MJ-SHE-BEAST   47,195
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ONEderland! NSVs! Silly Pic! Some TMI stuff but I'm sharing anyway!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Yeah, this happened today:




I haven't weighed under 200 pounds since before my son was born in 1987. I'm 54. You do the math. I'm beyond thrilled. I'm proud. I'm feeling accomplished. I'm also very relieved because I had set my goal of being under 200 by the end of the year. Feels really good to hit it more than a week early. Since June I have lost 72 pounds. My next goal is to hit 175 by my 10th wedding anniversary on April 16th. Since I'm about at the halfway mark in my weight loss, I've been told this is where it will really slow down, so instead of 10 pounds lost per month I'm estimating about 6.25 pounds lost per month. If it is slower, so be it, as long as each month shows loss.

A couple NSVs (non-scale victories for you newbies) I've had in the last few months starting with the probably way TMI ones that only the very morbidly obese of us can really identify with:

I no longer have to worry about tinkling in my pants. My excess weight caused so much pressure on my bladder that I developed light bladder control problems. That's gone now!

I can now properly clean myself after the toilet. There. I said it. If you have never experienced the worry of bowel movements while not at home, you should count yourself lucky. Being so heavy that your arms can not reach to clean your nether regions is difficult. If you have arthritis, like I do, it's worse. It means showers after using the toilet, even if you had one an hour ago. If you aren't at home, you hold it as best you can and if you can't...well...you get really creative and I'll leave it at that. This is one of my most treasured NSVs...even if it is the ickiest.

I've lost 68 inches off of my neck, chest, waist, hips, upper arms, thighs, and calves since June.

I can reach both hands behind me and have them meet.

My 5 year-old grandson can wrap his arms around my middle when he hugs me and his hands touch in the back.

I felt something weird rubbing against my sides when I was walking the other day and lo and behold, it was my own elbows! My upper arms have always been so heavy and big they prevented my elbows from touching my body.

I can carry my 1 year-old granddaughter so much easier and longer.

I have so much more energy!

Speaking of energy - 5 year-olds have it in abundance! Spent a good part of this afternoon singing and playing with my grandson. We were singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in honor of our antler headgear when I snapped this picture.




Merry Christmas, Joyous New Year, and as always, I love you all.
Never give up - Never give in!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEAU2010 12/24/2014 9:03PM

    emoticon Your blog encourages me to hope some of those NSVs will be the ones I experience!

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SPEEDY143 12/24/2014 2:02PM

    Sooooooooo thrilled for YOU emoticon especially on the NSVs because THAT is what we do daily emoticon

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ERIN_POSCH 12/24/2014 11:21AM

    WOOHOO... best present EVER!!! merry Christmas to you and yours!

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SBEAR5 12/24/2014 7:47AM

    Once again... insanely proud of you and soooooooooo happy for you. It's those "little" NSV's that really just boost us!


Congratulations MJ! So so happy for you. Hoping I can actually see you soon! :)

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SLIMMERKIWI 12/24/2014 3:43AM

    What a WONDERFUL Xmas Present for you :-) I have told you before, and no doubt I will tell you again, I am so, so VERY proud of you, and I can see that you are proud of you, too emoticon

Even if you weightloss slows down to a smaller loss per month between now and your goal date, you are still TONS better off, emotionally AND physically, that you were prior to your surgery :-)

Take care, my friend, and have a FANTASTIC Xmas
Kris xxx

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NHES220 12/24/2014 12:25AM

    Congrats! Good for you and a very Merry Christmas!

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ENDUROVET 12/23/2014 9:24PM

    Many congratulations to you for past, current, & future progress!!!
This is just what I needed to read for encouragement as I buckle down to:
A.) get to Onederland myself (6 more lbs)
B.) peel off the 16 lbs I need to lose to qualify for my Big Costa Rican adventure at the end of Feb (I've always worked best under pressure, but this is getting ridiculous - need to average almost 2 lbs/wk)
C.) continue on to MY goal weight of 175
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POOKASLUAGH 12/23/2014 9:03PM

    Fantastic job MJ! I'm so thrilled for you! I remember when I hit ONEderland and I remember you telling me it was the first time you were jealous of one of my milestones - and now here you are meeting it yourself!! You rock!! :D

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HUNNI55 12/23/2014 8:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Yay for onederland!!

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HUGS2015 12/23/2014 8:42PM

    So glad for you! emoticon m emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUNA89 12/23/2014 8:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BJUMPINGFORJOY 12/23/2014 8:15PM

    emoticon

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GHK1962 12/23/2014 7:17PM

    LIST LIST LIST TiME!11

Onederland) ALRIGHT MJ!! Goal Met! You are beyond awesome. I know your journey at times has been incredibly hard. And now ... you. are. kicking. it.!!! Go you. Go freakin you!

#One) Yeah errr.... TMI stuff ... but still - yeahhhhh for NSV!!!! And moving on cause I am a dude and dudes get all dude-like on this kinda stuffs.

One x 68) That is amazing!

All A_One You) Yeahhhh on the grandson being able to bear hug The SHE-BEAST!!!

Onederful) Yes on more energy. Yes on never giving up. Yes on never giving in.

You are beyond a rockstar MJ. Go freakin you!!!!

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REBESANCON 12/23/2014 7:02PM

    Congratulations, that's fantastic, and one of the best Christmas gifts you could receive! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAMBABY0 12/23/2014 6:38PM

    awesome

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LADYGSC 12/23/2014 6:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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So close to ONEderland - Update and progress pics

Friday, December 12, 2014

In 19 days we will see the end of 2014, the year of my rebirth, the year when friends, family, and total strangers pulled together to donate money, purchase t-shirts, rummage sale goods and baked goods in order to help me get the much needed gastric sleeve surgery that would give me a second chance at living a longer, healthier, fitter life.

As of this morning, I am down 68 pounds. My goal is to have lost 72.2 pounds by the last day of this year, putting me under 200 pounds and into that magical place called ONEderland. I have 19 days to lose those 4 pesky pounds. I have gotten close to ONEderland once since I joined sparkpeople 5 years ago, only to gain every pound back plus a LOT more until I hit the high of 272 a year ago thanks to steroids, my own messed up metabolism, and just plain old giving up and giving in. If you know me even a little bit, you know that giving up and giving in is SO not me, but there it is. I felt hopeless. Insurance turned me down time and again for the surgery my primary care, cardiac, and rheumatology docs all insisted I needed. Then my daughter stepped in and created the Save The She Beast campaign and...well, you know the rest. July 28th was my surgery day, my "rebirth" day. Nothing but progress since - even if some of it has been a bit slow, it's been progress!

I knew I was losing. The scale said so. My clothes were getting looser. I could see a bit of difference between the pictures I was taking to make progress. But it really wasn't until I did a comparison of my FACE that it really showed to me that I was progressing. Yes, I'm a bit dismayed by the fact that my neck is now a turkey wattle and I have a lot more wrinkles and loose flesh, but that will be fixed eventually. Vanity much? Why, yes, thank you! Plastic surgery is in my future FOR SURE! But the fact that my face is much smaller thrills me and really gave me the WOW moment I needed to realize just how far I have come since last Christmas. Here's what I'm talking about:





Here's some body shots from the last 15 months until now when I am 4.5 months post-op:



Front and Side comparisons From July 21st (one week before surgery) and today with 50 pounds gone (68 pounds total since May 1st). You should know that these are the first pictures of me in a bathing suit since 1984 - truly! Not pretty, but honest!




That's where I am so far. I want to hit that under 200 pounds by December 31st so bad I can taste it. ONEderland, I'm on my way! My goal after that is to hit 175 by my 10 year anniversary April 16th and after that is to hit 150 by my husband's birthday on August 12th. This time next year I hope to be at goal. My goal is listed as 120 pounds, but you know what? That's adjustable and debatable. If I am thrilled to pieces anywhere from 125 to 145, that's where I will stay. 145 is what my thin husband weighs. My biggest goal of all is to weigh less than him. So, we will stop where I feel the happiest and healthiest. Charts and scales may guide me to where I need to be, but no chart nor scale shall rule me.

Well folks, that's all the news that's fit to report, as they say!
Never give up, never give in.
As always, I love you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PURPLEPEONY 12/17/2014 9:47AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SMILINGEYES2 12/17/2014 2:19AM

    Awesome. Prednisone turned me into PAC woman in the past but knowing its power I have been able to stay on my plan this go-round. You can not only reach onederland but you can stay there. Best wishes on reaching your goals.

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ERIN_POSCH 12/13/2014 11:28AM

    WOO HOO YOU!!! Way to go!

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MELITOD 12/13/2014 10:27AM

    So happy for you. Great job!

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GHK1962 12/12/2014 9:58PM

    I. Have. To. Make. A. List!!!!

1) Your smile on that last transform pic. MIGHTY AWESOME!!!! Your eyes are smilling MJ. I can see the happiness. NICE! I want to put a bazillion exclamations on this.

2) Charts and scales don't rule you - YES! You know where you're headed ... and the charts and scale will not get you there...they will follow. You are doing awesome. I have been seeing your ST ... you are kickin it.

3) Damn - I was gone while the Save the She Beast .... damn. I would have done my part ... You. Are. The. She. Beast. Not just because Lil called you that that one day so long ago. But because you are REALLY now THE SheBeast. RWWARRRWWWW!!!!

4) Throughout the past several years... 4 ... 5 now? You have been an incredible team leader. The sacrifices you've made to keep the team going ... the work you've put in ... it HAS been noticed and appreciated. I know you are going to step out of the Leadership role at the end of the year - and you've done a great job grooming and picking those who are stepping in. Already they are doing a great job - and that's a testament to all the Leaders who've come before them ... and you have a LOT to do with that. You should feel DAMNED proud for what you have accomplished here with your journey AND with what you've done with the team. You've also been incredibly graceful as you exit the Leadership team.

YOU ROCK MJ. And now you take a much needed rest from guiding all of us. Just don't go away .... you may be stepping down from the Leadership team, but you'll always be a frickin awesome leader ... it's just in your nature.

Go you MJ ..... GO YOU!

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SLIMMERKIWI 12/12/2014 5:40PM

    WOW - WHAT A TRANSFORMATION :-)

I am soooo very pleased that the community at large joined hands to help support you with the fundraising and emotional aspect. It is a pity the Insurance Co. didn't meet their ethical obligations and accept that you had been doing all that you could to achieve your health goals.

BIG hugs,
Kris



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SHERRY666 12/12/2014 4:19PM

    WOW WHAT A BIG DIFFERENCE FROM LAST YEAR UNTIL NOW.......... YOU LOOK AMAZING....... YOUR FACE REALLY SHOWS THE WEIGHT LOSS...... KEEP GOING YOUR DOING EXCELLENT... YOU WILL HIT ONEDERLAND NO PROBLEM........ emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 12/12/2014 2:56PM

    emoticon

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SPEEDY143 12/12/2014 1:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SBEAR5 12/12/2014 12:59PM

    INSANELY proud of you MJ! You are rockin it! And I COMPLETELY get the desire to weight less than the hubs. I was over the moon when I got there! :)

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LADYGSC 12/12/2014 12:49PM

    That is onederful!! You're on your way to onederland!! I know what you mean about the steroids - it was that every time I make good progress I seem to get sick and need steroids! I lost 68 pounds and gained back 23, I'm not giving up. I declare and I decree that pneumonia is no longer going to be a part of me, in Jesus name!
emoticon emoticon

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KAABEE 12/12/2014 12:07PM

    WOW! Your pictures tell the story and it's amazing. I'm rooting for you on that road to ONEderland. You go girl!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Does this count as an NSV? Funny, but true story!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Sorry if TMI, but I thought you could all use a giggle at my expense.

I had a wardrobe malfunction at the gym this morning. I've lost inches across my chest, not to mention some volume, and all of my "hold 'em ups" are getting pretty loose. I reached up to grab the bars on the stretching cage and the "girls" slid out the bottom of my bra. Yeah...this happened. emoticon


Not sure if anyone noticed. I was afraid to look around. I crossed my arms over my chest (well, thanks to gravity it was kind of "under" my chest) and went straight to the shower/dressing room and adjusted myself before fleeing the gym as discreetly as possible.

I wanted to wait until I hit ONEderland, which is only 14. 4 pounds away, to purchase new clothing and lingerie, but now... New bras? Definitely!

Other NSVs? I'm stronger. I'm more flexible. I can scratch places I couldn't 3 months ago. I can hold a plank for a second or so before I face plant. I walk faster. I sleep a little better. My seat belt fits better. I have to pull the seat up closer to the steering wheel. Many more but that's off the top of my head.

NSVs are signs of success, even the funny, embarrassing ones. Treasure the moments, and the laughs!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 11/17/2014 7:02AM

    ROFL!

And way cool with the new profile photo.

Now get the too the bra store. and get new ones every 15 lbs you lose. At our age we need all the support we can get.

you go girl.

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MISSLORI5 11/8/2014 12:03PM

    Congrats on the loss in inches!! Sometimes the "clothing police" is our activity and when that happens, it's not easy to argue!! Hope you got a good one, I finally bought into sports bras after I lost about 45 lbs. and couldn't find a bra that fit me with enough support!! Take care, keep up the attitude and have an excellent weekend!! emoticon emoticon

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GHK1962 11/5/2014 7:17AM

    At least you knew! I mean, what if you were so into your stretching and was bending this way and that!

Heh ... another NSV ... I see a whole lot more enthusiasm for exercising on your part ... wooohooo!

Waiiiittt...it's woohoo Wednesday ... you should use this!

MJ: "My Woohoo today is my woohoo's got loose!"

*whaps myself for making that goofball joke!*

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POOKASLUAGH 11/5/2014 7:16AM

    NSVs are awesome! Despite embarrassment. :D Oh man, definitely time for some new support! :D You are doing fantastic!

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SLIMMERKIWI 11/5/2014 2:27AM

    I know how you feel - LOL!

After I had lost quite a bit of weight I was at my Dietitian's appointment. She got me to stand up to measure my waist. I knew that my fitted trou were getting loose, but didn't realize HOW much too loose they were until they fell to the ground, totally unaided :-)

My daughter had to go one better. She had lost quite a bit of weight. She was going for a brisk long walk around town as part of her exercise regime. SHE knew she had lost a fair bit, too, but didn't realize how much. As she was striding it out her trou fell to the ground, but not only that ..... they took her knickers with them - hahaha. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

BOTH of us had to hurry up and get some new clothes :-)

Kris

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JUNESHOPE 11/4/2014 11:56PM

    emoticon Oh my... But a happy reason for the malfunction! emoticon


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SHAMROCKY2K 11/4/2014 11:50PM

    ha ha!
DH is about where you are now.. I have to talk up onderland to him. One cool thing is that we don't have to look for booths with more room when we DO go out to eat.

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JUNEAU2010 11/4/2014 8:54PM

    Love it! Laugh all the way to the store!

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SBEAR5 11/4/2014 7:10PM

    LOL, I literally LOL'd. I'm pretty sad to say that, that's one place I haven't lost much. ugh! Hopefully, someday! :)

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ANNABELLISABEL 11/4/2014 6:01PM

    What a funny NSV, definitely not TMI, this is where to share that kind of stuff!

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LORIVIOLA 11/4/2014 5:46PM

    emoticon for the laugh! emoticon
i REALLY REEEEAAALLLLY NEEDED IT!
emoticon for you!

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Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be (lots of pics!)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

If you are over 40, I bet you heard the Supremes singing the title, didn't you?

It's really hard to remember life before Spark. It seems it has been a part of me forever, even though I joined in 2010. It's just that ingrained in my life, I guess.

I'm reflecting today on the last 5 years of being a Spark member, and on the last 4 years as a Spark team leader here in San Antonio . There have been some major highs, let me tell you. I've climbed hills and dined with some of you. We have attended birthday parties, theme parties, and baby showers together. Some of you held my hand literally and figuratively during my mom's long illness and decline. Some of you were at her funeral, helping me to cope and get through. I've zip lined and tower climbed with some of you. I've trained with you and walked a half marathon with you. I've participated in spark challenges with you and I've become part of some of your lives in the flesh, as you have in mine. You've been there through my thyroid surgery, my heart stent, my many strains, sprains, fractures, and the various procedures on my back. Many of you, whether on the San Antonio team or not, have been so supportive of me during the worry about getting the funding for my gastric sleeve surgery, have gone on tv with me, have participated in fund raisers for me, and in the months since then as my real weight loss and return to health has begun you've been cheering me every step of the way. Spark and its members have been a HUGE part of my life for the last 5 years.

The way life used to be before Spark doesn't matter - sorry for the misleading title - but it is the truth. Life SINCE Spark is what is important now. I've found myself again, rediscovered that I can do great things if I want them enough, and I've finally built and will always retain a lot of very healthy habits. I'm still 2/3 of the way from my goal weight, but I'm 100% finished having to start over again with this aspect of my life.

I don't think I will ever NOT be a spark member, no matter how healthy, no matter how fit I become. What I am going to NOT be after the first of the year is a San Antonio Spark Team leader. I'm stepping down to more fully concentrate on me, my journey, and with the book and path I'm hoping to develop for myself. I'm not saying I'll be gone from leadership for very long or even that I'll be gone from it forever, but for a while at least, I need more ME time.

I'm going to leave you with just a small sample of pictures from our spark adventures over the years. The last picture will be three pictures of me in the last year that show my progress. As always, I love you all...and I love, love, love sparkpeople.com!

Zip line and Tower Climb!



Spark dinner meet ups, 5ks, and our 13.1 Half Sparkathon




Sparkers on Great Day S.A. tv show and a couple Spark supporters in their Save the She Beast t-shirts




And me in a comparison photo 14 months ago, one month ago, and yesterday. 55 pounds gone, 97 pounds to go!



p.s. If you are a member of the San Antonio Spark Team and haven't signed up for the SPICE challenge which starts this Friday, October 31st, get your behind to the team page and sign up NOW. Let's get through the holidays happier and healthier with the SPICE challenge, and help me leave leadership on a very high note! emoticon emoticon



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNABELLISABEL 10/27/2014 6:22PM

    What? No those aren't like me being all touched by your story tears, that's my allergies. lol.

Seems like you've come an awfully long way, I am proud to be your spark-friend!

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JUNEAU2010 10/27/2014 3:06PM

    emoticon emoticon I love your spirit!

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MOJO0607 10/27/2014 11:07AM

    What great photos and an amazing testament to the power of the support that SparkPeople offers, if you only choosed to open yourself up to it. Thanks for being one of the people we all turn to for inspiration and guidance, and best wishes on your new adventures!

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SBEAR5 10/27/2014 10:08AM

    Soooooooooo proud of you! and even more so, so happy and blessed to know you.

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ELEXEY 10/27/2014 2:52AM

    Such a beautiful blog MJ. You've come such a long way, and I know you'll keep up the amazing work. Love you much!!

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SLIMMERKIWI 10/26/2014 5:54PM

    Wonderful blog, and congratulations on the continuing weight-loss :-)

Kris

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EVIE4NOW 10/26/2014 5:50PM

  Amazing, simply amazing. Keep on doing what you are doing.

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POOKASLUAGH 10/26/2014 4:52PM

    You are awesome MJ! I look forward to being part of this group again, in person, very very soon. Well, not very VERY soon. Eight months. Eight months to go. Can't wait to see all you again! (And even sooner, in person, when I come to visit!)

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GEORGE815 10/26/2014 4:27PM

    Keep up the good work.

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*Plunk* *Plunk* PLANK!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Today I am 83 days post VSG surgery and 53 pounds lighter. I am 99 pounds from my goal of 120 pounds. If I am thrilled with my results at 130, though...I'll stop. At 4'10, the doctors tell me 105-115 is where I should aim, but since my family has boobs, butts, and thighs I am not really listening too close.

I've been doing some very basic yoga for flexibility and strength training with weights. I've noticed I am a bit stronger and definitely more flexible. I'm in less pain than usual, which is saying a lot. I have arthritis, back degeneration, lupus, and fibromyalgia, so reduced pain and flare-ups is a wonderful thing. I give the credit to both the weight loss and being able to move more. Which brings me to a great big old emoticon I want to share with you.

My daughter-in-law started holding free Meditation in the Park classes every Sunday last year for a while and recently resumed. I've been attending. Before and after each session there is a Sun Salutation yoga sequence. I've always modified almost EVERY movement because of my lack of flexibility and my range of motion problems. My planks were non-existent - basically a flopping onto my front and struggling to then raise myself into cobra position. I would go for a plank and instead I would plunk. Every. Single. Time.

Today, though.... plank, down, and up into cobra emoticon emoticon not just once, but several times! I shocked myself! I am very proud of myself for this. There were times when I feared holding a plank was going to be too much to aspire to at my health level. I was also thrilled to be able to share this victory in person with two of my fellow San Antonio Spark team members, AvidWisher and HeidiJuneBug, who also attended the meditation session this morning. Made it even sweeter to be with folks who really know the struggles I have.

I say it all the time, and I truly mean it. Never give up. Never give in. If you keep going, keep trying, keep hope alive, you will amaze yourself with what you can do. While today's success might be tiny to some, there are those of us for whom it is a HUGE victory. Reach for those milestones, stretch yourself towards them, grab hold and celebrate. You have it within you to make it happen. Do what you have to do to get where you need to be and do not for one minute give up on yourself.

As always, I love you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOJO0607 10/23/2014 12:05PM

    Great big crocodile tears welling up right now...YOU are AMAZING. And your positive and indomitable spirit are contagiously infectious. Keep on shining bright!!

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JUNEAU2010 10/20/2014 8:48PM

    emoticon

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JUNESHOPE 10/20/2014 10:40AM

    emoticon That is sooooo exciting. It's emoticon that you stuck with it, and noticed your body getting stronger.
emoticon on your weight loss. You are doing terrific! emoticon

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SBEAR5 10/20/2014 10:35AM

    Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!! SO excited for you MJ. It's so satisfiying to see the results like this. So proud of you!

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RINLYN 10/20/2014 9:44AM

    Highest of fives, MJ! That's a fantastic milestone marker!

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FIT-TO-LIVE 10/20/2014 6:45AM

    That is awesome! Congratulations, you have worked so hard! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPEEDY143 10/20/2014 1:21AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GHK1962 10/20/2014 12:29AM

    So this is ALL kinds of cool! Planks rock. Planks are hard. You can do planks now. That means ...

You rock!

What is kind of cool too, is that now that you have gotten to this (by never giving up!) ... you end up realizing ... hey ... that (fill-in-the-blank) thing that I never thought I'd do ... maybe I can?

I love seeing these kinds of blogs. Way to go MJ!

(PS - Stoopid "Like" button only letting me push it once.)

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SHAMROCKY2K 10/19/2014 10:43PM

    emoticon indeed!!

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ANNABELLISABEL 10/19/2014 8:40PM

    So awesome to hear!!



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SLIMMERKIWI 10/19/2014 8:34PM

    WOW - I can see your grin from here :-)

WELL DONE YOU !!!!

Kris

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POCKETFULOFSUN 10/19/2014 8:27PM

    Awesome!

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