newest endeavor

Here is my latest purchase.  I am not running right now.  (I can't even talk about it yet.)  So I am looking for other fun workouts to do.  I can't bike right now either.  The only thing cardio-wise I can do is swim and we don't belong to a gym sooooo.... I am just keeping my eating in check and working on toning and strength.  I picked up this box of "Tricords" at my latest weigh in at Jenny Craig.  One of my new Jenny friends said she lost 2 inches off her waist in a ridiculously short time period.  I am all about that!  I am excited to try them out. I have lots of resistance bands but not of varying strengths and I don't have this DVD- which I hear is great.  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Alive!!

What a great Easter today was!!!  The children were so excited to celebrate.  We have really tried to focus on Holy Week this year.  Below is a photo of pictures the kiddos colored the events of the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.  We had a lot of fun organizing them and talking about the different stories.  The rest are pictures of our day today.  (Yes- Lisa has curlers in her hair.  And Yes- Baby Jack has a Tony Romo jersey in his Easter basket.)  The last picture is our awesome Easter surprise!  Jack made it home today!  Yay!!  He flew home on the red-eye from California last night.  Then he caught a cab this morning and surprised us at Mass! We are so blessed to have him home for the holiday.  HAPPY EASTER!